Saturday, June 02, 2007

"Shut up and sing"

When Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks expressed an opinion about the invasion of Iraq (which has since turned out to be the most disastrous military engagement in US history), she was told to shut up and sing.

Laura Ingraham has a book titled "Shut up and Sing" in which she argues that celebrities who express opinions she disagrees with are "subverting" America. When George Clooney tried to raise awareness about the conflict in Darfur Michelle Malkin essentially told him to shut up and act. And Angelina Jolie is routinely riduculed by movement conservative pundits for her humanitarian efforts.

What these people are really saying is "shut up, you have no right to express your opinion ... unless you express an opinion that we agree with."

What's more, they are saying to any citizens who might also agree with whatever opinion has been expressed by the celebrity that they too are to shut up, that they too have no right to their opinion.

Well, in 1985 a group of artists known as USA for Africa did sing, but they did not shut up. And since that date their song - "We are the World" - has raised 63 million dollars for famine relief in Africa.

Which shows that it is possible to do some good in this world when the political will is there. And shame on anyone who would denigrate such efforts.

1 comment:

Sheldon said...

And of course these conservative pundits don't mind at all when artists who have right leaning politics sing what they agree with.