C&W's War On Talent: Now the Ground War Begins

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The bin Laden/forgotten guy = 1

Dixie Chicks = 0

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  1. s.m. loppelman asked:

    Why are the views of real estate attorneys, tugboat captains and small business owners vigorously defended here while actors and musicians are shrilly told to shut their pie-holes?

    Could it be that this is a vigorously pro-free-market forum? Why would you expect a defense of views that the majority here disagree with? As for bullying authoritarianism, I am unaware of any attempt to legally ban the Dixie Chicks from performing or recording. Or are you defining authoritarianism downward to include simple disagreement?

    RK Jones

  2. Why is the U.S. Constitution even mentioned in this context? Is there any chance whatsoever that a government will punish these idiots for speaking their “minds”?

    Sure, they have a “right” to speak out, but their former fans also have the “right” to tell them to go to hell. If you tell your boss to kiss off and he fires you, where does the First Amendment come into play?

  3. Koppleman obviously didn’t understand the reference in Tim’s post.

  4. In light of Mr. Jones’s comment above, if true, maybe Reason’s masthead should be changed to read “Free Markets and Free Minds, As Long as Aforementioned Minds are Pro-Free-Market, Or At Least Deferential To Pro-Free-Market Leaders Even If Said Leaders Don’t Give a Rat’s Ass About Free Minds”. Especially seeing as I couldn’t find the part in Maines’s original remarks where she advocated statist market distortions. Unless you’re implying that our current administration itself is a marketable commodity to be bought and sold, I don’t get what’s so anti-market about despising the Bush administration or its Mideast policy.

    It used to be that libertarianism was built on two pillars: free-market absolutism and free-speech absolutism. “These fucking celebrities should shut the fuck up” is a far cry from the old “I don’t agree with what you say, but I will defend with all my might your right to say it.”

  5. s.m. koppelman said:

    It used to be that libertarianism was built on two pillars: free-market absolutism and free-speech absolutism. “These fucking celebrities should shut the fuck up” is a far cry from the old “I don’t agree with what you say, but I will defend with all my might your right to say it.”

    I am just going to go back and say this again. I am not aware that anyone has even suggested that Maines does not have the right to say what she did. Most of the preceding comments touch more on the idea that she was foolish to do so.
    While there are certainly libertarians on either side of this war, your previous post made no attempt to defend Maines’ views, or to logically critique other views. Instead, you played the vitriol card.

    Why is it that the overeducated, pedantic tax-rebelling nobodies who express minority political views in forums like this get their knickers in a twist when a lefty expresses his or her own minority political views?

    As no one in this forum is advocating restriction of speech, and few are even suggesting that they will personally boycott, why attack this forum? As for market distortions in her speech, I didn’t suggest that there had been any. What I was suggesting, is that consumers choosing not to purchase an artist’s work, for any reason, is the free-market in action.

    RK Jones

  6. If someone infringes on Maines right of free speech I’m sure Reason will defend her. And you still don’t get Tim’s reference.

  7. -just weighing back in on the travel of Europeans and Americans- There is no “Easy Jet” in America. The vast majority of americans can’t get out of the country for approx $60 U.S., and it shows.
    As convenient as Maddog’s anecdote about his neighbors is, it is a fact that the percentage of Western Europeans who have passports is vastly greater than that percentage of Americans.

    As one who has spent some time abroad (UK), I agree that having done so strengthened my patriotism (you have an UNWRITTEN CONSTITUTION? HA HA HA! ALWAYS get it in writing.)

    Still, as a Lefty barman I was often put in the unenviable position of defending American foreign policy, but I was never called on to defend the American people. I’m hard pressed to remember anything like the vitriol and condescension leveled at European PEOPLE today.

    It appears that Natalie understands that distinction, even if her former fans don’t.

  8. SR, I’m not sure what kind of travel agreements European countries have with each other, but wouldn’t they need a passport just to visit a neighboring nation? On this side of things, Americans don’t need a passport to travel from state to state, whereas Europeans might need one to travel the equivalent distance in miles, if a national border is crossed. Could explain why more people there need them? I’ve never been to Europe, so I don’t know.

    SMK: In my first post I specifically suggested that the 1st Ammendment was necessary to protect the speech of people who don’t think before they speak, and I never advocated a boycott, since I don’t listen to the Chicks to begin with, though I’d be willing to give them a try, as I’ve heard that they’re pretty good. As to the original comment she made, I wasn’t terribly offended by it, just thought it was dumb. So I like to take cheap shots at celebs, sue me. But lighten up first.

