I just watched Shut Up & Sing...

which is a documentary about the Dixie Chicks and the years following their statement about Bush in London. Everybody who was a good conservative southerner was supposed hate the hell out of them and they went through quite a few trials, like getting absolutely no radio play after years of getting it. I'm not ashamed to say that ever since dear Will introduced me to their album Taking the Long Way, I've loved their music. Like many Jamaicans (who rarely admit it) I grew up on old school country and bluegrass, not from my friends growing up in Georgia. But the generation of my grandparents - when the country Westerns were on the TVs and Tennessee radio stations of the 50s would be replayed on Jamaican airwaves, influencing so many artists. The soul of Johnny Cash is always welcome in Jamaica. If you listen to original ska and dub, you know while your prancing around like you're riding a horse the beat comes from the old westerns.

SO when my dear friend introduced me to the Dixie Chicks, I welcomed their bluegrass, yet completely original, sound very warmly - even if a little bit secretly. But after watching their documentary, well if they were willing to stick together and stand firm when so many people turned against them, the majority of their own fan base, well, I should loudly declare my respect for them. I love the way they sound and I realize how lucky I am to be surrounded by people who mostly feel the way I do about current events. What if my feelings in this blog were declared un-American and all of a sudden I had organized political groups allying to shut me down? What if we were at the receiving end of a witch hunt? Would we be strong enough to not stand down? Would we still play, write, sing, talk, march when we knew a death threat was made loud and clear? I watched the movie Bobby last weekend and I realized that so many people felt he was the last one to stand up to injustice, inequality and our civil rights. The mentality of the majority of America is to not stand up because there's the idea that not just one, but many, are ready to put a bullet in you.

A Web Quest, an interactive lesson plan, for high school students asked them to answer questions and research the definition of civil liberties and whether laws today are in support or against our liberties as Americans. I want them to question these years of history. A documentary like this reminds me how the beginning of this millennium has been tainted with witch hunts and wars based on rumors and fear.

So these ladies get a big picture and big write up on this blog today. I LOVE the CD and I loved the movie. I just can't imagine walking out of the fire of a witch hunt and not letting the burns and wounds sour my belief in humanity. I'm glad it didn't for the Dixie Chicks because their CD wouldn't be half as good if it did.


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