I'm watching "Storytellers" on VH1, featuring the Dixie Chicks, and it has me in quite a quandary. I don't want to start a political firestorm here on my blog (please refrain, actually) but let's just say I don't super-duper love some of the choices the Chicks have made in recent years. I agree with some of their politics, but strongly disagree with their methodology. In the words of those well-known political advisors, Destiny's Child - my Mama raised me better than that.
So here I am, hunkered down in front of the TV with my dog and a little bowl of guacamole, ready to dislike them a little more. But then Martie (the violinist) tells the story behind "Cowboy Take Me Away" - how she wrote this song for her sister, and the guy she hoped would love her sister in the way that she deserved. Well that just got me. That's the good stuff. This is something my sister and I would do for each other, if we had any musical talent whatsoever (which we don't, so we just share a bottle of wine from time to time and say, "Thank God you didn't end up with THAT guy!")
It's so hard sometimes, when you don't really like someone (I doubt Natalie Maines and I would last long as friends) but you love what they do. I am awed by some of the Chicks' songs - "I'm Not Ready To Make Nice" could be the anthem to any number of breakups I wrestled through, and "Wide Open Spaces" is the theme of my early life (the "room to make a big mistake" part in particular). Their music is so good, covering a range of life's joy and angst and sorrow that hits me in a way only a few other artists do. But some of Natalie's comments make me long for TiVo.
I'm not sure what to do with this dichotomy? What do you do when you find a musician/actor/author whose work you love when they do things that infuriate you?
On a lighter note, maybe I just like the banjo. Honestly - it's tough to be unhappy around a banjo.