Saturday, February 20, 2010


Last night I was zapping before going to bed, when I came across the documentary channel 8, where Shut Up & Sing was broadcast. I had seen most of the film before, but I sat down again to watch it. I very much admire the Dixie Chicks for their honesty and courage, and for their strength and friendship after the band was boycotted by many/most of their traditional fans because its lead singer said at a London concert that they were ashamed that President Bush was from their home state, Texas. It does not matter whether that was a wise thing to say, or whether you should agree with it or not, but those few words were certainly not a justification for a boycot, terrible curses, death threats, discs being burned, censorship etc. When I watch the movie, and see some of the ways in which nationalist fanatics responded to that short phrase, I cannot help wondering what the brave US soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere have been fighting for all those years. Apparently not for the freedom of speech. In this video - filmed shortly before Natalie Maines said what she said in London - you can see that the three women were once pretty much part of the national mainstream in the US, and that patriotic does not necessarily have to be a synonym for rightwing, dumb, extremist and overly nationalistic. If you want to, you can search for parallels between America and Israel. Anyway, the above songs are from the Dixie Chicks' latest album, and I like both very much. Enjoy.
PS: Today this weblog has had the highest number of visitors ever. At least this time the reason for that high number is not as sad as with the three previous records ( the Lebanon War in 2006, the Gaza War in 2009, and the attack on Queen's Day in Apeldoorn, Holland, also last year ). This time most visitors come here via the website of the Dutch daily De Telegraaf, where they read articles about the fall of the Dutch cabinet. One of the three coalition partners, the social-democratic PvdA, left the coalition because it did not want to extend the stay of Dutch soldiers in the Afghan province of Uruzgan. At least, that was the immediate cause. The relationship between the coalition members - in addition to the PvdA, the cabinet included the christian-democratic CDA, led by PM Balkenende, and the strict-protestant Christian Union - had not been very good for months already.

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