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Remembering Kent State (40 years ago) And, Jackson

Related threads:
Kent State was 50 years ago-May 4, 1970 (13)
BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary (28)
BS: Kent State (68) (closed)


Mark Cohen 06 May 01 - 10:35 PM
catspaw49 06 May 01 - 10:47 PM
catspaw49 06 May 01 - 10:50 PM
Mrrzy 07 May 01 - 09:38 AM
Ringer 07 May 01 - 10:14 AM
mousethief 07 May 01 - 11:34 AM
Naemanson 07 May 01 - 11:53 AM
Rick Fielding 07 May 01 - 11:57 AM
LR Mole 07 May 01 - 12:02 PM
Matt_R 07 May 01 - 12:16 PM
Lanfranc 07 May 01 - 12:19 PM
Whistle Stop 07 May 01 - 01:07 PM
mousethief 07 May 01 - 01:11 PM
Whistle Stop 07 May 01 - 01:25 PM
IceWolf 07 May 01 - 01:37 PM
mousethief 07 May 01 - 01:42 PM
Whistle Stop 07 May 01 - 02:19 PM
Hollowfox 07 May 01 - 02:56 PM
Mark Cohen 07 May 01 - 11:47 PM
Whistle Stop 08 May 01 - 08:08 AM
catspaw49 08 May 01 - 08:34 AM
Whistle Stop 08 May 01 - 08:46 AM
catspaw49 08 May 01 - 09:08 AM
Rick Fielding 08 May 01 - 11:19 AM
mousethief 08 May 01 - 11:30 AM
LR Mole 08 May 01 - 11:54 AM
Whistle Stop 08 May 01 - 01:51 PM
mousethief 08 May 01 - 01:55 PM
Whistle Stop 08 May 01 - 02:02 PM
catspaw49 08 May 01 - 02:12 PM
BobP 08 May 01 - 03:40 PM
artbrooks 08 May 01 - 04:27 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 May 01 - 04:52 PM
IvanB 08 May 01 - 10:14 PM
Mark Cohen 08 May 01 - 11:04 PM
artbrooks 09 May 01 - 11:02 PM
Mrrzy 10 May 01 - 09:14 AM
LR Mole 10 May 01 - 09:59 AM
Naemanson 10 May 01 - 07:07 PM
Hollowfox 12 May 01 - 03:36 PM
jaze 12 May 01 - 04:31 PM
katlaughing 03 May 10 - 11:35 AM
katlaughing 03 May 10 - 02:56 PM
Mrrzy 03 May 10 - 03:59 PM
Charley Noble 03 May 10 - 04:26 PM
LadyJean 04 May 10 - 12:43 AM
Richard Bridge 04 May 10 - 07:35 PM
Richard Bridge 05 May 10 - 07:08 PM
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Subject: Remembering Kent State
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 06 May 01 - 10:35 PM

This is a couple of days late...Friday May 4th was the 31st anniversary of the killing of four students and wounding of nine others at Kent State University in Ohio. I just discovered an audio documentary, Remembering Kent State, which was first produced by WKSU (now a National Public Radio station, then the college radio station) in 1990 and was expanded last year. I listen to WKSU's online folk music program, which is how I found out about the program.

I was a high school senior in Philadelphia that spring. Listening to those voices brings the whole era back very vividly. I still don't think anybody really knows why the Guardsmen were using live ammunition and why they suddenly fired on the crowd. I'm sure many of those Guardsmen still have nightmares. I don't want to restart the debate about the Vietnam War here, just wanted to bring people's attention to this program.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: catspaw49
Date: 06 May 01 - 10:47 PM

ONG------4
KSU------O

Bad old joke and way to sad for a belly laugh. We ran an excellent thread last year with a broad range of opinions and experiences. You can read it HERE.

I was back in college and also working in an associate VISTA program in Kentucky after being released from Petersburg a few months before. I had several friends attending KSU at the time and thankfully none were 'physical' casualties.

