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Baez interview. Americans and enemies

03 Feb 00 - 02:58 PM (#172966)
Subject: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: The Shambles

There is an interview in this weeks BBC Radio Times (UK) with Joan Baez, who is coming here to be presented an award in the inaugural BBC Folk Awards. To be broadcast on BBC Radio 2 @ 20.00 Wednesday 9th February, with an all-star cast. If I can find a link with more info on this event I will post another thread for it.

She is to be presented with one of those 'lifetime achievement' awards, which they seem to give at the 'Oscars' to 'old' movie stars, just for still being alive.

In the interview, which you can hear on www.radiotimes.com she was talking about her first act of civil disobedience, when she was 14, during the cold war and being called a 'commie dupe'.

"In America we can't function psychologically without an enemy, so we create them, and even if there isn't one we prepare by building missiles. I don't know what it will take to change the evil in the world."

As a resident of the UK I did not know what to make of this statement? She also talks to stones. Of course it is only her, personal view and I am with her on the last bit (I don't know either) but does the first part of that statement apply particularly to America?


03 Feb 00 - 03:31 PM (#172985)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: Fortunato

Hi Shambles, Joanie was always a bit loony. It is human and not solely American, nature to fear the outsider, the 'other' who may try to steal your stuff, or kill your people to get a bit more dirt for his people, or because you break your eggs at the wrong end or love polka music (or some religious figure or another). So we build fences, or weapons. It isn't nice, it isn't blissful, but in case Joanie hasn't noticed, there are still a lot of folks around the world who don't want to hold our hands and sing we shall overcome. Some of them appear to be developing nuclear arms. Sing to them, Joanie

Regards, Fortunato


03 Feb 00 - 03:43 PM (#172997)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: JedMarum

comic strip character Pogo said, "We have discovered the enemy and HE ARE US" - Joan operates from a position of disdain for her American culture. believe it has clouded her view ... not that there are not plenty of issues to be resolved, but as an Ameican these are American issues to fix and are not fixed by the "I'm OK but you're an idiot" point-of-view. When the life boat we're in is leaking, I can stand there pointing out the problems and predicting doom and failure - or I can roll up my sleeves, begin bailing and muster the assistance of my fellow lifeboat travellers.

Joan is blessed with remarkable voice.


03 Feb 00 - 03:50 PM (#173004)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: Rick Fielding

Poor old Joan. I think she may be having some trouble feeling relevant these days. What she says about "creating enemies, is of course spot on, but it's hardly an American thing exclusively is it? I forget which philospher said that a "nation constantly under seige is a healthy one". Guess they meant that the "big issue" keeps the population focused. One of the only countries I can think of that has not been regularily under threat of seige is my own, Canada. Sure, we whine about the constant threat from the U.S., but that's an economic worry, and not a bombs and guns one. Tends to make us much more liberal (at least in thought, if not always in deed) in dealing with issues like poverty, racism, and health care. And of course many of us see Old Castro as a long winded but probably well-meaning geriatric hippy, rather than the face of godless, evil, enslaving, communism.

Re Joan: I think it must be difficult having once been at the absolute heights of fame, to find yourself with very few ass-kissers, no major record label, and having to accept "Lifetime achievement" awards just to get a little ink in the papers.

Rick


03 Feb 00 - 04:09 PM (#173017)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: Amos

If she wanted to start up another revolution similar to the major shifts she contributed to in the Sixties, why she could lay down some songs documenting the creeping invasion of individual life by Gummint System. Write Social Security Number protests. Document the erosion of civil liberty. March Against the CDA. Mebbe protest the WTO.
Fight against religious zealotry/extremism. Fight intolerance! (I can't stand it)... And it isn't exactly as though we have finished healing racism in the world!

No reason for her to feel out of work -- her name alone is a drawing card, although I have ot heard her sing lately.

A


03 Feb 00 - 04:23 PM (#173028)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: Rick Fielding

Fair enough Amos, but I just don't think enough folks would listen to what she has to say today. Now Ani DiFranco has a substantial audience, and hence her music has clout.

