People Hilariously Explain True Meaning Of Country Flags, And You May Not Like The Result


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These Tulip Photos Will Make You Want To Visit My Country, The Netherlands


I’ve Been Wanting To Seize Tulips In The Morning With Some Mist On The Area For Years. This 12 months I Lastly Managed To Do It And I Think about It One Of My Finest Tulip Pictures To Date

I've Been Wanting To Capture Tulips In The Morning With Some Mist On The Field For Years. This Year I Finally Managed To Do It And I Consider It One Of My Best Tulip Shots To Date

There Are A Lot Of Windmills And Wind Generators In The Netherlands, As a result of It’s At all times Windy!

There Are A Lot Of Windmills And Wind Turbines In The Netherlands, Because It’s Always Windy!

The Particular person Strains In The Tulip Fields Are Nice To Use As Main Strains In A Picture. And From The Floor, These Fields Look Limitless!

The Individual Lines In The Tulip Fields Are Great To Use As Leading Lines In A Photo. And From The Ground, These Fields Look Endless!

By Flying The Drone Over These Fields We See Visuals That Are Nearly Summary. They Look Like A Carpet

By Flying The Drone Over These Fields We See Visuals That Are Almost Abstract. They Look Like A Carpet

This Was Captured By A Drone. A Very Broad Tulip Area Main Into The Distance, Nearly Like An Arrow

This Was Captured By A Drone. A Very Wide Tulip Field Leading Into The Distance, Almost Like An Arrow

I Love Photographing The Tulips With Darkish Skies. Particularly Purple Vs Deep Blue Is A Nice Shade Mixture

I Love Photographing The Tulips With Dark Skies. Especially Red Vs Deep Blue Is A Great Color Combination

One other Picture With The Drone, Enjoying With Strains And Colors. These Look Like Racetracks

Another Photo With The Drone, Playing With Lines And Colours. These Look Like Racetracks

I Captured This Distinctive Shot After I Was About To Depart After I Was Finished Photographing In The Night

I Captured This Unique Shot When I Was About To Leave When I Was Done Photographing In The Evening

Does This Make You Suppose Of The Dutch Painter Piet Mondrian?

Does This Make You Think Of The Dutch Painter Piet Mondrian?

Darkish Skies With Stormy Climate Makes The Flowers Actually Pop

Dark Skies With Stormy Weather Makes The Flowers Really Pop

These Pink Tulips Had been Very Quick In Comparability With The Relaxation. There Are Heaps Of Completely different Sizes

These Pink Tulips Were Very Short In Comparison With The Rest. There Are Lots Of Different Sizes

Right here’s A Prime Down Shot Of Myself Controlling The Drone Above The Flowers

Here’s A Top Down Shot Of Myself Controlling The Drone Above The Flowers

After A Few Weeks, The Tulips Get ‘Beheaded’. The Bulbs In The Soil Develop On To Be Used For Promoting

After A Few Weeks, The Tulips Get ‘Beheaded’. The Bulbs In The Soil Grow On To Be Used For Selling

Taking pictures Prime Down Offers An Summary Feeling. It Seems to be Like A Videogame

Shooting Top Down Gives An Abstract Feeling. It Looks Like A Videogame

Purple Tulips Throughout That Misty Morning. Look Up Shut To The Tulips In Entrance And You Can See The Dew Drops On Them. I Love Being Out Early To See The Flowers Like This

Red Tulips During That Misty Morning. Look Up Close To The Tulips In Front And You Can See The Dew Drops On Them. I Love Being Out Early To See The Flowers Like This

That Explicit Morning Did Additionally Give Me The Risk Of Capturing This Nearly Monotone Picture That Offers A Nice Feeling Of Thriller

That Particular Morning Did Also Give Me The Possibility Of Capturing This Almost Monotone Photo That Gives A Great Feeling Of Mystery

I Love Capturing These Tulips With Darkish Skies

I Love Capturing These Tulips With Dark Skies

It’s Nice To Experiment With Prime-Down Pictures With A Drone Above The Tulips

It’s Great To Experiment With Top-Down Shots With A Drone Above The Tulips

Ever Performed Sim Metropolis? Then This May Look Acquainted. This Prime Down Shot Completely Reminded Me Of That Videogame. This Was Taken Excessive Up From A Airplane

Ever Played Sim City? Then This Might Look Familiar. This Top Down Shot Totally Reminded Me Of That Videogame. This Was Taken High Up From A Plane

Getting Up Nearer With Prime Down Pictures With A Drone Permits Me To Get A Bit Extra Summary By Enjoying With Strains And Colors

Getting Up Closer With Top Down Photography With A Drone Allows Me To Get A Bit More Abstract By Playing With Lines And Colours

