Chi Trib media writer Steve Johnson oddly accuses Dixie Chicks fans of hypocrisy for not buying their records because the Chicks have embraced leftist views. “Hypocrisy” is one of those words that cut deep. It’s as if he was pretty mad and searched for what we have come to call a “hurtful” adjective. For instance, “fag” as applied to Sun-Times man Mariotti, which he says didn’t hurt him at all — what would he say, “Oh. That hurt!”? — and anyhow its use is widely considered in newspapers as “hurtful” of “millions” of unnamed homosexuals, who don’t like it.
Or “racist” rather than “prejudiced”: it’s got more zing. It’s hurtful but not banned. “Fag” is. So is “nigger,” which never got used in a complaint against its use by historian John Hope Franklin at Rainbow-Push headquarters Saturday. This made sense, insofar as Franklin was objecting to its very use — by blacks making light of the old taboo — as if it were a magically hurtful (there it is again) shibboleth. Hell, they stick pins in dolls, don’t they? And what happens then?
The non-buyers of Chicks records — and we must wonder how many of them Johnson knows — are hypocritical because they like feminist themes but not when the Chicks do them because they do not like Chicks’ politics. But he leaves out the possibility that feminism does not cover all faults, in this case regretting one came from Texas because that’s where George W. Bush came from. Why does Johnson, an admitted expert in these matters, not allow that these fighting words from Lead Chick Maines have been perceived by Chicks’ fans as so hurtful (there again!) as to blind them to Chicks’ feminism?
There can be only one reason, dismissing the possibility that Johnson is dumb and can’t see this sort of thing, it being too complicated for him, and that is his own hurt incurred when Lead Chick Maines’ anti-Bushism was rejected in the first place. The suggestion to be made is that Johnson look into his heart and see whether that is so. Then he might see that it’s hard to enjoy Chicks’ music, feminist or otherwise, when one feels like throwing up when their name is mentioned.
Documentation: For Steve Johnson’s column, rummage in the garbage for yesterday’s Trib or go here. For Mariotti stories go here. For Hope Franklin and the N-word, go here. For Dixie Chicks and Bush, go here. For Dixie Chicks more or less naked, go here. For a funny story, go here.