When Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines announced to a British audiance a couple years back that she was "ashamed" that President Bush was from Texas, the same state that produced her, country music stations stopped playing their songs and some even organized CD-destruction-fests reminiscent of those that accompanied the revelation that Milli Vanilli were just a couple of lip-syncers.
It's been alleged that Maines primary sin was that she had uttered her political opinions overseas -- I don't really think that's the case. It's one thing to expect the political class not to trash the U.S. overseas, but for the entertainment class -- not so much.
I think what really galled most of the Chicks fans -- and I owned their first two albums at the time -- was that Maines spouted off to endear the Chicks with a largely anti-American mood overseas. Maines would've been much braver -- and been booed off the stage -- had she made her pronouncement in, say, Texas.
Anyway, Maines first political announcement -- which got the Chicks new fans at the cost of alienating most of their old ones -- was lame and contentless. Maines latest political diatribe -- again in Great Britain -- demonstrates why their music is pretty darn good. There's tune echoes back and forth in Maines empty cranium before coming out her mouth.
The Chicks can't hide their disgust at the lack of support they received from other country performers. "A lot of artists cashed in on being against what we said or what we stood for because that was promoting their career, which was a horrible thing to do," says Robison.
"A lot of pandering started going on, and you'd see soldiers and the American flag in every video. It became a sickening display of ultra-patriotism."
"The entire country may disagree with me, but I don't understand the necessity for patriotism," Maines resumes, through gritted teeth. "Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country... I don't see why people care about patriotism."
Just out of curiosity, does this make it OK to question Maines' patriotism?