The Dixie Vics' New Image

“Vic” as in “victims,” that is.

I used to be a huge fan of the Dixie Chicks’ music. I still love the music, and I still own their first three CDs, but I rarely ever listen to them anymore. There are many liberal recording artists that have spoken out against the war and against the President. I own some of their CDs and would probably not hesitate to purchase more. The Dixie Chicks, however, will not get one more red cent out of my pocket. So, why the double standard? I asked myself the same question because I wasn’t really sure why I had such a visceral reaction to the Chicks ever since Natalie Maines’ infamous insult to the President while on foreigh soil, when others have made similar statements and I have not stopped listening to them.

I have given it some thought and there are several reasons really, but something I heard on t.v. last night was reason enough. When country singer (and “Redneck Woman”) Gretchen Wilson was asked about the Dixie Chicks controversy she said that it isn’t about who you vote for but rather “It is all about the music.” The Chicks have incredible talent and have made some beautiful music, but even from the beginning their careers have not been all about the music. They built an image as an unconventional, fun-loving, hip-dressing, non-conformist group of gals. Their audience included many young girls, no doubt attracted not only by the excellent music, but by that young, fun and funky image.

Not long after Maines’ anti-war, anti-Bush statement, the group seemed to cultivate the image of victim and martyr. They lashed out at those who didn’t agree with them as uninformed. The controversy got them a Rolling Stone magazine cover three years ago (in the nude, by the way), and has just this week landed them on the cover of Time. To say that the Dixie Chicks had absolutely no understanding of their country music audience is an understatement. Evidently they have learned enough in the past three years, though, to know that their old audience isn’t buying what they are now selling. Instead of touting the quality of the music on their new CD, their media blitz (as well as the words to their first single) are about nothing but message. That message is still angry and petulent and I am not buying it. I don’t want to encourage their newly found victimhood, nor do I want my girls looking up to a group that appears more interested in spreading an anti-Bush message than in making good music. That is a real shame, too, because the music was really good.

Update: Someone pointed out that the magazine they appeared nude on was actually Entertainment Weekly, not Rolling Stone. Sorry for my poor memory. They also said they didn’t believe I was really a fan because I got the naem of the magazine wrong. Give me a break. I didn’t buy the magazine, I just saw the cover on television.

"fiat iustitia ruat caelum"
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