Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Donald Sutherland, Dixie Chicks And Disengagement

I remember looking forward to watching a new movie starring Donald Sutherland. I've already mentioned his role in the 1978 re-make of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". "M*A*S*H", though a liberal charade, was entertaining and I enjoyed his part in that film. I'll never forget the determined, happy-go-lucky, stoned tank commander in "Kelly's Heroes". When I think about it, those movies were from my childhood-a time when I didn't know much about politics and didn't much care. For the past 15-20 years, however, Mr. Sutherland has tended to accept only second or third-rate roles in films. His career has been somewhat stagnant.
Just 18 months ago, one of my favorite bands to listen to was "The Dixie Chicks". Their bluegrass inspired style of country was both artful and refreshing. Natalie Maine's unique voice and the skilled playing ability of her two band-mates were inspiring-I looked forward to their songs on the radio and often had one of their great CDs in my player. Then Natalie began bashing Bush and the war on terror in other countries around the world. I don't even know where my copies of their music are, anymore-don't really care.
I haven't purposely listened to any Dixie Chicks tune since. Yes, I do still think that their music is very much worth listening to-and no, it wasn't a conscious choice on my part to stop craving their music. My core, in some mysterious way, just weaned my desire-most likely because of the anti-American flavor of the girls' statements before the '04 presidential election.
Donald Sutherland, now a "star" of the new series "Commander in Chief", also starring Gina Davis, has gone to London-the same country where Natalie Maine spouted her uninformed ignorance-and blasted our president and dishonored our great American heritage. If this is his attempt to regain his star-power enjoyed in the 70s, he may want to pause and look at the direction other celebrities' careers have taken in the wake of voicing anti-American sentiment-down the tubes.
Last night, I was searching for a movie to watch on one of the Premium Movie Channels when I came across one I had never seen-"Fallen". As I consulted the "Info" feature and read Donald Sutherland's name in the billing something just automatically prompted me to move along and find something else to watch.
Don't get me wrong-I still think he's a great character actor. Just as I also think that "The Dixie Chicks" are great artists. It's just that my soul won't allow me to support them in any way.
Oh well, the price of patriotism, I guess!

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