Friday, July 15, 2011

I just called to say, shut your face

During my morning drive to work, the DJ was talking about his experience at a Stevie Wonder show. As an aside, he mentioned that Stevie started talking about politics before a song, and how much that annoyed him. Shut up and sing, the DJ basically said, no one wants to hear about your opinions.

And I thought to myself, "But we should hear about yours?"

It reminded me of two acquaintances I had many years ago, one in high school in one in college. Both were complaining, oddly enough, about Fiona Apple. The first one got real heated about her, calling her a "vegan, hippie, liberal...(grunt!)" The second told me how much he liked her music, but that she was "very opinionated."

They ought to just redefine the word "opinionated" in the dictionary to mean, "someone who expresses issues with which I disagree vehemently." Has anyone ever used the word "opinionated" in a positive sense?

I'm very political. You know that. I love to talk politics as much as anyone else, whether it's preaching to the choir or debating with an actual choir. I do think such talk has a time and place, though I don't come down in favor of "shut up and sing." I suspect that most people who push that latter thought simply disagree with the ideas being presented.

We should be happy that our entertainers have passion in the issues, whether or not we agree, as long as such passion is informed and not in the service of hatred or intolerance. If you don't like what they're saying, join the fray — don't demand they shut their traps while you brace yours open.

I know I'd never shout at Ted Nugent during a show to shut up — his batshit lunacy is at least as entertaining as his music. Also, he has guns.

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