Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Dixie Chicks for President


Maybe three times in the last eight and half years I have indulged myself to write something just for fun, just to remind myself that getting light is sometimes the best way to respond to a heavy world.

The Dixie Chicks may not save the world. The Dixie Chicks may not stop the war. But the Dixie Chicks have certainly saved my spirits and sense of humor. Long before it became fashionable to dislike the Bush Administration, especially for Southerners from Texas, these magnificent ladies stood up and said “Bullshit!” – in so many words.

They took their lumps, they stood their ground, they took the long way around and they’re not ready to make nice. Their new CD “Taking The Long Way” has debuted at No. 1, selling 526,000 copies in its first week.

Whether they know it or not, their success is a success for all of us who have fought this madness for the last five years. We have taken our own lumps; some hard ones, some nasty ones, and although we haven’t found our own drink of affirming water in the long, arid desert yet, The Dixie Chicks are taking a drink for all of us.

I bought the CD myself and, aside from its monumental symbolic value, it just happens to be really good music. I have been privileged to know as friends, meet or interact with great musicians from Benmont Tench (keyboards for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Alanis Morisette, Don Henley and everybody else), to David Lindley (Jackson Browne & more), to David Baerwald (songwriter for Sheryl Crow, composer, singer), to Tom Waits (who bought a case of Truth and Lies of 9/11). Those who know me well, know that two decades ago I had a band and was briefly a working singer in the 1980s.

“Taking the Long Way is just brilliant, beautiful, toe-tapping, happy-thigh-slapping, tear jerking, emotionally satisfying music. That may be a biased opinion on my part but – as opposed to so much else in this day and age – emotions and music connect to an important life reality here. The music (certainly not all political) is easier to trust because the Chicks have earned emotional credibility with me and all music is ultimately about human emotion. Because I trust them, I believe their music.

I hope these ladies break every record in the book. I hope they outsell the Beatles. If that’s the best Americans can do for a “revolution” now then let it scream from the highest hills that we, probably well more than half of the American people, are sick and tired of lies, death, and the empty-soulness of our nation. Let’s reach out to the rest of the frightened and imperiled people on this planet and show them something. Seeing this CD sell 10 million copies in this country in six months could change the harmonics of the nation and maybe the planet itself.

I’m going out to buy five more now.

Dixie Chicks for President!

Mike Ruppert (yeah, it’s me)


FTW admin said...

That's why the NSA has added to its list of buzzwords all rhythms suspected of setting the toes a-tapping.

Chris Shaw, feral metallurgist said...

Driving the truth home and making it palatable.... enjoyable even!

Here's my favourite. For those who haven't seen it yet, this is Rob Newman performing in London on the 12th April:

Stream Realvideo:

D/L Realvideo:

A high quality copy is available via bittorrent. We are trying to get it shown on national TV here in Australia.

Please enjoy.... kindest regards to all.


Chris Shaw, feral metallurgist said...

Dear Carolyn and Mike

To say this Blog is cozy and intimate is an understatement. I wonder how many of us visit here?

I came here via Energy Bulletin, but that link has been swept into the past. Energy Bulletin has become rather busy these days.

Nor do I see any references to this blog on the FTW website. Why is that?

FTW admin said...

Hold tight, Chris. We're working on it.

FTW admin said...

allbetsroff sent this comment in as a response to mike's intro but i think he/she may have meant it to go here:

Yeah. lightening things up is a necessary ingredient in the daily time continuum stew, I agree. Following my relocation from Southern California to my current new home in a wildly contrasting rural environment, I've found great opportunity for easing up a bit and enjoying lighter moments while getting to know the people, their practices and the places surrounding this wonderful new world. And sometimes I just may throw on Tom Waits' Bone Machine or Heart of Saturday Night...

A peon said...


If you're out there,I've been trying to recall an Indian prophecy I believe I read once on your website.It goes something like:"Only after every tree has been cut down,only after every fish has been caught will man realize he cannot eat money."Is that from your site,or am I mistaken?I've been trying to find it on your search engine with no luck.I want to check it to see if thats right or not.

