MoonDawg's Den: Not ready to make nice, but still ready to make money

MoonDawg's Den

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Not ready to make nice, but still ready to make money

Well the long holiday weekend is over, alas - but my Memorial Day weekend was full of beer, sun, and most importantly, remembrance. Upon returning to the office yesterday, I found that a friend had copied me on a letter she sent to Time magazine regarding their fawning cover story about the Dixie Chicks last week. My friend was particularly galled by Martie Maguire's generalizations about people who enjoy certain artists, e.g., Toby Keith (the Time article's author, Josh Tyrangiel, calls Keith a "brilliant redneck instigator" - this is objective journalism?).

Since Time is highly unlikely to print her missive, I will post it here for all:

I was particularly annoyed with the comments of Ms. Maguire stating "we don't want the type of fans who have Reba McEntire and Toby Keith in their disc changers - they limit what you can do."

For the record, I happen to have several country artists' CDs in my disc changer and CD collection, including Toby Keith. I also have the likes of U2, Sinatra, Elvis, Marvin Gaye and Pavarotti. In addition, I had the first two releases from the Dixie Chicks...which have made their way into the trash. I find it amusing that someone would think that because an individual has a few CDs in their collection that are labeled as country...that they don't "get it" - as she put it.

It seems to me that the only ones guilty of limiting what they can do, is the Dixie Chicks themselves. Freedom of speech is one thing, and I applaud it. But, her choice of words insulted me as a fan of all music genres and a consumer.

Ms. Maguire...I'm quite certain I'm not the one who doesn't "get it."

Sincerely,

Anne Piercy-McHann

For those who may have forgotten, the Ditzy Twits caused a minor uproar in 2003 when Natalie Maines declared she was "ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas" - and did so in front of a foreign audience on the eve of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Fans were outraged, and radio stations pulled their music from the air in response.

But the controversy blew over after a while, when the band issued a half-hearted apology. Maines expressed her opinion, and fans expressed what they thought of that opinion via the marketplace - a nice exercise in free speech all around. So why is this story back after three years?

Apparently because they just released a new single, Not Ready to Make Nice, which is being characterized as a "a four-minute f___-you" to country fans. The Chicks, as the lyrics say, are "mad as hell" and "not ready to back down".

Back in 2003, Maines was asking fans to "Accept us. Accept an apology that was made." Now, three years later, all of the sudden they're "not ready to make nice". Could this belated indignation actually have been a calculated move to garner easy publicity for their new album? If so, it was a brilliant ploy. You can't go wrong with the liberal media by insulting country fans (those easily-instigated "rednecks") and therefore by extension, red-state America.

As the New York Times noted last week, "while the Dixie Chicks would love to position themselves as underdogs, the truth is that they have probably never been more beloved by the mainstream media."

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