Woody Guthrie Centennial: Celebrating Life, Politics and Music of the “Dust Bowl Troubadour”

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Woody Guthrie at 100: the return of a pariah

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/12/woody-guthrie-return-of-pariah

Woody Guthrie was shunned by his home state. Now Oklahoma can finally embrace the singer-songwriter’s work

in Tulsa, Oklahoma
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 12 July 2012

The construction team that kept hammering away all night outside my hotel window in downtown Tulsa are gone by the morning, the fierce glare of the Oklahoma summer forcing them into the shade to rest. A few blocks away there are streets full of empty buildings, signs that the oil boom of the past decade is long past. Tulsa sure could do with some regeneration.

Woody Guthrie was born not far from here 100 years ago, and as people all over the world celebrate his life and work this weekend, Oklahoma has still to come to terms with the legacy of its wayward son. In this conservative midwest state, Woody’s work is still viewed through the prism of the McCarthy era, when the state department accused folk singers of “un-American activities”.

However, it’s not what Woody did in the 1940s that still riles people in these parts. It’s what his followers did in the 60s that made Woody a pariah in his home state. For Woody was the original singer-songwriter, the first to use his voice not just to entertain, but to ask why people should remain dirt poor in a country as rich as the US.

It was Woody’s words that prompted the young Robert Zimmerman to leave his home in the Iron Range of Minnesota and head for New York. Changing his name to Bob Dylan and singing as if he came from the red dirt of Oklahoma, he inspired a generation of articulate young Americans to unleash a torrent of criticism against the complacency of their unequal society. The fact that Woody was a hero to that generation of long-haired freaks ensured that he and his songs would remain largely unsung in Oklahoma.

Yet perceptions change. In the 1990s Woody’s daughter, Nora Guthrie, began a labour of love, gathering up all her father’s papers and creating the Woody Guthrie Archive in New York City. The man who emerged from the countless boxes of songs, prose and drawings was a much more complex figure than the Dust Bowl balladeer of legend.

Continue reading:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/12/woody-guthrie-return-of-pariah

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Obama for America

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Woody Guthrie, says Daughter, was a ‘Commonist’ Not a ‘Communist’

Woody Guthrie’s songs played a major role in making me the person I am.

From Common Dreams:  http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/07/08-1

As many celebrate the folk singer’s legacy, his message finds resonance amid current crises

– Common Dreams staff
Published on Sunday, July 8, 2012 by Common Dreams

On the eve of what would be his 100th birthday Nora Guthrie says of her famous folk singer father, Woody Guthrie, that he was too busy breaking molds to fit into one and always resisted being “put in the straight jacket’ of political parties.

Woody Guthrie was “a commonist, not a communist,” his daughter says in an interview with The Guardian’s Ed Vulliamy.

Born in Okemah, Oklahoma on July 14, 1912, Guthrie came from humble (and conservative) origins to become one of America’s most beloved radicals and musicians.  Leading up to the centennial of his birth, remembrances and reflections of the man abound and many events are planned in celebration of his life, music, and cascading influence on American culture.

More than 40 years after his death, and with the obvious glare of depression-era themes returning to contemporary life in the United States, Woody’s songs have as much relevance as ever.

“The sad truth,” Robert Santelli, director of the Grammy Museum and author of several books on music history, told the New Star-Ledger, “is that many of the issues that Guthrie wrote about are still very much with us. Disrespect for immigrants, the difference between the haves and the have-nots, disenfranchisement, the lack of desire to aid people in trouble, we still see all of that.

“Guthrie saw his family, friends and relatives lose their farms to the Great Depression or the Dust Bowl, or both. He developed a sense of responsibility to become the voice of those people who had no voice.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/07/08-1

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Julie Bindel Attacked By RadFem Blog

Julie Bindel’s recent interview with the UK trans-publication META came as a bit of a surprise to me as I had always thought of Ms. Bindel as being firmly in the RadFem camp with regards to TS/TG people.

But pragmatic people change and moderate their thinking when given information that sways them.

Years ago Lesbian Folk Singer Alix Dobkin said a number of nasty things about transsexual women.  Then over the years her opinion changed.

I read her memoir about growing up red and loved it, particularly the part about Greenwich Village in the 1960s.

Even though Julie Bindel has said some very nasty things about us in the past, she is now under attack by the people who she used to be friends with.

RadFems are more like a cult than they are like any sort of actual feminist group I would recognize.

They demand absolute adherence to their particular party line at any given moment.  If I have chastised some who have made a cult of transgender, it is because what I labeled the Transgender Borg do the same thing.

It is destructive to free thought and individuality.

Actually it is destructive of any sort of thinking as any deviation from the party line is met with shunning and censure.

Sue O’Sullivan’s book: I Used to Be Nice: Reflections on Feminist and Lesbian Politics Talks about the anti-trans-bigotry that accompanied the RadFems of an earlier era.

So why was I so not surprised when GenderTrender launched into an attack on Julie Bindel while rationalizing how she hadn’t really done the interview.  http://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/it-doesnt-make-a-damn-bit-of-difference-what-you-say-or-do-trans-activists-want-to-kill-you/

Perhaps they can’t imagine anyone defecting from their hate filled world of psychosis.

Perhaps they are like any cult from the KKK to Scientology, so locked into their belief structure they can’t imagine any other world.

What ever…

Perhaps it might be a good time to offer a bit of moral support for the small step Julie Bindel took, because I suspect she will be seriously attacked by these people who have been known to do everything in their power to destroy people.

Petition launched to address Turkish ‘honour killings’

From Pink News UK:  http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/07/13/petition-launched-to-address-turkish-honour-killings/

July 13, 2012

A petition has been started to lobby Turkey’s president to address the ‘honour killings’ of gay and transgender people in his country.

President Abdullah Gul is being petitioned to act against the “systematic violence and discrimination faced by Turkey’s LGBT community”, the petition organiser said.

The Care2 petition’s sponsor, Omar Kuddus, told PinkNews.co.uk he was prompted to act by the news of the killing of a trans woman.

Earlier this week, Seçil Anne, a sex worker, was found dead at her home in Antalya in southwest Turkey.

Mr Kuddus said: “The onslaught of violence against transsexual women in Turkey has shown no sign of abating with the tragic news of yet another murder this week.

“Sexual identity and homophobia in modern-day Turkey and the systematic violence and discrimination faced by Turkey’s LGBT community must be brought to the forefront.”

The most high-profile ‘honour killing’ in Turkey was that of Ahmet Yildiz in 2008. Mr Yildiz was shot after his family found out about a relationship he was having with another man. It was alleged that his father, who has been a fugitive ever since, was responsible.

Continue reading at:  http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/07/13/petition-launched-to-address-turkish-honour-killings/

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A Trans Woman Murdered in Antalya, Turkey

From Kaos GL:  http://www.kaosgl.org/page.php?id=11820

By: Kaos GL
Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hatred butchered a trans woman living in Antalya.
Neşe Dilşeker, born in 1966 and known as “Seçil Anne”, was a resident in Antalya for 15 years and was found dead at her own house around 23:00 on July 10, 2012. Her death came in sight after her friends could not reach her and reported that to the police.
Police officers who entered Dilşeker’s house found her dead body with her throat cut. It was also reported that Dilşeker had deep wounds on her face as well. After investigations in the crime scene, Dilşeker’s funeral was taken to Forensic Science institution.
It is known that the Antalya Police Station has not yet reached the suspect. Cameras around Dilşeker’s house and neighborhod are taken into scrunity. The Police Station is running a broad investigation including the testimonies of her ex-boyfriend and close friends.
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