I'll be interested in the thoughts of some of our newer arrivals on this subject. We also ran thread on Jackson State about the same time.....appropriate enough as they happened just weeks apart. Most of my thoughts are posted on those threads, but I am glad to see a new one Mark, as this subject is best not forgotten.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: catspaw49
Date: 06 May 01 - 10:50 PM

Sorry........Here's a link to the thread on Jackson State.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: Mrrzy
Date: 07 May 01 - 09:38 AM

I am still appalled that I didn't even know about Kent State till the 80's, and not about Jackson State till I read about it here on the Mudcat, last year. Guess it wasn't international news at the time, which I can't believe either...


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: Ringer
Date: 07 May 01 - 10:14 AM

It was international news at the time, Mrrzy: even I knew about it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: mousethief
Date: 07 May 01 - 11:34 AM

Tin soldiers and Nixon's coming
We're finally on our own
This summer I heard the drumming
Four Dead in Ohio

How many people, I wonder, who are my age (i.e. too young to have been reading/watching the news when it happened) first found out about Kent State because they heard the CSNY song? Say what you will about Neil Young, he taught me about Kent State when nobody else took the time to.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: Naemanson
Date: 07 May 01 - 11:53 AM

Warning! This post contains a pretty ugly story but it is one that needs to be told. We all need to remember that these people are still out there.

Spaw, you are right about that being a bad old joke. At that time I was a full redneck backwoods hick, a Junior in high school and pretty ignorant of the world in general (and convinced I knew it all).

Among the rednecks at the time the answer to the peace symbol was to raise four fingers. It meant, "We got four of you bastards at Kent State!"

As I said, ugly but necessary. Look around you as you walk down the street and remember you cannot even guess what those people are thinking.


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 07 May 01 - 11:57 AM

Spot on Matt. Neil takes a lot of hits for the simplicity of his lyrics, but he COMMUNICATES, and he has done it for almost forty years. I consider that a huge accomplishment.

I'm in a bit of a hurry. Can anyone call up the lyrics to Harvey Andrews "Hey Sandy"?

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: LR Mole
Date: 07 May 01 - 12:02 PM

Yeah...musicians may be self-indulgent, self-righteous, self-involved, or self-obsessed, but the songs many times stand after the players leave.


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: Matt_R
Date: 07 May 01 - 12:16 PM

I never heard of this until the thread last year! I confess I know more about things that happened pre-1900 than after.


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: Lanfranc
Date: 07 May 01 - 12:19 PM

"Hey Sandy" doesn't appear to be in the DT, nor does it get other than a mention on the Internet. I know the lyrics and would happily post them, but do not know what the attitude of Harvey or his publishers would be.

They are in the Christy Moore songbook, however.

I revived the song briefly this time last year for a couple of gigs, and it seemed to stir a few memories, including some of Colin Scot who, at the time, was probably better known for singing the song (in the UK and Europe at least) than Harvey.


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 07 May 01 - 01:07 PM

We're back on Neil Young, are we? Somebody must have been reading last year's thread.

Alex and Rick, I respect your take on this, but as far as I'm concerned Neil gave in to his worst propaganda instincts when he wrote Ohio. Take a tragedy, paint black hats on some of the participants and white hats on the others (making sure that the folks who are most likely to buy your stuff are the ones in the white hats), and rush it onto vinyl and into the stores. If this is how younger people are learning about historical events, it's too damn bad; learning about the Kent State shootings by listening to Neil Young is like learning about Vietnam by watching Rambo movies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: mousethief
Date: 07 May 01 - 01:11 PM

Whistle Stop, isn't that how folk music works? Somebody paints white and black hats, makes a song, and it passes into the repertoire. Seems if you denigrate this song for that fault, you denigrate at least 50% of folk music, by whatever definition you define it.

I should have mentioned that I didn't just learn from the song; the song was how I learned the event even HAPPENED; after that I did some independent research of my own.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 07 May 01 - 01:25 PM

Alex, I didn't mean to criticize you for learning about Kent State from Neil Young's song, and I'm glad that hearing it made you want to look into things a little deeper on your own.

