When I was seven years old, Ted Nugent released Cat Scratch Fever. I loved it and would often run around the house singing it. Why? Because I was seven years old and that’s the kind of simpleton crap you find completely enthralling at seven years old. I was much too young to pick up on the song’s juvenile cock-rock sexism; I just liked that it had the word “cat” in it and it was easy to air guitar to while making faces that made my mother think I was having the constipation problem again.
As I got just a couple of years older I outgrew my fascination with the self-anointed Motor City Madman and his silly antics. I think I made it as far as Wang Dang Sweet Poontang before giving up because I still wasn’t 100% sure what the hell he was talking about. When I hit my late teens, Nugent staged a comeback of sorts as a now perpetually camouflaged member of the four-man “super”-group Damn Yankees, along with Jack Blades and Tommy Shaw. Yeah, if you missed out on that, you were born under a better sign than some of us.
Since the breakup of that musical abortion, Nugent has become famous mostly for hunting various unarmed animals and pissing off liberals with his insane reactionary rants — rants aimed specifically at pissing off liberals. For some off reason, he’s been given a shocking amount of pop culture cachet over the last several years, mostly because of his paleoconservative views and willingness to say anything to provoke those pussies on the left. It reached a point of critical mass during the Obama era and certainly over the past few weeks. In the recent past, whenever Nugent said something racist, xenophobic, or simply crazy — or when he made threats against the Obama administration — Fox News would giggle with delight, the Tea Party idiots would wrap their meaty white arms around him, and the left would shake its fists. But with Nugent’s remark that Obama is a “subhuman mongrel,” CNN decided to devote most of the week to taking him apart piece by piece and, in the process, give him the airtime and increased relevancy he so badly desires.
Nugent has now apologized for the comment — sort of — but it hardly matters. The goal in putting it out there has been accomplished. Once again, people are paying attention to Ted Nugent for some fucking reason. I realize that by writing about him I’m kind of negating the point I’m trying to make here, but it still needs to be said to those much more powerful than an idiot like me: Stop paying attention to Ted Nugent. For God’s sake, who gives a shit about anything he has to say, other than the farthest right of the right-wing and quite frankly you’re never going to get those people to shut the fuck up anyway. Last night on his Twitter feed, Nugent fired off an appropriate machine-gun burst of whiny nonsense asking whether his mere words were worse than a greatest hits of conservative shibboleths against the president: Benghazi, Fast & Furious, Calling something “terrorism,” and so on. It was the second best piece of self-pitying performance art by a “celebrity” we’ve seen this month, coming in right behind Shia LaBeouf’s ongoing plagiarism/retirement project. It was a minor meltdown sure to be covered by reputable cable news networks today, CNN in particular.
But in the end, Ted Nugent is still nothing more than somebody who was kind of famous for wearing a loin-cloth onstage 35 years ago then playing in a band with a guy from Night Ranger. He’s not a politician. He’s not a revered political writer. He’s not culturally influential other than with a group that’s condemned itself to marginalization anyway. He’s a fucking nobody.
He’s the guy who sang Cat Scratch Fever. Explain to me why I should get worked up over anything he has to say about American politics.
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.