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Is Oliver Anthony an FBI agent? An industry plant? A genius? The next great country singer?
I took the dive into the Oliver Anthony content and conspiracy world last night and, boy, let me tell you, what a ride that was. For those of you living under a rock, Anthony is the new sensation thanks to his song, “Rich Men North of Richmond,” that came out of nowhere.
In a matter of one weekend, Anthony went from being completely unknown and with a very small digital footprint to being hailed as the Bob Dylan of woods.
On YouTube, Anthony has racked up over 14 million views for the song in a matter of seven days and is being called the savior of Punk, Folk, Americana, Country & Soul genres. Yes, even the soul genre.
For those of you living under a rock, here’s the song that’s all the rage:
The reviews from his new YouTube fans couldn’t be more glowing:
“This song is so metal! Feeling, emotion, with a little attitude, just a little. Is it a metal song, no but by god it dips it’s toe in it and I’m all in.”
“I think I’m hearing the sound a soul makes when vocalized. “
“This is not just a song he is telling you how men feel all over the world”
“28 year old, grew up as a Inner City Kid never spent a day in the country. But these lyrics transcend music and speak to the soul. This is American literature, not country music”
“52 year old Metalhead tell the day i die this is the most brutal song I’ve heard many moons.”
“This is not just an anthem for the United States, this is an anthem for every working class person across the globe who are working to live and living to work”
Meanwhile, over on Twitter, it’s a different story. The folks over there are either arguing that Anthony is a Fed or just another singer pumping out “Corny, radio-country crap.”
Finally, the ultimate Twitter insult from the lib libs: Jason Isbell kicks this guy’s ass.
Look, it’s 2023, it’s impossible to know what’s pure and what’s purely calculated. I’m pretty sure I’m witnessing coordinated AI-generated YouTube comments from alleged Russians from Russia, writing in perfect English with perfect grammar about how the song speaks to them.
At this point, I’m fascinated to see where this song and Anthony goes from here. Is this some sort of organized operation from political operatives or is this honestly just some bearded farmer in Virginia taking the Internet by storm with his wails about what’s wrong with the current times?
What’s crystal clear is that the lyrics about finances resonate with Americans who are being squeezed:
Livin’ in the new world / With an old soul / These rich men north of Richmond / Lord knows they all just wanna have total control / Wanna know what you think, wanna know what you do / And they don’t think you know, but I know that you do / ‘Cause your dollar ain’t shit and it’s taxed to no end / ‘Cause of rich men north of Richmond.
I’ve been selling my soul
Working all day
For bullshit pay
In case you were wondering if inflation has been solved, take a journey through the YouTube comments for Anthony’s song — minus the Russian AI bots — to see what a huge swath of America is feeling.
I’d love to hear your takes on the Anthony song. Is it the anthem you’ve been waiting for?
Get a job or better friends that are willing to give you more money in the envelope jar!
• Wyn in Colorado spotted this one:
Is his worse than the families asking to fund their kids travel ball? Was driving in southern CO and spotted these newlyweds asking for money via venmo?
They already probably made a killing on wedding gifts and now they want more.
Wren Wiffleball & National Tractor Pull Weekend!
Talk about a busy upcoming weekend in western and northwestern Ohio. It’s not just the Wren Wiffleball tournament weekend, it’s also time for the National Tractor Pull in Bowling Green, Ohio.
Talk about a Pure Americana weekend. Let’s just say Oliver Anthony wouldn’t have a problem finding a crowd to play in front of at these two events. If you’re anywhere near tiny Wren, OH (it’s tiny…I’ve warned you…and your cellphone won’t work there) or Bowling Green, I’m imploring you to attend these events.
Last year, Brent P. in Indiana took his wife to Wren and turned into a local celebrity. The mayor of Wren was so taken by Brent that she pretty much gave him a key to the village.
And the tractor pull…what the hell took me so long to attend the tractor pull?
