I hope you'll forgive my posting twice in one day, but I woke up this morning with a burning need to post about this today, then got sidetracked, and very excited, about the rat story, so that took precedence. But here I am back with my original intentions, which is all about the Dixie Chicks, or more specifically, the Dixie Chicks' movie's director, Barbara Kopple.
I loved Shut up and Sing. Thought it was fantastic, uplifting, totally riveting and dramatic. Great storytelling. But lately there have been some things about the director that have been bugging me, namely her blatant idol worship of Natalie Maines that's actually beginning to affect my opinion of this fine piece of cinema a bit.
The first is an interview I read with her recently that I can't find, so feel free to take my word for this or not, where she says that after Natalie made her infamous statement in London about being "ashamed" of the President, she really "stood alone."
Well, only if you don't count half of the American public, and pretty much the rest of the entire world that agreed with her about the war.
I remember those days leading up to the invasion of Iraq, and it was insane. Tensions and emotions were running incredibly high, but come on, alone? Maybe she was ostracized by the country music world (although Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, two of the most famous and popular country singers that exist are both outspoken democrats, and have publically voiced their disatisfaction with the war and President Bush numerous times, but no such fallout has struck them, strangely), but that's pretty much it. I can also certainly sympathize with the CD burnings, the boycotts, and especially the death threats, how terrifying all of that must have been. It's astonishing how blown out of proportion that statment was by the country music world and the media; it's absolutely absurd. What she said wasn't even that rude; I mean, she didn't attack Bush's character, or use profanity. It's just crazy.
Okay, so that's negligible, really, as an isolated statement. Not that big of a deal. But in a brief write-up in the latest issue of Rolling Stone about Shut Up & Sing, again, the director is quoted as saying, "In a way, Natalie was the first casualty of the Iraq war."
Has she lost her fucking mind??? Is she honestly comparing a bad PR incident with a pampered rock star to what the soldiers dying in Iraq are doing? I mean, seriously? I hope to God that I just misinterpreted that statement. It almost turns my stomach, I find it so offensive. And stupid.
What happened to Natalie Maines was unfortunate, and at times insanely harshly judged (and made for a great fucking movie), but let's retain a little perspective here. She's not in Iraq fighting a war, nor is she in any way a "casualty." Christ.
The director, Kopple, in front of Iraq's first three casualties.