Saturday, April 18, 2009

"Are ya' sure Hank done it this'a'way?" and other important philosophical concerns

At first this seems like a straightforward inquiry. The questioner inquires as to whether the questionee is certain as to whether "Hank" (e.g. Hank Williams) really did what the questioner is now doing (conducting his life and country and western career) the same way that Hank himself conducted his life / career?

The questioner seems to put full faith in Hank as a role model, but has developed doubt after attempting to follow that model.

Actually, this is a pretty complex question for a redneck. (Should I, however class the questioner, in this case Waylon Jennings as a mere redneck? He was in Buddy Holly's band when Buddy died in the post-Clear Lake, Iowa plain crash - he had given his seat on the plane to Dion, who in turn gave it to Richie Valens, a chain of guilt and fate that put a spin on his life and personal philosophy. Well, being a redneck is not a bad thing, I guess and I imagine Waylon thought of himself ironically as one, as I also do - a redneck a few miles down the road of life, as it were.)

So, at base, the question devolves into many:

1. What is the correct way to live?

2. Should we follow role models when attempting to live our lives correctly?

3. Can we actually trust the advice of others? (Is there such thing as a guru, or life coach? - in this case, the addressee)

4. Is life worth examining? (Is "this" the way to do things?) Or should we plunge ahead with life, unquestioning of the status quo (in this case "the way Hank done it")

5. Is our avocation (in this case, "the country western singer (read "Artist")) open for interpretation by others than the self?

6. What is the importance of the avocation to the individual? Is it worth suffering for? (given the Hank Williams model, is it worth living hard, suffering long, being betrayed and dying young and unhappy?)

7. Is Art a worthy avocation? (Is there another worthy choice, then, instead?)

8. What is life? Is it distinguishable from art?

9. Are we in this life to suffer and doubt?

10. To whom may we reliably turn for answers to the important questions?

I give you the Parrot, sitting in the sunshine, acting the clown. One has but to wonder about his view of avocation and art and life. Are you sure Ronald McDonald done it this'a'way?

Aye, the trivial yields to the profound and back again. 'Arrrrgh me hearties!

My apologies for dropping the inquiry on the philosophy of Waylon Jennings, but it does seem to me to be profundity midst clownish "Country Rebellion". Waylon was not merely questioning the Nashville system here, but digging for deeper truth...and all in a three minute song on the jukebox.


  1. Actually, "Are ya sure Hank done it this a way?" is meant to be a rhetorical
    question. Waylon was saying "of course Hank wouldn't stoop to the degraded lifestyle of current-day Nashville with its artifice, fancy suits, etc"

  2. i didnt know waylon was in the group with buddy holly. I just watched gary busey buddy holly story the other day.

    that is some deep stuff, nashville outlawed johnny cash, he didnt do it that way