City of Roses
I noticed this topic and thought I could add my two cents and also introduce a whole different facet of this discussion as this is something I feel strongly about, being a friend of freedom of speech!
First of all, I highly respect Natalie Maines for what she said, and doing so in London doesn't change a thing. Let's take a look at some of the comments she made with the Chicks on Primetime, shall we?
"At that moment, on the eve of war, I had a lot of questions that I felt were unanswered. I think the way I said it was disrespectful. The wording I used, the way I said it, that was disrespectful. I feel regret for, you know, the choice of words. Am I sorry that I asked questions and that I donít just follow? No."
For many, it would be ridiculous to not have questions before this war. Even if her comment was incoherent or ineffective, there is simply so much speechlessness on the eve of chaos. If you can't have someone who asks all the questions, there certainly isn't enough time to answer all those millions of questions, but if this is how we tolerate the criticisms, that certainly isn't freedom.
"No, Iím not truly embarrassed that, you know, President Bush is from my state, thatís not really what I care about. I felt like there was a lack of compassion every time I saw Bush talking about this. I honestly felt a lack of compassion for people that are questioning this (war), for the people that are about to die for this on both sides."
First of all, let me just say I was heavily against this war from the start, as I fear war will only create more balkanization and unrest in the world in every circumstance, and yes, as inconceivable as it may seem to many, I believe in peace and will stick firmly to that belief as irrational as it may sound to some. And to be honest, I too felt Bush was being quite insensitive to both those who didn't value war and to the troops who possibly would have died in battle, and to their families, many of whom didn't want this war either. Indeed Bush could say the same thing about the Dixie Chicks, ashamed they come from his state, and as ignorant as that remark may sound to some people, it is utterly harmless. It's just like a child's frustration, when an older brother gives a younger brother a hard time growing up and the young brother says to himself, "I wish he was never born!" only to later regret it. And we have witnessed the same effect with Natalie, she regrets how she said what she said but still won't back down in following and being ashamed of what has been done, like a younger and older brother will always disagree with each other on some ters but will settle differences unviolently.
Then you have bandmate Martie Maguire who said she understood why some fans would be upset by the remark but found much of the reaction to be ridiculous:
"Itís the people who have gone overboard, and done such irrational things that take you back to the days of book burning, that is a concern for me. We know some of our fans were shocked and ... upset. I totally understand it. My problem is, when does it cross the line? When is trashing Emilyís property OK? When is writing a threatening letter OK?"
Voltaire used to say "Stand upright, speak thy thoughts, declare The truth thou hast, that all may share; Be bold, proclaim it everywhere: They only live who dare." So many believed once in America that there were never be any such book burnings in the land of freedom and opportunity, and, well, look what we got here. Reminds me of something Eddie Vedder said in the Pearl Jam concert that opened up the Riot Act tour, "We have something called freedom of speech here. Seems we haven't evolved at all in the last 20 years."
I think the Dixie Chicks are true American heroes, and I'll tell you why. It seems so many forgot of exactly how valuable freedom of speech is and they have reminded us all, regardless of who thinks it is dangerous. Take for instance what Bruce Springsteen said in defense.
"The Dixie Chicks have taken a big hit lately for exercising their basic right to express themselves. To me, they're terrific American artists expressing American values by using their American right to free speech. For them to be banished wholesale from radio stations, and even entire radio networks, for speaking out is un-American.
The pressure coming from the government and big business to enforce conformity of thought concerning the war and politics goes against everything that this country is about - namely freedom. Right now, we are supposedly fighting to create freedom in Iraq, at the same time that some are trying to intimidate and punish people for using that same freedom here at home."
If you ask me, there may be huge success in Iraq right now, but here, it is a whole different war altogether.
Ohhhhhhhhhh...by the way, there is one other facet of this discussion not yet presented, regarding connections to the radio. More specifically...Clear Channel Communications
As some of you may have heard, it was Louisiana's KRMT-FM that organized the public destruction of the Dixie Chicks CD by a 33,000 lb. tractor, one of 42 stations owned by Cumulus Media. Cumulus Media is also known for organizing "Rally For America", fighting against what they believe is "un-American" and pushing away journalists who question their concerns.
Then Clear Channel Communications was questioned, and at first they denied they made word of any massive campaign in stopping the Chicks. But Clear Channel has long been hated for its dominance and in this article, there is mighty curious connections, as said by Paul Krugman from his article:
Clear Channel Has Ties to Bush
Paul Krugman: Behind pro-war protests, a company with ties to Bush Wednesday, March 26, 2003
Channels of influence
NEW YORK: By and large, recent pro-war rallies haven't drawn nearly as many people as anti-war rallies, but they have certainly been vehement.
One of the most striking took place after Natalie Maines, lead singer for the Dixie Chicks, criticized President George W. Bush: A crowd gathered in Louisiana to watch a tractor smash Dixie Chicks CDs, tapes and other paraphernalia. To those familiar with 20th-century history it seemed eerily reminiscent of ... But as Sinclair Lewis said, it can't happen here.
Who has been organizing those pro-war rallies? The answer, it turns out, is that they are being promoted by key players in the radio industry - with close links to the Bush administration.
