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Keeping up with the pulse of the country (or, Which Way is the Wind Blowing)
October 27, 2006 8:55 AM   Subscribe

Smart marketing or shameless pandering? Country music star Darryl Worley played to the largely conservative county music fanbase (and post-9/11 ultra-patriotic sentiment prevalent in the country at the time) in 2003 with his hit Have You Forgotten which strongly supported the impending war in Iraq. Today, with support for the war in Iraq dwindling, Worley has now released, “I Just Came Back”, which depicts a more ”somber light on (the) war”.
posted by The Gooch (119 comments total)

 
Now that this is cranked out I hear he's working on his next single "Ok, seriously, let's get the F out of there."
posted by ernie at 9:00 AM on October 27, 2006


Smart marketing or shameless pandering?

Well, it could be neither. It could be that a guy who put his trust in his government, and who felt as though America was doing the right thing in ousting Saddam Hussein, is now, with three years of perspective and a better understanding of the deceptions that led his country to war, exhibiting his frustrations through a song - a method which, incidentally, happens to be his livelihood.
posted by billysumday at 9:03 AM on October 27, 2006


Many of us suporte the war because what we were told was a lie (or, to be kind) an intelligence mistake. That someminds have changed is a good thing. But just see what this major station continues to do to theDixie Chicks
http://www.drudgereport.com/flash4.htm
posted by Postroad at 9:07 AM on October 27, 2006


I second billysumday's comment. As hard as it is for me to understand how someone could've supported the invasion of Iraq, I have come across many people who did but now do not. The wool has been lifted, so to speak.

Which, despite being terribly late and costly, can be seen as a good thing. A shift in national opinion about this war is what we need more country artists to express.
posted by NationalKato at 9:08 AM on October 27, 2006


A lot of people have changed their minds on the war, most of them sincerely.
posted by delmoi at 9:09 AM on October 27, 2006


"Where were yew when them thar towers fell?"
posted by StarForce5 at 9:11 AM on October 27, 2006


Fat fucking lot of good it does us now.

As I said at the time, wars are very easy to start and extremely hard to stop.
posted by Malor at 9:12 AM on October 27, 2006


So are the Dixie Chicks good Americans again?
posted by BillyElmore at 9:17 AM on October 27, 2006


I'm not a big country music fan by any means, but I thought the Alan Jackson song "Where Were You" was nice. Better than that Toby Keith travesty.
Does anyone know of a lyrics site that isn't splattered with banner ads and pop-ups?
posted by Pastabagel at 9:19 AM on October 27, 2006


I suppose it is completely within the realm of possibility that Worley's opinions have genuinely shifted over time. Still, call me a skeptic, but I can't help but be suspicious when those opinion shifts, which also happen to coincide with the general sentiment of the country at the time, serve to benefit the performer financially. To me this sort of reeks of "taking a bold stand against child abuse".
posted by The Gooch at 9:20 AM on October 27, 2006


Coming clean:

In the days following 9/11, I wanted heads on pikes. Mainly from Afghanistan, although gradually I began to appreciate certain Saudis' complicity and to wonder why in hell we were coddling them -- oil, dummy! and playing footsie with the Paks when a lot of them don't exactly love the US either.

About Iraq, I was much more fatalistic -- Sonny had unfinished business of Daddy's he was just itching to resolve. I stupidly bought into the WMD thing just because Colin Powell did his best to imitate Adlai Stevenson at the UN with blown-up photos. Silly me. Now I see a two- or three-way civil war, depending on how deeply the Kurds get sucked in, note that Kurdistan is an even further-off dream than ever now, see that we've created the perfect incubator for terrorism, even better than Beirut, and can hardly wait for bigger and better mistakes in Iran.

I like to flatter myself that my opinions have matured a bit now that people I know have been over to the sandbox. (One is staring at the likelihood of a fourth tour when he finishes first sergeants' school next year.) I'm friends with somebody who knows PFC Lori Piestawa's family. And now sometimes, I'm wondering when the next nuke will be detonated in anger, expecting it'll probably happen in downtown DC.

(Oh, and on preview, the Dix Chix are getting ripped on from certain quarters because they dared to let their opinions change/develop/mutate/mature in public. "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."
posted by pax digita at 9:25 AM on October 27, 2006


The Dixie Chick thing, at this point, is less about what she actually said and more about the contempt they have for their fanbase. All in all, the whole thing should be a non-issue. If it was divorced from politics, people would see how silly it all is. Consider a hypo: if you had a musical group that was popular with Lord of the Rings fanboys, and the band insulted J.R.R. Tolkien, what would be the reaction? The fanboys probably wouldn't appreciate it. If the band took the position of "why don't these pasty nerds keep buying our albums because they like our music and quit persecuting us for stating our opinion on Tolkien," then you would see how people would be further alienated. My guess is, most people's reaction would be: "Duh. If you insult your fanbase, their might be a consequence."

Unfortunately, so many people have an incentive to politicize things, that non-issues like this turn into holy proxy wars for people's own political fights.
posted by dios at 9:25 AM on October 27, 2006


Darryl Worley makes me so angry I can't even come up with a cutting remark.
posted by keswick at 9:31 AM on October 27, 2006


is less about what she actually said and more about the contempt they have for their fanbase.

Wrong.
Try again.
It was about Bushco and still is.

BTW, there's a new documentary out called "Shut Up and Sing" about the whole Dixie Chicks thing.

Guess which corporate TV networks won't run ads for the movie 'cause it might make Bushco and sycophants angry? Damn liberal media!
posted by nofundy at 9:40 AM on October 27, 2006


Shameless pandering.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:41 AM on October 27, 2006


Darryl Worley, Circa 2017

Homo Comandos
(in Support of President Roves new Domestic Terror Internment Program)

"They were behind the Towers
they stare at you in the showers
you never know when
they will love other men
we gotta stom them homo comandos...

They love to vamp
let's send 'em to camp
those pinko terror homo comandos"
posted by tkchrist at 9:41 AM on October 27, 2006


Smart marketing or shameless pandering?

