That ain’t Country…

We, collectively, live in a constantly changing (evolving?) society where social norms are forever moving. It was the gripe of our parents and our parents-parents before that… Damn kids! And maybe, just maybe, I’m getting old, and crap bothers me more now then it use to. For everything that I have grown more tolerant of, I find something new that pisses me off worse. Maybe I am just the social experiment that no one wants to take…

Like many of you I was raised in town (downtown Coeur d’Alene, tourist central of Idaho no less… Luckily, only 3 months out of the year are filled with tourists… The other 9 are filled with college kids, to tell you the truth, I don’t know which is worse), but thank God my parents are of the sort that don’t do the whole college/tourist trap activity set list. Off to the woods, or off to the lake (not usually Coeur d’Alene lake, that’s where all “those people” congregated,  and that’s what we were perpetually trying to escape) My foundation was laid early. But, like most of you, I had my rebellious years. No I didn’t go join the circus, or become a card-carrying member in the Wu-tang clan, But I did depart to the dark side. Baggy jeans and skateboard t-shirts filled my closet. (remember JNCO jeans, no I didn’t own a pair, but just the memory of them helps me to realize that we allowed that trend to happen. What the hell was wrong with us?) Shortly there after, I realized the fault of my ways, and returned to my senses. I didn’t care if I was “in style” or cool or whatever, all I cared about was being me, and being functional. The emphasis always being on function. What the hell is the functionality of skinny jeans? Remember way back in the 90’s, we had many not so nice words about the skinny jeans of the 80’s, now they took that style and made them even tighter? What the hell is that, you can’t carry a pocket knife or nothin’! I was looking at the Urbancarry G2 holsters the other day, and in their ads, they actually have to have a disclaimer that the holster system will NOT work with skinny jeans?/!.% Well no shit, you can’t even carry dignity in skin-tight jeans, let alone a firearm. I wish it would have said, if you wear skinny jeans, please take a look at gun tote’n mama’s for a purse carry option. That ain’t country… But that is what our “evolution” has brought us to. As you well know I drive a truck, it’s a 1993 Ford F350 crew cab, it has a couple dents, an 8 foot bed, standard size off-road tire, and all 4 windows have manual cranks. How boring right? In order modern society you aren’t cool unless you have rims the size of manhole covers, and rubber bands for tires. How much more opposite can things be. Back in the day, guys would stick the smallest wheels they could on, so that they had more room for tires, not less. A guy I work with is a prime example, he tells me he got new wheels and tires for his truck, and that I should check them out. Me being  more than slightly redneck, make a b-line for the door to see these “Big” new tires… 24″ rims, yes 2 feet of rim, polished to a point where even the Stevie Wonder could see them, with a tire about as thick as a band-aid stretched around it. “Are those things bad ass, or what?” he says. I mean, what do you say in that situation? I said “or what?” you will never be able to keep those things clean, you will be scratching them constantly on gravel roads, and that tire doesn’t have much tread. “No bro, this truck doesn’t go up in the woods. Its my baby, she’s a highway queen”. It actually hurt my soul just to type that out. Is that even a real thing? What the hell is happening here? I started looking around for a hidden camera or something. He was being completely honest, and it makes me honestly sad. Why you would live in North Idaho, buy a 4 wheel drive pick up truck, and castrate it, I have no idea. And to spend $5,000 in the process of doing so? I could just about watch those Chevy bow-tie’s trying to rip themselves off that truck, call ita seppuku if you will, anything to not be affiliated with anymore emasculation  Just proves some people have more money the sense I guess. That sure as hell ain’t country.

I guess my biggest problem is that this is all becoming common practice. It is the standard, and like everything else, this too shall pass. But whats coming next? My son is 5 years old, what will the trends be when he is in junior high? Someone will decide that everyone should wear ski jackets, daisy dukes and a sombrero, and we “the consumer’s” will buy into it, and more importantly we will accept it. How a kindergartener can get suspended for bringing a clear bubble gun to school, but we allow our children to go to school with clothes so tight that you can actually see what their thinking, is beyond me. Maybe the next generation will do something different for a change. Maybe they will take charge of their own destiny, and not waffle in the face of greatness. Maybe they will have opinions and be able to express them without rioting. Maybe they will be accountable for their own actions. Maybe they will remember to turn their phone/tv/tablet/computer off, and turn the conversation on. Maybe they will have compassion for their fellow-man  without fear of being taken advantage of.  Maybe they need better examples, better role models. Being a stand-up person, getting callused hands,and doing it all honestly, now that’s country. Just like a potter, we owe it to our clay to craft it beautifully as well as strong, for the shortcoming of children, come’s from the shortcoming’s of their parents.

-Grant Willoughby 01/22/2017-


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