I don't really mind if my comment disparages musical propaganda in general, even if that is close to sacrilege on a forum like this. Some topical songwriting is quite good (Tom Paxton comes to mind), but I think a lot of it is ripe for some long-overdue criticism. If that places me at odds with many folkies, so be it. I don't like political posturing and slogans that are designed to fire the emotions while suppressing the intellect -- whether they're coming from Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Neil Young, Woody Guthrie, or Big Brother. And I think it's irresponsible to take such an emotionally charged event and reduce it to this level, in the interest of stirring the pot and generating record sales. Neil has done some good songs, but this one really offends me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: IceWolf
Date: 07 May 01 - 01:37 PM

Alex, I see what Whistle Stop is saying. Lots of people will listen to a song that gets them in the guts - and assume that the songwriter is telling the entire story, which isn't always the case. The writer may not know the entire truth - or may take creative liberties in order to make a better song.
You did research after hearing the song to learn more about it. A lot of people (most people?) don't bother.
IceWolf


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: mousethief
Date: 07 May 01 - 01:42 PM

So we should eliminate all topical songwriting to protect lazy and stupid people? Seems kinda harsh.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 07 May 01 - 02:19 PM

No, I wouldn't eliminate it, I'd just hold it to higher standards. If somebody had stood up at a rally and said those things to a bunch of emotionally charged people ("What if you knew her and found her dead on the ground? How can you run when you know!?"), I would encourage him to moderate his statements so cooler heads could prevail and come up with a more constructive approach. I see no reason to give Neil Young a pass on this just because he set it to music.


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: Hollowfox
Date: 07 May 01 - 02:56 PM

As for the accuracy of songs and songwriters, I'm going to steal one of George Ward's experiences: He sings many songs about local (for him) history, htat is, upstate New York. He sings a broadside ballad concerning an incident from the "anti-rent troubles, 1839-1846". The song gives a very specific description of the incident, naming names, etc. When he sang the song near where the action took place, he was taken aside afterward, and an audience member explained that the song was wrong, and told him what *really* happened. Remember, we're talking more than 150 years after the fact; something that isn't mentioned specifically in the state history books the children use in school.


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 07 May 01 - 11:47 PM

WhistleStop, I agree with your point to some extent, and I'm no Neil Young fan, but I think another perspective might be in order. First, yes, protest songs are simplistic and emotional and one-sided. That's been true for centuries, and wishing that the rabble-rousers would be more rational and even-handed, or that the rabble would be too smart to be roused, is just wishful thinking.

Second, I think it helps to remember (if you were around then), or try to understand, the context of this song. Most of us who grew up in the 50s and 60s really believed in "The American Way." All of a sudden, here were four people our age who had been shot and killed by United States soldiers. One of them wasn't even in the protest, she was walking to class, 150 yards away from the guardsmen. "Soldiers are gunning us down" -- that line, that fact, speaks to the shock and anger and disbelief, that lashed across the country that week, the feeling of betrayal, the idea that American soldiers had killed American citizens who were engaged in an activity, political protest, that was part of the "freedom" that we were supposed to be fighting for in Vietnam.

The country was certainly polarized -- listen to the student on the WKSU program saying that his fellow students "deserved" to be shot. And I'm not going to start an argument about rock-throwing and self-defense and all that--there are many sides to the story, and each of us can review what facts are known and draw our own conclusions. But there is no question that this killing was outside the realm of anything we had ever seen, or ever expected to see. Protest -- and protest songs -- don't generally come from a reasoned, scholarly, even-handed assessment of a situation. They come from anger, and a desire to transform helplessness into strength. And that's what makes "Ohio" so effective -- galvanizing and empowering to those who agree with its viewpoint, exasperating to those who don't, but something that is difficult to ignore.

I'm most encouraged that one of the lasting legacies of Kent State is a commitment by the University community to the study of nonviolent conflict resolution and other issues relating to the democratic process, in order to help prevent such a tragedy from recurring.

By the way, a summary by two KSU professors of the events surrounding the shootings, with an extensive list of references, can be found here. I never realized how many more, both Guardsmen and students, might have died that day, had it not been for the successful efforts of some faculty members to defuse the situation.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 08 May 01 - 08:08 AM

Mark, you're absolutely right, and on reflection I'm willing to conced that my assessment of "Ohio" may be a little harsh. I do remember the Kent State shootings, although I was too young to be directly involved (twelve years old at the time). And I agree with you that the shock of seeing the postwar American myth trashed before our eyes was profound. That shock and disillusionment were really what the huge cultural shifts of the 1960's and early 1970's were all about, and the Kent State incident was one of those defining moments that really drove the point home.