I vote pandering.
Stay the course or cut and run Darryl?
Make up your mind!
"I was for the war before I was against it" flip-flopper!
posted by nofundy at 9:42 AM on October 27, 2006


The Dixie Chick thing, at this point, is less about what she actually said and more about the contempt they have for their fanbase.

It is not - absolutely 100-percent not - comtemptuous of artists to challenge the assumptions of their audience. In fact, it might well be essential, at least to good art. Now, I'm not suggesting the Dixie Chicks are Guernica in 4/4 time or anything, but even a pop artist has a right to question received wisdom. And it's all kinds of bullshit to suggest that they had a duty to coddle their audience's misconceptions and prejudices.

Now this Worley hack? I'm sure he'd be happy to coddle any ole prejudice you have, if you share it with enough mainstream-radio "country" fans to fill an arena.
posted by gompa at 9:49 AM on October 27, 2006


I supported the war in Iraq, on the theory that Saddam was really bad, and that we would do better for Iraqis. I was certain that Iraq had a WMD program, I believed Dick Cheney when he said that we had better intel than ElBaradei, I thought Rumsfeld must have had something pretty strong to back it up when he claimed there was "bulletproof" evidence that Saddam was working with al Qaeda.

It is, at the least, highly, highly debatable that Iraqis are better off today than they were under Saddam. I didn't think that was possible.

I thought that the fact that there had been government scandals in the past, the Gulf of Tonkin affair and Watergate, that we had learned our lesson from history that lying, and lying about war, is a mistake.

Now I think that history teaches us the same lessons over and over again, about the need for accountability and for checks on power.

As delmoi said, lots and lots of people have changed their minds on this, many of them in good faith.

So, I can't peer into the mind of Darryl Worley. But I have learned not to presume good faith.
posted by ibmcginty at 9:51 AM on October 27, 2006


"I was Country for the war when Country being for the war wasn't cool"

If Lovin' You being for the war is Wrong (I Don't Want to be Right)

</Mandrell>
posted by badger_flammable at 9:55 AM on October 27, 2006


Lyrics and you can hear a RealAudio clip on his site.

After reading them, I don't see anything even remotely anti-war, but yet more jingoistic bullshit propaganda.

I just came back from a place where they hated me and everything I stand for;
A land where our brothers are dying for others who don't even care any more.


Fuck you, Worley.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:56 AM on October 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


The Dixie Chick thing, at this point, is less about what she actually said and more about the contempt they have for their fanbase.

What?
posted by jonmc at 9:56 AM on October 27, 2006


if you had a musical group that was popular with Lord of the Rings fanboys, and the band insulted J.R.R. Tolkien

for a smart person you sure write a lot of dumb things, dios.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 9:57 AM on October 27, 2006


for a smart person you sure write a lot of dumb things, dios.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:58 AM on October 27, 2006


Consider a hypo: if you had a musical group that was popular with Lord of the Rings fanboys, and the band insulted J.R.R. Tolkien, what would be the reaction?

Now who's making a lot of assumptions about country fans?
posted by jonmc at 9:59 AM on October 27, 2006


The Dixie Chick thing, at this point, is less about what she actually said and more about the contempt they have for their fanbase.

"Anti-war sentiment has propelled Dixie Chicks to the top of the charts"

A rather bold claim that expressing shame over someone claiming to be 'from Texas' shows contempt for their fanbase. Perhaps you should write up a white paper on that, oh scholarly one? The above link is claiming they keep selling records, so I look forward to the white paper clearing this matter of insulted fanbases making a record #1.

If it was divorced from politics, people would see how silly it all is.

Lets test that theory:
"Just so you know," says singer Natalie Maines, "we're ashamed that Dios posts on Metafilter."

Yup. You are just SO right. Now that the politics is removed, a singer being ashamed is just silly.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:00 AM on October 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


So are the Dixie Chicks good Americans again?

No.
posted by MikeMc at 10:00 AM on October 27, 2006


So are the Dixie Chicks good Americans again?

No. (sorry, had to be done.)
posted by Pastabagel at 10:04 AM on October 27, 2006


Pastabagel, after your dismissal of Ray Charles, I have given myself permission not to take anything you have to say on the subject of music seriously ever again.
posted by jonmc at 10:05 AM on October 27, 2006


As I said at the time, wars are very easy to start and extremely hard to stop.
posted by Malor at 9:12 AM PST


And they have a history of bankrupting nations.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:05 AM on October 27, 2006


Glenn Greenwald is writing about the Dix Chix right now.

According to Matt Drudge (a phrase that does not roll out of one's mouth easily), both NBC and the CW Television Network (the joint venture of CBS and Warner Brothers that combines the WB and UPN Networks) are refusing to air ads promoting Shut Up & Sing on the ground that the ads are "disparaging" to our President.
...
As part of his superb report on political bias in the national media, eRiposte conclusively documents how this alleged network prohibition on "controversial political ads" virtually always operates to suppress political views that are critical of the administration and its allies.
posted by ibmcginty at 10:07 AM on October 27, 2006


Pastabagel writes "but I thought the Alan Jackson song 'Where Were You' was nice. "

That song contains this lyric :"I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you, The difference in Iraq and Iran" Makes me so mad I could spit every time I hear it. The US has been playing one side against the other at least since Reagan and this guy is ignorant of the difference?
posted by Mitheral at 10:12 AM on October 27, 2006


That song contains this lyric :"I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you, The difference in Iraq and Iran" Makes me so mad I could spit every time I hear it.

It's definitely the worst single lyric this side of "Summer Girls." If you can't tell the difference between Iraq and Iran you should shut the fuck up, Alan.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:17 AM on October 27, 2006


I prefer the Red House Painters version of "Have You Forgotten" personally.
posted by Andrew Brinton at 10:18 AM on October 27, 2006


Pastabagel : Does anyone know of a lyrics site that isn't splattered with banner ads and pop-ups?

