America’s Thanksgiving traditions are as bizarre as they are ironclad; regardless of your personal feelings on the topic, it’s just sort of taken as a given that we’re all going to choke down sour mashed cranberries as though they qualify as a “treat,” we’re all going to watch elected officials enact inter-species clemency on a large and angry bird, and we’re all going to come together as a nation to briefly think about that one episode of WKRP. Few of these traditions are less inescapable—in terms of volume, if nothing else—than the annual State Of The Hey Okay Here’s What’s On My Mind, You Can’t Yell At A Guy For Saying What’s On His Mind address, the yearly holding forth in which the Affiliated Drunk Uncles of America take a break from barfing their mental YouTube algorithms onto everybody around them in order to really buckle down for an afternoon of saying the quiet parts loud.
The nation was briefly concerned this weekend when Robert “Kid Rock” Ritchie—King Of The Drunk Uncles, slayer of grills, enemy of Borat—failed to appear on Thursday to drop his own brand of grim, “Bawitdaba”-laden wisdom on the people. But, per his personal biographers at TMZ, this turned out to merely be a clever feint, meant to lull the Kid’s enemies into complacency for an attack the following day. Which enemies, you ask? Why, Oprah, of course.
Now, lest you immediately jump to the most obvious, depressing, and natural conclusion: Ritchie would like you to know that his anti-Oprah Winfrey sentiments have nothing to do with her status as a rich and powerful Black woman. No, Rock’s target for prejudice is far more specific: Talk show hosts, including Winfrey, Joy Behar, and Kathie Lee Gifford. In a drunken ramble that ultimately saw him escorted off the stage, Rock addressed the crowd at his Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock N’ Roll Steakhouse in Tennessee with some Big Ass Honky Tonk opinions. (Mostly, again, centered on the cutthroat world of day-time talk.) Rock engaged in an open and compassionate dialogue with his fans, informing them that Winfrey, Behar, and anyone who thinks he’s a racist for being overly critical of Oprah would be welcome to “suck [his] dick, sideways.” (Note: Kid Rock is not a medical professional.)
Rock has criticized Behar in the past, mostly on account of her making fun of him for being, well, Kid Rock. But whyfor his Oprah opprobrium? True to his status as the outlaw wild man of the rock and country worlds, Rock’s grudge against the Chicago icon stems from the ultimate insult: An incident in which her booker was kind of passive aggressive to him about the possibility of going on her show. Specifically, he recounted a story on Twitter today in which “his people” tried to get him on Oprah’s show several years back, only to be met with a response that asked him“to write down 5 reasons why I loved her and her show.” Which, to be fair, is pretty much exactly what we would do if Kid Rock, Inc. was trying to get on our highly successful talk show, and we were looking for an easy way to make him go away.
Anyway, rest assured, America: Kid Rock is still extremely Kid Rock, and will presumably continue to be that same degree of Kid Rock for the forseeable future.