Dixie Chicks Abandoning Dixie

Dixie ChicksMy wife and I are fans of the Dixie Chicks–at least when they are not saying things that are so over-the-top offensive that we feel like joining the boycott.

As many of you know, the Dixie Chicks have been on the outs with their fan-base ever since Natalie Maines zinged President Bush during a concert in London in 2003. But when I talk about offensive rhetoric, I am not talking about their politics. What I am talking about is reflected in some recent comments by Martie Maguire:

I’d rather have a small following of really cool people who get it, who will grow with us as we grow and are fans for life, than people that have us in their five-disc changer with Reba McEntire and Toby Keith. We don’t want those kinds of fans. They limit what you can do (source).

As far as I’m concerned, the thing Natalie Maines said about President Bush back in 2003 wasn’t near as offensive as this statement is. It leaves you wondering why Maguire would want to say something that would without a doubt alienate so many people, so many fans.

This alienation was not lost on the audience at the Country Music Awards last night. The loudest applause of the evening came when the host Reba MacIntyre said the following:

I don’t know why I was so nervous about hosting this show this year. If the Dixie Chicks can sing with their foot in their mouths, surely I can host this sucker (source).

My good friend Russell Moore has an insightful commentary that may go a long way toward explaining why the Dixie Chicks seem to be embracing their alienation from their former fans and their Dixie-roots.

I wonder if the gospel seems so irrelevant to contemporary Americans precisely because so many of us have forgotten what it means to come home, or even to have a home. Could it be that the rootlessness of 21st century Americans isolates us even more from the truth of Christian redemption? Could it be that the more cosmopolitan we are the less we understand the cosmic kingdom of Christ? Could it be that we can sense something of what it means to come home to the Father by loving what it means to go home to one’s father? Could it be that learning to be a citizen of the Kingdom may mean learning what it means to be an Arkansan or an Ohioan or a New Yorker? (source)

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9 thoughts on “Dixie Chicks Abandoning Dixie”

  1. You know, to have so much talent, these chicks seem to be pretty out of touch with many of the values cherished in Dixie. Leah and I watched a little bit of the CMA Awards last night, and it is clear that Natalie et al are miles away from where most Country artists and fans are.

  2. Very good post,

    As for the Dixie Chicks…who needs em…For what Dr. Moore wrote, that very disconnect is something far deeper than what the people have noticed. This very disconnect of the poeple and their roots, whether geographical or familial,is a critical issue to the health of todays family and church.
    The lack of accountability, stability, and support from family and friends is something that breeds failure, disceit, sin, and severe implications of church polity when this is viewed in light of the church.
    I have seen this complicated cultural web of ramifications before and it intrigues me to see the implications of somethings we have not really considered.
    I was in Dr. Mohler’s “contemporary issues in Theology and Culture” class a couple of semesters ago and we explored this intricate bundle of issues and it was very enlightening to think about. Kind of scary to think about the society in which we live in light of its effects on our family, church, and walk with Christ.

  3. Very good post,

    As for the Dixie Chicks…who needs em…For what Dr. Moore wrote, that very disconnect is something far deeper than what the people have noticed. This very disconnect of the poeple and their roots, whether geographical or familial,is a critical issue to the health of todays family and church.
    The lack of accountability, stability, and support from family and friends is something that breeds failure, disceit, sin, and severe implications of church polity when this is viewed in light of the church.
    I have seen this complicated cultural web of ramifications before and it intrigues me to see the implications of somethings we have not really considered.
    I was in Dr. Mohler’s “contemporary issues in Theology and Culture” class a couple of semesters ago and we explored this intricate bundle of issues and it was very enlightening to think about. Kind of scary to think about the society in which we live in light of its effects on our family, church, and walk with Christ.

