26 March 2007


A couple of weekends ago I watched the recently released DVD "Shut Up and Sing", the documentary chronicling the controversy surrounding the Dixie Chicks and their remarks made a few years ago about the current world war in Iraq. I'm already a fan of the Dixie Chicks so I couldn't' wait to watch the movie, but after watching it I have to admit I love them even more and thoroughly recommend it to any American who believes in free speech. Now, I have some friends who believe "entertainers" shouldn't use their celebrity platforms to convey their personal beliefs, specifically when it comes to politics. You know, after viewing this film—and knowing the story behind the controversy—I disagree wholeheartedly.

The Dixie Chicks, although the statement made by lead singer Natalie Maines was not precontrived, are not only one of the most talented and incredible bands of our time, but also the most important. I was so completely moved by watching "Shut Up & Sing" that I couldn't contain myself. Sure, many folks would…and have…disagreed with the stance of the Dixie Chicks, but I find them totally brave and resilient. Can you believe, based on what Natalie Maines said in a concert in London, that someone threatened to kill her? I mean they told her the date, time, and location. Scary. All this just because she said she is ashamed George Bush is from her home state? Hell, I'm ashamed he is from the United States. And I am NOT fearful of saying that. Why did they have to be made the examples for a country who can't stand the person leading us, in the world's eyes? I just don't get it.

The documentary is not only a statement about politics and freedom of speech but also how ridiculous the music business is in our country, and how absurd people can be (in one of the scenes in the movie a woman proudly rebukes the Dixie Chicks and even encourages her baby—who can probably not even speak—to do the same; how can you impose your ideals on a person who can barely even think for himself?). It really is mesmerizing.

If you end-up watching "Shut Up and Sing" I'd love to know what you think.


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