You know what it was? I never had the right group of friends to attend the tractor pull. Now Millennial Chris B. in Bowling Green lives within walking distance to the PULL and he ‘gets’ the PULL. He’s originally from Georgia. He GETS IT.
It’s not about the beasts pulling thousands of pounds. It’s about the environment. It’s about bringing your cooler full of beer to the fairgrounds on a hot Saturday night. It’s about getting fired up with the boys when the track announcer yells “FULLLLLLLLLLL PULLLLLLLLLL.”
It’s about people-watching. It’s about buying beers from the fire department’s beer trailer. It’s about relaxing at an event that’s a cross between a NASCAR event and a country concert with testosterone running wild.
I can’t wait.
Thanks to Screencaps reader Jon D., who works for the tractor pull association, for planting the seed in my head that I needed to see this event.
Now our friends are so fired up over this event that Millennial Chris B. is throwing a party and his parents are flying up from Georgia to see what this is all about.
That’s the power of Screencaps.
Wait until Al the ‘I’m Not Returning My Cart Guy’ runs into CartNarc
I’m actually surprised this guy hasn’t been shot yet.
• Joe H. in Westerville, OH writes:
Re: returning carts…I’m speaking only for myself here. The first real job I had — one that involved having to show up for set hours and performing an assigned task — was gathering shopping carts for a supermarket holding its weeklong grand opening in late July 1969. I swore those carts had offspring every fifteen minutes. They never stopped. I swore on the second day that I would never as a shopper leave my cart in a lot for someone else to bring in. I was 16 then and I am (almost) 72 now and have never broken my young promise to my old self, not even in the winter. People have many legitimate reasons for leaving their carts where they sit. I have one to bring it back to the store.
• Brian G. in Florida writes:
[Monday] you replied to a reader about Al returning shopping carts. I was rather confused as to whether you were talking about Al as in short for Albert or AI as in Artificial Intelligence. AI could clean up carts in the future like self driving cars. Or Al can clean up the carts taking a few steps.
We need to retire Al as a name as it’s too confusing. Are there any other names that are obsolete or confusing with new vocabulary and culture?
• Dana B. says:
I have always believed returning a shopping cart, or not, is a character test. So much so, that I have sat and watched in a Walmart parking lot just to observe people’s behavior. All ages. All races. I even have a behavior scale.
A. *Returns cart to bay – SOLID CITIZEN/CONSIDERATE/LAW ABIDING
A+. *Returns cart back into store – OUTSTANDING CHARACTER/HIRE THEM
B. *Returns cart to bay, but not into the bay – COMMITMENT ISSUES/LOTS OF UNFINISHED PROJECTS/NOT A BAD PERSON
C-. *Returns cart part way to bay – PROCRASTINATOR/HALF-ASSED EMPLOYEE/ONLY WORKS WHEN BOSS IS AROUND/PHONY
D-. *Leaves cart beside own vehicle and drives away – LAZY/SELFISH/
INCONSIDERATE/WILL POTENTIALLY CHEAT, OR STEAL IF NOBODY IS LOOKING/APPLIES THE “NOT MY JOB” RULE TO EVERYTHING
F. Gives cart a shove away from own vehicle, into the lot, and drives away
THIS IS A VERY LIKELY A CRIMINAL, MAYBE EVEN A FELON
GUARANTEED GOV’T ASSISTANCE/DANGEROUS IN A VARIETY OF WAYS/PROBABLY AT LEAST 5+ KIDS SOMEWHERE
Foolproof? Nope. Pretty damn close after 50+ years of observation? Yep.
Sailing away from NOLA to the Keys
• Jonathan S. writes:
Welcome back! I am happy to report that my buddies and I survived our sailing trip from New Orleans to Marathon FL and back. I know somewhere in the SC universe someone else has far more sailing experience and stories to go along with it, but before I undertook this journey, I have never ventured on such a long over water journey: never taken a cruise and have only done a day offshore in the gulf fishing, let alone take off in a 41ft Beneteau Sloop. I don’t need any comments from any experts on this.