The CD-smashing rally was organized by KRMD, part of Cumulus Media, a radio chain that has banned the Dixie Chicks from its playlists. Most of the pro-war demonstrations around the United States have, however, been organized by stations owned by Clear Channel Communications, a behemoth based in Texas that controls more than 1,200 stations and increasingly dominates the airwaves.
The company says the demonstrations, which go under the name Rally for America, reflect the initiative of individual stations. But this is unlikely: According to Eric Boehlert, who has written revelatory articles about Clear Channel in the online magazine Salon, the company is notorious - and widely hated - for its iron-fisted centralized control.
Until now, complaints about Clear Channel have focused on its business practices. Critics say it uses its power to squeeze recording companies and artists and contributes to the growing blandness of broadcast music. But now the company appears to be using its clout to help one side in a political dispute that deeply divides the United States.
Why would a media company insert itself into politics this way? It could simply be a matter of personal conviction on the part of management. But there are also good reasons for Clear Channel - which became a giant only in the last few years, after the Telecommunications Act of 1996 removed many restrictions on media ownership - to curry favor with the governing party.
On one side, Clear Channel is feeling some heat: It is being sued over allegations that it threatens to curtail the airplay of artists who don't tour with its concert division, and there are even some politicians who want to roll back the deregulation that made the company's growth possible. On the other side, the Federal Communications Commission is considering further deregulation that would allow Clear Channel to expand even further, particularly into television.
Or perhaps the quid pro quo is more narrowly focused. Experienced Bushologists let out a collective "Aha!" when Clear Channel was revealed to be behind the pro-war rallies, because the company's top management has a history with George W. Bush. The vice chairman of Clear Channel is Tom Hicks. When Bush was governor of Texas, Hicks was chairman of the University of Texas Investment Management Co., called Utimco, and Clear Channel's chairman, Lowry Mays, was on its board. Under Hicks, Utimco placed much of the university's endowment under the management of companies with strong Republican Party or Bush family ties. In 1998 Hicks purchased the Texas Rangers in a deal that made Bush a multimillionaire.
There's something happening here. What it is ain't exactly clear, but a good guess is that we're now seeing the next stage in the evolution of a new American oligarchy. As Jonathan Chait has written in The New Republic, in the Bush administration "government and business have melded into one big 'us.'" On almost every aspect of domestic policy, business interests rule: "Scores of midlevel appointees ... now oversee industries for which they once worked." We should have realized that this is a two-way street: If politicians are busy doing favors for businesses that support them, why shouldn't we expect businesses to reciprocate by doing favors for those politicians - by, for example, organizing "grass roots" rallies on their behalf?
What makes it all possible, of course, is the absence of effective watchdogs. In the Clinton years the merest hint of impropriety quickly blew up into a huge scandal; these days, the scandalmongers are more likely to go after journalists who raise questions. Anyway, don't you know there's a war on?
I'd also like to add that it is a fact that Clear Channel, on September 20, 2001 after 9/11, composed a list of 150 songs they wished not to be played on any of their stations, which many are still not getting played, including John Lennon's "Imagine" and Cat Stevens "Peace Train"
Drowning Pool "Bodies"
Mudvayne "Death Blooms"
Megadeth "Dread and the Fugitive"
Megadeth "Sweating Bullets"
Saliva "Click Click Boom"
Metallica "Seek and Destroy"
Metallica "Harvester or Sorrow"
Metallica "Enter Sandman"
Metallica "Fade to Black"
All Rage Against The Machine songs
Nine Inch Nails "Head Like a Hole"
Godsmack "Bad Religion"
Soundgarden "Blow Up the Outside World"
AC/DC "Shot Down in Flames"
AC/DC "Shoot to Thrill"
AC/DC "Dirty Deeds"
AC/DC "Highway to Hell"
AC/DC "Safe in New York City"
AC/DC "Hell's Bells"
Black Sabbath "War Pigs"
Black Sabbath "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath"
Black Sabbath "Suicide Solution"
Dio "Holy Diver"
Steve Miller "Jet Airliner"
Van Halen "Jump"
Queen "Another One Bites the Dust"
Queen "Killer Queen"
Pat Benatar "Hit Me with Your Best Shot"
Pat Benatar "Love is a Battlefield"
