The smug glee I used to feel when people put their foolish beliefs and illogical viewpoints on display is mostly gone. So, also, is the desire to make people look more foolish than they do themselves. Life is much lighter this way.
I still see harmful senselessness everywhere, but I’m not required to engage, respond, or make loud determinations about it. A funny thing: That smugness I used to enjoy would always set me up for a hard fall into feeling like an idiot somehow later, when Life would invariably slap me upside the head.
I couldn’t figure stuff like this out without paying very close attention to my thoughts and feelings, and to their origins. That attention was impossible when I drank and engaged in other selfish forms of gratification.
Now, a new set of motives gives way to new behaviors, which beget new results and experiences. Those new experiences in turn lead to new viewpoints, and then the motives get refreshed again.
I’m making progress.
But there is one thing that currently poses a great challenge and threat to this new freedom from smugness. It is none other than Country Rap, and now I know why so many people couldn’t stomach Funk Metal in the early 90’s. First, they were old and unfazed by novelty and elegant variation, as I am now. Second, it’s an ill-informed abomination of a musical style.
Country Rap is the fusion of my two least favorite musical styles, Country and Rap, and so I feel as if it was invented by someone who either hates me, or is against all that I believe is good and just. This person heard someone say, “I listen to everything except Country and Rap.” And then they went work on bringing something special and new into the world.
Let me be clear: There is good Country, and there is good Rap. I know them when I hear them. I tap a toe and wag a finger. But with their fusion into Country Rap, all potential virtue is neutered.
I have seen it referred to as Hick Hop. Maybe that’s a sub-genre. If so, I imagine there will someday be as many regional sub-genres of Country Rap as there are regional styles of barbecue and barbecue sauce. Because everyone wants to put their own lil’ special touch on things, just to show the world they’re alive. Ivory Cajun Honey Tabasco Glazed Ribs with that Zydeco flow, yo?
Note: I’m warning you. Do not google “Cajun rap.” I did it so you wouldn’t need to. It exists, but it does not exist gracefully.
Then there will be very public feuds and violence, and the heroes of regional Country Rap styles will start shooting at each other with assault rifles. Because it’s not good exploitative appropriation unless you full-tilt the mimicry. You thought they’d stop with dropping a “right hurr” every now and then, didn’t you? I kinda doubt it.
As you can see, this music will be a trial by fire for my practice of mindfulness. Life has slapped me upside the head with the rotting pelican corpse that is Country Rap. I accidentally heard some today, and the agitated revulsion that ensued was a reminder that I should meditate more frequently, with more resolve.