Seeing The Flowers From The Sky Seems to be Like A Videogame. This Is Primarily As a result of Of The Dutch Panorama In Common Which Consists Of Good Straight Strains

Seeing The Flowers From The Sky Looks Like A Videogame. This Is Mainly Because Of The Dutch Landscape In General Which Consists Of Perfect Straight Lines

We Have Tulips In Heaps Of Completely different Colors

We Have Tulips In Lots Of Different Colours

As I Stay In Amersfoort, The Most Handy Location For Me To Seize The Tulips Is The ‘Flevopolder’. This Shot Is The Flevopolder Captured From An Airplane

As I Live In Amersfoort, The Most Convenient Location For Me To Capture The Tulips Is The ‘Flevopolder’. This Shot Is The Flevopolder Captured From An Airplane

One other Shot Of Flying Over The Flevopolder With A Drone

Another Shot Of Flying Over The Flevopolder With A Drone

By Getting Very Low And Up Shut To The Tulips We Can Play With The Solar Peeking By means of The Flowers With Simply The Proper Timing And Positioning

By Getting Very Low And Up Close To The Tulips We Can Play With The Sun Peeking Through The Flowers With Just The Right Timing And Positioning



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30 Sexy Country Songs For Doin' It Cowgirl Style



One in every of my favourite issues concerning the boot-scootin’ style is that its actually good at making you’re feeling issues. It may make you feel sad, nostalgic, or like all you want is a beer and truck to make you content. There are additionally some nice love songs from the style – and never nearly being in love, however makin’ love (that is what you name it in nation communicate). So in case you’re gonna take a roll within the hay with somebody, severe or not, listed below are the nation songs that’ll get you within the temper:

  1. “Should Be Doin’ Somethin’ Proper,” Billy Currington
  2. “Come a Little Nearer,” Dierks Bentley
  3. “Your Man,” Josh Turner
  4. “Let’s Make Love,” Faith Hill and Tim McGraw
  5. “Come to Mattress,” Gretchen Wilson
  6. “Raining on Sunday,” Keith Urban
  7. “You Should not Kiss Me Like This,” Toby Keith
  8. “Do not You Wanna Keep,” Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson
  9. “I Soften,” Rascal Flatts
  10. “Breathe,” Religion Hill
  11. “Want You Now,” Woman Antebellum
  12. “Come Over,” Kenny Chesney
  13. “Alone With You,” Jake Owen
  14. “I Could Hate Myself within the Morning,” Lee Ann Womack
  15. “Gettin’ You Residence,” Chris Younger
  16. “I Do not Need This Night time to Finish,” Luke Bryan
  17. “Loopy One Extra Time,” Kip Moore
  18. “Maintain Me Up All Night time,” Julie Roberts
  19. “I would Like to Be Your Final,” Gretchen Wilson
  20. “Let Me Contact You For Awhile,” Alison Krauss and Union Station
  21. “Over,” Blake Shelton
  22. “Take a look at Me,” Carrie Underwood
  23. “Nothing on however the Radio,” Gary Allen
  24. “Amazed,” Lonestar
  25. “Strawberry Wine,” Deana Carter
  26. “Strip It Down,” Luke Bryan
  27. “Like a Wrecking Ball,” Eric Church
  28. “About to Get Actual,” Easton Corbin
  29. “Backseat,” Kip Moore
  30. “Audio system,” Sam Hunt

Simply bear in mind: you will must obtain the free Spotify software program or app to hearken to our playlists!



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This Woman Was Forced To Be The First To Get College Education In Japan, And It Changed Her Country Forever


In 1868 Japan launched into the Meiji interval, which led its beforehand remoted society to modernize and have a a lot higher reference to the broader world. This era delivered basic modifications to the nation’s social construction, financial system, overseas relations and training. Throughout these instances, diplomatic voyages just like the Iwakura Mission turned attainable. The mission’s objective was not solely to take care of diplomatic affairs abroad, but additionally to review instructional techniques and constructions of the USA and Europe. Due to this mission, the primary Japanese lady was in a position to get a school diploma.

Sutematsu Yamakawa, born in 1860, was solely 12 years previous when she turned one of many 5 younger ladies to journey to the U.S. with the Iwakura Mission. Nonetheless, in response to the story she didn’t have a say within the state of affairs, and was compelled to go to the unfamiliar land towards her will. Sutematsu’s brother signed her as much as go to America with out asking her, as a way to have fewer mouths to feed within the household.

Sutematsu had by no means left Japan earlier than, and he or she spoke not a phrase of English. And but she was thrown right into a overseas atmosphere with 4 different ladies. All of them have been terrified and tried to maintain to themselves. Regularly, they have been separated and despatched to completely different foster properties.Regardless of the tough begin, Sutematsu endured. She did very effectively academically and acquired wonderful grades at college. She was the one woman in her class to go to varsity. Sutematsu turned essentially the most educated Japanese lady of the time.

