Thursday, May 25, 2006

Girl Friday #16: Go On Now, Make Nice

Readers, I’d like to take us back a few lessons to our session on “bullying.” I probably wasn’t all that clear what I meant by that, but this weeks’ Girl Friday offers up another example.

Let’s pretend you’re a talented, attractive, successful all-female bluegrass band, and you state your opinion publicly about the state of the nation. You say things about the president that people don’t like. But it’s not enough that they don’t like it. Your songs are pulled from the air, former fans run over your cds with bulldozers, and you get death threats. That’s right. DEATH THREATS AGAINS WOMEN BANJO PICKERS.

THAT, friends, is bullying. Bullying of the most despicable kind. Bullying of the most anti-democratic, third-nation, backwards-ass, head-up-your-ass, not-in-my-backyard variety.

All three of these performers are mothers. Two have sets of twins. I remember their gig on Sesame Street. I bet that the Southern Poverty Law Center and the ACLU didn’t know there was a hate group called “So-Called Patriotic Can-Crushing Conservative Nutjobs Against Mothers of Multiples Who Speak Out.” What lesson is in that for our children? Give me strength.
What’s really sad is that those events took place three years ago around the start of the war in Iraq. And the war rages on, and on, and on, with little to show for the thousands of American men and women, and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis, who have been killed during that time. Natalie Maines is quoted on the Music Row Democrats web site as saying, “Every time a soldier dies, I’m more proud that I spoke out.” She should be.

The Chicks released their new albeit rock-infused album, Taking the Long Way, this week. It features a tribute to their experience, "Not Ready to Make Nice," an autobiographical recap of their side of the story. I can't blame 'em for not being ready to make nice. At the same time, this kind of oppositional dynamic that pervades the dialogue – if you can call it that – in our nation is remarkably unhealthy. I respect a strong opinion when I run into one, but I expect you to do the same. That almost never happens, and it breaks my heart. I don’t expect you to argue with me until my head blows up while you try to convince me that I’m wrong, off base, in left field, stupid, inexperienced, unqualified, unenlightened, or whatever else you think I am just because I disagree with you. It’s actually good to disagree, great to agree to disagree. I've learned that most people are surprisingly bad at it.

However, a couple of months ago I had an enormously heated, fiercely emotional argument with a dear friend over a deeply divisive subject. When it became clear that we were not going to agree, the individual wrapped things up by saying, “You mean more to me than this discussion.” I had never heard that before, and I think it goes a long way to demonstrate what’s really necessary today.

More love.

"More Love"
Released on The Dixie Chicks “Home”, 2002
(Tim O'Brien,Gary Nicholson--Howdy Skies Music/Forerunner Music, Inc./Gary Nicholson Music,\nASCAP)

I'm so close to you baby, but I'm so far away
There's a silence between us and there's so much to say
You're my strength you're my weakness
You're my faith you're my doubt
We gotta meet in the middle
To work this thing out

More love I can hear our hearts cryin'
More love I know that's all we need
More love to flow in between us
To take us and hold us and lift us above If there's ever an answer, it's more love

We're afraid to be idle, so we fill up the days
We run on a treadmill, keep slavin' away
Until there's no time for talkin'
About troubles in mind
And the doors are all closed
Between your heart and mine

More love I can hear our hearts cryin'
More love I know that's all we need
More love to flow in between us
To take us and hold us and lift us above
If there's ever an answer, it's more love

Just look out around you , people fightin their wars
They think they'll be happy, when they settle their scores
Let's lay down the weapons
That hold us a part
Be still for just a minute
Try to open our hearts

More love I can hear our hearts cryin'
More love I know that's all we need
More love to flow in between us
To take us and hold us and lift us above
If there's ever an answer, it's more love


At May 26, 2006 10:29 PM, Blogger kcterrilynn said...

Man, I wish I had written this post! I still don't understand why Dixie-gate was such a big deal. Someone expressed an opinion, so what? Whether it's an opinion you agree with or not, she has every right to express it. Natalie stated she was ashamed Bush was from Texas...hell, I'm ashamed he's from the US. Whatever. That is simply my opinion and I'm not asking anyone to agree or disagree. What's truly sad is not only did the group recieve death threats but there were also threats to harm their children! When was our right to be critical of the government revoked? As you pointed out, it's over 3 years later and Iraq is a mess with no end in sight, our government is spying on US citizens, our Armed Forces are stretched way too thin but W still wants to commit thousands of Nat'l Guard to patrol the border... Sorry, didn't mean to rant quite so much...I'll put away my soapbox now. :)

Anyway, I'm just a casual Chicks fan, but I'm going to buy this CD just to show support.

At May 27, 2006 9:52 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Hey KC! Nice to hear from you! I hope you're doing well.

Thanks for the comments. It seems to me that when someone shows any kind of real leadership from a personal/political perspective, there is nothing and no one to validate it. I'm not sure I'm in the best position to do anything, but I'm not sure I'm in less of a position to lead than anyone else who hasn't tried. What our nation has fallen prey to is intentional cluelessness, and it sickens me. It's truly like people don't want to be jolted out of their little daydream, "If I just keep cutting my grass and filling the cracks in my drive and keep up with my neighbors, everything will be ok." Yeah, GOOD LUCK.

Enjoy the recording. My sis sent me an iTunes gift cert so no doubt at least "Not Ready" is going in the library.

Take care.


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