April 26, 2003

Freedom of Expression Proof of Purchase

DixieI’ve been following the saga of outspoken Natalie Maines and the Dixie Chicks. Freedom of Expression is a hobby of mine. So I was particularly interested in Thursday’s 20/20 Primetime interview with the trio by Diane Sawyer. That same day, the group appeared on Entertainment Weekly’s May 2nd cover—in the buff and covered with epithets that had been slung at them since Natalie’s fifteen words of shame/fame: “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas.”

I could only watch 15 minutes of the program. It was too depressing to hear radio talk show callers state their desire to strap Ms. Natalie to a bomb and drop her over Iraq. It was too depressing to watch “impromptu,” Clear Channel-inspired, demonstrators smashing CDs with a bulldozer (NY Times, free registration required). I had to turn it off.

What were we fighting for in Iraq if not for freedom to say what we believe in?

I’m not a country music fan and, true, Maines’ offhand remark wasn’t the most elegantly stated prose. But I believe in her right to voice it so strongly I bought their latest CD, Home. RETAIL. And here’s my Freedom of Expression Proof of Purchase to prove it. I invite you to do the same by proudly displaying your own proof of purchase on your lapel or your Web site!

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