The Hodgepodge: Blake Shelton, He Doesn’t Have a Way With Words

Creepy Blake

This past weekend social media was abuzz over Blake Shelton. It wasn’t the tabloids talking about his relationship with Gwen Stefani and whether if it’s on the rocks. That’s just a standard weekend. No, this was something else entirely. Apparently some tabloids and vindictive fans decided to dig through Blake Shelton’s old tweets. The results turned up some pretty damning words from the country superstar. Here’s some screenshots of a couple of them:

Stupid Blake Tweet #1

Stupid Blake Tweet #2

The first one is obviously homophobic and the second one is racist and islamophobic. There’s actually more offensive tweets, but I think these two get the point across enough. There’s no need to be spreading anymore ignorance. Yesterday Shelton issued a statement apologizing for the tweets, which you can read by clicking here. Ironically also issued on Twitter, I can imagine Shelton got quite the talk from his label for this incident. These are obviously the not the type of “jokes” anyone should be making, let alone a major country artist who is regularly on national television. For fans outside country music, Blake is one of the first people they will think of when they think of country music. Yes, this sounds ridiculous to us that Shelton is one of the first you think of when you think of country music. But it’s the (sad and frustrating) truth. One thing many will point out is the date of the tweets, which are 2010 and 2011. Two things in regards to this point. One, it shouldn’t be dismissed because they’re old. Two, I understand that at this time the culture was different and the greater public might have been more receptive to these attempts at jokes. If any of you watch South Park, they regularly made these offensive-based jokes at this time (granted they were much more clever and actually funny).

Now I could spend an entire post talking about how dumb these tweets are and how Blake Shelton continues to taint the reputation of country music in different ways. I could talk about how this reinforces negative stereotypes of the genre. But it feels like I’m beating a dead horse. I think we can all pretty much agree at this point that it’s well established that Blake Shelton is a certified moron with a loud mouth and little regard for decency (in music and society). There’s a reason we did not review his album: it would have been a waste of time and energy when there’s so much more music out there worth reviewing. Talking about Blake Shelton is pointless because he’s going to do what he’s going to do and nothing we say will affect it. So while Blake Shelton’s management team deletes thousands of his tweets (they’ve already deleted about 10,000 of them) and tell the judge of The Voice to mind his manners so he can get his corporate paydays, I decided to do something constructive. I wrote a little song about the ex-husband of Miranda Lambert. It’s called “He Doesn’t Have a Way With Words” (A Parody of “She’s Got a Way With Words”). Enjoy…

He Doesn’t Have a Way With Words

 

When you put it all together

You figure out dumb has four letters

I should have known that when I heard “Boys ‘Round Here”

But he tweeted it out for me

After little second guessing

It was a pretty easy lesson

Hell it’s clearly spelled out in front of me

And now I understand perfectly

 

He put the sell in sellout

He put the foot in his mouth

He put the pop in country

He put the red-red-red-red-red in redneck (redneck)

He put the ache in headache

He put the ass in classless

He put the creep factor in album covers

Yeah he doesn’t have a way

He doesn’t have a way with words

Yeah he doesn’t have a way with words

 

Little words like bad and fads

Pompous, egotistical, rude

Yeah all the words that represent Blake

They got a whole new meaning now

 

He put the sell in sellout

He put the foot in his mouth

He put the pop in country

He put the red-red-red-red-red in redneck (redneck)

He put the ache in headache

He put the ass in classless

He put the creep factor in album covers

Yeah he doesn’t have a way

He doesn’t have a way with words

(insert stupid oh-oh-ohs here)

Yeah he doesn’t have a way with words

(insert even more stupid oh-oh-ohs here)

 

[Add the chorus and more oh-oh-ohs here until your label tells you that hits their song length quota]

 

[End the song with generic, mediocre guitar riff]