[I would add that these events led to a very depressing decade in the 1970's, when our collective self-image had been shattered but nothing meaningful had taken its place. Coming of age in the 1970's was not as dramatic as it was in the 1960's, but being an adolescent and young adult in post-Vietnam, post-Watergate America presented its own challenges. But I suppose that's a topic for another thread.]

Anyway, your points about the context are well taken. I would have preferred a more profound reaction, and I think a greater artist would have provided one. But for better or worse, "Ohio" stands as the musical account of the Kent State incident, and I have to admit that it does capture the mood of the times.


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: catspaw49
Date: 08 May 01 - 08:34 AM

Hey WS........Glad to see Mark's arguments were convincing. Last year no one was too successful in persuading you. As you know, I'm no big fan of Neil either and I agree that "Ohio" could have been better, but I could never think why I liked it, even though I was "there" at the time. So I want to thank Mark for this too because what the song does well is to reflect a mood.......that's really it..........Thanks Mark for "finding my thoughts."

ALSO WS......There is a thread about your generation running right now .....CLICK HERE.....It's an interesting thread.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 08 May 01 - 08:46 AM

Thanks Spaw -- I was just checking that thread out. The "generations" could splinter indefinitely, of course. Alex (who started that thread) is three years younger than me, and on reading his post I realize it's a big three years. I'm old enough to remember JFK's assassination (barely), to have formed opinions about the Vietnam war while it was still going on (although I am fortunate enough to have been too young to participate), to have fallen in love with 1960's rock and roll as it was happening, and to have admired and emulated older siblings and friends who were more directly involved in the political/cultural events of the late 60's. I voted for Jimmy Carter twice, reaped the benefits of the sexual revolution before AIDS made it dangerous, and had a lot of fun with drugs. I'm officially classified as a boomer (born in 1958), but more than anything I consider myself to be the one and only member of Generation ME.


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: catspaw49
Date: 08 May 01 - 09:08 AM

My wife Karen and you are the same age and it really is an age on a "cusp".......You can of course fragment the generations to any degree as you say, but I think that the 57-60 folks are really on a bit of the "neither here nor there" feeling.......hits Karen that way a lot of the time anyway.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 08 May 01 - 11:19 AM

Hi Whistle stop. I've been kinda busy so I haven't been able to follow this good thread the way I'd have liked to, but if I can add a couple of things:

I also despair at times of Political points made through music seemingly without "art or even craft". I Think Tom Paxton has a fine ability to make a point with both of those ingredients PLUS irony which is dear to me. I'm not a fan of Neil Young's work (although I do hum some of those tunes). I find it often lyrically simplistic to the point of being "child-like"...BUT there are a lot more people who relate to that (and can be emotionally charged by it) than relate to Paxton. Simple sales totals (and mainstream hits) prove that. Remember Paxton and Neil both started out as solo guitar/singer/songwriters.

I found it interesting that Tom wrote about an Airline destroying his guitar and sung it in folk clubs everywhere. Must have had some impact. Neil made a video called "This Song's for You", in which he discredited big acts getting sponsorship from even bigger corporations. My guess is that one three minute showing on "Much Music" had more "political" impact on millions than twenty years of Tom's touring.

My guess is that there have been at least a couple of well-written songs about Kent State from the eyes of a scared Trooper wondering how he got into this mess, but they'd probably be impossible to find now. Neil's "simplistic approach" is in thousands of folks' repertoires.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: mousethief
Date: 08 May 01 - 11:30 AM

Protest songs aren't about stylistic niceties. They're about capturing the moment. You might as well ask the Wobblies to include a stanza in their songs about how the capitalist factory-owners are all really nice guys at heart.

Neil Young isn't the best tunesmith (or wordsmith) (or singer), but he captured the moment like nobody else did. That's why his song endures.

Swat my 'hind with a melon rind
but that's my penguin state-of-mind.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: LR Mole
Date: 08 May 01 - 11:54 AM

Hm...well, this is all for the ages and the reasonable people now, of course, but the thing I remember, behind the anger, is the fear (which come from the same well). As Arlo sang back then,"They're beating you up in Chicago/They're picking you up on the coast/They're knocking you off in Ohio/They like sending you to war the most..." Who knows why people thought they merited that sort of persecuted vision, but youth will always have a strong element of loneliness, which includes a fear of punishment. People thought they could be messed with in a very profound way by the Establishment. As Melville said,"What like a bullet can undeceive."


