Implied Dissent

Thursday, August 28, 2003

I'd like to take a moment to talk about one of the best artists in American music, Mr. Johnny Cash.

Often referred to as "The Man in Black" Johnny Cash has been writing and recording his unique music for decades. Among his most famous songs are "I Walk The Line," "Folsom Prison Blues," and "A Boy Named Sue."

Johnny's latest album features his re-interpretation of the Nine Inch Nails Song "Hurt." His rendition is so powerful that I have cried listening to it. The only thing more emotional is the music video, directed by Mark Romanek who is also the genius responsible for, among others, Janet and Michael Jackson's "Scream" video. The video is simple and beautifully photographed, depicting Johnny at home, singing and playing "Hurt" while he wife of 35 years (and an amazing musician in her own right) June Carter Cash looks on. The scene is made more poignant by the knowledge that she passed away a few months after filming. Interspersed with this heart-wrenching image are images from Johnny's long career, showing the Man in Black before the onset of the nervous system disease autonomic neuropathy that cripples him now.

I am a fan of pop culture, but do not take it overly seriously, so it will not come as a surprise that I have, up until now, ignored this year's MTV Video Music Awards. I discovered this morning, however, that "Hurt" has been nominated six times, including a nomination for Best Video of the Year. The video is dark and serious and features an artist in his 70s - not typical MTV fare. I congratulate the VMAs for appreciating such a fantastic work of art. I'll be rootin' for you, Johnny!


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