After a decade within the U.S., she headed again to Japan. The younger lady was keen to alter her nation. She paired up with different two ladies who have been despatched overseas and started to pursue a standard objective: opening a faculty for women. To attain this objective Sutematsu needed to marry a person she didn’t love. However her sacrifices paid off. She managed to open the college and later helped to fund a ladies’s school.Learn this fantastically illustrated story about an inspiring lady beneath.

Extra data: rejectedprincesses.com

Sutematsu Yamakawa turned the primary Japanese lady with the faculty diploma

Sutematsu’s brother signed her as much as go to America with out asking her

After a decade within the U.S., she headed again to Japan. The younger lady was keen to alter her nation

Sutematsu was a girl who gave all of it and her title shouldn’t be forgotten



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The Ultimate Country Music Wedding Playlist



Hoping to convey some honky-tonk character to your wedding? With a mixture of new and basic hits by Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks, and extra, we’re highlighting the most effective nation songs to play for a enjoyable, memorable reception. With dance choices, father/daughter concepts, must-play dance tunes – you may discover a vary of music picks to provide your occasion some nation aptitude. Check out these 175 songs on your final nation wedding playlist, and get extra music ideas for your wedding right here!



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Kacey Musgraves Is The Queer Fan’s Country Music Queen


Kacey Musgraves performs on the Nation to Nation competition on March 10, 2018, in London.

Burak Cingi / Redferns

Rising up queer in flyover nation, a lot of the world round me felt alien and unsafe. I spent the primary twenty years of my life in Minnesota, “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” every one teeming with fish I by no means felt heterosexual sufficient to catch. Throughout adolescence I mowed farm grass on a John Deere and rode down flat highways on my mother’s Harley Davidson, and one of many first guys I dated took me out for a theoretically romantic night on the again of an ATV — however I so usually felt like I used to be taking part in another person’s function. By the point I used to be out as queer in highschool, I needed to spend weekends in rural Wisconsin, simply down the street from a dusty speedway. Any time I heard the yeehaw-ed exclamations from one its rousing drag races echo out into the silent countryside, I tensed up.

Nation music often accompanied these races, and it exemplified the components of Midwestern tradition that I had the toughest time connecting with. That music was at all times a part of the soundtrack to my childhood — Religion Hill and Toby Keith on the radio as my mother drove me round, taking part in throughout faculty and sporting occasions, marketed on the roadside billboards that towered over cornfields. However like these billboards, it felt out of my attain. As a queer child, it wasn’t for me. The truth is, like a lot of the tradition round me, the style’s conservative politics and gender norms — which you would hear in songs like Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue”(“‘Trigger we’ll put a boot in your ass / It’s the American method”) or Hint Adkins’ “Rough & Ready”(“Gun rack, ball cap, don’t take no crap / Ain't a fairly boy-toy”) — have made it appear openly hostile.

However Kacey Musgraves, whose new album Golden Hour arrives on March 30, is a horse of a unique colour. And listening to her music — which is indisputably nation, whether or not nation DJs play her singles or not — I really feel as if she’s lastly inviting me to a celebration I’ve stood on the margins of for therefore lengthy. That is more true than ever on Golden Hour, her most absolutely realized document but, and simply her most boundary-defying. It proves that Musgraves is right here to remain, and that she’s not going to cease being bizarre and welcoming.

The quilt art work for Golden Hour, Musgraves' fourth studio album.

MCA Nashville

Musgraves grew up in Texas and launched her profession from Nashville in 2013, together with her major-label debut Similar Trailer Totally different Park, which gained a Grammy for Finest Nation Album. It additionally featured the only “Follow Your Arrow,” which made it clear from the start that Musgraves wasn’t attempting to sneak her embrace of queerness within the again door of subtext; she positioned it entrance and heart. That frankness is the main rationalization for why she has never been (and may never be) a darling of nation music’s radio gatekeepers. However she is likely one of the hottest and critically acclaimed nation artists within the wider pop music universe proper now, and notable for being one of many few who’s vocally supportive of queer folks in each her public statements and her music.

Musgraves has by no means recognized as queer herself, however has spoken often concerning the significance of being an ally. Writing a letter to the LGBT community for Billboard in 2017, Musgraves defined that she “wasn’t at all times so open-minded,” however after folks near her got here out, issues shifted: “It began to enrage me that I’d had some earlier misunderstanding a few group of those who I now love a lot and have a lot in widespread with.”

