Monday, February 12, 2007

Not Ready To Make Nice

Okay, well, I have one hell of a headache right now, so studying is right out.

However, I find that music usually helps me relax, so I've been listening to random tracks.

As I wrote earlier, I'm so proud of the Dixie Chicks and their five Grammy wins which includes a Grammy for best album of the year for Taking the Long Way and best song of the year for "Not Ready to Make Nice."

What came down on them was atrocious. Their lead singer Natalie Maines said this to an audience in London in 2003, "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas." Because of that statement, they were blacklisted by the powers that be in country music and Natalie's life was threatened. All of this in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

The backlash that they got for that was absolutely horrible. People seem to forget to in the United States we have this concept called Free Speech which is guaranteed by the First Amendment from the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution.

After 9/11 people forgot it and there was no debate. I honestly doubt that most Americans have even read the Constitution because a lot seem to forget it when another American has a differing point of view. I remember discussing post 9/11 issues and the possibility of a war in Iraq with others. I had some of the most ridiculous conversations, if you want to call them that, of my life. It was truly depressing.

This song also hits home for me personally because I think of someone who was really close to me but speaking my mind got me into big, big trouble. However, regarding that I'm definitely not ready to make nice.

If you haven't heard the song in full, you can go here to the Dixie Chicks' MySpace page and it's right there in their player for you to hear.

Streaming formats:

"Not Ready To Make Nice" - Quicktime
"Not Ready To Make Nice" - RealPlayer
"Not Ready To Make Nice" - Windows Media (high)
"Not Ready To Make Nice" - Windows Media (low)
(links from Dixie Chicks - "Not Ready To Make Nice" Streaming Audio at About.com)

Here are the lyrics to "Not Ready to Make Nice" - enjoy!

Forgive, Forgive, sounds good.
Forget, I'm not sure I could.
They say time heals everything,
But I'm still waiting

I'm through, with doubt,
There's nothing left for me to figure out,
I've paid a price, and I'll keep paying

I'm not ready to make nice,
I'm not ready to back down,
I'm still mad as hell
And I don't have time
To go round and round and round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is
You think I should

I know you said
Why can't you just get over it,
It turned my whole world around
and I kind of like it

I made by bed, and I sleep like a baby,
With no regrets and I don't mind saying,
It's a sad sad story
That a mother will teach her daughter
that she ought to hate a perfect stranger.
And how in the world
Can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they'd write me a letter
Saying that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over

I'm not ready to make nice,
I'm not ready to back down,
I'm still mad as hell
And I don't have time
To go round and round and round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is
You think I should

I'm not ready to make nice,
I'm not ready to back down,
I'm still mad as hell
And I don't have time
To go round and round and round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is
You think I should

Forgive, sounds good.
Forget, I'm not sure I could.
They say time heals everything,
But I'm still waiting*


The Dixie Chick's performance of "Not Ready To Make Nice" at this year's Grammys:



I won't get into the politics behind country music. All I'll say is I did grow up listening to it and remember, for better or for worse, watching Hee Haw with my parents. Not everyone who likes country music fits the stereotype...you know which one I'm alluding to. Then, again, I like all sorts of music, so I'm just confused.

Here is the trailer for their documentary Shut Up & Sing:



-------------
More links:
*Lyrics from CowboyLyrics.com

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6 comments:

  1. Um, gee, not to put too fine a point on it, but before you go ragging on dumb Americans who have not read the Constitution, you might consider reading it yourself.

    The First Amendment prohibits the gov't from passing any laws that abridge the free speech of the people. Maybe I missed it, was there a Dixie Chicks law passed somewhere?

    What I recall happening was some foolish woman trashing the President in a foreign country during a time of war. And she had every right to do so, bless her heart.

    Now the thing about free speech is that it sometimes has consequences. Ms. Dixie Chick pissed off a lot of people with her remarks and those people exercised their freedom by choosing not to buy records or play said records on privately owned radio stations.

    What I grow weary of is whiners who feel oh so brave by espousing thier heartfelt beliefs and then cry when people respond in ways they do not like. "I have the freedom to say what I want, but you don't have the freedom to criticize me for it" seems to be what the DixChix are all about.

