Sunday, July 18, 2004

You can still say what you want

Above is an article about "bullying tactics" used by the US government to hinder free speech.
While I will admit that there are some cases where free speech has been stifled, though that is not what Elton is talking about.
The singer likened the current "fear factor" to McCarthyism in the 1950s.

"There was a moment about a year ago when you couldn't say a word about anything in this country for fear of your career being shot down by people saying you are un-American," he told the magazine.

The singer said things were different in the 1960s.
One sentence for you elton: IT IS NOT THE 60's ANY MORE. 
"That's not happening now. As of this spring, there have been virtually no anti-war concerts - or anti-war songs that catch on, for that matter," he said.
Ha Ha, well maybe that is because a majority of people support the war on terror. Or maybe people just don't care.  Or maybe people are to busy actually trying to fix the problem instead of just singing about it.  Or maybe just enough people support the war to hurt sales.
Then he just goes to far...
He voiced concern that it appeared acceptable to speak out if you were pro-Bush, using the example of country singer Toby Keith, but not if you were critical of the President, as in the case of country rock band, the Dixie Chicks.
He brings up examples of country singers, whose market is as red as their necks.  I am not trying to be offensive, I am just trying to group the large majority of country music listeners into a large easily recognizable group, which by and large has created a cottage industry for camo, hunting equipment, and red neck jokes.
"On the one hand, you have someone like Toby Keith, who has come out and been very supportive of the Bush administration and the war in Iraq - which is OK because America is a democracy and Toby Keith is entitled to say what he thinks and feels.

"But, on the other hand, the Dixie Chicks got shot down in flames last year for criticizing the president. They were treated like they were being un-American, when in fact they have every right to say whatever they want about him because he's freely elected, and therefore accountable."

In one sentence he says it is ok to speak out, then in the other he seems to imply that we should by their CD's anyways even if we do not like what they say.
Freedom of speech is a two way street.  Also, being able to say what you want does not protect you from the responsibilities of saying what you want.

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