Final week Musgraves joked on Twitter, “I desire a homosexual, collective ‘you’re doing superb sweetie’” — and within the lead-up to her new album, she’s already getting it: Fader’s Myles Tanzer mirrored on her “vocal queer fanbase” in a glowing profile, and BuzzFeed’s Matt Stopera proclaimed her “one of the best factor to occur to music since Britney Spears.”

A part of what units Musgraves aside on the planet of nation and endears her to queer followers is her playfulness and tongue-in-cheek flamboyance, exemplified in songs like “Biscuits,” a single from her second album Pageant Materials (2015), for which she’s dolled up like a magnificence queen on the quilt. She gleefully sends up visible emblems of her style — her hair is big within the “Biscuits” video, which opens together with her in a bonnet, churning butter.

Musgraves performs guitar with a bedazzled band within the music video for “Biscuits” (2015).

Mercury Data / Through youtube.com

However it’s greater than camp; in any case, queer individuals are accustomed to participating within the aesthetic when we don’t discover ourselves within the express. Greater than something, it’s Musgraves’s direct method to celebrating nonconformity — fairly than romanticizing custom.

“Say what you’re feeling / love who you like,” Musgraves sings on the CMA-winning music “Follow Your Arrow,” which she cowrote with queer musicians Brandy Clarke and Shane McAnally. “Kiss a number of boys / or kiss a number of women, if that’s what you’re into.”

This concurrently radical and informal embrace of queerness is a part of how Musgraves makes the outdated appear new once more. In her music, it’s the values of nation which have been given the replace, not simply the sound. Her themes draw deep from Americana, trailer parks, and small cities — acquainted nation music imagery — and but the lyrics take the style someplace obligatory and new. Because the New York Instances’ Jon Caramanica wrote in 2016, she is “each the keeper of the style’s outdated guidelines and likewise its main inside dissenter.”

A lot of mainstream nation music indicators or valorizes the virtues of rigid gender roles; Brad Paisley’s late-2000s nation smash “I’m Still A Guy” is likely one of the extra ridiculous examples — “Yeah, with all of those males lining as much as get neutered / It’s hip now to be feminized / However I don’t spotlight my hair / I’ve nonetheless acquired a pair / Yeah, honey, I'm nonetheless a man” — however even current hits like Blake Shelton’s nation radio chart-topper “I’ll Name The Dogs” embrace traces like “you be the beautiful and I’ll be the humorous.” Musgraves, however, makes it amply clear she shouldn’t be right here to inform different folks the right way to stay their lives.

Whereas she’s extra overt than simply about anybody who has come earlier than her, Musgraves joins a lineage of nation artists who’ve provided estranged queer folks a channel again into the style. Most have been heterosexual girls, whose music is much less prone to make use of chest-beating masculine tropes — singers like Wynonna Judd, Reba McEntire, Martina McBride, and naturally Dolly Parton (whom Musgraves known as “an enormous icon for me” in a recent GQ interview, noting Parton’s affection for her personal drag imitators and her experiments with musical style crossover).

From left: Kacey Musgraves, Reba McEntire, Jennifer Nettles, and Dolly Parton on the 50th annual CMA Awards, honoring Parton with the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award, on Nov. 2, 2016, in Nashville.

Taylor Hill / Getty Pictures

Musgraves’s friend Willie Nelson has additionally been outspoken, and by releasing a canopy of a comparatively unknown music known as “Cowboys Are Incessantly Secretly Keen on Every Different” in 2006, he successfully provided the primary explicitly LGBT-affirming music by a significant nation artist. A few of Musgraves’ friends within the realm of extra experimental or pop-friendly up to date nation, like Sturgill Simpson and Maren Morris, have additionally been vocal about supporting homosexual rights.

In fact, along with allies, there have lengthy been necessary queer figures within the style. All the way in which again in 1973, Patrick Haggerty, a homosexual man, released Lavender Country, which has since come to be thought to be the primary homosexual nation album. It barely offered 1,000 copies on the time, however in 2014 it was reissued, and he continues to tour. In 2010, Chely Wright grew to become one of many first brazenly LGBT nation stars when she came out in an interview with Folks journal. And as we speak nation is maybe queerer than it’s ever been, with artists like Trixie Mattel — a preferred drag queen, whom Musgraves adores — providing earnest submissions to the style. In the meantime, queerly beloved pop stars like Girl Gaga, Kylie Minogue, and Kesha are drawing on the sounds and elegance of nation music, usually as a technique to reinvent themselves and undertake a extra “genuine” method to their music. Amongst queer folks and lots of of our favourite musicians, nation is scorching proper now.

Album art work for Trixie Mattel's Two Birds (2017).

