Saturday, March 22, 2008

“Killing” Fascists

In their attempt to heap scorn on the recent peace protesters in Richmond, Washington, D.C., and other cities, the editors of the Times-Dispatch have showed their own ignorance. In the third of three bullets under the heading WEEK’S END in today’s TD the editors said:

A sign taped to the tuba of the Rude Mechanical Band outside IRS headquarters struck a rather incongruous note: “This Machine Kills Fascists.” But isn’t killing for peace like . . . oh, never mind.

The editors should know that the sign on the tuba was not original to the Rude Mechanical Band. The great American troubadour and songwriter Woody Guthrie had the identical message on his guitar during the 1930s and 1940s, when fascists like Mussolini, Franco and Hitler threatened freedom throughout the world. Guthrie’s message was simple—the music generated by his guitar and the words that he put to that music were as powerful weapons against evil as were bullets and bombs. Contrary to the suggestion of the TD editors, there is nothing incongruous in using music to combat the savage beasts.

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