Small Staid and Tolentino

While looking through articles written by Jia Tolentino, I was most intrigued about one titled, “Louise Linton Isn’t Mad. You’re Mad”, published in The New Yorker.  I immediately recognized the picture from an article I had read previously about Linton flaunting her designer clothes and accessories while on a tax-payer funded day trip with her husband, the Treasury Secretary. I believe that this article is broadly written for people interested in politics. However, it goes beyond that by not being focused on the political aspect of the trip that Linton and her husband went on, but rather targets the materialistic and fashion orientated angle that the picture takes. Therefore the audience is somewhat expanded to those who are interested in fashion and how it is portrayed/sponsored through social media. It also targets anyone who buys into the near constant criticism of President Trump, as the wife of his Treasury Secretary and her actions directly affects how the public views him. I think that this article was written for me as an audience, specifically because of the fact that I had read an article similar to this already. I enjoyed Tolentino’s article on this occurrence and thought that she did a good job of not just reiterating what happened, including the post itself and the ensuing comments, but she delved deeper into how this compares to other governmental figures like Ivanka Trump and how she too (in Tolentino’s opinion, wrongly) uses the power of presidential symbols to promote her own brand. She also did an amazing job of not just commenting on Linton’s use of Instagram hashtags in inappropriate forms, but also gave a cringeworthy summary of how this wasn’t the first time Linton’s ignorance and privilege have clouded something she has tried to do, citing her book, “In Congo’s Shadow: One Girl’s Perilous Journey to the Heart of Africa.” If an audience member was unsure that Linton’s Instagram post was really as tasteless as many were making it seem, Tolentino does an amazing job of leaving little room for doubt.

While looking at articles and poems written by Mairead Small Staid, I picked one aptly titled “Girl in a Country Song” in The Point Magazine. I recognized the song title from the same one I had listened to over and over again this summer, and was therefore very interested in hearing what she had to say about it. Ideally, this article is written for people who listen to country music. Without any background with country music, readers might not understand many of the references made throughout the article. More specifically, I think this article is written for female fans of country music, although not exclusively. While it may not be written for male country music fans, it’s not something they wouldn’t understand, although they may not agree with it. I believe that this article was written for me as an audience. As a female country music fan who is increasingly frustrated with the lyrics of songs by artists such as Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line, hearing “Girl in a Country Song” this summer was a refreshing and catchy break from the norm. I also appreciated that Small Staid’s article wasn’t a consistent praise of the song by Maddie & Tae. While it was one of the first of its kind, Small Staid acknowledges that “Girl in a Country Song” wasn’t going to do much to change the country music industry. She also criticizes some of the lyrics, specifically when Maddie & Tae say they aren’t cliché, and then go on to sing a very cliché line. Overall, Small Staid does a great job of both recognizing the importance of “Girl in a Country Song” as well as critiquing it where it needs critiquing, mainly with an expectation that the next song like this one will do more to shake up the country music world.

One thought to “Small Staid and Tolentino”

  1. Hi Kirsty, I absolutely agree with your point about how “Girl in a Country Song” (I read that one, too) was targeted at female country music fans. As a woman writing that article, I believe she had insights that a male writer would not have been able to contribute. I appreciated her acknowledgment that, while this was a step in the right direction, it is not perfect.

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