Jubilation of the Nones

There’s something very hopeful and uplifting about a Wembley stadium crowd massing together to sing “There is no God”. Here’s some jubilation for the nones who left toxic religion for secular humanism.

Step out of the darkness and onto the streets

Forget about the fast, let’s have a carnival feast

Raise up your lowered head and hear the liberation beat

Because there never was no God

There is no God

So clap your hands together

There is no God

No heaven and no hell

There is no God

We’re all in this together

There is no God

So ring that victory bell

Source: Frank Turner – Glory Hallelujah Lyrics | Genius Lyrics

I’ve played the album version countless times to recharge.

A Sound That Turns the Mountains Into Sand

Here are some screaming riffs from my favorite power trio of all time, Screaming Females.


Those towering sounds give me chills. Marissa Paternoster churns out monumental riffs with the proclivity of Jimmy Page. One song can have several different badass riffs worthy of songs of their own.

And the lyrics don’t disappoint the riffs.

My visions have been lies

Deep fire in the sky

A sound that turns the mountains into sand

The dirt that won’t wash clean

The blade that splits the team

The holy war that breaks your shell

Source: Screaming Females – Doom 84 Lyrics | Genius Lyrics

Without these gods and heroes

Whose words will hold you hostage

His canvas choked with words

Drops of inks to douse a desert fire

It brought us back to page

I see myself in bondage

Outside a house in flames

I’m blessed to burn into a desert fire

Source: Screaming Females – Agnes Martin Lyrics | Genius Lyrics

I dressed up the horses, set them loose

Sunk the needle deep and took in every drop

A violent path, an inch in time

An error, my device the anchor drops

I said peel the skin raw

I said peel the skin raw

I said peel the skin raw

Pinch ’til the feeling’s gone

Source: Screaming Females – Ripe Lyrics | Genius Lyrics

Hell. Yes.

Buy their stuff.


“The most problematic part of The Dolly Parton Moment is us.”

We like that story as much as we like Dolly Parton. Rather, we like Dolly Parton because we like that story about who we are. The idea that Dolly is Dolly because of the strength of American diversity is one that pretends to be about how good Dolly is when it is really a story about how good we believe we are. In this story, the soul of America is a progressive teleology that will always, inevitably bend toward justice. America’s soul is immune to everyday evidence of its fallibility, and outright antagonistic to any suggestion that it is more myth than manifest destiny. Belief in the soul of America is as strong as another belief, with similar embodied metaphors. The soul is always at war with the nation’s racist bones. You know the racist bones. Those are the bones of which every good white American is fond of claiming not to have. If the racist bone exists, it is rendered as vestigial and unruly as a floating rib. There one minute but gone the next, and of no real consequence to the working of the body.

All of my reading also revealed this: Dolly Parton is one of very few living texts that could survive projections of America’s soul without buckling beneath its contradictions. It is treasonous to do so but if one strips away all the adulation, they are left with an odd totem for our socio-political times. Dolly is a white Southern multi-millionaire boomer who produces self-consciously white music while wearing a stylized drag of a fallen Southern belle. Only a society that willfully believes itself “post-racist” could produce such a queen. Post-racist does not mean there is no more racism. It means that we believe there is an us after we rid ourselves of our errant racist bones, which we are certain will come to pass. We craft Dolly into an unproblematic fave because the most problematic part of The Dolly Parton Moment is us.

Source: The Dolly Moment – essaying

I wish I could write like Tressie McMillan Cottom. Damn. Like Dolly, she can “write her ass off”. After each read, I feel like a drummer who starts crying after watching Larnell Lewis for the first time. Read the whole thing.

The woman can write her ass off. Her gift is one that is easy to overlook as mere folk. That is the category sophisticated people place art done by women, by and for poor or rural people, by people of color, created outside of a cultural institution, and that uses pastoral themes. Home. Love. Longing. Desire. Faith. Those sound basic and they are. Dolly’s creative genius is multifold and one of its top tiers is how deceptively easy her songwriting appears. Maybe anyone could write something like: “I don’t love you/and the grass is blue.” But anyone didn’t, and you didn’t either. Because you can’t.