The Ultimate Protest Non-Singer


Folk singer Iris DeMint is pioneering a bold new approach to the venerable tradition of protest singing by refusing to sing as a form of protest. Got that?

Reports the AP:

MADISON, Wis.—Folk singer Iris DeMent stunned 600 people at Madison's Barrymore Theater by taking to the stage and announcing she could not perform while war raged.DeMent said she had struggled over her decision for hours in her dressing room. Opening act Greg Trooper had already performed when she told the audience she could not sing.Some audience members stood and applauded, but a few grumbled in the lobby afterward as they waited for refunds."I think it's kind of a cop-out, really," said George Robertson, 43, who drove 80 miles from Milwaukee to see DeMent. "Her songs deal with a lot of personal things. If she can sing about all that stuff that has happened in her life, she can sing tonight."Promoter Tag Evers said he wished DeMent had made her decision a couple of days earlier.

The beauty of this approach is that it alienates everyone, with the possible exception of Saddam Hussein (reportedly not a big fan of folk). And it starts a slippery slope that can only end with hunger strikers refusing not to eat.

NEXT: Oscar Owes Moore!

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  1. The beauty of this kind of protest is that everyone can participate. Few of us can sing very well, but all of us are very capable of not singing. Let the anti-war protestors not-sing anti-war songs to their hearts’ content. Me, I’ll be among the counter-protesters who not-sing pro war tunes instead. “All we’re not singing, is kick Saddam’s ass.”

  2. On campus the protestors sat in silence, some covered in white sheets as if they were in a morgue. I perfer the silent approach. Seems to me its a lot more powerful than 50,000 people screaming “FUCK BUSH!”

  3. I like the idea of the hunger strike strike. Tonight I shall binge for peace on pizza and beer.

  4. Folk singer not singing = everyone wins.

  5. Brian-
    Contrary to popular belief, the ebonics pronounciation of the word government is not “govmint.” rather it is “gun men,” a play on words that reflects many peoples sentiments of the government unfortunantly.

  6. And while we’re on the subject of ebonics, for those of you who were thinking “demented”, I can assure you Miss DeMent is NOT. Au contraire, she’s obviously putting her (lost) money where her mouth should have been.

    ?? (What’d I just say?)

    This is crazy.

  7. All I can say about this story is anything that keeps Iris DeMent from singing is OK by me. I’d rather listen to a bunch of horny cats than sit through one of her tunes, any day.

  8. Let me get this straight — every time we have a war, godawful folk singer-songwriters will go silent?

    Let the Perpetual War begin!

  9. I had hoped to register my witty, clever comment, but you folks beat me to it (dude, “i hate folk music,” tuning spork).

    You gotta love the folkies. Their music manages to suck even when it’s not played.

  10. The issue of singing or not to sing…really deep convictions run here…as if any of you know truth…this is evidence of the true depth of conviction…kind of like pouting without understanding…I chuckle and then smuggly nod my head…solidifying my own personal convictions…polarized? Oh yeah…and grateful to keep as much distance from this crowd as they thankfully push me away.

  11. EMAIL:
    DATE: 01/26/2004 08:42:21
    Communism has nothing to do with love. Communism is an excellent hammer which we use to destroy our enemy.

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