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”
“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.”