Shinola's Manifester

So what do communism and country music have in common? You may think that the two spheres are incongruous, but in fact we believe they are long-lost twins separated at birth. Yankee big-business Republicanism has dominated southern agrarianism for years, but recently it has made amazing inroads into the south, captivating the hearts and minds of farmers, workers, and other rednecks by appealing to the nationalism, religion, and racism of those more easily influenced. Some Republican businesses have even secured a foothold in Nashville, and managed to help mainstream country music to the extent that it lost almost all of its working class mission. In addition, country is being marketed to middle-class suburban whites anxious for the heritage they lack... and eager to believe that any song with "pick-up truck" in its lyrics is proof that their new Chevy is the Suburban Cowboy's steed. All this bullshit we call "Corporate Country." A fecal factory in Nashville reminiscent of the "countrypolitain" MOR crap (like Kenny Rogers) that came out of Nashville in the '70's, while "rock" bands like the Byrds were actually making real country music.

In the good old days, country music was about drinking, heartache, and work. Farmers, coal miners and factory workers unionized and country music was their tonic. Folk heroes Woody Guthrie, Ewan MacColl, Phil Ochs took their working-class blues and made them into anthems of solidarity. Now that the unions have all but disappeared, their children live in subdivisions and trailer parks, and their blue-collars have turned to the light blue of the clerical and retail worlds. Likewise, children of white-collar workers have found themselves living in run-down city apartments and houses on the edge of town, working the light blue collar industries for barely more than minimum wage. These two classes are economically similar, but often on opposite ends of the political fence.

Trapped between the middle class and the working class themselves, the members of Shinola are traditional disenfranchised ex-bourgeois intellectuals presuming knowledge of the true needs of the working class. However, we are not so vain as to organize a political party, enscribe massive ideological tomes, or arm the masses. We merely want to put banjos, fiddles, and heartbreak back into country music.

But sometimes we just want to rock out. So don't hold us to all this.

So what about God?

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