Bil Browning

When childhood idols go fundie

Filed By Bil Browning | January 24, 2010 7:00 AM | comments

Filed in: You Gotta See This
Tags: FOX, fundies, Mississippi, Ray Stevens

When I was a kid I loved the Ray Stevens songs - The Streak, the Mississippi Squirrel Revival, and Ahab the Arab. Flash forward a couple of decades and now Stevens is spewing right wing talking points on Fox. Suddenly, not everything is beautiful...

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He is a racist now...

"Law and order left town and the gangs took over
And committed every kind of unthinkable sin
They shot up the town and trashed the Super Dome
And they showed it on Fox and CNN

"And they stole TV's and they stole fine jewelry
Everybody got a new pair of Nike tennis shoes
Stole guns, DVD's, shopping carts full of beer (fur coats, cold beer)
Well they even stole some stuff that they couldn't even use
Then the mayor started cussin' and he started complainin'
Defendin' his actions on the radio"

His lyrics.

That's what he has to say about Katrina? And not a line or couplet wasted on pointing out how the poorest had to wait for about a week before any government assistance arrived? This is very disappointing.

As I was growing up in the early 70's, Ray Stevens was the summer host for the Smothers' Brothers Comedy Hour (CBS, I think). Stevens had just released Everything Is Beautiful earlier in the year (probably his biggest hit ever, even though Mr. Businessman was also one of my favorites), and I developed a gay teenager crush on him.

Then he performed at the Kentucky State Fair at the end of the summer, and I had just gotten my driver's license, and I had to go see him. I remember sitting about 30 feet from the outdoor stage and putting up with cigarette smoke from the guy in front of me, who insisted on holding his cigarette behind his head (I was hoping his hair would catch on fire).

Sorry to hear that Ray Stevens is now such a wingnut --- but I guess that living in Nashville didn't help. Plus, I guess not many hurricanes make it inland all the way to Nashville.

Oh well ... at least I still can love Dolly!

These same folks were the ones who didn't listen to the government and TV warnings to get out of town because the storm was going to devestate New Orleans. What gives them the right to do what they did? Oh, yeah, the GOVERNEMT OWES it to them and since the GOVERNMENT didn't give them all handouts, then it was alright to do that! What happened to getting off their collective fat fannies and working for a living? I didn't see the middle class folks doing this same thing. Oh, that's right. Those fat cat middle class folks got everything handed to them. They didn't need to get a college education, the diploma was just handed to them along with big wages! I am so tired of the "poor me" syndrome. Oh, BTW, I am one of those "fat cat", right wing, middle class folks who just happens to be trans!

I found the full lyrics you're quoting from here:

Just to clarify a point, he doesn't specify a race within the lyrics... whether or not HE's racist is still a matter of his own politics which we'll never truly know.

Honestly, none of this changes my love for his past music any more than it changes my love for Boy George's or Michael Jackson's.

I can't say I like his new music that much though. He got away from the human condition and started preaching. That has never gone over well with me. But I won't give up my childhood and child-like love of his older music. Everyone puts out a stinker now and then.

OMG - you're kidding me.

What happened to the silly guy who sang (mostly) kids' songs? *sighs*

It'd be like finding out Weird Al Yankovich is a closet skinhead or something...

I honestly do not think that his views changed at all. I believe ours did... I don't know about you but I was a people pleaser growing up.. My parents were republicans. I tended when I was young to side with my parents and there political views. I know, I didn't know any different.

Then I started feeling differently about alot of things. Suddenly my fathers politics were not as sound and I Had learned to appreciate my own thoughts and views. I will say I never shared them in my youth. It would have been ugly in our home.

So even though ray has moved to the political side of things. I believe he has always had those views. Wing nuts don't just happen