Thursday, November 3, 2016

Country Music and the Evolution of the Quinsey Blog

A couple weeks ago I went to a country music concert with friends. The headliner was Keith Urban and the opening acts were Maren Morris and Brett Eldredge. This may seem like no big deal to the casual observer, but to me it’s a very big deal considering I hated country music for the first 40+ years of my life. It all started a couple years ago when a buddy turned me on to Sam Hunt and Eric Church. I casually started listening to their stations on Pandora radio. Before long country music was the ONLY thing I listened to in my car. For a while I was ashamed. I didn’t want anyone else to know I was a closet country music fan (not even my wife). But then I decided f*ck it, so I enjoy listening to country music - I need to own this albatross. That mindset culminated with my very first live country music show a couple weeks back. As I sat there listening to Maren Morris belt out “My Church”, I had a moment. I couldn’t believe I had been missing out on something so great for so long. Next up was Brett Eldredge. After his second or third song I started to tap my feet and slightly sway my shoulders. It was a strange feeling I had never experienced before. Just then it hit me, holy shit - this is what rhythm feels like. It was just like that scene from “The Jerk” where Steve Martin’s character (Navin Johnson) discovers rhythm for the very first time. I didn’t enjoy Keith Urban nearly as much as I did Brett Eldredge (ironically he’s not country enough for me), but that’s not the point. The point is my taste in music seems to have evolved with age (and I’m no longer afraid to admit it).

But that’s not the only thing that’s evolved. My view of the world also seems to be changing. I no longer find myself fixated on personal appearances or the annoying behaviors of others. Instead I find myself wondering what challenges other people might be going through that could affect how I view them. Is this what empathy feels like? When confronted with a difference of opinion, my first reaction has always been to dig in and vehemently defend my position. Lately I find myself keeping more of an open mind and trying to understand both sides of all issues. I no longer assume someone is stupid just because they’re a Hillary fan, or they believe in global warming, or they’re from the South. I find myself using the word hate less and less, and I’m all of a sudden more inclined to pay compliments to total strangers. I’m sure deep down inside there’s still a wretch of a man in there somewhere, but he’s becoming less and less evident. Which begs the obvious question, what the hell happened to me and how do I fix this? I do have a few theories:

1) After 21+ years of being together, my wife has finally started to rub off on me. She is still after all the best person I’ve ever known (and I’m still trying to figure out why she married me).

2) I’m in one of those rare places in my career where I absolutely love what I’m doing, and truly enjoy the people I’m doing it with (thank you Rubrik).

3) After 42+ years of being an over-grown child, I’ve finally begun to enter into adulthood (better late than never I guess).

Whatever has happened, and whether or not it can be fixed, one thing is clear. This blog will never be the same. For my 29 loyal followers who liked the old me, we’ll always have the archives to look back on. For the enlightened few who have just started reading this now, get ready for a new brand of content. While the inappropriate honesty may be gone, the honesty will continue to be the cornerstone of this whole platform. For instance, Hillary and Trump both suck equally but for different reasons. Please stop posting about the election and trying to convince people otherwise. Vote for whoever you want, but shut the f*ck up about it. The United States of America is the greatest nation in the world and will persevere regardless of which asshat we elect next week. More importantly the Cubs just won the World Series for the first time in 108 years, which gives me hope that the Chargers might actually win the Superbowl before I die.

God bless America, the Chargers, and country music! Yeehaw.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

You're getting soft, it happens as you battle the teenage years of children and then send them off to college. The id of your brain has thrown up it's non existent hands and said "fuck it" (hence your last post). But don't worry. This too, shall pass.

This will be made glaringly obvious when your children come home from college and start talking about how the founding fathers were a bunch of slave raping white supremacists or how much they love gender studies and plan on teaching it for a career. This is when your WTF alarm bells will go off and you'll return to your center, for the good of your children. Trust me on that one.

When the kids are "finished" and you start contemplating your retirement account and what you and your wife plan on doing when you aren't working, it becomes clearer. You'll dig in to those core beliefs and personality traits again because you'll start caring deeply, more so then when you were raising them, about the world you're leaving behind for your children and grandchildren. Maybe you're not exactly the same as you were, but mostly. The truth is seeing these emotional undulations in those who have come before us and taking learning from them.