Voices from Russia

Sunday, 12 February 2017

12 February 2017. The Church Is NOT Rightwing… Konvertsy Rants to the Contrary Notwithstanding

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Rod Dreher (and those of his ideological deformation) claim that the Church and the rightwing are soulmates… natural allies. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Look at the above image and be enlightened. The Church does NOT endorse, teach, or bless the evil spouted by Anglosphere “conservatives”. In particular, it condemns the Free Market that’s at the very centre of “conservative” “thought”. You may follow Archbishop Iakovos Koukouzis or you may follow Pat Buchanan, the author of the racist “Southern Strategy” and the arranger of Reagan’s visit to Bitburg (with its SS graves). Rod Dreher follows Pat Buchanan (and takes Buchanan’s money)… I follow Archbishop Iakovos.

Whom do you follow? You can’t follow both… they’re incompatible. Choose wisely…

BMD

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Protest Songs: Pete Seeger Died

00 Pete Seeger 02. 01.02.14

Click here for the vKontakte Pete Seeger Fan Club

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On 27 January 2014, the great American folksinger Pete Seeger died in a hospital in New York of natural causes at the age of 94-years-old. Seeger was as emblematic of leftist America as Kid Rock and Ted Nugent were symbols of the American right. He sang ballads of life in Appalachia and other folk songs of the common people with guitar and banjo, even though he was flesh-and-blood of an influential WASP family. His father was a composer and folklorist who lost his job at the University of California, Berkeley due to his pacifist convictions, his mother was a violinist, a graduate of the Conservatoire de Paris. He was one of the few musicians who were big names with sincere peer appreciation, being a colleague and friend of Woody Guthrie, Joan Baez, and Bruce Springsteen. Seeger was an ancestor of the present American folk music scene; he became the most significant singer-songwriter in the country, ending as the moral tuning fork of the nation. In the end, Seeger almost single-handedly taught his country to listen carefully to the music and to the words, never ever being untrue to himself. However, Seeger’s political activity meant no less than his music did, his iconic performance of We Shall Overcome became a symbol of America’s workers, migrant workers, students, poor, downtrodden, ripped-off, and abused. We could continue to praise this departed titan of folk music and poetry, this political activist and peace advocate, with a poetic obituary… instead, why not retell a couple of old stories?

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00 Pete Seeger 03 1942. 01.02.14

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Pete Seeger and Communism

At seventeen years old, Seeger joined a communist group in the USA. He started his career as a musician by playing guitar for a travelling puppet theatre, raising money for the benefit of needy migrants. Seeger’s first group, The Almanac Singers wasn’t so much a group as a “singing newspaper”… living up to their name, they sang topical political songs, focusing on unions, solidarity, workers, and students, and other things that couldn’t help but attract the authorities’ attention. The Weavers were more traditional, they had a more diversified repertoire of folk songs and love ballads, and even appeared in tuxedos, but after 1953, their recordings disappeared from the radio and vanished from the shelves of music stores. Prior to becoming the “moral tuning fork of the nation”, Seeger fell under the shadow of McCarthyism. In 1955, the House Un-American Activities Committee summoned him to testify about his beliefs. Seeger refused to talk to them, but offered to sing for them.

Characteristically, six years earlier Seeger resigned from the Communist Party in protest against the policies of Stalin, but he didn’t really write a commentary on communism until 2007, when he wrote a song about the Soviet leader, Big Joe Blues. “I’m singing about old Joe, cruel Joe. He ruled with an iron hand. He put an end to the dreams of so many in every land”. By the way, Seeger had real links with the USSR, not merely faith in the teachings of Marx and the Workers’ International. In the 60s, he visited the country three times; he was a friend of the Soviet people. According to legend, Seeger wrote the words for one of his most famous songs, the anti-war anthem Where Have All the Flowers Gone?, after being inspired by a lullaby in Sholokhov’s Quietly Flows the Don. Marlene Dietrich, Roy Orbison, U2, and a raft of other artists recorded versions of this song.

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00 Pete Seeger.  01. 28.01.14

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Pete Seeger and Axes

Editor’s Note:

The author is playing on words; as a musician, he knows that the jargon amongst musicians for an electric guitar is an “axe”… a little bit of punnishness, isn’t it?

