Thursday, February 20, 2014


     It's final. I'm going to have to stop listening to my country western station in the car. This morning on my way to work, the first song I heard was about beer. The second song I heard was about beer. The third song I heard was about, you guessed it, beer. The fourth song I heard was about following your arrow, and how when you get stressed, light a joint. And to round it off, the final song, before I turned into the parking lot at school, was Keith Urban's "Cop Car." For those of you that haven't heard this song it's about a guy who falls in love with a girl in the back of a cop car. Really? Have we sunk so far that no one can write a decent song? Maybe a song about something other than beer and getting arrested, and glorifying both?
     I knew it going in. I admit it. I knew country western music was always about the sad life: the girl leaving the guy, the guy's dog dying and on and on. And don't get me wrong. There are still good songs out there. Patriotic songs, well written love stories, songs with beautiful instrumentals (I must say, as I get older I am being drawn to a well played acoustic guitar and even the new age banjo.) And these are why I started to listen to country western. I especially liked the fact that you can hear the music and I used to think it was a good thing that I could hear the words in the song. Now I'm not too sure that's a selling point for me.
     Maybe I am not the target market for this genre of music. I am a 58 year old white woman from California. Most of the songs tend to focus on the young men of the world. The ones with little responsibilities and the time to spend a whole day drinking beer on the end of a pier or on a hill top overlooking their hometown or the ones that frequent bars. According to the country music lyrics, this population of young men must be the target market.
     So this begs the question...why am I listening to it? The answer is simple. I cannot find, in my semi-rural area, a decent radio station that better caters to me. I used to listen to a modern rock station that I liked for quite a few years. And then someone came in and bought the station and the format changed. Not much, but enough for me to only like every third or fourth song. This was not worth my effort, so I switched.
     One might say, "Well, get yourself an ipod and create your own music station." I have an ipod. I have downloaded hundreds of songs that I like: country western and rap, modern rock, golden oldies like the Beatles, Elvis, the Beach Boys. I play these songs in my class room as the students are writing or working on projects. But that doesn't give me the radio personalities. I enjoy the jokes, the little contests, the camaraderie of the DJ's. It makes my morning light and the drive to work less tedious.
     What to do? What to do? I guess I'm either going to have to buck it up and succumb to my country western side or be satisfied with only one song out of four. Or, here's a thought...maybe I'll switch to a talk show. Hard to sing to but maybe I'll learn something. My brain will have to work. It's so early in the morning...heavy sigh...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Double Negatives

     I know I haven't blogged in a while. And I hate to start back now with a rant. But I just can't help it! I might scream.
     It has been bothering me for some time now that the world (and by world I mean singers of all genres, the general public and yes, even the news media) is talking and singing with more and more double negatives.
     "We don't have no where to go."
     "She don't love me no more."
     "I never get no love."
     ACK! As the Sunday comics' character Cathy might say. Only I really want to say more.
     Maybe it is because I am an English teacher, but I don't think so. But it could be that because I am constantly correcting (and I am talking daily, hourly, by the minute sometimes) my students. They look at me like I'm crazy. I tell them, "Please don't sound like you are unintelligent." (and sometimes, depending on my mood, I even use the word stupid. I'm sorry. Not really.)
     People who are educated do not use double negatives. Even if you come from a part of the country where the dialect uses double negatives, one can train oneself not to use them. Pretty easy. I don't know why country western singers, especially, use them. They make themselves targets for the argument that all Southerners sound stupid.) Let's face it, a great many country western singers come from the South. It's a fact.) And don't they want to set a good example for the young people that listen to them? Or are they just in it for the money? Hey, if it sells, it must be good? They are ruining my enjoyment of their talent and instrumental prowess. I'm going to have to change the station before I hear one more double negative and run my car off the road...into a deep ditch. My luck: the radio would be the only thing that survives and I would have to listen to the singers and their double negatives for days while somebody finds my mangled and broken body. Or worse yet, they would be the last thing I hear before I die...
     So why are people still using double negatives?
     (Sigh...) I don't got no idea.