So, I see in the news the other day that former rock star Ted Nugent said... well, I don't know. I generally gave up reading Ted Nugent comments. I see the headline, and unless it offers a hint of something that might get him thrown in jail (like an earlier rant about the president that brought about a visit from the Secret Service, after which his sashaying ego collapsed faster than a card table in a hurricane), I now move on. A month ago, for instance, all I saw was that Mr. Nugent had called someone "psychotic," and that just doesn't make the cut. All I could think was, "Well, at least this time he's talking about something he's acquainted with. Even if he doesn't understand it."
(Actually, when I first saw the headline, I was hoping that the "Ted" it was referring to was the recent movie character from Seth MacFarlane. At least then there was a chance that the thought process was used. You know Ted Nugent is in trouble when things he says are profoundly less interesting than a talking teddy bear.)
My bigger issue with Ted Nugent Rant News Stories, though, is not what he says -- hey, he's entitled to whatever attention-drawing spew he wants to make -- but rather that what he says is covered by the national news. Ted Nugent wasn't particularly insightful when he had his hey-day, and that was 40 years ago. Not that opinions don't have worth whenever they're offered, and not that someone can't suddenly have an intelligent epiphany four decades later. But that's true for anybody. So, why in the world Ted Nugent? I can go to the nearby 7-Eleven and hear someone make the same alcohol-induced rant.
I feel the same when I see Victoria Jackson getting national coverage for some harried screed about the President of the United States. Victoria Jackson? Seriously?
I guess this is one of the by-products of a 24-hour news cycle, when you have to fill it in with anything. (I get the concept of "filling it with anything" when it comes to yammering on blogs. But national news bureaus have actual access to actual reporters sending them actual news...) And honestly, I really do grasp why celebrities make the news for political statements they make. As big-name celebrities, they draw big-time interest and attention. But Victoria Jackson and Ted Nugent?
On the positive side, I take comfort that when the best celebrity criticism of President Obama the radical far right can come up with to promote is Ted Nugent and Victoria Jackson, then things must be okay.
There's a certain whimsy to all this. If someone like Bruce Springsteen, Matt Damon, or Barbra Streisand makes a liberal political statement, the far right news media tends to trash them for just being Hollywood or pop airheads, and asks why should we listen to their ego-maniacal emptiness. But these same people are okay with Victoria Jackson and Ted Nugent. At least when a Ben Affleck sits down for a long, thoughtful interview, he's someone whose done something culturally in the national public eye the past half-century. Not that that makes his opinion valid or more valuable, but it does at least show he has a touchstone of some awareness for current reality. Or reality, period.
And now, the other day, I see the latest Ted Nugent Crazed Rant. "Would You Leave Us the Hell Alone" the headline on the Huffington Post Politics page blared. I don't know what the rant was in relationship to -- as I said, I don't read them, and just couldn't care less. But finally, I do find myself in agreement with one thing Ted Nugent has said.
I think we should leave Ted Nugent the hell alone. I think the Huffington Post and the New York Times and Highlights for Children and Fox News and everyone should leave Ted Nugent the hell alone. I think when Ted Nugent goes on his next manic, hate-filled, desperate plea for undeserved attention, the Huffington Post should accede to his wishes and stop putting him on their homepage. Just leave him the hell alone.
Ted Nugent and the Ted Nugent/Victoria Jackson's of the world are the equivalent of the drunken baseball fan who strips down to his skivvies and leaps onto the field in order to run around for attention, in hopes that the camera will put him on tee-vee and give his life some meaning. Don't encourage him. Don't put him on tee-vee. Just leave him the hell alone.
Ted Nugent finally said one thing that made sober sense.
Just leave him the hell alone.
To read more from Robert J. Elisberg about this or many other matters both large and tidbit small, see Elisberg Industries.