Monday, January 19, 2009

Trying to figure it out...

I'm a folk music fan. So I've known for years that Guthrie's This Land Is Your Land had lyrics that got bowdlerized for the delicate sensibilities of the wealthy and powerful. Those are potent and important lyrics.

And now Pete Seeger, bless him, has publicly restored those lyrics to the public consciousness (I've not looked to see how many delicate flowers wilted and died because of it).

So here's what I'm trying to figure out in words;

Why is it that so many people are so deeply touched by that act?

Just reading that it happened got to me. I hadn't read the article, hadn't seen video. I just had seen enough words to tell me what had happened--and I could fill in the rest. I knew... and was choked up. My wife tells me that when she heard it, she was in tears. Many others have written about it and remarked on it.

It's such a small and curious thing--and yet such a large and numinous one. Why?

15 comments:

Robin Edgar said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Robin Edgar said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ogre said...

As I've stated before, Robin, your posts are welcome. They need to be reasonably on topic; this is essentially my porch, and "censorship" doesn't apply. I'm not a government, and this isn't an institutional space, either. My rules.

Be on topic and reasonably civil, adn all's well. If not, I've no compunctions about removing things left on the porch. You've got your own, and get to control it as you please...

But feel free to froth and fulminate and demonize me; I've a thick hide. And it drives up traffic and attention.

Anonymous said...

It's a shame that the networks didn't pick on the PBS biography of Pete Seeger in which Seeger talked about his visit to the Highlander School in Tennessee, about 1959. He met Dr. Martin Luther King there at that time and introduced King to the song "We Shall Overcome."

Robin Edgar said...

My initial post *was* reasonably on topic Ogre. You censored it because of the link it contained.

Robin Edgar said...

Oh and it was reasonably civil too.

ogre said...

It's my pickle barrel and my porch, Robin. I get to be the judge of those things. And it's not censorship.

And Anonymous, you're correct. Pete Seeger, who was blacklisted during the McCarthy era, who knew Woody Guthrie, who met and introduced MLK to "We Shall Overcome" and... it could have been a real weave modern American history together moment.

But no, as usual, the media deprives us of the larger context.

Robin Edgar said...

Apparently you don't know the meaning of the word censorship Patrick. Allow me to enlighten you aka broaden your intellectual horizons -

censorship noun

1. counterintelligence achieved by banning or deleting any information of value to the enemy

2. deleting parts of publications or *correspondence* or theatrical performances

To say nothing of - Prevention of disturbing or painful thoughts or feelings from reaching consciousness except in a disguised form.

Guess which prospective U*U minister is well on his way to finding his virtual "head" in my pickle barrel any day now Patrick? :-) You might want to learn from this little lesson aka "sermon".

Robin Edgar said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Robin Edgar said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Robin Edgar said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ogre said...

You flatter yourself, Robin, if you think that I think of you as "the enemy."

But please, pillory me. One only knows one's "made it" when someone feels impelled to spend their life in opposition, railing against the color of the window trim.

I have done precisely *nothing* to you. You've displayed an insistence that everything be about you, and the egregiously bad manners of "outing" me (which, fortunately, matters not a whit to me, but you only knew that after the fact).

Having displayed those bad manners, I certainly don't owe you a bully pulpit here. This isn't the newspaper. This is essentially a public diary of mine, in which I permit others to come, read and comment. The proposition that it's censorship to remove comments that have literally nothing to do with the posting is absurd. Risible. Those comments weren't part of a correspondence, they were part of your "lobbing the propaganda in everyday" as some entirely forgettable idiot once said. They didn't address the post, they weren't on topic by any reasonable stretch of the imagination. If they were part of a theatrical performance, well... this, as I've said before, is my blog, it's my diary, it's not a newspaper, and it's certainly not a stage. Perform elsewhere, on your own property, or public property, or where you've gotten permission to perform.

I'm returning to my previously stated policy of removing what I wish to remove, for previously stated reasons. Your most recent deposits are left simply so the context is clear for anyone who might somehow *not* already know your story and feelings. But won't be again.

Robin Edgar said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Robin Edgar said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kim said...

I don't know what it means that so many people were touched by it, but I hope that it means Americans remember that Unions and what they did for us.

"Unions -- the people who brought you the Weekend"