Rick


03 Feb 00 - 04:36 PM (#173033)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: kendall

Rick, you CANADIANS HAVE NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT


03 Feb 00 - 04:39 PM (#173037)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: kendall

Rick, you CANADIANS HAVE NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT. We Yanks learned our lesson well in 1812 when we tried to invade. (Dont know why you all got so upset, all we wanted was Quebec) Why hell, you would probably give it to us now, eh?


03 Feb 00 - 04:56 PM (#173043)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: Rick Fielding

Kendall....On a Plate!

By the way, I think you wanted Ontario as well. Thank Goodness you didn't get it. It would have become Americanized in no time flat. Excuse me now, I'm going over to MacDonald's for a burger, Starbuck's for a coffee, Walmart for a coat, and then I'll watch Seinfeld re-runs on my General Electric TV, and play a tune on My Martin guitar.

Love

Rick


03 Feb 00 - 05:25 PM (#173060)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: Amos

Yeh, but Rick, don't you guys in Newfoundland export snowshoes or schooners or sumpn?

A


03 Feb 00 - 05:37 PM (#173072)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: kendall

they also buiuld a hell of a lot of cars too. Furthermore, they are going to own every gas station in the USA if it keeps up. There are more IRVING stations in Maine than EXXON. Not that I care, I never buy EXXON products since the EXXON VALDEZ incident.


03 Feb 00 - 05:41 PM (#173079)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: Dan Evergreen

Maybe Phoney Joanie needs to team up with Hanoi Jane and sing We Shall Overcome while doing the modified tomahawk chop on and anti-aircraft gun.


03 Feb 00 - 05:49 PM (#173086)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: DougR

It's always amazed me that some people who have derived so much wealth from the land of their birth delight in trashing it at every opportunity.

DougR

P. S. Rick, our Prez is gonna be out of a job soon. Think there might something for him to do up your way? :>)


03 Feb 00 - 05:51 PM (#173087)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: JedMarum

kendall - I think it's OK to buy their oil now, they've managed to get most of the seawater outta their fuel!

amos - yer right there's plenty more to beef about, or better yet, plenty more to help resolve.

rick - it is a sad state of affairs when your (past) fame prevents further progress in your craft - but I suspect you're right about Joan's position.


03 Feb 00 - 05:56 PM (#173096)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: catspaw49

Hey now, didn't Joan just do a recoring with the Indigo girls? And her track on the album was......uh....was........well........I see your point.

Spaw


03 Feb 00 - 06:47 PM (#173134)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: Rick Fielding

Oh my god Dan, you've brought me back to the sixties! Yup I remember when Al Kapp (anyone remember him folks?) created a character in Lil Abner called "Joanie Phoney". And "Hanoi Jane", WOW! One of the better things about being Canadian was that you could think that the war stank without having most people over thirty calling you a communist. I doubt if one person in 100 that was accused of bein' a "commie" had ever read one page of Marx!

Far out Dan. Peace, Man!

Rick


03 Feb 00 - 08:31 PM (#173182)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: katlaughing

Not so funny in retro-Wyo. There are still live-in-the-past diehards who have current bumper stickers here which denigrate the young Jane Fonda.

I think Joan is right about America, as far as politicians go. They seem to be quite fond of having an enemy; gives them more to pork-barrel in a budget; to pontificate about on the stump; and generally gives them a pseudo-focus.

Hell the whole lot of them and some of the country went through major angst when the USSR fell apart, wandering around like chickens with no heads saying, "Who will we hate now? Gotta have an enemy"

Well, it has become apparent, that with no common outside enemy, those who love to hate have upped the ante by going after their fellow citizens in an escalation of racism and intolerance which echoes the struggles of the past. Perhaps Joan, whom I have a great deal of respect for, should find grist for her songmill among such heinous deeds.

Of course, you are all right. It is not an exclusive American thing. Look at what is happening in Austria as we write.

My opinion....katlaughing


03 Feb 00 - 08:34 PM (#173185)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: Midchuck

Haven't you noticed that "Hanoi Jane" is just in the process of getting a divorce from Ted Turner? I suspect when the finances get ironed out she'll be able to buy Hanoi. Ahh, the love of the common people!

She was great in Barbarella, though..."Wait until I get my devices!"...

Peter.