Upcoming/Recent Country & Americana Releases

  • Tomorrow is a big day for releases! The following albums are out tomorrow:
    • Dolly PartonPure & Simple (I’ll have a review of this one really soon)
    • BJ Barham – Rockingham 
    • John Paul WhiteBeulah 
    • Lydia LovelessReal
    • Drake WhiteSpark
  • Next week Jack Ingram will release his first new album in seven years, titled Midnight Motel
  • Matt Woods will be releasing a new album on October 7 titled How To Survive 
  • The Mavericks are set to release a live album this fall and will be releasing a new album in April 2017. These are the first releases through their self-created label and first since leaving Valory Music (Big Machine)
  • This past weekend I saw The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band perform at a concert. It was an entertaining and fun show (go check them out). During it they passed along the news they will be releasing a new album “this winter.” We’ll keep an eye out for an official release date

Throwback Thursday Song

Darrell Scott – “It’s a Great Day To Be Alive” – Everyone associates this song with Travis Tritt, who made it famous and gave it a big platform. But it’s a Scott song and I’ve always liked his more restrained performance of the song (ditto “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive”). You can never go wrong listening to Scott.

Non-Country Suggestion of the Week

The Traveling Wilburys – “End of the Line” – Next to The Highwaymen, this was the most star-powered supergroup of all-time. Made up of Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne, this group only put out one album with the five of them and another with only four (Orbison passed way after the first one). But that one album is pretty terrific and it’s amazing that this much talent was in one group.

Tweet of the Week

I make the same face, Margo.

iTunes Reviews from Pissed off Justin Moore Fans

Angry Justin Moore fans

I’m going to be honest. I’ve never been a fan of Moore’s music and thought it was disingenuous attempts at being outlaw country at best and annoying bro country at worst. But he did stick to sounding country. On his new album his sound takes a turn and his fans aren’t happy as you can see. Just another mainstream country fan base swindled by their favorite artist.

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18 thoughts on “The Hodgepodge: Blake Shelton, He Doesn’t Have a Way With Words

  1. Preach! Blake made stupid comments & issued apology to GLAAD years ago (After NBC demanded) yet he continued to post these type of tweets for another year and a half. He thought he was untouchable b/c people said he was joking. First thing he is SUPPOSED to be a singer & the jokes aren’t funny. Hope he goes away or at the bare minimum releases better song.

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    • In the interest of factual accuracy, he issued the apology to GLAAD in 2011, which is also when those comments basically stopped (it was after he re-wrote the lyrics to a Shania song).

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  2. Ok, the song parody was brilliant, and far more clever than a) the actual song and b) just about anything Blake has ever written. Also thank you for actually understanding that xenophobia and racism aren’t synonyms (and in sum Blake’s tweets are mostly xenophobic, not that one is better or worse).

    I find Blake to be just about the most frustrating guy in country music. I think he has a deep knowledge of country music, a decent voice, the charisma to pull it off…and yet he chooses to make generic pop-country stuff (or at least allow his label to dictate it). I think on a certain level the turning point in Blake’s career was Pure BS, before that he made pretty decent music, that is actually a pretty good album…and it bombed…until he re-issued it with “home” a pop song. Since then his music has gotten more and more pop/AC – Boys Round here aside he’s not really bro-country, he’s more ballads, I suspect he’d have sold even better if he went full on Bro a la Luke. And I think Blake decided he cared more about being an entertainer, than being an artist (it’s a valid choice, I think in music it’s good to have both, even if when I buy music I personally lean towards the artists).

    Blake has also always done the offensive humor bit, and no I don’t think you can divorce it from the context of things that were popular at the time, since subsequently he has stopped making those types of jokes. What is and is not considered ok changes over time, and is subjective to people’s individual tastes. So I think with humor both intent and execution matter. I suspect with Blake it’s more a matter of poor execution than poor intent.

    I think that because Blake represents country to a number of people outside of country his music choices and actions offend us far more than other individuals who make the same choices, and/or who have said similar or far worse things more recently in articles or on twitter.

    At the end of the day though, I think we often tend to confuse liking someone’s music (or someone being good at sports) with who they are as a person, and that is dangerous. I suspect that choosing to step into a relationship which requires acting as a stepdad type to 3 young boys, and being the only coach on the Voice who actively helps his contestants after the show is over, says more about who Blake is as a person than his twitter persona. I could also be totally wrong. But while I am happy to critique his music, I’m not going to confuse it with critiquing his character.

