Monday, October 1, 2007

Pete Seeger repudiates Stalin (60 years late)

Mark Steyn turns a critical eye on commie-peacenik-singer-songwriter Pete Seeger and those who revere him. Apparently, Seeger, who wrote such well-known songs as "Where Have All the Flowers Gone", "If I Had a Hammer", and "Turn, Turn, Turn!", now thinks he may have been mistaken in his lifelong admiration for mass murderer Joseph Stalin. Steyn asks:

Concluding:
I hate to admit it, but back in the 60's I kind of liked those dopey songs.
The invention of the faux-childlike faux-folk song was one of the greatest
forces in the infantilization of American culture. Seeger’s hymn to the "senselessness" of all war, "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?", combined passivity with condescension - "When will they ever learn?" - and established the default mode of contemporary artistic "dissent". Mr Seeger’s ongoing veneration is indestructible.

Would it kill the icons of the left just for once to be on the right side at the time? America has no "best-loved Nazi" or "best-loved Fascist" or even "best-loved Republican", but its best-loved Stalinist stooge is hailed in his dotage as a secular saint who’s spent his life "singing for peace". He sang for "peace" when he opposed the fascistic armaments stooge Roosevelt and imperialist Britain, and he sang for "peace" when he attacked the Cold War paranoiac Truman, and he kept on singing for "peace" no matter how many millions died and millions more had to live in bondage...

7 comments:

Raphael Alexander said...

Protest songs of the sixties really created a boom for folk music and the emergence of Bob Dylan. They were kind of innocent and naive, but so was the sixties. Seeger may have been a hapless leftist, but he was an idealist and a dreamer. I can understand it, even if I don't want to be a part of it.

Seeger sang the songs people wanted to hear, and Steyn's revisionist rhetoric is telling of his own modern personal bias, more than it is some enlightened view that sixties war protesters were communist sympathizers. "Talkin John Birch Blues" covers this topic...

r a said...

A humourless rant bludgeoning an 88-year old folkie for not having fully recanted his views on the politics of 60 years ago. Does Mark Steyn really have nothing better to do?

kursk said...

It doesn't matter if it was sixty years ago or six..Stalin was a murderer who was made more palatable by the not so naive warblings of men such as mr.Seeger.

These useful idiots were enablers of a regime that still has deep roots in many a country, with many a person dedicated to its ideals..

Would we be so forgiving of Nazi criminals or their enablers, just because it was 60+ years ago?

JR said...

Kursk, Exactly.

Raphael, Seeger may have been an idealistic dreamer but it seems he was a willfully blinkered one who backed an obviously evil tyrant for most of his long life. As Kursk suggests, being an idealist and a dreamer doesn’t render him immune from criticism for being one of Stalin’s “useful idiots”.

R A, First, Seeger’s age is irrelevant. He’d be entitled to feel insulted by such condescension. Anyway, Steyn’s “rant” was about much more than Seeger who just provided another good example of where and why our culture went, and continues to go, astray.

Raphael Alexander said...

I can kind of see the point. But I wouldn't place too much salt on that scale, he's only an old hippie...

JR said...

That he is, but one of Steyn's points is that he has plenty of younger folks on the loony left following in his line of thinking. Seeger was a bit of a pioneer.

Patrick Edwards said...

Kursk, Exactly. Raphael, Seeger may have been an idealistic dreamer but it seems he was a willfully blinkered one who backed an obviously evil tyrant for most of his long life. As Kursk suggests, being an idealist and a dreamer doesn’t render him immune from criticism for being one of Stalin’s “useful idiots”. R A, First, Seeger’s age is irrelevant. He’d be entitled to feel insulted by such condescension. Anyway, Steyn’s “rant” was about much more than Seeger who just provided another good example of where and why our culture went, and continues to go, astray.