Thursday, June 08, 2006

Again with the Dixie Chicks...

Because you cannot get enough of my deep thoughts, especially on pop country lyrics.

A few years back, the girls released a song called "Goodbye Earl." The song is about Wanda and Mary Anne, BFF in a small town somewhere. They were friends for millions of years, and then after graduation Mary Anne leaves town to find fortune and fame, while Wanda goes and marries this dirtbag named Earl. Earl immediately starts beating on her. Wanda eventually has had enough. She files for divorce and a restraining order, and Earl beats the crap out of her and lands her in intensive care.

It was after this hellacious beating that they come to the conclusion that 'Earl had to die.'

So they kill him.

They plot, they plan, and they jack his black-eyed peas full of poison. And he croaks. No one figures out who did it, the cops look high and low for ole Earl... and the battered Wanda and Mary Anne live happily ever after, dancing on Earl's grave.

Now. Earl was indeed a disgusting piece of trash. But I do not believe that murdering Earl is the RIGHT thing to do.

Don't get me wrong -- I am not a proponent of wife beating. I think anyone who subjects another to that kind of torture is a sick piece of trash and needs to be taken care of. But not by the victim.

I am more of a proponent of not murdering someone who is doing you wrong. Earl may have been a douche, but I don't think "Earl had to die."

Earl needed to get arrested, put in jail, and made to pay for his crimes. But again, I realize fully that I'm a naive fool who believes in the justice system and doing things through the right channels. I know for a fact that thousands of women try the right channels, and they end up abused or dead.

But committing murder, in my opinion, isn't the path to righteousness in the end.

And the long and the short of it is ... I don't like the song or what it talks about. I don't think it is funny or cute or entertaining. I think it is creepy and Wanda and Mary Anne are just as guilty of wrong as Earl ever was.


Do I get a steamroller out and run over all their CDs? No. They wrote a song, told a story, it has an ending that kind of makes me sick to my stomach, but I don't go apeshit and threaten their lives.

I change the channel if it comes on.

On top of that, friends -- it's a fictional tale. It's like the whole Dan Quayle Murphy Brown crap about single mothers a few years back. These authors wrote a fictional tale that may be based in the reality of modern life, but they don't deserve me getting all insane about their lyrics and their opinions. There is no getting crazy and demanding CMT not play the video or protesting or going to my congressman.

Free Freaking Speech. I disagree with what they say. But they have a right to say, think, do, live, sing whatever they want.

People got all on either side of the metaphorical fence with this song. I remember reading that it was hailed a victory for battered women, that finally someone had written a song where the underdog had stood up and kicked ass. Hmmmm. Janie Got a Gun by Aerosmith came first, I believe. And there have been dozens of songs about people rising up and taking no more from the bootheel of oppression all through history. The Dixie Chicks didn't break new ground. They had a video with Dennis Franz and that chick with the crazy eyes from Ally McBeal and Natalie wore a little tiny red bandana shirt. Remmeber when those were popular?

Other people kind of got crazy on the opposite side saying that the song advocates violence and murder and is wrong (kind of like my stance here) but they were over the top about it and demanded CMT take the video off and were worried that women would start killing people left and right because they'd had enough.

Nothing of the sort happened on a wide-spread scale.

I don't think this song or any other media drives battered women to start poisoning their abuser's black-eyed peas. As for being a piece of media that is "inciting" people to action this isn't like yelling "Fire" in a theatre.

And if by chance some women were to poison their abusers and roll them in a tarp, I don't think it will be because they took the sage advice of Emily, Natalie and Marty. I think it will be because they feel they've reached the end of their individual rope.

I honestly do not believe that people do things because they heard it in a song. If you're inclined to do it, you'll do it Not because Judas Priest, Barenaked Ladies, Dixie Chicks or Yo Yo Ma told you to do it.

Get it? I hope so.

Anyway -- that's been on my mind since I last posted. And I just felt the need to get it out. You're finally relieved that she's stopped talking about the move and boxes and unpacking... aren't you?

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