confession time

April 6, 2010

i used to have a lot of guilty pleasures. i still do, i suppose, except by and large i’ve stopped feeling guilty about them. part of this is growing up and realizing that i don’t need to impress anyone, and that furthermore my real friends might mock the fact that i like lady gaga and unironically adore films like center stage and newsies, but these things will not have any real impact on whether they like me or not. and partly, i read this article by chuck klosterman a few years back, wherein he argues that you should not feel ashamed about the things you genuinely enjoy, and realized, you know what, he’s right.

that being said, i have something to tell you, my dear friends and blog readers. this is more embarrassing than admitting that i read romance novels (more embarrassing than admitting how many romance novels i own, even). this is serious: i kinda sorta secretly love toby keith.

i’ll give you a minute to let that sink in.

to be clear, i don’t love all of his songs. i own exactly none of his albums. i hate that stupid fucking “courtesy of the red, white, and blue” song. but there are plenty of other songs of his that are on my ipod right now. that i could sing more than half the words to with very little prompting.

so why am i telling you this? well, toby keith is the subject of this week’s “nashville or bust.” and, as usual, nathan rabin managed to perfectly sum up my own massively conflicted relationship with this particular artist:

Keith delivers incredibly mean-spirited sentiments with good-natured bonhomie. He’s just a lucky everyman—white trash with money, to quote one of his self-deprecating album titles—not a creep who derives glee from the misfortune of others. That’s the funny thing about Keith: even when he’s expressing ideas I find problematic at best and morally abhorrent at worst, he does so in a likeable fashion: “How Do You Like Me Now?!” is a catchy, emotionally satisfying ditty that will remain in my iPod on a permanent basis.

and yes, “How Do You Like Me Now?!” is one of the aforementioned songs also on my ipod. and nathan’s take on another favorite, “Beer For My Horses,” amused me greatly:

Never mind that the Red-Headed Stranger’s actual attitude toward crime is more likely to be “Free all non-violent offenders and be mellow with everyone else so as not to harsh their buzz.” As with “Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue,” “Beer For My Horses” takes place in a black-and-white world where the distinctions between good and evil are crystal-clear, and evildoers must be punished. Yet in spite of—or because of—its bloodthirsty rhetoric and simplistic take on crime, it’s a hell of a catchy song, an anthem really, and Toby and Willie make for an inspired odd couple. (Besides, it’s hard to fuck up a song with a title like “Beer For My Horses.”)

also, “I Love This Bar” is a legitimately cool song.

also also, there’s a fairly recent video–no idea what the song is called–but it’s very serious and sad, about a friend of toby’s who has died, and dammit even i was getting choked up, and then there is this full-on kenny g-style  saxophone interlude. the day this came on my tv, i almost fell over i laughed so hard. so there’s that: toby keith is unintentionally hilarious.

and now you guys know all my embarrassing secrets. well, all of the ones related to pop culture, anyway.


One comment

  1. Oh, I like Toby Keith too. I mean, not a fan of his overly obnoxious songs, but Should’ve Been a Cowboy is right up there with my favorites. I am also endlessly amused with As Good As I Once Was. It’s one of the songs that made me realize that not only is he unintentionally hilarious, he is also quite intentionally hilarious at times.

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