War, who is it good for?

War, who is it good for?
: Michele has a deliciously cynical view of the anti-war show biz crowd: Protest as a career move.

I mean, who would really know that Tim Robbins still existed (except as Mr. Sarandon) if not for his public tirades against George Bush? Would Bill Maher have a tv show or Michael Moore an Oscar or Arianna Huffington a website if not for loud, public dissent?

It’s a marketing tool. The people who decry capitalism and all things America are the ones scooping up the cash by the fistful because they cry the loudest.

Don’t cry for the Dixie Chicks. They have risen to the top of the pop culture ladder because they said some nasty things about the president.

Ain’t that America?

As the war fades from the headlines, will these celebs find themselves suffering attention withdraws? Will their careers also fade?

  • Jeffisstartingtomakemesick

    Hardly good for your career if clear channel ban your music from the radio etc
    You are turning into a nasty piece of work Jeff… shame on you

  • http://kcviews.blogspot.com Carl

    Interestingly, on the other side of the issue, it seems to be helping Dennis Miller, at least I have been watching for any Dennis Miller appearances…

  • John Irving

    The Dixie Chicks are past their expiration date anyway, as is Pearl Jam, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, and Michael Moore.
    Their publicists are telling them that any attention is good attention. That’s all.

  • Balbulican

    I guess y’all find it utterly inconceivable that these people might be voicing unpopular sentiments from personal conviction?

  • Dark Avenger

    Seeing how fast Natalie retracted her original statement, yes. If she had the guts to stick with what she said in the first place, you might have a valid point. Susan Sarandon was involved in getting a TV talk-show off the air by calling for a boycott, so now she’s on the receiving end of a tactic she had no hesitation is using when it suited her. (The host in question was Dr. Laura) Sincerity from a celebrity? Pfui!

  • John

    In the Chicks’ case I don’t think the original statement was so much premeditated as it was Maines trying to play to what she believed (or was told) was the general feeling of the London audience was with a spur of the moment quip without thinking the quote would be picked up by the AP.
    On the other hand, if it was premeditated than it’s actually even more cynical than anything Robbins, Sarandon or Moore could come up with, since the Chicks’ domestic promotional effort for their latest CD and summer concert tour was based on using trappings that would make the majority of their fans in the U.S. assume they agreed with them politically, such as singing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl while military jets fly over, and releasing a song called “Traveling Solider” as a single off the CD.
    Neither case is a direct statement of pro-Bush or pro-Iraq war feelings by the Chicks, but they gave the impression that the band felt that way, which may explain why the backlash has been so severe, since it makes their pro-U.S. image of January and February seem like nothing more than another marketing tool to boost sales, like posing nude on the cover or Entertainment Weekly (or posing nude for the PETA ad from a couple of years ago. But that was yanked at the last minute, because their handlers decided that wouldn’t sit well with their country music fans, most of whom eat meat and many of whom also enjoy hunting).

  • http://floyd.best.vwh.net/weblog/blogger.html Floyd McWilliams

    >Hardly good for your career if clear channel ban
    >your music from the radio etc.
    Wow, that sounds terrible. I can’t wait to see you
    post proof that artists have been banned from ClearChannel.

  • Balbulican

    Okay, I think I understand the rules now.
    a) If you were an entertainer who supported the invasion, and said so, you were a courageous patriot, and adopting a popular stance was NOT an act of self promotion…you were simply compelled to speak out in support of your President because of your deeply held beliefs.
    b) If you were an entertainer who opposed the invasion and said so, you were a cowardly traitor cynically manipulating media to restore your flagging career by enraging the public. You had no deeply held political beliefs of any kind.
    c) Above all, the quality of your artistic output is directly linked to your political stance. The Dixie Chicks used to be a vaguely enjoyable country rock band: whoops, retro-define their moderate merits downward. Madonna, ditto: Sarandon, ditto: Robbins, Ditto: Penn, ditto…any other bolshies out there in need of a revisionist retrospective?

