So Long, George

George Jones has died, which is a total bummer. It’s a major loss of a great talent. But if you can get on Twitter and search for George Jones, you’ll see plenty of fans with old disappointments and old country singers with unforgotten grievances. I don’t quite know what to make of it. But, in a way, it’s nice to see.

Which, I know, I think on other days, I’d find it appalling, but today it strikes me as an important corrective to the hagiography.

You simply cannot overstate Jones’s importance to country music. But that didn’t make him an unproblematic guy.

I think letting him be complicated and disappointing and a genius does actually honor his memory more than white-washing him in death would do.