Not Ready To Make Nice
A few years back when Shania Twain was still relevant in pop culture, the Dixie Chicks became a household name as a successful crossover country-recording group. The two tall blondes and the short chubby girl’s squeaky-clean riffs tore up the charts. It was like a fairy tale and almost too good to be true. And then a few words changed their lives. Natalie Maines denounced the President of the United States at a concert, and we all know how the snowball built into an avalanche. They were chastised by the country music community, threatened by their fans, and became the punch line for right-wing Republican jokes and martyrs for left-wing liberal causes.
In the midst of all the confusion, people seemed to forget that these were three girls who were expressing an opinion… nothing more. Well, the girls grew up quick, the chubby girl became a beautiful soulful woman, and the tall perky sisters became hard-core musicians. And now that their lives have changed, they still push to create music that reflects those new lives. “Not Ready to Make Nice” is the first hit from their new album, and it’s about the struggle and acceptance that they have had to deal with during their life change.
A few weeks back I wrote an article about how I didn’t think Mandisa from American Idol should be overly criticized for not supporting gays. You can read some of the comments which are great and I am glad were expressed, but I also received emails about what a bigot I was, and that I was a homophobe, and that I didn’t deserve a job writing because I didn’t express the same views that apparently a lot of readers held. I even had one email that stated: “If people like [me] were wiped off the face of the earth then open minded people would feel safer.” All of a sudden I felt that I had done something wrong and that I needed to apologize for an opinion I expressed, and I had a little glimpse into possibly what the Dixie Chicks had dealt with. I had written a similar article about Mandisa in another publication so not all of the emails were from WOW Report readers, but I realized that there are people out there who feel entitled to threaten people into repressing their views.
If Natalie Maines had said that she fully supported our president and that she was willing to back him no matter what, then the same people who support her now would have been on the other side of the coin, and they would have stopped buying her music because they didn’t agree with her politics. What we need to understand is that all people have different ways of life and different reactions to situations, which doesn’t make them bad people. Our country is based on the idea that people are allowed to speak their mind in print, in song, in film, and in speech, and they are free to disagree or agree with any philosophy of life that they chose. However, when the disagreement of ideals becomes a threat of violence that is when the line of democracy has been crossed.
I encourage people to leave comments about my articles and I encourage people to disagree with my philosophy of life. I want to make people laugh and cry and think and get mad. What no one deserves, though, is to be threatened because they express their opinions. I never said that I thought that Mandisa was right; I simply said that she was entitled to her opinion. Natalie never said that George W Bush should die a gruesome death; she simply said that his politics were an embarrassment. So you can’t have it both ways. You can’t say that because someone expresses an opinion that you disagree with that they shouldn’t be allowed to do so. As Americans, we were given the right to express our opinions no matter how popular or unpopular they may be. But an opinion doesn’t make up a whole person. And therefore a difference of opinion doesn’t mean you can’t accept the person. So I’m not ready to make nice…but I am ready to make my opinions heard. BLOG HARD!
It’s always a business doing a pleasure with you!
– Dylan Vox