24 February 2008

Still at war and still singing

I've been blogging personally for nearly a year (I published the first post here on Nifty Nation on the 25th of March, and for the most part I've been pretty good at keeping up with staying active) and professionally for well over a year.

As politics are at the height of public awareness I'm reminded of a post I published about the Dixie Chicks and their documentary "Shut Up & Sing." I have to reiterate how important the movie is, regardless of whether or not you're a fan of the band. To honor the documentary I'd like to republish that post, which went live on 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.



Colleen said...

I didn't watch it, but I'm a huge fan of the Dixie Chicks. I wonder if I can get it on Netflix? I think the backlash against Natalie was completely ridiculous and out of line...the crazy Republican NRA truck driving chew spittin' fans of GWB can have him!

Social Citizen said...


If you watch the movie I really think you'll be moved. It's a powerful message about American culture, and how close-minded our country can be sometimes.