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 08 May 01 - 01:51 PM

Thanks folks -- all good points. The Vietnam debacle was a pretty awful thing to put a generation through, so of course it's not surprising that emotions ran high. And I will grant that there is value to "capturing" those moments. But that does not mean the person who captured them is somehow praiseworthy, or that their responsibility ends there. After all, right around the same time Spiro Agnew was doing a pretty good job of capturing some moments and attitudes as well, but I don't hear too many people praising him.

One of Neil Young's colleagues (Steve Stills) also captured a moment when he wrote "For What It's Worth". But he did it in a way that recognized the ambiguities and conflicting emotions of the participants. It was a much greater accomplishment, in my opinion.

As for the value of topical songwriting, and the allowances we extend to the songwriters, I wonder whether anyone thinks this might be a worthwhile topic for another thread. We could compare our reactions to "Ohio" against our reactions to something from the other side of the political spectrum ("The Ballad of the Green Berets," perhaps?), and see whether we're applying the same rules to both. Could be an interesting exercise.


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: mousethief
Date: 08 May 01 - 01:55 PM

I *love* the ballad of the green berets! It's not quite as "topical" as Ohio (i.e. about one particular point in time) -- at least I don't remember it being so. But it's a great song in praise of a group of very brave and courageous men.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 08 May 01 - 02:02 PM

By the way, did anyone notice that we highjacked a BS thread to discuss music?


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: catspaw49
Date: 08 May 01 - 02:12 PM

Aw well damn.......now what do we do? What a disaster!................Hmmmmmmm....................................uh.................... HEY!!.....I got it now................Okay, so this Ohio National Guardsman goes into a bar and the place is filled with raging accordionists protesting their rights to play the "Other" song that is not "Lady of Spain." So the bartender......

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: BobP
Date: 08 May 01 - 03:40 PM

Many youngsters find history boring and meaningless to their lives.

HOW THAT CAN BE.

HISTORY REPEATS, IT SURELY DOES!

What I remember is this!

EVENTS AT KENT STATE (1970) vs. BOSTON MASSACRE (1770).

The shooting of five antagonists by a small British garrison is where the US, as a country, was conceived.

In a way . . .

The shooting of four students by a small garrison of US militia is where our country died.

You could not have believed that on May 5, 1770.

But here we are 31 years later . . .

What are we acomplishing as a society.

What legacy are we leaving the next generation.

Space exploration? Medical advances? King's Dream?

Music? Art? Theatre? Film?

Anything there to be really proud of compared to what was happening May 3, 1970?

Not much, says me.

I find it difficult, even now, to rationalize the legacy of Viet Nam. What to learn from it?

I never was able to read McNamara's book.

Did he keep the profits from that?

Can we sue to have those proceeds divided between the zillions who's lives were destroyed by his "mistake".

To draft people and send them into harms way while devoting less than 3% of the nation's GNP resourses in supporting that person's efforts should have been declared a war crime.

Nevermind that the enemy is not attacking New York or our way of life; when you send a guy to fight and get shot and go on with "guns and butter" so as not to make the folks back home uncomfortable - that, to me, qualifies as a war crime.

People sue to recover stolen art from WWII! Can we sue to recover compensation for lost earnings for those who were "ABANDONED IN THE FIELD & IGNORED ON RETURN".

at and tell


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: artbrooks
Date: 08 May 01 - 04:27 PM

The thread (above) that points to the sequence of events is a good reference for anyone whose memory of the events is stale or second hand. To add another point that the KSU professors may have missed, the Guardsmen that participated in the KSU tragedy were readily available because they had already been called up and had just finished an exhausting time dealing with (if I remember correctly) that year's Spring floods.

I was in the Army at the time, stationed at Ft. Riley, Kansas. Our unit had gone through extensive riot control training. This training emphasized restraint and one of the specifics was that ammunition was tightly controlled. The information we received about Kent emphasized that the Guardsmen had received ABSOLUTLY NO such training.