    And that's all I have to say about that. Thank you for your time.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You see, I have read it. In fact, I spent part of my time in law school studying it. It's required. I didn't rag on "dumb Americans", so don't put words in my mouth or infer anything beyond what I wrote. Had I meant to say Americans were dumb, I would have said it. Since I am an American, I really don't think we're as dumb as we are lazy. Take the defensive "I'm not dumb" stuff elsewhere, please.

    However, even before studying Constitutional law, I think I had a handle on what it meant in relation to a lay person (an entertainer, a nurse, a pilot, a professor, a bus driver, etc.) saying what he or she thought.

    Maines could say whatever she wanted. I don't think I said that their reaction in terms of not buying their records or playing their music was wrong. I think, let me go back and make sure, yep, I said THREATENING MAINES' LIFE was bullshit.

    Also, if it's a company policy to not play a band's music what happens when the DJ doesn't agree? I guess they'd be forced to quit or establish their own radio station. What happens when they get requests from their audience to play certain songs? I guess the station would then be forced to ignore the will of the people it serves. I see right there that there are going to be some crossed wires with "privately owned radio stations" that provide entertainment to the public.

    We didn't learn from our history. We'd done the same thing during the McCarthy era. We blacklisted and ruined the careers of quite a few artists because we were on a witch hunt for communists. This situation is different in some ways, but the country music industry essentially went on a mission to ruin the Dixie Chicks simply because they didn't agree with Bush and had the chutzpah to say it. Where they said it is irrelevant.

    Is disagreeing with the president some sort of dirty family secret that we only express on US soil?

    Criticizing is one thing. However, threatening someone's life, telling her to "shut up and sing" and essentially trying to ruin the careers of the most successful female country band out there is not being critical.

    At a minimum, it's bullying. At a maximum, last I checked, threatening someone's life in most jurisdictions is criminal.

    Thank you for reading and thank you for your comment, truly, because debate is something we lack.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi

    You have an interesting blog.

    I am waiting for this doco to come out to Aus this year.

    The thing I don't understand is, how come the major US tv networks decided to block the advertisements of this doco? (I'm not an American so I don't know enough of the politics of US Tv stations.)

    I've wondered this as well, what if the dixie chicks weren't white and were from a minority group? Wouldn't that be a more interesting doco to watch? :)

    Thank you for your attention.
    Hope to be reading more of your blogs!

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for your comment.

    Well, businesses can reject adverts from whomever. It's just a decision who to do business with or who not to do business with.

    The calculation is probably pretty simple. It came down to the decision of did they want to alienate the country music audience, who are still boycotting the Dixie Chicks, or did they not want to risk offending that section of the American TV viewing public? It was simple. They didn’t want to risk offending those people, so they just didn’t accept the advert.

    As for race, honestly, had the Dixie Chicks not been a white country act, I don’t think this would have been a big deal. I also think this might have gone down differently had it been a male trio and not a female one, but I won't go as far to argue it.

    However, regarding color, Kayne West called Bush out on national TV after Hurricane Katrina but he’s a black, male hip-hop artist. No one expects him to vote for Bush anyway. No one expects the people who buy his music to vote for Bush. Had the Chicks not been white it would have blown over.

    That's why in this discussion you hear words like "betrayal" and "traitor" being used.

    This isn’t a color issue it really is an American civics issue.

    ReplyDelete
  5. How about this as an answer to the song and video?

    Playin' Politics with the Dixie Chicks
    Dr BLT
    words and music by Dr BLT (c)2007
    http://www.drblt.net/music/DixieChicks.mp3

    or this one, another Dixie Chicks dissin' ditty:

    Merle Hasn't Lost His Fightin' Side
    Playin' Politics with the Dixie Chicks
    Dr BLT
    words and music by Dr BLT (c)2007
    http://www.drblt.net/music/MerleVeryLast.mp3


    I wrote and recorded another one called Not Ready to Make Rice, but I'm not ready to let you hear that one.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I wanted to hear what you had to say before I posted your comment.

    Honestly, the Chicks themselves said the Recording Academy was making a statement, so writing a song about it doesn't really reveal much. The statement is no different from the one the CMAs made by not nominating them at all or the one that country radio made by not playing their songs. It's the same statement made in the inverse.

    In the spirit of free speech as long as it's not offensive, I'll let commentators say what they want.

    I haven't actually listened to the second one song (so if there is offensive content in that one, let me know folks). It's just that I'm in my office and I've got a thesis proposal to work on.

    Thanks for point of view and for sharing your songs. Maybe someone will enjoy them.

    ReplyDelete

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