Thursday, April 11, 2013

Elitism Meets The South...Results Not Good

Sometimes it pays to "have been there." Sometimes it helps to put yourself in another's shoes. Sometimes it helps to have a few more years under your belt, or your Jimmy Choo's.

Sometimes it helps to understand the entire concept of a literary work, a movie, or a song. Such was the case when Brad Paisley and LL Cool J performed Accidental Racist at the ACMs the other night. Yes, an unlikely pairing, and maybe NOT the best of songs.....but the hoopla was uncalled for.

"My big issue lies with Paisley’s portrayal of some clueless rube sauntering into a Starbucks and not understanding why someone might object to his having a symbol of centuries of terror and enslavement emblazoned upon his t-shirt. I mean, for heaven’s sake, even the sole remaining member of Lynyrd Skynyrd has publicly repudiated the Stars and Bars.'   (Yes, after decades of soul searching.......ME)

The author of this particular article, or some others,  obviously DOES NOT understand Southern Pride, even today. Right or most objective is hard to disregard the past, and sometimes what was popular decades ago, even in music, cannot be forgotten. Remnants of that culture, and its popularity today (I love Lynyrd Skynyrd still and I'm NOT a teenager) is a given. NOTHING TO DO WITH RACISM OR THE LIKE....just the good Southern music. The Allman Brothers, Molly Hatchet, The Doobie Brothers, Marshall Tucker, 38 special, The Outlaws, Little Feat, Rossington Collins.....all of these groups had something to add to our present music culture. Not all rap is sex, hate, guns, and hating the white guy either. (And LL Cool J is a very good actor.)

Some people just do not like Country music or Rap. That is fine. Not everybody has the same taste. (Rap is a foreign language to me.....) But understanding the artists is paramount in getting the message from their work. To say what some have said...that this is some hokey Southern loser singer trying to make a name for himself.....could not be more wrong.

Brad Paisley has touched upon this sensitive subject over the years. I'll bet that all those that are yammering today have NO clue...

"I had a friend in schoolRunning back on a football teamThey burned a cross in his front yardFor asking out the home coming queen"

Before all the know-it-alls go off with their noses in the air, condescension dripping from their pores, and words like RACISM spewing from their lips, you might want to take a look at this:

"You know everywhere has somethin' there known for
although usually it washes up on our shores
little Italy, Chinatown, sittin' there side by side
live from New York, It's Saturday Night!"

Mr.Paisley is an compassionate man of today: a family man, a realist, someone who knows that the past IS influencing the present...the end result is up to all of us. He knows that we all came from different places socially, culturally, and that we all bring something to the table.

I only wish we ALL were adult enough to recognize it.

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