So, in case it needs to be said, I think this is ridiculous. Not only do I think it’s ridiculous, I think it’s extremely harmful. It’s an indicator of a problem that I have been made increasingly aware of. That problem is our society’s and more specifically, our generation’s willingness and even desire to have opposing viewpoints suppressed. Of course I am not naïve enough to believe that silencing opposition is a new phenomenon. However, in a country which prides itself on freedom, I’ve noticed an alarmingly increasing tendency toward this dystopian or totalitarian level of suppression. I cannot stress enough that pushing away and trying to quash alternative viewpoints is probably the most insidious threat to our growth intellectually and simply as human beings.
It took me a long time to really recognize how common this attitude was among people, mainly because it never made sense to me. Of course I get a little uncomfortable when something challenges my worldview. That’s something that is natural to almost all of us. We want to know that our understanding of things is clear and unchanging. If we admit parts of our worldview are wrong, we face the scary notion that we’ve been wrong all along, and all of our actions have been based on suppositions which were, in some part, false. This makes sense. I could even understand (but not condone) avoiding opposing viewpoints so as to remain in your comfort zone. What puzzles me though, is believing that it is right, just or even okay to try to silence an opposing viewpoint. This (thankfully) brings me back to the more specific topic at hand, this outcry to “ban” a song with potentially scandalous lyrics.
First of all, for those of you who haven’t heard the song or don’t know the story so far, there are some potential lesbian themes in the song. If you actually listen to the song it’s not really about lesbian feelings or anything like that it just sounds like it. That’s right, people are so fought up because of a song that only sounds like it might challenge their sensibilities. That seems to be the angle a lot of news sites are coming at it from. “Guys relax it’s not actually about gay people.” Okay, technically that’s true but I feel like the point should be “guys why do you care if a radio station plays this song about gay people?”. I can only make assumptions about the general listenership of country radio stations but I presume many of them take object with “gay themes”. To that I say “change the station”. The real sinister nature of trying to ban or suppress certain types of art lies in the fact that it affects others too. Avoiding a viewpoint you disagree with hurts you because you don’t get exposed to different kinds of ideas. Stopping other people from disseminating opposing viewpoints robs other people of the chance to experience new ideas. That is where things get dystopian, and where I start to get really irritated by it.
Regardless of your viewpoint on gay rights, marriage, queer culture, w/e, you should be upset about this. It is not a hard concept to grasp that if you can silence someone else’s viewpoint, sooner or later someone’s going to silence yours too.