Michael said...

Music, especially music that cannot be classified and pigeonholed as "high culture" by the wealthy and powerful, is one of the most powerful weapons we have to disable the control of our minds by those who would try to divide and destroy us, and to free our spirits. Speaking as a musician, as we travel into the post-consumer, post-cheap oil, and (hopefully) post mass pop-music age, I will embrace more and more music made by free minds, whatever style it may be. Education is still important, because we must know structure to have freedom, but be able to focus on keeping our conceptions and our spirits free. Charlie Parker put it this way: "First, master your instrument, then forget all that s--t and play". That applies, whether you're the Dixie Chicks or John Scofield.

I have heard that Justice Antonin Scalia does a "rousing" version of "It's a Grand Old Flag" on the piano at GOP cocktail parties. Sorry, but that doesn't count!

BriaN said...

Peon, here's one version of it:

Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money.

I first encountered it in spanish on a t-shirt from Iguacu Falls - These people think that's a Cree proverb/prophesy:

Marianna said...

My friend Robin had been haunting the record stores for Taking the Long Way -- store clerks she talked to were rolling their eyes as they recited the release date to her -- obviously she was not the only one pestering them. She bought a crate of the CD's, too, and is giving them to everybody she knows. I don't follow music too much, anymore (though I certainly know what happened to the Dixie Chicks), but I have been listening a lot to the copy Robin gave me, which does very much resonate with my state of mind/defiance lately. Interesting thing is that we live in arch- reactionary and repressed Dutch West Michigan -- land of the Happy Hoekstra, but it might as well be Texas. Country music, and all of the cultural "opinions" that go along with it, reigns supreme, resentments (formed emotionally and simplemindedly around a concept of defense of God and Country) die very hard. Yet the Chicks are selling like hotcakes here, too... which really goes to show the actual undercurrent of emotion and rebellion here, where feelings are denied and defiance is a non-word.

Marianna said...

Oh, and in response to "ablestroff's" comment... Heart of Saturday Night... wow, listening to that right now would soothe my soul... I have to find a cd copy...

The Gambler's Prayer said...

I'm surprised at how infrequently people mention Steve Earle when discussing new, topical music. For the past twenty years, his alternative-country songwriting has passionately and pointedly attacked capital punishment, the drug economy, racism, class issues, media consolidation, and recently the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. His latest album The Revolution Starts Now! (2004) has some great tracks including "Home to Houston," a bouncey-truck driving song in the key of E about a Halliburton trucker driving out of Basra, and "Rich Man's War," which tells the stories of three young men--two from the U.S. and one from Gaza--and their motivations for fighting.
I'm glad to see the Dixie Chicks and Neil Young openly criticizing the current administration, but I think FTW readers would find a true kindred spirit in Steve Earle if they have not yet discovered his music.

Anonymous said...

I'm a conservative - fiscally, socially, politicallly, and religiously. I'm also a conservative Constitutionally.

That probably places me in a different bracket of thinkers than most who might read this blog, but I hope most of you would consider that a net good, not a net negative. If we're gonna survive the unconstitutional and immoral campaign against humanity being waged by our administrations and their corporatist leadership, we're gonna need all of the intellectual capital we can muster from all sides of the human experience. The bottom line is that what matters most is having our eyes open to reality and having a sincere concern for humanity.

I've never been a Dixie Chick fan and I've never been a country music listener. Purely by chance, I heard their new song "Not Ready To Make Nice” and I thought it was great.

In fact, that's the attitude that all of us should have regarding the GOP and Democrat party leaders who support or co-operate in the criminal efforts of the globalists.

FYI, Mike, I just finished Rubicon (with 5 young kids it literally took months to go through all of it in detail!) and you've once again solidified what I've been following on my own since 1989. Great work.

FTW admin said...

Tom Ness wrote:
Artists who are fulfilling their role as canary-in-the-coal-mine are stepping up in increasing numbers. After having the new Marcus James cd "Calabash Blues" for a couple of weeks, it stopped me cold when I finally *heard* the words to "Need a Believer" for the first time:

Tom provided the words which I've omitted since that may violate copyright.

