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
FIFA President Sepp Blatter continues to maintain his innocence in the ongoing FBI investigation of soccer's governing body. The U.S. Justice Department indicted 14 officials on charges of corruption in May.
But Blatter, who is expected to be replaced at FIFA's helm as early as December, is afraid to leave Switzerland for fear of being arrested, the Los Angeles Times reports told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.
"Not because the Americans have anything concrete against me, but because it would cause a public stir," he said. "Until everything has been cleared up, I am not going to take the risk of traveling."
Blatter won't even attend Sunday night's Women's World Cup final in Vancouver, Canada. Julie Kliegman
Britian's Princess Charlotte is being christened Sunday at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Eastern England. The outing is the first public one for Prince William and Kate Middleton's family since Charlotte's birth in May.
Ahead of the ceremony, the couple named five godparents for baby Charlotte, none of whom are royalty. Charlotte is fourth in line to the British throne. Julie Kliegman
A U.S.-led coalition carried out a series of at least 16 airstrikes on ISIS' base in eastern Raqqa, Syria, late Saturday and early Sunday. It was one of the largest operations of its kind against the terrorist group in the country, The Guardian reports.
The attacks reportedly killed at least 10 militants and harmed others. They also destroyed ISIS structures and transit routes, a U.S. military spokesman told The Guardian. He said the damage would hurt ISIS' ability to move from their de-facto capital. Julie Kliegman
MasterCard is trying to cut down on fraud and appeal to young'uns. This fall, they're going to start experimenting with a new way to approve online payments — via selfie.
When checking out, rather than entering a password, users will be asked to hold their smartphone camera up to their faces and blink once, CNN reports. The blinking is designed to prevent a thief from simply stashing a selfie of you and uploading it to fool the system.
They'll have an Apple Pay-style fingerprint option as well for the curmudgeons of the world. Julie Kliegman
Convicted murderer David Sweat was incarcerated at the Five Points Correctional Facility in Romulus, New York, after being released from the hospital, the New York Department of Corrections announced in a news release Sunday. Sweat was hospitalized in serious condition after authorities shot and captured him near the Canadian border a week ago.
NY Dpt of Corrections says former escapee David Sweat is back in a maximum-security prison after hospital release pic.twitter.com/EuKATPDks1
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) July 5, 2015
Sweat was on the run with convict Richard Matt after they escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility on June 6. Matt was fatally shot by law enforcement officials a couple of days before Sweat's capture. Julie Kliegman
Green Bay Packers tight end Andrew Quarless was arrested in Miami Beach on Saturday for discharging a gun in public. He reportedly fired two shots after arguing with a group of women near a parking garage, according to a police report obtained by the Miami New Times.
Quarless tried to hide outside a restaurant and stashed his gun in a potted plant.
"We are aware of the matter ... and are in the process of gathering more information," his team's statement read.
About 250 children at a Texas detention center were administered adult dosages of the hepatitis A vaccine, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said. No adverse side effects have been reported, but the children are being monitored by healthcare professionals at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, the Los Angeles Times reports.
"Parents at the facility were advised and counseled by medical professionals about potential side effects, with services made available in multiple languages," ICE said in a statement. Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease that spreads to people who aren't vaccinated.
Activists and Democratic politicians have called on Homeland Security to close detention centers, which they say are not safe for children. Julie Kliegman