Thursday, June 01, 2006

Whether or not you are a fan of the Dixie Chicks, I strongly recommend listening to their performance on David Letterman. You can find it at: On this website you can also view the video of this song. Once you have done this, continue reading below.

In case you have forgotten, the Dixie Chicks were tarred and feathered about 3 years ago for Natalie Maines' comment about being ashamed that George Bush is a fellow Texan. The response to this comment led to the burning of DC cds, loss of radio play, stores refusing to sell their albums, shows pulling interview slots and death threats. They were booed and protested whenever they did make public appearances. While the Dixie Chicks did not back down, they did take a brief hiatus from the recording/concert world to raise their families and collect themselves. This year, they came screaming back with "Taking the Long Way."

On David Letterman, the Chicks sang a song from their new album entitled, "Not Ready To Make Nice" and they blew me away. Not only did they confront the criticism of three years ago head on, but they transcended the drama to impart a beautiful message of strength, resilience and the right to free speech. Maines' powerful presence and emotion-filled voice is inspiring. She is "mad as hell" and not willing to squelch that emotion to make others happy. In a time where dissenters are urged and in some cases, forced to seethe silently, Maines' stands up, yet again, to make a call to arms.

It is time to stand up, to protest, to write letters. No longer can we go round and round with semantics and morality--it is time to speak out. The Dixie Chicks have withstood death threats, booes and boycotts. They have paid the price for speaking their minds. They are not flip-floppers and equivocators, but instead have come back with the same message in plain English. It is out there, no mincing of words. It is time for all of us, those who agree with Maines', to stand tall and get active. For three years we have been quiet, but now, Maines' has bravely sent out the call:

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

It is our job to answer Maines' call--to be mad and loud as hell.