I believe this is what you are looking for.
posted by quin at 10:20 AM on October 27, 2006


Worley and Al Franken actually became friends while on a U.S.O. tour in Iraq, and he was on Franken's radio show a couple times. He sounded like a reasonable guy at the time, so I don't doubt the sincerity of his change of opinion. After three-and-a-half years of this cluster fuck, who hasn't become a skosh more pessimistic?
posted by gigawhat? at 10:20 AM on October 27, 2006


I lived in Nashville for years, and worked in broadcasting and various aspects of the music biz. Country "artists" are artists in the same sense Salvador Dali was an artist, which is to say, they love the trappings of being regarded as creative, and hit hard limits quick when pressed for the deep meaning of their work, because it's not all that deep. Mostly, they are fairly regular people, some with a talent for slant rhymes and 8 bar, 3 chord musical forms, and a willingness to sleep on buses and cheap hotel beds a couple hundred nights a year. If you're looking for the zeitgeist of America, you're no more likely to find it, entirely, in the music on a truck stop juke box than you are in the OpEd page of the NYT. And, no less likely, either.

Worley's not a good guy or a bad guy, he's a guy with a degree in biology and a year teaching in public high school, who liked drinking and playing honky tonks better than he liked teaching, who hears things, and adopts them into a form that other people want to hear several hundred times in a couple of months, and he makes a living at it. He's neither an opinion maker or a Machiavellian profiteer, he's just a guy a with a guitar, throwing moderately musical spaghetti against the wall of the Nashville music machine, to see how much of it sticks. And from what I've seen of the guy in interviews, if the question was put to him straight up, he'd be the first one to admit it.
posted by paulsc at 10:25 AM on October 27, 2006 [4 favorites]


After reading them, I don't see anything even remotely anti-war, but yet more jingoistic bullshit propaganda.

exactly. the song seems to be about the ungrateful, unhelpful Iraqoians. but even this Worley person must have figured out, at this point, that the footage of the burning towers, by itself, doesn't sell records as well as it used to. so he tried for a slightly different spin, that's all.


The Dixie Chick thing, at this point, is less about what she actually said and more about the contempt they have for their fanbase

ah, our resident "patriots" -- their arguments have gotten even worse than Postroad's spelling at this point. in a few months time they'll be barely intelligible.


lots and lots of people have changed their minds on this, many of them in good faith

they still voted for Bush in '04, in droves. when did they change their minds, exactly?

and frankly, if we are to write a love letter to the good Americans who supported their President in the Iraq adventure, despite all the massive evidence already there indicating at the very least Bush's overenthusiams for the war (because, Jesus Christ, was it really that impossible to wait for more inspections to be carried out?), well, let's just say that if the pro-war contigent had been less savage in its depiction of the opposition as, simply, unpatriotic, and even as supporters of Al Qaeda, well, many of us would be more sympathetic now.

if you chose to support a war crime and also depicted the dissenters as traitors, well, it's quite irrelevant if you changed your mind years later. you play with matches, you get burned (well, no, American GIs and Iraqis get burned, you don't)
posted by matteo at 10:32 AM on October 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


Screw Worley. He makes me so sick that I refuse to steal his music through limewire.
posted by horsewithnoname at 10:37 AM on October 27, 2006


Dios, your hypo of JRR Tolkien is disingenuous. It's more along the lines of your hypothetical group insulting Catholics (JRRT was very catholic) - you don't have to be for the war to like country music.

Also, they said it in Europe, so they were kinda pandering to the fans - over there. I think it's less, real outrage, and more, manufactured outrage. Also, the Chicks album that was out at the time had at least (top o' my head) one pro-soldier song on it.
posted by notsnot at 10:44 AM on October 27, 2006


The Dixie Chick thing, at this point, is less about what she actually said and more about the contempt they have for their fanbase.

Wrong.
posted by Ynoxas at 10:46 AM on October 27, 2006


I hope you cherish this sweet way of life, and I hope you know that it comes with a price.
Yeah, count me in with the "this isn't an anti-war song" crowd. It sounds like he's just shifted from seeing Saddam as the enemy to seeing Iraqis as the enemy. How nuanced.
posted by verb at 10:47 AM on October 27, 2006


What matteo said- fuck you, warmongers, and fuck your stupidity. You got us into this mess, now get us out. And don't whine that you finally figured things out now- you want a prize for being slow-witted, go compete in the Special Olympics.
After three-and-a-half years of this cluster fuck, who hasn't become a skosh more pessimistic?
Dios, for one. And whatever happened to that Postroad guy who proclaimed the great public self-shaming he would commence if proven wrong about the WMDs? So, yeah... there's still a lot of very stupid, pigheaded people around. And I'm not so fucking messianic and forgiving that I want to welcome back the Prodigal retards now that they've wised up- not when there are stacks of bodies and a devastated country as reminders of how idiotic they were. Way to go, assholes. Way to go.
posted by hincandenza at 10:54 AM on October 27, 2006 [2 favorites]




you want a prize for being slow-witted, go compete in the Special Olympics.
posted by hincandenza


I know you're angry and all, but that's just a shithead thing to say.

/derail
posted by NationalKato at 10:57 AM on October 27, 2006


fuck you, warmongers, and fuck your stupidity. You got us into this mess, now get us out. And don't whine that you finally figured things out now

Jeez, even if you're right you're wrong, huh?
posted by jonmc at 10:59 AM on October 27, 2006


"In the days following 9/11, I wanted heads on pikes."

You know, I think almost all of us did. Those of us against the Iraq war just wanted the right heads on pikes.

'Course, I was against the war in Afghanistan at first, because I didn't understand the deep story there. After reading Richard Clarke's book, I understand why we attacked better. Afghanistan was the first state in what the Taliban saw as their eventual Caliphate, and stopping them there was a very, very good idea.

If we had done JUST that, and focused purely on making it work well, I genuinely believe we could have won that war. We could have fostered a working, non-dangerous democracy with at least reasonable human rights protections. We'd probably have thought the society they came up with was pretty strange, but that's the essence of freedom.... the ability to do it how you want to, as long as you're not dangerous to your neighbors.

It was possible, it was doable, and we pissed it away to go chase Saddam, who had nothing to do with 9/11 or terrorism at all. (Bush himself has said that there was no link between Iraq and Al Qaeda.) So, instead of winning one war, we're losing two.
posted by Malor at 11:03 AM on October 27, 2006


You know, I think almost all of us did. Those of us against the Iraq war just wanted the right heads on pikes.