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 May 01 - 04:52 PM

Basically it always comes down to "Which side are you on?" Including the "plague on both your houses" side.

There are some things we're never going to agree on. Doesn't mean we have to hate each other about it. But good songs get written out of emotion, and emotion is not neutral.

And, as I always tend to say in these kind of threads, always remember that the suffering in and by America was a shadow of the suffering by the people of Vietnam, where the mines and the poison are still killing children to this day..


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: IvanB
Date: 08 May 01 - 10:14 PM

I was in charge of music for folk masses at my Episcopal church in 1970. I remember we had a folk mass scheduled the Sunday after the Kent State shootings, and the offertory anthem being done by the (mostly) teen musicians was 'Birmingham Sunday.' At the end of the song, the group continued with a new verse that even I hadn't heard until then:

Well, Monday has come and now there are eight,
Cut down in their prime at Ohio's Kent State,
They died for our ignorance, violence and hate,
And the choir keeps singing of freedom.

No, not great writing, but I was most impressed with the use of the word 'our.' That a group of kids from 15-18 was able to discern (and publicly declare) that the seeds of such a situation lie in us all was a concept for which I'd have never given them credit before that (I was 30 at the time). Although a significant part of our congregation referred to folk masses as 'the jingle-jangle services,' that offertory provoked much discussion in the coffee hour after church and I heard positive reactions to the added verse from many of the folk mass opponents. Perhaps one of the first instances where the 'we vs them' syndrome was broken, even if only for a bit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 08 May 01 - 11:04 PM

Art, that's an excellent point. I'd not really thought about the riot-control training of that Guard unit, though it would seem obvious now that it was minimal to none. I keep thinking about those kids who did the shooting, who were prevented from talking about it and dealing with it, either by their own denial or by institutional policy.

McGrath, that reminder is always appropriate. 55,000 Americans, vs. how many hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese. We use those blinders a lot.

WhistleStop, as one who frequently injects musical discussion into nonmusical threads, I certainly don't object. As long as 'Spaw tells us the punchline, of course!

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: artbrooks
Date: 09 May 01 - 11:02 PM

Please keep in mind that most of those thousands upon thousands of Vietnamese who were killed were killed by other Vietnamese, that the war was going on long before the US arrived, and it continued for about three years after we left.


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: Mrrzy
Date: 10 May 01 - 09:14 AM

Wow. Shows what an ignoramus I can be, with all my hifalutin eddycation...

"Four dead in Ohio" I heard as "forgetting Ohio"

What if you knew her and found her dead on the ground" I heard as "...and found her head on the ground"

In both cases the gestalt I got was that this was an anti-Vietnam War song, about some kid from Ohio who's seeing such atrocites, fellow soldiers killed and all he finds are some random body parts that he can recognize (and hey, I thought that this meant they had women fighting in the trenches, which I thought was a great thing for women's lib) that he forgets about his home town, like forgetting that it even exists, let alone hoping he'll make it back there someday. Still a stirring song of protest, but not against what I thought it was! See, the Mudcat can eddycate, too! I shall have to find a recording of this and listen to it all over again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: LR Mole
Date: 10 May 01 - 09:59 AM

I was at the concert the night they premiered the song and I heard "forgetting Ohio" too. Of course people were on their chairs and throwing fists in time to the music so we got the idea( even in those pre-butane-lighter days). This was many years ago, of course, and I said to General Meade, I said...


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: Naemanson
Date: 10 May 01 - 07:07 PM

Tonight, while searching for a book to help my daughter with her report on Oppenheimer and the atomic bomb projects I ran across the box with some old Life magazines in it. And there, on the top, was the issue about Kent State.

Chilling, not because I knew what was happening at the time, but because I didn't know and only found out later. And it wasn't like Mrrzy, where I hadn't heard what had happened but because I thought it right and proper that the Guard had fired. What an idiot I was back then!


