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Dixie Chicks – Shut Up And Sing

I can’t say that I’ve heard much of the music by the Dixie Chicks. I’ve got nothing against them, as far as I know, but I don’t own any of their records. I do know that Me First and the Gimme Gimmes covered them on their own most recent record, if that helps. Probably it’s just a case of too much music out there, not enough time, for me. I’m sure I’ll get to them eventually. What I heard of their songs on this DVD made me want to hear more.

That said, when our library got in a copy of this DVD, I knew we’d watch it. And when we did, we were saddened, shocked, disgusted and amused.

What saddened us was that really, there was no controversy here – in the beginning. So the singer made one comment on a stage, in another country, and when the media back home got wind of it the proverbial shit hit the fan. Or fans, so to speak. And that’s what shocked us. Punks, for example, say worse stuff than that on a daily basis. This was such a non-issue to begin with, and all of a sudden, because the corporate whore media was fanning the flames, people were burning the Chicks’ CDs and waving flags and saying the band must be evil because they don’t support the troops.

Uh, wake up, you silly people. She never said anything about the troops. She expressed a fairly mild opinion about the leader you voted into power. Voted in twice, unbelievably. Look, blind patriotism with no thought behind it is way, way, way more dangerous than the nonsensical war your leader has easily led you into for the sake of oil and profit (just try to imagine that), and if all you can think to do is take words spoken honestly and, largely, in jest and twist them into your own agenda (and apply your own meaning to them by miraculously linking what she said to an attack on everything else you hold so dear in your backwater town), then I suppose you deserve what you’ll get when it all comes down. Stupid is as stupid does, right Forrest?

There were even death threats issued against the singer, which went way too far beyond idiocy and took us into what disgusted us. This is a serious offense, committed against her person, that shows just how far into lunacy this non-issue escalated, and all because no one had the sense to see it for what it was. People need more to do with their time, frankly, if this is the best they can come up with in a situation like this. Instead of being mature and just ignoring what they didn’t like to hear, or choosing to not listen to the band anymore, no, something in their fundamentalist lizard brains cracked further and this was what they imagined would be the best solution. Grow up, numbnuts, you’re just proving how low you are on the food chain with every move you make. And you’re dropping fast.

Everyone has a right to their opinion. Do you remember back in school when they taught you about the founding principles of America, and how democracy and your Constitution affords each individual certain rights and freedoms? Remember that? So how is it, then, that any time somebody does something with which you disagree you immediately seek to suppress and destroy that person’s liberties, and even threaten to hurt that person? What makes you above the law that applies to everyone? Honestly, you should see a doctor, if your knee jerks that often.

The DVD amused us though, too, because despite how seriously the situation devolved through lack of intelligence (and not to negate the seriousness of the threats in any way), there really is something so comical about watching the unwashed masses get up in arms about non-issues. This was almost as funny as watching those people on the news dump out all their french wine and change the name of one of their favourite artery-clogging, fatass-making snacks to Freedom Fries when France called what was bogus exactly that.

And even more amusing (while simultaneously frightening) was how the media latched onto the comment like the blood-crazed, scandal-creating no-minds that they are. This was a textbook example of media manipulation and mass hysteria if ever journalism students needed one as an example. It’s a free-for-all, anything for ratings, kiddies, and without question this event was tailor-made for these self-important nimnods to take it and run with it. We would expect no less and, once again, that’s what saddened us. Do people really think this is news? Are they so easily manipulated? Apparently, yes. Yikes.

All that said, the show did go on a little long. Imagine, this thing surely dragged out for pointless weeks in the news, and here I thought the DVD recap of it was too long. Well, it is pretty repetitive, and once the point is made there’s no point in making it again. That’s an editing issue, though, not any fault of the musicians’.

And this is a small point, but yes, Dixie Chicks, there really is a town in Saskatchewan called Moose Jaw. Perhaps you should spend some time with an atlas and learn a little more about the great big world you’re constantly touring, because there’s a helluva lot more out here than just America. Making fun of things and dismissing them without learning anything about them is just as dumb as some of the people who burned your CDs. Don’t choose the high ground if you can’t make the effort to earn it.

And one other thing, to make you know that you’re not completely perfect either, Chicks. Your singer is an outspoken, strong personality who is completely commandeering your lives. Speak up for yourselves, other two Chicks, don’t just give in or let her talk right over you (which she seems prone to doing). If you are a band, act like it. Stand together or not at all, but don’t just give in because one of you three is louder. And crying because you think the singer might one day want to leave is bullshit. Be strong. You’d get by just fine if it ever happened – you’re strong, talented people. Prove it.

I don’t know much about your music, Dixie Chicks, but if nothing else your situation once again dragged the will to idiocy in America, which has time and again been proven frighteningly easy to provoke in your nation, right out into the spotlight. But as evidenced by the very existence of this DVD, you’re at least smart enough to know that, like Madonna said, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

Good luck dealing with this. You’ll need it, probably for the rest of your careers. On the plus side, I’ve always felt that it’s good to keep the idiots in front of you, so you can always keep an eye on what they’re doing. In this way, Dixie Chicks, you are right now ahead of the game. Just remember, it’s when the idiots get behind you that all the real trouble begins. Just ask your nation’s leaders.

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