13 Years

dixiechicks  It has been thirteen years since Natalie Maines, lead singer of the Dixie Chicks, spoke the words which effectively ended a sky-rocketing Country Music career.   On March 10th, 2003 on the eve of the Iraq War, Maines said, during a London concert, “We don’t want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States (George W. Bush) is from Texas”.
The nation was still raw from 9/11, in the height of nationalist fever. I was a part of it. I was angry, and I wanted revenge on someone.

The anger the nation was feeling, was directed at the Dixie Chicks, to the point where their career was all but ended. Country Music radio was forced to blacklist the band. Stations were threatened with boycotts if they aired the music.
And for what? Because American citizens dared to voice their opinions. And they dared to do it on foreign soil.

As I said, I was a part of this. I was a huge fan of the Dixie Chicks, I had bought every album, including the one they were touring for in 2003 “Home”. Following the concert in London, and the media frenzy, I stopped listening to them, and even after three-years, I refused to buy their next album in 2006, “Taking The Long Way”.

But just the other day I watched the documentary, “Shut Up And Sing”, the story of the aftermath of the London concert. When you see the effect it had on, not only their lives and careers, but those of their families, and the people who worked for them, and their families, you understand, it wasn’t just the band who were punished, but many others as well.

So, is this at all relatable to what we are seeing in politics today? Is the phenomenon of the Trump campaign, an outgrowth of the nationalistic groundswell which followed 9/11? Is the fear and anger with us today? Will we fall prey to the human instinct to fear, that which we do not understand?

Why is it, we must hate those we disagree with? Why is it, we must minimize others, in order to maximize ourselves?

Why is it, we must silence others, in order to be heard? The answer is, we don’t.

I bought that last Dixie Chicks album the other day, and it’s good. It’s basically the middle finger to those who are haters, and I like it. They never backed away from what they believed, they spoke their minds and said, love us or hate us, it’s who we are. I respect that.

It’s time we as Americans, recognize we need not silence, or shout others down, in order to be heard. We can have the debate, we can find common ground, once we realize we are all in this together. It’s not about whose team wins, we are all on the same team. Let us look for the best person in all cases, for the job.

And for anyone out there, still holding a grudge against the Chicks, let it go, time to forgive.

 

19 Comments on "13 Years"

  1. fightingbluehen says:

    The Dixie Chicks were right, but there is a place and time for everything, and I guess the Dixie Chicks and the people who work for them had to learn that lesson the hard way.

  2. You know what irritates the heck out of me? I pay good money for tickets to be entertained at a show and the entertainer decides their political views are more important for me to hear than seeing a good show.

    Know what else irritates the heck out of me? Overuse of the words hate and haters. Just because someone calls a station and says “If you play that band, I’m going to boycott your station,” does not make the caller a hater. It makes the caller a listener exercising his free speech rights.

    Is what the Dixie Chicks said thirteen years ago worthy of trashing their albums and, in the process, their careers? For me, no. The fact they were country was good enough reason for me to not buy their albums nor waste my money on a concert ticket, with or without the political commentary.

    But do tell, when did exercising one’s free speech rights start earning them the label of “hater” or has that label come about in an effort to shut people up?

  3. Rick says:

    Why is it, we must silence others, in order to be heard?

    Who “silenced” the Dixie Chicks? Nobody.

    You know what irritates the heck out of me? I pay good money for tickets to be entertained at a show and the entertainer decides their political views are more important for me to hear than seeing a good show.

    Exactly. When an entertainer uses the stage as a platform for expressing political views, then they should expect a political reaction. Which is what happened.

    I bought that last Dixie Chicks album the other day, and it’s good. It’s basically the middle finger to those who are haters, and I like it. They never backed away from what they believed, they spoke their minds and said, love us or hate us, it’s who we are. I respect that.

    But those who think that the Dixie Chicks are airheads are “haters?” Well, the Dixie Chicks were “ashamed” that Bush was from Texas; maybe a lot of Texans were ashamed that the Dixie Chicks were from Texas.