We have a winner! Not all opponents of this war are peaceniks meadowmuffins*. Some of us just have our signals straight.

*no offense to the peacenik meadowmuffins among you
posted by jonmc at 11:05 AM on October 27, 2006


I was country when country wasn't running dog apologists.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:06 AM on October 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


Afghanistan was the first state in what the Taliban saw as their eventual Caliphate, and stopping them there was a very, very good idea.

Whoa, there, hoss. Are you floating an ex post facto Wahabbist Domino Theory to explain the botched ongoing "liberation" of Afghanistan?

We could have fostered a working, non-dangerous democracy with at least reasonable human rights protections.

Followed by a lamentation for the absence of a grand Central Asian Marshall Plan in a "nation" that has never been unified in anything other than its violent hostility to outside rule?

'Cause, man, that's a mouthful, especially for a thread about a third-rate country song.
posted by gompa at 11:21 AM on October 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


Whoa, there, hoss. Are you floating an ex post facto Wahabbist Domino Theory to explain the botched ongoing "liberation" of Afghanistan?

This sentence is a perfect example of what's right and wrong with Mefi.

Right: I love that a sentence can reference both Bonanza and post-war history.

Wrong: I have no fucking idea what 'Wahabbist" or "ex post facto" mean so I'm probably missing out.
posted by jonmc at 11:25 AM on October 27, 2006


no offense to the peacenik meadowmuffins among you

None taken.

Although it does make me sad that after 9/11 there was a decent amount of affection and understanding directed towards America. The world was willing to cut us some slack, and what did we do with that slack??

Honestly, the whole "we just figured out they were lying to us" line seems a little naive. Really, the government, she lies??? Next you'll be telling me that Pam Anderson's boobs are fake.
posted by teleri025 at 11:26 AM on October 27, 2006


Honestly, the whole "we just figured out they were lying to us" line seems a little naive.

There's a lotta naive people in the world. And not everybody was around or aware of much of our country's history, which could be blamed on a lot of things, but I would posit that the ignorance of a lot of our populace is deliberate on the part of the government.
posted by jonmc at 11:31 AM on October 27, 2006


Wrong: I have no fucking idea what 'Wahabbist" or "ex post facto" mean so I'm probably missing out.

If only there was a little google search bar right up in the corner of the browser so we could conveniently inform ourselves!

define:wahhabist
define:ex post facto
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:34 AM on October 27, 2006


sonofsamiam: that comment was meant to make a point with a little self-effacing humor. calm down, have some dip.
posted by jonmc at 11:37 AM on October 27, 2006


Wrong: I have no fucking idea what 'Wahabbist" or "ex post facto" mean so I'm probably missing out.

Sorry, dude, let my stab at cleverness get ahead of my clarity. "Ex post facto" is generally a legal term for a retroactive law, one that for example criminalizes something that was legal when it happened. I was using it sort of analogously to refer to a justification after the fact. Because nobody, at the time or since, suggested that stopping the Taliban was necessary to keep Pakistan from falling under its rule or anything. There are justifications for the Afghani invasion of varying merit, but containing the Taliban's dreams of a Caliphate isn't one of 'em.

As for "Wahhabist," which I think I mispelled, it's the fiercely fundamentalist Muslim school of thought - Saudi in origin, circa 1700s - that inspired many of the jihadists who went to Afghanistan to fight against Soviet rule. Out of whose camps grew the whole bin Laden thing, plus also the madrassas that incubated the Taliban.

Or, you know, what sonofsamiam said.
posted by gompa at 11:37 AM on October 27, 2006


thanks, gompa.
posted by jonmc at 11:40 AM on October 27, 2006


calm down, have some dip.

NEVAR!!!
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:40 AM on October 27, 2006


And for the record, I'm not entirely sure what a "meadowmuffin" is, but I bet you get one at the same bakery that makes hash brownies.
posted by gompa at 11:41 AM on October 27, 2006


mmmmm, meadowmuffin.
posted by nola at 11:44 AM on October 27, 2006


To justify this derail, someone should write a country song about Wahhabist meadowmuffins hitchin' their domino theories to the ole ex post facto . . .
posted by gompa at 11:46 AM on October 27, 2006


I didn't know you could do the define: thing. That'll be really handy.

A meadow muffin is like a road apple only not as firm. And if your baker makes them you should consider switching bakeries.
posted by Mitheral at 11:47 AM on October 27, 2006


Wow. A bunch of insulting comments directed at me for making an observation. Who would have thought it?

Perhaps I need to restate the point as no single person seemed to have been able to understand my point the first time.

The problem isn't that they hold different politics. The problem isn't that they try to open up the minds of their listeners or any of that bullshit. You can be liberal and be popular with country fans. See, e.g., Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Mary Chapin Carpenter. So it's clearly not a problem that they are liberal.

The problem is that they made a comment. Some fans didn't care for the comment and there was some chest beating about people's opinions on the propriety of making such comments. If it would have ended there, then it would all be over because the fans would have forgotten about it and it would have moved on. The Chicks would be like Willie, Kris, or Mary Chapin. Their fans be saying "yeah, I don't agree with their politics, but I love their music."

But it didn't end their because the Chicks decided to stand their ground and make a political point of it that always center's on the free-thinking Dixie Chicks vs. the Stereotype Country listener (it is even in this thread). So what my point was is that the fate that has befallen the Dixie Chicks is not really about their dislike for Bush, because then the same would happen to Willie. And as someone who has seen Willie too many times to count, I can tell you that his views of Bush matter nothing to his fans. Rather, this issue has legs because it is about the Chicks and their attitude that they shouldn't have to kowtow to their fanbase.

And the point of my hypo is that if you take the politics out of it (and therefore take the natural instinct to defend a side based on "who is correct"), you will see this is about whether an artist can be hostile to their fanbase and still expect support.

I think that is a fairly uncontroversial question.

