Shut Up and Sing

I’m ashamed to say that back in 2003 I was mad at Natalie Mains for saying what she did. I was equally mad at Toby Keith for being stupid. I didn’t buy either album as I’m not much of a country music fan (of the two artists, I definately like the Dixie Chicks music better – I think it’s the fiddle I dig.) but I still had my opinion about their behavior. I favored Alan Jackson‘s approach – the more sentimental “we’re in this together” kind of song. I loved that Jackson won the CMA that year for Artist of the Year when he was up against both Keith and the Chicks.

I’m never going to be okay with war. I’m just not. Does that make me left-winged or right-winged? I don’t care. I’m sick of those labels, and I’m sick of what they stand for. And I love when the entertainment industry crossed into politics, because that seems to be the only genuine time everyone is willing to enter the dialog. The dialog we were all afraid to take part of from 2002-to present. The dialog that asks “Is war okay?” “Is it the only answer?” I like anyone who is willing to get in there and debate. Doesn’t matter what they believe (obviously, because I once posted I kinda love Fox News… which probably freaked some of you out.) But I also love Jon Stewart and Keith Olbermann, because they are all talking about it. Keeping silent for all those years brought our fall. I love what all these people and organizations are doing to try and wake up our brains again.

Last night I was genuinely surprised when Not Ready to Make Nice won Album Of The Year, Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal. That’s a long list, and I’m very happen for them. Not because I agree with their stance on the war (by the way, I do) but because the song… is perfection.

I love the video – it’s beautifully shot and wonderfully symbolic of what happened to the group. The song is vulnerable, reminding us that they are not just “mouthpieces” but human beings that paid a large price simply for having an opinion.

I hate what happened on 9/11. I hate that thousands lost their lives and I hate what’s it’s ultimately done to Iraq. To quote Derek Webb…”peace by way of war is like purity by way of fornication. It’s like telling someone murder is wrong by way of execution”.

What occured after September 11, 2001 was facinating to me. To see everyone bond together despite our differences…to see the surge of patriotism… to see us all work together in that time… well, it made me feel good about being an American. But it’s continued in a not-so-nice direction.

I used to think that 9/11 brought out the best in us. Now I’m not so sure.

2 Comments on “Shut Up and Sing

  1. All that and it was co-written by Dan Wilson of Semisonic fame.“Closing time/one last call for alcohol so finish your whiskey or beer/closing time/you don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here/yeah…”


  2. Huh. Listening to the song now that I know that, I can hear his influence – the beginning and end especially really sound like that song.


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