Thursday, February 10, 2005
"Hi, I'm Charlie Daniels..."
My roommate Brian works for an entertainment news show here in NYC. As one of the perks of his job, he often gets early releases of books, music, etc for free because they are sent to his office to create publicity.
About two years ago, he came home with a book called "Ain't No Rag" by Charlie Daniels - the dude who sang "The Devil Went Down To Georgia." Charlie Daniels has a website and on his website he basically has a blog, writing his thoughts on various things, mostly about American diplomacy and current issues facing the country. The book is a collection of "essays" from his website.
I'll say this: Charlie Daniels loves America. Simply fucking loves it. Land of the free, home of the brave - hoorah!
I'll also say this: Charlie Daniels is conservative to the point of fascism, vehemently pro-life, and hates gay, blacks, immigrants, and non-Christians; all of whom are going to hell - big time. Thus, this makes the book the MOST HILARIOUS BOOK I'VE EVER READ (and when I use all caps like that you know I'm being serious).
I'm serious - I've been reading this book for about two days, and I can't get enough (I had read only snippets of it before). Charlie claims the book is based on "cowboy logic". I was not familiar with this term previously, but from what I understand so far, cowboy logic entails: 1) Offering simplistic takes and solutions for complex problems that have plagued humanity for centuries; and 2) Hating everyone who disagrees with you. Also, he's sweating very badly in a lot of the pictures. I don't know if that's part of "cowboy logic" or something unique to Charlie.
The book is filled with some of the most outlandish things I've ever read. Honestly, it leaves me speechless. I'm only 80 pages in (out of 260 or so), but here are some snippets so far:
- Charlie Daniels hates Sean Penn because of a visit he made to Iraq before the war to bring light to the plight of the Iraqi people. He calls him a "traitor" and a bunch of other things. Oh but wait - we're just getting started!
- In “An Open Letter to the Hollywood Bunch”, Daniels addresses those celebrities who are against the US occupation of Iraq, calling them, among other things, a “bunch of pitiful, hypocritical, idiotic, spoiled mugwumps.” You show 'em Charlie [shooting guns into air]!
- He says of North Korea, “If you were to look at a nighttime satellite shot of that part of the world you would see light in all the surrounding countries, while North Korea looks like a black hole because of the absence of electricity.” Um, are you sure about this, Charlie? I've personally never done seen a satellite shot of that part of Asia, but that sounds really, really dumb.
- He says of the prisoners in Guantanomo Bay in response to a lawyer he saw on TV advocating their rights, “These people are common criminals, not prisoners of war; they have no rights in this country or any other, for that matter.” I guess we should just shoot 'em up right away, just like they did in the Old West. Yee-hah [shooting guns into air again; playing fiddle]!
- He says of the French lack of support in Iraq, “When the terrorist attacks begin in Paris and they will, the French will come around screaming like a stuck pig begging for our help” and later says, “The French are afraid of their own shadow. The only war they ever won was the French Revolution, and that’s just because they were fighting each other.” I'm guessing "Devil Went Down To Georgia" didn't do so well in France. Also, I should point out, as a student of European history, that this historically inaccurate, but such trivial things as historical inaccuracies do not really matter to Charlie (we learn this about five pages into the book).
- On proposed stricter gun control laws: “It’s a strange thing to me that all these ruptured hearts [liberals who support gun control] remain silent when the Chinese bring in a shipment of assault rifles to sell to the street gangs in Los Angeles.” I have no idea what this means and I don't think he does either.
- About partial birth abortion: “The Holocaust pales in comparison when it comes to the loss of human life, and this disgraceful state of affairs is no less horrible than what happened in Nazi Germany.” Charlie, let's try to take it easy here, ok? Comparing the state of abortion in the US with horror of Nazi Germany might be a little - what's the word I'm looking for - irksome to some people (he writes this particular essay under the banner of "partial birth abortions", but it is plainly clear from this essay and the rest of the book he's speaking of abortion in general).
- In the same essay as above, he writes that Bill Clinton, who vetoed a law prohibiting partial birth abortions, “has the blood of millions of innocents on his grubby hands.” (He later calls Clinton a “lying, cheating, self-serving traitor”). He uses the following formulaic statement throughout the book: “These same people who [insert liberal activity/proclivity here] will not lift a finger or raise a whisper to talk about the murder of innocent children.” I am 80 pages in, and have read this at least four times.