But, please don't let that get in anyone's way to be a fucking asshole and shout at me.
posted by dios at 11:51 AM on October 27, 2006


I can't imagine a meadow muffin is anywhere near as delicious as a road apple.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:51 AM on October 27, 2006


Someone get dios a hash brownie, he's harshin' my buzz.
posted by gompa at 11:54 AM on October 27, 2006


And for the record, I'm not entirely sure what a "meadowmuffin" is

It's a term I invented for naive, not-too-sharp, but lovably spacey hippies.

and for the record, dios, I wasn't insulting you, but I do think the logical leap you made was Snake River Canyon territory.
posted by jonmc at 11:59 AM on October 27, 2006


It's a term I invented for naive, not-too-sharp, but lovably spacey hippies.

Sounds like 'cow pie' to me, but that's hippie-related, too.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:02 PM on October 27, 2006


Logical leap? Um, thanks for sharing. Care to point the illogic in that? See, I would submit that is illogical to say that the hatred of the Dixie Chicks is because they are liberal because we have counterexamples against that argument.

Logic or not. I think we can all agree that we should start spelling "there" as "their" regardless of the connotation to help eliminate errors by poor typers.
posted by dios at 12:03 PM on October 27, 2006


But it didn't end their because the Chicks decided to stand their ground and make a political point of it that always center's on the free-thinking Dixie Chicks vs. the Stereotype Country listener (it is even in this thread). So what my point was is that the fate that has befallen the Dixie Chicks is not really about their dislike for Bush, because then the same would happen to Willie. And as someone who has seen Willie too many times to count, I can tell you that his views of Bush matter nothing to his fans. Rather, this issue has legs because it is about the Chicks and their attitude that they shouldn't have to kowtow to their fanbase. - dios

I would be a lot more willing to buy into this idea if not for the fact that the CD-smashing parties and radio stations removing the Dixie Chicks from their playlist started immediately after their Bush-bashing comment and long before the Dixie Chicks started in on the "we don't *WANT* stereotypical country music fans listening to our music anyway" campaign (didn't that start right around the time they were promoting their new album, just released this year?).

It's hard to argue a hypothetical, but I have a difficult time believing that had the Chicks remained quiet after the initial hoopla that the same fans who were maniacally taking the hammer to their Chicks CD's a few years ago would happily be supporting the band today and that stations who removed the Chicks from their playlists would be reinstating them today.
posted by The Gooch at 12:06 PM on October 27, 2006


The leap is in assuming that 1)all C&W fans are rightwing, and 2) that the Chicks hold their audience in contempt. I also submit that Natalie Maines (who's outspokeness has only increased my crush on her) comments would have been a far less big deal were it not for the artificial media firestorm whipped up around them.
posted by jonmc at 12:06 PM on October 27, 2006


But, please don't let that get in anyone's way to be a fucking asshole and shout at me.

Did I synaesthetically hurt your ears via your eyes?

The demographic you are talking about, the demographic that buys the Chrome Country, is less genuine good-ol-boy than modern kid dressed up like a cowboy. WTF you got that hat for, guy, why do you have tight jeans and a belt buckle and a big shiny truck I never see you haul anything in? These guys are no different than the kids wearing all FUBUs and gold chains, it's just this stupid marketing demographic they bought into.

The DC controversy was so blatantly a teapot tempest created by the news, their new anti-American boogeyman of the week, I'm amazed you think the DCs 'disrespected their fan base' somehow. Do you have some quotes which support this?

on preview: what jonmc said, I think the controversy was manufactured for political reasons.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:10 PM on October 27, 2006


The demographic you are talking about, the demographic that buys the Chrome Country, is less genuine good-ol-boy than modern kid dressed up like a cowboy.

Paradoxically, though, a lot of their sound more traditionally 'country' (they do a great cover of 'Roly Poly' with Asleep At The Wheel) than say, Toby Keith or Darryl Worley. And Natalie is a hottie.
posted by jonmc at 12:15 PM on October 27, 2006


See, I would submit that is illogical to say that the hatred of the Dixie Chicks is because they are liberal because we have counterexamples against that argument.

Right. They're allowed to be liberal. They're just not allowed to talk about it.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:18 PM on October 27, 2006


comments directed at me for making an observation.
posted by dios at 11:51 AM PST


Either your observation is wrong or your expression using English is flawed.

Take your pick. Because I agreed with you on the silly-ness of a singers statement. If you want insulting comments, I sure it can be arranged.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:22 PM on October 27, 2006


Edited down from the wikipedia:

... on March 10, 2003.... Natalie Maines said... in London: "Just so you know, we're ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas."

...controversy erupted.

Following the uproar and the start of a boycott of their music, the singer attempted to clarify matters on March 12 with, "I feel the President is ignoring the opinions of many in the U.S. and alienating the rest of the world."
That comment didn't help.

This statement failed to quiet her critics, and on March 14 she issued an apology: "As a concerned American citizen, I apologize to President Bush because my remark was disrespectful. I feel that whoever holds that office should be treated with the utmost respect. We are currently in Europe and witnessing a huge anti-American sentiment as a result of the perceived rush to war. While war may remain a viable option, as a mother, I just want to see every possible alternative exhausted before children and American soldiers' lives are lost. I love my country. I am a proud American."
If the press and the Chicks would have ended it there, the furor would have died down and be over. She would It became a lasting problem when it became a war of free speech vs. the intolerant after this point.....
Bruce Springsteen and Madonna even felt compelled to come out in support of the right of the band to express their opinions freely, though Madonna herself was pressured to postpone and then alter the April 1 release of her "American Life" video, in which she threw a Bush look-alike a hand grenade, after witnessing the backlash on the Chicks.

On April 24, the Dixie Chicks launched a publicity campaign to explain their position. During a prime-time interview with TV personality Diane Sawyer, Maines said she remained proud of her original statement. The band also appeared naked (with private parts strategically covered) on the May 2 cover of Entertainment Weekly magazine with slogans such as "Traitors," "Saddam's Angels," "Dixie Sluts", "Proud Americans," "Hero," "Free Speech", and "Brave" printed on their bodies.
That is why this is still the issue. If Natalie would have ended it with the apology, the Chicks would be fine. Of course there are a large number of country fans who don't like comments like Natalie said. But everyone knew that about most country fans. That is not a news story. It would have died down. And Natalie would be Willie; love the music, hate the politics.

