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May 15, 2014

If you're sick of what has become of America's music, you're not alone. Country music star Collin Raye is speaking out about it on Fox News. Here's an excerpt:

There appears to be not even the slightest attempt to "say" anything other than to repeat the tired, overused mantra of redneck party boy in his truck, partying in said truck, hoping to get lucky in the cab of said truck, and his greatest possible achievement in life is to continue to be physically and emotionally attached to the aforementioned truck as all things in life should and must take place in his, you guessed it... truck.

Like Raye, I'm not inherently opposed to this strain of country music, but it has become dominant and ubiquitous. "I didn't mind the first two or three hundred versions of these gems," said Raye, "but I think we can all agree by now that everything's been said about a redneck and his truck, that can possibly be said."

The beauty of country music is that it is honest and authentic. It tells us stories we can identify with. That doesn't mean it can't sometimes also be fun and silly — and occasionally employ an obvious double entendre, or two. Johnny Cash managed to do it all pretty darn well.

But at some point, modern country became a parody of itself, often reinforcing or overemphasizing country stereotypes. The pendulum has swung too far to the silly "bro" side of things. When it comes to today's country, "They sound tired, but they don't sound Haggard" — or, as my colleague Eric Keefeld lamented, at some point, "modern country became Cheap Trick with trucker hats." Matt K. Lewis

4:21 p.m. ET
Courtesy Bentley & Skinner

Take heart if you harbor princess aspirations — "tiaras are no longer the sole province of royalty," says Dana Thomas at The Wall Street Journal. The Georgian diamond floral tiara ($210,000) shown here helped trigger the craze when Downton Abbey's Lady Mary Crawley wore it for her 2012 wedding, but just in the past 12 months, fashion houses, including Saint Laurent and Gucci, have introduced glittering diadems into their collections. You could, of course, shop for affordable options, along with other "mere mortals." But London's Bentley & Skinner, jeweler to the queen, is offering 10 antique diamond and pearl tiaras starting at $39,000, including Lady Mary’s 45-carat diamond garland. Until it's purchased, it can be rented for $2,100 a day. The Week Staff

4:12 p.m. ET
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A California man who rescued a family from an overturned vehicle has been billed $143 by paramedics for making sure he was OK, The Washington Times reports. First responders gave Derrick Deanda a bottle of water and checked his pulse after he smashed a window and freed four trapped passengers last fall. "A couple of months later I get a bill," Deanda said. "Makes you wonder why people don't want to stop to help at an accident scene." The Week Staff

3:03 p.m. ET
Oli Scarff/Getty Images

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) confirmed Friday that it had suspended the laboratory assigned to handle drug testing at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The decision, which comes just six weeks ahead of the opening ceremony, was based on a "'noncomformity' with international standards," The New York Times reports. The suspension took effect Wednesday, and the lab has 21 days to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.

However, this isn't the first time the Rio lab has been suspended by the WADA. It last happened in 2013, a year prior to Brazil hosting the World Cup. While the WADA decided to reinstate the lab last year, after nearly $60 million was invested in its facilities and an additional 90 technicians were trained, it has deemed the lab still not up to snuff for the Olympic Games.

The lab will not be allowed to test blood and urine samples during its suspension. So, for now, drug tests are being sent to a lab outside of Brazil to be analyzed. The New York Times reports that it "was unclear Friday if the issue would be resolved — and the suspension lifted — in time for the Rio Games." Becca Stanek

2:50 p.m. ET
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A prominent gun-rights activist is calling on bars to limit alcohol sales so that customers can safely carry guns, The Huffington Post reports. "Control the amount of booze you sell, but don't make them sitting ducks," said Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, a group that criticizes the NRA for being too soft. "That's what gun-free zones do." The Week Staff

2:05 p.m. ET
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Five people seeking to "unleash the power within!" ended up in the emergency room following motivational speaker Tony Robbins' hot coal-walk exercise in Dallas on Thursday. Dozens more were treated for burns on site, CBS News reports.

Robbins encourages his followers to "turn fear into power" by "storm[ing] across a hot bed of coals." "Once you start doing what you thought was impossible, you conquer the other fires of your life with ease," TonyRobbins.com explains.

At first hundreds of people were thought to have been burned when someone "not familiar with the fire walk observed the event and called 911 erroneously," Robbins Research International said in a statement. "While we are grateful to the quick and robust response from Dallas emergency services, only 5 of 7,000 participants requested any examination beyond what was readily available on site."

The head trainer for the Robbins' organization, Tad Schinke, agreed that five hospitalizations isn't so bad. "I've been doing events with Tony for 23 years," he said, "and while it may not look like that way, this was a successful event." Jeva Lange

1:59 p.m. ET
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Megyn Kelly reminded CNN on Thursday night that its newest hire, former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, hasn't always been so nice to the folks who are now his coworkers. Lewandowski, Kelly pointed out during an episode of her Fox News show, "has had some very ugly language attributed to him when it comes to women and now he will be getting paid by Donald Trump one day and by CNN the next." (It was announced Thursday that Lewandowski had been signed by CNN as a salaried political commentator.)

Kelly also reminded viewers of a past incident between Lewandowski and CNN's Noah Gray. Last November, Lewandowski "threatened" Gray during a campaign event to "get back in the pen or he's f------ blacklisted." "Think about the CNN reporter, the one who he threatened," Kelly said. "I hope they don't bump into each other in the green room. That's going to be awkward. It's really remarkable."

Watch Kelly's full takedown — with additional remarks from media critic Howard Kurtz — below. Becca Stanek

1:29 p.m. ET

President Obama on Friday signed a proclamation to designate New York's Stonewall Inn as a national monument, the first such monument to LGBT rights. The iconic building is the place where, on June 28, 1969, LGBT protesters defied a police raid in a seminal struggle for gay rights. "The riots became protests. The protests became a movement. The movement ultimately became an integral part of America," Obama said in a video announcing the designation:

During his presidency, Obama has protected more than 265 million acres of national land. Read the president's official proclamation at BuzzFeed News. Kimberly Alters

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