    The music business is about selling music. If you’re going to be a political band, at least be aligned with your intended market. In country music, a post-911 rant against a former governor of Texas makes no sense from a marketing standpoint. It was a monumental miscalculation. Nobody tried to silence their views; they merely stopped buying their music. The public has a right to buy or not to buy, and they chose the latter.

  4. Rick says:

    For the ever-so-“tolerant” Frank…

    What, exactly, is this Zeitgeist thing? The question bears repeating. Is it not astounding, to begin with, that when one English Darwinian reaches for a weapon to club another, the most convenient cudgel to hand should be a German word — associated with an abstruse lineage of state-worshipping idealistic philosophy — explicitly referencing a conception of historical time that has no discernible connection to the process of naturalistic evolution? It is as if, scarcely imaginably, during a comparable contention among physicists (on the topic of quantum indeterminacy), one should suddenly hear it shouted that “God does not play dice with the universe.” In fact, the two examples are intimately entangled, since Dawkins’ faith in the Zeitgeist is combined with adherence to the dogmatic progressivism of ‘Einsteinian Religion’ (meticulously dissected, of course, by Moldbug).

    The shamelessness is remarkable, or at least it would be, were it naively believed that the protocols of scientific rationality occupied sovereign position in such disputation, if only in principle. In fact – and here irony is amplified to the very brink of howling psychosis – Einstein’s Old One still reigns. The criteria of judgment owe everything to neo-puritan spiritual hygiene, and nothing whatsoever to testable reality. Scientific utterance is screened for conformity to a progressive social agenda, whose authority seems to be unaffected by its complete indifference to scientific integrity. It reminds Moldbug of Lysenko, for understandable reasons.

    “If the facts do not agree with the theory, so much worse for the facts” Hegel asserted. It is the Zeitgeist that is God, historically incarnated in the state, trampling mere data back into the dirt. By now, everybody knows where this ends. An egalitarian moral ideal, hardened into a universal axiom or increasingly incontestable dogma, completes modernity’s supreme historical irony by making ‘tolerance’ the iron criterion for the limits of (cultural) toleration. Once it is accepted universally, or, speaking more practically, by all social forces wielding significant cultural power, that intolerance is intolerable, political authority has legitimated anything and everything convenient to itself, without restraint.

    That is the magic of the dialectic, or of logical perversity. When only tolerance is tolerable, and everyone (who matters) accepts this manifestly nonsensical formula as not only rationally intelligible, but as the universally-affirmed principle of modern democratic faith, nothing except politics remains. Perfect tolerance and absolute intolerance have become logically indistinguishable, with either equally interpretable as the other, A = not-A, or the inverse, and in the nakedly Orwellian world that results, power alone holds the keys of articulation. Tolerance has progressed to such a degree that it has become a social police function, providing the existential pretext for new inquisitional institutions. (“We must remember that those who tolerate intolerance abuse tolerance itself, and an enemy of tolerance is an enemy of democracy,” Moldbug ironizes.)

    The spontaneous tolerance that characterized classical liberalism, rooted in a modest set of strictly negative rights that restricted the domain of politics, or government intolerance, surrenders during the democratic surge-tide to a positive right to be tolerated, defined ever more expansively as substantial entitlement, encompassing public affirmations of dignity, state-enforced guarantees of equal treatment by all agents (public and private), government protections against non-physical slights and humiliations, economic subsidies, and – ultimately – statistically proportional representation within all fields of employment, achievement, and recognition. That the eschatological culmination of this trend is simply impossible matters not at all to the dialectic. On the contrary, it energizes the political process, combusting any threat of policy satiation in the fuel of infinite grievance. “I will not cease from Mental Fight, Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand: Till we have built Jerusalem, In England’s green and pleasant land.” Somewhere before Jerusalem is reached, the inarticulate pluralism of a free society has been transformed into the assertive multiculturalism of a soft-totalitarian democracy…

    Nick Land, from The Dark Enlightenment, Chapter 3.

  5. Geezer says:

    For the un-endarkened, Rick is quoting from a neo-fascist founding document.

    That white, pointy hood fits you nicely, Rick.

  6. delacrat says:

    “The Dixie Chicks were right, but there is a place and time for everything, and I guess the Dixie Chicks and the people who work for them had to learn that lesson the hard way.” – FBH

    If our country had heeded the Dixie Chicks, instead of blathering about the proper “time and place”, countless Iraqis and 4,497 US service personnel would still be alive.

