Dear Country Music,

The video above (after the commercial) is from "Staind"'s Aaron Lewis. It's the lead single ("Country Boy") off of his forthcoming solo "country-tinged" album, "Town Line".

It's also the reason "smart" people hate Country Music.

Let me defend that ridiculous and inflammatory statement.

Country Music is at the top of the heap as far as money spent on a musical genre. It has tremendous wide-spread appeal and its fans are less likely to pirate music that lots of other genre fans (mostly because a lot of them aren't technological inclined enough to know how. It also is a genre that the intelligentsia like to savage. Country music is supposed to be (according to these elites) a lesser musical form. It's simpler, prone to pandering and jingoism.

And you know what? It is sometimes. Country music does appeal to a broad spectrum of the population specifically because it tends to focus on simpler things. In a technological, isolated, noisy, confusing world, people want to remember apple pie and yellow ribbons and what not, even if they never had apple pie and yellow ribbons. There's nothing wrong with that. There are a world of perfectly wonderful songs written about the "simpler life". Aaron Lewis' "Country Boy" is not one of them.

This is distasteful, it's formulaic and offensive to me artistically. Trotting out an obviously auto-tuned George Jones is the thing that finally put it over the top for me and basically demanded that I speak out on how much I hate this video. They took a living legend, one of the greatest figures in country music history, held him up like a sock puppet, gave him two lines of song, and auto-tuned him until he's unrecognizable. Stop it. Just, freakin' stop it.

They parade Charlie Daniels out too, but I'm totally over carrying about Daniels' dignity.

So, Country music fan that may have stuck with me this far. Let's just be better than this. Let's not buy it, not talk about it (anymore), not request it on the radio, or video. Don't "Like" it on Facebook or give it a "Thumbs Up" on YouTube. Let's have standards, let's smell insincerity and turn our noses up at it appropriately. Then let's go back to playing "Ticks" by Brad Paisley, because there's nothing wrong with puns and G-rated innuendo when there's actual musical talent behind it.

Sincerely, The Drunken Rogue