Monday, February 12, 2007

Good for the Dixie Chicks.

You know, I just could never understand what the fuss was about.

I'm not a huge country fan but I do love me some Dixie Chicks. They had my attention as soon as I saw the video for "Goodbye, Earl." I laughed my ass off and there was just something about their harmony that got me deep down. They are the kind of incredibly gifted musicians that are able to transcend a genre.

And thinking back, I seem to recall there was a bit of controversy over that song and its appropriateness. Which just goes to show that some people really need to find a hobby. (Yes, I'm talking to you, Tipper!)

But that Earl controversy was nothing like what the Chicks experienced when Natalie Maines said, "Just so you know, we're ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas," during a concert in London in the build-up to the war in Iraq.

The comment and the resulting flack, including death threats and plummeting CD and concert ticket sales is documented in "Shut Up and Sing," a fabulous and incredibly eye-opening documentary. It amazed me just how cruel people can be. I mean, this was a time when Eddie Vedder was singing anti-war songs and wearing Bush masks onstage. When other bands were taking a much more hardcore stand in concert -- even in, hell, especially in foreign venues. The only difference seemed to be that the Chicks were, well, chicks and in the country genre. Talk about a double standard.

But last night, the Chicks won 5 Grammys for their newest album, "Taking the Long Way." CNN titled their article about it "A Nice Night for the Dixie Chicks." I know that they were just playing on the winning song's name but it's so much more than nice. It's well-deserved.

You want to support the troops? Pick up a copy of the Chicks' album. One of the reasons my husband is a soldier is to protect the long-standing ideals of this country's constitution, including free speech. I can think of no better tribute to the men and women in uniform than some women who were willing to speak their mind about their misgivings when so many in the rest of the country were afraid to.

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