Mike Huckabee has been going on a bit of a whirlwind tour promoting his book Gods, Guns, Grits and Gravy. The purpose of this book, he says, is to explain “Real America” to those of us who live in cities, as though small town America is something we cannot possibly understand.
He calls certain areas of the country–the coasts and major cities–”Bubblevilles” and the rest of the country “Bubbaville.” Which, were I to live in the latter, I would find incredibly insulting. He claims that those of us who live in these “Bubblevilles” are, for all intents and purposes, living in “Bubbles” where we don’t have to understand those who live in “Bubbaville.” He seems to think that we think everyone in “Bubbaville” is stupid because they did not go to Harvard. Or something. That we don’t understand their down-home, wholesome, common sense ways. Keep reading »
I grew up in a small, rural town where muddy trucks would cruise up and down main street with rifles mounted in the back window and country music blasting from the speakers. I grew up hating country music. I thought it was stupid, cheesy, and ignorant. To me, country music was the soundtrack to a conservative, small-town mentality that felt incredibly stifling. I tuned it out in favor of pop, rap, oldies, indie rock, and metal (for years my musical taste could be easily summed up as “Everything except country!”) until one day in 2003, when the Dixie Chicks caused a firestorm by speaking out against President Bush on stage. This was progressive, ballsy, the complete antithesis to everything I thought I knew about country music. I realized if these kinds of women were singing country songs, maybe it was time for me to reconsider my hatred for the genre. I slowly–and secretly–starting getting into country. Pretty soon I was asking friends for country recommendations and discovering that I have a serious banjo fetish.
This year I drove two-hundred miles roundtrip to attend a country music festival and even took a trip to Nashville to get my live banjo fix. My high school self would be stunned. Here are seven things I’ve learned to love about country music since my conversion to a proud country fan… Keep reading »
I was listening to Pandora yesterday and randomly–so, so randomly–Garth Brooks’ song “Friends In Low Places” came on. From the first few notes, I was instantly transported back to my rural high school gym, line dancing in a PE uniform and hating my life. But you know what? In that moment I also felt a pang of nostalgia for my tiny Oregon high school (my graduating class had a whopping 75 people in it), and I thought about all the other strange and awful and wonderful experiences I had there. So in honor of Garth Brooks and muddy trucks and parties in the woods, here are 10 ridiculous things that happen at rural, small town high schools… Keep reading »