Shut up and stop singing

Apr 182006
Authors: Ryan Chapman

Imagine with me for a moment something remarkable, something truly original that changes the world. Imagine living in a time where singers sang their songs and actors played their roles without using their fame to speak out against the very country that gave them their success. Wouldn’t that be just a marvelous place to live?

Then you wake up and realize the Dixie Chicks are coming out with a new album and your happy fantasyland has been ripped from your fingertips.

And that is exactly what the girl band means to do with their new album “Taking the Long Way,” due out next month. A very refreshing three-year hiatus by the group is over and they are back to make more money after hiring a new producer, Rick Rubin. This also marks the first release by the group since they created an uproar in 2003 after lead singer Natalie Maines made disparaging remarks about the president while on tour in London.

Now, however, the formerly popular country group looks to further alienate the fans they once had by firing back at them with this new album. The album’s first single “Not Ready to Make Nice” is a heartfelt ballad about how they don’t appreciate death threats and how they can say whatever they want. While I don’t support threatening anyone’s life over their political views, maybe it would be wise to not build up an extremely loyal fan base of country music lovers and then insult those people behind their backs while in Europe. Just an idea.

Then again, maybe being hated by everyone in the red states is just what you need to really be accepted in the entertainment industry today. It worked for Green Day and every other teeny-bopper band on MTV, so why not the Dixie Chicks? In fact, this could all be a big marketing ploy to generate PR for the band. Being an uglier, more backwoods rip-off of Destiny’s Child wasn’t working, so maybe being a mouthpiece for the left will.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t always hate the Dixie Chicks. At one point I even would have listened to their music if it didn’t suck. But I just can’t understand how anyone would expect to sell records while telling the people who are supposed to buy those records that they are wrong and stupid. It just doesn’t make good business sense to me.

I also can’t see how any self-respecting American would go out and buy this garbage. Anyone who would rather hang out with Europeans and mock our country should not have their bank accounts filled with American dollars.

So today I ask for your help. Shut the Dixie Chicks up for good and don’t buy their music. Buying yourself a new bathing suit for summer will be a much wiser use of your money, and we won’t have to hear them bleat about free speech at award shows for the next two years. They will simply drift back into obscurity where they belong.

Ryan Chapman is a senior marketing major. His column runs every Wednesday.

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