Oingo Boingo "Dead Man's Party"
REM "It's the End of the World as We Know It"
Talking Heads "Burning Down the House"
Judas Priest "Some Heads Are Gonna Roll"
Pink Floyd "Run Like Hell"
Pink Floyd "Mother"
Savage Garden "Crash and Burn"
Dave Matthews Band "Crash Into Me"
Bangles "Walk Like an Egyptian"
Pretenders "My City Was Gone"
Alanis Morissette "Ironic"
Barenaked Ladies "Falling for the First Time"
Fuel "Bad Day"
John Parr "St. Elmo's Fire"
Peter Gabriel "When You're Falling"
Kansas "Dust in the Wind"
Led Zeppelin "Stairway to Heaven"
The Beatles "A Day in the Life"
The Beatles "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"
The Beatles "Ticket To Ride"
The Beatles "Obla Di, Obla Da"
Bob Dylan/Guns N Roses "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"
Arthur Brown "Fire"
Blue Oyster Cult "Burnin' For You"
Paul McCartney and Wings "Live and Let Die"
Jimmy Hendrix "Hey Joe"
Jackson Brown "Doctor My Eyes"
John Mellencamp "Crumbling Down"
John Mellencamp "I'm On Fire"
U2 "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
Billy Joel "Only the Good Die Young"
Barry McGuire "Eve of Destruction"
Steam "Na Na Na Na Hey Hey"
Drifters "On Broadway"
Shelly Fabares "Johnny Angel"
Los Bravos "Black is Black"
Peter and Gordon "I Go To Pieces"
Peter and Gordon "A World Without Love"
Elvis "(You're the) Devil in Disguise"
Zombies "She's Not There"
Elton John "Benny & The Jets"
Elton John "Daniel"
Elton John "Rocket Man"
Jerry Lee Lewis "Great Balls of Fire"
Santana "Evil Ways"
Louis Armstrong "What A Wonderful World"
Youngbloods "Get Together"
Ad Libs "The Boy from New York City"
Peter Paul and Mary "Blowin' in the Wind"
Peter Paul and Mary "Leavin' on a Jet Plane"
Rolling Stones "Ruby Tuesday"
Simon And Garfunkel "Bridge Over Troubled Water"
Happenings "See You in Septemeber"
Carole King "I Feel the Earth Move"
Yager and Evans "In the Year 2525"
Norman Greenbaum "Spirit in the Sky"
Brooklyn Bridge "Worst That Could Happen"
Three Degrees "When Will I See You Again"
Cat Stevens "Peace Train"
Cat Stevens "Morning Has Broken"
Jan and Dean "Dead Man's Curve"
Martha & the Vandellas "Nowhere to Run"
Martha and the Vandellas/Van Halen "Dancing in the Streets"
Hollies "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"
San Cooke Herman Hermits, "Wonder World"
Petula Clark "A Sign of the Times"
Don McLean "American Pie"
J. Frank Wilson "Last Kiss"
Buddy Holly and the Crickets "That'll Be the Day"
John Lennon "Imagine"
Bobby Darin "Mack the Knife"
The Clash "Rock the Casbah"
Blood Sweat and Tears "And When I Die"
Dave Clark Five "Bits and Pieces"
Tramps "Disco Inferno"
Paper Lace "The Night Chicago Died"
Frank Sinatra "New York, New York"
Creedence Clearwater Revival "Travelin' Band"
The Gap Band "You Dropped a Bomb On Me"
Alien Ant Farm "Smooth Criminal"
3 Doors Down "Duck and Run"
The Doors "The End"
Third Eye Blind "Jumper"
Neil Diamond "America"
Lenny Kravitz "Fly Away"
Tom Petty "Free Fallin'"
Bruce Springsteen "I'm On Fire"
Bruce Springsteen "Goin' Down"
Phil Collins "In the Air Tonight"
Alice in Chains "Rooster"
Alice in Chains "Sea of Sorrow"
Alice in Chains "Down in a Hole"
Alice in Chains "Them Bone"
Beastie Boys "Sure Shot"
Beastie Boys "Sabotage"
The Cult "Fire Woman"
Everclear "Santa Monica"
Filter "Hey Man, Nice Shot"
Foo Fighters "Learn to Fly"
Korn "Falling Away From Me"
Red Hot Chili Peppers "Aeroplane"
Red Hot Chili Peppers "Under the Bridge"
Smashing Pumpkins "Bullet With Butterfly Wings"
System of a Down "Chop Suey!"
Skeeter Davis "End of the World"
Rickey Nelson "Travelin' Man"
Chi-Lites "Have You Seen Her"
Animals "We Gotta Get Out of This Place"
Fontella Bass "Rescue Me"
Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels "Devil with the Blue Dress"
James Taylor "Fire and Rain"
Edwin Starr/Bruce Springstein "War"
Lynyrd Skynyrd "Tuesday's Gone"
Limp Bizkit "Break Stuff"
Green Day "Brain Stew"
Temple of the Dog "Say Hello to Heaven"
Sugar Ray "Fly"
Local H "Bound for the Floor"
Slipknot "Left Behind, Wait and Bleed"
Bush "Speed Kills"
Stone Temple Pilots "Big Bang Baby," Dead and Bloated"
Soundgarden "Fell on Black Days," Black Hole Sun"
Nina "99 Luft Balloons/99 Red Balloons"
That just makes me angry seeing this burgeoning list! How about that, a radio free of "Imagine" but songs like "The Thong Song" and "Hot in Herre" being favorites! Makes me want to scream! And here we have Tom petty, Jackson Browne, and many more trying to stop the FCC from further deregulating radio but it is all going the opposite direction, and before you know it, we are all one...huge...oligarchy!
I'll leave now by quoting Edward R. Murrow: "No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices."
Underneath your clothes, there's an endless story
[This message has been edited by Mistletoe Angel (05-21-2003 03:27 AM).]