- He says that (this is a good one) sex with children is “another by-product of homosexuality”. Later, he says of homosexuality, “Homosexuality is not a normal thing and has produced some of the most brutal, gory murders in the history of this nation" (???) and "[I]t ruins the lives of young people” and “AIDS was introduced into America by gay sex, which opened a Pandora's box” that he doesn't think will ever be closed. But, in case you were wondering, he does state that he does not hate gay people. So it’s cool for him to say this kind of stuff.
- About the mob that "rioted" in LA after the Lakers’ championship win: “Had the mob been made up of Caucasians, [authorities] could have waded into the middle of it with nightsticks and mace and had the streets cleared in minutes. However, that was not the case: the thugs were mostly minorities so the police had to handle the situation with kid gloves lest Al Sharpton and his brother blowhards come forth and accuse them of racial profiling.” He continues on towing the line between racist and "holy fucking shit I can't believe how racist this guy is!" in this particular essay, but there's just too much to type.
- He promotes teaching English and only English in public schools, saying, “Is being able to speak Spanish or Korean going to help that child out in the real world? Not unless they go back to Mexico or Korea and if they wanted to do that, what are they doing here in the first place?” I...don't...even...have words...for...this.
- One of his essays was written in response to an email he got which said Islam was a peaceful religion. Charlie says he doesn’t know much about Islam, but lists what he does know about Islam in nine points, closing with “Almost every shooting war on this planet is between Islam and somebody” (he admits that Christianity has had its share of dark times, but those are in the past and do not represent “true Christianity”). The complete list of things he "knows" about Islam is too long to type, but it's like me saying, "I don't know much about anyone who's not me, but I do not that they all are much worse than I am, have caused me a lot of problems, and will go to hell."
- He makes loads of unsubstantiated generalizations and doesn’t bother to back them up. For example, he writes of Holland’s “legalization” of “drugs”: “Some will tell you that Holland has tried the experiment successfully. Not so, Holland tried the experiment, all right, but it was not successful. It creates more problems than it solves.” Um, like what, Charlie? I know that the hookers in Amsterdam are actually not very hot, but that's not that big of a deal. One time after I had enough pot I fucked a doorjamb, so I'll still throw it in the ugly hookers, no problem.
[Please keep in mind that I pulled these snippets off the top of my head, thumbing through the book on my lap and typing some stuff in. If I were to spend a proper amount of time going through it, I'm sure I could find much more redonkulous stuff.]
Two closing thoughts:
1) Please, I implore, read this book. Please, please read it. I wouldn't buy it unless you have money lots of money, but if you are looking for a truly hilarious read, get this book. My roommate Brian summed it up best: "I would keep this book by my bedside, open it up anywhere and read maybe two pages before I was compelled to say 'Oh my god' out loud, put the book down, and sit on my bed with my mouth open, feeling like I didn't know if I should laugh or cry." If that's not a ringing endorsement, I don't know what is.
Also, now my friends and I have a hilarious private joke about Charlie Daniels, which of course when I explain it here will not be funny. Anyway, we'll put on our best Southern accent and do a Charlie Daniels impression, pretending he's a spokesman for Budweiser. We'll say things like:
- "Hi, I'm Charlie Daniels. Many people will tell you that I hate Jews, and, well, they're right - I do hate Jews. And that's why I drink Budweiser, the beer that's been anti-Jew since it's founding in 1866. [taking sip] Man, that's good anti-Semitism."
- "Hi, I'm Charlie Daniels. You may know me from my hit song 'The Devil Went Down To Georgia'. In addition to being a musician, I also hate blacks. Every time I see one, I just want to shoot 'em. And that's why I drink Budweiser - the beer for old, fat Southern racists who hopefully will die soon. As a matter of fact, I think my heart has just stopped."
You get it.
2) Charlie Daniels can get a book deal from his website despite the fact that he spews hateful propaganda with the grammar and prose of an eight year old, and yours truly doesn't even get return emails anymore from his "contact" at Random House?
Seriously, who's dick do I have to suck to get a book deal? Because I'll fucking do it - it doesn't make me gay. The true artist must sacrifice for his art, so bring on the penis! (None of you know any editors or publishers or people who might know someone in the publishing industry or famous people or nothing? Good lord. I need new readers.)