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  3. A parody song Farce the Music would be proud of! Haha

    And those Justin Moore reviews are spot on. I suffered through the Deluxe version of the album and it’s just terrible. Moore is completely unoriginal. If he’s not recording the same “I’m a badass country outlaw” kind of song, then he’s recording the same pop dreck that Luke Bryan and Thomas Rhett record (even an Eric Church “Like A Wrecking Ball” rip-off with Moore’s “When I Get Home”). The only good song on the album is “You Look Like I Need a Drink.” If I remember correctly, “Hell on the Highway” wasn’t bad either, but the pop production of the song kills it. Lyrically, though, it has potential to fit with a good country production.

    Oh! And that duet with Brantley Gilbert is laughably bad! “More Middle Fingers” is such a ridiculous song – almost as bad as “I’d Want It To Be Yours”

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  4. That apology Blake issued was about as half-hearted as most of his music since he released “Startin’ Fires”.

    But what’s especially exasperating is how countless fans of his are being apologists to what he had said in the first place. Scroll through the comments section of his Facebook posting and you’ll see relentless remarks of how he has nothing to apologize for because we’re a nation of pansies that can’t take a joke and has succumbed to political correctness.

    Gosh……………………..DOES THAT…….SOUND…….FAMILIAR?!!!

    *

    When you ultimately get right down to it, “political correctness” is nothing more than a hollow catchphrase. I guarantee almost every instance I’ve heard that phrase come up over the course of these past several years, it’s code for “I shouldn’t be held accountable for what I say or take responsibility for my actions because I have the right to say whatever I want and…………..First Amendment and shit! And if you don’t like it, you can kiss my American ass because you’re a wuss and we’re a nation of pansies that needs to grow some f***ing balls and stop crying like (Insert Sexist Or Homophobic Term Here)!”

    In other words, almost every time I’ve heard the phrase “political correctness” come up, it’s in the context of the idea these people reserve the license to be rude to others without any sort of personal accountability.

    It’s fitting we’re having this discussion in the context of country music, because what I had often called out in mainstream country music prior to the advent of bro-country was the chest-thumping machismo and faux-edginess that characterized countless songs at the time. At least through their radio singles, you had countless singers like Justin Moore, Josh Thompson, Toby Keith, Gretchen Wilson, John Rich and so forth boasting about how tough they were and tried to come off as so intimidating you wouldn’t want to make direct eye contact with them. But, in reality, they had all the edge of some kindergartner who just learned a four-letter word, or a fourteen-year old who just discovered that Playboy existed.

    If anything, being belligerent and self-indulgent to others under the cloak of that catchphrase is the complete opposite of courage. It is moral cowardice. And if, in their own minds, kindness and civility are supposedly “politically correct”, then damn right I’m proud to be so.

    Now does that mean that our society ISN’T faced with a problem regarding the stifling of many contentious topics in social discourse? Of course not.

    But “political correctness” has never been the issue. The actual scourge that frequently gives me pause is anti-intellectualism.

    And by anti-intellectualism, I mean the idea of closing ourselves off from conflicting and contradictory points of view from across the spectrum and, thus, disengaging our critical faculties. Which, consequentially, results in the decline of journalistic integrity, the compartmentalizing of political and social labels via Facebook groups that only reinforce tribalistic instincts, the peddling of constant conspiracies in direct result of that that aren’t backed by peer-reviewed sources but by visceral emotion, and thus the broader miseducation of the populace. THAT is what we should be legitimately afraid of.

    *

    Which leads us back to Shelton’s supposed apology and why it falls short in my eyes.

    When you study the etymology of the word “remorse” (doing so for “apology” won’t help us because its etymology actually is rooted in statements of defense as opposed to contrition), it is derived from the Middle English verb “remord”: which roughly translates as: “to strike with remorse, touch with compassion, prick one’s conscience.”

    Shelton’s statement doesn’t achieve that for two reasons. One, in terms of the verbiage and tone itself, it doesn’t consider or examine the source of alarm and discomfort it has brought to many. He obviously shouldn’t have to write a five paragraph essay to explain himself by all means, but he at least could have briefly addressed where his motivation to make remarks in this context may have came from and, by connecting the dots, see WHY it is off-putting.

