Mudcat Café message #988454 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #61138   Message #988454
Posted By: GUEST,frankham
22-Jul-03 - 07:57 PM
Thread Name: Pete Seeger's Banjo virtuosity
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger's Banjo virtuosity
Hi Art,

Pete is a great humanitarian. He has advanced the idea that people can learn to get along regardless of whether they agree.

Socialism is a word that has different meanings for different people.
Some give it a bad connotation but it really is a form of what we are used to. Social Security. Early christianity. Post Office. Early Native Americans. In small ways we experience socialism throughout our country. Pete acknowledges this.

The idea that the working man or woman not privileged deserves a good shake in our society is not a strange idea. This is one of the credos that Pete has always maintained. It goes along with his selection of songs and the very reason for taking up the banjo and singing to begin with. Justice for all is part of the picture.

It's not that far away from the basic idea of Christianity before it became co-opted by religious fundamentalists on the Right.

Pete has never been an angry or condemning person. His view is that you need to give folks a chance, not just once or twice but more if possible. He is an optimist but not a pedantic or naive one. He's been around the block. He's not didactic in any way if you have a chance to talk personally to him. He's creative still with many ideas for what might make the world a better place. Some call it politics but it's more than that. It's a philosophy of life and convictions with actions to back it up.

In all the years I have known Pete, only a few times has he ever said anything negative about anyone. There are notable exceptions such as McCarthy, Hitler, Stalin (with whom he became deeply disillusioned) and maybe some recalcitrant senators who were racist. For the most part, Pete has shown an optimism and acceptance of people from all walks of life. His credo, "It's important to get along without having to go along."

This is why he is one of the most influential banjo pickers that ever lived.

Frank Hamilton