The American cynicism awards…

I had an aneurysm about this earlier today on Facebook. And I say this as a huge fan of country music, and even a fan of Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Brad Paisley.

This might be the WORST song of all time. It’s insidious garbage, and everything that’s wrong with “mainstream” country music these days. Lyrics, basically: we love beer, god, trucks, don’t like black people, but will gladly steal their musical forms, all to appeal to some imagined white redneck lowest common denominator “country fan” that the marketing department of the record label came up with. Not to mention that this kind of music leads to some kind of horrible echo chamber wherein it creates actual fans who feel that they subscribe to this idiotic world view. Stop insulting the intelligence of your audience, “mainstream” country music, all the way to the bank. I expected more, from Brad Paisley and Sheryl Crow especially.

This kind of music makes a huge amount of money by asking us to our very worst selves, by asking Americans to be their worst selves. We should expect more from this music, because it can and has always been so much more. This is not an anti-commercialism rant, or a rant about the lack of ‘authenticity’ in “mainstream” country music – Mary Chapin Carpenter, Dolly Parton, the Dixie Chicks, and Dwight Yoakam, all of these people are definitely in it to make money – and yet, they resist the kind of craven cynicism that leads to this kind of garbage:

Boys round here they’re keepin it country/ Ain’t a damn one know how to do the Dougie/ “You don’t know how to do the Dougie?”/ No, not in Kentucky.

So, just to recap – they are referencing a hip-hop song, while disparaging and distancing themselves from it, wanting the hip cachet that comes along with a “rap” while completely removing the taint of blackness. GROSS. I need to take 50 showers. I am BEYOND disappointed in Blake Shelton.

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