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: Hollowfox
Date: 12 May 01 - 03:36 PM

While doing some spring cleaning the other day, I ran across the commeration program from 1995. If anybody wants a copy, it's only about ren pages, PM me and I'll make a photocopy (this is anybody, anywhere, not just North America). It has a chronology that reminded me of some important details. For one thing, there were a lot of rallies being held in that era, and in that season. Things really started on May 1, a Friday night, one of the first warm evenings that spring. Those of you that went to college, remember that first nice weather? Remember getting together with everybody else, drinking lots of beer, maybe doing foolish things? Well, that's what started it off, I guess; the beer, stepping outside on a nice night, a spontanious anti-war demonstration, a couple of beer bottles tossed at a police car. Yes, they were stupid, and it escalated; a bonfire, broken shop windows. Stupid. The police came and proceeded to clear the area. The police ordered everyone to leave the bars, putting hundreds more out on the street (and it is still pretty much a couple of blocks on one street) and herded toward the campus (maybe about a mile away), even if it was opposite the direction from where the students lived.
The next day, some students helped with the downtown cleanup, but paranoia was setting in, probably on both sides. (If you weren't in college then, you might not know that there were government provocateurs on college campuses. I was lucky enough to go to college close enough to Canada to get Canadian radio, where they broadcast interviews that were censored in the USA. The ROTC building burned at the University of Alabama was provocateurs' work.) The rumors started that Kent's ROTC building was a target. A dusk to dawn curfew was imposed, and the mayor called in the National Guard. The University was unaware of this. Things got stupider; there was an attempt to burn the ROTC building, at least one student was bayonetted.
Sunday was quiet, except that the governor (who was running for re-election, election day two days off) came to town, and made a speech declairing that the students were worse than brownshirts or communists, and whatever force necessary would be used to drive them out of Kent. That evening the National Guard commander told his troops that Ohio law gave them the right to shoot if necessary.
Monday, May 4, you know more about than the days that led up to it.
I hadn't meant for this post to go so long, but I thought you folks would be interested in just what led to the shootings. There was fear on both sides, and stupidity, but as I said in last year's thread, I'm thankful that we still have enough freedom of speech in the USA that the government hasn't been able to obliterate this huge, tragic governmental blunder from history.


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: jaze
Date: 12 May 01 - 04:31 PM

Holly Near also wrote a memorable song about Kent State called "It Could Have Been Me". It's on her "A Live Album" from the early 70's.


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Subject: RE: BS: Remembering Kent State
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 May 10 - 11:35 AM

Morning Edition on NPR has done a 40th Anniversary story on this and, also on Jackson, today. There's more about it HERE. Well worth the listen, imo. I hope we never see such happen ever again.


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Subject: RE: Remembering Kent State (40 years ago) And, Jackson
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 May 10 - 02:56 PM

Talk of the Nation on NPR is also running a good program on this with survivors of both tragedies interviewed and recounting what they remember. I hope young people are listening.


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Subject: RE: Remembering Kent State (40 years ago) And, Jackson
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 May 10 - 03:59 PM

I didn't even find out about May 4th (as it's called at Kent State) till the 80's... and not about Jackson for another 20 years! I wonder what my Dad would say it about it were he askable, he was a socialist then.


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Subject: RE: Remembering Kent State (40 years ago) And, Jac
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 May 10 - 04:26 PM

I was still a graduate student at Michigan State University in 1970 and the anti-war demonstrations that spring in response to our Laos invasion were the biggest yet. After the shooting at Kents State our entire campus was shut down in protest for a week.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Remembering Kent State (40 years ago) And, Jackson
From: LadyJean
Date: 04 May 10 - 12:43 AM

I was in high school when Kent State happened. When I went to Ohio University, I heard stories from the older students about the riots that happened when the O.U. Students found out about Kent State. They had to close the university early, it was so bad. (One of my friends, a graduate student when I knew her, had been an undergraduate then, and was upset to have missed the Siglympics, sponsored by some fraternity, and the chance to be chosen Miss Watermelon Bust.)

When I was at O.U., the college paper did a commemorative piece on Kent State and the students rioted again.


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Subject: RE: Remembering Kent State (40 years ago) And, Jackson
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 May 10 - 07:35 PM

I suggest an elf might combine the two freds


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Subject: RE: Remembering Kent State (40 years ago) And, Jackson
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 May 10 - 07:08 PM

Sometimes a riot is necessary to remind politicians that without the compact between governors and governed they will need a much bigger army.


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