BMD

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A bit of popular history will help us to understand Seeger’s spirit, even though it doesn’t focus on him. For the first time, on 25 June 1965, a young Bob Dylan took the stage with an electric guitar at Newport in his hands and began to sing Maggie’s Farm. The audience responded with shouts and murmurs of, “You sold out!” To understand the situation’s gravity, you need to know that at twenty, Dylan already enjoyed much fame, and for those more sedate times, such public behaviour was indicative of extreme displeasure. Then, with a twinkle in their eye, witnesses told how, in a moment of catharsis, Seeger was backstage… he flipped out, and chopped off the wires to Dylan’s amplifiers with an axe. For the rest of his set, Dylan had to finish using an acoustic guitar. Then, of course, Seeger excused himself by saying that he didn’t deliberately chop off the wire, he just wanted to chop something (why was there an axe backstage?). In general, it wasn’t that Dylan betrayed pure acoustic sound; it was that an electric guitar is too loud for people to hear the words behind the chords… and the words are much more important. By the way, during the song John Henry, about a mythological black railwayman, Seeger wielded a hammer on stage, and when he sang a song about lumberjacks, he used an axe to chop a huge log, previously rolled out onto the stage. Vladimir Pozner has very fond memories about how they dragged heavy logs into the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall during Seeger’s concert in Moscow.

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00 Seeger Letter. 01.02.14

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The music doesn’t begin until 0:50… be patient

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Pete Seeger and Presidents

In his lifetime, Seeger saw seventeen American Presidents, and, after a while, he was able to address them directly. At Harvard, he was a classmate of John F Kennedy, although they never really got on. There’s an old chestnut about them… Kennedy was the most famous graduate of Harvard… Seeger was the most famous student ever kicked out of it (tied up in social justice, Pete left college two years before graduation). In his youth, the singer was familiar with Eleanor Roosevelt and even performed at the White House in a concert organised by the First Lady in support of American soldiers in 1941. He dedicated the famous song, Dear Mr President to President Eisenhower, Woody Guthrie wrote it, but Seeger popularised it. In 1966, Seeger released an album of incredibly caustic anti-war songs Dangerous Songs!?, dedicating it to President Johnson. Perhaps, the first president who recognised him as if not a nice guy, at least not an enemy of the country, was Bill Clinton. He called him a public figure and “unusual artist who dared to sing things as what he saw them”. Seeger spoke at President Obama‘s inauguration, who said the following words of respect after Seeger’s death, “He reminded us of where we came from and showed us the way forward. For this, we should always be grateful to Pete Seeger”.

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00 The Dream Hasn't Died... Pete Seeger. 09.12

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Pete Seeger and Mass Protests

Until the last years of his life, Seeger continued to take part in civic activities. He was an early anti-Vietnam War activist, and later opposed the Iraq War, opposed the Franco régime in Spain, fiercely fought for civil rights, and championed environmentalism… he founded the environmental organisation Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, to clean up the Hudson River. Seeger never relinquished an opportunity to support protesters, if he felt them to be moral and ethically correct. Three years ago, the Occupy Wall Street people got Seeger’s backing… the 90-year-old singer took part in a march of solidarity with Occupy members. However, the most incredible event in recent years didn’t focus on Pete himself, rather, it involved one of his songs, in a place far beyond the limits of the American continent. Imagine… the most famous mass murderer in the modern history of Norway sits in a prison in a Oslo suburb. Despite the carnage caused by Anders Breivik, the court found him sane, and sentenced him to an unprecedented long term in a Norwegian prison. The window of his cell overlooks the square in front of the prison. What exactly goes on there, Breivik can’t see, but he can hear what goes on. One time, thousands of people gathered to sing Rainbow Race by Pete Seeger… a song that the killer hated and derided as an example of “Marxist propaganda”. I don’t know how Breivik felt at that moment, but those thousands of people sure overcame the anxiety in my heart {do you see how the author returns to the theme of We Shall Overcome? Now, that’s a neat trick: editor}.

31 January 2014

Gleb Gavrish

Disgusting Men/Отвратительные мужики

http://disgustingmen.com/pesni-protesta-umer-pit-siger/

Editor’s Note:

On one side, you have Pete Seeger… on the other, you have Wet Willy Romney, Franklin GrahamSlobberin’ Ronnie, Sarah PalinRod Dreher, Rush Limbaugh, John Boehner, Glenn BeckAnn Coulter, and all the other shitbirds like them… somehow, all the Righties lumped together can’t equal one Pete Seeger. We’re all the richer for having such a chelovek amongst us.

