Venom Soup

As history goes, the U.S.A. is weird shape these days. But not all is lost. Yeah, we got our shit: the war in Iraq, a warped, unconnected, hilariously inarticulate jackass for a president, a porous border with Mexico (oh wait, the republicans billion dollar fence will solve that). But just when it looks like it's all sliding down a rat hole it's good to remember that hey, we still got Ted Nugent. U!S!A!U!S!A!U!S!A!

That's right "The Nuge," as he's known among those who suspect he's a cartoon come to life—and truly what other choice is there?— once made poor man's Stooges music with the Amboy Dukes and then cut one, possibly two fairly classic if entirely predictable 70's rock guitar albums, 1975's Ted Nugent and 1978's Double Live Gonzo, ( the latter in horrendously bad sound). I will admit to having to lock the closet door in my freshman dorm room so that my suite mates wouldn't wear out my copy of Gonzo. Musically, if the truth be told, vocalist Derek St. Holmes was as big a part of Nugent's early solo success as Mr. Gun. His music became formulaic metal after St. Holmes departure. Since those days, he's gone Genghis Khan and descended into being an overamped NRA board member, beef jerky salesman and poster boy for killing all God's creatures, or at least the ones he can eat. Now poor Ted only goes to the supermarket for steak sauce and absorbent paper products to sop up the blood. The man's religion is now mayhem via high powered weaponry.

Anyway, the Nuge who's approaching 60 but looks 35 and acts 17, played Texas Gov. Rick Perry's inaugural ball on Tuesday in Austin. Playing on a stage festooned with machine guns, he proceeded to tear into his Motor City Madman act. Ted Nugent wanging away on "Yank Me, Crank Me" and "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang"’ in front of a well-heeled crowd of white-skinned, blue-haired denizens of the Texas GOP? I'm damned sorry I missed it. It seems that at one point in the festivities he also donned a t-shirt with a Confederate stars and bars flag on it and according to the AP, shouted statements that were offensive to non-English speakers. Here's my favorite part of the story: he "couldn't be reached for comment Thursday because he was hunting." Too bad Ted can't go to Iraq. You can be damned sure he'd either be a casualty or the force behind some kind of carnage.

John Banner who's the new internet guru here made this choice observation which seemed to me to be near the heart of "The Nuge" and those of his survivalist ilk.

"What does it say about this country that more people are interested in guns than stereos."

John's clearly one of us. Welcome.

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