Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Another Loss

While the City of Hudson mourned the tragic death of Officer Bill Wrigley, the Hudson River Valley experienced another stunning loss. Pete Seeger died yesterday, at the age of 94.

Photo credit: Poughkeepsie Journal


  1. Yesterday we lost Rebecca Hoffman - of Stair Galleries.

    Tall beautiful drink of water with amazing dry wit.

    RIP Rebecca


  2. A man for all seasons.
    Kiss the joy as it flies.

  3. I want to turn the clock back to when people lived in small villages and took care of each other.
    Pete Seeger

  4. Pete Seeger was a good musician. He was also a lifelong unrepentant communist.

    -- Jock Spivy

  5. Pete Seeger was an extraordinary person who faced down the very unamerican House Un-American Committee. Aside from that, he was a civil rights activist, a passionate labor supporter, an environmental activist and an advocate for the poor. He left the communist party in 1949, in case anyone cares, and despite what his detractors say, never supported Stalin, or any other Cold War leader, including the American ones.
    He inspired thousands to be better, and will be missed.

  6. I think it's a little more complicated than that, signifier.

    If Seeger left the Communist party in '49, that means less to me than his having formally joined it a full year after Hitler broke with the evil Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. That was when the Nazis invaded the USSR in 1941.

    Hitler's treachery was inconvenient in more ways than one for Seeger, since the invasion occurred only a month after Seeger and his Almanac Singers had released the album "John Doe." The Almanac Singers backed both Hitler and Stalin against the USA and UK (and then later tried their best to reclaim every copy released).

    In "Hey Zhankoye," which Seeger sang for years, he praised Stalin's USSR of having freed Russian Jews by founding Jewish collective farms in the Crimea:

    "Now if you look for paradise/ You' ll see it there before your eyes/ Stop your search and go no farther on/There we have a collective farm/ All run by husky Jewish arms ... Who says Jews cannot be farmers/ Spit in his eye who would so harm us ..."

    He was singing this nonsense at the same moment that Stalin was planning the extermination of Soviet Jewry.

    In his own way, Seeger wasn't all that different from Walter Duranty:


    The way I see it, good old Pete had a lot of explaining to do, but then he'd always retreat behind his role as an "artist."

    Sure he did some good, but in my book he was a hypocrite, not to mention being extraordinarily useful to Stalin.

    The entire American Left has a lot of explaining to do. Tragically for all, too few among its ranks are ready to scrutinize its grand illusions. Instead, like that scene in "The Life of Brian," too many prefer to chant in unison "We are all individuals." Apparently this is irresistible when set to a banjo.

  7. thank you for telling the truth, unheimlich!
    Many foolish Americans supported Stalin, but that does not make it right. Pete Seeger was a staunch environmentalist…that's how I want to remember him, not for his rancid Stalinism.

    1. I agree, let's remember Pete Seeger for his advocacy on behalf of the Hudson River. And if he really did give momentum to the Clean Water Act, as I'm sure he did, then we can relish the irony with him that he helped Richard Nixon with his greatest domestic achievement.