Monday, February 12, 2007
Wide Open Spaces
A Dixie Chicks album or the area between Natalie Maines' ears?
The Dixie Chicks won 5 Grammys during last night's award ceremony, but from the media attention you would have thought they were marching on Washington or sitting in the whites only section of a Montgomery bus. Even the Dixie Chicks themselves, or more directly singer Natalie Maines, believed the awards create some sort of vindication for all the backlash the Dixie Chicks received after Maines took a political shot at George W. Bush during 2003 concert in London: "Just so you know, we're ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas."
"I think people are using their freedom of speech tonight with all of these awards," Maines said during an acceptance speech last night.
Considering we are talking about liberal celebrities, I have no doubt a few of the ballots casted for the Dixie Chicks were politically motivated. However I question the meaning. The Dixie Chicks winning a few Grammys isn't about freedom of speech and to suggest such a thing is an insult the freedom itself. Freedom of speech was Maines stating her opinion of President Bush. She is entitled to her opinions, but she is also responsible for the fallout the come from her words.
Just because fans and radio stations abandoned the Dixie Chick's music because they disagreed with Maines' politics has absolutely nothing to do with freedom of speech. However, that fact that Maines and her band mates created another album filled with raw emotions concerning the Bush fiasco [or emotions as transcribed by their team of song writers] is freedom of speech.
When it comes down to it, the Dixie Chicks peddle a product and while it may be considered "art" they got a free lesson in how capitalism works. No one has to buy their albums, nor does anyone have to attend their concerts. Dixie Chicks can say whatever they want, but no one has to listen.
Go cry in someone else's beer...