Trixie Mattel

However up till the previous a number of years, moments that made nation fandom really feel extra accessible to me had been few and much between. Probably the most memorable was the general public political awakening of the Dixie Chicks in 2003. Whereas introducing their music “Travelin’ Soldier” throughout a live performance in London, lead singer Natalie Maines said, “Simply so you recognize, we're ashamed the president of the USA is from Texas.” The backlash from nation radio and followers was instantaneous and intense, inspiring CD-destroying parties and death threats. The week the controversy broke, “Travelin’ Soldier” was the No. 1 song on nation radio; two weeks later it had dropped off the chart fully. Regardless of happening to win quite a few Grammys, together with Track and File of the 12 months, with later releases, the Dixie Chicks haven’t had a high 20 music on nation radio since. They paid an enormous value, however their willingness to defy nation music’s deeply ingrained nationalism and custom gave me hope that the style’s norms would possibly sometime be extra extensively subverted.

Their blacklisting nonetheless speaks to the reactionary, narrow-minded tendencies which have made so many queer folks, folks of colour, and ladies really feel unwelcome on the planet of nation. The style wants explicitly queer-affirming artists as a result of it has been explicitly anti-queer within the current previous, and far of it continues to be anti-queer today. And that’s why Musgraves performs such an uncommon and obligatory function as an entry level and advocate for the varieties of people that have usually felt unwelcome in nation fandom, otherwise from anybody who got here earlier than her.

Kacey Musgraves and her nana pose backstage with Joey Taranto (heart), star of the Broadway musical Kinky Boots, on Feb. 25, 2018, in New York Metropolis.

Bruce Glikas / Bruce Glikas / FilmMagic



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Love Knows No Borders: My Husband Left His Home Country to Be With Me



My eyes have been vibrant crimson, puffy, and stuffed with tears as I stared out the prepare window on the best way to New York Metropolis to a complicated resort in Occasions Sq., the place Eric and I have been alleged to spend the night time dancing, laughing, loving, and feeling aid that we did not must proceed to say goodbye. His flight was delayed, or canceled or, truthfully, I do not actually know. However each two hours as he waited in Morocco on his “brief” layover, I might get a name that he was caught for a bit longer. A flight delay wouldn’t usually give for such excessive feelings, however after greater than half a yr of immigration paperwork, letters, and interviews, I had hit my wall. I wanted to be with him for good, whether or not that meant within the States or in his dwelling of Ghana. I did not need to say goodbye anymore, I did not need to wait, I didn’t want another obstacle. And right here I used to be, on the night time I had been planning for what appeared like without end, alone on a prepare, alone in a elaborate resort I could not afford, nonetheless ready.

I moved to Ghana a yr and a half previous to work with a baby’s rights and anti-trafficking group. On the time I had been a author working in Manhattan for a vogue firm, but my soul wasn’t shining. I had discovered some goal in my volunteer work for an additional anti-trafficking group, and after a sequence of occasions left me jobless, dumped, and with out roommates, I started blindly looking for organizations around the globe preventing human trafficking the place I may volunteer outdoors of the US. I maintained my positivity; I let all of the hardship slip away and manifested it into alternative. And as destiny wished it, I landed a paid job as a author in Ghana, West Africa, and I left the remaining behind.

At that very same time, Eric, born and raised within the city I used to be relocating to in Ghana, felt caught in his job, the place he wasn’t even making sufficient cash for primary wants. He had discovered himself on this scenario – a family-run enterprise – for years and years, and did not see a method out. One thing sparked fireplace in him and he determined to hunt out alternative, which landed him a job as a waiter at a restaurant that was run by an area group. This group would use the income from the restaurant to assist fund their efforts in kid’s rights and anti-trafficking. It was the identical group I used to be beginning work for in Ghana. We had each made large life adjustments at precisely the identical time, ultimately main to one another.

We fell in love immediately, passionately and fiercely, and for an excellent whereas we did not take into consideration what was going to occur. Once we lastly stopped doing a shy dance round one another and had our first date, it was already two months into my keep that was initially set for 4 months. We spent our evenings on the roof of a half-built home, beneath a darkish African sky crammed with hundreds of thousands of stars, telling tales of our lives, cultures, and sharing our languages. There was a lot to study, so many cultural variations to contemplate, and a lot love to offer. With out a lot hesitation or thought, I modified my ticket and gave us 4 extra months collectively earlier than I needed to go dwelling. I had discovered a brand new place of consolation and I used to be not performed exploring him or the life that possibly, one way or the other, we may make collectively.