The question has to be why has it endured? And the reason is because it became a fight with her fans about her right to say things and their right to get upset and behave accordingly.

And like anything in this world, the more people picked at, the more petty the fight became.

Again, if you remove the political subtext from this, it becomes easier to analyze. But the problem is that most of the people who want to keep talking about it are people who want to pick sides. But when it comes down to it, the question is fairly straight-forward: can an artist say things that offend her patrons and still expect their patronage? It's a simple question when you ignore the need to defend one side or the other, and that is why I said this should be a non-issue but for the desire to turn it into a proxy war.
posted by dios at 12:24 PM on October 27, 2006


And for the record, I'm not entirely sure what a "meadowmuffin" is
It's a term I invented for naive, not-too-sharp, but lovably spacey hippies.
posted by jonmc at 11:59 AM PST



cattle dung

cow pie

When you cross the field, be careful you don't step in any meadow muffins.

posted by rough ashlar at 12:25 PM on October 27, 2006


Again, if you remove the political subtext from this, it becomes easier to analyze.

Also: elections, wars, history.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:26 PM on October 27, 2006


I don't understand how it makes sense to apologize for being right.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:30 PM on October 27, 2006


And for the record, I'm not entirely sure what a "meadowmuffin" is

It's a term I invented for naive, not-too-sharp, but lovably spacey hippies.


I thought that was "moonpie".

Meadowmuffin is a pretty neat word, however. But I think moonpie is more appropriate. Meadowmuffin seems to connote a pacifist cow-turd.

But then, maybe that's what you meant...
posted by mmrtnt at 12:41 PM on October 27, 2006


If Natalie would have ended it with the apology, the Chicks would be fine. ..... turn it into a proxy war.
posted by dios at 12:24 PM PST


Care to draft another scholarly missive on how how having the latest album debuts at number one is not fine. Or the platinum record shows how un-fine they are.

Ahhh, IF. If only Dixie Chicks singer apologises to Bush Yea, too bad it didn't happen. Right?

Proxy war looks like it was people who didn't like the message of shame was republicans. I wonder how one goes from Republicans don't like something ergo its political and 'a fan base' but Dios is unable to form an actual direct response so we'll never know.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:43 PM on October 27, 2006


I don't understand how it makes sense to apologize for being right.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:30 PM CST on October 27


Well, shit. If you look at this issue as to "who is right," then of course it becomes an unending and unresolvable mess that is nothing more than a proxy war for your views.

If you learn what the Dixie Chicks are apparently too dull to figure out, then you wouldn't have this mess.

It isn't a matter of whether what they said is "right" or not. It isn't a free speech matter. It is a simple commerical question: if you want someone to buy your product, you don't piss them off. Of course, you are free to speak your mind about what is "right." And they are free to say, "I'm not buying your shit because I don't like what you said." That's pretty basic commerce. If you do something that offends your consumer, then you apologize--irrespective of whether you are right or wrong--if you want to retain them as a customer. Ever heard the phrase, "the customer is always right"? It's pretty basic stuff.
posted by dios at 12:44 PM on October 27, 2006


I don't understand how it makes sense to apologize for being right.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:30 PM PST


$$$$ Or a threat of not having more $$$$
posted by rough ashlar at 12:45 PM on October 27, 2006


But I think moonpie is more appropriate. Meadowmuffin seems to connote a pacifist cow-turd.

MoonPies are a wonderful snackfood and 'meadowmuffin' may be manure in the hinterlands, but I've been using it to describe space cases for years.
posted by jonmc at 12:45 PM on October 27, 2006


Dios is unable to form an actual direct response so we'll never know.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:43 PM CST on October 27


Sorry. I don't waste my time responding to certain users who insult me every time they engage me. So if you want to argue that the Chicks aren't suffering any consequences and therefore I am an idiot, then go ahead. But don't keep begging me to respond to you when you should know by now that you won't get any argument from me until you engage me in a civil manner.
posted by dios at 12:47 PM on October 27, 2006


That's it!

I'm not buying any more of dios' records!

So their!
posted by mmrtnt at 12:47 PM on October 27, 2006


MoonPies are a wonderful snackfood...

True, that.

And I must confess, I was mistaken anyway. I meant moonbat

c'est le computique!
posted by mmrtnt at 12:52 PM on October 27, 2006


I'm not buying any more of dios' records!

especially since he sold out and did that commercial. ;>
posted by jonmc at 12:55 PM on October 27, 2006


... on March 10, 2003.... Natalie Maines said... in London: "Just so you know, we're ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas."

Once they got in trouble for that little bit of nothing, the smart thing to do -instead of backpedaling and apologizing- would have been to say:


"Oh shit, sorry he's from Connecticut, that's on y'all then CT, peace out."
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:55 PM on October 27, 2006 [2 favorites]


So many people coming out about being in favor of the war in Iraq, well me too. The first that is. Iraq had just invaded a country with a population less the half the smallest NY borough, now that's a justification. As for the second one, well I thought it might make the world a more interesting place and provide some interesting TV, might even jump start the historical process. But Jesus, buying the WMD shit? Thinking the US would be doing the world a favor ousting Saddam? It's courageous to admit that kind of thinking.
posted by econous at 1:00 PM on October 27, 2006


That's it!

I'm not buying any more of dios' records!

So their!
posted by mmrtnt at 2:47 PM CST on October 27


Hey, there's no reason to bring Ronnie James Dio into this.
posted by Ynoxas at 1:02 PM on October 27, 2006


And they are free to say, "I'm not buying your shit because I don't like what you said." That's pretty basic commerce. If you do something that offends your consumer, then you apologize--irrespective of whether you are right or wrong--if you want to retain them as a customer. Ever heard the phrase, "the customer is always right"? It's pretty basic stuff.

What part of debuted at #1 on the country charts do you not understand, Dios? You're constructing a strawman argument here, when, in truth, the voice of commerce has spoken pretty damn clearly. Despite the best efforts of those in the radio and music industry who would like to continue to politicize (read: punish) the Dixie Chicks, it looks like they're doing pretty OK to me.
posted by Chrischris at 1:05 PM on October 27, 2006


"What part of debuted at #1 on the country charts do you not understand, Dios?"

