When I saw the news that Pete Seeger had died, I counted to 1000, and was not disappointed, in the sense that I expected the pinched, mean vitriol that ensued. I like to think that Pete Seeger, were he paradoxically alive to read this particular obituary, would celebrate JJV's right to express such opinions, then set them to music and have everyone clapping and swaying by the time he got to the "Sea and the Sword" bit.
(While writing this, I managed to notice that JJV had actually
updated his post with a slightly more conciliatory addendum, difficult as he made that to detect. I find the
extensive quote from a "former red" ironic; I suppose some former fellow
travelers are more equal than others.)
At the risk of self-plagiarism, albeit with a change of name, I will offer that Pete Seeger had a far more salutary effect on the world than Ronald Reagan. In fact, I was thinking that it would be far better to have things named after Mr. Seeger when, lo and behold, there is a movement to name the new Tappan Zee Bridge after the longtime Hudson Valley resident.
Finally, as the ultimate contrast, I urge everyone to peruse Seeger's testimony before the quintesentially un-American House Un-American Activities Committee (with the highly appropriate-when-said-forcefully acronym HUAC). It may be one of the greatest (if regretfully repetitive) expressions of the true American spirit of the twentieth century. I for one would have named names and spent the rest of my life in shame and regret.
Rest in Peace to a truly great American.