Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Country Music

Country music is an acquired taste. I've never met anyone who said they loved it the first time they tried it, but after they get caught up in it, it takes control of their lives to the point where they can't survive without it. Like addictive drugs, country music has a dulling effect on the human mind, and after a while, people confuse their state of disorientation and dizziness for an actual fondness toward the thing that originally caused them to gag.

I've been offered country music on many occasions by people who I thought were my friends. Even family members have tried to lure me into the inescapable, brain-cell-killing trap of country music. They've said things like, "Here, let me just play this one song for you... I think you'll like it." One song? Is that all you want me to try? Yeah, I bet... and the next thing I know, you're changing the radio presets in my car and buying me country CD's for my birthday. Then a year from now I've given up the will to fight, and my life sounds like a never ending hoedown. I've seen so many lives ruined by this kind of dependency on country music... so, no - I won't listen to "just one song." I don't need country music to be happy.

If my feelings on country music have outraged you so much that you don't even want to visit my blog anymore... please, before you leave, take a moment to consider what's causing this passionate response. Haven't I said terrible things about puppies, bears, sharks, killer whales, and everything else? And the most you've ever done is thought, "I feel sorry for his wife." Your intense devotion to country music over everything else should be an indication to you that you do, in fact, have a problem. If country music was taken from you, how much would you pay to get it back? You would steal country music from your family, wouldn't you? Look what you've become!

That being said, there are actually a few country songs that I've accidentally heard and kind of liked, but that doesn't mean I have a problem, so stop worrying about me... I can quit anytime.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Animal Cruelty!

It seems to me that the better you get at doing one thing, the worse you get at doing everything else. All the time you spend practicing and refining one skill robs you of the time you could have spent pursuing other interests. Consider the example of Bette Midler. She sings, she dances, she acts… but there is a 100-percent chance that Bette Midler is not your favorite actress and dancer AND recording artist, because to excel at one thing, she has had to accept an unavoidable level of mediocrity at everything else. With that in mind, don’t you wonder what Bette Midler excels at? It’s certainly not anything I’ve seen her do... unless wrecking a figurative train is a notable skill.

I mention this talent based give-and-take because it’s so clearly evident in the comparison of these two drawings that I did 25 years apart. As you can see, my ability to draw consistently-sized tires has improved dramatically, but while mastering that skill, my attention to hubcap detail has suffered. I’ve also found that the effort I’ve put into improving my drawing skill over the years has had an adverse effect on some of my other talents, such as my ability to read, to resist sugary snacks, or to care about what other people are saying. I don’t miss those things, though. Life goes on without them.

My first thought when I found this old drawing was, “What’s in the box?” The unfortunate answer: Dalmatian puppies. This is precisely why you’ll never hear of anyone giving an entire box of free puppies to a rabbit. Happy 25th Anniversary to my unique understanding of "animal cruelty."