Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Old Stalinists Never Die--Or Even Fade Away

I spent the early 60s singing along with the then-popular "folk" groups who crooned "If I Had A Hammer" and "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?" I was a big fan of the Byrds, and loved "Turn, Turn, Turn." And as a good wannabe revolutionary, I got all goose-fleshy to the sound of "We Shall Overcome." Those big hits were written or adapted by Pete Seeger (shown). I would praise him, while my mother would mutter "that goddam commie."

I wouldn't have known a Stalinist from a floutist at the time, and certainly didn't understand how important catchy tunes are to propaganda. I also didn't know much about how evil people can co-opt a legitimate movement like the civil rights struggle. As I got older and learned more about Seeger, I realized how right my mother was and how naive I had been. Seeger wasn't one of those gullible fellow-travelers who bought into the goodness of "socialism in a hurry." He was an avowed Stalinist, knew exactly what Stalinism meant, and talked about what a great man Stalin was.

So imagine my surprise when I found out the other day that the goddam commie is still alive and still promoting evil causes. After half-heartedly disavowing Stalinism (but not communism) a few years back, Seeger has moved onto greener pastures. But he didn't leave the antisemitism of the Soviet leadership behind, and merely adapted it to his current cause--the destruction of Israel and the ascendance of the "Palestinians."

Yessir, old Pete had an epiphany a few months ago, and has eagerly joined the Boycott, Disinvest, Sanctions (BDS) movement. BDS wants to starve Israel into nonexistence, with a little violence thrown in for good measure. Seeger had to go back to the time of his greatest popularity, and before, to find a leftist cause to hang his moth-eaten hat on. Before there even was an Israeli nation, there was an active Zionist group called the Jewish National Fund. That group survives and thrives today. Seeger had been contributing to an organization called the "Arava Institute."

The Institute promoted a "virtual rally for a better Middle East" last year. Although the group has a bad habit of drawing moral equivalencies between Palestinian terrorists and Israeli defense measures, it is not a Palestinian group in disguise. All Seeger saw was that the Institute and the rally were designed to promote Palestinian-Israeli peace. But then (drum roll) he discovered that Arava and the Jewish National Fund worked together from time to time. Seeger had gone ballistic over the JNF decades ago when he found out it planted trees in "Palestine" which made Israel look like an oasis while leaving the poor Arabs to their sand.

So, Seeger quickly went public with his mea culpa for having supported Arava. Said a spokesman for Seeger: "Arava's online event obfuscated basic facts about Israel's occupation and systematic seizure of land and water from Palestinians (largely for planting those damn trees, I suppose)." And now it gets really good. "Arava's partner and funder, the JNF, is notorious for planting forests to hide Palestinian villages demolished by Israel in order to seize their land. Arava was revealed as a sterling practitioner of Israeli government efforts to 'rebrand Israel' through 'greenwashing' and the arts."

Seeger himself believes that the Jews have been dispossessing "Palestinians" since the turn of the last century. Never mind that the Jews prior to 1948 bought and paid for the land that Palestinians didn't have a clue how to use. What remaining land Israel now controls was the result of their having won defensive wars perpetrated by Arab nations that wanted Israel wiped off the map. Rather than face clear facts, Seeger has reintroduced "Turn, Turn, Turn" with some minor changes as an anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian anthem. He claims that all royalties he now receives for both the original and modified versions will go to Palestinian causes.

Well, the old fart has plenty of younger company. Among the celebrities and musicians of more recent vintage who agree with Seeger are Elvis Costello, Tom Morello, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, and the ever-stoned Carlos Santana. As one critic of Seeger has said: "He took fifty years to openly condemn Stalin--he was fifty years too late." I simply don't think the old buzzard has another fifty years to disavow the Palestinian lies. In fact, I hope they will soon be awarding him an in memoriam Grammy. Now, why am I humming "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?"


30 comments:

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

I guess he wants to molest a few more minds.

Don't feel bad. I still listen to Seeger. I didn't praise him, I didn't know his tendency to be hateful. I know he will burn in hell. I know he doesn't have the guts to actually load a weapon up and fight for what he believes. He leaves that up to the young and gullible.

He basically is a coward. He lives in his hated capitalistic world, and praises the communist one he never will live in. He is a moral, physical and stupid coward.

