Thursday, March 21, 2013

Awww, I Told You So

Ah, seems like such a short time ago.  I was writing a Can(n)on about the Newtown shooting -- 20 children dead and everyone clamoring for "gun control," and "get the weapons of war off our streets," and such like, and I said, very clearly, that nothing much would be done except for some cosmetic tinkering with additional registration rules, since Americans love their guns more than they do their children.

And, Lo, it cometh to pass.  Senator Harry Reid stripped out the assault weapons  portion from Senator Feinstein's gun bill before taking it forward for a vote.  Reason?  He doesn't think a single Republican and a number of Democrats, fearful of losing their next election in a gun-loving district, will vote to reduce those "weapons of war" on our streets.

The New York Post carried a front page with photos of the dead children and the words, "Shame on US."  Shame?  Not a bit of it.  Not this gun-sick, gun-addicted country.  So, we wait for the next mass shooting.  After all, we've now got a target to go for -- 20 kids.  That's a record and in this country, we love challenges.  So load and lock, America. The game is on. 

Country Song

 When I was young, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and unicorns were plentiful, "country" music was pretty plain, twangy and rootsy as hell.  Bill Monroe and Hank Williams were just getting barely traction with a wider audience, but most of country music was generally considered to be some kind of low-class, hayseed stuff relegated to low-power radio stations in the Bible belt.  But somewhere in there rock and roll started drifting into the Appalachians and when I next looked up, Old Timey country had turned into "country/western" and it had changed from a whiny simplicity (mah dawg died, mah wife ran off with another man, ah'm waiting ta go ta Jesus) into something far more frisky and upbeat and downright witty.

Since our local KYNS station turned into a Faux Noise wannabe, I started listening more to our several Country stations and one thing I began to notice is how unstereotypical and revelatory country lyrics are. I mean, to a latte-sipping liberal progressive like me, I always assumed gender roles in "country" were pretty rigid: big, tough, macho guys and helpless, sweet, little gals, (and of course, dead hound dawgs and a pickup  that won't run.)

Surprisingly, that's not the story that comes out of the songs. Instead, the guys are helpless, sweet, soft and in thrall to their women, without which they'd be nothing but an abject failure, a loser puddle outside the local bar. And you should hear the tender, sweet songs they sing about the love they feel for their little daughters. The word "sentimental" doesn't even begin to cover that tender sweetness.

As for the women, Holy Shit.  They are the macho, rawhide tough, fully self-sufficient, whip-cracking adults riding herd over their errant child-men and willing to go to war if betrayed.  Prime sample: "I'm a Tornado," sung full-throat by a whirlwind Medea in cowboy boots, a vengeful Dorothy whose man has done her wrong and she's baaaaack as a force-10, squared, who's gonna lift up his house, turn it around and bury it deep in the earth . . . with him in it. Yikes!

It's all funny, rich stuff.  And happy feet music, to boot.

On Trial

Is it just me or does anyone else feel that the world would be a better place if the whole murderous "family" that battered Dystiny Myers, should all be wiped off the face of the earth?  Mommy Dearest eating her own children alive and consuming everything around her, Medea in an orange jump suit. Perfect example of what scociopaths and meth can do to people.

And in a surprise move, one of the killers, Cody Lane Miller, who plead out to a 39 year sentence, changed his plea and asked for life in prison, no possibility of parole, because he said he feels he doesn't deserve forgiveness with plea-deal lighter sentence.  If that's a genuine attempt at penance, at least one soul here has a chance at redemption. But what a waste.   


Ron said...

Ann writes:

"As for the women, Holy Shit."

LOVE the women of country music.

From Miranda Lambert's "Fastest Girl in Town":

"My reputation follows me around
Just makes me want to give them more to talk about
Let’s go to town for a little while
I’ll be wearing nothing but a tattoo and a smile

Ain’t no use in trying to slow me down
‘Cause you’re running with the fastest girl in town"

From Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats":

"Right now he's probably slow dancing with a bleached-blond tramp,
and she's probably getting frisky...
right now, he's probably buying her some fruity little drink
'cause she can't shoot whiskey...
Right now, he's probably up behind her with a pool stick,
showing her how to shoot a combo...

And he don't know...

That I dug my key into the side
of his pretty little souped up 4 wheel drive,
carved my name into his leather seats...
I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights,
slashed a hole in all 4 tires...
Maybe next time he'll think before he cheats."

GREAT stuff.

Yee-HAW... makes this country boy wanna go shootin' out in them thar hills!

Alon Perlman said...

Country music? Perhaps it needed to evolve.
As for the Ol’ timey stuff – like the man says “ All our songs are just old folks tales set to music”
But that may be out of current Genre,
Still what you are describing is a new stereotype, not a lack of a stereotype.
Main thing is you have something to listen to while driving that doesn't set your teeth on edge.

Churadogs said...

Ron, yes, aren't those lyrics fun! Witty, clever, it is indeed lively stuff. And Alon, yes, "new" stereotype, but the lyrics certainly paint a far different picture from, say, the movie/western/magnolia-laced "south," etc. These ladies, from from wearing aprons and baking cookies and 'standing by their man, are tough customer keying his 4X! (Another interesting indication about hos "rich" country/western life has become, old timey music sang of grinding toil, exhaustion, unemployment, unremitting poverty and want; new timey music sings of the glories of very expensive new trucks and having enough energy to head out to the bar after work to dance all night and gulp down expensive beer. My, my, times have certainly changed in Country.

FOGSWAMP said...

"Happy feet music, to boot" .... great way to describe my (slightly biased) opinion of a true country music icon from North of the border, namely Canadian country-folk singer & songwriter "Stompin' Tom Connors".

Check this guy out at & click on "brief history" ( I'm not smart enough to make the link live).

Connors just passed on last week at the age of 77.

This guy literally put Canada on the map with his witty humor with such songs as "The Hockey Song", "Sudbury Saturday Night", "Bud The Spud", "Tillsonburg", "Big Joe Mufferaw" & countless others.

He ran away from his foster home at the ripe old (Canadian) age of 13, hitchhiking across Canada with his guitar. Got his big break when he was five cents short for a beer in Ontario & the bartender offered to let him play. That's when his career took off.

Some of the many accolades he received include becoming an Officer of the Order of Canada (not sure what that is), his own Canadian postage stamp, the Governor Generals Performing Arts Award, both the Queens Gold & Diamond Jubilee Medals.

He even earned 3 honorary doctorate degrees!

Connors earned his nickname from his habit of stomping the heel of his left boot while keeping his song's time.

Churadogs said...

Fogswamp, Interesting! Thanks for the background. Had never heard of him. Stompin Tom's compilation CD is on sale on Amazon for $518. You read that right. $518.
Yikes. Yee Haw, indeed!