How Much Of The Dixie Chicks Controversy Is Just Career Management?
Certainly country music has a very limited artistic freedom style compared to rock music, but it is a good question just how much of The Dixie Chicks controversy is simply aimed at creating just enough of a public relations crisis to keep their act in the spotlight. Country music acts tend to have a very short shelf life in most cases. Only a few acts have a longer life. Certainly pop acts such as Madonna and Britney Spears have managed to turn a series of public events into living room and water cooler discussions, and have managed to stay fresh in the public view while so many other acts have faded. The Dixie Chicks might well be following this rule, figuring a little controversy is good for extending their "15 minutes" of normal shelf life fame.
In reality, some minor critical opinions on Bush would hardly raise an eyebrow in rock misic, but among the politically conservative audience for country music, The Dixie Chicks have managed to both encourage and anger some fans.
But compared to some in country music with hard core criminal histories, The Dixie Chicks mild rebel conduct seems very tame. Country legend, Merle Haggard served time for assault, robbery and burglary. David Allan Coe was another personality with a long criminal history. Country music probably has more personalities associated with serious crimes such as rape, murder, robbery, burglary, drugs and assault than even rap music, and many songs deal with social breakdowns such as alcohol abuse, adultry and divorce, yet The Dixie Chicks have somehow managed to create a rebel image amongst all of of this outrageous social conduct for some reason with a few small words about Bush.
This past week, The Dixie Chicks were back on OPRAH and on CHRIS MATTHEWS managing to squeeze just a bit more publicity out of their George Bush comments from some time ago. Why this is even news again is a perfectly good question, but without the commision of a serious crime like many others in country music, The Dixie Chicks have managed to keep their name out there, and keep on selling CDs. It must be the country music equivalent of The Who trashing their hotel room all the way to the bank.