  7. Rick says:

    Another Wikipedia retort from the biggest thing in Murder Town.

    Is Nick Land in the KKK? Or, was that just an Alinskyite diversion? You see, the Left never attacks the content- the ideas expoused- but rather, the author himself, who must be ridiculed, accused or impugned. Diversion. Don’t read Land, or you’re in the Klan. Get it?

    The end of Western Civilization may be just over the horizon. Not as scintillating a topic as The Walking Dead or Donald Trump, but some people would like to understand why it’s happening.

  8. Rick says:

    An ode to Little Wilmadelphia, aka Murder Town. Courtesy of the Dark Enlightenment:

    In much of the Western world, in stark contrast [to first world Asian cities], barbarism has been normalized. It is considered simply obvious that cities have ‘bad areas’ that are not merely impoverished, but lethally menacing to outsiders and residents alike. Visitors are warned to stay away, whilst locals do their best to transform their homes into fortresses, avoid venturing onto the streets after dark, and – especially if young and male — turn to criminal gangs for protection, which further degrades the security of everybody else. Predators control public space, parks are death traps, aggressive menace is celebrated as ‘attitude’, property acquisition is for mugs (or muggers), educational aspiration is ridiculed, and non-criminal business activity is despised as a violation of cultural norms. Every significant mechanism of socio-cultural pressure, from interpreted heritage and peer influences to political rhetoric and economic incentives, is aligned to the deepening of complacent depravity and the ruthless extirpation of every impulse to self-improvement. Quite clearly, these are places where civilization has fundamentally collapsed, and a society that includes them has to some substantial extent failed.

    Is this a fundamentally erroneous observation? A racist rant? A Klan screed?

    Or, is it reality?

  9. Frank Knotts says:

    FDR says, “You know what irritates the heck out of me? I pay good money for tickets to be entertained at a show and the entertainer decides their political views are more important for me to hear than seeing a good show.”
    Actually, you pay to see whatever they choose to do. Even though you may have expectations, of what you will see. I would suggest you look for the film showing Dylan plugging in for the first time. Not what the folk audience expected.
    FDR then says, “Know what else irritates the heck out of me? Overuse of the words hate and haters. Just because someone calls a station and says “If you play that band, I’m going to boycott your station,” does not make the caller a hater. It makes the caller a listener exercising his free speech rights.”
    You claim I overuse the word hater. I only use the word once, “I bought that last Dixie Chicks album the other day, and it’s good. It’s basically the middle finger to those who are haters, and I like it.”
    Well FDR, if you go back and read more than the title, you would see I had said earlier, “As I said, I was a part of this. I was a huge fan of the Dixie Chicks, I had bought every album, including the one they were touring for in 2003 “Home”. Following the concert in London, and the media frenzy, I stopped listening to them, and even after three-years, I refused to buy their next album in 2006, “Taking The Long Way”.
    So I guess in my single use of the word “hater”, I was calling myself a hater, which in your mind, is overuse. And thanks for playing.
    Rick asked, “Who “silenced” the Dixie Chicks? Nobody.”
    Actually Rick, they were effectively silenced when the country music radio stations decided as a whole to stop playing them. This was a result of a campaign to force the stations to do so, driven by a nationalistic fervor.
    Let me say, I have absolutely no problem with the people exercising the power of the purse. I only ask, was the comment worthy of the punishment? These, in my opinion, were and are, three talented young artist, and that talent has been wasted, because of a moment in time, when Americans, myself included, wanted blood.
    Rick says, “But those who think that the Dixie Chicks are airheads are “haters?” ” Rick, see my comment to FDR.
    Rick, if you have quotes from books, please give links instead of the long comments. Thanks.
    And would anyone like to comment on this paragraph from the post?
    “It’s time we as Americans, recognize we need not silence, or shout others down, in order to be heard. We can have the debate, we can find common ground, once we realize we are all in this together. It’s not about whose team wins, we are all on the same team. Let us look for the best person in all cases, for the job.”

