It’s hard to remember now, with the ubiquity of the internet, but it used to be hard to find out about things. Music, for instance. My dad had an extensive music collection, but it wasn’t current. So, I had, growing up, a lot of folk music, some rock with folk roots, jazz (which I didn’t care for), and whatever was on the radio.
If ever I learned about any cool bands, it was because of the good influence of my friend who was here to visit last week, because she had older sisters in Minneapolis and Chicago, where you could go see music the likes of which you would never hear on the radio.
Only once she shared with me “Waiting Room” by Fugazi and I listened to that “I wait, I wait, I wait, I wait” over and over again in my head like it was going to be the antidote to something I couldn’t even name.
I love this video, too, because it still hits me as being something I can’t be a part of but can take great delight in standing outside, watching.
Honestly, to kind of go off on a tangent, I wonder if I am not the anti-Gretchen Wilson. She says
I don’t think anything about country people is ignorant. If your goal is to grow up and stay in the same small town you’ve always been in, work at the corner market and own a double wide trailer on a half acre lot, that’s fine. If that’s your dream that should be good enough for everyone else, too. If you see your life as small, home, community, family, that’s great. I think we’ve lost a lot of that in this country and there’s nothing ignorant about holding onto your values.
And believe me, I hear her. And I get that I probably went to school with a lot of people who felt and feel the same way. But damn, this was the shape of the trap of my life–that life is small and just home and community and family. And I hate it that she’s pushing that as enough for folks. There’s some little girl out there who is a huge Gretchen Wilson fan who needs to hear that the world is bigger than her small town, that it is as big as the one Wilson now lives in.
But, as much as Wilson annoys me with this, I just can’t be mad at her. This is her fairytale–that you can live a good enough life very small. And to be as successful and talented as she is and still telling yourself that story?
It kind of breaks my heart.