Henry McMaster is enthusiastic about enthusiasm

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This year, I'm totally bonkers for Shooter Jennings "Black Ribbons," a paranoid, Pink Floydian concepter that alternatively rocks, freaks, and saddens. A stoner rock opera, "Black Ribbons" is not the typical kind of thing you expect from a country artist.

Of course, I'm always enthusiastic for a good stoner rock album.

Last year, I was all gung-ho for Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound's "When Sweet Sleep Returned."

In 2008, it was Black Mountain's "In the Future."

And there were a host of others before, all landmark records in the stoner rock world: Kyuss's "Blues for the Red Sun," Monster Magnet's "Superjudge," and Queens of the Stone Age's "Rated R."

Absolutely nothing excites me quite like a new hard-rocking, psychedelic head trip — not seeing my newborn baby smile, watching Clemson win a bowl game, or drinking a good beer. If an album really takes hold of my soul, I simply can't do anything else. I don't eat. I don't sleep. I don't go to work. I don't even go to the bathroom. And sometimes this can go on for days. (The record occurred when I first heard Godspeed You Black Emperor's "F#A#." I didn't brush my teeth for 13 days. Don't believe, me. I've got the cavities to prove it.)

Well, apparently, me and Henry McMaster have something in common. Sometimes his enthusiasm gets the better of him. In his case, it's the Tea Party. Or more specifically, the enthusiasm some folks have for the Tea Party.

At a recent gathering of featuring former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, McMaster, a former member of an all-white country club, was asked about the Tea Party, according to the Herald-Journal.


When asked about whether the tea party movement would move closer to the Republican Party or further away, McMaster, a former state party chairman, likened the situation to when the leadership at Bob Jones University became politically active in the late 1960s and early '70s.

"Every time a new enthusiasm enters the arena, it makes us stronger," he said.

Really? Every time? I mean, when it comes to the political arena, folks are enthusiastic about all kinds of stuff, from smoking out the commies in our midst to fighting to keep blacks out of public swimming pools to voting for Ross Perot. And that's just on the right wing end of things. The left has own share of equally absurd — and occasionally dangerous — movements to be enthusiastic about.

But I get it. The Tea Party is the new thing. And everybody that hopes to somebody has to testify to their greatness, especially in South Carolina, where the Tea Party has established a stronger than average presence.

And another thing: There's no need to bow before Bob Jones University. Gresham Barrett already has those guys already in his pocket, thanks to an endorsement from BJU dean Dr. Bob Taylor and his daughter, Rep. Wendy Nanney, a BJU graduate.

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