Posted by Ray Carroll | Posted in country music, music, sexual harassment, WBFFA, women, youtube | Posted on 12-07-2014
I have not done a Weekend Blog Free For All in a very long time. Apologies. For those of you not familiar with it, I shake off my regular duties of the usual ministry and write about pop culture and whatever silliness comes to mind. Just click this here WBFFA and you’ll see the kind of trouble I get into. A lot of these posts are some of my most popular.
Today, I want to take issue with a country song, as usual. But before I begin, I want to lay out the rules for those who love country music. I don’t have an issue with country music. I love music for what it is. I understand that there are metaphors and metaphorical language being used. I understand that people are trying to convey a lifestyle in their music. I also get that it’s not for everyone.
But, by putting it out there for everyone to hear, they are going to get some cynical people (like me) to make comments about it. Hey, it’s okay. In the end, I’m just more publicity for them. So relax and enjoy the ride.
So today, I’d like to look at Dierks Bentley’s new single (which is currently at the top of the country charts) “Drunk on a Plane.” Well, maybe you haven’t heard it. Good news for you, there’s a video you need to see. Small warning. There is some suggestive behavior and a curse word that refers to the human posterior. You were warned:
So, I want to address six problems with Dierk’s song, “Drunk on a Plane.” I have more, but I want to limit it to five.
1) The obvious. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would have a lot to say about the plane ride in this video. I can already see the memo.
TO: Riser Air
FROM: Federal Aviation Administration
SUBJECT: Immediate Grounding of All Domestic and International Flights
A video has surfaced showing some deeply concerning issues with a recent flight to Cancun. We are therefore grounding all flights of “Riser Air.” We demand an immediate hearing with your administration to answer for the following violations before we consider placing you back in the air for the safety of your passengers:
1. Pilot observed drinking alcoholic beverage from red solo cup before flight (also a common meme in country music videos, which will be a -1 in this assessment)
2. Improperly dressed stewardess, especially in regard to her companion steward. Her dress was based on showing off her body. Would you have shown off the body of your steward in the same manner? The FAA is concerned about common dress for all people who serve passengers.
3. Approximately 30 passengers were standing in the aisles with large amounts of alcohol during the flight. One passenger claimed to have paid for these beverages. No control over these passengers was seen, in fact, it was encouraged. In part, it was exacerbated by a group of men with instruments.
4. Your flight crew was out of order. The stewardess was dancing in the aisle with an alcoholic beverage. The steward was pouring a beverage into the mouth of a passenger. The pilot and co-pilot left their seats to engage in the “community fest” in the passenger section of the plane. This is inexcusable.
5. Seriously? A keg stand? On a plane? Sombreros? Life vests being used as decoration? You should be surprised we are not revoking your license without a hearing. Bring your lawyers. Your actions do not look like a professional airline. They look like a common country music video.
6. At worst, the most horrible, your plane was rescued by a country music star who has no pilot experience. A man who took the wheel from two women who were steering wildly at one point. He pulled up on the wheel to what appeared to be about 10,000 feet which would cause unconsciousness in most passengers. But somehow, (we suppose) through their imbibery of alcoholic beverages, were able to survive.
2) Bentley says he’s “buyin’ drinks for everybody, but the pilot.” Good for him. He wants to keep the pilot sober. Man that kind of responsible behavior makes me happy. No reason the pilot should get drunk and crash the plane in the ocean for everyone.
I did some actual research on this. American Airlines has a list of their on-board drinks. The video shows the character drinking “Kentucky Whiskey.” Wrong move, bro. Kentucky Whiskey is actually Bourbon. But that’s a different point. Anyway, American Airlines says that their liquor and wine may be purchased for $7. That’s pretty standard. Now, if Bentley is buying drinks for all those people in coach, and there are about 30-40 people there, and they’re getting wasted, I’m guessing he’s spending…over $1000. Yeah. On little liquor bottles. Good times.
All this to forget the woman who left you at the altar and cancelled the wedding. Way to show her. Let’s have a party on a 737. Yeah, I’ll show her by running up my credit card by buying $1,000 worth of liquor in small bottles for strangers. Good job, my man.
3) The “stewardess is something sexy.” Okay, my friend. Have you ever realized that stewardesses are real people? That they have families? That they want to be thought of something other than objects? Obviously not, when watching the video. Here’s a helpful page that might get you started. Those people who work on planes are not there for our sexual enjoyment. They are doing a service job. They go from city to city and work for an airline. They have families, kids, and maybe don’t enjoy being eye candy. This video doesn’t do them a bit of good. And how about this? I’ve been using the wrong term in this whole post. It’s flight attendant. And they’re highly trained for what they do. We cannot objectify women in any category whatsoever, in any working role. When we do, we make them something less.
4) Going too deep for you yet? Here’s some real advice from a flight attendant when ordering a drink on a flight. She’s pretty straight forward about respect, etiquette toward the attendant, the cart, and toward others. The video shown shows none of that. It’s odd that popular culture does its best in perpetuating the male myths regarding alcohol and women in flight.
5) The worst part of all of this song/video is that it is everything a country music video always includes. I haven’t watched a country music video since I watched the last one for a WBFFA. What does it take to make most country music videos? Red solo cups, women showing cleavage, a band playing guitars, a conflict between a man and woman, a party, drinking, one African-American, a sultry dance from said sexy female with cleavage, a party scene, band saving the day, usually a big truck (absent here), and people thrusting their hands in the air.
6) What we didn’t really need was another country song telling us how to drink: “Drunk on Love,” “Drunk,” I’m Gonna Get Drunk and Play Hank Williams,” “Being Drunk’s a Lot Like Loving You,” “Get Drunk and Be Somebody,” “Drunk Last Night,” “Whiskey Girl,” “Whiskey Lullaby,” “Whiskey Kind of Way,” “Drinkin’ Dark Whiskey,” “Beer Man,” “Beer For My Horses,” “Beer With Jesus,” “Billy Got His Beer Goggles On.” Not to mention the thousands of titles that mention getting drunk in the lyrics. Do we really need a song to specifically tell us to get drunk on a plane to forget the woman who left us at the altar?
Apparently, we do. You, go, country music. Keep making those same videos with big tires, low-cut shirts for women, alcohol in everyone’s hand like they’re having a good time without consequences. Good for you.
“Drunk on a Plane.” How far we’ve come to protect the rights of women. To make them as equals without having to show their skin. Good for you, country music. Keep it up. Just know that thousands of little girls are singing these songs along with their daddy as he plays them in his pick-up truck.
*Disclaimer: I understand there are country artists who don’t put out music like this. But the music that spends a lot of time at the top of the charts appears to be music like this – music that emphasizes negative behavior and the objectification of women. And I know it’s not just country music, either. It’s just really easy to pick on a song called, “Drunk on a Plane.”
More helpful articles:
“What Happened To Respecting Women in Country Music?” by Trigger
“Is Country Music Demeaning To Women?” Live Audio
“27 Percent of Flight Attendant Sexually Harassed On The Job,” by Mark Johanson, International Business Times
Did you like this? Maybe not. But you might like my now infamous Wagon Wheel post or its sequel, my post about Shaking it for the Squirrels, “The Ceiling Can’t Hold Us“, my post about how awful Candy Crush is, my post about “Get Your Shine On”, what Christians should think about Justin Bieber, my poor attempt to start the unity selfie, or the one about “Boys ‘Round Here.”
When I’m not being cynical about pop culture, I do run a ministry to help fallen pastors here at fallenpastor.com. I also wrote a book. It is designed to help people understand forgiveness and the problems within the church. Check it out – it’s on Amazon and everything.