I ought to just stop reading the Nashville Scene, but I’m already boycotting The Tennessean due to the continued employment of Brad About You (if you don’t know, don’t ask. Trust me. You’re better off in ignorance.) and I need to keep abreast of at least some local going’s on.
So, every week, I dutifully pick it up and check it out and wonder, “What the fuck are they doing over there?” I thought an alternative weekly had to have some “alternative,” either an alternative vision of what the city might be or what the daily newspaper might do or what culture might be cool. Whatever it is an alternative to, it ought to have some coherent vision of what world it’d like to mold into existence.
Bless its heart, the Scene has no coherent vision.
And so, even though it’s supposed to be the “cool” paper in town, Michael McCall devotes considerable space in his review of Shooter Jennings’s debut album apparently to being shocked and feeling a bit faint (with considerable face fanning, I’m sure) that the title of the album “Put the O Back in Country” is a little jokey play on the noise the word country makes before it gets to the “ree.”
McCall explains, for those readers too stupid to figure it out for themselves but too delicate to actually see all the letters c-u-n-t together in one place:
Jennings realizes that the title might not be clear to everyone, or that they might mistake his use of the “O” as meaning that he wants to put the Outlaw back in country. So he uses the back of his CD cover to make himself understood. His torso is photographed in a T with the title emblazoned on it, only it says “Put the O Back in C untry.” The c-word, which can shock even those unfazed by most profanity, is meant to suggest that Nashville’s best-known musical product has become wimpy and limp.
It’s hard to know where to start with this. Are there really people who are too stupid to get the cunt joke but sophisticated enough to come up with a reading in which the O stands for Outlaw? I don’t buy it.
Also, can we declare a moratorium on the *-word formation? Here, Nashville Scene, let me help. If there’s a word that you don’t want to use because people find the term offensive or degrading, don’t be coy and condescending with the whole *-word, just say “an offensive term for women’s genitalia” or “a racial slur” or whatever. See how that works? We get the idea without being treated as if we’re morons who have to have everything spelled out for us.
But is “cunt” really that shocking a word? Maybe I’m getting jaded in my old age, but I prefer cunt to other words for my genitalia. At least people know what it is. Yeah, it’d be weird to run around being like “I’m bleeding out my cunt, can I borrow a tampon?” but it’s a vast improvement over the “I’m having a little woo-woo in my hoo-ha” crap that I encounter when grown-ass women try to talk about their own selves.
Frankly, I don’t have a hoo-ha and I don’t know what a little woo-woo in such a place might be, so I don’t know how to help you rectify it. I mean, if something were happening to me that made me go woo-woo and hoo-ha, I wouldn’t be complaining.
I crack myself up.
Back to the sub-point: Women of America, it’s just a part of your body. Go ahead and call it by a name that doesn’t require others of us to have to guess or point in order to figure out what the hell you’re talking about.
And now, on to my last point: “The c-word, which can shock even those unfazed by most profanity, is meant to suggest that Nashville’s best-known musical product has become wimpy and limp.”
Maybe it’s not just the women of America who have a problem with basic biology. Girlie and impotent are not the same state of being. Jennings is using the word-play to suggest that country music has gotten too girlie. But McCall links the word “cunt” to “wimpy and limp.”
Often, when you’re reading a record review, you feel like you’re learning more about the reviewer than you are about the record. This may be one such case.