Country Mouse City Mouse 12-13-10
“All the Whos down in the country liked country music a lot, but the Grinch, who lived in the city did not. The Grinch hated country music – the whole country music esthetic. He just didn’t like it. It wasn’t copacetic. It could be, perhaps, that his boots were too tight. Or maybe he thought rock ‘n’ roll was just right. But I think that the best reason of all may have been that despite trying, trying, trying and trying to like country music, nothing would change his opinion that it’s just plain ‘ol’ bad, bad, bad and more bad!'”
What can I say? I really tried. I rode my horse with the boom box playing the country station, “The Wolf” hoping to find that something I might be missing as I embraced the Western, horsy lifestyle. Like athletes who need to do pre-game warmups to get into the right mindset, I’d turn on the country station while driving out to my horse. Keeping an open mind, I learned that “Chicken Fried” and “Ride a Horse Not a Cowboy” had some potential: This isn’t so bad. I can do this. I even programmed the radio station into an automatic button for quick selection. Not only did I have the right boots, I had the right music!
Exposed early to the country music genre with the “Hee Haw Show” on Saturday nights, I sort of liked Mini Pearl with her price tag hanging on her hat and the strumming banjo players. But, I wasn’t going to sacrifice “The Love Boat” (on the other channel) for some staged hay bales and old fiddle players!
Sadly, I don’t see the country music of today as authentic as it once was in the Johnny Cash, Buck Owens, Gene Audrey, and Hank Williams days. Today’s cowboy-hat-wearing pretenders have never actually worn a cowboy hat for the real reason one needs one. They really are just hiding their bald patches and posing for self-absorbed music awards. The country music of today seems to be about selling an artificial lifestyle along with over-sized pick-up trucks, line dancing and those ridiculous hanging truck nuts rather than speaking of the problems, hopes and feelings of a community.
Then there are the topics covered by these pseudo-cowboys: Drinking, Jesus, and their Girl, whom by the way, just broke up with him. (See above under bald patch as to probably why). In other words, slick commercial pop with telecaster twang and pedal steel guitar. It is all about style over substance. An Achy Breaky Heart? Taylor Swift? Really guys?
If you go on the Internet and type in “I hate country music” you will get a plethora of websites devoted to the topic. (I know, I tried this.) You can even join a Facebook page devoted to despising country music! There are a lot of people out there who just don’t want to listen to “story-music,” like, for example: How a guy has a truck and meets a girl who likes someone else and forgets his gun at the bonfire because he had too many beers and now the girl likes him because his jeans fit just right and he saved a horse but is unemployed although he’s praying hard that his mama won’t forget to make his favorite apple pie because it’s Friday night but his buddy just got divorced and hopefully after dancing the hokey pokey they’ll have some beers and everything will be all right.
To be fair, to quote the Grinch again, “One thing I can’t stand is the noise, noise, noise, noise!” In other words, I don’t care much for any kind of music. When I want to ride my horse outside, I want to hear the birds, the wind in the grasses and hear my own thoughts. I don’t use headphones as an umbilical cord. And when I shop, I don’t need to be serenaded by overly produced country music or sugary pop songs. Sometimes I want to yell from a cliff to the noisy world, “Shut up!” But then again, no one would hear because they have headphones on.
Either turn it off or bring back the classic “Tumblin’ Tumbleweeds” song and then maybe I’ll reprogram my radio although I stop at doing the Line Dance.
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