Is the Skewering of Garth Brooks at Joe Biden’s Inauguration a Sign of a Deeper Problem in America?
I try to keep these blog posts neutral as far as big issues are concerned. I present ideas and facts, but stand back afterward and let you form your own conclusions. I’ll stay true to that tradition now by not pushing either political party or any of my agendas. However, I hope that by the end of this post, we can all take a beat, take a breath, and reconsider how easily we roast people who are just trying to live their lives the same as us.
By now, you’ve probably read or heard something about Garth Brooks wearing jeans and a cowboy hat to the inauguration, hugging former presidents, and possibly altering his hair for the event.
Here are some of the most recent headlines regarding Garth at the inauguration…
1. THE NEW YORK POST: “Did Garth Brooks get hair plugs for Joe Biden’s inauguration?”
2. TODAY.COM: “Garth Brooks hugged former presidents after his performance, and the internet reacted”
3. NEWSWEEK: “Garth Brooks Hugs Barack Obama as Some Fans Fume Over Inauguration Role”
4. ESQUIRE: Conservative Garth Brooks Fans Are Angry He's Playing Biden's Inauguration.
5. RUSH LIMBAUGH.COM: “Has Garth Brooks Abandoned His Base?”
And here are some online criticisms…
1. “Just lost all respect for @garthbrooks this is his Dixie Chicks moment”
2. “Sad to say. Life long fan. No more. Very disappointed! You have lost your base”
3. “Boycott Garth Brooks!”
4. “It is a statement of submission. ‘I accept your fraud and to hell with the people who made me rich because I already got mine”
And although some people did come to his defense, they were mostly Democrats, so it still showed a great divide between the parties.
As children, we are scolded for bullying others, hitting below the belt when commenting on people’s appearances, and generally being rude, unfair, and immature. Yet as adults, we are cheered on from the internet sidelines when we post disparaging remarks, spread salacious gossip, and blatantly make fun of someone’s looks, weight, race, religion, politics, marriage, family, and parenting. These and other aspects of an individual that have historically been off-limits in banter are now widely accepted and even more widely encouraged.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a conservative or liberal: Wrong is wrong. National news outlets that are supposed to report from a place of dignity are increasingly headlining articles with outrageous, inappropriate content. Case in point: Calling into question whether Brooks got hair plugs? Come on. We can and should expect better, shouldn't we?
This isn’t a lecture. It is simply a question I think we should all ask ourselves. 2020 was an unusually tough year for most people around the world, and most certainly for America. To date, over 406,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. The year experienced record protests, riots, civil unrest, and political madness. Let’s face it, the world will never truly be the same after 2020, even though we’re all hoping it regains some level of normalcy someday.
So here’s my question for you…
Who the hell cares if Garth Brooks got hair plugs, showed up in boots to a black-tie affair, and sang “Amazing Grace” at the inauguration of a Democrat??
What does it say about us if we hide out in our homes and lambast people we’ve never met? People like Brooks who said he simply used the opportunity to spread a message of unity and serve his country through song? Because let me tell you, it’s the same people who are roasting others online that also spend a significant amount of time complaining that everyone should just get along. Besides, aren't we striving towards equality, individuality, and a culture that allows us to be true to ourselves? If so, isn't Brooks showing up to an event in cowboy boots and jeans, the definition of remaining true to himself? So which is it? Do we want unity, or do we secretly enjoy the drama, the strife, adding fuel to the fire that is already burning out of control? To you, it’s a fun way to spend a few minutes on social media. To some, though, I assure you it has a much more devastating effect.
By the way, here is the performance if you’d like to judge for yourself.