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The test of democracy is freedom of criticism - David Ben-Gurion

>> 16 August 2007

In 2003, while touring Europe, the Dixie Chicks announced they were 'ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas'. They had not expected the media firestorm, ban from radio stations and protests this created. Last year they were still not making nice and calling Bush a dumb f..k. And this year they were even shortlisted in a public contest to become the theme song for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign (Celine Dion's You and I finally won).

I must say I find it terrible that one cannot freely speak one's mind without any repercussions. By now and because of this post, my blog probably figures on Bush's mile-long black list - but what the heck. What I meant to say is that here in Europe, people bash politicians all the time and it does not create a hullabaloo.
Take France for example: there is a site full of anti-Sarkozy songs and postings. Now I know those exist for Bush as well (he even has his own bumper stickers, something we don't have in Europe...) but when people (famous or not) speak out openly against Sarkozy, all they get is an animated political discussion on television - if that.

So in what way are we different from Americans? And why?
Your comments are welcome!


Indeterminacy 17 August 2007 at 23:10  

I think a lot of the protest against the Dixie Chicks and others like them was manufactured by the strongly biased pro-Bush media in America. Europeans are different in that they are not exposed to an overpowering media controlled by a single ideology. Hopefully it will stay that way.

La delirante 19 August 2007 at 09:22  

Hi! I believe that in Europe the society is more open minded and accepts that there are in fact people who think differently and are entitled to do so. In America it seems to me it's too much talking but in reality that freedom doesn't exist as much as in Europe. It looks like if someone critizes the regime is against it while as critizing can mean that you don't agree partially or totally and that you wish to improve things. Remember that famous phrase? "if you are not with us you are against us"?

Have a nice day!

Madeleine 20 August 2007 at 07:53  

I remember having to speak in hushed terms at university about Bush's 'smoke them out' speech right after 9/11. The mood was such that it put totalitarianism to shame; how you could differentiate between the two regimes was beyond me.

Nice blog.

Anonymous,  21 August 2007 at 02:14  

Congrats for the blog, it's great. People are in need of this kind of places, places in which one can express what one feels and thinks, and, more importantly, exchange with other people.

About the topic, I believe the reaction to the Dixie Chicks shows a different way to approach reality, a naive, socially counterproductive, less-civil one. I think there isn't a great difference between Frenchmen and Americans... the event you mentioned is just a demonstration of the demeanour a group that follows an incompetent leader that is being now abandoned by his most loyal acolytes is characterized by; take the Iraq War entry on Wikipedia in consideration, for instance: It's been proven by Wiki's staff that an IP belonging to the republican party altered the words "invasion army" for "liberation troops"... I'm generalizing, of course, which unfortunately is the only way to analyze life.

I invite you to visit my blog, it's similar to yours. I hope you like it =]

rev. billy bob gisher ©2008 21 August 2007 at 06:23  

"So in what way are we different from Americans? And why?"

our government is scared to death of it's own citizens. your governments really do not take you seriously enough to develop the same level of paranoia.

i would say you are lucky but you still have to live on the same planet with us. perhaps you should accelerate your space program.

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