All of that, plus the way the new Trump administration is starting, reminded me of Guthrie's "This machine kills fascists" sign on his guitar and his song All You Fascists. Funny, and sad, how some themes keep repeating themselves in America.
|"Nasty Women," like Joan Baez, are American folk heroes|
Photo by J. Harrington
Now I don't know if it was Guthrie's guitar sign that inspired Pete Seeger's banjo head inscription or if Pete's inscription preceded Woody's words. "This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender," is a very different message than the one Woody displayed. I suspect that part of the difference was that Guthrie's fascists and the US engaged in a shooting war and Pete was later dealing with cultural war battles. There were, no doubt, other factors too. I admire both Guthrie and Seeger but am more comfortable with Seeger's philosophy. It can't just be that the "times make the man" or something like that, since both Woody and Pete were largely contemporaries. Each artist has left us wonderful works.
To close out a triumvirate of people who may have helped inspire the administration's desire to gut funding for the arts, the issues, actions and reactions of the Trump campaign and administration during the past several months keep bringing to mind Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. I hope it turns out to be less prescient than some of her other works. America is greatest when we care for all of us equitably.
They are hostile nations
iIn view of the fading animalsthe proliferation of sewers and fearsthe sea clogging, the airnearing extinctionwe should be kind, we shouldtake warning, we should forgive each otherInstead we are opposite, wetouch as though attacking,the gifts we bringeven in good faith maybewarp in our hands toimplements, to manoeuvresiiPut down the target of meyou guard inside your binoculars,in turn I will surrenderthis aerial photograph(your vulnerablesections marked in red)I have found so usefulSee, we are alone inthe dormant field, the snowthat cannot be eaten or capturediiiHere there are no armieshere there is no moneyIt is cold and getting colder,We need each others’breathing, warmth, survivingis the only warwe can afford, staywalking with me, there is almosttime / if we can onlymake it as far asthe (possibly) last summer
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Please be kind to each other while you can.