    Secondly, a mere HOUR after he issued that statement, he posted a big announcement about Crash My Playa. An hour is barely enough time to allow a statement to sink in and allow it room to breathe. When Florida Georgia Line recently issued a statement in light of the mostly faux-controversy surrounding them and their use of police officers at shows, they actually waited three full days before posting anything else. That was important because it gives off the impression that they’re trying to listen. With Shelton making a half-assed statement and then hurrying to say something else to not allow others to brood on it, it smacks as sweeping a controversy under the rug as opposed to authentically addressing it.

    *

    So, those are my thoughts surrounding Shelton’s remarks.

    Ultimately, he’ll get past this (he pretty much already has) and it is pointless to hold his boots to the fire for too long over past remarks. But the reason why I think it’s important to do so is NOT to have the past haunt him but, rather, learning the lessons of his mistakes so that history doesn’t repeat itself. So that he grows more self-aware. And, unfortunately, i’m not convinced he has as of yet.

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    • Couldn’t agree with you more. Pains me to say this after you lectured me on my interpretation of a song but I had to show my support.

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    • I think political correctness has become a catch-all phrase for both proponents and opponents. Especially, when trying to do comedy it’s a very delicate line, and it’s especially delicate because everyone’s line is different. For instance, I think most of these tweets by Blake are over the line, but Ellen Degeneres’ Bolt pic doesn’t bother me at all, some people are offended by neither, and others are offended by both. With the comic world, this has become a hot button issue, with a number of comics decrying “political correctness” and how it doesn’t allow them to do their jobs. Others though, have praised it in that it makes them take a half step back, and think, before making a joke.
      I think this ties into your anti-intellectual argument, which I really agree with. To many people don’t want to have to think, and then decry those who want to force them to learn or question assumptions. So then they attack and try to belittle intellectual discussions. This drives me absolutely bonkers.
      I also agree with you in that what really matters is reflection and changing your actions. In this case though, I think since he got in trouble in 2011, he’s cleaned up a lot of the really offensive demographic jokes (which is why all the dug up tweets are pre-2012). And it seems as if he’s cleaned it up even more in the past year. This is sort of the problem with taking someone to task for things that occurred years ago – it’s a balancing act.

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      • Ellen DeGeneres’ Tweet, I thought, had its heart in the right place………………..but she should have considered how, when you connect the dots and see how she is clanging to him and then refer to errands in the accompanying text, how that easily could have been construed as an overture to slavery.

        So I certainly didn’t think she was INTENDING to be mean-spirited or inflammatory, but it doesn’t excuse how her Tweet was devoid of self-awareness and thoughtfulness and still comes across as racist on its own.

        I’m just readily assuming Shelton, too, had his heart in the right place when he made those Tweets in the past. I think his INTENTION was harmless. But just like with DeGeneres, it doesn’t excuse how thoughtless and offensive in their own right they were.

        It’s just me, surely, but I’m just not a fan of any comedian who feels the compulsive need to resort to racist, sexist and homophobic jokes and punchlines to anchor their overall routines. It’s just amateur to me much like someone who relies on F-bombs to command your attention. Much like F-bombs, those type of jokes are really little more than intensifiers. They contribute nothing of substance to one’s content and, again, lead back to what I characterized as “faux-edginess”. It’s all power, no purpose. Much like pyrotechnics at concerts.

        *

        As a semi-aside that is nonetheless being made to further illustrate this point……………….you may not know this yet, but one of my earliest influences with my reviews is “Nostalgia Critic” on YouTube. For the most part, I’ve always enjoyed his incisive commentary and over-the-top expressions. That said, sometimes he can really hit a review out of the park and, other times, he can be underwhelming when he succumbs too much to the entertainer side of the equation and, thus, succumbs too heavily to schoolyard bully jokes and tone. To me at least, I most enjoy his reviews when he wisely achieves a middle ground between playing the role of comedian and the role of a professional critic, instead of doubling down on the entertainer role too much like many of his more recent reviews have made the mistake of doing. Where he can still joke and make over-the-top emotional outbursts, but his main prerogative is deconstructing a film by each of its components and explaining why it doesn’t work.

