No Surprises with Dolly Parton

Relief is perhaps the worst sensation one can experience. In the moment it seems like the best possible thing to feel, but that’s what makes it so dangerous. It’s a temporary thing that seems endless. It’s essentially a hard drug without the reliability of an actual hard drug.

Perhaps we’re collectively feeling somewhat of a sensation of relief now. A world that was just a loosely connected series of catastrophes appears to be morphing back into something partially predictable.

But the world has been, still is and always will be a loosely connected series of catastrophes over which we only have the power to add bigoted, economic or sexual nuance. So it’s important to cling to the things that do not exist within the bounds of common reality. The things to which the rules of logic do not apply. The things that would remain exactly the same no matter the scale and impact of the next random catastrophe. Things like Dolly Parton.

Pandora has announced that Dolly Parton will be hosting a virtual version of its Pandora LIVE just in time for the holiday season. The festive special will also feature appearances from Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Brett Eldredge and Carly Pearce. Throughout the evening, each of the stars will perform a selection of beloved holiday songs, all accompanied by Parton’s longtime backing band, as well sit down for interviews to revisit their favourite memories of the country icon and dish on their own unique holiday traditions.

Existential relief is good, but it is fleeting. We’re going to get backed up with neurotic dread again sooner or later, so it’s stupid to take any real solace in it.

But a fully lacquered Tennessean who’s been moaning “this time has gotta be our last time” for the last fifty years without any drop in marketability or tit elevation? That’s an entity outside of space and time that’ll keep being exactly as grating, but mildly inoffensive as it always has been for at least another fifty years after the sun explodes.

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