That point flew, as most occasions of true ardour do, when you are really living in the moment, it simply appears to move by. It was a time crammed with warmth and plenty of, many questions. I had an earful from many locals questioning his intentions with me, listening to that he was simply attempting to get to the States. I questioned it myself. I cried and I misplaced hope and for a time, I did not reply his calls. However he all the time lived in my coronary heart – all the time. I may barely image my life with out him, nevertheless it was additionally arduous to image my life with him. Completely different nations, completely different cultures, completely different views, and simply, completely different every thing. However one factor we undeniably shared was our love for one another.

After I packed my luggage to maneuver again to the States and kissed him goodbye with a mouth stuffed with tears, I felt misplaced. And after I received again to the States I fell right into a despair, one thing I had by no means skilled earlier than. I attempted to shake it, I spoke to him every day, however the unknown made me sick. So, I did what I knew I ought to. I flew again to Ghana with no finish date. We moved in collectively; we cooked native dishes, fetched water close by with a bucket, took jogs, went dancing, and smiled endlessly. However ultimately we needed to make choices, and the choice was that we’d transfer again to the States collectively. This additionally meant going through immigration.

It is attainable to like somebody so deeply that in opposition to all your odds, you make it work. It takes an inner knowledge and a willingness to make it work regardless of what each different particular person round it’s possible you’ll suppose. And in our case it took piles and piles of paperwork, sharing all the particulars of our love, and hundreds of to make it work. It took a pricey good friend willingly sharing her monetary particulars with United States Immigration to co-sponsor us since I had not labored within the States in over a yr, one thing I’ll without end be indebted to her for. And it’s nonetheless within the works (because of slow-moving immigration processes) and we’re nonetheless within the works. Studying to grasp one another every day, working via our communication and elevating a household.

After that sleepless night time in my resort in New York Metropolis, ready for cellphone calls about his flight, he was lastly on his method. I took the subway to JFK, this time with an nervousness that rejuvenated me, and my tears had given technique to an enormous dorky smile that I could not combat. His 36-hour flight delay was over and he was touchdown into my life once more. Our 5,840 hours of ready for an authorized Visa to maneuver him to the States was over. We have been free. And because the nice Ghanaian revolutionary Kwame Nkrumah mentioned and Eric would repeat time and again, ” In the end, the battle has ended.”

In case you fall in love whereas dwelling overseas, touring, and even whether it is in your yard, do not forget that it is price it. Take the time, do the work, and your love will repay you over and time and again. We’re proof.



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Country Music Has Found Its Weinstein Scandal. So Why Hasn’t There Been A Reckoning?


It had been seven weeks since Austin Rick began telling his story, and he was indignant. In October 2017, Rick posted on Fb that in 2008 Kirt Webster, who represented a few of nation music’s greatest stars, repeatedly coerced him into sexual acts. Rick mentioned this continued till sooner or later the 21-year-old singer awoke bare in mattress subsequent to Webster with no reminiscence of how he’d gotten there.

When Rick posted his story on Fb on Oct. 27, within the midst of #MeToo, he needed to ensure the outstanding publicist by no means abused anybody once more. Though Webster, 43, claimed by means of a consultant that his former consumer’s story was “unfaithful,” he stepped away from his agency virtually immediately after it hit the native press. Within the weeks that followed, more than 20 former staff got here ahead with tales of office sexual harassment and undesirable touching. Talking with BuzzFeed Information, three extra described a hellish work life with a boss who always made crude jokes and talked about his staff’ our bodies, pantomimed masturbation within the workplace, and bragged about buying and selling entry to his greatest consumer, Dolly Parton, for nude photographs; one mentioned Webster invited him and one other man to a “sleepover.” The overall quantity of people that have come ahead with tales of Webster’s office sexual harassment is now properly over two dozen.

Austin Rick (going by stage identify Austin Cody) in 2006.

Courtesy of Austin Rick

Webster retreated from his agency, however his consultant launched a statement saying he had accomplished so “to give attention to combating the egregious and unfaithful allegations made towards him.” He didn’t reply to a number of requests for touch upon an in depth abstract of this story, and has stayed out of the general public eye since November.

Because the variety of voices swelled, Rick hoped that the nationwide reckoning with sexual assault and harassment would hit nation music too.

He’s nonetheless ready. Rick mentioned one factor distinguished Nashville’s sidestep from the eruptions in Hollywood, media, and government: A overwhelming majority of nation artists and executives have refused to even acknowledge something is mistaken.

Former staff mentioned they needed Webster roundly condemned, and what they bought was a sprinkle of tepid disapproval. Many merely needed Webster’s former shoppers to say “I consider you.” “Dolly Parton hopes that we're all mendacity,” Rick mentioned with a scoff, referring to the statement she put out following Rick’s allegations, that she was “hoping” the tales weren’t true. “Thanks, Dolly, that's nice.” Parton didn’t reply to requests for touch upon this story.

