Monday, May 22, 2006

Bin Laden Surrenders to Dixie Chicks

Sorry for the lack of posting lately, but the mix of too much playoff basketball and a stack of books I'm trying to read has hampered things somewhat.

One thing specifically dragged me back, confused and dismayed, to my keyboard.

I noticed the cover of TIME Magazine this week:



Now, I'm well aware that one of the "Chicks" said something derogatory about George W. Bush a couple years ago, and had to fight off some bad publicity. But if I were putting together a list of 10 million Americans whose opinions I valued about the War in Iraq, the "Dixie Chicks" wouldn't make the list. How is this relevant to anything in any way? Was Nipsey Russell not accepting calls the day TIME wanted to talk about global warming? Was Tiffany Amber-Thiessen at the spa when they called to interview her about the relative value of the Euro?

I am racking my brain to figure out how news that belongs on page 24 of US Weekly somehow made it on to the cover of a magazine some believe to have some credibility (It was also in USA Today as well). Here's what I got:

1. The Dixie Chicks have a great publicist willing to gin up a phony controversy to sell their new CD.

2. TIME Magazine has a business relationship with their record label (Sony), and therefore has an interest in selling as many Dixie Chicks CDs as possible.

3. TIME Magazine actually believes this is a matter of national importance and deserves to be featured above all other news stories this week.

4. One of the editors got drunk and lost a bet, so he had to put the most ridiculous story he could think of on the cover.

5. This one is the most cynical, but I believe also the most plausible. TIME Magazine has a natural impression of country music fans that they are all backwards, intolerant religious conservatives who turn on their own when they step out of line, and that is why this is newsworthy.

I mean, think about it - musicians with actual artistic credibility rip on Bush all the time. In fact, I don't think I own a CD by a single artist I would be consider even to be a moderate. Yet somehow when Michael Stipe or someone pops off, it's never news, since their message is usually delivered to a willing audience. But suddenly when someone makes a political statement to those intolerant conservatives, it becomes a national scandal when those right wingers express their disagreement with the artist.

Plus, her "insult" to Bush was just lame. If you're going to take a shot at the President, do it with some panache. To wit:
LONDON - Morrissey, outspoken lead singer of '80s rockers the Smiths, has sparked an Internet storm with reported comments about U.S. President George W. Bush.Manchester's Evening News said yesterday it had received a record number of
hits after reporting on its website that Morrissey, 45, had interrupted a Dublin
concert Saturday with news of former President Reagan's death, adding that he
wished Bush had died instead.

-Ottawa Citizen, June 11, 2004
Or:

Radiohead singer Thom Yorke has sent out a Christmas greeting that includes a swipe at U.S. President George W. Bush's "new war."In a message sent out by the group's fan club W.A.S.T.E., Yorke wishes his fans a Christmas that is "peaceful and loving and spiritual," and thanked his fans for "still listening and sticking with us and understanding the records we make." But his greeting also carried a strongly worded condemnation of the war in Afghanistan."Violence breeds violence," Yorke said. "We need a world court, not a Republican with his hands covered in oil and military hardware, lecturing us on world security," he wrote in the message.
-Toronto Sun, December 12, 2001

Now that's insulting the leader of the free world. Take that, Bush!

I spent another 45 minutes typing stuff about Barry Bonds, Barbaro, and the movie "A History of Violence," but Explorer crashed on me, so it's all lost. This is all I have saved, as lame as it is. Don't worry, the other stuff wasn't any better.