Don’t be fooled by her cuteness. My dog is a major asshole. Our friend, A., is in town on his way to some music thing over in Cookeville and Mrs. Wigglebottom loves A. with the intensity of a thousand fiery suns. Not that she doesn’t love everybody that much, of course. But all night long, she wanted to be sleeping right next to A. and so she threw herself against the bedroom door repeatedly and the whined over and over again about not being allowed next to her beloved.
He slept like a rock through it.
I woke up every time her body hit the door. Every time she came in to complain she couldn’t get in the other room. I swear, by four this morning, I just yelling, “Shut the fuck up!” which somehow A. also slept through.
But I am very tired and grouchy.
Oh, but here’s a bizarre thing. Did you know there’s an actual, serious–not just people drunkenly talking out their butts–movement to get Hank Williams (I tried to convince A. to name his first child Hank III Jr. which we thought was funny, but the Butcher was all “But he’s not Hank III” and I was all like “If a man named Shelton, the son of a guy named Randall, can be the third of a guy named Hiram, I think any of A.’s kids could be Hank III Jr. no problem.”) reinstated into the Grand Ole Opry.
A. even has a t-shirt for it. He’s all “But they trade on his image! They have a Hank impersonator at the front of the Opry House!” (note: I don’t know if this is true).
I was still baffled.
Finally, he’s like “What?”
I said, “For one billion years, literally since human kind was noticeably different from our ape cousins, Jimmy Martin wanted nothing more than to be an Opry member. And for just a little less than a billion years, they regularly let him come play the Opry. They let him cry, actually cry, tears of drunken sorrow, at not being in the Opry. Even after he got to be a little old man and they could have just put him in at the last moment as a kind of sop to the fool, they did not.
“If they could face down a tear-stained Jimmy Martin–who they still regularly let on stage–and never let him in, why would they reinstate Hank? They’ve proven to be hard-headed.”
But here’s the other thing. Hank Jr.’s not in. Which, to me, suggests that it’s not clear-cut that Hank Jr. would go along with any attempts to reinstate his dad. And, certainly, at this point, it’d be a bigger PR win for the Opry than it would be for the Williams family. The Williams family doesn’t gain anything by it, that I can see. (Though I think it’s hard to know how Hank Jr.’s ego plays in. I can imagine him just as likely to be like “Fuck all y’all” as being “This is a great honor that rights an old wrong.”)
I do think it’s interesting that there’s a large enough crowd of people A.’s age who feel like they have a lot at stake in this. It says something that there are a bunch of 20-30 year olds who feel like institutions that used to have room for them don’t any more. Like they want to be a part of tradition, they want to be a part of a narrative about America that matters, and they’ve been tossed aside.
It’s interesting to me that they identify so strongly with Hank as someone who’s been disenfranchised from a place he deserves.