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'This Machine Kills Facists'

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Johnny J 17 May 13 - 05:08 AM
Charley Noble 17 May 13 - 09:08 AM
Steve Shaw 17 May 13 - 09:10 AM
dick greenhaus 17 May 13 - 10:40 AM
Pete Jennings 17 May 13 - 11:15 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 17 May 13 - 12:28 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 May 13 - 12:30 PM
CET 17 May 13 - 07:06 PM
Gibb Sahib 17 May 13 - 08:04 PM
Steve Shaw 17 May 13 - 08:14 PM
NormanD 18 May 13 - 04:26 AM
Joe_F 18 May 13 - 07:49 PM
GUEST,Chongo Chimp 18 May 13 - 08:00 PM
dick greenhaus 18 May 13 - 08:01 PM
Mark Ross 19 May 13 - 12:24 PM
Jim Carroll 19 May 13 - 03:03 PM
Tootler 19 May 13 - 06:18 PM
Steve Shaw 19 May 13 - 07:46 PM
Gibb Sahib 19 May 13 - 10:27 PM
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Subject: 'This Machine Kills Facists'
From: Johnny J
Date: 17 May 13 - 05:08 AM

The late Woody Guthrie obviously felt very deeply and strongly about many things including the importance and significance of his chosen musical instrument, namely the guitar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0H9_uy-qX8

This man has been an inspiration to many for several generations and a this is a worthy reminder of how important musical instruments are and why their use should never be discouraged if this is the preference of the singer or performer.


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Subject: RE: 'This Machine Kills Facists'
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 May 13 - 09:08 AM

Nice to see this old film.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: 'This Machine Kills Facists'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 May 13 - 09:10 AM

And what a great song. That's how you write real songs! Great message and no preaching!


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Subject: RE: 'This Machine Kills Facists'
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 17 May 13 - 10:40 AM

I listened to a lot of Woody's playing and singing. Never saw a dead Fascist.


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Subject: RE: 'This Machine Kills Facists'
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 17 May 13 - 11:15 AM

Didn't Donovan have a similar stciker on one of his guitars?


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Subject: RE: 'This Machine Kills Facists'
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 17 May 13 - 12:28 PM

Donovan's was a depoliticised 'This Machine Kills'...


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Subject: RE: 'This Machine Kills Facists'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 May 13 - 12:30 PM

What's a "facist"
.


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Subject: RE: 'This Machine Kills Facists'
From: CET
Date: 17 May 13 - 07:06 PM

I am reminded that Woodie Guthrie was a member of the Almanac Singers, who recorded a song attacking the idea of intervening on Britain's side in the war against Hitler (before Pearl Harbour of course). There was a line saying something to the effect of "when England's a democracy ..." So, I'm with Dick Greenhaus. Woodie's guitar didn't kill any fascists. A Lee-Enfield in the hands of a British soldier on the other hand ...


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Subject: RE: 'This Machine Kills Facists'
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 17 May 13 - 08:04 PM

how important musical instruments are and why their use should never be discouraged
Is somebody doing this - discouraging the use of musical instruments somewhere? I'd be curious to know, if so.

In the world around me, I see *singing* more discouraged, if anything. Plenty of people on guitars and ukes strum strum strumming "songs" - as they call them, though they have no words and they consist only of chord progressions in repetitive rhythm.

And if anything, Guthrie helped set the popular notions both that "folk singing" is properly accompanied by a guitar (or: person singing to his/her own acoustic guitar = folk in some form...even when it's country, even when it's blues, even when it's rock) and that someone singing to their own guitar is really "saying something important." I haven't done a survey, but I think if you did (!) in which you showed people pictures of people singing with and without instruments, played by themselves or by others, and a range of diff. instruments, one with a person playing acoustic guitar his/herself would be rated as someone who "obviously felt very deeply and strongly." Could be a fun experiment :-)

Uh-oh, I guess I'm discouraging the use of Guthrie's chosen instrument. (I'm not, really, but if it was a ukulele I would be.)


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Subject: RE: 'This Machine Kills Facists'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 May 13 - 08:14 PM

From Woody's song "The Great Historical Bum":

There was a man across the ocean, I guess you knew him well,
His name was Adolf Hitler, goddam his soul to hell;
We kicked him in the panzers and put him on the run,
And that was about the biggest thing that man has ever done.


I don't need to make excuses for Woody's attitudes. People everywhere are of their time, don't forget that. In most respects Woody was way ahead of his time, according to his songs. He was thirty years ahead of his time in terms of racism and a hundred years ahead of his time in terms of fighting for social equality. On top of that, his music is sublime.


