I love the way things change. I just found out there’s a hoedown here in late April, and I am very excited. If you had told me ten years ago I would ever say that phrase I would have bet you that you were wrong. Twenty years ago I would have responded: “Who has a gun to my head?” I grew up in New York, and we just didn’t do things like that. Country music was for other people, and square dancing was something you did at the CYO. I most definitely did not like it, or at least I most definitely would not listen to find out, Hank Williams excepted.

As my tastes have changed and I’ve become more open-minded I have developed a love for the music. I’ve discussed that in this blog before. I’m excited about the hoedown because it’s a whole weekend of dance lessons and intermingling with others who like country, who want to learn the Boot Scoot Boogie and The Watermelon Crawl. That part thrills me, because even as I’ve learned to appreciate the twang of a steel guitar, I feel a little bit guilty. I know other people carry the same prejudices I used to hold, and I’m afraid I’ll suddenly seem like a redneck.

This music is associated with very conservative values I don’t myself believe in, and many times I disagree with the lyrics. There are others like me. They’re underground. The Seattle Weekly recently did a story about it. Although the rainy city is known as the home of the grunge movement, the local country station is tops in the ratings. No one here wants to admit it. I think the other Seattleites are afraid of being labeled, too.

I say we step out onto the floor and stomp our boots, turn up the music and make some noise. We need to fight our own internal prejudices and stand up for what we like. I love a lot of bands that impress some people—The Clash, Devo and The Ramones all display my very proper love of punk. I also love Barry Manilow, Better Midler and the Clancy Brothers. Now it’s time to step out and raise my fist for Lyle Lovett, Kenny Chesney, and Montgomery Gentry. Hell yeah! Turn it up! Right on. . . . 

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

46. Do you have a guilty pleasure you’ve been keeping secret? Why is it a secret? What are you worried about?

Links, should you desire them: (for more on the hoedown, if you want to go)

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