The CMA Awards are right around the corner and I just have one question for all the fans of country music out there. How do you do it? I don't mean how is it that you like the music. People like what they like. What I mean is how do you listen to it regularly? I know. Some of you are probably ready to jump through your computer to punch me in the head. Just hear me out.
I know country music has a long history of sad songs (Earnest Tubb, Merle Haggard, etc.), but here's the thing. Every new country song that I hear seems like the saddest country song I've ever heard. Whenever I'm in a place where I hear country music, it just seems like one sad song after another with none of the upbeat and fun country songs. That could be just the selections of the people in my proximity. "In Color" by Jamey Johnson is the only one that specifically comes to mind (and I realize that one is a couple years old). That, however, is part of the problem. I don't really remember the names of other songs when it's just a parade of sad songs. After all, how does a man separate one song of misery from another?
The general response to this procession of melancholy is - as Bluto said in Animal House - "to start drinking heavily." Let's face it. Nothing goes together like country songs and drinking. The only thing is that this music inspires drinking like Nicolas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas rather than people that are celebrating the end of another mind-numbing week of work.
It could well be that I'm the oddball. Country music isn't the only thing that I choose not to listen to because it's so profoundly sad. For the same reason, I avoid listening to The Cure and any incarnation of Morrissey (seriously, I can take about five seconds of Morrissey before I reach my threshold). I don't want to be completely bummed out when I listen to music. I'd rather feel like my spirits are being lifted than sucked out of me and stomped.
So tell me, country fans, in the interest of human psychology. How do you do it? How do you listen to a steady stream of depressing songs without it affecting you? I only ask because I don't have that ability.