About Ben Wilder

Since 2005, I've called Nashville home. I'm the leader of the pack, which includes a 8-year-old beagle and a 6-year-old blue heeler mix. My days include writing, video editing, dog boarding, and other fun activities. Thanks for checking out my blog, I hope you enjoy it!

CMA Awards: Bro-country vs. Bra-country

I can’t say whether the tides are changing in country music but if you use the recent CMA Awards as any sort of example of what country music is like today, you may notice who wasn’t there.

Remember back in the early to mid-2010s when “bro-country” became a thing? Artists like Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, and others all had hit songs that were somewhat generic and formulaic with lyrics about drinking or dancing girls or backroad parties. Obviously there was success in that subject matter, but there was also a lot of pushback from traditional country music fans and well-known country artists.

Fast forward to 2019, the 53rd annual CMA Awards airing on ABC and featured no, not bro-country, but a heavy dosage of bra-country. The women of country music! Get it? Bra… women… women wear bras? It’s just a little diversion from bro-country to remind us all that bra-country is great! The CMA Awards was hosted by the amazing trio of Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, and Carrie Underwood and if you didn’t get a chance to see the fantastic opening number, here it is.


I’m sure fans were happy to hear and see a lot of more traditional country being showcased, celebrating legendary women in country music, and not hearing the likes of Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, and Jason Aldean… none of whom were in attendance.

If you want to read a full recap of the show performances click here.

Concerning those CMAs, I was really only surprised by a couple things…

  1. Garth Brooks winning Entertainer of the Year. Grady Smith says it best here…


Actually, that’s it. I was surprise by one thing. Garth. Over Eric Church and Carrie Underwood. Come on! Like Grady is, I’m also a fan of Garth Brooks, but it definitely seemed like he just swooped in and took the award away from others who genuinely deserved it.

I also don’t like Kacey Musgraves, there, I said it. But she’s a big part of the bra-country movement and if the future of country music is how the CMAs looked this year… I’m back in! I love most of the women featured on the show, plus I love Eric Church, Little Big Town, Miranda Lambert (I almost dated her, you know), Dierks Bentley, and plenty of others.

Have a good weekend, y’all!

-Out of the Wilderness

Man Known For Being Only Christian Who Hasn’t Listened To Kanye West Album Speaks Out

Omaha, Nebraska — Kanye West’s new album “Jesus Is King” has listeners all over the globe in a full trot with excitement, and it’s topping nearly every chart, even debuting at #1 on the US Billboard 200.

Christians have been very vocal about their support of Kanye’s gospel album. A quick check on Twitter or Facebook and you’ll quickly realize there is nothing but Psalm-like praise for the entirety of the record, from the east coast to the west coast and every coast in between. Well, almost every coast.

“I’ve never really been a rap guy.” This kind of statement is taboo in Christian circles since the release of “Jesus Is King,” but a Nebraska man known as the only Christian who hasn’t listened to, and loved, Kanye West’s new album is ready to face his critics.

Meet Trevor Gaines. “Kanye seems like a nice enough guy. I can’t say whether I’d vote for him in 2020, or 2024, you know?” Mr. Gaines is, of course, referring to news that broke this morning of Kanye West’s plans to run for US President in 2024.

“Politics aside, I’ve gotten a lot of backlash for not checking out [Kanye’s] new music. In fact, last Sunday when I went to drop my offering in the plate, I was told to stop, to instead use that money to download ‘Jesus Is King’. I think I heard someone whisper ‘WWJD.’ Well, I don’t know exactly what Jesus would do, you know? Does he like rap music? Look what’s in the Bible. Psalms is basically the journal of a struggling singer/songwriter… and that’s in the Bible.”

At the time of publication, Trevor has yet to listen to a single track from “Jesus Is King.” Friends and family, as well as church-goers in his community, are praying for him and urging him to repent.

-Out of the Wilderness News

 

Favorite romantic movie endings

For the longest time I’ve thought of myself as a sucker for a good romantic comedy. It’s true, rom-com’s are my favorite movie category, and I’m only a little embarrassed to say that! As a dude, shouldn’t I like action or gory films or just straight comedies? I don’t know, I like what I like. So now that I’ve confessed this to you, here’s a list of a few of my favorite romantic movie endings, and I’ll try hard to pick out a favorite scene from each.

The Wedding Singer

Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler in their 329th movie together but this one is set in the 1980s. Most romantic scene in the movie is in the airplane with Adam singing to Drew, with the help of Billy Idol… a very very memorable moment.


Elizabethtown

This whole movie is amazing. If you haven’t seen it, take a couple hours one night and let yourself be immersed in the humor of life in the south- crickets chirping at night, screened porches, big family gatherings, and romance! Towards the end there’s a scavenger hunt of sorts involving Kirsten Dunst and Orlando Bloom, and it’s an amazingly romantic way to wrap up the story. This movie is in my top 3 all time favorites.


