Thursday, July 31, 2014

So This Is How Country Music Fans React To Crimes Against Women

Keith Urban, I guessWhat the fuck, country fans? There was a time in my life where I actually listened to country, when I worked and lived in a barn and bartended in the evenings. It was pretty much the only music available in the area, and I didn't have much in the way of music considering I was almost starting (over, again) from scratch.

Just based on my nightly bartending experience alone, my perception of the real country "culture" that played out in the homes and lives of country music devotees was that they don't much care for women, or at least think little of them. It's almost expected to see at least 2 women on every block being battered by a drunken husband or taken advantage of at the bar.

It happened where I worked on many, many occassions, even by the live-in boyfriend of the landlady/owner of the place where I lived and worked. Not a night went by without a sexist comment or actions bordering on (and even crossing the border of) sexual harassment. The cops were called to the restaurant on at least one occasion thanks to some creepy stalker dude who came in here looking for revenge because his girlfriend had overheard me saying that particular dude was trying to get my number the evening before. All this and I get fired by a sexist boss who was just stringing me along anyway so that the whole crew could take advantage of the "view". That place was totally charming (did you detect the sarcasm there) - and also 100% country.

Turns out my perspective was mostly correct, as evidenced at a recent Keith Urban concert where a 17 year old girl was raped, then a crowd proceeded to film the attack instead of intervening until when (thank the Goddess) a woman ran up and pushed the assailant off of the victim.

It didn't really go into how long the whole thing went on, but it did speak volumes of the whole culture that seems to surround and be a common subject of country music songs and their listeners.

One thing I know for certain is that shit would absolutely never be allowed to happen at a metal show. Someone tried to grope an underage girl at a Staind concert (and they're not even really metal, though they are awesome) and the goddamn frontman called him out and had him thrown out.

Lucky for the victim, it happened where he could see it. However, I firmly believe that had this even been a thing that happened outside of a venue where there were metalheads in attendance, no less than a small mob would be there kicking the living shit out of whatever dirtbag was responsible for daring to treat a woman unkindly in the presence of real men.

Oh yeah, did I mention this type of disrespect towards woman was also called out by DevilDriver in an interview, wherein a member made clear that shit will not go unpunished at or outside of a metal show.

I think if we want to really dig into the roots of our societal problems, particularly in America, we should take a closer look at the music with the largest reaches, being pumped out to the masses for all to hear whether they'd care to or not, all because some wealthy well-to-do conglomerates masquerading around as legitimate "labels" follow whatever formula will generate the highest profit, regardless of quality or the morals portrayed by the music.

Pop music, as it stands now, is laden with subliminal messages and sly innuendos all promoting the worst kinds of behaviors - rape, objectification of women, arrogance, greed... I could go on. These sentiments are often mirrored by country music, which is essentially the same thing wrapped with a Christian and "Southern Values" facade, making it easier for the even the simplest minds to swallow and accept as truth and reality of what life is and how people should act.

Not to say that all country music is bad, nor is it that all those who enjoy it are unintelligent. There are a few good country songs out there, I will admit. But can you really think of anything that's come out within the past ten years that's been worthy of remembrance? Neither can I. The pop machine has gotten it's talons too deeply inset into Nashville, and it runs now in a similar fashion. Heart has been completely taken out of the equation.

Performers are molded to extremes to ensure the highest amount of interest and thusly, the highest amount of record/music sales. Hardly anyone who really makes a lavish living off of music writes/performs it because they believe in it or because it is a piece of them. They are empty, hollow, and just agreeable enough to be appeal to everyone. They do it for the money, and almost every decision down to the very notes they play are created with that in mind.

Not to mention the obvious red flag - how many country songs can you think of with objectification of women or abuse either glamorized or glorified in the lyrics? Probably quite a few, even if you hate country. There is an old running joke about being able to make any song a country song if you sing about horrible things happening to women for a reason. It is because there's some truth in it.

And I'm not saying we should abolish country music, either. That's not the point of this piece.

The point is that we should be very proud that, even though women have had their own struggles making it as musicians in metal, we will always be defended and have the protection of our brethren whenever we go to a metal show.

The secondary point is that we need to really re-think how we are allowing the music industry to evolve. Keep buying independent or "under-the-radar" bands that you really, truly enjoy, and give the power back to those who deserve it - not just whomever gets the most plays on the radio.

We don't want all our music to be wholesome and saccharine, but we don't want it encouraging the wrong messages, either. Let's just scorn the topics that deserve scorn and praise the ones that deserve mention in our music so the world sees everything through a million sets of eyes, and in turn broadens their perspective and their wisdom.

Can we, at the very least, please stop handing over millions of dollars to piss-ant "musicians" and "artists" that have never really even written their own music nor conceptualize their own videos and promote stupidity and belligerence? Please?

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