Author Topic: Willie Nelson's Lost Highway  (Read 110903 times)

Offline Lynne

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Re: Willie Nelson's Lost Highway
« Reply #70 on: November 10, 2009, 12:29:06 am »
People are listening to this song in more places than just Tennessee. No doubt, different people in different places, and in different circumstances will interpret the song differently. Living in Philadelphia, I know how the average city boy is going to hear these lyrics. To them, this song will have the effect of a Saturday Night Live skit.

The idea that this song (with or without the ketchup) will incite gay-bashing is about as valid an argument as the one that goes: gangsta rap makes poor, young, black men violent.

We're not going to agree, Milo, and we don't need to.  Remember the point of this website?

"It is my feeling that a story is not finished until it is read, and that the reader finishes it through his or her life experience, prejudices, world view and thoughts." - Annie Proulx

We bring our own life experiences to Brokeback Mountain, and it changed all of us in some way; otherwise, I doubt we'd still be interested in being here.  Everything we see is viewed through the lens of our own experiences.  This is just another example of that.

Let be.
"Laß sein. Laß sein."

Offline milomorris

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Re: Willie Nelson's Lost Highway
« Reply #71 on: November 10, 2009, 12:31:14 am »
We're not going to agree, Milo, and we don't need to.  

(snip)

Let be.

Agreed.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Marge_Innavera

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Re: Willie Nelson's Lost Highway
« Reply #72 on: November 10, 2009, 12:48:21 am »
Well, the majority of people posting on this thread see it as what it is.

People sometimes see this kind of thing through a prism of fear as well: 'if I don't see it, it will all go away or at least not get near me.'

For those who don't see threats in these lyrics:

"That shit ain't right"  --creates a mood of hate/moral condemnation against homosexuals

"Don't go reachin' for my rope" --implies a threat if an overture is made

"You can buy me a beer, then fuck off" --disrespectful and rude, as if it's OK to use a gay man for your own purposes, lead him on, then blow him off


If homophobia was basically just a matter of rudeness, it would be easy to dismiss those lyrics, even in a context where they're sung against a backdrop of a red spatter with a ketchup label conspicuously included (to make it less likely that YouTube will pull it). But as we all know, they're not.  "He made a pass at me" is a familiar "gay panic" excuse for anything from a bloodied nose to being beaten to human hamburger.  Gay men in particular share at least one deadly racial stereotype: that of the out-of-control sexual predator; and that song plays right into that mentality.  

Marge_Innavera

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Re: Willie Nelson's Lost Highway
« Reply #73 on: November 10, 2009, 12:58:56 am »
It's not cute.  It's not funny.  And the rednecks who hear this crap will take it as an endorsement of their homophobia.  

Not to mention expressing it in the way they know best.

Offline Lynne

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Re: Willie Nelson's Lost Highway
« Reply #74 on: November 10, 2009, 01:02:25 am »
I'm with you, Lynn.  A lot of people seem to think that if a gay man hits on a straight man, the straight man is pretty much obligated to physically assault the gay man in order to prove his manhood.  This shitty song speaks directly to that attitude.  I have heard many men talk exactly this way back where I come from.

It's not cute.  It's not funny.  And the rednecks who hear this crap will take it as an endorsement of their homophobia.  

I believe you're right, Gary.  We're from near the same sort of places - the rural southeast.  And tell you what, things are different in downtown Boston,  San Francisco, New York, other cities....but you don't have to get very far outside of Boston before you get to say...Fall River, MA or Quincy, MA...not to give these places a bad name, but Boston-suburbs are not cosmopolitan in the same way Boston-city is.  And it's the rural people and the suburban-rural want-to-be's that provide the market for Nelson's music. 
"Laß sein. Laß sein."

Offline milomorris

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Re: Willie Nelson's Lost Highway
« Reply #75 on: November 10, 2009, 01:08:07 am »
I'm with you, Lynn.  A lot of people seem to think that if a gay man hits on a straight man, the straight man is pretty much obligated to physically assault the gay man in order to prove his manhood.  This shitty song speaks directly to that attitude.  I have heard many men talk exactly this way back where I come from.

I've hit on plenty of straight guys in younger days. Most recoiled. Every one of them said something to the effect of "I'm not gay." And that was it. Not a single one has ever hit me for making a pass.

This "obligation" to prove their manhood via violence against the perpetrator happens far less than people think. Its mostly the kind of stuff that guys talk smack about when they drink. I hear this stuff all the time.  Its a group fantasy of sorts. Few guys actually do it.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline milomorris

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Re: Willie Nelson's Lost Highway
« Reply #76 on: November 10, 2009, 01:32:55 am »
And tell you what, things are different in downtown Boston

True. I had my biggest problems with racial violence in the neighborhoods outside the downtown: Southie, Dorchester, Hyde Park, and Roslindale.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline milomorris

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Re: Willie Nelson's Lost Highway
« Reply #77 on: November 10, 2009, 02:06:48 am »
So the fuck what?  Plenty of them do fucking do it.  Some gay men are dead because of this attitude.  Many have been assaulted.  And a great many are intimidated by the attitude.  

Like I said, it is not funny.  It is not cute.

Not very many people would lynch a black man or participate in a gangrape, but if dumbass Willie Nelson should be stupid enough to sing a snappy little song about those things, I wouldn't want to hum along.

First of all, Willie's song makes fun of homophobia, it doesn't advocate it. Secondly, there are no violent lyrics in this song. "Keep your hands off me" is miles away from "I'll kick your ass." Third, I understand men. That "if one ever touched me..." kind of talk is just that...talk. Its bravado.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline Clyde-B

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Re: Willie Nelson's Lost Highway
« Reply #78 on: November 10, 2009, 02:20:41 am »
First of all, Willie's song makes fun of homophobia, it doesn't advocate it. Secondly, there are no violent lyrics in this song. "Keep your hands off me" is miles away from "I'll kick your ass." Third, I understand men. That "if one ever touched me..." kind of talk is just that...talk. Its bravado.

I hear it making fun of homosexuals, where does it make fun of homophobia?

Offline milomorris

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Re: Willie Nelson's Lost Highway
« Reply #79 on: November 10, 2009, 02:22:16 am »
I hear it making fun of homosexuals, where does it make fun of homophobia?

There is a character singing this song. This character is a homophobic cowboy. That's the joke. This isn't meant to be Willie Nelson's deepest thoughts.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.