I finally caught PBS’s American Masters new feature on Pete Seeger last night. It’s a masterpiece of its own. This PBS website has some great features as well, including a time line, additional footage, and an interview with the filmmaker, Jim Brown. My favorite parts of the documentary were watching Seeger sing along to Roger McGuinn sing Turn, Turn, Turn at a ceremony honoring Seeger. In 2000, Seeger was named a living legend by the Library of Congress, as the program noted, fitting for the government that tried to blacklist him for alternative political views to finally recognize him. My favorite moment was probably (of course) Bruce Springsteen paying tribute not only to Seeger’s musical influence, but to his political courage, in the way he steadfastly and with such dignity weathered the political blacklisting for being labeled a “communist” during the red scare era. Not that Seeger didn’t sympathize with communism and socialism, but as the Boss pointed out, we are all in danger when we allow a government to censor political speech and freedom of expression and to think that it can’t happen here is to help create the environment in which it can.
Published by revtony
Universalist minister in MA. I enjoy thinking about the relationships between spirituality, religion, politics and popular culture. I'm an organic gardener, I play guitar, enjoy chess, and love Bruce Springsteen, U2 and the Boston Red Sox. View all posts by revtony