- Friday, December 8, 2023

Headlining this week’s news from the heartland is the story of an up-and-coming country-western singer known as Tennessee Jet, who has just been canceled from a venue in Tulsa, Oklahoma, because his new song “2+2” is deemed hateful, intolerant and transphobic by the management of the Mercury Lounge, where he was scheduled to perform.

You might rightly ask, “What exactly did Tennessee Jet say or sing that was so terrible?”

Well, here are the lyrics of “2+2” in their entirety. You read them. You decide.

The kids are overdosing on fentanyl,

The door is wide open at the border wall,

DC’s busy sellin’ out us all,

Unless it’s Ukraine, they ain’t takin’ calls.

Politicians whorin’ for the war machine,

Laundering money in the name of peace,

Dressing up Zelensky in army green,

Marchin’ us right off into World War 3.

How dare you dare to mention? 

How dare you believe your eyes?

How dare you even question?

2 + 2 is 5

You bust your a—, you can barely afford

Popeye’s chicken for a family of four,

You fought for a country you don’t know anymore,

Build back better? More like build-back poor.

They don’t give a d—- once they get your vote,

Maui’s on fire, and Biden’s crackin’ jokes,

What used to be parody is now the status quo,

We’re livin’ in a South Park episode.

How dare you dare to mention?

How dare you believe your eyes?

How dare you even question?

2 + 2 is 5 

Celebrities preachin ’bout climate change,

Flyin’ out to Davos in their private planes,

If you can’t beat a man, change your gender and your name,

Cheat away a trophy from Riley Gaines.

They’re butcherin’ kids as a remedy,

For feelin’ confused at puberty,

Sellin’ pure evil as sympathy,

And gettin’ rich in the sex change industry.

How dare you dare to mention?

How dare you believe your eyes?

How dare you even question?

2 + 2 is 5

They bully and harass you with a covered face,

Burn down your business if they don’t get their way,

Those communists and pedophiles baitin’ race,

Antifa’s just a rich man’s KKK. 

Woke is their religion, and they’ve hijacked pride,

The straight white male is their anti-Christ,

Yesterday’s liberal is today’s alt-right,

They’re sexualizing kids, and everybody’s playing nice,

They’re sexualizing kids; why the f—- we playin’ nice?

How dare you dare to mention?

How dare you believe your eyes?

How dare you even question?

2 + 2 is 5

This song may be many things, but there are three things it is not.

First, it is not hateful. How many times do we have to say it? Disagreement is not synonymous with hate. Just because you disagree with someone doesn’t mean you hate them. If it did, then those who disagree with Tennessee Jet are, by definition, just as hateful as they accuse him of being.

Do they not understand that the more they say they “hate hateful people,” they are sawing off the rhetorical branch upon which they sit? Can’t they see that their self-refuting rhetoric proves them to be much more judgmental than the targets of their judgment?

Second, these lyrics are not phobic. Differing with someone else’s morality, or lack thereof, does not mean you are afraid of them. Again, if it did, Tennessee Jet’s critics are clearly terrified. Time and time again, those who shout “phobia” the loudest prove they are the ones cowering in their “safe spaces.”

They are the ones who run scared when they hear a contrary idea. They are the ones who shudder at the thought of sharing the same room with someone who looks different than they do. They are the ones who seem to think there’s a monster in every closet and under every bed. They are the ones who tremble at the thought of someone like Tennessee Jet using the same drinking fountain as they do.

Third, this song is not intolerant. The hypocrisy of canceling Tennessee Jet because you find him intolerable is so rife that it hardly warrants a response. H

Have these closed-minded demagogues never heard of Socratic logic? Who is the one championing artistic freedom in this scenario? Who is being countercultural? Who is challenging the status quo?

While Tennessee Jet is “daring to dare,” his snowflake detractors march along like mindless lemmings, parroting the thoughtless nonsense of “we can’t tolerate his intolerance.”

Yes, this song is many things; among them, however, you will not find hate, intolerance or phobia, but rather courage — the courage to defend women against misogyny, the courage to protect children from butchery, and the courage to say that two plus two is four, not five.

Endnote: As of the writing of this column, Tennessee Jet has secured another venue in Tulsa. The Blackbird on Pearl will host him on Dec. 22 at 9 p.m. You can buy tickets at Stubwire.com. If you don’t live in the area, you should still purchase several tickets and give them away to friends who do. You can listen to “2+2” by Tennessee Jet on Spotify or wherever you get your music.

• Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper), a columnist for The Washington Times, is a former university president and radio host.

Copyright © 2024 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide