The Dixie Chicks win big at the Grammys
This is a note I sent to a couple of local radio talk show guys (Dan Caplis and Craig Silverman on 630 KHOW) who were talking about the Dixie Chicks and the Grammys this afternoon...
Dan and Craig,
I didn’t have time to call in earlier but wanted to give you my two cents on the Grammys and the Dixie Chicks.
Dan, I think you are absolutely right that the Dixie Chicks’ success was to a substantial degree a political statement by the liberal establishment in Hollywood and Manhattan. And I also think you are right that most viewers were expecting them to use the opportunity to make a political statement.
However, I think you are wrong that they did not make such a statement out of fear of “losing more money”.
Let me be clear before I continue that I am not a Democrat, and that I supported the war and still believe it was the right thing to do although the administration has made mistakes from which the area may not recover for a generation. So the next statement is not made with any happiness:
If The Dixie Chicks had made a political statement it would have seemed like a very childish and gratuitous “I told you so” since their implicit criticism of the war has been, at least to this point, made to look prescient by events.
Indeed, the fact that they said nothing is probably a stronger statement than if they had said something. It makes those of us who were waiting for a statement (which we would probably have written off as typical of liberal artist-types and not thought about again) sit back and consider the power of that silence. (It would have been more powerful had some of their other utterances not been so inane, but that’s another subject.)
And given the current state of things, it’s very hard to imagine that criticism of the war now would have any measurable impact on their album sales. Can you imagine corporations or conservative organizations mounting the same type of boycott of the Dixie Chicks today as they did after the initial uproar more than three years ago? No chance.
So, while I certainly didn’t think the Dixie Chicks’ music was the best of the year, and their awards (or at least getting so many of them) was clearly a political statement by The Recording Academy, I believe their not making a political statement was a show of strength, and not fear, on their part.
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