I grew up listening to country music. But as an adult, at least for a time, I have thrown in my theological thoughts with the people who eat avocado toast and read the New York Times. So I have an ambivalent reaction to this video in its evocation of a small-town America defined by trucks, beers, flags, mothers, and Jesus.
What struck me today, and why I thought it belonged on the blog, is the quatrain
“Do you wish somebody had the nerve
To tell that stupid boss of yours
To shove it, next time he yells at you
Well this is country music and we do.”
The whole song, looked at more closely, breathes that same sort of frustration, from the very first line that notes that “you’re not supposed to” talk about cancer in music. (My usually fine-tuned ear for identifying songs is deserting me on this one. Does anyone know what country song is about cancer?) Who keeps you from talking about cancer, mama, Jesus, and all the other topics Paisley relentlessly sings about anyway is left undefined. Probably the same people that eat avocado toast, and are the bosses that country-music listeners hate, and read the Times.(In northern New Jersey, when I lived there, everyone just called it “the paper.” Apparently no one read another one.)Thing is, I’ve read stuff about cancer, beer, trucks, mama, flags, suffering at work, and even Jesus in a lot of surprising places, including “the paper.” (Sadly, no pictures in the online version: trust me that my husband got 2 x 3 column inches of himself photographed lecturing about Jesus to New Yorkers. We should all be so lucky.)
I just wish we all understood each others’ suffering better, at work or out of it.