Hugh said...

You folks will also appreciate Patti Smith's site. Always politically out-spoken and eloquent. Her news page supporting Lieutenant Watada is here: http://www.pattismith.net/news.html

And just listen to her spoken "Declaration of Independence/indictment of gw bush" here:


This helps me get out of bed in the morning!

FTW admin said...

wicced woman writes:

Just thought I'd leave this here for posterity, just some more inspiration for everyone (and I'll definitely check the Dixie Chicks CD). By Starhawk (extract):-

"We spin justice burning like a flaming star,
We spin peace into a river that can overcome war. And if you want to know where true power lies, Turn and look into your sisters' eyes.

Wicced woman quotes at far greater length. However I've omitted the rest because, although blog law is in its infancy, I believe it possible that long quotes in this context could violate copyright.

mrs p said...

Well said Mr. Mike! It's not easy to put one's career on the line. I too, adore these girls for having true patriotism & courage! They have more kahunas than the bobbing boy from Conneticut.
mrs p

Howlin_Dog said...

Since this orginal post was about music and one of the general themes of FTW is avoidance of the "tapeworm economy", I am providing a suggestion for another alternative type of music. Most of the radio has the over hyped music that brought us such invasions as Sony's DRM CD fiasco of last year.

Check out http://www.wdvx.com This is a local station that started in an RV and now is playing music on the WWW as well as on a mini local network. The thing I like about them is they play a lot of "Americana" music which I have seen defined as "a catchall phrase for indigenous music that tends to be left out of commercial radio."
Good stuff to to lift your spirts while your reading all the negative stuff this country has become.

I personally enjoy the "roll your own music" on a local community based "roll your own" station. Just wish the station was in my community.

Dredd said...

I purchased a copy of the CD too. They have good voices.

I also picked up the Neil Young CD "Living With War", which has some good licks in it.

Bankley said...

Music: Truth with a backbeat...
I recorded a CD last year entitled "Insurgent Sun". It's a fine collaborative effort dealing with many of the subjects which still darken our days. Not having a 'name' myself, it took awhile before I landed licensing deals for Canada and Europe. It'll be released in Sept.06. It's good to see some major acts using their celebrity for the common good. I have no reputation to lose, which is the upside of the long wait. I first heard 'Not Ready to Make Nice" by the Dixie Chicks on a site called Justice Through Music Project, a great site out of DC. Some good songs posted there, mostly by folks that I've never heard of, along with Dar Williams, Eminem, Ol' Neil Young. Anyhow, I'm in good company, because they posted one of mine called 'Anthem for Dissent" featuring long time Pan-Indigenous activist Splitting the Sky". It's from the "Insurgent Sun" CD.. check it all out. www.jtmp.org.
I recently recorded a kick-ass song called 'Shadow of the Twins' inspired by Michael's 'Crossing the Rubicon'.. Thanx Mike, I'll send a copy to your office. Trying to get it to Michael Kane and Alex Jones as well. A small gesture of appreciation for your courage in these times of fear. You are true beacons in the land of the ostrich. Patriots in the truest sense of the word... keep that keypad tapping along with those toes.......Stay well all.... R.B.

Bankley said...

Just a brief "P.S." "The Gamblers Prayer" is right about Steve Earle. He's a real fighter and has been for quite some time. Glad that he got straight and threw his talent onto the side of truth and justice. Billy Bragg has been going at it for years.Bruce Cockburn as well. There are so many lesser known, quality, activist artists like Jim Page from the Seattle area and Blackfire from Navaho(Dene)nation who have been making strong statements for a long time by swimming against the current. As Carlin said, "The reason it's called mainstream is because it's shallow" Beware of bandwagons and trends. Bless the trail-blazers.

Leigh McKeirnan said...

I bought their new CD for my daughter's birthdya in May-I had to get someone to go in the back of the store and get more, they were selling so fast.