Lost & Lost & And Maybe Found

So I’ve been wandering a little aimlessly with the direction of my Repurposing project. I’ve thought of narrowing down my topic a little too much, and lost my exigence. But luckily, once I heard feedback from Naomi, I felt a little more back on track again and regained my focus on my project.

There is so much reading I’d like to do. So far, I’ve read definitions of what it means to “be country” or what counts as “country music” in both a traditional dictionary sense, and what our culture has made of it. This has involved articles analyzing the country music genre and it’s progression over time, people’s personal opinions of country music in chat forums, and articles on various country music artists.

I’ve found quite a few…interesting things. For starters, some people have some real strong opinions about country. One person said, “If all country were instrumental I could tolerate it. Perhaps even enjoy some of it, if administered in small doses. But that god-awful, screechy, nasally, twangy, wailing often accompanied by poor grammar and a heavy “country” or southern accent is like nails on a chalkboard…” It went on and on and on. This person wasn’t the only one to find country music so ‘repulsive,’ although they had nicer ways to put it. Someone else who actually favored country said something that I found to be particularly interesting: “…I’ve been laughed at and ridiculed since first grade for listening to country music.” So far, I want my Repurposing project to be a narrative investigative journalist piece, so I think it will be really meaningful to weave in some of these quotes. Perhaps not specifically these two. Just some ideas…  

As for the articles I came across, I won’t go into detail about them in this blog post, but I noticed a few quotes that were particularly interesting.

What Is and Isn’t “Real” Country Music (http://www.cmt.com/news/1708291/what-is-and-isnt-real-country-music/)

“Well, we know country was pure somewhere back there.

Wasn’t it? Not really. Country music is replete with complaints about how bad it is now and how good it was then. The problem is that “now” keeps inching forward and turning into “then.””

The Problem With “Country for People Who Don’t Like Country” 

(http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/music_box/2015/06/kacey_musgraves_new_album_pageant_material_reviewed_the_follow_your_arrow.html)

“Country also comes pre-indicted as the soundtrack to the “toggle switch between ‘bland nothingness’ and ‘racist hatred’ ” that is whiteness, as Nell Irvin Painter argued last weekend in the New York Times. It’s a catch-22 that a lot of white Americans long to wriggle out of, whether through grave historical penance or blithe wishful thinking—and many of them consider it no help that those other white people insist on continuing to listen to that awful country music.”

“No wonder then that when a figure like Kacey Musgraves comes along, singing gay-positive, narrowness-negative country songs (let alone a figure like the promising young country singer Mickey Guyton, who is an even rarer sighting as a black woman), an unsustainable burden falls upon their shoulders.”

Minna Wybrecht

Minna's a PreMed student at the University of Michigan. She believes in three things. Milk chocolate. Ballroom dancing. To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.

2 thoughts to “Lost & Lost & And Maybe Found”

  1. Hey Minna,

    I am glad you connected with Naomi and found a track to follow for your project. I think your topic is fascinating and particularly pertains to me, a country fan but someone that used to hate it. These quotes are definitely very interesting and strike different chords. I especially resonate with the people who have a problem with country music because it’s not “real enough.” I recently became a huge fan of the show Nashville, where artists on the show are constantly debating and arguing over who is a true “artist” and whose music pertains to true country roots or is too pop-twang-basic for the genre.

    I completely disagree with the opinions regarding the problem with “Country for People Who Don’t Like Country.” I think a lot of people don’t give things a chance because of their inherent biases that were instilled in them from a young age. That being said, it goes both ways. People who are die-hard country fans and won’t listen to anything else most likely are living through a biased lens as well.

    Can’t wait to see more work!

  2. Hi Minna! The research you have gathered so far is really intriguing and compelling. These responses from real people are very honest and telling, sure to give readers a clear window into the lives of those who really care about the country music scene. I agree that taking your project down a more narrative/investigative direction is right for incorporating these quotes and other personal snippets. Coming from someone who is really big in the music scene, the fans really are the most important driving force behind any musician or musical movement.

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