Was that another slip of the mouth, an impromptu word geyser for which Maines would soon have to issue a diplomatically worded clarification? Not hardly. With exquisitely brisk timing, she turns to the documentary camera and, as if exasperated with the ignorance of some hayseed who happens to be the Chief Executive, says, "You’re a dumb f---."
There ya go, down-home protesters and country music programmers. You got your red-state, red-meat headline: Dixie Chicks Lead Singer Calls President a Dumb F---. The pop country trio with Emily Robison (fiddle, etc.) and Marcie Maguire (dobro, etc.) sawing and strumming up a storm behind Maines already seems to be spending more time on NPR than on CMT. Now the only network to welcome them may be Pacifica.
Standing up for what you believe in, and being prepared to pay the price, is the theme of two fine new non-fiction films. Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck’s Shut Up & Sing had its world premiere this week at the Toronto International Film Festival, with the Chicks in attendance. Patricia Foulkrod’s The Ground Truth, which opened Friday in New York and eight other cities, and is available on DVD Sept. 26, details the harrowing experiences of soldiers in Iraq and after they returned home.
I wouldn’t for a second equate losing airplay for your new CD (which went platinum anyway) with losing a limb, your innocence, your mind or your life in a war. But both docs trace a similar journey: the awakening of political activism among young folks from the heartland who feel they must speak out against the war, come what may.