I guess a more accurate measure would be to compare the sales of their latest album and tickets for their current tour to sales for their last "pre-debacle" album and tour. I'm guessing both are down but I don't care enough about Dixie Chicks to actually look it up.
posted by MikeMc at 1:11 PM on October 27, 2006


the question is fairly straight-forward: can an artist say things that offend her patrons and still expect their patronage?

This'd be "the question" if the Dixie Chicks were paid to perform by the Bush Administration. Or if, at a stretch, their career was primarily dependent on NEA grants. As they are commercial artists whose success is based on the patronage of a multinational corporation and that corporation's ability to sell their records in a free marketplace, their allegedly offensive comments toward George Bush have nothing to with their patronage.

And as the marketplace has no real problem with their vocal distaste for Bush, the question becomes whether there's any validity to your argument, dios, that contempt for Bush was tantamount to contempt for their audience, or - again at a stretch - whether that alleged contempt, if it did exist, was a serious risk to their ability to continue to record music professionally. There isn't. It wasn't. Case closed.

Also what Chrischris just said.
posted by gompa at 1:12 PM on October 27, 2006


What part of debuted at #1 on the country charts do you not understand, Dios? You're constructing a strawman argument here, when, in truth, the voice of commerce has spoken pretty damn clearly.

Is your argument that they are doing great compared to their status prior to their comments? I'm not arguing they don't have a lot of fans. I'm not sure that is even part of the discussion. I thought this entire discussion was based on the assumption that they were being commercially hurt.

Yeah, it debuted at #1... with a 33% decrease from their previous album. And they had to cancel concerts because of ticket sales. I thought the "Dixie Chick issue" was about the negative effect suffered by the Chicks because of their views.... but you are arguing they suffered no negative effects? In all sincerety: I'm confused about your point.
posted by dios at 1:14 PM on October 27, 2006


The first that is. Iraq had just invaded a country with a population less the half the smallest NY borough, now that's a justification.
posted by econous at 1:00 PM PST


And it was enough of one to get others to pay, in part, for that 1st conflict.

The statement by April "We have no opinion about your border dispute" could have just been a 'slip'...but the odds of us 'mortals' knowing if was a slip or an engineered incident.

'we' were played, and 'we' know that....the 'babies dumped from incubators' pitch. So where do the games end and the truth begins?
posted by rough ashlar at 1:15 PM on October 27, 2006


Perhaps I need to restate the point as no single person seemed to have been able to understand my point the first time.

But, please don't let that get in anyone's way to be a fucking asshole and shout at me.


Hahahahahahahah
posted by prostyle at 1:17 PM on October 27, 2006


This'd be "the question" if the Dixie Chicks were paid to perform by the Bush Administration. Or if, at a stretch, their career was primarily dependent on NEA grants. As they are commercial artists whose success is based on the patronage of a multinational corporation and that corporation's ability to sell their records in a free marketplace, their allegedly offensive comments toward George Bush have nothing to with their patronage.

And as the marketplace has no real problem with their vocal distaste for Bush, the question becomes whether there's any validity to your argument, dios, that contempt for Bush was tantamount to contempt for their audience, or - again at a stretch - whether that alleged contempt, if it did exist, was a serious risk to their ability to continue to record music professionally. There isn't. It wasn't. Case closed.


Alright. Either I am drunk or need more sleep. Because I don't have a clue what you are arguing.

Apparently you are saying that they didn't offend their fans ("patrons") and didn't suffer economically from their comments. This is completely at odds with the "Dixie Chicks Issue" that I thought we were discussing and makes me wonder if what you say is true, then wtf would there be all this bitching?
posted by dios at 1:19 PM on October 27, 2006


BECAUSE the "issue" was largely manufactured by the media.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:21 PM on October 27, 2006


Alright. I am drunk
posted by dios at 1:19 PM PST on October 27


The Mark Foley defense.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:27 PM on October 27, 2006


On that "Have You Forgotten" song is a line that goes..."and they say we shouldn't worry 'bout bin Laden...."
which had me wondering who "they" was.

Turns out it was the W and his cohorts.
posted by wrapper at 1:42 PM on October 27, 2006


dios said: It isn't a matter of whether what they said is "right" or not. It isn't a free speech matter. It is a simple commerical question: if you want someone to buy your product, you don't piss them off.

So basically you're saying they should "Shut up and sing", right?.
posted by banshee at 1:46 PM on October 27, 2006


I think the number 1 debut of the new DC record was helped along a good deal by people who wanted to support their statement, people who weren't really fans of the music. I knew a few people who did that.


It kinda bugged me, but I live on.
posted by Bookhouse at 1:48 PM on October 27, 2006


...it didn't end there because the Chicks decided to stand their ground...

Yes, how dare they.

I still don't see how they show "contempt [...] for their fanbase." They have certainly expressed some opinions that are not popular with most of their fans, and I think they were surprised by the amount of animosity they received. That they haven't backed down (much) is to their credit.

It's this crap like Worley and Toby Keith that is truly contemptuous to the fans; they know their demographic will buy it regardless of any real merit.
posted by malocchio at 2:04 PM on October 27, 2006




I'm not a fan of "Chrome Country" (love that phrase), but good on the DC's. They could be laughing all the way to the bank (maybe, but I get the impressions they were genuinely stung by the loss of some, certainly not the majority, of their fans), but they're making music on their own terms. Most musicians would die for an opportunity like that.

As for "removing politics from this," I'm not sure what planet it is where you can wake up and, as a public figure, not have your politics measured (either to increase or decrease record sales). As for "acceptable librul" country artists like Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, well, I'm not in the mood to look up his biography again, but I'd say that the "outlaw" label applied to him and others implied an anti-authoritarian slant. It's complicated, no doubt, but I'd wonder if they'd be so quick to say that separating their politics from their music was such an easy thing to do starting in the late 60's, and that the only difference for the DC's is that they slipped up and let the proverbial chicken of librul dissent out of the coop.

