Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Dixie Chicks and Patriotism

I'm monitoring blog posts about various bands for my (the book of) Cool project. I'm looking for reviews of the bands playing live. The problem with The Dixie Chicks is that I am not going to see any live reviews because the blog searches are full of posts about the 'controversy' over Natalie Maines' comments about being ashamed President Bush was from Texas while on tour a few years ago. The effect of the controversy has been to hit their record sales and ticket sales for their upcoming US tour. In particular they are having trouble in the southern states.

La Dolce Divas discuss part the controversy in a restrained way but what struck me in the post was this:

people who don’t understand why patriotism is important will never understand the strength and passions that make this country the great nation that it is.

It is the notion that Patriotism itself is important. I understand "loving your country" but I don't get "loving the love of your country". If you love your country then you can be proud of the achievements and what it has brought to the world. You can also be ashamed of the wrongs it may do and campaign against those wrongs. If you love the love of your country then it becomes "my country right or wrong" and you begin to hate people who criticise any aspect of it. I speak as someone grateful to be British but aware that we introduced the world to concentration camps in the 1899-1902 Second Boer War.

For us over in the UK, we almost expect our musicians to say such things. Of course they are going to be idealistic, unrealistic and critical. Their fame is based on strumming a few chords and warbling words over the top - hardly a qualification in philosophy, politics, or economics. Remember that the man who sang "Imagine" was a very rich man indeed. So Morrissey can be against all animal testing but so what, he isn't a health worker or research scientist helping to save and prolong lives.

Incidentally, the Dixie Chicks are very talented musicians and make admirable music. And I shall get back to purely music posts from now on.


Blogger FreeThinker said...

Yeh, let's not forget about the MUSIC!

7:04 pm  
Blogger Cool Noise said...

When you find a band with one of the finest Country voices ever being vilified because of some remarks about a President then it is sad. But I'm not American so I can't really understand. In Europe, Patriotism led to some really really EVIL things. In England, flag waving has been associated with attacks and murders against people with a different skin colour. perhaps that explains my distrust of blind allegiance.

10:41 pm  

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