Monday, November 19, 2012

Promises, promises....

In July 2012 we organized the largest grass roots Woody Guthrie Centennial Celebration in the US, a 9 day festival with 13 events designed to educate and entertain, all in our neighborhood on the East side of Indianapolis, IN, Historic Irvington.

We now plan to make that celebration an annual event, and June 2-8, 2013 will see the Second Annual Irvington Folk Festival (Son of the Woody Guthrie Celebration) in various location in and around Irvington. For more information about the actual schedule of events check out the Facebook page (and go ahead and "like" us if you would).

In the meantime it is my plan to use this blog, which I had tired of somewhat during the political battles of the past few years, to look at the more-complicated-than-you-might-suspect notion of just what "folk music" actually is. So keep checking back to see just what's going on. In the mean time let me leave you with what I think was the brightest moment from last year's festival: Dale Lawrence & The Punkin Holler Boys doing a version of Woody's "This Land Is Your Land" is a quiet and introspective arrangement that drew everybody into the song.

Friday, March 23, 2012

It used to go like that....

Right wing fantasies used to involve hiding in the mountains and fighting invading Soviet troops ("Red Dawn," "Invasion USA," "Amerika"). But current right wing fantasies are different. Current fantasies involve building private arsenals to resist the "Islamic Marxist Kenyan dictatorship" the President (who is, when you remove the smoke and mirrors, basically a Nixon Republican) has planned to impose by fiendishly trying to make sure all Americans have decent health care. And that fantasy doesn't involve shooting Soviet troops, it involves shooting US troops. So, if you have those fantasies, you really shouldn't have that "Support the Troops" sticker on the back of your SUV, should you?

Think it through. There is no way any US government could seize control of the country and suspend the Constitution without the support of the US military. And I don't care how many Glocks, AR-15s and assorted deer rifles you have buried in the back yard, there's no private militia in this country who could defend itself against a single Boeing AH-64 attack helicopter.

If you buy into the black helicopters paranoia of today's far right wing you should be petitioning your representatives to have Timothy McVeigh's birthday declared a holiday.

Monday, February 27, 2012

And in my dream....

Clarion River, Clarion PA
In my dream
I die
and wake
floating in an inner tube
in the warm water
on a Summer afternoon

 In my dream
I float
closer to the bank
where I can hear
the voices of my friends

 In my dream
there are coolers full of ice cold
 seven ounce bottles of Rolling Rock
and a film can full of Thai stick
and some acoustic guitars

One more perfect day.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

It is 1955 and....

It is 1955 and
it is a week
or two
after my second birthday and
I am standing in long pants
in the dark green water
of the Atlantic Ocean
with my mother
and Marian Anderson is the first African American singer to perform at the Metropolitan Opera
and the game Scrabble debuts
and the Pentagon announces a plan to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles armed with nuclear weapons
and President Eisenhower sends the first U.S. advisors to Vietnam
and Claudette Colvin, a fifteen year old black girl, refuses to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, to a white woman after the driver demands it and is carried off the bus backwards while being kicked and handcuffed on the way to the police station
and Winston Churchill resigns as Prime Minister
and the Salk polio vaccine receives full approval by the FDA
and Disneyland opens to the public in Anaheim, California
and the first nuclear-generated electrical power is sold commercially
and James Dean dies in a car wreck
and Christopher Mayhew ingests mescaline and allows himself to be filmed by the BBC
and Vladimir Nabokov publishes his novel Lolita
and the Mickey Mouse Club TV program debuts on ABC
and the Reverend Sun Myung Moon is released from prison in Seoul, South Korea
and the Brooklyn Dodgers finally win the World Series
and a time bomb explodes in the cargo hold of United Airlines Flight 629 killing everyone on board
and racial segregation is outlawed on trains and buses in Interstate Commerce in the United States
and Bo Diddley makes his television debut on Ed Sullivan's Toast Of The Town
and the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merge to become the AFL-CIO
and the Montgomery Improvement Association is formed in Montgomery, Alabama, by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and other Black ministers to coordinate a boycott of all city buses
and General Motors Corporation becomes the first American corporation to make a profit of over one billion dollars in one year
and we are anchored
into a
history that swirls around us
like some living
and we're not in Kansas anymore.