by: Thomas D. Mooney
It’s Natalie Maines birthday today. She’s undoubtedly the most polarizing artist to come from Lubbock, Texas–and perhaps, also the most talented (This is an unarguable fact. She’s in the discussion).
It’s been some 10 years since her comments on former President George. W. Bush, yet, people around here act as though she was on stage burning a flag, a draft card, and using the New Testament as rolling papers.
It’s just childish, down right stupid, and hypocritical to be boycotting a musician for having a political opinion. Some will think that everyone in the public eye should keep their opinions to themselves, but we all know that’s some pipe dream. Who cares if they’re outspoken? I know plenty of people who aren’t nearly as influential and famous as Maines who are at the opposite end of the political spectrum that I’m still friends with.
it’s no secret that Lubbock is one of the most conservative areas in the country–but don’t be so ignorant to believe that everyone is a registered Republican (or the ever more popular trend of calling themselves a Libertarian). There’s plenty of folks who are liberal leaning–probably a healthy handful of those who are musicians, writers, artists, and the like.
But that’s not even the point. Maines is one of the most talented musicians in the modern era of music. And yet, her hometown doesn’t embrace her.
It’s disgusting. Talk about holding on to a grudge.
The City of Lubbock doesn’t have a clean track record of accepting artists for who they are over the years. It was some 20 years after Buddy Holly died that a statue was erected of the rock n’ roll pioneer. And that wasn’t done by the city, but rather began by Larry Corbin, Jerry Coleman, and Waylon Jennings. It wasn’t until 1983 that Civic Lubbock took over the West Texas Walk of Fame and began inducting musicians and artists from the area.
More than anything, you don’t just go from championing her pre-comments to thinking she’s a horrible artist who makes the worst music imaginable post-comments. It doesn’t work that way. That’s how a child thinks, not a logical, level-headed individual.
I’m not saying you have to go out and purchase every Dixie Chicks album and Maines’ excellent 2013 album Mother, but quit bashing her for having a differing political opinion. You’re really missing out on some of great music.
Lubbock sure hates when the outside world bashes it on “Top 10 Most Boring Cities” lists and things of that nature, but you’re certainly aren’t helping yourself with a hypocrite’s point of view. You can’t control everything, but come on, at least try. Give a damn.
Accept her. Play her on the radio. Induct her in the Walk of Fame. Build a statue. Book her. It’s all overdue.
If not, when?
Is it going to be 2040 and Lubbock’s on to grasping for their next nostalgia fix? I mean, I love Buddy Holly just as much, if not more, than anyone reading this, but how about directing some of that energy towards those who are presently available?
If not, you’re always going to be 20, 30, 40 years in the past. You’re forever behind the curve. It’s not a good look, Lubbock.
Lubbock only appreciates those who have made it elsewhere–and even then, you have to abide by a strict set of guidelines to be truly accepted. As a whole, it doesn’t cultivate and nurture the arts like other thriving art centers do.
Obviously, there’s a select group who do. Those who do, they’re important as ever. They’re the voices who need to be heard. But, it takes an effort from more to make a legitimate difference.
I think just about nearly every musician and artist who’s called Lubbock home at some point has a love-hate relationship with the city. It’s frustrating at times. Yet, there’s an unconditional love from their end at least.
If Lubbock musicians and arts were as appreciated by insiders as they are by outsiders, this city wouldn’t go through ups and downs in the music scene. Other cities, they love Lubbock musicians. Go to any metro-area and mention you’re a Lubbock musician, folks want to talk to you about it.
I’m nearly convinced that Lubbock actually loves that badge of “We have great musicians, but we don’t like to give them too much credit or praise to prove a point.”
Still, there’s a major distinction between ignoring and going full on “boycott.” That’s what makes the entire Maines/Dixie Chicks blacklisting so strange and hypocritical. When you do so, it implies a true hatred.
As an example, you can’t love Josh Abbott partly for being outspoken politically just because you agree with him and bash Maines for doing the same thing.
There’s no logical reason behind ostracizing one of your most talented individuals based on political affiliation. It’s not as though they’re Nazi sympathizers or something. But, for the sake of argument, if there is, please, enlighten us all.
There will, without doubt, be someone who disagrees with this and goes full anti-New Slang from here on out. If so, you just proved our point.