The New Dixie Chicks Song

So, well, yes.

I hate it.

I wasn’t sure that it sucked, so I went in to my one Tiny-Cat-Pants-knowing-about co-worker–let’s call her the Guru–and asked her what she thought.

I think it sounds like a bad, angry Sheryl Crow song.  But the Guru really nails it.  She said it’s a terrible power ballad, something you’d expect out of Poison or Warrant, and god damn if she isn’t right.

Listen, I’m all for the Dixie Chicks. If they want to stand in front of England, who is our ally in this craptastic war, and denounce our president for his idiocy, more power to them.  I understand the argument that it was inappropriate for them to do it in a foreign country, but just exactly how foreign is England when it comes to us?

We used to be part of Britain, as you history buffs may recall.  They’re our staunchest ally.  And we trade pop culture back and forth like nothing.  If we can’t talk about our problems with the British and expect them to sympathize, who can we?

But this?  I actually find this song kind of unforgivable.

This ought to be their big ‘fuck you’ to their critics and their enemies and the folks who turned their backs on them and it ought to be their “well, looky here.  Turns out we were right” moment.  This song should be their “Turn the Page” and instead it’s their “To Be With You*.”

They’ve mistaken slowness for seriousness and huge pauses in their delivery for a way of building anticipation.  The Guru says that the verses could not be more flat.  She’s completely right.

I mean, seriously, folks threatened to kill you.  Radio stations banned you.  You threatened to leave country music and never come back.  Everyone thought you’d committed career suicide.

And this?  This is what you come up with out of that?

The words to this section are good:

I made my bed and I sleep like a baby

With no regrets and I don’t mind sayin’

It’s a sad sad story when a mother will teach her

Daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger

 And how in the world can the words that I said

Send somebody so over the edge

That they’d write me a letter

Sayin’ that I better shut up and sing

Or my life will be over

But I think that’s because it is specifically about the incidents that led to the creation of this song.  There’s real power in just coming out and saying what you mean, being specific about what you’re talking about (the verses, I think, lack this).  But the delivery just feels all wrong to me.

And the song kind of plods.  Why are you plodding?  Plodding is for regret.  You claim you don’t regret what happened and you aren’t “ready to back down” so why are you moping through your song?

And, good lord, what’s with the Aerosmith-ian string section?

Do they do remixes in country music?  God, I don’t think they do.

Which is really too bad, because this could be a kick ass song with an entirely different arrangement.  Faster, angrier… more wicked.  More country.

I mean, didn’t they get the memo?  The days of “Just Breathe” are over.  Loretta’s back on TV.  Everyone’s dressing like it’s the 70s in their videos.

You don’t have to leave country to be pissed off.  There are plenty of pissed off women in country music.  In fact, I can’t think of another branch of American music** in which women are given reign to express their anger.  I mean, there aren’t a lot of happy “You Done Me Wrong” songs.

So, in the end, I think that’s what’s wrong with this song.  They’re angry, and rightfully so, but they’re attempting to express that anger in a pop ballad.  There are no pissed-off women in pop ballads, only deeply wounded ones.  And so what should be a fun song full of fury ends up being a slow, mopey boring mess.


*Surely, y’all remember that fucktarded Mr. Big song?

**Aside from rap, which is for urban folks what country music is for rural folks, so that’s no surprise.

Random Small Things

1.  On Saturday, I looked in my bank account and saw that I had $13.95 and that there was a pending authorization for $15.95 due to come out today.  I also saw that, if I transferred money, the bank wasn’t going to post it until today.  So, I put $50 in checking.  But I was still waiting to see if I’d end up in that shitty banking limbo where you overdraw even though you have money in there, because of the order in which shit happens.  But, so far so good.  My money’s in there.  The money that’s coming out hasn’t come out yet.

2.  There’s something to be said about poor people being constantly under police surveillance in a way that non-poor people aren’t that is applicable to banning certain breeds of dogs from the dog parks.  But I can’t figure out how to articulate it.  I mean, pitbulls are very popular among poor people.  They are banned from the dog parks.  Even though most people who go to the dog parks don’t have pitbulls, the people at the Shelby Bottoms dog park will have to tolerate an increase in police scrutiny that folks at the other dog parks won’t, because that’s the park where most of the pitbulls are.  Does that make sense?  There’s something important there, but I can’t quite get at it.

3.  Kleinheider is on fire today.  Just check this shit out.  Watch him as he’s

Advising political candidates how to get their voices out there through the joys of blogging.

Misguidedly claiming that there’s nothing that wrong about pouring money into teaching the Bible in public schools.  He comes very close to almost getting what the problem is–"How many dollars do you need to teach one of the basic texts of Western Civilization?"–but then gets off on some tangent about how we need not worry too much about proselytizing.

Tentatively trying out some feminism.

Taking on the nightmarish nonsense that is this idea that we must go to war with Iran.

Refusing to wear his seatbelt.  Who pays for your hospital bill if you don’t die, Kleinheider?  If the tax payers end up footing the bill for you, shouldn’t we insist you put yourself in safety’s way as much as possible?

Philosophizing about proper blog conduct and when it’s appropriate to delete them (he and I are in agreement–almost never).