  10. Frank, if I went to a Dylan concert (or REM or Green Day or….) I would expect political commentary because that’s what their music is about. But they wouldn’t interrupt their show to take the opportunity to dis a war that just started and dis a president they obviously don’t like. They’d let their music tell the story, and more poignantly than “We don’t want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States (George W. Bush) is from Texas”. Wanna talk about haters? There it is right there straight from the Dixie Chicks’ mouths. What they said is not political commentary.

    That said, no, I wasn’t saying you, specifically, overuse the term haters. Over the last couple of years, labeling someone a hater when they express their disagreement with someone else has been in vogue by just about anyone who takes to the public stage. It’s intellectually lazy, nothing more than an ad hominen attack, and designed solely to shut the dissenters up.

    Here you go:
    “Why is it, we must hate those we disagree with? Why is it, we must minimize others, in order to maximize ourselves?”
    Followed by:
    “Why is it, we must silence others, in order to be heard? The answer is, we don’t.
    I bought that last Dixie Chicks album the other day, and it’s good. It’s basically the middle finger to those who are haters, and I like it”

    Ironic how you ask a valid question and then turn around and do exactly what you claim others do – you minimized those who expressed their displeasure with the Dixie Chicks by calling them haters because, apparently, they willingly put so many people on the unemployment line by boycotting the Dixie Chicks.

    So see, I do read your whole articles and not just the titles. Why would you try to minimize me by stating I only read your title? To maximize yourself? :)

  11. Frank Knotts says:

    FDR, obviously you don’t. So I can’t call myself hater? My point mentioning Dylan wasn’t his political views, it was about him plugging in for the first time, and that it was not what his audience expected.

  12. I see. So if my commentary doesn’t match what you think you wrote, then it’s my fault for not reading the article instead of your fault for not writing it clearly? As for Dylan, you made a non-point. From the moment he plugged in onward, he started his career being a political folk singer. If the audience didn’t expect his performance, it’s because they didn’t know who Dylan was.

  13. Rick says:

    FDR says, “You know what irritates the heck out of me? I pay good money for tickets to be entertained at a show and the entertainer decides their political views are more important for me to hear than seeing a good show.”

    Actually, you pay to see whatever they choose to do.

    Really? You pay to see a band and they juggle for an hour?

    Maybe you go to a concert to watch a group do “whatever they choose to do.” But most people go to see a concert with the expectation of hearing music.

    The Dixie Chicks were country music performers, and as such, they should have had enough sense as to not condemn an extremely popular former governor of Texas and post-911 Comander-in-Chief. And for their impropriety, they suffered the consequences.

    In other words, the Dixie Chicks won the battle but lost the war.

  14. Frank Knotts says:

    Rick said, “But most people go to see a concert with the expectation of hearing music. ”
    Rick once again makes my point, that expectations don’t always meet reality.
    FDR, no, you are right, I am wrong for calling myself a hater, you’re just too smart for me.

  15. Such flippancy…maybe it’s time to stop following you.

  16. Rick says:

    Rick said, “But most people go to see a concert with the expectation of hearing music.

    Rick once again makes my point, that expectations don’t always meet reality.

    I didn’t “make your point,” because you didn’t have a point. You inanely posted:

    Actually, you pay to see whatever they choose to do.

    The comment stands on it’s own stupidity. Customers want to hear music- not political screeds. A person attending a concert expects music, not speeches. Key word; concert.

    The whole topical vector was precipitated by FDR’s comment:

    You know what irritates the heck out of me? I pay good money for tickets to be entertained at a show and the entertainer decides their political views are more important for me to hear than seeing a good show.

    And FDR is right. The only “point” you proved is that you feel that you must for some reason fulfill the role of contrarian even if it leads you well into the realm of absurdity.

  17. Brock Landers says:

    I had never listened to the Dixie Chicks prior to their declaration of GWB Texan shame. As a result of their courageous and correct statement I sought their music.

    The only thing Natalie Maines is guilty of is excessive empathy. She can’t help the fact that she shares Texas with an uncharged war criminal.

  18. Frank Knotts says:

    Rick, the point was, that people don’t always get what they expect.

  19. mouse says:

    The bitter clingers are so dogmatic

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