Harping on the Wars We Fight


The great Merle Haggard, who's been taking a dangerously dixiechickian view of the Bush administration, has just recorded a song about Iraq. I can't wait to hear it.

NEXT: Come and Dig My Herb

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  1. Go Hag! Unlike a lot of current lefty “protest” music (e.g., anything by Billy Bragg), I’m sure it’ll actually be a great song.

  2. Merle Haggard quote: “I don’t even know the Dixie Chicks, but I find it an insult for all men and women who fought and died in past wars when almost the majority of America jumped down their throats for voicing an opinion. It was like a verbal witch-hunt and lynching.”

    I don’t get it. One of the slogans of Dixie Chicks defenders is that “dissent is patriotic.” So, now it’s unpatriotic (“an insult…”, blah, blah, blah) to express a dissenting opinion to one expressed by a Dixie Chick?

  3. It is if the opinion is “Shut up.”

  4. Well, I’d say that’s the last we’ve heard of Merle on the radio once Clear Channel hears of his treason against our Dear Leaders, but do they still play him on the radio?

    What passes for country nowadays is all corporate cornpone soft rock goo.

  5. it is simply un-american to disagree with anyone who is anti-american, anti-bush, etc.

  6. clear channel is run by the corporate bush alliance. for free speech they must be stopped!

  7. anti-american, anti-bush, etc.

    Talk about yer “moral equivalence” — so now the Dixie Chicks’ mild anti-Bush comment is also “anti-American”?

  8. So, I can be a dissenter, but not if I’m dissenting against other dissenters? Does freedom of speech include freedom to speak out against the defense of my own freedom? Is patriotism really unpatriotism and unpatriotism really patriotism?

    I’m really confused.

  9. no and it is very unamerican for you to say that. shame shame.

  10. How does anyone make the logical jump from “its an insult,” to “it is unpatriotic”?

  11. Clear Channel is not THE problem – CC is an anomaly (a predictable one at that) of a system built on the inherantly corrupted belief that broadcast spectrum BELONGS to the government.

  12. Damn Right! I won the spectrum in a card game last week!

  13. I’m still a little dumbfounded at how saying you were embarrassed by a politician can get you in trouble. Hell, I don’t fully understand people don’t often celebrate the deaths of many a politician – they sure seem to hate them enough when they’re alive, and some have a mighty nasty habit of deserving that sort of treatment, to the extent that anyone does (and that might not be too much of an extent).

    But then I think it had far more to do with a constellation of factors than any one thing – such as being country singers, which is a genre with a mighty damn strong thread of Patriotism and Christianity, with a general audience who’s loudest members are generally…shall we say, uneducated religious conservatives, at a damny lousy time, which impinged upon about the worst religion you can impinge upon, including Scientology: Texanism. Shit, come to think of it, they’re fate makes perfect sense to me. I have a word for it: it’s called a “clusterfuck”.

    …ah well, poor bastards. Learning things through experience sucks eggs.

  14. Oh, “Patriotism” is a strange sort of cultural phenomena in America, in that it’s modern incarnation is a strange creature indeed – it is formed both due to a Traditionalism of the Founding Fathers and all it’s Yanky Doodle dandyness, smashing head-on into Belliggerant Nationalism. It is a truly strange juxtaposition indeed; one which, viewed from a historical prospective, is utterly stupifying, as typical uses of “unpatriotic” and “unamerican” would have implicated the Founding Fathers, first Americans, and original “Patriots” themselves!

  15. “Dissenting from the Dixie Chicks” doesn’t get you a dedication page in Gulag Archipelago there chief.

    Disputing what someone says is fine; trying to silence them because you don’t like what they say is repugnant.

  16. How amusing. The New York Times Magazine had an article last spring about European anti-Americanism, and it repeatedly used Merle Haggard as a symbol for how anti-American Europeans see us.

  17. I agree joe. It was pure censorship, which is terrible. For example, the radio stations censor my CD “Fuck the Coloreds” off the airwaves and millions of Americans censor me by not reading my newsletter “White Power Now.”

    It is censorship plain and simple by radio stations, pundits and consumers.

  18. Hag ain’t what he used to be.

  19. Frankly, I think the Dixie Chicks should be censored for crappy music. But I’m sure Joe doesn’t agree with me; he probably thinks everyone who records something should get air time, even if the government has to send in the National Guard (with magazines loaded with real ammo!) to force those fascist corporate fat-cats at the radio stations to STOP (STOP!) their censorship.

  20. The anti-Dixie Chicks crowd sure does love them strawman arguments…

  21. I like the part about how saying Bush is a bad president is like calling for the murder of black people.

    If Clear Channel had stopped playing the Dixie Chicks because of their music, I’d have no problem.

    And Don, I’m happy with just calling them on their bullshit – no guns here, tough guy.

  22. It’s not a matter of straw man. Your, or at least Joe’s complaint is that the Dixie Chicks are being “censored” for their beliefs, or for voicing those beliefs anyway. Myself and others argue that it isn’t censorship, at least not in the goose-stepping jackboot Berlin book-roasting sense of the word. With so much sensory stimulation and so little time, everyone necessarily censors out MOST available information. We ususally do this based on moral values and on personal taste or opinion.

    I don’t listen to Eminem largely in part because I disagree with the message he is pushing and the means by which he expresses it. Does that make me a censor? I guess so.