Serendipity

The beautiful Kate Beckinsale stars in this along with John Cusack. A story of fate, chance, and doing everything you can to find “the one,” I really like this movie! My favorite scene, without giving too much away, is when the guy (John C) opens up a particular book and finds her (Kate B) name written in it. That’ll make more sense if/when you seen the movie, but it’s a really heart-stopping moment.


Hitch

Will Smith and Kevin James… need I say more? OK, I will. It’s got a fantastic cast including Eva Mendes and Amber Valletta. Amber is also the star of this Keith Urban music video. The movie is equal parts comedy and romance, and has a really great ending. My favorite scene…

Will: “Where are you going?”

Kevin: “Skydiving!”


Never Been Kissed

Another Drew Barrymore movie, also set in the 80s, but this time she’s an adult posing as a student to find out more about what popular life is like. Also stars David Arquette as a funny popular guy. Great movie, and this one is my #1 music to movie combo. The scene where Drew is on the baseball field standing on the pitcher’s mound waiting for her love interest to arrive… the countdown clock hits 0 and the guy doesn’t show up… major letdown… crowd is deflated, as is Drew…. then from the furthest end of the bleachers, teacher comes briskly down the steps to the Beach Boys “Don’t Worry Baby” and it’s quite the moment! Whoever thought to use that song in that moment, major kudos to you. That’s the best scene, capped off with this exchange…

Teacher: “Sorry I’m late, it took me forever to get here.”

Drew: “I know what you mean.”


Dan in Real Life

Steve Carrell in a more serious role, although very likable and still funny at times. This movie builds and builds and by the end, you’re cheering so much for Steve’s character. The best scene is a song by Steve and Dane Cook. Such a deep moment for Steve’s character…

 


Enchanted

Amy Adams is a cartoon princess who gets whisked away into a physical 3-dimensional world (the one we live in, ya know?) and it’s so charming and funny. Her character is really cute and by the end, she’s in love but not with a cartoon prince. The scene I remember the most (besides the squirrel going “bloop, bloop, bloop!” with the ice tea) is a dance featuring a great song by Jon Mclaughlin. The song steals the moment, but the romance is real, too.

 


Jerry Maguire

I don’t suppose you can have a list of romantic movies without including this one. “You had me at hello” became a phrase everyone and their mother knew, along with “You complete me.” Of course, there was also “Show me the money!” but that one wasn’t quite as romantic as the former quotes. Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger are the two sharing the romance, and it’s a great movie.  I’d say it’s in my top 10 because it combines humor, sports, and love. Here’s the scene that’s uber lovely…

 

Thanks for checking out my list! What are some of your favorite romantic movie endings?

-Out of the Wilderness

 

CNN Hosts Debate on Phrases That Have a Lot of Vowels

New York City, NY — Hosts of an afternoon CNN political program got into a lengthy debate yesterday when the topic of “quid pro quo” came up. Producers of the live show were thrown for a loop when the four experts diverted into a realm of discussion not typically suited for a CNN show.

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“Next up for discussion was their thoughts on ‘quid pro quo,’ because that’s something Americans care about,” said associate producer Geoff Garcia. “But then it got a little weird.”

In a surprise move, Anne Moore counted aloud the number of vowels in ‘quid pro quo,’ which she declared to be five. Why she did this is still unclear, but Bill Williamson followed it up with his take on other phrases that contain a lot of vowels. Here’s a partial list they came up with:

Under the weather (6)

The coast is clear (6)

Barking up the wrong tree (7)

Across the board (5)

By hook or by crook (5 or sometimes 7)

Neither here nor there (8)

Things got a little tense when Ron Thompson chimed in with “I could eat a horse.” His three colleagues believed this offering from Ron crossed a line, because, as Anne Moore said, “we here in the US don’t eat horses, OK?” Ron was apologetic stating that he was only trying keep up, not that he would ever actually eat a horse.

CNN brass caught wind of the statement and quickly cleared up the matter. An insider who spoke under conditions of anonymity said upper level management asked Ron only one question concerning the horse comment. “We’re not going to beat around the bush. How would you feel if President Trump were to be impeached, and had to leave office?” Ron replied he’d be “over the moon.”

Ron was reinstated, promoted, featured on the cover of People magazine, and is now up for a Nobel Peace Prize.

-Out of the Wilderness News

Maroon 5 “Memories” music video great, except for one strike against it

I heard this song on SiriusXM for the first time a few days ago and wow, it’s one of those songs you almost need to pull off the road and just listen. It’s that good. Perhaps it hits harder if you can relate, and perhaps it’s unfortunate if you can relate… because loss and the void loss sometimes creates really stinks! Let’s avoid all that sadness and talk about the video…


You know, I’ve always thought to myself something like this, “If you have a good song and a good voice, you don’t need anything else.” I’m thinking of concerts that have pyro, flashing lights, huge set pieces, etc… all to entertain the audience. That’s all well and good, but there’s something to be said when someone like Jack White takes the stage and it’s just him, a mic and a few guitars, and that’s enough. Know what I mean? It goes for music videos, too. A music video can make or break a song. There have been plenty of songs that I didn’t like as much after seeing the music video. On the flip side, there’s a video like Kenny Chesney “Anything But Mine,” that makes the song a thousand times better…


So this video from Maroon 5 fits in with that idea perfectly. Any kind of flashy or heavily edited video would only distract from the beauty of the song. So it’s just Adam Levine singing to the camera, very close up, with an extremely slow camera pull out to reveal a little more of Adam, shoulders and up.