My buddy C bought her right before covid but between that debacle and life getting the way, he has been slow to fully enjoy her. In April he hit me up with “what do you think about sailing down to the Keys in July for the FL mini lobster season? I hear it’s a great time.” With no plans in late summer I was sold. I had no idea what this entailed but I have never shied away from an adventure.
This was C’s inaugural long haul. Like most S.LA outdoorsmen he’s spent a fair amount of time on the water in fishing boats but he got an itch for something bigger so he and his wife Mrs. C enrolled in some sailing classes out of St. Petersburg FL, got certified, and bought their vessel shortly thereafter. He made the inaugural sail out of St. Petes to NOLA with the aid of a certified Captain (18 hour trip) but up until this, had never attempted a multiday haul like this. Our crew was going to be long on training but short on experience.
Fast-forward from the invite to late June and we are getting ready. Became scuba certified because why not? and C & I started finalizing who was going on this journey with us. After discussing with my wife, we decided that she would fly down and meet us in the Keys (a WISE decision for various reasons – none of which meant that she’s not adventurous or tough). We threw a couple of invites out and J took the bait. This was a big consideration because we needed someone compatible and useful and potentially useful in a critical situation. After a couple of planning sessions and making some final reservations down in Marathon we were ready!
We set sail bright and early on Friday July 21st out of the New Orleans Yacht club. Sailing out of NOLA is a chore. It’s a long haul just to get to the “Gulf”. Between the drawbridges, all 3 which we managed to catch down, and the shallow water on the LA coast, it took us about 11 hours to get past the barrier islands and set our heading for Marathon. Spirits were high, it was very warm but the boat provided a steady breeze, and the sails were up.
Once underway and out in the Gulf, traffic dropped considerably. Over the course of 10 total days at sea, we saw less than 10 other vessels away from shore and none closer than 4-5 miles. We took turns on watch rotating between 6am—12pm-6pm-10pm-2am-6am in 24hr period. The ship has auto pilot so it’s a matter of setting course and watching the winds to gain their advantage as much as possible. The ship also has a diesel engine and because of our lack of experience we stored enough fuel to complete the trip under motor if need be, a wise decision in hindsight. For the first 48 hours all was calm. Seas 1-3ft and winds’ avg’d 8-10knots. On night 3 the excitement picked up. I was sleeping topside due to the heat.
At 2am with C on watch the wind and waves picked up. 5-8ft and winds 15knts. We starting making great time. By 6am when I took watch the seats were 10ft+ and the wind was 20knts and gusting. The boat is at about a 30 degree lean, the headsail in front is dipping into the oncoming waves and we are sailing baby! Unfortunately the gusts got us and popped some main sail rigging. We waited a couple of hours too late and lost the use of the main sail. We lowered sails and went to the motor. By the time J took over at 12 the seas were 15ft and the boat is leaning at about 45deg. At some point Mrs C was down below battling sea sickness and tried to get up. While in the galley area a wave threw her off balance and she bounced off the stove pretty hard but she was a trooper. She took her lick, never complained, and went back to bed and we are fortunate she escaped with just a bad bruise to the torso.
Then, while J was sitting behind the wheel and I was dozing on the bench, a large swell caught him unleased to the jack line (aka lifeline) and sent him flying from one side of the ship to the other. We think it was the gear that he knocked overboard that had a hand in preventing a real-life man overboard incident. Fortunately, he stayed on board, and the gear floated so we only got to practice a man overboard drill. By evening things calmed down and stayed very calm the rest of our voyage. The loss of sail power cost us a day as we had to motor the rest of the way and we arrived late Tuesday afternoon.
J’s wife and mine, along with C’s daughter (Go Dawgs!) were waiting for us at the Marina. We were more than ready for 1) A drink (yes he had booze on board but we behaved) 2) a long shower with copious amounts of water & 3) a real toilet and 4) a quality dinner – all in that order.
