Famous folks are just standing in line to do dumb stuff lately.
It began with Vice President Joe Biden, who decided to channel his inner Kingfish while talking to a black audience in Virginia. While I don't think Biden necessarily meant anything racist by his "They're going to put y'all back in chains," remark, I do think his lapsing into a minstrel-show-style accent to say it was political pandering. Then again, I'm not sure Biden ever thinks that far ahead when he engages the gears that run his mouth.
On the tails of that mess came Senate candidate Todd Akin and his "legitimate rape" debacle. I don't know what planet this guy is from, but I don't think we are in need of qualifiers when it comes to this most heinous crime, and I certainly don't remember the part in health class where women have this magical forcefield that deploys during a sexual assault that keeps them from getting pregnant. And while I'm not sure Akin necessarily meant to use the word "legitimate" the way he did -- and I'm certain he didn't think it would be taken the way it was -- it's pretty hard to backpedal your way out of that quagmire once you've given the impression that you believe there are rapes, and then there are Rapes.
Not content to let the politicians have all the fun, Hank Williams Jr. made headlines again this week for words coming out of his mouth that were not set to the twangy strains of a steel guitar. After getting booted from "Monday Night Football" last year for his comparison of Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler, ol' Bocephus shared with a concert audience in Iowa his views on the president, among them that he believes Obama is a Muslim.
Now, I have to stop here and share some pertinent information. I love Hank. When I'm not listening to hard rock or blues, I'm probably listening to Hank. I have seen him in concert at least five times. As a teenager I covered my walls with his posters and blasted his music from my stereo speakers. There is more than one photo in this world of me wearing a Hank T-shirt. So, full disclosure: big, big fan.
And honestly, I don't care if Bocephus wants to speak his mind. I have news for non-fans: Williams has been taking political stands since the 1970s and '80s, when he penned tunes like "The New South," "The Coalition to Ban Coalitions," and "The American Way," which had decidedly un-Republican lyrics.
So Hank has always liked to talk and sing about politics, but please, the Obama-is-a-Muslim nonsense has to stop. When did everyone forget that Obama went to a Christian church? For 20 years. Listening to the American-hating preacher -- remember that? The birther and Muslim controversies just need to go away. Besides, there's plenty for which to be mad at Obama without manufacturing fairy tales.
Finally, we come to the royal family. As an American, I simply can't fathom why there are still royals in the world. Shouldn't we be waaaaay past believing certain bloodlines were chosen by God to rule and be better than everyone else? And if we're going to put crowns on these people, shouldn't they know better than to be caught on camera playing strip pool in Las Vegas like Prince Harry?
And I guess that's the lesson here: They should all know better. In an age when everyone has a video recorder in their pocket and the ability to spread information around the globe in minutes, celebrities, politicians and even princes should know someone is always watching and waiting for them to make a mistake.
Then again, maybe they do know. Like the old adage says, there's no such thing as bad publicity.
But it'd be nice if there were.
Email Nate McCullough at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears on Fridays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/natemccullough.