Thursday, April 03, 2003

”Plucky” Dixie Chick Lays Egg gets Tarred and Feathered

By now almost everyone has heard about Natalie Maines’ comment at a Dixie Chicks London concert regarding President Bush. “Just so you know we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.” she said to the audience.

Not surprisingly, the comment was well received by the London concert goers. Of course it was. Ms Maines would not have made the comment had it run the risk of provoking an unpopular response from the audience. It was as calculated as shouting “HELLO LONDON!” and I’m sure in Natalie’s mind, just as innocuous.

However, little Natalie is now being given an important life lesson. A very wise man once said to me “You can choose to do whatever you want. You cannot however, choose the consequences of that action.”

Welcome to the Land of Consequences, Natalie.

What were you thinking, girl???!!! Natalie… you are a Country Music celebrity for God’s sake!!! Have you no clue about the demographics of your audience??? Think about the majority of the people who listen to you on Country Music radio stations and buy your CDs. They drive pickup trucks with gun racks, American flags decals and “United We Stand” bumper stickers… okay? Their anthem is not "Woodstock", it’s "Proud to be an American".

Did you think that word of your comments would not make it back to the States? Did you think that many people, quite likely the majority of the people that buy your recordings would not be royally PISSED OFF at your comment? Apparently you did not.

I’m going to guess that if you were giving a concert in your home town of Lubbock, you would not have made the same comment. Why…? Because you know damned well that you would not get the same positive, self affirming reaction. In fact, it’s highly likely that you would have been booed off the stage. But you were in London… not Lubbock, so why not speak out, receive a nice positive response and… on with the show.

I would have much more respect for you had you made your statement stateside. First, you would have run a risk, even in New York or San Francisco of getting at least a mixed response. Second, and more importantly in my mind, you said that you were ASHAMED of our SITTING PRESIDENT to a FOREIGN AUDIENCE on FOREIGN SOIL!

Hello… this is something that Americans, even those with mixed feelings about the war and their President do not take very kindly to. There are things that, especially during wartime should stay in the family. On a very real level in your professional life, the United States of America IS your family Natalie. Country music is a genre that thrives on a pride for this country and a self-confident American national identity. Their “Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys” and in their minds you took a cheap shot at the “Cowboy in Chief”.

Now, you have a right to hold and state your opinions. But you made a big mistake by blurting out your shame of your President that evening in London. Hey, it’s not like you were giving a press conference on the war. It was a frigging concert and you wanted audience response. Well you got one.

And the chances are that that response is going to hit you where it hurts. No Natalie, no one is going to censure you or drag you out of your very nice house in the middle of the night never to be seen again. No one is going to torture and threaten to kill your child to force a retraction and a loyalty oath out of you. No one is going to stifle your right to free speech in any way. No, that’s the kind of thing that happens in the country that we’re fighting to liberate right now. The American public is simply going to respond to your comment with their power as consumers.

And it is going to get you in your pocket book. Bummer…

And the beauty part is that you KNOW this. Your responses to the media immediately after the concert were defiant. Even celebrities have freedom of speech… blah, blah, blah… Then your plucky defiance faded to a sheepish apology. What little respect I had for you evaporated then and there. It demonstrates that your comment was based not on conviction, but on the desire for pseudo-political cachet. It was more of a fashion statement than a statement against fascism. And now that your little commentary has elicited a strong outcry at home, you’re covering your wallet, protecting it like a human shield from a coalition smart bomb.

Natalie, because of your half-baked commentary, your ex-fans in Texas may think you a Yankee turncoat… but you know that you’re not. You just love the Yankee Dollar.

Dixie Chicks next single: "I'm Proud to be an American".


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