I usually devote this blog to discussions of The Good forces of artistic expression, but just this once I’d like to give equal time to The Bad and The Ugly. I’m talking about shock-schlock rocker Ted Nugent – the man I’ve always referred to as “NugNuts” – who will no doubt shoot the candles off his birthday cake today as he turns 64. During this holiday season, as we sing about the ideals of peace, love and goodwill, let’s not just talk the talk. Let’s walk the walk, and strive to overcome the spirit of hatred by refusing to support artists who promote it.
I defend freedom of expression to the hilt. I’m not knocking anyone for their political beliefs. And, if you like the taste of wild game and plan to feed your family the meat of creatures you legally kill (and not just use to decorate your walls), that’s your right. Arm yourself to the teeth if the boogeyman next door scares the piss out of you. The Second Amendment will be around for eternity to guarantee your gun rights. But Ted’s macho animal abuse and death rants border on fascism. Here then, is a short list of some of his finest moments.
He once told an interviewer: “I’m stymied to come up with anything funnier than people who think animals have rights. Just stick an arrow through their lungs.”
In a 1992 radio interview, Nugent called Heidi Prescott of the Fund for Animals a “worthless whore” and a “shallow slut,” saying “who needs to club a seal, when you can club Heidi?” He was court-ordered to pay Prescott $75,000 for that remark.
Nugent owns a Michigan ranch, Sunrize Acres, which has long been viewed as a “canned” hunting area. He refers to it as “high fence hunting” and guides customers on hunts for trophy bull bison ($5,000), Russian boar, or white-tailed deer ($1,000 each).
He once spit in the face of a protester who offered him an anti-fur flyer.
NugNuts once killed a young buck that had been attracted by commercial bait. On August 13, 2010, he pleaded no contest in Yuba County, California, to two misdemeanors: illegally baiting a deer, and failing to have a deer tag signed by a government official after a kill. He was fined $1,750.
In 2009, at an Alaskan bait station designed to attract bears, he fired an arrow that wounded a bear, which then ran off. Four days later, he shot and killed another black bear and transported it off the island. According to Alaska’s hunting regulations, the first wounded bear fulfilled his bag limit; the second one was an illegal kill. Transporting it off the island violated the federal Lacey Act. Nugent paid a $10,000 fine and agreed to a two-year probation, on the condition that he not hunt or fish in Alaska or on Forest Service properties for one year. Nugent paid the state $600 for the bear that was taken illegally. His actions violated two of the NRA’s Hunter’s Code of Ethics: (1) I will obey all game laws and regulations, and will insist that my companions do likewise, and (2) I will do my best to acquire those marksmanship and hunting skills, which insure clean, sportsmanlike kills.
He has said of President Obama, “…I told him to suck on my machine gun.”
He once suggested shooting arrows into the likeness of former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm.
At the 2012 NRA Convention in St. Louis, Nugent said, “If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.” He compared the Obama administration to coyotes who needed to be shot. He told the NRA, “We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their [Democrats’] heads off in November.” He received a visit from the Secret Service for those remarks, and later was asked by the military not to perform at a previously scheduled event with REO Speedwagon and Styx.
He once satirically called himself a “Black Jew” (ha, ha) at a Nazi rally. Yes, I said “Nazi rally.” Maybe he should ditch his wife and marry Ann Coulter.
At the inauguration of Texas Governor Rick Perry, Nugent appeared onstage wearing a cut-off Confederate flag t-shirt, holding guns as props and shouting unflattering remarks about non-English speakers.
He once said of Iraq: “Our failure has been not to Nagasaki them.”
Teddy tweeted the following comment on November 7 at 11:30 am – just one of many bitter tweets – following President Obama’s reelection: “What subhuman varmint believes others must pay for their obesity booze cellphones birthcontrol abortions & lives.” Yes, it’s freedom of speech, but in my bleeding heart liberal opinion, it’s an extreme and unrealistic view of America.
In a 1977 interview in High Times magazine, he said he once took drastic steps to avoid being drafted. In 2006 he attempted to clarify those statements, saying he had a 1Y (student deferment) because he had enrolled at Oakland Community College. But a 1972 medical examination designated him 4-F, meaning he was physically unfit for duty. He told The Detroit Free Press in 1990, “If I would have gone over there [to Vietnam], I’d have been killed, or I’d have killed, or I’d kill all the hippies in the foxholes… I would have killed everybody.”
Kill, kill, kill — just like in The Bealtes’ song “The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill:”
He went out tiger hunting with his elephant and gun.
In case of accidents he always took his mum.
He’s the all-American bullet-headed Saxon mother’s son.
All the children sing:
Hey, Bungalow Bill,
What did you kill,
Ted, if you have to illegally kill animals and threaten to murder your enemies to feel more like a man, I suggest you grow a pair.
By Dana Spiardi, Dec 13, 2012