03 Feb 00 - 10:20 PM (#173248)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: Barbara

As a kid and a cartoonist, I sure loved Al Capp, (is that right, or was it a K?) but as I grew up, I couldn't help but notice he really had it in for us women, and for anybody left of right. Joany Phoney took the same limo tour of Dogpatch as Margaret Chase Anybody, and a bunch of other politico types. But I still have a fondness for Joe Pzblcksky(sp?) and his thundercloud, and the schmoos...
Joan used to be pretty self righteous, and it doesn't seem like she's changed all that much. Lot of us could use the leavening of a sense of humor, and she REALLY could...sure has a nice voice though.
Blessings,
Barbara


03 Feb 00 - 10:27 PM (#173253)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: Amos

Can't beat a schmoo for all around good will!

I think it is part of the American core value system to be hard at work overcoming "the problem", whether it is the spread of communism, the overflowing of the Mississippi or the emptuness of the moon, and preferably as heroically as possible.

. When the walls of the USSR began coming down, it was the end of a game we had been hard set into for forty years or more; so it isn't surprising that it caught some people off-guard and not sure what the next challenge should really be!

A


03 Feb 00 - 11:02 PM (#173269)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: Owlkat

Hi,
Wow.
I didn't hear the whole interview, and I can only base this opinion on the single quote, buuuuuuut...
I agree with her statement,and at the same time, I'd add that xenophobia is hardly exclusive to the US. A lot less Jews would have returned to die in Europe, if they hadn't been turned back from Halifax harbour at bayonet point by the Canadian Army. I'm a little surprised at the some of the things some of you have said about someone once considered to be at the vangaurd of the protest movement. Didn't some of us use to think that was a good thing?
Yes, she's a contemporary of Jane Fonda. Hanoi Jane? Isn't that a harsh kind of a Nixon-Right Wing-Kind of thing?
The Indigo girls. Huh. Maybe it's me, but since I first heard them, I've been impressed by both their politics and the power they put into the music they play to publicize their messages. Yeah, it's a strong and alternately-based opinion, but isn't that what this site is for? To hear the voices of those who would othewise be stifled by the powers we let be?
Living in the past. Some call that learning from the mistakes of history.
If people don't want to listen to what Joan Baez has to say, maybe it's because they are complacent and have forgotten where she learned to feel that way. I for one think fighting against war(ironic as that may sound) is good. We can never let ourselves forget why. My parents never told me about the Holocaust, thinking that if no-one ever talked about it, it would all go away, and the world would be all happy. Well, guess what?
Millions in Africa, Eastern Europe and the middle East would disagree. Every time we decide to forget, that's the best way to guarantee we will repeat our mistakes.
Yeah, she's self righteous. And? She's earned some respect. She's allowed a little leeway, yeah?
I'm not saying this to piss anybody off. This is, I hope, still a discussion.
Anyway, those are my thoughts. And that and a buck buys you coffee.
Cheers,
Owlkat.


03 Feb 00 - 11:52 PM (#173301)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: Barbara

Owlkat, I don't think being self-righteous is the same as being serious. I am serious about opposing war and injustice and...
I still like serious songs about the subject. One doesn't have to be making light of a problem to laugh at it, either.
My favorite songs are ones that both make me think and make me laugh, and I can't think of any that were recorded by Joan.
Still, she has made major contributions to folksong, and to protest song, and I have sung many of them, and will again.
Blessings,
Barbara


04 Feb 00 - 12:13 AM (#173313)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: BK

Not too recently, but not decades ago either, I did hear joan sing.. one of the saddest disapointments I've had. VERY underwhelming. put out very little effort, used canned asccompanyment part of the time & made me miss the Furies, Schooner Fare, Danny Doyle, Sally rogers, Garnett.. ie, just abt anybody who made an effort. It was disgusting.

As for her politics.. I've travelled a bit, lived in the "third world" a couple years (and in a regular neighborhood, not a "Golden Ghetto" American enclave), etc.. It's clear that xenophobia & all sorts of personal and societal misbehaviors & psychopathologies are general features of the whole human race, sadly.. Each group may express different degrees & types of evil - and do it in their own unique, culturally & historically appropriate ways, of course, but the urge to do evil gets expressed anywhere there are people.

