Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I Am Not A Cowboy

I have an old buddy named Chet who is through and through a cowboy. The guy epitomizes what being a country boy is. For instance, he had a steel roping dummy named Clark that we tried to rope in our parking lot. I tried to lasso his metallic hind legs, but God didn’t grace me with those kinds of skills.

Chet lived a lifestyle that is completely foreign to me, one he called being a “country cowboy.” I don’t understand country culture one bit. It confuses me like a colorblind person trying to match his clothes. Yet, there are hundreds and thousands of people who proclaim their country roots.

One thing that really confuses me is the music. Chet would swear up and down that country music is one of the greatest things ever created, that the lyrics, tunes and songs of country music are some of the most divine.

I have tried listening to country music, and I’ve concluded that all country songs are about one of three things: 1. The classic I lost my job, my girlfriend left, my truck died, my dog ran away, isn’t-my-life-a-tragedy-poor-me swan song. 2. It’s the end of the day, and I need to find a bar so we can sit around and talk about how great it is to get plastered. 3. I’m a woman, and I want everyone else to know about my independence and autonomy by belting out songs proclaiming my femininity.

Country music continues to be a hit regardless. Ask just about any girl what her favorite type of music is, and she’ll reply anything by Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw or George Strait.

Another aspect about it is the movies. Every Western movie has to have three ingredients: a scene in a bar, a gunfight, and a massive load of horses running all over the place. The plotlines seem to revolve around the same types of stories. There’s the bad guy who’s chasing the girl. The girl is in love with a rebel cowboy, whom her parents don’t approve of. And the rebel cowboy in search of his identity finds it through the love of a wild woman… and his horses. One can almost always predict how a Western film is going to play out nearly every time you watch one: Smoky-eyed rebel meets a girl, gets in a gun fight, chases him on a horse, and wins the woman over.

Horses are another part of country that just never appealed to me. Now I have nothing against the great animals, but what is it about them that associates them with cowboys? I have no idea. When you think of horses, you instantly think of cowboys. Does that at all seem fair? I don’t think so. What if I want to ride a horse, but I don’t want to be a cowboy? Yeah, that’s not going to happen.

It seems that the cowboy form of recreation is another aspect of country culture that is enigmatic to me. I’m referring to that which is called the rodeo. The rodeo is something that never made much sense to me. When will we as individuals ever have to sit on a violently moving object and keep our balance for at least eight seconds? Or ever have to rope a cow that has gotten loose in an urban pasture? I don’t think those skills are ever going to be of use to us, yet the rodeo continues to be one of the most crowd-pleasing fun-loving events all across the country.

I think the real issue at hand is that I’m not cultured enough to live the country lifestyle. If there’s one thing that I can say about Chet is that he’s one of the most laid-back, relaxed, have-a-good-time individuals I’ve ever met. Nothing seems to rattle the kid. Maybe it’s his cowboy culture that helps him stay so comfortable and tranquil about life. I don’t know what it is that makes him feel so good, but whatever it is, I want some. It’s just too bad I don’t fit the part of a very good cowboy. A 6-foot-5-inch lanky kid wearing a cowboy hat just doesn’t make that much sense. Oh well, though. I’ll stick to what I’m good at… not liking country.

What do you think?


Post a Comment