We have both kinds of music here, country and western

Writing about farmer suicides is fairly glum work, rendered yet more depressing by the array of factors volunteered to explain it which turn out, on closer examination, to boil down to the fact that farmers were generally unhappy. But the claim that people in the teeth of the US farm crisis were, in fact, killing themselves because they were listening to Country and Western music has brightened up my day a little. Chris did a fine literature review last year, when it was announced that the study that originally advanced this claim had topped the Ig Nobel awards. Jim Gundlach, one of the co-authors of the original article, suggested that the results may no longer hold true because “country music today is peppier”. Whee.

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