Parton and Child Rock, amongst others, dropped Webster as their consultant. Child Rock launched a extra sharply worded assertion than Parton’s, however nonetheless mentioned that he too hoped the allegations had been false. Most individuals related to Webster mentioned nothing concerning the allegations, together with his agency’s second-in-command, Jeremy Westby, who was introduced as Webster’s successor earlier than leaving to begin an unbiased agency on Nov. 2. Westby is Webster’s long-term romantic associate, 12 former staff advised BuzzFeed Information; public data present the lads dwelling on the identical handle from 2013 by means of November 2017. Westby didn’t touch upon the allegations towards Webster or on whether or not they had been nonetheless a pair. “Kirt has not been and isn’t concerned in my new firm,” he mentioned.

There was no pronounced assist for the individuals who mentioned Webster harm them, and thus, in contrast to in different industries, there was no sign to different victims that now was the time to begin naming names.

“I’m afraid it’s all gonna go away.”

Victims noticed this hush as an indication that sexual misconduct was not taken significantly in Nashville, and that Webster may catch himself midfall. Some additionally mentioned this despatched a chilling message to different victims on Music Row: In the event that they got here ahead, nobody would take up their trigger. In Hollywood, lots of of girls signed on to the Time’s Up initiative to fight sexual abuse, whereas nation had a smattering of essential voices that by no means fairly grew to become a refrain. After a DJ sued Taylor Swift for saying he groped her, she received her countersuit and later donated to Time’s Up, and artists like Kacey Musgraves and Maren Morris have criticized harassment within the trade. However Rick and the previous staff, for probably the most half, felt completely alone.

And as Webster dropped out of headlines and native police determined that the allegations had been too previous to pursue a case, it was unclear what the precise penalties for the publicist can be. A former worker mentioned, “I’m afraid it’s all gonna go away.” It’s a pressure of unease that’s sinking in all throughout the nation. The query of what occurs after #MeToo haunts Rick and the dozen former staff who spoke to BuzzFeed Information.

“Anybody who desires to see professional change, that is our window of alternative proper right here,” Rick mentioned. “If nobody else will get up and assist me, then I’ll simply preserve at it.”

From left: Jeremy Westby, Kirt Webster, Dolly Parton, and Danny Nozell in 2012.

Rick Diamond / Getty Photographs

Almost all of the 23 artists, writers, and employees at publicity companies, a document firm, and an company interviewed for this story mentioned nation music stays a small, insulated trade the place status is every thing and there are extra whistleblowers on the blacklist than predators. And whereas Webster could also be gone, ladies and men in Nashville say a tradition of silence stays. One former Webster PR worker mentioned that her present boss approached her after the allegations towards Webster broke and advised her to remain out of it. “He saved repeating, ‘You don’t have anything to achieve by coming ahead,’” she mentioned.

There’s ample proof that sexual harassment in Nashville isn’t up for dialogue. Reached this week, Danny Nozell, Parton’s supervisor and Webster’s longtime good friend and affiliate, mentioned he didn’t learn about any sexual harassment allegations earlier than they grew to become public and declined to remark additional on the allegations towards his colleague. When BuzzFeed Information requested 12 companies that beforehand labored with Webster or his shoppers whether or not they would work with him sooner or later, solely two, Kicker Nation Stampede and Reviver Leisure Group, mentioned they’d not work with him once more. “We now have no plans to work with him once more sooner or later, regardless of this matter, and definitely now wouldn’t think about working with him once more due to this matter,” mentioned Reviver’s president and CEO, David Ross.

“He saved repeating, ‘You don’t have anything to achieve by coming ahead.’”

Time Life and the Nation Music Affiliation answered not directly, each saying they weren’t at present planning to work with him, whereas Massive Machine Label Group, which labored with Webster by means of his shoppers, mentioned, “It’s not the tradition of the Massive Machine Label Group to condone any such conduct at any degree from anybody we affiliate with.” The opposite seven entities — Sony, the Academy of Nation Music, L3 Administration, Vector Administration, Outback Live shows, Neste Leisure, and Nation Thunder Music Festivals — didn’t reply in any respect or declined to remark.

On Feb. 5, Nation Radio Seminar revoked press credentials for NewsChannel 5 reporter Jesse Knutson and requested him to go away the premises after he advised the occasion’s public relations consultant that he deliberate to ask questions on how CRS was addressing the sexual harassment and misconduct in radio recently documented by Rolling Stone. On Wednesday, after NewsChannel 5 reported on the debacle, CRS officers agreed to an interview with Knutson. CRS didn’t reply to BuzzFeed Information’ a number of requests for remark.