  9. SR, I’m not sure what kind of travel agreements European countries have with each other, but wouldn’t they need a passport just to visit a neighboring nation? On this side of things, Americans don’t need a passport to travel from state to state, whereas Europeans might need one to travel the equivalent distance in miles, if a national border is crossed. Could explain why more people there need them? I’ve never been to Europe, so I don’t know.

    SMK: In my first post I specifically suggested that the 1st Ammendment was necessary to protect the speech of people who don’t think before they speak, and I never advocated a boycott, since I don’t listen to the Chicks to begin with, though I’d be willing to give them a try, as I’ve heard that they’re pretty good. As to the original comment she made, I wasn’t terribly offended by it, just thought it was dumb. So I like to take cheap shots at celebs, sue me. But lighten up first.

  10. sorry for the double post guys. IE told me the connection dropped.

  11. What I can’t understand is why they were “ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas”

    As if there was ever anyone from Texas who wasn’t a national disgrace.

  12. “Ms. Maines, regardless of how well-founded you think her political views are, is mighty brave to say such things as a mainstream country singer.”

    Unless Maines anticipated a powerfully adverse reaction, her conduct cannot (accurately) be described as brave. Maines’ after-the-fact comments reference her “surprise” at the public’s “extreme” response. Thus: (1) she wildly underestimated the consequences of making such a statement; and (2) the statement itself is less than erudite. Given these circumstances, ?mighty uninformed? is a more apt description than ?mighty brave.?

  13. Anyone who would deprive themselves of Dixie Chicks music or French cuisine in order to show their “patriotism” probably has no taste to begin with.

  14. Scott wrote: “Why is the U.S. Constitution even mentioned in this context? Is there any chance whatsoever that a government will punish these idiots for speaking their “minds”?”

    Yes, there is. They could very easily be hassled
    by government representatives at Customs, say,
    when they return to the states. All kinds of very
    questionable stuff happens at airports these days,
    thanks to the good old government.

    And I suspect the administration’s capable of having
    the Dixie Chicks audited, just out of spite.

  15. why is it that whenever Hollywood morons say stupid shit, all leftists do is whine about how “brave” the idiot is and whine about “censorship” when the dumbshit gets the deserved backlash.

  16. does this mean that we’ll have to change the names of things with “dixie” or “chick” in it?

    but, i lived in copenhagen for five years, and pre maastricht treaty (1992), a passport was needed to travel to germany, etc. the nordic union of denmark, sweden, and norway had no such demands for scandinavian citizens. with the schengen agreement, it’s now possible to travel in the member states without a passport.

    as for traveling, i do feel that the scandinavians do have more opportunity to travel (really long vacations, etc), and do so. but i don’t think that this necessarily equates with wordliness or open-mindedness. although it can help, i guess.

    as for all of this “with us or against us” and this rage against a singer who made a really dumb comment, that’s a bit strange. it would be a good idea to boost sales or interest on the continent (at any rate) with those kinds of (stupid) comments. and, just as she has the right to make those comments, shouldn’t the radio stations be able to do react? and if we don’t like the radio stations’ reactions, we don’t have to listen. just as those who don’t want to listen to the dixie chicks — whoops, the “freedom freedoms” — feel free not to do so. just i would rather say “grrrr” and shudder whenever someone says something with which i totally disagree than only to hear their silence.

    and, Sir Real: i was called upon to defend kenneth starr’s reactions all the time back when i was in europe (which i couldn’t do, of course). each time there was an execution in texas, a prof (i was in grad school over there) would call on me to “explain the gross violation of human rights”. there were news exposees on how dumb, fat, etc., americans are. Michael moore’s show (it was called “america on its head” in denmark) was popular. so, anglo-saxon britain doesn’t really react in the same way as central europe or scandinavia — there was a ton of stuff vented at me. but i do strongly feel, as well as you do, that the US is the best place to live, and that i would rather have a rigorous argument about the merits of the US with people than to live under any other system.

    so, off to have some french toast, salad with french dressing, and off to share some joie de vivre on this beautiful day in chicago, while we all celebrate laissez faire market forces…

    cheers all!
    drf

  17. oh jim, austria voted and joined the Eu in june 1994 (with about 67% voting yes).

    and in many of the countries over there, especially france, you have to have official identification papers on you at all times.

    cheers,
    drf

  18. drf,

    Thanks for the info and the good commentary. Most of my experience is with Germany and Holland. I work with a German firm over there and usually travel through Amsterdam. Been to France and Belgium also but only briefly.

