Dixie Chicks are back

The Dixie Chicks dropped “Gaslighter,” a new, very personal single that explores lead singer Natalie Maines’ ugly and public divorce.

The song title also hints at a broader commentary on a world that “canceled” the band from the country music scene several decades ago, following their public criticism of the Iraq War.

what does “cancel” mean

Canceling someone means to stop supporting that person (usually someone famous), maybe by not watching their movies or listening to their music. It’s a public stance mostly taken because the person being canceled did or said something offensive.

what does “gaslight” mean

Gaslighting is something a person does to try to manipulate another person by making him or her question their reality. For example, the gaslighter may undermine or twist facts to fit his or her own version of events.

To illustrate: Lots of money is leaving the bank account. The husband is traveling more, acting more distant. The wife confronts the husband with the concern that he’s having an affair; the husband accuses the wife of being jealous, petty, bad with money, paranoid, etc.

That’s gaslighting.

Gaslighter, the song from Dixie Chicks

The band sings about a man who lied and cheated, and distorted reality by gaslighting.

Dixie Chicks and the Iraq War

The Dixie Chicks were pushed into retirement when they were “canceled” due to their statements on the Iraq War and George Bush.

In 2003, lead singer Natalie Maines criticized President Bush over the Iraq War at a London concert. “We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas,” she said.

The statement was heard around the world.

The band was blacklisted from country radio stations, lost sponsorship deals, and had death threats. It became a verb to other artists: don’t speak up for fear of getting “Dixie Chicked.”

Gaslighting, then and now

It’s not too hard to imagine the band, finally coming back fourteen years after being Dixie-Chicked over its stance on the War in Iraq, comes back with a song about an intentional distortion of reality. It’s clearly written about a very public breakup between lead singer and her husband. But it’s also a comeback song after being tossed from the country music world because of a stance on a war in which the public was told one thing about weapons of mass destruction being in Iraq as a justification for war, only to find out that those weapons didn’t exist.

Watch the music video to Gaslighter here.

Tim and Laura talk about cancel culture, and whether or not it’s an appropriate social response to behavior you don’t like.


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