They got it! Another prominent white man called out by the mainstream media for being a racist has had his career destroyed, thrown in his memory, never to talk about beer, trucks or girls again!
Or did they do it? In January 2021, Morgan Wallen, the 28-year-old country music star from small-town Tennessee, wearing a cropped flannel shirt, arrived home late at night (or early in the morning?) With her friends and yelled by way of farewell to one of them, “Take care of that asshole mother ****** – Take care of that asshole ***** asshole.”
This drunkenness incident was filmed by Wallen’s neighbor, who quickly did his civic duty and handed the recording over to the tabloid TV station TMZ, which quickly did its capitalist duty and broadcast it. in the whole world.
Wallen’s punishment for uttering the racial insult was swift and harsh: radio stations and streaming services silenced his music, his record company suspended him, and he was taken down at the American Music Awards and at the Country Music Awards, where he was to win numerous honors. .
Okay, you say, we’ve heard that tune before. We know how it goes: Wallen is yet another victim of culture cancellation, forced to make a living in obscurity.
Fast forward 10 months, and the Daily mail reports that “Country singer Morgan Wallen had the best-selling album of 2021 – after it was canceled for using the N word and banned from awards.” His album Dangerous (3 million sales) surpassed Adele’s high-profile album (1.4 million) and shattered Kayne West’s new record (less than one million sales).
So to recap: singer redneck twangy uses the N word in a private conversation; huge national radio conglomerates take Wallen’s music off the air for four months and streaming services refuse to air it (until, of course, they all realize how much money they were losing); he’s banned from all Music City red carpets; he is about to lose his recording contract; and less than a year later, he has the most album sales IN ANY MUSICAL GENRE for 2021.
So what gives?
First of all, no one, and I mean anybody outside the Equity and Inclusion office at Wesleyan University, thinks Wallen hates black people. Shortly after the TMZ story was published, Wallen apologized and offered an “explanation” for his behavior: he was using the insult “playfully,” he said, and she said. slipped after “72 hour flex”.
And guess what? People believed him. No one has argued that the N word is not a despicable term with disgusting historical connotations and that it absolutely can and is used to an extreme offense. The vast majority of 2021 album buyers seemed happy that while Morgan was a bit of a drunken jerk, he didn’t want to insult the entire African American community.
It is the same Morgan Wallen, by the way, who in 2020 was uninvited to host Saturday Night Live (then invited again) as a video surfaced of him partying without a mask. Panting! That’s right, we’re talking about a woken repeat offender here – one who posts photos on social media of himself fishing, hunting and working on his truck. The man simply stinks of MAGA country.
There is a long (and growing) list of celebrities who have been quashed simply for being “controversial” or for expressing views that clash with the mainstream, let alone for uttering one of the most heinous words in the world. English language. Wallen’s rendition is remarkable and quite revealing.
Wallen and Dangerous come at a time when the culture of cancellation has reached a crescendo. Of course, his tendency to hurl slurs is shameful, but his genuine attitude, what you see is what you get, touches people who are fed up with overreacting and being micromanaged, scrutinized, vilified and crucified.
What Wallen and his music offer a world weary and fatigued by the pandemic is a light escape to Good Times, USA, a place where blocks, mask warrants, vax passes, variants and l cancellation of culture are all a distant memory. His songs are catchy, smart, laid back and easy to listen to, with pleasant and generally upbeat melodies. Her voice is hoarse enough to have character without being outrageous, and her accent has just enough twang to be folkloric and recognizable without being absurd or contrived.
Dangerous offers America a welcome alternative to the dramatic ballads of Adele, now part of Hollywood’s elite and taking herself far too seriously, and her song “Cry Your Heart Out”, which sounds like a Martian invasion and is in itself a much needed relief from who or whatever a Doja Cat.
Wallen’s themes are simple: the charms of country life, love lost and found, and home. And although her music is sentimental at times, it is not really sad but dreamy, and nothing that cannot be solved by beer or dark liquors. Or both. I counted, and “drinking”, “whiskey”, “bourbon”, “bar”, “tequila”, “bartender”, “Southern Comfort”, “beer”, “moonshine”, “shot glass” and / or “alcohol” appears in 23 of the album’s 30 songs.
So when the guy we hire to sing about drunkenness says stupid and offensive things we ask him to apologize, which he did (and went into rehab and donated a part of his album sales to the Black Music Action Coalition). And then we come back to letting his uplifting, inspiring, American and loving music speak for itself.
We are tired of canceling culture. Enough of the sneaky neighborhood stories secretly recording private conversations across the street and sharing the video for the whole world to see another person’s drunken blunder. (Even Kim Kardashian said she thought “Canceling culture is the most ridiculous thing”, and people should be given the opportunity to make amends.)
We have enough real issues – disease, supply chain shortage, tanking economy, senile president – to worry too much about a night of indiscretion from a young, alcohol-fueled fool. We as a nation long for forgiveness. For peace and understanding. For a second chance and redemption. For the freedom to listen to the music we love. And doing “Country A $$ S ***” (a real song from Wallen’s album) until all the awakened name-calling is finally gone.