    There are some good libertarian lessons to be learned from Europe. Among them, you can legalize some drugs and the world does not go to hell in a handbasket. Allowing nudity on television will not cause the world to go to hell in a handbasket. Also, smokers and non-smokers can get along without having draconian rules mandating where indoor smoking is permitted or not permitted. People generally get along Ok with the presence of the sex shop on the corner and don’t expect it to be zoned into the bad part of town. Even with $5/gallon gas prices and subsidized public transportation, most people still prefer their cars because it takes less time to get around.

    On the other hand (lest I sound like a Europhile), while 6 weeks of vacation and 32 hour work weeks sound pretty good, the unemployment rate has been in double digits for years and economic growth is even more stagnant than ours. Gas costs $5 a gallon. Food is more expensive due to subsidies for farmers and restictions on importing GM foods from the US and other countries.

    A nice place to visit, but it’s still best to live here.

  19. Hey Jim!

    good call — much of the “social” conditions (those aspects you mentioned: boobs on TV (gasp!), sex shops, drugs, etc. don’t cause the societies to fall) would be great in a libertarian platform!

    and Ajax Amsterdam is a fun team to watch. very nice.

    have a great evening,
    drf

  20. I’m just miffed at them for butchering “Landslide”.

  21. You’re a little late to this story, aren’t you?

  22. Virginia Postrel lives in Dallas now as many of you know, and doesn’t believe this makes her a Texan. I had to agree. I however can’t make that claim since I’ve lived my whole life in Texas. Being born and spending two infant months in Louisiana does not make one a Cajun. In any case, I’m now rather disappointed in Bush, Jr. as a whole, although his backing of the Iraq war is not a particular bone of contention.

    None the less, this whole idiocy with renaming things French, that was quite humorously lampooned by SNL last weekend, is extremely annoying to me.

    In my pastime I am a rock climber and had the chance to put up a new climb at a local climbing area last Sunday. As a matter of course, these routes are generally named. So that people years from now will read the guidebook to the area and hopefully get a wry grin, I dubbed the route:

    FREEDOM FRIES

  23. Warren:

    Come on, if I lived in Texas, I’d be pretty damned proud of Ron Paul. He’s one of the few Congressman I don’t consider unprincipled scum. Of course, if I ever hear the words “public service” ooze from his lips on C-SPAN I’ll add him to the list of good ol’ boys.

    What bothers me about Maines is her retraction at the Chicks website. The one thing celebrities are better at than shooting off their mouths is backpedaling and “explanations” when the opinions get them burnt. Just once, I’d like to see a public figure whose opinion provoked howls of outrage say “Yeah, that’s what I said; and what I meant, by God!”

    What Maines and her ilk don’t seem to understand is that the back-pedaling doesn’t do them any good. Just as in PC claims of “racism,” once the professionally offended get going, any attempts to apologize will just increase the scent of your blood in the water. You might as well suck up and stand by your opinions, because nothing you say afterward will get the sharks of the moral outrage industry off your back.

  24. Natalie Maines made a major error, not in criticizing the President, but in the way she did so. Unfortunately, now that the genie is out of the bottle, she can backpedal all she wants and nobody is going to believe her. It’s a shame she put her mouth into Drive with her brain in Park.

    I’ll keep listening to the Chicks ‘cuz they’re nice to look at.

  25. Get over it already. It’s not like she’s Chrissie (I hope the muslims win) Hynde. Maybe I’m giving her some undue slack–but I thought I’d heard singing until I heard Natalie. She’s apologized and I’m fine with it. So, grab a brew and crank up some Dixie Chicks!

  26. Well, this is what the 1st Ammendment is for, I suppose. Not to protect articulate popular opinions, nor perhaps even intelligent though unpopular ones, but for the dumbass shitspeak both popular and unpopular. The evenhanded, reasoned dissent of the likes of Mike Farrell are a breath of fresh air compared to this crap.

    I couldn’t care less what celebrities believe, but I can’t be the only one bothered by the phenomenon of celebrities going to Europe to spout garbage to suck up to anti-americans as a way of bolstering continental ticket sales.

  27. Yes, it’s the going overseas to say something like that which is offensive. An obvious ploy to suck up to the audience. Think she’d say something like that in Hogwaller, Alabama? Probably not.

    Kountry music is the one genre where celeb spouting like this will have an impact on one’s revenue stream and market share. So, she’s either remarkably brave, or stupid.

