May 24, 2006

TIME's Three Year Old Cover


“Natalie Maines is one of those people born middle finger first.”

“[T]he Chicks have written their own ticket to the pop culture glue factory.”

“[S]ex is the perennial champ, and they are in a constant state of speculation about which of the kids nannies is most likely to “get some” on tour this summer.”

“They don’t subscribe to Foreign Affairs….”

Beyond the condescending and misogynist tone of this week’s cover article, it’s hard to understand what’s going on with this photo.  It might have made sense three years ago after Natalie Maines unloaded on Bush on the eve of the Iraq war and had to deal with overwhelming condemnation and threats of retaliation.  But, the Chicks skepticism about the war has since been vindicated.

At this point, if these women have a primary reason to circle the wagons, it’s to protect thier image from the MSM, which rolled over when it came to maintaining its own independence, and now seems mighty uncomfortable (here’s the article’s lead shot) around those who held their ground.

(By the way, the play on the term “radical chic” — defined by as “an affectation of radical left-wing views and the fashionable dress and lifestyle that goes with them” — is still another way to cheapen the stand taken by the Chicks.  All those Democratic senators who voted with Bush should have been so chic!)

As the magazine reports, the conservative country music fan base was particularly up in arms that Maines would make her comments overseas.  By asking if “America is ready” for the group and then positioning these women in a darkened, tight and defensive cluster, the image frames the Chicks as foreign and threatening.

Considering the back-to-back black-and-red treatment, married with the themes of patriotism and “readiness,” you have to wonder about this week’s TIME cover compared with the last one, featuring pending CIA Director Michael Hayden.  (That close to Hayden, you wonder how safe Maines must feel when she calls home.)


Sorry, but if last week’s paranoia has managed to carry over into this week, it’s coming from TIME.

(image 1: Jill Greenberg. May 23, 2006.  TIME Magazine. Cover.  image 2: Olivier Douliery.  May 29, 2006.  TIME Magazine. Cover.)

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Michael Shaw
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