Diary Of A Hollywood Refugee

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Shut Up and Sing

In 2003 when Natalie Maines of "The Dixie Chicks" chose to exercise her freedom of expression by insulting the President and by fiat, her country music audience, Americans exercised their freedom of expression: Country radio stopped playing Dixie Chicks music, and outraged Americans voted at the register by not buying their CD's and destroying the ones they owned.

What Natalie,like many on the left, fails to understand is that nothing in life is ever free. Freedom of speech has many limits: just try yelling "Fire" in a movie theatre or "Hijack" on a plane, or issue libelous or defamatory comments and watch where freedom of speech lands you.

All choices we make in life have consequences. When you exercise your right to "free speech" or "freedom of expression" there will always be consequences.

As The Dixie Chicks watched their careers tank, and revenues plummet- the inescapable result of the universal law of action/reaction and of Americans exercising their freedom of expression - panic set in and in an act of desperation and even more stupidity The Dixie Chicks chose to further insult country music fans and the Nashville music community when fiddle player Martie Maguire said the group "would rather have fans “who get it” instead of “people that have us in their five-disc changer with Reba McEntire and Toby Keith.”

And so in response to Martie's further insult, The Nashville Country Music Association members shut out The Dixie Chicks. But the uber- left wing NARAS aka The Recording Academy chose to "vindicate" the Dixie Chicks by not only nominating them in five categories but also by awarding them the three top Grammy's for Album, Record, and Song of the Year, as well as two other awards for best country album and best country group performance. As Alanis Morrisette once posited, "Isn't It Ironic?"

It is obvious that there exists an ideological divide between the Nashville music establishment and the membership that comprises NARAS, which clearly reflects the ideological divide that is growing deeper within the US.

When Joan Baez introduced The Dixie Chicks as "courageous" it proved just how blind and foolish the so called "intelligentsia and progressives" have always been and continue to remain.

I find it astounding, and yet not surprising, that Baez would be deluded enough to think for one moment that a US citizen living in the US, insulting her President and her core audience would be a courageous act. We do not jail, behead, or torture any citizen that does so. So what is it that Joan thinks The Dixie Chicks did that was so damn courageous?

Had The Dixie Chicks hailed from Iraq when Saddam reigned and insulted him, or if they hailed from Iran, Cuba, Syria, or North Korea and insulted President's Ahmadinejad, Castro, Bashar al-Assad, and Kim Jong-il, and had Natalie been hauled away to prison, while her family was tortured or also imprisoned, then Joan Baez description of "courageous" would have certainly been apt.

But, instead,The Dixie Chicks live in the land of the free thanks to the brave men and women of the US Military who are sacrificing their lives so that Natalie Maines can live in a country that allows her the freedom to insult the President. It is the men and women of the US Military that are courageous. Natalie Maines and The Dixie Chicks are just plain fucking stupid!

A piece in the New York Times quotes Jeff Ayeroff, a longtime music executive and an academy member, as saying that the resounding endorsement of the group reflected the fact that the academy represents
“the artist community, which was very angry at what radio did, because it was not very American."
It would seem that insulting the President and your country music fan base, both directly and indirectly, is deemed "american", but when the Americans that run radio networks that have long supported the Dixie Chicks choose to respond at being bitch slapped by exercising the same American freedoms of expression and choice that Natalie Maines and The Dixie Chicks exercised - then left wing liberals like Jeff Ayeroff have the audacity to claim that this is "not very American".

The hypocrisy of the "left' never ends. Jeff is representative of the same group of misguided "progressive intelligentsia" that shakes hands with Castro while Cuban singers, poets, and journalists, who speak out against their President demanding the same freedoms that Americans enjoy, are still jailed and tortured.

While Natalie Maines initially issued an apology to the President and the country for her remarks she later went on to retract that apology stating,
"I apologized for disrespecting the office of the President, but I don't feel that way anymore. I don't feel he is owed any respect whatsoever".

According to Neal Portnow, President of NARAS, the Dixie Chicks
“made a great album this year, and their music and their commentary resonated with our membership, as it did with the entire nation."

I don't know what's more inane--- that they have been hailed by the "left" as " bold symbols for freedom of expression" or the lie that they made a great album with "commentary" that resonated with the ENTIRE nation". Get the fuck over yourself Neal, the album barely sold two million copies, received more airplay on radio and tv in Canada than in the US, and their concerts drew smaller audiences , wiile the southern leg of their US tour was canceled.

I attended the screening of the Barbara Koppel documentary that chronicles their fall from grace. The Dixie Chicks were told to 'Shut Up and Sing" and they did, penning a song of defiance that still got more airplay in Canada than the US.

So while The Dixie Chicks may feel vindicated about their "five sweep win" at the 2007 Grammy Awards, the truth is that Natalie, Markie, and Emily will always live with sad reality that their vindication was nothing more an expression of NARAS' left leaning ideology.


Sunday, February 04, 2007

John Edwards, Democrats and Iraq

John Edwards, like most Dems, believes that "we must engage directly with Iran in trying to resolve the sectarian violence in Iraq" .

On Meet The Press this morning, Edwards had this to say:

"Iran has an interest in Iraq not totally going chaotic - if you just think about Iran - it's true Iran has done some bad things - they provided supplies and equipment to Shia Militia -but they have been fairly supportive of the Shia led gov't in Iraq. So what is Iran's interest in this?

According to Edward's, Iran's first interest is in" not having 1 mill plus refugees coming across their western border", and that because they are a Shite dominated country in a larger Sunni dominated Middle East if this becomes a broader ME conflict, they are very much in the minority and "I can assure you they (Iran) understands that" .

Well, I can assure you, that this speaks to both his naivity and his ignorance . This kind of absurd misguided thinking runs prevalent in Dems running for Presidency in 2008 as well as those present today in Congress and the Senate- not to mention their constituents. The DEMS do not understand the convoluted mindset of the Iranian President and Mullahs, and the reality of the complex nature of this war on terror.

Let's listen to a man who DOES get it - NY Times journalist John Burns who has spent four years in Iraq and has a deep well connected list of Iraqi friends , both Sunni and Shia and deep connections with the Special Forces and the Military in Iraq.

Burns was recently interviewed on Charlie Rose:

Charlie Rose: If that kind of civil war is only preventable by the US presence there...then why isn't there any more more effort on the part of Iran and Syria and other surrounding countries to do something to help us. The catastrophe of us leaving will not only be a catastrophe for the Iraqi people, but it will also be a catastrophe for everyone who has one side or the other: the Iranians for the Shia - the Saudis for the Sunnis.

John Burns: "The temptation to comfound the great Satan, America, in Iraq appears to OVERIDE the kind of considerations you are speaking off... mainly the Iranian interest in stability in Iraq. This was something the US counted on heavily when the Shite gov't was first elected 18 months ago. The feeling was that with Iranian backed Shiite parties elected to run the Iraqi gov't - the Iranian gov't would see some interest in stabilizing the situation and helping the Shias who have finally come to power for the first time in 1300 years to finally stablize control of the situation. Yet, they haven't done that and more importantly US Military Intel tell us that Iran is not only feeding money and weapons to Shi militia groups which are feuding amongst themselves, but they are also feeding weapons to Sunni insurgent groups."

John Edwards, like most of the dems running for President, and like the DEMS in Congress, knows little of what he speaks when it comes to the most important political issue and the most important struggle any free and democratic society is now facing.