4.  Is the problem of grown-ass men who should know better sending naked photos to detectives posing as children a new problem?  An increasing problem?  Or just one that we hear about a lot more because the internet makes it so easy to do and so easy to catch folks?

Still Not Easter

I should have probably been suspicious when the Butcher said that he’d also talked to the recalcitrant brother last night that I was being set up, but I am an idiot at times.

So, the Butcher informs me that it’s Passover.

I’m immediately like "See, I totally didn’t fuck up this Easter shit.  I’m just celebrating historic Easter, not church Easter."

So, I called my dad and left him a message to that effect.

As many of you know, it’s not Passover either.

I’m so not answering the phone when my dad calls me back. 

I’m Sure the Neighbor Has Mixed Emotions

Our neighbor came over to use our phone to call his wife because he’d locked himself out of his side of the cardboard box we call home.

It took the Butcher a matter of seconds to let him back in.

Yep, there’s nothing like that moment when you realize that anybody with a credit card has free entry into your house to give you the willies.

I recommended he start using the deadbolt.

My Body is Not Your Business

Y’all, Katherine Coble and I have our disagreements.  We have very different ways of interacting with the world and very different life philosophies.  But today, I’m totally tempted to drive out to Hermitage and make out with her.  Lucky for her, I don’t have the gas money nor the patience for driving through the construction on I-40.

Today, she blogs about this Winston cat’s blogging about fat people.  She only gets as far as–

I get so tired of these nosy, preachy things. I’m sure Winston is well-meaning when he tells us to eat right and exercise (Gee, thanks! Hadn’t thought of that….).

–and I want to make out with her.

Anyway, I was thinking about how much my lifestyle has changed over the past five years, since I got Mrs. Wigglebottom.  I was thinking about how I used to go to the park and the dog and I would walk up to the first stone wall, not even a fourth of what we walk now, and I’d be dying.  We’d have to rest before we walked back down.  And even when we first started walking the loop we walk now, I’d come home and sit on the couch and that would be it for the day.  I’d be done.

I used to drink two Mountain Dews a day and ate little, if any fruits and vegetables.

Now, I drink Diet Dr Pepper and I eat an apple and baby carrots at lunch most days.   I used to eat meat at one meal a day, if not more.  Now, I usually have meat three times a week.  I walk the dog every morning and take her to the park at least once on the weekend and I walk home from work once or twice a week.

I feel fantastic. 

I look exactly the same. 


And so what?  Fuck it.

I come from a long line of fat people who die of cancer because they smoke.  I don’t smoke.  Maybe I’ll live forever.

And, if not, so what?

Coble, again with the wisdom, says

Did you know that the appropriate portion of meat is the size of a deck of cards, or the palm of your hand? Did you know you burn more calories sleeping than watching TV? Did you know that I, and most fat people I’ve met, are walking encyclopedias of nutrition and exercise facts?

It’s true.  And to what end?  Most of us area still fat.  All this knowledge and we’re all still fat.

We count calories and track pounds and measure portions and deny, deny, deny and for what?  We’re still fat, just now we feel like shit about it?

And really, to me, that’s the most interesting thing–that under all this bogus concern about our health is this constant refrain that, we could cease being fat if only we’d suffer some and, that if we refuse to suffer, we will be punished for it at some point.

You can see it in this Winston dude’s post.

  • "The trend must be reversed, and each of us is responsible for ourselves. No one is going to do it for us."–You must agree to suffer and deny yourself things in order to attempt to lose weight.  And note the religious language, just like we have to walk that lonesome valley by ourselves, we have to lose weight by ourselves.
  • "We are a nation of fat people just waiting for a heart attack to happen. The problem, as widely reported in various media, has reached pandemic proportions. Think of the burden this places on our already out-of-control health care system over the next generation."–Otherwise, you will have a heart attack and you will be forced to pay more for health care.

But this is based on the unexamined assumption that being fat is indeed inherently unhealthy and that being thin is inherently good for you, which means that it’s also based on the unexamined assumption that fat people uniformly benefit from trying to lose weight.

Instead, check out Ampersand’s research in which he reiterates what other studies have shown–that dieting to lose weight doesn’t work–few people actually are able to lose substantial amounts of weight and keep it off– and that yo-yo dieting is much more dangerous for your health than maintaining a steady weight.

Of course, Ampersand isn’t saying that we can all just live on a diet of Cheetos and cigarettes (Britney Spears) and not expect to feel any ill effects, but that, instead, we should focus on being healthy–eating well and getting plenty of exercise–instead of on being thin, which is, after all, not really the same thing.

You can think that fat is ugly and gross.  We all make all kinds of aesthetic judgments all the time.  But at the end of the day, it’s not your business.  How I look doesn’t affect you and you don’t have the right to insist that the rest of the world constantly present you with only "pretty" things to look at.  And you certainly don’t have the right to ask me to endanger my health to set off on a course of action doomed to fail so that you can feel smug about your own abilities to seem to properly control your appetites.

We are not all Puritans anymore.  It’s time to let go of the idea that denial and self-control to the point of personal unhappiness is a virtue and that refusing to is a moral failing.

This is just my body; it’s not a marker of my worth as a human being.  If you can’t see that, that’s your problem, not mine.