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Subject: RE: 'This Machine Kills Facists'
From: NormanD
Date: 18 May 13 - 04:26 AM

I understand that the slogan "This Machine Kills Fascists" was generally adopted by trade union anti-fascist workers in many factories and stuck on machines - all as part of the war effort to increase industrial production. Woody took the sticker, or painted the slogan, on his guitars.


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Subject: RE: 'This Machine Kills Facists'
From: Joe_F
Date: 18 May 13 - 07:49 PM

It is well worth noting that when Guthrie was at last drafted into the army, Germany immediately surrendered. The mere thought of him parachuting down, scattering lethal accompaniments!


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Subject: RE: 'This Machine Kills Facists'
From: GUEST,Chongo Chimp
Date: 18 May 13 - 08:00 PM

"Facists" obviously means them people on Facebook. Killin' 'em all would take a hell of a lot of firepower at this point.

- Chongo


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Subject: RE: 'This Machine Kills Facists'
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 18 May 13 - 08:01 PM

Joe F. -
Innaresting hypothesis, but Woody was never in the Army. He served in the Merchant Marine.
Woody was an important enough figure to be remembered (and admired) without some of the attached bullshit. And I doubt seriously if either he or his guitar killed anyone.


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Subject: RE: 'This Machine Kills Facists'
From: Mark Ross
Date: 19 May 13 - 12:24 PM

Woody was in the Merchant Marine, but he was drafted into the Army the day Germany surrendered. See Ed Crays' bio, and Joe Kleins'. He may have been the worst soldier ever drafted, and he never saw combat, he never left the States.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: 'This Machine Kills Facists'
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 May 13 - 03:03 PM

Many left wingers did not believe W.W.2. was an anti-fascist war; some changed their minds when the Soviet Union was invaded, some didn't.
Harry Pollitt, Secretary of the British Communist Party, resigned over the issue.
My old man went off to fight fascists in Spain, was wounded and imprisoned there. He returned to find he had not only been excommunicated from his church for doing so, but had been given a police record as being a "premature anti-Fascist", which caused him to become blacklisted from his job and the only way he had open to him to earn a living was to become a navvy. My mother, sister and I didn't really get to know him until he finally managed to return home in the mid-fifties.
America (often referred to when I was young as "the late United States") came into the war.... when exactly?
Easy to be smugly simplistic 60 odd years after the event over something that was a little more complicated than it appears at this distance.
Jim Carroll

"Guthrie believed performing his anti-fascist songs and poems at home was the best use of his talents; Guthrie lobbied the United States Army to accept him as a USO performer instead of conscripting him as a soldier in the draft. When Guthrie's attempts failed, his friends Cisco Houston and Jim Longhi pressured Guthrie to join the U.S. Merchant Marine. Guthrie followed their advice: he served as a mess man and dishwasher and frequently sang for the crew and troops to buoy their spirits on transatlantic voyages. Guthrie made attempts to write about his experience in the Merchant Marine but was never satisfied with the results. Longhi later wrote about these experiences in his book Woody, Cisco and Me.] The book offers a rare first-hand account of Guthrie during his Merchant Marine service. In 1945, Guthrie's association with Communism made him ineligible for further service in the Merchant Marine, and he was drafted into the U.S. Army"


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Subject: RE: 'This Machine Kills Facists'
From: Tootler
Date: 19 May 13 - 06:18 PM

Subject: RE: 'This Machine Kills Facists'
From: Gibb Sahib - PM
Date: 17 May 13 - 08:04 PM

"Uh-oh, I guess I'm discouraging the use of Guthrie's chosen instrument. (I'm not, really, but if it was a ukulele I would be."

Apologies for the thread drift but...

From that remark, I assume that you don't consider a ukulele to be a proper instrument to accompany folk songs? Perhaps you would like to justify your position.


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Subject: RE: 'This Machine Kills Facists'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 May 13 - 07:46 PM

What's all this "chosen instrument" crap? Woody was not just a guitar player more than up to accompanying his own songs, he was also more than competent on the harmonica.


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Subject: RE: 'This Machine Kills Facists'
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 19 May 13 - 10:27 PM

Tootler,

You've misunderstood. I don't consider ukulele to be a proper instrument when played by fat people. Highly improper.

Steve Shaw,
I don't know if your comment is directed at me, but if so, please re-read the OP.

Maybe you can help me figure out what the idea behind it is. Something about the importance and significance of using a guitar, and how important instruments are and how their use should not be discouraged. All of which sounds like a non sequitur to me—unless it is in reference to a discussion elsewhere. (Which is why I asked.) Potentially fascinating topic, but unclear to me.

In essence: just what was the importance and significance of Guthrie's use of guitar?—that is, aside from what I think (as I commented) was the influence of his use of guitar in shaping subsequent perceptions of what entails folk music and of the intellectual depth of performers who play it.


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