The Chicks are this moment’s soundtrack – blessedly so.
“Half of you love me, half already hate me.”
The only question worth asking is, what took them so long?
A maelstrom of misogyny and toxic patriotism sank the careers of Natalie Maines, Emily Strayer and Marie Maguire in the early 2000s. Nothing they did deserved the calculated, deliberate response they received by a hate industry that had the perfect enemy – jihadism – and needed a sacrifice at its altar.
I’ve always admired The Dixie Chicks for remaining steadfast – “Not Ready To Make Nice” is a wonderful thumb in the eye of anyone expecting contrition – and I consider Natalie Maines especially an icon for free speech and the spirit of rock and roll that propelled the 1960s.
Their just released song, and the video that accompanies it, reinforces that conviction, as does the fact that with it, they finally tell the Deep South to fuck all the way off. From this moment forward, call them The Chicks; Dixie can die a deserved death.
“Tell the old boys in the white bread lobby what they can and can’t do with their body.”
“March March” wasn’t written for this moment of BLM, voter suppression, white supremacist terrorism and a government turned against its own people. The lyrics name-check Parkland shooting survivor turned activist Emma Gonzalez and climate science crusader Greta Thunberg; the track’s been around a while.
Dropping it now, however, along with the name change, makes “March March” feel like it could have been created last week. It’s reminiscent of Springsteen’s “My City Of Ruins” seeming new when he played it during the bunker show broadcast a fortnight after 9/11, though he’d knocked around a version of it in concert at least a year earlier.
Knowing this about “March March” merely provides a reminder that contemporary rage isn’t a new thing, though the revolution that appears to be in progress is definitely a welcome surprise. Watching “March March” is something else entirely, though.
The Seanne Farmer directed video starkly proves the struggle is old as Reconstruction, women’s suffrage and the freedom marches. It then shifts into the here and now, the uprising of a resistance that may prove enough to extinguish the old order.
With a searing Maguire fiddle solo providing the soundtrack, demonstration, confrontation and police violence spool across the screen. Then the names of the dead – George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Marin, et.al. – roll slowly across the screen. When Strayer joins in on banjo, the letters begin to move so fast they’re almost unreadable.
All the victims can’t be contained here.
“What the hell happened in Helsinki?”
Leave it to The Chicks to ask a question no one’s put so succinctly in a song before – why is our country’s leader acting like a traitor? Just yesterday, we learned that Russia paid Islamic terrorists a bounty to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan.
Knowing this, the President still continued to coddle that country’s leader, begging they be welcomed back into the G-7, weakening allied defenses in Germany, and spending an hour and half on the phone with Putin.
What the hell did happen?
We are in a fight for the life of our democracy. The Chicks have delivered an anthem.
Headcount / http://www.headcount.org
Human Rights Campaign / http://www.hrc.org
American Civil Liberties Union / http://www.aclu.org
Supermajority Education Fund / http://www.supermajority.com
March For Our Lives / http://www.marchforourlives.com
Mi Familia Vota / http://www.mifamiliavota.org
Native American Rights Fund / http://www.narf.org
Planned Parenthood / http://www.plannedparenthood.org
White People For Black Lives / http://www.awarela.org
Innocence Project / http://www.innocenceproject.org
Black Lives Matter / http://www.blacklivesmatter.com
Proclaim Justice / http://www.proclaimjustice.org