May 25, 2003 - LAS VEGAS
- Before a live, national audience,
Country Music showed its true nature at the Academy of Country Music Awards this
"We stand for true American values,"
said presenter Alan Jackson, "like freedom of speech."
"Manners, and good old American
decency and respect," said the show's host Reba McIntyre.
Country music star Winona Judd talked
about the, "art form's true love of independence."
Immediately following the gathering
of these comments, the Dixie Chicks were mentioned as nominees for an award.
The result: a unanimous and resounding chorus of boos from the audience.
One comment saying they didn't like the President, and these women have been, in
effect, kicked out of Country Music. They can not show their faces without
being booed. Radio stations won't play them. And country music fans,
male and female, insult, threaten, and snear at them.
We at The Moderate Independent congratulate Country Music for so boldly
Coming Out Of The Closet in front of a national audience.
For years, country music has been pretending to be an art form - a musical means
of expressing deep, heart felt sentiments and thoughts. Many of us had
suspicions that Country Music was a little bit like Senators Lott and Santorum -
politely open and inclusive in public, but get them alone and the hateful
intolerance starts to flow. There may have been a seeming tendency toward
clone-like unanimity of subject and attitude in Country Music, but that was just
the nature of the rural culture these artists come from, the small towns that
share many "good ol'" values.
Now, it is clear. Country Music is no different than AM Talk Radio - you
push the party line, or you don't exist.
These women, the Dixie Chicks, didn't insult the music. They didn't insult
any artists. They didn't insult their fans.
They simply made one comment about a President. And now they are
constantly and permanently abused, and have been completely ostracized and
excommunicated from their own society.
No, Country Music is not an art form, its people have now shown. Country
Music is just one more means of bullying intimidation, intolerant white folk
marching lockstep together, turning on anyone who dares to question or takes
even a single step another direction.
Art? When you can't even question a President?
Ah, but wait. You can question a President and still be accepted in
Country Music's down home world. Just not a Republican one.
Jazz, Rock, Reggae, Blues, true musical art forms are not only free to, but
expected to question whatever they feel like - even their own audience.
That's what art is about.
Country Music exists to push the Church - through endless mentions of Jesus and
"the Lord" - and right-wing politics. It exists to head-off free thought,
and to provide yet more ultra-conservative propaganda, taking a different angle
- a supposedly cultural, artistic one - soo as to add another prong to the
multi-faceted right-wing propaganda machine's attack.
It does not matter if you agree with what the Dixie Chicks said or not.
Any "true American" with real "American values," a love of "freedom," and
"independence," would congratulate the Dixie Chicks for speaking their minds,
even if you disagree with them.
This past week, Country Music's community came out of the closet, showing itself
to be not the freedom-loving, well-mannered, true representation of American
culture and values it publicly dubs itself, but instead the intolerant,
threatening, closed-minded towns us real Americans left to go live somewhere
where freedom truly exists - whether it be in real American, tolerant small
towns, cities, or suburbs. Country Music and its fans have shown their
lack of manners, publicly booing and ostracizing ladies (I thought they were
supposed to tip their caps and be polite?) And above all, Country Music
showed its complete lack of artistic integrity - any art form that only will
accept one perspective, and that will instantly - and childishly - turn on even
its most highly held artists for simply having one opinion that differs from the
herd - is no art form at all.
We at The Moderate Independent thank the people of Country Music for
clearing this all up in such a public manner.
So, for this brave display of their true colors, for having the courage to come
out from behind the facade they have been living, for opening their closet door
to the entire nation - allowing us to see the closely-held truths they used to
keep so private - we present our Coming Out Of The Closet Award to Country
We hope Country Music and its fans feel liberated by this experience, and will
be better able to act on their true, hateful, mannerless, disrespectful,
closed-minded, anti-free expression, anti-independent thought, truly
anti-American natures. It must be nice to be free to finally be
Congratulations, Country Music performers and fans! You have earned it!