Good art challenges you, if not esthetically, sometimes politically. People don't want to buy Chicks albums because of their politics? Fine. But each member of the band received mutiple death threats. Who's being insulting here?

For the DJ's and corporate radio cowards who tried to blacklist them, fuck you. For the Freepers who sat back and laughed while stoking a flame encouraging someone to hunt down their tour bus and blow them away with a shotgun, under a sane government, you'd be arrested and prosecuted for being the real terrorists. Fuck you as well.
posted by bardic at 2:59 PM on October 27, 2006


Bookhouse, I know what you mean. Digby and Firedoglake became big fans overnight, which I don't appreciate. Because their music is so godawfully bland. But more interesting than the rest of the Chrome Country acts? I don't know. I'm a fan of their bravery, but I'd never buy one of their albums. Sounds like they don't need my 15$ though.
posted by bardic at 3:01 PM on October 27, 2006


I'm not sure what planet it is where you can wake up and, as a public figure, not have your politics measured

That would be planet Dios. Its got an ecentric orbit, sometimes intersects earth.

encouraging someone to hunt down their tour bus and blow them away with a shotgun, under a sane government, you'd be arrested and prosecuted for being the real terrorists.

At least be investigated. (Whos to say they are not?) The definition of terrorist is getting loose these days.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:28 PM on October 27, 2006


Hopefully they are being investigated. But somehow, I doubt it.
posted by bardic at 3:33 PM on October 27, 2006


Ohh, dear. The whole Dixie Chicks thing is really absurd. They are raking in more money on this album that I expect to make in my life, so I don't get this whole angst and anger thing.

In terms of politicizing it, well. I think you also need to look not only at the Chicks, (who apologized) but also at the puditocracy that made it into an issue about what you can or can't say in a pop radio song. (And yes, I'm having a hard time these days hearing the difference.) It wasn't just the Chicks that got served up a dish full of hate for having the wrong opinion, Melloncamp got it as well, and he's worn his politics on his sleeve since the 80s. And it's not as if the Chicks suddenly came came out of the left-of-center closet with the Bush comment in 2003.

I don't think it's a case of "let the buyer decide," not when markets (radio and retail) are preemptively choosing to blacklist their albums and concert advertising. But then again, that's Nashville for you.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:52 PM on October 27, 2006


Where were you when they built the ladder to heaven?
Did it make you feel like cryin'
Or did you think it was kinda gay?
Well I, for one, believe in the ladder to heaven.
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah...9/11.
I said 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, Ni-hi, hi-hine...
...Eleven
posted by sonofsamiam at 4:02 PM on October 27, 2006


Freedom costs a buck-o-five.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:04 PM on October 27, 2006


If Natalie would have ended it with the apology, the Chicks would be fine. Of course there are a large number of country fans who don't like comments like Natalie said.

Country, country, country, dios, this is my major objection to what you've said in this thread. The Dixie Chicks had comfortably crossed over to pop radio by the time all the controversy grew -- they had been there ever since . While "Thank Heavens for Dale Evans" fans were crushing their CDs in the parking lot, sorority girls were loading their music onto iPods.

To quote the Wikipedia, "the group achieved large-scale country and pop commercial success starting in the late 1990s, with hit songs such as "Wide Open Spaces", "Cowboy Take Me Away", and "Long Time Gone"

Madonna and Bruce Springsteen were speaking out as direct peers in this scenario.

Why has it endured? Because the Dixie Chicks were an easy target. Why has anything endured during the past six years? Because there's nothing ignorance loves more than divisiveness. Though the country fans that were offended might have been a piece of the Dixie Chicks, they were far from their public counterpart -- and that makes Clear Channel's monopolistic censorship and the bullshit patriotic rhetoric once again more about the country we've lived in than the band in question.
posted by VulcanMike at 7:40 PM on October 27, 2006


A 33% drop in sales from the Dixie Chicks last CD may be partially due to the controversy, but lots of other bands are having a tough time selling and charting well this year. You can get to #1 on the Billboard charts with sales of about 100K, and most acts who reach #1 don't hold on to it the next week. (Though it was nice to see Johnny Cash at #1 with 88K this summer).
posted by maudlin at 9:59 PM on October 27, 2006


A 33% drop in sales from the Dixie Chicks last CD

33% . . . 33% . . . where have I seen that number before?
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 2:12 AM on October 28, 2006


Coming into this a little late, but...

You can be liberal and be popular with country fans. See, e.g., Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Mary Chapin Carpenter.

Again, if you remove the political subtext from this, it becomes easier to analyze.

The whole Dixie Chicks thing became the situation it is because of political subtext (or, more appropriately, context). Willie and Kristofferson, became stars at a time when publicly expressing an anti-establishment position was pretty much encouraged. Mary Chapin Carpenter did it at a time when it was, if not accepted, at least tolerated. (Say what you will about the Nixon and Reagan-Bush I eras, nobody was called a traitor and pilloried in the mainstream press for expressing disagreement with the President's policies. Especially when the policies were exceptionally unpopular (see Vietnam).) The manner and content of public political discourse over the past six years has become, "You're either with us or you're with our enemies." There had become, in the minds of many, no room for dissent. Natalie Maines expressed nothing other than dissent. For that, people threatened her life, and the lives of her bandmates and family, most likely due to the pervasive atmosphere of "Us vs. Them" that had been playing out in the culture and policy arenas.

No American citizen, not even a celebrity - hell, not even Ann Coulter - deserves their safety threatened because they express criticism or disapointment about a public official. People can stop buying the records or books, they can burn them publicly, stop going to concerts, protest and picket... fine. That's the free market in action. Death threats are way over the line.
posted by shecky57 at 6:49 AM on October 28, 2006


Check that... no entertainer was called a traitor and pilloried in the mainstream press for expressing disagreement with the President's policies.

At least to the degree that the Chicks have been.
posted by shecky57 at 6:51 AM on October 28, 2006


I was more disappointed when Jane Fonda apologized.
posted by cytherea at 4:55 AM on October 29, 2006


Buck Fush!
posted by nofundy at 5:53 AM on October 30, 2006


CUNT AND/OR BALLS
posted by econous at 2:26 PM on October 30, 2006


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