Wednesday and Thursday were mini lobster season (Spiny Lobster) Between being rookies and some bad thunderstorms costing us a morning each day, we only managed to snag a few. In short, for 2 days before the commercial season opens back up to great fanfare with the commercial fisherman tearing out to sea at midnight on that following Friday under fireworks and plenty of parties celebrating them, rec fisherman can catch up to 6 a day.
We snorkeled for them but some participants use scuba gear for deeper water and some old “baws” with their 40ft center consoles and quad 400s on the back have Air tanks and spooling air hoses built in to allow their parties to suck air below surface chasing these delectable critters. It was quite the thrill once we got the hang of it and either being able to spot them in advance and try to capture them in landing nets or more excitingly, when you jab your tickle-stick (real term) into a likely hiding spot and have a lobster shoot out.
When you are 3 ft away when this happens, they look like world record setters instead of the 3in (thorax length) keepers that they are. In the three days we had to enjoy the Keys we enjoyed good food, lots of good drinks, and as you mentioned in the Monday SC column, observing Florida man and woman never disappoints. I am convinced that the farther south you go in FL, the bigger the characters, with the Keys having the biggest.
By Friday night we had sent the wives back to the airport and prepped for our return. The return trip was calm waters but poor wind. In Marathon, we had the sail rigging fixed by a local. Huge shout out to keysrigging.com A gentleman would be an understatement as he not only made time to help us out and fixed our rigging in under an hour, he tried to refuse payment due to it being simple! C had to insist upon paying him something and damn near shoved the note in his pocket . One thing I learned is much like the TNML, the sailing community really looks after each other!
As mentioned, the return was calm. A couple of nights the water was so calm you could have waterskied in the middle of the gulf. The poor winds cost us time and we finally caught sight of the MS coast Tuesday night. The Beau Rivage in Biloxi can be seen a long ways out on a clear night. We docked back in Nola Wednesday afternoon.
Some other tidbits to pass along:
· We fished both ways and caught several Mahi Mahi (delicious), 1 yellow fin tuna which was promptly cleaned and eaten about an hour after landing it, a couple of bonita and 1 barracuda. The sound of the fish line spooling out was a source of excitement each time
· You want to “get away from it all?” take a long boat cruise way offshore. No cell service out there. We pontificated at times at what news would be awaiting us up a return to land. It was longest I have been off the network since 1997 and the longest I have been out of touch with my family
· We caught no square flounders aka bundles of drugs. We also pontificated on what we would do if we did. Keep it & profit? Keep some and party? Turn it in? What would the SC community do?
· A/C is underrated. Those nights when the humidity was up and the breeze was lacking were quite warm. Same goes for copious amounts of shower water and oval toilets (if you have a round toilet in your house you’re a savage)
· Chatting up the ship owners in marinas equipped to handle their 40ft+/& figure yachts is never dull. It was all I could do not to go all Donnie in “Wolf of Wall Street” and ask them to show me their paycheck that shows “X” and I will come work for you today. When they find out you just spent 5 days sailing across the Gulf from NOLA you get respect.
· Manning the watch during one of the 10-6 am slots gives one a lot of quality thinking time.
· We passed the time sleeping, pontificating on various discussions, fishing, reading, and some card playing.
· We ate well! Just not much as the appetite was suppressed due in part to some light seasickness and the heat. In addition to fresh fish, we packed some pulled pork and brisket, a lasagna, and plenty of snacks. However, upon return I was down 10lbs!l
· Got in a couple of dives on the Keys reefs – absolutely beautiful.
· And one last story. As we returned to the MS coast and entered the InterCoastal channel marked by pylons, J popped his head up from a night’s slumber and promptly gave me shit about passing to close to one of the said pylons. Karma is a bitch as about 4 hours later and in said channel J got lackadaisical and damn near drove the ship straight into another pylon! Imagine us sailing the entire 1,212 nautical miles only to have to tell people that all went well until mile 1,190 when we tried to sink the ship by striking a well marked pylon in broad daylight!
That’s it. Running over my time because one of the boys went off to 5th grade today. It’s a new building. Mrs. Screencaps has some nervous energy around here.
Have an incredible day. Go dominate.