Because my life has reached a code-five, core-melting, China-Syndrome, red-alert level of suckiness – a kind of sucking that we used to call "sucking out loud" - a sort of self-pitying foam of bathos worthy of the most sad-sack George Jones song(I keep thinking of the fate-beseeching ache of "These Days I Barely Get By" coupled with the general liver-perforation of "If Drinking Don’t Kill Me"),
and because I learned - from reading the newspaper, no less - that my employer, the newly sold Tribune Company, will no longer be contributing funds to employee 401K accounts, and because I’ve had the kind of stress-induced headaches that make me fear that my left eyeball might burst like a dropped egg, and because the assbags in charge of the housing office at the elite bucolic New England college where my wife teaches/works have yet again fucked up so royally and rudely that we may be faced with the prospect of moving for the fifth time in THREE years, and because I called home on the commute after work yesterday simply to see if there was enough bourbon in the house to keep my hair-pulling angst in check,
and because we’ve seriously started entertaining the idea of loading up the cars and moving back in with one of our mothers (probably in a basement) down south, but not before we pile pretty much everything we own into a heap and simply torch it, because of all these things, I’ve found myself turning to the questionable but sure solace of the most maudlin country music, Gary Stewart. I got turned on to Stewart by the great Oxford American’s last music issue. I already offered a little post on the joys of "Single Again" a while back. And after listening to a few other kernels of his boozy miserablist brilliance, I had to get a greatest hits collection. Turns out Stewart had a regrettable honky-tonkin’ streak. Another surprise came when I learned that he wrote the song "Back Slider's Wine," of which Jerry Jeff Walker (dissed mildly on this site in the past) does a superior version. So, even on a greatest hits collection, there’s some chaff to toss to the wind, but the ones that connect provide a brief bit of comfort. That’s all we can hope for. On this Easter weekend, I am banking, sweet Jesus, on some fucking rebirth.
"Drinkin' Thing" - Gary Stewart