I bet, if you checked, he would have armed guards around him. Not because someone actually wants to kill him, it is because all the neeto failures from that season in the sun have a few around. It's stylish don't you know?

Tennessee Jed said...

Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Joan Baez (queen of Berkley), Peter Yarrow, David Crosby. All were good musicians, all committed leftists. "I dreamed I saw Pete Seeger last night, alive as you and me" . . . Whether it be labor or Palestinians all I can say is blech! And yes, you most certainly were in the thick of it, Hawk. Let's throw in some "contributions for the Panther Defefense Fund" and smelly naked Alan Ginsberg for good measure. Tell them to go away and stop bothering us, Dad, please?

"Never have so many been so wrong about so much." Tennessee Jed 1911

T_Rav said...

I just consulted with Tolerance-lover, and even he thinks this guy is a nut job.

Patti said...

never underestimate a mother's wisdom.

StanH said...

Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, an their spawn, Peter, Paul, and Mary, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, wrote, in retrospect, the anti-American anthems, that we all stomped our feet and happily sang, and now we find ourselves where we are today, the Woodstock Nation is all grown up…ain’t it great. Though I’m younger than you, I intuitively knew something was wrong with this music, or it could be my parents whispering in my ear, “commie bastards.”

Oh, and a shout out to Solomon (Jew) for his help on “Turn, Turn, Turn.”

T_Rav said...

Stan, at least Joan Baez later had the decency to admit Communist victory wasn't going so well for the Vietnamese people, and then got jumped by the rest of the "love and peace" crowd for it. Somehow, I suspect Seeger was never so honest, not even to himself.

AndrewPrice said...

Somehow I wouldn't expect to see a Musicians Against Stalin anytime soon. Interestingly, Gene Simmons of KISS just took the opposite side of this and blasted musicians who boycott Israel. I hate to think of KISS providing the rational voice in any debate.

Joel Farnham said...

Interestingly, Gene Simmons played a terrorist in "Wanted: Dead or Alive" - 1986.
Gene Simmons is Jewish. His character's name is Malak al Rahim. This was back when Hollywood wasn't scared of insulting muslim terrorists. Entertaining movie.

And why not KISS? That way we can say "KISS my a.. " ;-)

BevfromNYC said...

God Bless KISS and the other Hair Bands of the '80's! They will save us from ourselves with their Pro-Capitalist, hyper-fashionable, Anti-Hippie Disco self-involved Me-Generation music!

Yes, LawHawk, our parents were right - they really WERE long-haired Communist Hippie freaks in the '60's/'70's...

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: He's definitely the type who makes public speeches then waits for others to do the dirty work. I don't know whether I put him or Woodie Guthrie at the top of my "phonies" list. And I still can't help loving some of their songs.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: I had a Weavers album when I was very young. Didn't really make the connection with Seeger until later. But as an early HUAC opponent, I was sure that the government was out to get anyone who disagreed with them, so naturally I loved the whole crypto-commie bunch.

LawHawkRFD said...

T_Rav: Now THAT'S saying something!

LawHawkRFD said...

Patti: My dad graduated from the University of Chicago, but my mom didn't finish high school. As arrogant as my dad was, even he deferred to her wisdom. She was able to see baloney in all its forms, and was one of the wittiest and most intelligent people I was ever fortunate enough to have in my life. There have been many times in my life that I wish she had lived a lot longer so she could tell me, as she often did in life, to get off my high horse.

LawHawkRFD said...

Stan: I was amazed to see how many Republicans didn't realize that Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" was anti-American. That's what I meant about catchy tunes being excellent propaganda.

LawHawkRFD said...

Stan: I also wonder how many of the ignorati don't realize that almost all of the words of "Turn, Turn, Turn" come from the Book of Eccliastes.

LawHawkRFD said...

Oops, make that Ecclesiastes. Typing too fast again.

LawHawkRFD said...

T_Rav: Baez's companion Bob Dylan had a bit of an epiphany as well. Apostasy isn't treated a lot better on the left than it is in Islam. Seeger can only see ends and can therefore justify any means.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: Not only was I glad to see that about Simmons, but had no idea that he was actually born in Israel and is the son of a Holocaust survivor. I only found that out when I was researching the article.

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: In full makeup, KISS would scare hell out of the terrorists. Simmons did a good job playing Tom Selleck's nemesis in "Runaway" as well.

