Spoiler alert: If you are a fan of country music, you’ll probably get really p***ed off at me.
So I was driving back from Dallas to Wisconsin with my parents after visiting family, and we’re driving straight through like we always seem to do. I take the wheel on the last leg of the trip, through the worst weather, thinking they’ll get some shuteye. But they don’t. They love country music, to the point where they won’t ever listen to anything else and need to have it on all the time. Normally I’m not one to make a fuss about it, because everyone else in the family (besides me) loves it too, and I don’t listen to it when I’m by myself. So let them have their choice in music, I’m a nice guy. (Or maybe I’m just a huge (rhymes with wussy).)
But we’re driving through Illinois, they’re changing to the next country station every time the current one even begins to fade. They have it up loud. And there’s this one new song coming up about once an hour. “I Love Country Music?” “This Is Country Music?” I don’t know, I don’t care, and I wouldn’t get caught dead Googling it. It’s the one that starts out with how you’re not supposed to say anything about cancer, Jesus, etc.
The thing that gets me about this song (and really a lot of these songs over the past 10-15 years) is how these country people are making themselves to be so freakin’ superior because they’re country, and trying to lay a guilt trip on anyone who isn’t that way. I mean, I’m a decent guy. I think cancer is tragic and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but it’s not the only bad thing in the world that needs to be addressed. I’m Catholic, and I’m very serious about my faith, but I’m also fairly private about it and realize I can’t press it on everyone. I believe in free will. And don’t even get me started on the part where the guy gets killed in battle and the mother’s crying about it on the phone (complete with cadence - I can’t stand when songs use that).
I mean, I grew up in the early 80s when the outlaw stuff was still pretty widespread. They knew they were country but at least they had a sense of humor - fairly dark at times - about it (see David Allan Coe’s “You Never Even Called Me By My Name”, prime example). But country now is so sanctimonious towards non-country fans and so relentless about shaming even decent people into becoming more like them that it’s just become unbearable. I withstood it my entire life because other people chose the station on the radio first, and they were driving or they were working in the room. But I was driving, and I had to listen to this stuff nonstop, and that’s what broke my tolerance. I can’t stand it, and I will never listen to it again. I will turn it off if I walk into a room and people are playing it, and I don’t care how they react.
Rant over. Thank you for letting me get this off my chest.