  28. Or maybe- just maybe- Natalie had an opinion and expressed it. It’s ridiculous to think that the Dixie Chicks would jeopardize their American fan base for continental ticket sales- we ALL KNOW which contry consumes the most “country” music, and the relative sophistication of the most popular kinds of that music (“Have you Forgotten?” No. Did you not know in the first place?)

    There’s a serious disconnect between the world at large and the US, and the pitifully low percentage of Americans who have traveled abroad reinforces it. Maines had an opportunity to travel that the vast majority of Texans don’t, and that perspective lead her to conclusions that others don’t share.

    I applaud her principles (even if not expressed especially eloquently). If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to purchase a copy of Fly.

  29. Was it really crass audience pandering or just off the cuff bullshit? It kind of depends how these singers and artists perceive their relationship with the people they play to. So the Dixie Chicks aren’t sophisticated PR mavens, so what? A simple jab back at them in the media is punishment enough. So their choice of words was inappropriate for a public statement.

    They certainly don’t deserve to be the target of a boycott. Now THAT reaction is annoying.

  30. Sir Real, how many of these Europeans do you suppose have been abroad? Is it not possible that their anti-americanism is also the result of being sheltered, of being constantly around those of the same opinion?
    Further, I wholeheartedly reject the idea that a group of wealthy celebrities travelling to other countries with a massive entourage and staying in luxury hotels equals political enlightenment.

    Perhaps the comment was too off-the-cuff to count as a cynical maneuver, if so, it was also too off-the-cuff to count as standing up for one’s principles. To me it sounded dumb, apologetic, and insecure.

    You’re right S.R. The statement that they are making that’s designed to boost (or at this point salvage) ticket sales may not be the original nonsense, but rather the absurd backpedalling as taken from their official website: “As a concerned American citizen, I apologize to President Bush because my remark was disrespectful. I feel that whoever holds that office should be treated with the utmost respect.” (blech) And: “…one of the privileges of being an American is you are free to voice your own point of view.”

    So in other words she asserts her unassailable constitutional right to make the statement that she now disowns.

  31. Having lived in Europe (England) I can say that none of our neighbors had travelled abroad except to places like Disney or the popular beaches/resort towns off Spain. Hardly well travelled.

  32. Why is it that the overeducated, pedantic tax-rebelling nobodies who express minority political views in forums like this get their knickers in a twist when a lefty expresses his or her own minority political views? Why are the views of real estate attorneys, tugboat captains and small business owners vigorously defended here while actors and musicians are shrilly told to shut their pie-holes?

    Oh, I get it. They don’t agree with you.

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m really enjoying the civics lesson we in the U.S. are getting on how suceptible even our country is to embracing bullying authoritarianism. Last I checked, political dissent short of inciting a revolution was protected speech on par with, um, smashing Dixie Chicks CDs. I hope nobody’s trying to burn them, though. The fumes and waste material from those metal-impregnated plastic discs are even more toxic than those from the disco records burned two decades ago to protest miscegnation.

    Ms. Maines, regardless of how well-founded you think her political views are, is mighty brave to say such things as a mainstream country singer. With one between-songs remark, she’s pulled a K.D. Lang/Steve Earle and forever banished herself to the much smaller Adult Alternative radio market. The Dixie Chicks will no longer be able to fill large venues in the U.S. Since they’ll likely never have another platinum-selling record or hit single here, it might free them musically, though. They’ve always been a few shades pricklier than the usual contemporary Nashville girl act, so I look forward to their next album.

  33. I lived in France for several years. I do not recall any need for “papers” 24/7. There are many things I love about France, and many things that I can’t stand. But as a person who actually used to own and operate a business there I can say France has as many bureaucratic messes to get through in its own way as can be found in major US city. France has magnificent people, despite all the rumors otherwise. A fantastic history. I think one of my favorite stories is how the French army liberated thousands of bottles of very expensive stolen wine from the “eagle’s nest” in Bavaria in WWII. Furthermore, there is no place more like heaven than a cottage in the French countryside. I perfer Languedoc, but others perfer Normandy or the Loire valley. Anyway, I get sort of sick of the bad mouthing of France, and I am rather tired of it. I am not saying that it is the best nation on the planet (I think that what one considers the best has too many subjective variables involved), but France is not ruled by a tyrant, the people of France enjoy liberty and freedom, even if it is regulated just like it is in the US, and it is a rich (culturally, etc.) and gorgeous country. That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

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