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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

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Daniel

For all my tough talk, I'm a sucker for emotional manipulation. Complete sucker. You can hit me with a Disney TV movie and if the characters do the right three-step heartstrings polka, I'll mist up, even though I can see it coming, even though it's often blatant bullshit.

For me it's a particular set of issues (most surrounding sacrifice and redemption) that make me emotional. Other emotional topics have little or no affect, no matter how the artists pounds them. So I've come to suspect that I can always be manipulated to feel what I was predisposed to be emotional about.

bd

i looked up the date on the song--2002-- and was surprised. b/c what i wanted to say was that, given the increasingly conservative climate about abortion, that song would have a difficult time getting airplay today. but things were pretty bad in 2002 as well, and a bit of google-ing reveals that there was, indeed, controversy over the song when it was released as a single, and several stations declined to keep playing it after listener complaints. one complaint--and i paraphrase--was that the two kids in the song just didn't feel bad enough about the decision, despite the song's reference to "paying for your sins." this song is one of the reasons i continue to admire tim mcgraw, even when some of his songs are just plain sappy and kinda dumb.

on the other hand, apparently lots of folks defended the song on the grounds that it was about "real life," which pinpoints precisely what country music does better than any other musical genre--it talks about real life, which is part of sloop's point. it is the only kind of music where there are songs about housework, for instance.

more than angry girl rock--a la alanis morrisette--which is too much about obssessing about how young men treat young women (and i know country does a lot of that as well)lots of country deals with the quotidian injustices of being an adult female--being stuck with the kids, working crappy jobs (remember "Nine to Five?"), doing all the cooking and cleaning, and generally being unappreciated for it (see Mary Chapin Carpenter's "He Thinks He'll Keep Her"). And that's not to mention issues like wife battering (see Martina McBride's "Independence Day" or Garth Brooks's "Thunder Rolls"). I always find it ironic and amusing that country--with the most conservative listening base around--does more to make such issues audible than the cool and edgy alternative music that those who consider themselves progressive and hip tend to listen to.

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