    I disagree with the what the Dixie Chicks choose to say – why would I want to listen to them, why would I listen to radio stations when they play the Dixie Chicks? Does that make me a censor? I guess so.

    If radio stations are smart they’d play things that will attract consumers to better serve their customers. If playing the Dixie Chicks drives away consumers and thus hurts customers, they’d be fools to do so. Does that make them censors, too?

  23. if the dixie chick dissent from bush thats their right
    if CC dissents from that dissent and chooses to punish them for it thats their right
    if joe dissents from CC’s dissent to the dixie chicks dissent and wishes to punish CC thats his right

    and so on

    not that hard folks

  24. Clear Channel wasn’t where the Dixies we’re taken off the air – it was Cumulus – and it wasn’t POLICY – the individual stations CHOSE to take part in an action based on the political bent of their individual audiences (country listeners are CONSERVATIVES)

    Thus – no conspiracy from Big Media. Radio stations can play or NOT play anything they want for whatever reason they want.

    Again – the idea that radio has some sort of “duty” to anything other than building an audience to which it can deliver advertisers messages comes exclusivly from the idea that government should own broadcast spectrum.

  25. Mr. Dreyer’s got it almost right, except for the part about Joe. Joe’s an idiot and should be sent to the gulag accapello.

  26. How did we get from talking about Merle Haggard’s comments to discussing whether the Dixie Chicks were “censored”? This is what I mean by strawman arguments.

  27. Goddamit, how the hell did Haggard get out? I asked for dissent to be crushed! Crushed!! And when I ask for crushing, I want no leaks!

    Get me Ashkkroft! We need to step up the shootings!


  29. As a Texan, Christian, Libertarian/Conservative who likes Country music, I’m amused to be stereotyped as uneducated, particularly in a rant that contains such grammatical errors as the use of “they’re” instead of “their” and “who’s” instead of “whose”.

    For the record, the Dixie Chicks have the right to say whatever they want about Bush. And radio stations have the right to not play the Dixie Chicks music for whatever reason they want. The First Amendment guarantees that the government won’t punish you for being a dissenter, however, the First Amendment does not guarantee that spoken words have no consequences whatsoever.

  30. Clark:

    If, for the sake of argument, I accept that it’s a leap (“How does anyone make the logical jump from ‘its an insult,’ to ‘it is unpatriotic’?), it’s certainly less of a leap than to say, as another poster did, that it’s unpatriotic to suggest that the Dixie Chicks “shut up,” especially if the suggestion is made by someone other than the government, or under color of authority or force.

    But, please tell me how it’s an insult to every man or woman who fought and died for this country to “jump down the Dixie Chicks’ throats.”

  31. dude:

    You’re right, most of the bubbleheads who allocate airtime on “today’s hot new country” will say “Ewwww, Merle Haggard! That’s soooo five minutes ago!”–if they even know who he is, that is. I know that’s the case when I call up the local “today’s country” station and ask for Roy Acuff, just to yank their chains.


    Unfortunately, in wartime the executive branch ceases to be a bunch of crooked, lying politicians and instead become (fanfare, please) Our President and Our Leaders. People who normally realize that politics is a racket for benefitting chiselers and fat-cats, for some reason turn off their critical faculties when the words “national security” are invoked and the political hacks wrap themselves in the flag. Thus the absolutely ass-brained statement, “politics stops at the water’s edge.” If you can’t trust a politician here at home, and you have sense enough to realize that all his talk of mom and apple pie cover up service to vested interests, why should you suddenly trust him on the other side of a line on a map?

    America is the freest country on Earth only because the American people are the most anti-authoritarian and distrustful people on Earth. But too many seem to forget how to be American in wartime, and act like Germans instead.

  32. Kevin,

    Some of the dirtiest, most anti-authoritarian, and most anti-war music I’ve ever heard was made by Germans. As someone who has been repeatedly accused of antisemitism by posters who think that impersonating a German accent is a shrewd political statement, you of all people should know better than to reach for that stereotype.

    God damn socio-anarchist commienazi.

  33. >>People who normally realize that politics is a racket for benefitting chiselers and fat-cats, for some reason turn off their critical faculties when the words “national security” are invoked and the political hacks wrap themselves in the flag.

    NOPE. We just realize there are other Politicians who we hate worse (Hitler, Stalin, Saddam, etc).

  34. Re: the “gulag accapello”

    I have this eerie vision of a string of camps, where political undesirables are rounded up, dressed in ragged striped clothing, and forced to sing doo-wop while bathed in searchlight.

    Zek: “Guard, for the love of Elvis, please, let us stop!”

    Guard: “Get back in line, you. You don’t want to be transferred to Camp 17, do you? They make you lot sing barbershop at 17!”

    Zek: “Ba-ba-barbershop?? Noooooooooooooo!!!!!!!”

    (fade out)


  35. Such an interesting thread about an insignificant comment. If you want a leader to be embarassed about, come north of the 49th.

  36. yay! guilt by association! yay!

  37. Gee, I wonder if the Haggard backlash will hit David Allen Coe…

  38. EMAIL: pamela_woodlake@yahoo.com
    URL: http://www.1st-host.org
    DATE: 01/19/2004 11:18:48
    My father never raised his hand to any one of his children, except in self-defense.

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