  • Rachel Cohen

    “voicing unpopular sentiments from personal conviction”–Yeah on someone else’s dime! Let Tim and Sue hire a hall and give speeches with free admission. Why should they get mike time at someone’s paid-for event?
    Natalie Maines is dumb as a post and did just speak off the cuff at the concert, trying to suck up to her audience. It didn’t work and the other 2 Chicks told her to make it right or get out. Their fan base is still country, despite their trendy mangement company’s best effort (they also handle Korn and Limp Biskit) to make them cross-over.
    All of these folks are welcome to their opinions, and they can voice them at their own expense and their own time. IF fans agree , great, and if they don’t , well, the stars knew the risk.
    If these people really had deeply-held beliefs, they’d spend their own money.

  • MD

    Balbulican
    Criticism is not the same thing as censorship. If someone chooses not to buy Dixie Chicks records because they find their politics icky, that is their right. I find it silly, but that’s free speech too. The death threats? That’s completely and utterly disgusting. But parties to crush CD’s? Again, I think it’ silly but people have a right to that as much as someone has a right to say they are ashamed of the president.
    I wouldn’t feel too much sympathy for celebrities. They have armies of lawyers,accountants, nannies, millions in the bank (Dixie Chicks CD’s are still topping the charts). Life is soooo not rough for them.
    And, if private citizen wants to think that one person is patriotic and another is not, that’s free speech too. Bolshie revisionism? No. It’s called an opinion.

  • Diane Borger

    Wow, what vitriol. Is this still America?? Founded on dissent?? You bitter, smug conservatives: why should you care what anyone else thinks? Dennis Miller as an example of conservative good taste???? He used to be funny, that was his gift—-now he’s a blowhard in my opinion. S. Sarandon got Dr. Laura taken off the air??? Are you daff? Dr. Laura was failing miserably in the ratings ages ago, and was cancelled by her sponsors. The Dixie Chicks gone bad? Really now, they’re skilled and proffesional and in my mind swingin’. Come on folks, get it together—-make sense, use reason; you don’t convince anyone with your bitterness. Jeff said it so very well: the left may have an overabundance of moral certitude, but the smugness of the right is a real turn-off. (My rememberance/interpretation)

  • Dark Avenger

    It is a matter of record that Ms Sarandon
    was involved in the boycott, and that a lot of
    sponsors left because of the uproar over her views. I don’t think that Ms. S was responsible for what happened personally, but think it a bit dubious that she can’t stand it when tactics she used are turned against her. As for dissent: please let me know the locations of the places where M. Moore, the D.C.s’ Mr. Robbins, etc., are being held against there will. The First Amendment says Americans have freedom of speech. It doesn’t say there is freedom from consequences after this right is used.

  • John

    In the Chick’s case, as far as silencing their right to be heard, they can be heard starting on May 1 and throughout the summer at concert venues across the U.S. The tickets were pre-sold before Maines’ comments were made, and the concert promoters and ticket brokers are not giving refunds, so the money is in the bank — all the fans can do is either not show up, or pretend they’re New York Jets fans during Rich Kotite’s 1-15 season by showing up and booing for three hours.
    The Chicks may not like it, but they’ve got their $25 million in advance sales to provide them solace (and BTW, the numero uno ticket broker helping the girls reap this windfall before a note is played is that evil right-wing company Clear Channel, which supposedly is marshaling its radio stations nationwide to serve as virtual mouthpieces for Bush and are working to silence all his critics. Obviously, the people in the Ticketmaster division of the corporation never got the e-mail about this strategy. We’ll still have to see if Clear Channel’s billboard division falls into line..)

  • Jack Tanner

    I’m sorry diane but let me get this straight as long as I say the president sucks and America’s evil that’s dissent and it’s wonderful. But if I say Natalie Maines is an un-American retard and I’m not going to buy any of her CD’s that’s vitriol? I thought it was personal choice. Or is it just OK if it coincides with your choice?