I don’t like country music; it’s just not my taste. I grew up on it because my mother loved it, but at some point, it changed to be just this side of Dave Matthews Band mixed with Hootie and the Blowfish, a fake kind of “party rock,” if you can call it that, that’s just not anything that interests me. Give me Alabama, Oak Ridge Boys, Charlie Pride, Conway Twitty, Johnny Cash, Tammy Wynette, George Jones, and everything else I was forcibly marinated in while sitting in the backseat of my parent’s Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, and I could sing along all day, almost involuntarily. I like the memories more than the music, but one inspires the other, so I’m in.
Modern country, meh. I’ve never been that big of a fan of anything other than indy/alternative rock, stuff I’d only hear on Canadian radio late at night growing up in Detroit. But some things you simply can’t escape. I never liked hair bands, though some songs are ok, but I was aware of it. I had no use for folk, but I know who the Indigo Girls are, and I never attended Lilith Fair.
And I know who Tracy Chapman is, as does anyone over the age of 30, I suspect. Her song, “Fast Car,” was inescapable. It was a huge hit when it was released in 1988, got heavy rotation on MTV back when the M stood for Music, and has been around ever since. Some hits come and go, others linger. Chapman’s song has lingered.
It’s a fine song; I just find folk music boring. But I don’t find it obnoxious to the point I feel compelled to turn it off like some modern incoherent rap or techno “dance” music. It’s fine background music that allows you to ignore it as much as you want to while still knowing something is there; a useful void-filler.
Still, it’s been some time since I’ve heard the song or even thought about it because why would I? I don’t really listen to music much; I’m more of an audiobook guy now. So when I saw Tracy Chapman’s picture next to a hairy white guy in a tweet from a New York Times “reporter,” I stopped for a second out of curiosity. I’d seen enough of these “outraged-by-proxy” stories to recognize them simply by the photo.
The writer, someone called Emily Yahr, tweeted out, “As Luke Combs’s hit cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” dominates the country charts, it’s bringing up some complicated emotions in fans & singers who know that Chapman, as a queer Black woman, would have an almost zero chance at that achievement herself.”
To that moment, I didn’t know Chapman was “queer.” To this moment, I still don’t give a damn.
But what is the point of the story? To piss people off, to smear country music fans as racist homophobes, to divide, and to lie to do it. (You can read it here. Don’t worry, it’s an archived version so the Times won’t get the clicks.)
Yahr, either because she or her editors are incredibly dumb lap dogs for the progressive movement and decided a cover of the song by some country artist called Luke Combs (I told you, I have no use for the stuff) was newsworthy because he’s white and the songwriter is black and gay. She wrote, “One particular cover has struck a chord that no one saw coming.” Why? A good and popular song is a good and popular song. Does it really matter if someone white covers a song by someone black or vice-versa? How about someone gay covering a song by someone straight?
Of course it doesn’t; you’re not an idiot leftist. To idiot leftists, skin color or who someone screws is all that matters – the individual is irrelevant; disposable, really.
The cover is a hit, which upsets people who find joy in being upset by stupid things. Yahr reports the cover’s success “prompted a wave of complicated feelings among some listeners and in the Nashville music community. Although many are thrilled to see ‘Fast Car’ back in the spotlight and a new generation discovering Chapman’s work, it’s clouded by the fact that, as a Black queer woman, Chapman, 59, would have almost zero chance of that achievement herself in country music.”
Honestly, everyone in the country has “almost zero chance” of having a number one country or any other kind of hit. Why is it special that Chapman is black and queer? It’s not.
Lil Nas X is black and gay, and he had the biggest country hit ever with a song called “Old Town Road” a couple of years ago. It went huge worldwide and raked in millions upon millions of dollars. If only we were all so oppressed.
But Yahr never mentions any of it, as its existence would negate the entire point of her piece.
The story quotes professional victims and race-centric activists. It invokes George Floyd because it’s a required useful tool for the left to signal liberal chardonnay-swilling suburban women hoping to gain social credit points at their next school board meeting counter-protest to protect kids from learning how to read or do math at the expense of memorizing even more pronouns.
The story is stuffed full of quotes from people who have no connection to Chapman or Combs, ready to express their anger about something no one directly involved in the events discussed is remotely angry or upset over. If victimhood-by-proxy were an Olympic event, the Times would have interviewed all the medalists in this category.
Not offended in any way, shape, or form, was really the only person who should matter in the whole story: Tracy Chapman. She didn’t comment to the Times (neither did Combs), and the only thing the folk singer ever said about it was positive, issuing a statement to Billboard reading, “I never expected to find myself on the country charts, but I’m honored to be there. I’m happy for Luke and his success and grateful that new fans have found and embraced ‘Fast Car.’”
That’s it, that’s all of it. But that’s not good enough for the left. Chapman is a very private person, never having “outed” herself (something the Times curiously only casually mentions while screaming she’s gay throughout the story on her behalf), who is perfectly fine with a white guy covering her song. It’s the activist left, the people running the Democrat Party and media, who aren’t.
The same mentality that looked at polls showing only 5 percent of Native Americans even remotely offended by the name “Washington Redskins,” yet caused those offended, bored, white activist suburbanites to crusade on behalf of the people who weren’t offended to change the name to Commanders, are back on behalf of Chapman. They aren’t bothered by the fact that she isn’t bothered; she’s just a delivery device whose opinions or desires don’t matter. It’s the ultimate in opportunism and where the modern left lives.
It’s how the left governs – they declare their positions to be the will of the people without regard for all the evidence to the contrary and scream, “This is what democracy looks like,” while suing every time they lose a referendum or vote of elected representatives, decidedly the exact opposite of what democracy is.
Leftists are bad people who seek to divide everyone on issues big and small for their own advantage; they do nothing by accident. They may not ruin everything they touch, but it’s not for lack of trying.