Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Letter to Kacey Musgraves

Dear Kacey,

I like country music.  A lot.  You kind of strike me as positioning yourself as the Alanis Morisette of country music, though I'm not sure that will work out so well in the end.  However, I want to do my best to give you the benefit of the doubt without sounding like that guy.  But your song really stinks.  It's no good.

[Editorial Note:  in case you don't know the song I'm talking about (for readers, not Kacey, obviously):

Make lots of noise and kiss lots of boys
Kiss lots of girls if that's what your into
When the straight and narrow gets a little too straight light up a joint, or don't
Just follow your arrow wherever it points]

If I were to truly follow my arrow wherever it points and everyone else did the same, we'd have anarchy.  If my arrow pointed to me robbing a bank, that would certainly be bad.  And the argument gets made back that goes something like this: "Well, as long as you're not hurting anyone it's okay."  The problem with that is our actions and inactions always have consequences on those around us.  So your exhortation to the young women who like your music is seriously detrimental to their lives and to the world they live in.  If a young woman followed her heart to roll up a joint and smoke it if she wanted to, ended up in jail, and stood before the judge, "Following your arrow" is not a defense acceptable in that situation.  But more than that, if they followed their arrow to any number of desires, it turns into bad news in a hurry.

The problem, Kacey, is that the human heart is tragically and deceitfully broken.  Tragically because of the potential that it holds and yet is marred.  Deceitfully because lines like "Follow your arrow wherever it points" actually make sense to the broken human heart even though it's terrible advice and the heart is socially incapable of actually living that way.  Again, if everyone truly followed their arrow, you can easily envision how a mom would up and leave her kids because she wanted to go rock climbing for a month.  It really is impossible.

Here's what I do appreciate about your song.  You have it right in a powerful way:  it's damned if you do and damned if you don't.  If you try to live on the aforementioned straight and narrow, you can end up in bad shape just as easily as if you threw constraint to the wind and became the best hedonist you could.  Your diagnosis is absolutely right.  Your cure is worse than the disease though.

Instead, there's a God who loves you and wants to heal, mend, and unify that fragmented heart of yours.  I know because He's done that for mine.  Instead of following the arrow, I'm following Jesus.  And He's a much better leader.


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