Dixie Chicks: Shut Up & Sing

This is a trailer for the Dixie Chicks’ new documentary, Shut Up & Sing, which chronicles the hostile and sometimes threatening conduct directed towards the Dixie Chicks after one of the group’s members criticized President Bush during a 2003 concert. It even features John McCain at his best. (You know, when he still had a backbone and still fought against torture instead of condoning the administration use of it in interrogations.)

Still the biggest problem with the Chicks was that their statement came out at a time when the people in the US were still buying the WMD line with Iraq (you know, at about the time it became popular to hate the French for disagreeing with us) after they had just taken the bait for invading in Iraq, hook, line, and sinker. The strongest support for this, of course, came from the same crowd that made up most of their fan-base. Needless to say, it offended more than a few people, so while the freedom of speech which they were exercising — as is their fundamental right to do so — is fine and dandy, that freedom of speech doesn’t also entail freedom from consequence (so long as it’s not the government doing it). If your fans love Bush and his war and you go speak against him, then you better be ready for the fallout.

This whole thing reminds me of the saying “I don’t agree with a word you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” I wonder if any of the people who protested against them ever uttered those words. Probably not. It also reminds me of the quote by Hermann Goerig, Hitler’s Reich-Marshall at the Nuremberg Trials after WWII:

Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.

(Emphasis added to specify which parts I was reminded of the most.)

Let freedom ring, indeed. Personally, what I’d like to know is how you reading this felt at the time this was said versus how you feel now. As for me, while I didn’t agree with the reasons for the invasion — I always felt them to be circumstantial at best — I believed that we wouldn’t go out and invade a country, risking American lives, unless it was absolutely necessary. (For example, Afghanistan was, I still feel, a necessary war.) In other words, I believed in Bush, Powell, Rice, and even the ever-so-creepy Cheney. I didn’t agree at the time with what the Dixie Chicks said — I thought they said it for the wrong reasons, out of trying to be Hollywood-chic without going over there and becoming human shields for Sadam — but I knew they had a right to say whatever they wanted to, just as I had a right to not like them for it. I can’t really say anything here other than I was on the wrong side, fooled like every other American and willing to allow things I wouldn’t in the specter of 9/11. (This is why I now fight so hard against the fear-mongering the Republicans are doing and the ignorance it preys upon.) While I didn’t think we were being told everything, the fact that Colin Powell was in front of the United Nations making the case for this was enough for me to think “Well, I guess if Powell says it, there must be a real threat.” Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.

(Props to CrooksAndLiars.com.)

By the way, this documentary is only being shown (as far as I know) in New York and L.A. Too bad I only live close to this backwards little podunk town, Miami. I wish we gots them big city girl documentaries here once in a while, instead of the incredibly crappy What the Bleep Do We Know About Quantum Physics which qualifies as quite possibly the Worst. Propaganda-posing-as-a-Documentary. Ever. I would’ve liked to have gone see it.

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