This article assesses the link between country music and metropolitan suicide rates. Country music is hypothesized to nurture a suicidal mood through its concerns with problems common in the suicidal population, such as marital discord, alcohol abuse, and alienation from work. The results of a multiple regression analysis of 49 metropolitan areas show that the greater the airtime devoted to country music, the greater the white suicide rate. The effect is independent of divorce, southernness, poverty and gun availability. The existence of a country music subculture is thought to reinforce the link between country music and suicide. Our model explains 51% of the variance in urban white suicide rates.
Hmm. “Country Music.” How can you generalize about a genre that encompasses both bluesy, soulful, melancholy Merle Haggard AND upbeat country heartthrob Kenny Chesney?
I would like to suggest a further experiment. Expose one group of lab rats to nonstop booze and heartbreak tunes. Williams, Jones, Haggard, Cash. The other group gets to listen to nothing but the life-affirming paeans to domestic fidelity and small-town life that dominate contemporary country.
See which rats try to claw their way out of their cages first….
There has been a lot of hand-wringing of late about budget cuts undermining America’s Defense capabilities. Google the term “budget cuts undermine military” and you’ll come up with 2,970,000 results. That is a LOT of hand-wringing.
Is it possible that the situation isn’t nearly as dire as we have been led to believe? That the military-industrial complex that towers over the rest of the world’s combined military might might just be able to squeeze by?
After all the chatter, some of it still quite hysterical, about “defense cuts,” I find no cut; I find “defense spending” (defined generically) going up by $8.2 billion, from $986.1 billion to $994.3 billion.
Given the rhetoric we hear out of Washington about “devastating” cuts that fail “to adequately address threats” you have to wonder how much more than $1 trillion do these people want to spend?