  4. I think this Russell Moore might have something here. I’ve always believed that because of the way we live our lives today we have completely missed the big picture of what Christianity is really all about. First off, we have no since of real fellowship. We go to work and get on a computer and we come home and get on a computer. Just like this blog, I didn’t have to leave my living room or have face to face contact with anyone to have this conversation. We really are an isolated and detached people. Second of all, we have a sovereign God and we don’t even understand what sovereignty means. I think our sense of American “freedom” has something to do with this. All our lives we’ve been taught that we are a free people, a nation that took control of an out of control emperor and won its freedom through the blood and sweat of its patriots, statesmen and heroes. We’ve been through civil war and civil rights, Pearl Harbor and 9/11. We deserve our freedom and will do what ever it takes to keep it! But…could all of this freedom have caused us to miss something, something that we really long for inside? A king maybe? We’ve never known a king. You have to submit to a king. There are no “Peoples Rights.” We’ve never known true submissiveness. Yes, we have to fallow the rules, but a King and his sovereignty, this is something completely different, far from our democracy. Our fore fathers would never trust one man. That’s why they created the Senate and the House of Representatives. A king has complete control. A president serves two terms. A king rules his entire life. People vote for a president. A king is chosen through blood. See, as Christians we’re on a path that’s leading us to something we don’t understand, that we’ve never experienced. I imagine that a lot of us might be disappointed if we truly understood what Jesus is all about. Don’t get me wrong, I love the freedom of this country. I just think that we could stand to learn a little moderation within our rights. I think we hold our liberty and our independence a little too high. We shout them from the roof tops proudly. Instead of boasting in our freedom maybe we should “rejoice that our names are written in heaven.” I think somebody famous once said that. But anyway, that’s just my opinion.

    P.S. All this over the Dixie Chicks? In my home town, one of the radio stations got all of its listeners to bring their Dixie Chicks CD’s in and they ran over them with a tractor and a bulldozer. I think we top it off with a crawfish boil!

  5. I don’t know, man. Dr. Moore is right, but I can’t blame the Chicks for wanting to avoid the cheesy Nashville fanbase. If I were a serious country artist like the late Townes Van Zandt, I’d gracefully find a way to avoid the Fan Fest crowd. I say that because with that crowd, you can write terrible music and no one really notices. See Adkins, Trace. Of course, I said the word “gracefully,” which almost never applies to the Chicks.

  6. Dr. Burk quoted Martie Maguire…

    “I’d rather have a small following of really cool people who get it, who will grow with us as we grow and are fans for life, than people that have us in their five-disc changer with Reba McEntire and Toby Keith. We don’t want those kinds of fans. They limit what you can do.”

    And was offended by it.

    All I can offer is that it is obvious that you’re not a musician Dr. Burk. As a jazz musician (for the most part), many of us in that genre feel the same kind of straight jacket on us. In jazz its standards, swing rhythms and acoustic instruments. If it varies from that, it’s not jazz. And yes, there are moments where some of us just scream “I JUST WANT TO MAKE MUSIC!!!!” and not be concerned with a spang-a-lang rhythm, a Cole Porter song, or whether or not my pianist is playing a “proper” instrument.

    So, when the Dixie Chicks say that they don’t want to be lumped in with some pretty awful singers and (ahem) songwriters, I don’t blame them. Musically, they’re heads and tails above their competition. Only the Nashville session musicians are going to outplay them. Lyrically, they’re cute and quirky, and at the end of the day, fun.

    But, you get death threats over what you think and see how YOU react. You lose gigs and radio play over how you think (however correctly) and see how you react. I don’t blame them in the least.

    Paul

  7. Paul (in #6),

    Yeah, I don’t blame them either for being upset about the death threats. I condemn the death threats and stand foursquare with the Dixie Chicks against such sinful, hateful speech.

    As far as their music is concerned, they are head-and-shoulders above most others. That’s why I said I am still a big fan. I love the harmonies and their skill with stringed instruments.

    So I’m not sure what we disagree about here.

    Thanks,
    Denny

  8. The disagreement comes in with the idea that it’s offensive to think that a group isn’t necessarily keen on the idea of being lumped in with lesser musicians or a certain cultural stereotype that is associated with Country music. I fully understand where they’re coming from, which was what I was trying to explain right off with my parallel about seeing the same kind of genre expectations in the jazz world.

    I just didn’t see their comments as offensive, and I thought you might appreciate a musician’s point of view on these matters.

    Thanks,

    Paul

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