G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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1. Mainstream country music sold out a long, long time ago, but it’s gotten worse. I think one thing that makes the massive selling out of the country genre worse than other genres selling out is that country music has always explicitly honored its forefathers. The OP talks about how George Jones’ death was hardly mentioned at this year’s country music awards ceremony. But country musicians still invoke the names of country heroes like Jones, Johnny Cash, and Waylon Jennings in a way that makes it different from other genres. Rap and country are the two genres – unlike pop or rock – that are self-referential. They focus explicitly on the ways of life that are essential to the musical genre itself. For being so self-referential – being so concerned with roots – country makes the strong move away from its identity so noticeable and bothersome for the types of country music fans that value genre integrity.
2. This week in racism:
3. Michael Barone has an interesting podcast interview. He discusses his new book on migration and talks about how demographics shaped the U.S., the Midwest, and Detroit. He talks race as well.
4. Another article on the causes of Detroit’s demise.
It was always a city built on money. People came to Detroit for jobs, not the natural beauty or the great weather. There was never a commitment to place. It was to money. And then the boom ended.
5. Hugo Schwyzer arrested for DUI. Hurts another driver. Has been asked to resign early from Pasadena City College. He sent out an email to a handful of people in which he said he hears voices but that he is also evil. I asked him if he’s losing his benefits at Pasadena City College, and he said he doesn’t know.