Monday, August 23, 2004

Gretchen Wilson's Redneck Anthem

Well, if you ain't never been the Barbie Doll type, if you can't swig sweet champagne, but would rather drink beer all night, you might be a redneck. So says Gretchen Wilson, whose song "Redneck Woman" is getting a lot of airplay as this summer's big country hit.

The song is more than just another Shania-esque pop tune with a little twang on the side. It's a real rebel yell. Wilson's celebration of working class culture and her embrace of the defiant attitude that often comes with it are endearing.

The gall to celebrate redneck culture in the face of all the sensitive Baby Boomer Bohemians makes me love the song. So much of Boomer talk about "the working poor" is a mask for how much many of them hate the working class. Anyone not reared on Brie and Chablis is a cretin in their book. Many of them seem utterly shocked anyone would not want to be one of them. Wilson has clearly detected this condescension. However, she seems to think she's doing just fine as she is, thank you very much.

Wilson truly doesn't seem to need their help and the popularity of the song suggests there's a large audience out there who doesn't need it either.

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