I honestly believe anything else they put together, short of home video clips, would have just taken away from the song’s power.

Screen Shot 2019-11-06 at 9.06.30 AMI do have one complaint and this can be fixed in a few seconds. On the Maroon 5 YouTube presentation of this video, it ends with “For Jordi” but here’s the problem… that tribute is covered by YouTube video suggestions. A powerful ending for this video is missed, or maybe a better word is destroyed, by distraction.

Evenso, this video is great and I have a sneaky suspicion this song is going to end up in my top 10 all-time favorites.

-Out of the Wilderness

Study shows fish discouraged by evolutionary process

Pensacola, FL — Ichthyologists doing research on the behavior of fish in the gulf region, just off the coast of northern Florida, have been perplexed for months by the apparent mood changes of many vertebrates in the area.

“We’ve seen fish change behavior based on environmental factors, predator stressers, and the like, but we haven’t seen anything quite like this before,” says scientist Joseph Blaylock. “Entire schools of fish swimming slowly, with no apparent direction, some were even documented as having ‘sad faces,’ so we’re conducting more research to find out what might be causing this.”

A few factors that might make a fish to look “sad,” or frown, are big sharks in the area, getting hooked by a fishing line, losing Nemo, or watching your best friend turn from a mermaid to a human and leave forever.

Marine biologists have been brought in to study the sounds heard amongst some of the fish in the gulf. Primarily studying the fish who appear downcast, communication between them has an eary similarity to a minor key in music.

Progress took a leap forward yesterday when a stack of paper was found floating near a school of mopey mullet. It was nearly tossed aside until some of the writing caught the eye of a few biologists on the research boat. The spelling was very, very poor, but was in English, much to the delight of all on board. The note was written by Yerlstey the Mullet, Jr., and can be summarized by extreme disappointment that they have yet to turn into humans. Pages two and three mentioned all the fun they see humans doing, from jet-skiing to parasailing, kayaking, boating, using arms and legs, talking, laughing, hugging, snorkeling, breathing air, all things fish in the area cannot do.

The last page, page four, ends with an honest question: “Can’t we at least get to lizard status? Having little legs and feet would be a real game-changer for us.”

Although the sentiment of the underwater dwellers tugged on the hearts of those who heard the plea, there’s ultimately nothing these scientists can do. In a handwritten note addressed to Yerlstey the Mullet, Jr. and friends, a response:

“We’re sorry you are still fish. The process of evolution takes millions of years, so although those reading or hearing this note won’t be turning into humans during your lifetime, but on the bright side, a lot of humans are becoming vegan. This means they won’t eat you or your family.”

Scientists weren’t exactly sure this was the right angle to take with the fish, but blamed their years of schooling and lack of social interaction on however their note might have sounded.

-Out of the Wilderness News

 

Activist student drops bombshell on university faculty

Los Angeles — Earlier this week, University of Southern California student Abby Thompson took to social media expressing her distaste for some of the faculty and staff at the private college.

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Administration takes comments like this very seriously, especially in the #MeToo era, so when they were made aware of the vague accusation, an investigation began immediately.

Leading the inquiry as to what happened was well-known and highly-regarded Ethics in Society professor Linda Shultz. She has a history of getting to the bottom of things and was eager to make things right with this student, given the fact that the student is a woman and whatever she is upset about is probably true, because otherwise, why would she have said anything?

It was quickly known what the matter was pertaining. Abby Thompson felt attacked in her Basic Communications course as the syllabus stated the course started every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9am.

Class instructor Tom Treadwell said, “I’ve been teaching this class for 7 years now, and this is a first for me. We start the class at a certain time on a certain day, and students sit in whatever seat they want. I’m still not sure what exactly the problem is.” He went on to say the day of the incident Ms. Thompson was irate, and stormed out of the class chanting “My body! My choice!”

Linda Shultz was able to sit down with Abby to get her side of the situation. The official report is about one page double spaced, mostly consisting of dates and locations, witness statements, and of course it includes Abby’s complaint. According to the document made available exclusively to OTW News, Abby was offended and insulted when she read in the syllabus that students were to report to room 309 (location of the class for the entire semester), by 9am.

“This is so sexist! How can he tell me what to do with my body? It’s my body! If I don’t want to take my body to class at 9am, no man is going to tell me otherwise. I can’t believe this is happening in 2019.”

Once learning of the reason for Abby’s extreme dislike of having to attend a class at a particular set time in order to get credit for that class, she quickly dismissed the investigation and became embarrassed on behalf of all women everywhere.

Asked for her reaction, Abby simply said, “Men are the problem.”

-Out of the Wilderness News