Posted by: Jim | December 15, 2006

The Dixie Splits

Update:

Can those of you who found this post by searching for “Harriet Beecher Stowe” please leave a comment as to why you were searching for her? I’m getting an amazing amount of hits, and am surprised that HBS is such a popular lady. Thanks! 🙂

_____________________________ 

People who don’t like the country trio “Dixie Chicks” might be pleased to learn that they will be splitting up soon.They are blaming the split on being exhausted from the self-defense posture they’ve had to maintain after speaking their mind at a London concert in 2003. On that occasion, singer Natalie Maines said “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.” After that, people started destroying DC’s CDs like people did when JL said the Beatles were more popular than JC.Since then, they’ve been in the spotlight. Now frankly, I would have rejected the DCs outright by default because they play country music–a genre that has as much appeal to me as a cup of coffee with a cockroach in it. Many people rejected the DCs because they disagreed with their stance on President Bush. Fair enough! I don’t like Mel Gibson or Michael Richards anymore because of their outrageous statements. I don’t like Dennis Miller either anymore because he’s said some outrageous things in favor of President Bush. That’s my prerogative, and it’s your prerogative to reject the DCs because you don’t agree with their stance.

But some people have rejected the Dixie Chicks because they took a stance at all–that the Dixie Chicks have no place in taking a stance for or against a war because they are singers and not political pundits. Here is where I take exception.

Art and artists have been the flag-bearers of every major political movement in history. It is absolutely the right for every artist to take a political stance, even if they are a dingleheimer country singer, as long as they have passion about what they present.

Art is the main link between the concrete and the abstract, so what better place to get political? There’s a long history of it in fact.

Harriet Beecher StowePictured is Harriet Beecher Stowe. As President Lincoln put it when he met her, she was the “little woman who started this great big war.” Her book, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” became a rallying cry for anti-slavery sentiment that added to the impetus of the American Civil War.

Stowe is just one example. There is an enormously long list of similar artists, including Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Upton Sinclair, Pablo Picasso, Edvard Munch, Thomas Hart Benton, Bono, Glen Miller, The Andrews Sisters, the list goes on and on and on and on. Many “political” artists stood for movements that most of us agree were good and right, so we like them.

If you don’t like the Dixie Chicks’ politics, that’s cool. If you don’t buy their records for that reason–that’s fine.

But please don’t reject them because they are artists who spoke their mind, because that is what art is for.

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Responses

  1. I am not sure I agree that it is an obligation for every artist to take a political stance. I have found that most artists I see interviewed have found their way to success through God given good looks, possibly but not necessarily some acting or singing ability, and God given good looks. I generally do not think their intelligence or political position on anything has had much to do with their success. Surprisingly enough however, these are the same people that many people idolize. Because Justin Timberlake can sing a song, dance and make a girls knees shake does not mean he knows much about anything else. I would not be opposed to the statement that ALL Americans have an obligation to take a political stance however….and vote. Just seems idiotic to me to even care about Natalie’s opinion on anything.

  2. I think this posting reflects my dire lack of sleep. Not only was it chock-full o’ typos (thanks Bri) but I didn’t mean to imply that all artists are obligated to take a stance. I meant that they *can* if they want to. Geeze. Not every post is a winner.

  3. Jim, you are 100% correct when you say people shouldn’t refuse to buy one of their shrill, ill-produced, hack CD’s just because of their narrow-minded political views.

    I do not like the Ditzy Chick’s music, and I do not like their politics. I really don’t care what they have to say about our president, and I care even less that they are breaking up. Three women that can’t get along… that are also musicians? Please. I am surprised they lasted as long as they did. They are breaking up for the same reason every band breaks up; egotism. For musicians, the reason for a break-up is usually cited as “creative differences”, much like the over-used excuse for a divorce is “irreconcilable differences”. You split an oak in ½, and both sides die. We can now look forward to Martie, Emily, and Natalie embarking on pathetic solo careers, each with a new and different way to torture our ears. Did you know that the CIA plays the DC’s in the interrogation chambers at Gitmo to get the terrorists there to talk? Eh… I know their first names, maybe I did like them a bit once… ONCE.

    As bad as they are, Fergie makes the Dixie Chicks look like a triumvirate of Shakespeare’s.

    That reminds me, what happened to Shania Twain? She was SMOKIN’ hot! She made decent music too.

    -Tommy

  4. Shania Twain is such an affront to my ears that, while I would certainly bang her brains out, I would first duct-tape her mouth.

    As for the Dixies, well, I’d do them too.

    * * *

  5. lol. Agreed, dad. JL rox my socks.

