A Journal of My Mid-Life Crisis
25 October 1998 - An Appreciation of Country Music
People who know me know that I usually say that I like all music except country and rap. I now have something good to say about country music.
You see, I was driving through the Dakotas and every NPR station is doing their fund drive and the only stuff on aside from 437 or so country music stations was Christian radio. So after I'd listened to the tapes I had brought along with me over and over and over (especially as I was held up by road work half the time as it seems that the Great American West is under construction) I found myself listening to country music out of sheer desperation. And I learned what is truly good about it.
You only have to hear the average country song once to be able to sing along with it. Now, this might not seem like a good thing, but being able to sing along with the radio is one of the joys of driving along deserted roads. While I might have preferred some Sondheim (alas, KGIL is now "the music of your life" meaning the music of my mother's life and is no longer "all show tunes, all the time") or a good oldies station (surf music being the ultimate driving music), at least it was something to sing along with.
As for those lyrics - well, here's a sampling of wisdom from the country charts. "You're easy on the eyes but hard on the heart." "I'm pouring straight tequila over mixed emotions." "Life is only therapy - real expensive and no guarantee." Which leads me to the profound insight I had over this. Country music is music to get depressed to.
Next time I do a long driving trip, I am going to bring along every tape I can lay my hands on.
While I am on depressing subjects, the source of all evil in the universe won the World Series as predicted. This does not bode well for either the upcoming impeachment hearings or the latest mideast peace accords. However, it may be good for investors as a lot of Wall Street sorts have aligned themselves with the demonic forces of Yankeedom.
Other slightly depressing subject was that I found I am still capable of falling apart over little things. I had a minor bit of car trouble on my trip - oil pressure light came on and I found the oil to be dangerously low. I added oil and took it in for service the next day, and it seems that the problem was just that it had been way too long since the oil and filter had been changed (since I hadn't really pushed Elliot to do that and hadn't had time before I left L.A.) so it only cost me $20 and a half hour or so. Not a big deal, really, but I had a panicky restless night over it. (This happened about 8 p.m.; after I added the oil, I drove gingerly to a motel and called the nearest Saturn place in the morning, having already called my mother to whine about it as soon as I got to the motel.) The big deal is that I was annoyed with myself over how inept I felt over the whole thing. I know I did the right thing under the circumstances, but I was berating myself over not having gotten the car serviced before I left and all. So much for not sweating the small stuff.
I should probably write something about one of the anime programs Lonny has introduced me to ("All Purpose Cultural Catgirl Nuku Nuku" described as "a warm-hearted tale of a boy, his cat and a major weapons manufacturer"). But all I can think of to say about it is this quote from Oscar Wilde: "Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow." Three cheers for frivolity!
Copyright 1998 Miriam H. Nadel
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