Вечная ему память… this land WAS made for you and me…

BMD

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Famous American Folksinger Pete Seeger Died: Author of Famous American Anti-War Songs Died at 94

00 Pete Seeger. 01.02.14

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According to the New York Times, Pete Seeger, perhaps, the most influential American folksinger, died at the age of 94 from natural causes. Seeger was born in New York in 1919. In the late 1940s, he was a member of The Weavers, a successful folk ensemble. Since the 1950s, he sung songs about social justice on stage, including anti-war songs. One of them was We Shall Overcome, which became the anthem of the American black civil rights movement. In 1961, his début concert in the USSR was at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow. In 1965, Seeger returned to Moscow, giving a concert in the auditorium of Lomonosov Moscow State UniversityVladimir Pozner mentioned Seeger’s first concert in Moscow in his memoirs, Parting with Illusions. Seeger wrote the famous anti-war anthem, Where Have All the Flowers Gone? He won many awards, including multiple Grammy Awards for Pete (1997), At 89 (2009), Tomorrow’s Children: Pete Seeger with the Rivertown Kids and Friends (2011 Best Album for Children).

 28 January 2014

Viktoriya Ivanova

Izvestiya.ru                                        

http://izvestia.ru/news/564698

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Friday, 18 October 2013

Jacksonville Residents Demand Renaming of Nathan Bedford Forrest High School

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Nathan Bedford Forrest High School is a public high school in the Duval County School District located on the Westside of Jacksonville FL. The district named the school for Nathan Bedford Forrest, Confederate General, and first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. It seems that the residents of Jacksonville don’t agree with the remnants of the racism of the Confederate States of America in 2013. With more than 157,000 signatures on petitions and growing mass pressure on the Duval County School Board, community activists are waging a campaign to rename Nathan Bedford Forrest High School.

From its opening in 1959, Forrest High School remained an all-white school until the fall of 1966, when the district allowed a small and carefully selected number of African-American students to enrol. Beginning in 1971, mandatory integration of Duval County Schools by federal district court order introduced a more diverse population, based on geographic attendance districts. Currently, over 1,800 students attend Forrest, 54 percent are African-American. In November 2006, activists submitted the latest in a long line of petitions to change the name of the high school to the Duval County School Board. Some students from Florida State College at Jacksonville wanted to have the school renamed in honour of Eartha M M White, a Jacksonville native and philanthropist, due to Forrest’s connection with the Klan. In November 2008, the Duval County School Board voted 5-2 to keep the name the same.

Spearheaded by the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition (JPC), the campaign to rename Forrest High School hopes to deal another blow against racism and the oppression of African-Americans as a nationality in the South. Mike Stovall, one of the JPC’s leading organisers and one of the architects of the rename campaign, said, “I think the Forrest issue is important to Jacksonville in a few ways. One, it’s a home-grown reaction to a history of subtle racism in this town… the hate under the polite exterior, as it were. Part of what we’re fighting is ignorance of, and the revision of, history”. In July 2013, local residents started a campaign to rename Forrest High School. As of 27 September 2013, the petition had over 113,000 signatures and growing. Today, more than 157,000 residents signed the petition.

The name “Nathan Bedford Forrest” is a blunt reminder of racist hatred, violence, and terror. Forrest was a brutal slave trader, he ordered the infamous Fort Pillow Massacre, and he led the KKK. At Fort Pillow, Forrest’s troops executed hundreds of captured and surrendered Union soldiers, most of whom were African-American, which Forrest bragged about in military dispatches. The United Daughters of the Confederacy chose the name to intimidate courageous African-American civil rights activists, many of them teenagers, struggling for freedom. Stovall said, “I don’t think we can talk about this fight and not talk about current and future students, and about the entirely different message that the city is sending to those kids”. Fernando Figueroa, an organiser with the JPC said, “We’re getting out in the community, so, it’s so clear that people want to rename the school”.

18 October 2013

Voice of Russia World Service

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_10_18/Jacksoville-residents-demand-renaming-Nathan-Bedford-Forrest-High-School-0180/

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