But it's also safe to say that most members of the academy would prefer a colonoscopy over hearing country music. If they listened to the album at all, they dutifully popped the free promo CD in the day before the ballots were due. Most couldn't pick out Charley Pride at an Edgar Winter lookalike contest, but everybody knows the Dixie Chicks hate Bush, and that's qualification enough.
To everybody else outside the circle of the culturally anointed, it was laughably predictable that the Dixies would become the first country act ever to receive the honor.
Yes, Glen Campbell won it once, but his Jimmy Webb pop was about as country as Brokeback Mountain was a western. O Brother, Where Art Thou? was a George Clooney movie soundtrack, and though the twangy Bonnie Raitt won a few years back, too, you'll more likely find her at an abortion rally than on red state radio. The Dixie Chicks are now officially in the club. If there's one thing your fellow artists can respect more than your art, it's your politics. If they're the same as theirs.
And boy, did the Chicks speak Truth to Power---well, actually it was more like they insulted Power behind its back with the Atlantic Ocean in between---but word got back anyway, and their toothless Bush-voting slob audience stayed away in droves. So mebbe---just mebbe, mind you---Grammy decided to make it up to them, so much so that they gave 'em Song of the Year too:
I'm through with doubt,
There's nothing left for me to figure out,
I've paid a price, and I'll keep paying
I'm not ready to make nice,
I'm not ready to back down,
I'm still mad as hell
Mad as hell. Good. Through with doubt, nothing left to figure out. Bingo! Sounds like a lot of liberals, especially the 2008 Democrat presidential candidates. First one to be honest enough to make it their campaign song ought to get the nomination. Oh, how they'll sing along. They could have written the words themselves.
Which brings us to the equally courageous and talented 50 Cent, who alienated his own core audience by announcing that except for the felony conviction that made him ineligible to vote, he'd have gone for Dubya.
And when fellow minstrel Kanye West made headlines with "George Bush doesn't care about black people" on a nationally-televised Hurricane Katrina fundraiser, it was the righteous Mr. Cent who got his boy's back, although you didn't hear about that for some reason, even though 50 Cent was a far hotter star at the time.
So put the word out---somebody somewhere ought to scrape up some bling for Fitty somehow, I dunno, mebbe the Speaking Truth to Power medallion at the Country Music Awards. Let's get him a new audience. Let's be there for him. Sure, he's a rapper, but he's one of us. Like the culturally anointed, we toothless Bush-voting slobs got to look out for our own, too, or else all is lost.