Once in a while, an event pierces through the news cycle like a bolt of sunshine through the grey gloom.
While the very same establishment shills that the song is written about have denounced it as a new right-wing rallying cry, others have accused the song of being astroturfed. Yet more have missed the boat entirely on what its success shows.
But some get it.
Although Caitlin Johnstone obviously does not defend the song's message, she correctly identifies that it has resonated with people in a deep and profound way. This is clearly true whether or not the artist was picked up and promoted by boner conservative culture warriors like Matt Walsh.
What does it mean more generally that an unknown artist from a largely unpopular music genre has garnered tens of millions of plays in a little over a week?
It means that people are craving authenticity—because that's what the Oliver Anthony video oozes (or, if you believe it was astroturfed, was manufactured to ooze). People on the left and right both ate it up.
This demand has great opportunity and also great danger.
Opportunity because it means that common people realize that everything is fake.
Danger because those looking to manipulate people need only feign authenticity.
But the fact that the demand even exists is something to be optimistic about.
If you're craving authenticity, go check out the YouTube channel that featured Oliver Anthony's music video. It is teeming with talented and honest artists that no one has ever heard of, singing about real shit. Like Oliver Anthony's music, you don't have to be into folk music to enjoy it.
I've linked by favorite song below. It's honest, it's pained, and it's real. And it captures the struggle that millions of flyover Americans are living due, at least in part, to being victimized by poor policy and elite disdain.
Notes in the Margin
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