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More on Country Music

February 10, 2010

Evan has laid down the gauntlet, and here’s my response: check out these examples and tell me whether or not they confirm the stereotype.

Here’s your gender essentialism (“Yeah, we’re all the same inside, from 1 to 99”):

Here’s your depictions of elites as effeminate, love of gas-guzzling cars, love of hunting, implicit calls to bring back school prayer, unthinking patriotism, praise of corporal punishment, praise of “common sense,” reproduction of the myth of meritocracy, and—of course—the presumption that Christianity is true:

Here’s your “we’re America and we’re gonna kick your ass”:

This video’s creator wrongly says the song is about the war on Afghanistan; the song appeared and enjoyed extremely popular rotation around the time the war on Iraq started:

More gender essentialism, with some implicit homophobia thrown in:

Xenophobia about that Mexican “wave” washing over our borders, making fun of environmentalism, decrying the eliding of Christianity’s dominance:

“Only in America,” because, you know, all those fereign countries don’t have freedoms like we do:

And don’t forget this guy, whose clips were played on country radio stations nationwide:

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 10, 2010 12:59 pm

    Laid down the gauntlet? Oh dear. I think you’ve misoverestimated my investment in this. I just thought the MadTV clip was dumb and sort of ignorant.

    If you really want me to engage, though, here’s my response: examples can conform to a stereotype without thereby confirming the stereotype as appropriate for a much wider set of examples.

    You know that saying, “the plural of anecdote is not data”? It’s sort of like that. Maybe you could say… the plural of ‘youtube video’ is not ‘representative picture of a multi-billion dollar music industry’.

    Or something like that. I know that’s not as catchy, but you get my point.

  2. missivesfrommarx permalink*
    February 10, 2010 1:05 pm

    I agree that these artists are not representative of an entire music industry.

    On the other hand, these are all top artists. Toby Keith, who is probably the most egregious offender as far as I’m concerned, is one of the most popular figures in the industry.

  3. February 10, 2010 1:59 pm

    You could find very similar sentiments expressed within the most heavily commercialised fractions of any popular genre. If you want some thoroughly reactionary music, try commerical hip hop or dancehall.

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