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grievance: people "hating" country music

While watching a self-created Scrubs marathon, drinking very spicy Virgin Mar... Marys ? Maries ? Whatever... horseradish is the shit... I decided it was necessary to address this general problem with people's self-proclaimed music tastes.

Why, in response to the question "what kind of music do you like?", do most people respond "everything but country"? Well, I'm assuming an inverse reaction from southerners, but as far as people with whom I come into contact, country has a bad reputation and my purpose here is to debunk the myth that country music equals bad music.

Okay. As I understand it, there are three types of people, with two of the three very-closely related in an important way. The first (and silly) group is people who are passive music listeners. These people are the most inclined to ONLY listen to rap, and go to clubs to dance around. I have no problem with people connecting with music with their bodies (like PROFESSIONAL DANCE) but bumping up against people you find mildly attractive in the dark while Lil' Jon screams "yeah" is not connecting with music. It's connecting with sluttiness and... well, grossness.

The second and third groups are made from people who actively listen to music. Within this group there are people who hook onto lyrics as their connection to the music (which one would think the group I fall into as I'm obsessed with words, but is not the case) and the smaller group who either barely pay attention to lyrics, or see lyrics as secondary to the music and are interested in the melodic and rhythmic composition of songs. To me, it's only natural for this second category to be my home, as I grew up listening to and playing classical music, which either has words in German or Italian or none at all, but I can understand how "normal" people would connect more with the lyrics. And that is why a lot of people claim that some of the music I listen to is "bad." And I'm OK with that... because it's really not. Hanson rules.

Now with that said, I return to my proposal of country music NOT sucking and being angry that people drag it through the mud. Well, the people in the first group can just go to hell, because their taste in music has no real meaning to it. So go ahead. Keep "hating" country because you can't pick up chicks or dudes with it playing in the background.

But for the people in the two groups... I can't get behind this irrational hatred for ALL country music. Yes. I will admit there is some silly, silly, silly stuff out there about beating up your wife, driving your pick-up truck and hating the gays. But how about the normal people who sing and write and play country music? ...Whose lyrics are about love, and the innocence of childhood, and its loss' pain, and love, and understanding death, and... well... love??? Isn't that what all good pop, rock, and (ughhh) R&B music is about ? (Again, I can't acknowledge most rap as legitimate music.) So if you're looking for great, eloquent, beautiful, heartfelt lyrics... they're there. And if you're looking for beautiful melodies and great voices (that incidentally are NOT auto-tuned like most pop and rock music is, because they can actually sing) with beautiful instrumentation with whole ORCHESTRAS sometimes, you've got that too.

So what gives ? Give me a legitimate reason why you people don't like pleasant sounding music or STOP saying "everything but country" with a wry laugh as you agree with each other and respond "OMG me too!" It's old.

Go listen to Deanna Carter's "Strawberry Wine" and tell me that's not a perfectly constructed song.



grievance: politicians on myspace

What is this all about? The area on the log-in page entitled "Cool New People" has always pissed me off, mainly because these people are not really cool, and I have no desire to be friends with them. First of all, why are you automatically "cool" because you just signed up for MySpace? Whatever.

In any event, it only mildly offended me until I started seeing people like Barack Obama and Dennis Kucinich appearing in this area. I understand that the only worthwhile tacit purport of MySpace may be as a marketing tool, because clearly Myspace is a waste of time for others of us. So when MySpace started offering "band profiles," and then "comedian profiles" that were tailored to these needs, with calendars and music players, I was fine with that. But now, bands are so hell-bent on promotion via MySpace that a lot of bands that I know don't even have their own webpages anymore, and just rely on MySpace for that.

But I have a problem with politicians on MySpace. I'm sorry. I just can't do it.

This is not going to solve the problem of the youth of America not voting. Especially because the youth of America is majorly a Democratic base. And as David Keene so succinctly stated, "if the Democrats can't win in 2008, they'll never win."

With that said, I'm not sure that this MySpace propaganda is solely for Democratic appeal, so I'll at least give them credit for using innovative ways to try to appeal to this heavily Democratically-stained youth for the primaries (which I think is crap, incidentally... but I won't get started on my negativity regarding the merging of Conservativism/Republicanism/Religious Right and Liberalism/Democraticness... somewhere, despite his lack of qualification for the job, Giuliani's got it right - I don't understand why I can't hypothetically adhere to a socially liberal platform [I do love the gays] and support Republican fiscal policy]). So okay, they're trying to appeal to the MySpace generation. This is just total fucking crap. Has anyone realized that we are quite a ways away from election? I know all genres of voting come down to something of a popularity contest, but how many people who claim to be on "Team Hillary" or whatever actually even know her policy? Come on. It's the equivalent of someone liking a band 'cause the lead singer's hot.

All I'm saying is that I don't want my future president running for office the way a band tries to get teenage girls to come to their shows. Like, what... is John Edwards going to comment me saying "Thanks for the add!" if I friend him? Or some flash image with sparkles and stars saying "Have a great day!"? It just makes me feel gross.

Politicians spend most of their days raising money for campaigning. This is what they're raising money for? Staff to sit on MySpace all day? Can't wait for whoever eventually grabs this office to send out weekly blogs updating their agenda on health care and foreign policy. Terrific.

I'm moving to France.