I am not a fan of country music. Ironically, many country musicians espouse political and social views that are similar to mine, and for that reason alone I’d like to show their art a little love, but there’s something about that music genre in general that makes me want to projectile vomit, cry, and drive my car off a bridge all at the same time.
I don’t know if my loathing is born out of being trained in classical voice- it might be hard for some to imagine, but I enjoy opera and have actually performed a few arias in my time. The most important part of classical training isn’t so much about style as it is control- learn the control and you can adapt to any style. I also enjoy rock and heavy metal (especially the more orchestral types of rock/metal) and have been known to (long time ago) cover everything from Rush to the Scorpions to Stevie Nicks and even some Led Zeppelin. I have a broad vocal range so I can get away with pretty much any style I want. I actually enjoy most music (except for rap, which is simply loud drug-induced glorification of cop-killing and sister-raping) including some country-related genres such as bluegrass (as long as they don’t sing) and blues and jazz. I even find David Allan Coe hilarious, mostly because his music is gloriously politically incorrect and he will lampoon anything, but start in with the “achy, breaky heart” stuff and you lost me.
Unfortunately, Jerry adores the country music that I can tolerate the least- the really old time twangy, sad sap songs about dead dogs and Momma gettin’ drunk and Daddy beatin’ all the youngin’s. He likes to crank it up when he’s wasted, which is usually at night when I’m at least attempting to get some sleep. This is not the country music that is a bit less odious, the kind you can almost mistake for pop. It’s the kind of music that if you play it backward you get your truck back, your old lady back, the train un-runs over Momma, and you end up with a fifth of Jack Daniel’s in the bargain. I can’t stand it. I’ve tried to make myself tolerate it, but the love’s just not there. Maybe you have to get drunk to appreciate it. The only way I can appreciate it is when it’s turned off.
Something about that “Achy, Breaky Heart” song makes my IQ drop just thinking about it.
When I worked in some of the rural dealerships I had a few techies who insisted on blaring that awful stuff out in the shop. I responded by cutting the breaker to their power strips so their jamboxes wouldn’t work. Once they figured that out, I came in early and re-tuned all their jamboxes to the classical station. Classical music in general (but especially Mozart) is good for the analytical mind, and some of those six-fingered yokels could use a little help with that. At least after my re-tuning the oat opera lovers decided that they would humor the old bitty and listen to the Oak Ridge Boys, Hank Williams, and Boxcar Willie with headphones.
It seems that the only people group out there that is acceptable to lampoon these days is the Redneck Nation. Perhaps my distaste of Waylon Jennings, et al is a way of distancing myself from my redneck heritage. I have to admit though, that I’m not that far removed from the trailer park. Poor white folks are poor white folks after all. I may not care much for NASCAR, (stock car racing has to be the most inane “sport” ever) either, but at the end of the day, yeah, I still believe in God, the US Constitution, guns, and guts. The alternatives to those aren’t panning out so well.
I also refuse to get tattooed. I’ve played around with the thought of having eyeliner tattooed on but I don’t like the thought of someone getting that close to my eyeballs with a needle. I have a lot of friends with tats, and as far as I’m concerned, to tat or not to tat is a personal decision. I still envision those horrid monstrosities- really bad sailor’s tattoos- on my Grandpa’s forearms. I can’t imagine they looked good when he had them done when he was 18 and in the Navy- in 1943. In 2006, when he was in the assisted living center, right before he died, they were positively frightening. I knew there was a reason why he wore long sleeved shirts, carefully buttoned at the wrists, even in high summer. He was a railroad executive for many years after he had served in the Navy- and didn’t want anyone to know he had those horrid tats. That would be my luck. I would end up with something positively embarrassing and hideous, like my best friend in high school who had her boyfriend’s name (Ray) tattooed across her back in huge letters. When she broke up with him, his name was still there, to remind God and everyone. I suggested to her that she modify her back and add the letters BESTOS- and see if she can get paid to advertise brake pads. That got me a punch in the arm.
I find it hard to imagine this dude ever finding gainful employment, unless he can wear a ski mask, or keep the bag on his head all day.
It used to be that people had some manners. Not anymore. I can play that game too, and in some ways I do. The next time Jerry decides to drop a load when I’m brushing my teeth (we only have one bathroom- acck!) and neglects to flush and spray, so my toothpaste ends up tasting like “shit with a hint of mint,” I’m going to leave some dog bombs under the seat in his truck. And I’ll set all the presets on the truck stereo from “Country Torture 105” to the classical station too, since he doesn’t know how to change them.
Country is to music like Homer Simpson in a muu-muu is to fashion. Humorous and nauseating at the same time.