Toby Keith: Five Reasons to Hate the Killer of Country Music

If there's one man who typifies today's homogenized and sterilized corporate country music, it's Toby Keith. But it's not his music that makes Toby Keith as fun to hate as your neighbor's barking coon dog. No, it's the guy behind the guitar, that loud-mouthed, semipro football washup.

So before he comes to town Saturday, here's a rundown of the best reasons to hate Toby Keith.

5. Toby Keith's temple to himself
If you've been to a location of Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill, you've probably asked your religious leader for forgiveness. Because most

religions frown upon building a temple to yourself. But Toby

built a small chain of bars filled with photos and memorabilia

to honor himself. Honestly, the place makes a fine burger, but it's not easy

to eat it when Toby Keith's old laundry is hanging on the wall behind you.

4. Broken Bridges broke me
Imagine taking the movie Crazy Heart and replacing all the meaningful lines with clichés.

Make the scenes look like back-lot sets. Replace Jeff Bridges with Toby

Keith. Remove Crazy Heart's melancholy ending with one from an after-school special. And take away the Oscar that Bridges won with a 5 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Here's a sample of one review from that site: "It would have served

Keith better to pick a project that didn't accentuate a character who

stumbles around an aimless plot with the same confusion of Bruce Banner

coming down from one of his 'smash' moods."

3. Toby's Sad Collaboration with Jimmy
"Hey, Toby, It's me, Jimmy Buffett."
"I got this two-bit song I wrote. Sounds sorta stupid, like something you'd sing."
"I'm with you."

want to sing a piece of it? Not too much, because I don't

want you to ruin it. But how about I give you two stanzas to my four?

Think you can keep from screwing that up?"
"This ain't the Dixie Chicks messing with me again, is it?"

2. Toby's pandering politics

not that he voted for Bush II in 2004. It's not that he's a Palin

supporter, although that is as dumb as a bag of hammers. The problem is that he has tailored

his politics to whatever happens to be popular when some reporter asks

him about it. Who'd he like between Obama and McCain? Well, that's a

pretty hot issue, so he simply said good things about both of them. In 2008, he officially became an independent and told CMT of his former party:

"They've lost any sensibility that they had, and they've allowed all

the kooks in. So I'm going independent." Looks like the Democrats have one less


1. Red, white, and Toby

it's disrespectful to talk about dead Iraqis saying we "put a boot up

your ass." And the families of killed Afghans probably wouldn't appreciate

him singing: "Man, we lit up your world like the Fourth of July." But

it's really what happened after he released Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue

(The Angry American). First, he criticized Peter Jennings for asking

him to soften the lyrics for national TV, pointing out that Jennings was born in Canada: "I find it interesting that he's not from the U.S." Then came the Dixie Chicks, which included Keith releasing a poorly doctored photo of lead singer Natalie Maines with Saddam Hussein. Classy,

Toby. In the end, Keith came across as a singer trying to capitalize on

a wave of American pride, and he became what he is today: an unlikable,

flag-draped fake patriot who spits out corporate radio for whatever

masses happen to be tuning in this time.

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Eric Barton
Contact: Eric Barton