T_Rav said...

LawHawk, I knew Springsteen was a raging leftie at heart, it just doesn't come through as much in some of his songs. And his songs are good, or at least catchy, so that makes them especially subtle. But hey, there's always John Mellencamp.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: I was the short-haired, bleeding-madras, white Levi's-wearing frat-rat insider that nobody suspected of subversive activity at Berkeley in the 60s. Hell, I even bathed every day. Working inside Sproul Hall (the administration building) to pay my student fees, I knew what the administrators and the campus police were going to do almost as soon as they did. Life wasn't easy for a young spy. LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

T_Rav: I never really liked Springsteen. The hype over "Born to Run" made him the ultimate plastic-man in my mind, and I was never able to shake it, so I never had to take him seriously. "The Boss" my patoot. His creepy song after 9-11, "The Rising" really made me dislike him. A song about the worst terrorist attack and mass murder on American soil and all he could do was whine about how it affected a bunch of lowlifes in New Jersey. Every time he'd repeat "the riii-iii-sing," I'd want to scream "blow your damn nose before you sing." I kinda liked "Dancing in the Dark" though.

And like Springsteen, I could never take John Cougar seriously either. The Midwest he described didn't sound anything like the Midwest I knew.

Of course, the ultimate sneaky non-talent from the 60s and early 70s was Cat Stevens. His first big hit was an English children's hymn ("Morning Has Broken") followed by such touching anthems as "Peace Train." He never learned to sing on-key, had no sense of rhythm or timing, and now sports a beard and shouts "Allahu Akbar." Long live Gene Simmons.

Tehachapi Tom said...

Hawk
Turn Turn Turn is scriptural in it's origin. Which makes an interesting contradiction. Communism avows no God exists Yet old Pete was willing to embrace the biblical origin of concept for his own gain. Now isn't that Capitalism at work?

LawHawkRFD said...

Tehachapi Tom: It is a fact of life that leftists love quoting Christians and Jews, so long as they're dead Christians and Jews. It is also true that in the entertainment industry, the richer many of the entertainers get, the more their guilt about their overly-abundant wealth drives them farther to the left. Yet somehow, that never translates into giving that wealth to the needy. They're too busy telling us that we should be doing that for them via the tax code. They can justify their holier-than-thou stance by pretending that their wealth isn't the result of capitalism but rather a reward for all their good deeds.

rlaWTX said...

my parents graduated HS in 72. My mom says that she was a frustrated hippie - frustrated because she grew up in Eastern NM and had a strong sense of responsibility! My dad had spent his younger years in Oakland, but his folks got out before it got too nutty... They grew up to be sensible, strong, conservative adults. Anyway, these facts led to my growing up listening to this type of music (still LOVE Peter, Paul & Mary!!) but having a strong sense of disconnect between its message and reality!

as a kid some of my favorite memories are us driving from one place to another in the dark with my dad singing "Where Have All the Flowers Gone", "Soldier, Soldier, Would You Marry Me", or "Last Kiss". ["Last Kiss" makes me all teary when I catch it on the oldies station just because of the memories - I miss my dad.]

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: From "If I Had A Hammer" (antiwar, anti-tradition, pro-hugging) to "Puff The Magic Dragon" (a marijuana fantasy), Peter Paul and Mary made some of the prettiest and catchiest recordings in my lifetime. Too bad they were nuts. But talent, intelligence, sanity and real-world analysis don't seem to fit well together. I just wish they'd taken their politics and sadly slipped into their cave.

T_Rav said...

Tom, all I can say is to remember the saying about the Devil using Scripture for his own purposes.

rlaWTX said...

I like pretending that "Puff" has everything to do with the cartoon (I have a copy on VHS) and nothing to do with drugs. I had a red 8-track and I wore out the section with Puff on it when I was 5-6 years old.

LawHawkRFD said...

T_Rav: Something very important to remind people of. I would add that the atheists who endorse communist thinking also know that Satan is the great liar, and the greatest lie he tells is that he doesn't exist.

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: Once the underlying message got lost entirely, I had no problem with my kids singing along with Puff and PP&M. The grandkids would probably think I'm nuts if I told them what the song was really about, so why should I interfere with them enjoying it? Time really does heal a lot of wounds.

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