        A perfect example of a review of his I like is “Pearl Harbor”. THAT was great in how effectively he calls out Michael Bay’s resorting to historical revisionism and chest-thumping jingoism, even when surrounded by a silly extended skit of Doug Walker portraying Michael Bay as a fresh face who was disgraced by the poor reception of “Pearl Harbor” until he realized his calling in making the “Transformers” movies and revolutionizing the idea of filming everything like it’s porn. That was absolutely hilarious: mostly because he refrained from cheaper jokes and focused more on commentary.

        But, on the flip side, he has also had some earlier reviews that were pretty tawdry to me. For example, his review of “Airborne” was rife with schoolyard bully jokes especially along the lines of gender roles and expressions. Especially this one joke I recall where he’s remarking on the scene where one of the protagonist’s friends is wearing a headband and chides him for that, then remarks while holding a pair of scissors during the scene where they dress up in women’s clothes for the fun of it: “Alright, hand me your testicles! You don’t deserve them! I’LL TAKE THEM BY FORCE!”. He may insist he was only playing a character, but it was still very inappropriate and tasteless in that it could easily pass off homophobia or transphobia regardless of his intent.

        *

        I share that example of my influence because “Nostalgia Critic” simultaneously underscores how effectively to do humor that is not afraid to push buttons, and how not to.

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    • But what’s especially exasperating is how countless fans of his are being apologists to what he had said in the first place. Scroll through the comments section of his Facebook posting and you’ll see relentless remarks of how he has nothing to apologize for because we’re a nation of pansies that can’t take a joke and has succumbed to political correctness.

      I said this earlier today at Country Universe, but it bears repeating here:

      I think it’s probably safe to say that mainstream country music in general, not just Blake Shelton, is catering to a different kind of fan anymore, the kind of fan who says things like “we’re a nation of pansies that can’t take a joke and has succumbed to political correctness.” And these people, the people who want to constantly listen to songs about partying in a cornfield in front of a bonfire on a tailgate with a scantily-clad nameless girl because “that’s what they know” — the “boys ’round here,” one might call them — don’t really present themselves as any kinds of deep thinkers. Songs like George Strait’s “Amarillo By Morning” or Aaron Watson’s “Bluebonnets” might as well be written in Portuguese for all those people are able to comprehend them, never mind a song like Jason Boland’s “Fat And Merry,” wherein he sings about “re-gentrify(ing) the shitty part of town.”

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  5. I know it’s off-topic, but I just wanted to say that I got to see Sturgill Simpson live a couple days ago and, wow, what a show! Easily one of the top three concerts I’ve been to, and possibly the best.

    While I prefer his first two albums, I did like the new album a lot so it was cool to hear the older songs played live with the horns. The band was excellent, with extended instrumental breaks in almost every song. (I thought the saxophonist was going to pass out after a particularly long solo).

    He played songs from his first two albums (and a couple covers) in the first hour and then he played the new album in order in the second hour.

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    • Awesome to hear Frank! Thanks for the mini-report. Also good to hear that he plays plenty of his old stuff alongside the new album. Sturgill is amazing live and I can’t wait to see him for a second time this fall.

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  6. Blake Shelton needs to keep his mouth shut or radio and fans will start ignore his music all together. He has his latest cd sale for 99 cents last week, and make stupid jokes. I like Blake but his comments has gone too far and his music is not as good when “Austin”, “the Baby”, and “Ol’ Red” came out.

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  7. Blake your a nasty mouth loser of a Pig and your only sorry because you lost alot of fans that bought your moronic Albums !

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  8. Poor Blake Shelton. Must sell his album for 99 cents & the tweets. Pure BS. What’s next? A sex-tape? A tearful interview with Oprah? An album with real country music? (Just kidding).
    An aging country singer with an aging plastic doll girlfriend & a former wife who can kill his career with one (not-so-)tearful interview?
    Country music is for rednecks & hillbillies. Country fans (& stars) are homophobic & xenophobic. Thank you for your tweets. You are helping country music. You are helping country fans worldwide to defend country music.

    Poor Justin Moore. “You Look…” is not setting the charts on fire. There is not much buzz about the new album. A duet with Brantley Gilbert about “More Middle Fingers”. It’s getting old. Duets with Gilbert or Aldean or Rhett. The album will sink like a stone after a high new entry. The career will sink like a stone.

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