Throughout the Cold War, family served as a bastion of safety from an insecure and unstable outside world. Following the 11 September 2001 attacks on United States soil, there was a noticeable shift towards containment culture, resembling that of the cold war period. Instead of containing communism, however, it was time to contain terrorism. The culture of containment was restored and prevalent throughout society.
For instance, one example of this cold war sentiment can be seen in Blake Shelton’s “That’s What I Call Home.” The song serves to illustrate and emphasize the importance of family, and how family serves as a means of protection against the outside forces. In the song, Blake Shelton expresses the love and respect he has for his parents. He delineates how, while his home is merely nails and wood, there is true love and a sense of security. It is clear that Shelton really loves his home.
Thematically, Shelton expresses how the home serves as an escape from the outside world that is characterized by instability, insecurity, and danger. Just like the period during the cold war, the post-9/11 period was characterized by this containment culture, where people, across racial and socioeconomic lines, seeked refuge in their families. When Shelton states, “Once I get myself through that old screen door/ The world can’t touch me anymore,” he is highlighting the role of the family as a bastion of safety from terrorism. While it is not clear if this song is a direct response to this post-9/11 containment culture, it is clear that the message of the song serves to emphasize the significant role of a stable, secure family during a rather uncertain period.
Shelton’s “This is What I call Home” is a certain depiction of the re-emergence of containment culture in post-9/11 United States. The revival of the traditional familial values is a staple of uncertain times, and this song certainly encourages this. I also strongly believe that the fact that the genre of the song is country allows for a calm, serene tone – a tone that soothes a nation crumbling under the threat of terrorism.