I just realized that one of my main complaints about hiphop and one of my main complaints about country are the same complaint (and it's one I have about much of popular and teen culture):

    A deliberate claim to ignorance.
    An ignorant pose.
    A posturing toward ignorance.

Not admirable.


  1. I'd agree with you so long as we're talking about pop hip hop and pop country. There's a lot of music that falls under either umbrella that doesn't pride itself on ignorance.

    I think the two genres have a lot in common, actually--a propensity toward narrative, religious elements, complaints about how horrible my life is. I'm guessing the similarities come from their common roots in slave spirituals, which may likely have taken pride in their ignorance as opposed to their educated masters (though this last part is entirely conjecture made up right at this moment).

  2. Could you give of an example of the kind of deliberate claim to ignorance you're referring to in a country song?

    (P.S. Does it make me somewhat ignorant to have blogged using an Alabama song as framework? They're country-ish)

  3. .

    I should point out here that I don't hate either genre. Proof of that is all over Thmusings -- this is an obvious one for country (but this was all I found in twenty seconds for hiphop).

    And yes, it is much more of a problem in pop varietals.

    In country music, this pose often comes in the form of boasting about downhome smarts being better than school smarts, or the kid who stayed home being better than the kid who left town for college, or this sort of thing.

    It's important to note that celebrating, say, the guy who works a forty-hour week for a living, is not that same as rejecting intelligence. But pride in ignorance is often taken by those with the biggest twang.

    I also find it interesting that these two forms of pop music have the most pronounced and deliberate nonstandard accent.

    As for your conjecture, Mr Fob, I was just reading that until recent decades, finding a means to education was long a means of huge pride to African Americans and even in slave days people would make efforts to educate themselves. Frederick Douglass is still a hero. But would he be if he were alive today?

    I'm taking a class in that stuff now and so my mind is filled with Critical Race Theory etc and I may need a nap.

  4. "But pride in ignorance is often taken by those with the biggest twang."

    You have no idea how much this quote made me smile--you also have no idea how much I needed to smile . . .

  5. Kasey Chambers2/22/2008 3:29 PM

    Don't wanna read the paper
    I don't like bad news
    Last night a man got shot
    Outside the house of blues
    I'd like to ignore it
    I'd like to just pretend
    That the reason for it
    Is something I can comprehend

    I don't listen to the radio
    Last time it made me cry
    Two boys went crazy
    Fifteen kids died
    And I don't know their families
    I don't ask 'em how they're going
    They're on the other side of the world
    But it's way too close to home

    I've got something to say
    And I thought it might be worth a
    If you're not pissed off at the world
    Then you're just not paying attention
    And you can turn off the TV
    And go about your day
    But just 'cos you don't see it
    It don't mean its gone away hey

    We don't talk to our neighbours
    They've got funny coloured skin
    We see 'em out on the sidewalk
    But we don't invite 'em in
    We only eat when we're hungry
    And we throw the rest away
    While babies in Cambodia
    Are starving everyday

    We risk our lives
    We hit our wives
    We act like everything is funny
    We hide our pain
    While we go insane
    We sell our souls for money
    We curse our mums
    We build our bombs
    We make our children cry
    We watch the band
    While Vietnam
    Just watch their children die

  6. (I posted the above, btw. I just Googled "lyrics ignorance" and YouTubed the title that came up most often.

    Helpful? Probably not.)

  7. .

    Ironic, since I used her as a good example. But since the song is actually anti-ignorant, should be okay.

  8. There was a recent editorial in the NY Times about the cultural trend in the US to glorify ignorance. It was interesting.

    Oh, and did you know that they are discussing you on By Common Consent?

  9. .

    Yes, Petra showed me. Very cool. I'm a big star now!

  10. .

    I couldn't find the editorial, Foxy. Do you know the URL still, by chance?