Imagine the kind of rhythmically-challenged lizard-brains who would attend such a dreadful event in the first place. Then imagine, if your digestion can stand it, their caterwauling voices raised in what they believe to be soulful sincerity, a catbird chorus of purest Babbittry, exhorted by some arm-waving Betty Bowers in a hair-helmet, accompanied by the World's Crappiest Bluegrass Band, voices uplifted together in baleful warbling of "If I Had a Hammer."
Yes. Pete Seeger's "If I Had a Hammer."
Well, don't you know, "The Hammer" is what they call him down on the links at St. Andrews, and some culturally obtuse apparatchik on the Party Committee put two and two together and got 22. Makes all kinds of sense -- Hammer, hammer, if I had a.... I imagine they'd probably puke freshets of pure golden bile -- all over this land! -- if they had the mother wit to understand they were singing a Communist anthem about as appropriate to the gathering as the Horst Wessel Song at the B'nai Brith.
Do you remember in those dark, dark weeks following 9/11, when Osama bin Laden was the evilest-genius motherfucker who ever lived and Al Qaeda a monolithic octopus with
And do you remember that sometime soon thereafter, it might have been December 2001, this image came to light?
That pic found its way into some Al Qaeda recruiting posters, and it was at that point that I began to lose my fear of them. I also lost my reluctance to critic-size the Preznit right about then too. Al Qaeda stopped looking like Supreme Evil Mothers and started looking a whole lot more like what they really are: Just dumb fucks making it up as they go along.
Which is what we're all doing. Dumb fucks. Making it up. The Preznit and Tom DeLay and their Minions of Dumb-Fuckery. Me. You. Admit it.
I think Pete Seeger might like his song back, though.
For you whippersnappers who don't know about the Peekskill Incident of 1949, here's a little précis of it, from a folk-song site. Ask yourself, Which side of this little incident would those DeLay dittoheads have been on?
It was becoming dangerous to be a performer if you were suspected of having left-wing views, and the following year Seeger and [Paul] Robeson faced their most dangerous concert of all. The venue was Peekskill, New York State, where on 4 September 1949 they both appeared at an outdoor show that turned into one of the most terrifying and violent events in the history of pop music.Well, I've got a hammer, and I've got a bell
The concert had been planned for the previous month, when it was advertised in a Communist newspaper, but crowds had blocked the roads, beaten up some of the organizers, and it had to be called off. But the performers, and the Communist Party, decided that the show should still be held - this time on Labor Day. Supporters provided protection around the site, and the performance actually went ahead. Paul Robeson sang [...] Old Man River, and Seeger sang If I Had A Hammer.
Fifteen years later (after first being revived by Peter, Paul and Mary) the song became a nightclub favourite, and the sing-along, Latin-tinged version by Trini Lopez sold 4 1/2 million copies around the world. In 1949 it was considered dangerously political, with highly controversial lyrics.
Only when the concert was over did the trouble really start. The performers were ambushed as they left the show, for the residents had been whipped up into an anti-Communist fervour [...]. Seeger escaped, covered in glass, his car dented with rocks.
And I've got a song to sing all over this land
It's a hammer of justice, it's a bell of freedom
It's a song about love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land
I guess we just have to figure out what those words mean, eh?