  6. That’s what art is for for you. Art for me is to appreciate, not to make a statement. I don’t like country music. I don’t like the Dixie Chix because they put themselves before their ‘art.’ Toby Keith is the same way. I don’t care about who you vote for, of course you have an opinion. Just because you have achieved fame does not give you the right to force your views upon those who paid to see you sing, not to see you make a political statement.

    I listen to the Beatles now and think not of their politics, but of their art. I appreciate the Beatles for their musical talent and songwriting ability. I love Led Zeppelin – best band of all time in my opinion. Not once do I recall them placing themselves above their art for shock value, or for any other reason, and to this day they remain the number one influence of rock bands, almost thirty years after they broke up.

    I think it is unfair to make a blanket statement about what art is to everyone. I’ll proudly excercise my right to loathe the Dixie Chumps for whatever reason I like. They could not split up soon enough for me, mostly because every woman with three Captain and Cokes in her thinks she can karaoke Natalie Maynes.

    Hmph.

  7. To agree with what you are saying, one must first agree that the Dixie Chicks are artists.

    Artist’s insight into politics and world affairs is welcomed.

    Some lame brained bimbos who happen to be able to pick a few notes on a guitar and sing other people’s songs…well their insight isn’t really necessary.

    Not that they don’t have the right to speak their mind, but I mean, really…shut the hell up, and do what people pay you to do, sing some cheesey songs and bang on your instruments. People these days really like to throw around the word artist way too loosely. Seriously, would you welcome Paris Hilton’s insight just cause shes been on a TV show and sang a song?

  8. […] up with Harriet? Jump to Comments This post has become my most popular. Who would have […]

  9. I used to never listen to country music, but it’s changed. A lot of it is more mainstream and I like that. Plus the women are hot and that makes everything better!

  10. Todd, I’m with you completely.

    Art for *me* is to appreciate for it’s own sake.

  11. Well, thee only reason I am or rather was searching for HBS was because my AP US history teacher assigned my class a video project on the Civil War.

  12. Harriet Beecher Stowe is my great aunt (ancester) and to put her face on such a picture disgraceful. 😡 I showed this to my family members and they are extremely upset with this photo.

  13. Hey Shannon
    I totally agree that the picture is disgraceful. Your great aunt’s face totally ruins the eroticism of such a beautiful body. Somebody should photoshop a paper bag over it, so that those of us constantly whacking off to the picture wouldn’t have to avoid accidentally looking at the face.

  14. Dear ChristAllnight,
    I have to agree with Shannon. The picture is disgracefull, and your comment is disgusting. Why was there a picture of Harriet even on here, when you people are talking about the Dixie Chicks??
    So you know what ChristAllnight,
    Go Fuck yourself you pathetic bastard.

  15. Just wondering, but did you read the entire post? There is a cogent connection between the topic of Dixie Chicks, and a rather honorable comparison to HBS.

    There is a long history to this blog posting (which I posted over two years ago). I found myself getting a huge amount of hits because I had a picture of HBS. This resulted in subsequent postings on my blog wondering why HBS was so popular. I never quite answered that question, but one of my readers submitted a humorous picture of HBS, intending to give readers a bit more of a thrill when looking for her image using Google. I replace the original, boring picture of HBS with the one you see now.

    This was a joke, and I hate to say it, but you are both only making it funnier.

    The crowning achievement would be if Bridget Bardot’s agent came complaining … as it is her body your aunt’s face adorns.

  16. I think you get an amazing number of hits because an amazing number of people are moved in the deepest regions of their souls by “The battle Hymn of The Republic”, whose lyrics Ms. Stowe penned. Their minds, like mine, may have trouble believing in God but our hearts still long for, “the glory of the coming of the Lord”.

  17. Instant apology. Julia Ward Howe is responsible for the Battle Hymn. Harriet Stowe wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”. But both ladies understood the righteousness of the cause that justified Lincoln’s “terrible swift sword”, so I hope you’ll forgive my historical memory lapse. (Upon meeting Howe, Lincoln said, “So you’re the little lady whose causing all the fuss”.)

    In 1863 Uncle Tom was the epitome of a man who preserved civilized values in spite of all the Nazi-like persecutions of America’s slavery. In politically correct non-thought of our times, his courageous adherence to those values is purported to be acquiescence to the Nazi values that he defied.

    Since political correctness, the assault on civilization of our times debunks virtuous Uncle Tom, it welcomes debunking of virtuous old Harriet and you get hits on a nudie picture of Harriet from the legion who seek vindication for their ignorant indictment of virtue.

  18. IB US history teacher assigned my class a video project on the Civil War


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