mardi 7 octobre 2008

Guy Goes to the Grand Ol Opry

Nashville,Tennessee:October 7: Ahead of tonight's debate, I was taken on a tour of the venerable country music hall The Grand Ol Opry. Its majesty was moving to me. I felt myself at the heart of something unique in America. We stayed for a special luncheon with three kind Nashville public servants--Office T.E. Cooper, of the Nashville Police Department, Monsieur Hank Collins, Head of Building Management for Downtown Nashville and Madame Emily Freeman, Director of Tourism for Greater Nashville--to discuss the presidential race. First they offered me a primer on country music which was instructive in de-naturing this concept of "maverick" [dissident, non-conformiste, franc-tireur] As usual, while my entry above has been translated by my interns, I leave the snippet of our conversations below pure.

Guy: Let me begin by asking if you mind, is this 'country music', first why this this word 'country" used?

Hank Collins: Well, it's just a figure of speech there, Guy, meaning rural-like, music of itinerant farmers and such, people of the land. Not MTV cartoon types like that one hooked up with Nicole Kidman. I mean, I get these kids just out of Vanderbilt law buying up high rise condos near Victory Park, and they put posters on the wall from the old days of country and it kind of makes me laugh.

Guy: Ah, rural, ah oui. In France they ask me, is this Bush music, country music, conservatives?

Emily Freeman:
Bush music? [big laughter] That is a big misconception, Guy. This is music about real people having real problems and really we who listen to country music don't pay no mind to politics when it comes down to it.

Guy: What about this Mark Anthony song with lyrics, I read, to you: "America's seen the wayward hearts/And opened up her shores/ Said if you live by the law of the land
You could not ask for more./But her resources are fadin'/She's on the verge of goin' bust/From those that we've let cross her lines/And abuse her sacred trust."

Emily Freeman: Oh Guy, please that Mark Anthony doesn't represent country music, please, he's just a new baby on the block trying to make a name for himself.

Hank Collins:
And don't even get me started on the Dixie Chicks, that isn't country anymore than Dr. Dre is gospel music.

Guy: And what of Johnny Cash? He was not liked by Nashville as it showed in the tour museum?

Office Cooper: In my book, Cash was the only true country. Man knew how to keep it real and not get caught up in whether the folk here in Nashville were liking him or not.

Guy: But he wrote of criminals, no, and you are police? So how does this fit?

Office Cooper:
All them great country artists had trouble with booze and drugs. Waylon Jennings, Carl Perkins, hell, even Hank Williams got busted a time or two for DUI. And who's going to question Hank Williams credibility? So don't you go back to France misrepresenting country by these johnny-come-latelys, you here?

Guy: So to be true country musician one must be what McCain calls outlaw 'maverick'? [much laughter ensues]

Emily Freeman:
Guy, ain't no mavericks in this country anymore, haven't you been bopping round long enough to see that? I mean, we talk about mavericks you have to go back to like T.E. was just sayin', Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, hell even I was just watching Cool Hand Luke, ole Paul Newman who just died. There you're talkin' mavericks. McCain, well, I don't want to discuss politics it'll spoil our digestion.

Hank Collins: Now he's war hero, that McCain, I give him that. And he's got my vote. Obama going to bring his Indonesian and shady Chicago Resko real estate guy and that terrorist hippie Ayers into office and we don't need that. But maverick? McCain? Palin? These two wouldn't know a ranch hand from a monkey's hand.

Guy: And you, Ms. Freeman how will you vote?

Emily: I like Biden a lot, I must say, but right now, I ain't saying. And I disagree with Hank, I don't think Obama is a terrorist. I'll wait and see tonight.

Guy: And you, Office Cooper?

Office Cooper:
Are Hank Williams and Johnny Cash on the ticket?

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