In a recent op-ed for The Guardian former-rap-rocker-turned-blue-collar-crooner Kid Rock held forth on an array of topics that passed through his noggin. Throughout the piece, Rock presented his bona fides as a redneck. With an album due out in late February, perhaps Kid Rock was looking to remind his core audience that he is still the same low-brow that they remember.
Here are a few choice tidbits from the mind of Robert James Ritchie.
"I don’t FaceTweet or whatever people do. I turn on my computer and look at porn a little bit, see what’s going on in the news, but that’s about it."
Rock repeats a common refrain among the unintelligentsia: that "street smarts" trumps "book smarts," making the uneducated somehow better than someone who took the time to actually learn the facts of the world.
"Schoolbook-wise I’m not as educated as some politicians, but I am more connected to the people around me: Detroit, Alabama, Florida, Malibu."
Speaking of politics, Rock claims the same lukewarm cocktail of centrism that many Americans like to tout. His have-it-both-ways take on abortion and gay marriage were especially illuminating.
"I am definitely a Republican on fiscal issues and the military, but I lean to the middle on social issues. I am no fan of abortion, but it’s not up to a man to tell a woman what to do. As an ordained minister I don’t look forward to marrying gay people, but I’m not opposed to it."
But his greatest claim to redneck membership -- like all true hayseeds -- is his family.
"I’m 43 and about to become a grandfather, but it keeps my redneck street cred up. I could be a great-great-great-grandfather by the time I’m 80."
Rock's gun control notions are quite in line with his audience. And he spares no political correctness in his discussion of mental illness and firearms.
"If someone invades your house, yeah, you can shoot them. I don’t think crazy people should have guns."
Speaking of political correctness:
"Rap-rock was what people wanted at the time, and they still love those songs at shows. But it turned into a lot of bullshit and it turned out to be pretty gay… If someone says you can’t say 'gay' like that you tell them to go fuck themselves. You’re not going to get anything politically correct out of me."
Nor anything that requires more than a sixth-grade understanding of civics and diplomacy, apparently. Perhaps Rock's most revealing statement is his assessment of his own capacity.
"I don’t smoke much weed, it makes me dumb."
Run and get that album. With a contemplative thought-base like this, Rush might have to defend its crown as the Thinking Person's Band.