It might be great if "they gave a war & nobody came..." so why doesn't joanie just sweet talk the folks killing women & children, doing ethnic cleansing, etc, for sport & vengance & the glory of their causes, into "not coming" to the next party they throw in Kosovo or Iran, Iraq, or Lybia, etc, etc.. or even Northern Ireland. (Let alone the more exciting neighborhoods in any American big city, on the wrong side of the tracks..)

I've thought for decades that Pogo was right.. we certainly HAVE met the enemy & he is certainly us.. I see no reason to think otherwise...

Cheers, BK (who is not usually this morbid)


04 Feb 00 - 12:42 AM (#173327)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: Sorcha

Yes, to all of the above: ?Correct me if I'm wrong, and maybe it's CREEP, but isn't the USA the only nation that has NEVER been invaded? Don't want to see it, but maybe it would do a lot for our own conscienness? Talk about ethno-centriciy. If it ain't American, it ain't nothin'. Oh well.


04 Feb 00 - 01:06 AM (#173337)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: Mary G

not invaded-- not for lack of trying in WWII as in Germans off the coast...and I don't know the official status of Hawaii in Pearl Harbor but it certainly was attacked...and Joan Baez and the Other One fortunately have many dissimilarities.

mg


04 Feb 00 - 01:49 AM (#173352)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: Sandy Paton

We were already "America" at the time of the War of 1812, remember. I don't think you can say we've never been invaded.

Sandy


04 Feb 00 - 01:54 AM (#173353)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: Sorcha

OK, I stand corrected. Hawaii was not part of the USA at the time of Pearl Harbor, does that still count?


04 Feb 00 - 02:18 AM (#173357)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: canoer

To Shambles -- I believe it's all too common to mistake a result for a cause, as I believe Joan has done. I don't think Americans or anyone else have an inherent psychological "need" to find someone to hate. I do think that those who rule any institution find it very helpful, in manipulating the ruled, to provide us with conveniently distracting apparent "enemies." To the extent we fall for that sort of thing, we weaken our ability to resist the designs of the actual rulers. And especially with the near-monopoly of media over here, believe me, the rich and powerful in America are very very adept at this game. But I bet you a dollar (a pound?) those in the UK and the rest of Euope are no slouches either.

Point of view from Detroit. -- Larry C.


04 Feb 00 - 03:04 AM (#173369)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: Sourdough

It's true, we haven't had a real full-scale foreign invasion but we did have our presidential mansion burned during the War of 1812 and the First Lady had to go running away carryig valuable paintings and other furnishings from their home. (I'm not sure where the First Gentleman was at the time.) And then, fifty years later, we had one of the bloodiest wars of the century in which the dead of both sides were Americans. Gerogia sure felt invaded when Sherman cut a fifty mile wide swath to the sea.

Having said that, I am now going to try to express why reading some of the more "shot from the hip" thoughts in this thread made me a little sad. I don't mean to be argumentative or to provoke but having lived through through the Vietnam Era as an adult, I, too have my feelings about the forces that were ripping apart the country during that time.

I've always felt that "Hanoi Jane" was too strong an epithet. In retrospect, she really did make a terrible error in judgment in an awful time. We were being lied to by our government. We could not get them to listen, or even to give us straight answers. I think it is easy to forget just how disturbing a time it was. I suspect that the trip to Hanoi grew out of desperation. There were excesses on the one side of getting American soldiers killed in a war we could not understand the reason for and no one could explain it. Even one of the major architects of that war, McNamara, with twenty years of hindsight admitted that it had been a ghastly mistake. Lots of people died but it is easy to forget that the survivors of wars are not unwounded. By sending a nation's "best and brightest" off to war, we were wounding a generation. I think all of us in my generation know some of these people. They are or were our friends. Many of these soldiers are still fighting the Vietnam War in the psychiatric wards of VA hospitals or on city streets where they offer to work for food. Many more, are scarred badly although they have managed to rehabilitate themselves through a personal process that was for many of them as difficult and lasted longetr than their combat time in Viet Nam. And then there were the battles at home, the divisiveness within families, between generations, the stealing of the American flag to be a symbol of the Right...