It was reported just last week that the disgraced nation music DJ David Mueller — who a jury determined groped Taylor Swift — was employed at a radio station in Mississippi. And as a parade of males in movie and TV had been being outed as harassers and publicly castigated, one of many solely folks within the nation music trade to talk brazenly about sexual misconduct discovered herself embroiled in a lawsuit. In October, singer Katie Armiger mentioned she was groped by radio DJs a number of occasions all through her profession — and was blacklisted for openly complaining about it. Two weeks later, Armiger was sued by her former label, Chilly River Data, for allegedly breaching her nondisclosure settlement.

Recording artist Katie Armiger attends the Dial World Radio Remotes in 2013.

Jason Kempin / Getty Photographs

Armiger declined to remark instantly on the continuing lawsuit towards her, however mentioned that in nation music, victims are nonetheless anticipated to maintain quiet about sexual harassment. “For those who're a feminine artist and also you converse out, that would restrict your probabilities of being performed [on the radio] once they're already slim to none,” she advised BuzzFeed Information.

And if girls are anticipated to endure objectification, the foundations are even much less clear for males who report abuse by different males.

“For those who're a feminine artist and also you converse out, that would restrict your probabilities of being performed.”

Alex Caress, the lead singer of Little Bandit and one of many few out musicians in nation, rattled off a listing of queer artists that was so quick he mentioned it made him really feel unhappy. Caress thinks the trade by and huge refused to handle the allegations towards Webster as a result of “to be able to try this, you kind of must acknowledge that homosexual folks exist, and that doesn’t appear to be one thing that they’re interested by.”

And Music Row’s squeamishness was evidenced by the way in which Webster performed his personal life.

Former staff advised BuzzFeed Information that Webster lived with “one foot nonetheless within the closet”; a number of mentioned that the publicist expressed shock when folks ascertained that he was homosexual. When he labored for particularly conservative shoppers — one supply remembered Mitt Romney, one other remembered the Academy of Nation Music Awards — Webster would actively conceal his sexuality, reserving two lodge rooms for himself and his boyfriend, Westby, on a enterprise journey as a substitute of 1.

When Rick was nonetheless attempting to make it as a rustic music artist, worry that Webster might destroy his fledgling profession saved him quiet. After he left the trade, he stayed quiet partially due to disgrace, enhanced by the stigma of being a male sufferer. “I felt like a disgusting excuse for all times, and so I didn't inform anyone,” he mentioned.

“I felt like a disgusting excuse for all times, and so I didn't inform anyone.”

Disgrace saved Webster’s male workers feeling trapped too. One former Webster PR worker mentioned he would solely converse to BuzzFeed Information on situation of anonymity, largely as a result of most of his household doesn’t know he’s homosexual, and he hasn’t advised them that Webster pinched his nipples within the workplace and repeatedly confirmed him a dildo he saved in his desk and talked about one other worker “sitting on it.”

That disgrace, combined with worry of retaliation, has saved individuals who say they had been harassed by Webster from figuring out themselves even after his identify has turn out to be synonymous with abuse allegations. And that, in flip, has made it simpler for Nashville to observe its impulse to disregard a possible controversy till it goes away, with none critical reckoning.

Kirt Webster in 2015.

Rick Diamond / Getty Photographs

Webster himself relied on a system of express intimidation, sources advised BuzzFeed Information, relying on the small measurement of the trade — and his stature inside it — to encourage folks to remain in his good graces. Two former staff recalled an incident from round 2015 the place a job posting appeared in an trade publication, Nation Aircheck, with out itemizing the agency; a number of days later, Webster knowledgeable his workers that he himself had written the advert, calling it a loyalty take a look at. It made one girl who labored there suppose any job posting could possibly be a entice.

“If nobody else will get up and assist me, then I’ll simply preserve at it.”

And Rick mentioned when he was nonetheless attempting to make it as a rustic star, Webster would gesture in his workplace to the numerous photographs of himself with highly effective folks and recommend that he might give Rick that type of profession. Rick believed him. He additionally believed that Webster might take that profession away. In a small trade, these in Webster’s circle had been satisfied the phrase of 1 highly effective man who felt wronged might derail your Nashville hopes. Now, watching folks like Armiger publicly flail makes them suppose they had been proper.

However the mechanisms that preserve folks quiet don’t apply to Rick anymore: “The issue with Kirt is he picked on somebody, he victimized somebody … who has nothing to lose,” he mentioned. He was decided, and strengthened by the supportive emails and messages he’s obtained from different victims — each women and men— within the trade. Rick continued, “If nobody else will get up and assist me, then I’ll simply preserve at it. I’ll preserve at it so that each time [Webster] reveals his head, that he’s going to be confronted about it. I signify lots of people now.”

As a result of he mentioned so many had been nonetheless silent or anonymous, Rick added the inverse of #MeToo: “It’s not simply me.” ●



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