Ritual Confessions

January 17, 2008

Don’t tell anyone…

Filed under: Uncategorized — elissakaren @ 6:15 am

…but in the car, where I spend a lot of time these days since my daughter is attending pre-school in another state, I hit the search button on the radio on a continuous basis, stopping wherever the music sounds appealing at that moment. So here’s the part I cringe to admit: the two kinds of stations I find myself listening to with the most frequency are… oh God… this is hard. Okay, I’ll just say it… it’s country music, and — and… Lord have mercy! Christian music.

So needless to say, I’ve had to ask myself, just about every day, what the hell this is about. And today this explanation occurred to me: I think I like these stations the way a housewife likes her Harlequin romances. To me, they represent two blatantly ridiculous fantasies: America as a wholesome, upstanding place, with good neighbors and righteous men; America the heartland. And God the perfect parent; God the provider, protector and lover; God as a good reason to indulge in the (nearly erotic) pleasure of ardent worship.

I think this has a lot to do with the fact that my baby is usually in the back seat. I want the world to be a safe and good place for her. I want there to be a benevolent God for her. Her father is still fighting tooth and nail, after more than a decade, for citizenship in this country. His daughter was born an American. I want that to be a point of pride for her.



  1. I listen to country radio for two hours every morning,and have done for ten years. If I can admit to this,surely you can stand up and be counted as well. I am ashamed of this, yes, deeply ashamed. I try to excuse it by saying I like the morning show hosts on 99.5 (which I do; they’re very funny). But that doesn’t explain why I sometimes listen to it in my car when the morning is over.

    I can’t make you feel better about the Christian music, though. You’re on your own with that one.

    Comment by davidrochester — January 17, 2008 @ 7:06 pm

  2. Thanks, David. I’ll take what I can get here.

    Comment by elissakaren — January 17, 2008 @ 7:28 pm

  3. This reminds me, though, of one of the funny things the 99.5 hosts did recently. You know how radio shows have little call-in contests? They ran one recently called “Plant or Animal?” in which the caller had to guess whether the noise being played was the screaming of a wild animal, or the vocal stylings of Robert Plant. It was actually quite difficult to tell the difference, in most of the clips they played.

    Comment by davidrochester — January 17, 2008 @ 10:38 pm

  4. Love me some Christian Contemporary!

    Look at it this way most of the songs have a positive message and you don’t have to worry about the language. I’d say it’s a pretty good choice if your daughter is in the car.

    Comment by Shawn W — January 18, 2008 @ 4:47 am

  5. Yes, Shawn is right. I still remember playing Garth Brooks’ Scarecrow album in the car (post-Chris Gaines, what can I say?), and having my angelic younger child get out at church caroling, “B double E double R you in….”

    Comment by thelittlefluffycat — January 18, 2008 @ 11:56 pm

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