People with consciences were torn. There were no easy decisions. Go to war, go to Canada. Face the question, "Am I a coward or an idealist?" Shame your parents.

Jane Fonda went against her family's wishes and inclinations and she risked her own career, probably damaging it seriously. You can make the argument that she gave up literally millions of dollars. Look at the kind of acting she was capable of "On Golden Pond". I am sure she knew when she went to Hanoi that she was going to be hated by a huge segment of the US population that would never understand or forgive her. I gave up far less for peace than that. It must have been tempting, with visions of juicy parts and celebrityhood that comes with successful motion pictures, to sidestep controversey. Those of us who criticise her as a dilletante, did we give up say, ten thousand dollars? I know I didn't think of myself as a dilletante in opposing the war but I gave up far less than she did.

We are talking about a period that was around ten years after the McCarthy Era. I think Jane Fonda understood what she was doing to her career.

Joan Baez stood up for what she believed in to an extent that few of us did. She became a target of hatred and vituperation. As a public figure, she was slandered, publicly pilloried for her beliefs. I can't believe she found it satisfying to have her beliefs made into comic strip humor. Her husband went to jail for his beliefs. What made it sad was that Al Capp himself had been in combat. He had lost a leg, I think, in a bomber, during a raid on Germany. He lost it in a good cause. Would he think losing it for a trivial reason would have been OK, just because some politicians were afraid of losing face or had a vision that the countries of the East would fall like dominoes until we had Red Chinese landing in Malibu.

About five years ago, I happened to get copies of some home videotapes that Joan Baez' accompanist shot in Sarajevo. She went there on tour because she felt that she might be able to do something by bringing attention to the suffering that was going on there. She went in the middle of the war. There were pictures of her in "Snipers Alley" wearing a flax jacket as she left the hotel to go out and meet Muslims and Christians in homes and schools. She said later of her trip that it seemed to her that the people of Sarajevo weren't so much afraid of dying as they were of being forgotten. Her trip was to show them that they were not forgotten. I can't believe that this tour was designed to make money or sell CDs.

What I consider a failing in myself is that I have not stood up for my own beliefs as much as either one of these women have for theirs. Their motives were not publicity (what would they gain?) It wasn't to avoid being drafted. They believed that somehow what they were doing would lead to increased social justice. They may have been starry eyed idealists but it is hard to consider either of them evil. Looking for perfection in my heroes has always led me to disappointment until I heard the phrase, "There are no great men, but there are great strengths and great weaknesses". Outstanding people like Joan Baez and Jane Fonda, I believe, fit that pattern.

Sourdough


04 Feb 00 - 03:12 AM (#173371)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: Rick Fielding

Thanks 'Dough.

Rick


04 Feb 00 - 03:14 AM (#173372)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: Brendy

Standing ovation from this corner mate.
Well put.
B.


04 Feb 00 - 04:04 AM (#173385)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: Metchosin

Sourdough, at the risk of trivializing your sentiments and thoughts, by being another one who sits back and applauds them, "You screwed the lightbulb in Man, and it was good"....(take that on whatever level you wish)


04 Feb 00 - 10:19 AM (#173459)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: Amos

Sourdough, hats off to you. I have done unpopular things, but never of the scale (as you deftly point out) nor with the exposure that Baez and Fonda were dealing with. Your words have given me pause. Thanks.

A


04 Feb 00 - 01:12 PM (#173572)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: GUEST,Allan S.

Just a correction there Sourdough Al Capp Lost his legs in Good old New Haven, CT. He was hopping a ride on a trolley Car on Congerss Ave. When he fell off and the rear wheels ran over his legs. My dad lived there at that time and knew him as a child. Did you ever notice that there are GOOD WARS for the left wing Ex. Spaninh civil war, in fact Any war of "peoples liberation" Just to break a few stones I will often say "We havent had a good war for a long time" ANd watch people explode. My answer is "If we did not have the Revolutionary War We would still be singing God Save the King" No Civil war and we could have a few Black people as slaves. WW2 and the world would be free of Poles Russians Jews Gypsies the Handicaped retarded and those with mental problems So the problem is how do we define a Good war from a Bad War Decisions Decisions


04 Feb 00 - 01:32 PM (#173588)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: Rick Fielding

Thanks for clearing that up Allan, but the cartoonist must have had remarkable restorative powers, 'cause when I saw him in the sixties one of those legs had grown back!

Rick


04 Feb 00 - 01:54 PM (#173595)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: bob schwarer

Al Capp did indeed lose a leg to a trolley car. Aug. 21 1919. Stories varied as the years passed, but the original was that he fell/slipped off an ice wagon while trying to get a piece of ice. Right into the path of a trolley.

Bob S.


04 Feb 00 - 02:33 PM (#173614)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: katlaughing

Sourdough, thank you very much for putting it so well. Your words are always such a pleasure to read.

katlaughing


04 Feb 00 - 07:31 PM (#173732)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: DougR

Sorcha: Don't believe one could say Hawaii was not a part of the U. S. when Pearl Harbor was bombed. I believe you will find that it was a Territory of the U.S. You're right that it wasn't a State.

There has been some very good discussion in this thread but none of it has convinced me that Jane Fonda is one to be admired for anything other than her acting. I'm one of the older ones in the Mudcat, though, and that probably accounts for my feeling as I do.

DougR


04 Feb 00 - 07:47 PM (#173743)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: MarkS

Jane Fonda admired for her acting? Absent her political activism she would be one of the more forgettable figures of the past century. Oh, her costume in Barbarella may make up for some of that.


04 Feb 00 - 09:39 PM (#173771)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: folk1234

Joannie likes to talk. And sometimes she is very eloquent. About 5 years ago I heard her on PBS making an address to some esteemed audience(I don't remember who - it may have been the Washington Press Club, or Congress) about Politics and the Arts. It was so good, I called the station and found out how I could get a copy. I still have it somewhere in my office.
I certainly strongly disagree with her current anti-American statements, but I do respect her zealous, and usually very effective, advocacy.


05 Feb 00 - 05:32 AM (#173867)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: The Shambles

This has all been very interesting stuff and I would like to thank you all for it.
<,br>

I would like to think that I would learn from this posting and not do it the same way again. I had read the interview in full but only quoted the bit that I wanted some help with..

I think the tone of my first post sounded a little cynical and gave an indication that I was finding fault with her personally. I did provide the link so that posters could hear the whole thing and if you did hear it, I think you would find that she does talk a lot of sense over a range of subjects and that the interview is interesting.

I certainly did not detect any overall 'anti-American' stance in the interview and I apologise if I gave that impression. Has she stated these elsewhere?

Folk 1234.

Maybe just the fact that we are using that phrase and the concept here, of "anti-American statements," with its associations to the time and its climate of origin, is exactly what she was trying to bring attention to?

The term 'anti-British' is used but usually for comments on Britain from other countries, rather from those coming from inside our own.


05 Feb 00 - 09:31 AM (#173897)
Subject: RE: Baez interview. Americans and enemies
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton

I had the pleasure of working with Joan Baez. My perceptions are as follows: Joan is a fun-loving person with a terrific sense of humor. She was brought up as a Quaker (or at least with the same values of non-violence). She is not at all anti-American but might be a better American because she would like to see improvements made in her country. As to the comment about the "Golden Triangle" she was dead-on. There is a missile business left in this country. There are those who are capitalizing on it today.

It's difficult for me to hear people trashing her views and the song We Shall Overcome. I think it was OK, though, for Al Capp to do his take-off and Joan should be complimented. It was a kind of compliment, that she was such a socially forceful figure at the time. I feel that her idealism is something to be respected even when you don't agree with it. I respected Jane Fonda as well even though I thought that she may not have had a clear view of the Hanoi regime. At the same time, her view was not entirely without merit. We didn't belong in Vietnam.

Joan has never been about making money on her ideals. She never needed to. If she is out of fashion, now, well that just speaks to the shallow trends of the music business. As for her singing and playing, well, I believe that her best songs are the ones in Spanish. She has a real feel for this music.

Please don't trash We Shall Ovecome. It was an important part of American history as a catalyst for a significant movement.

Frank