Friday, January 31, 2014

Pete Seeger Memorial Bridge

This week I and a number of boating friends have been signing a petition to have the new Tappan Zee Bridge named after Pete Seeger. 

 I had left my office last night thinking vague thoughts about how that would be particularly appropriate because the very word "bridge" has both musical and architectural connotations. 

 I had the right idea but I never would have taken it any further than the generality. I didn't know how particularly true that idea was in this case until I read last night's Proper Course post. Great stuff!

You may not have known this, but in addition to being a competitive Laser sailor and marathoner, Tillerman happens to have an interest in banjoes (I knew this because we talked about it in comments after one of my Irish music posts). Turns out that Seeger already has a bridge named after him. Who knew besides banjo players? Anyways, he wrote a most interesting blog post about it.

 If you'd like to sign the petition, he gives a link at the end.

PS - HAY! Happy Year of the Horse!


Joe Rousé said...

That's a great idea, Bonnie. Happy Year of the Horse!

bonnie said...

It's perfect. I really hope it happens!

Anonymous said...

How about naming that bridge to nowhere after him? Would seem fitting for lifetime, unrepentant BFF of Vlad Lenin, Chairman Mao, murdering Che and Fidel.

Burn in Hell, Petey.

Tillerman said...

And there's the reason why that bridge may never be named after Pete Seeger. There are still plenty of right wing nuts out there who will make sick (often anonymous) comments slandering someone who spent a lifetime fighting for civil rights, peace and the environment.

Even, in this case, only a few days after Mr. Seeger's death.

PS. I'm pretty sure that Pete Seeger never met Lenin, and even more sure that they were not BFFs. Pete was 4 years old when Lenin died.

bonnie said...

Wow, that was wild. The things that end up on a person's blog when she decides to go hiking instead of messing around on the computer all day. Thanks for the response, Tillerman.

I might as well leave Anonymous's comment up as yes, that was part of the legacy. Pete never let them scare him off.

Anonymous was probably one of the people who threw rocks at Seeger's windshield when he would go to do a concert.

Tillerman said...

And now I see that some on the left don't want the bridge to be named after Peter Seeger either because… SHOCK! HORROR! the bridge will carry cars, and cars are BAD for the environment, so it's a BAD NAUGHTY bridge and it would be a insult to put Pete Seeger's name on a BAD NAUGHTY bridge.

Why can't we all get along and play our banjos together like nice children?

bonnie said...

Here's what Pete's grandson had to say over on a NY Times article criticizing the idea:

I am Pete's grandson.

For everyone who says Pete would hate the idea of naming a bridge after him, I think I should provide insight into Grandpa's thought process.

Kitama: Grandpa what do you think of the new Tappan Zee bridge being named after you?

Pete: There are lots of great people to name things after, why me?

Kitama: Because if they name it after you then people of all races and socio-economic backgrounds will be reminded every day that they need to continue fighting for a better world as they sit in traffic.

Pete: Well I do love bridges. I have spent the past sixty years looking at two bridges right from my porch. Bridges are essential, built by geniuses. Also the Tappan Zee goes right to Nyack. That is the only time when I lived with both of my parents, and it was only two years.

Kitama: But some people say you would hate it.

Pete: Hate it? I hate injustice! I hate dishonesty! I hate greed! Those are things worth hating.

O Docker said...

Dunno how I missed this post and thread.

It looks like the forces of evil commented on Tillerman's post, too - the language sounds like maybe the same writer.

I replied there, saying many of the things Tillerman did here.

Comments like that are a reminder that Pete's fight will never be over, maybe a good reason for naming something as permanent as a bridge for him.

bonnie said...

Ah, and I see Anonymous is an angry Ted Nugent fan.

Although "angry Nugent fan" is kind of redundant, isn't it?

At least he left out the "burn in hell" part over there. A week after Seeger passed away? Really? That's nuts.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so if you think Petey was so very generous a contributor to "civil rights", why don't you interview the descendants of Solomon Linda? You know, the black man whose song Pete the Communist (except when there's a fortune to be had) got fat on.

Injustice, greed, and dishonesty? Bet you claim to hate hypocrisy, too, eh Kitama/Pete?

It's hard to not be at least a little angry when the worst used car salesmen among us continue getting a pass for their lifetimes of corruption, excused by a thin momentary veneer of pretty songs or movie roles.

If you think that the forces of evil are aligned against Pete Seeger, rather than alongside him and those aforementioned dictators, I've got a bridge to sell you. Communism is evil, as is every person who either supports or excuses it. Not those of us who are willing to see it for what it is.

I applaud you Bonnie for tolerating dissenting opinion, even if it's unflattering. I'm a sailor and a horseman and a builder and a reformed progressive. I commented anonymously to give others a chance to like/dislike the message before focusing on the messenger.

bonnie said...

Oh, hi, Ed. Should I invite Andy over here to fight with you properly?

bonnie said...

PS - Commenting anonymously so that people will focus on the "burn in hell" message?

I'm suddenly reminded of a certain Mark Twain quote: "THE LOGIC OF OUR ADVERSARY RESEMBLES THE PEACE OF GOD."

O Docker said...

If it's fair to label Pete Seeger a 'communist' 64 years after he left the party, then it should also be fair to find a label for those who oppose his politics. Labels are so nice and neat. They tell us everything we need to know about someone without having to waste a lot of time thinking too much.

In the 1930's and 1940's when Pete was a member of the party, the main enemies of communism were the forces of fascism - you know, dudes like Franco, Mussolini, and Hitler. The opposite of a communist then was a fascist.

So, if you're still labeling Pete a 'communist', 64 years later in 2014, you probably have only a hazy notion of what has happened in this world since 1950. And if your views are the opposite of Pete's, the most appropriate label for you would be 'fascist'.

So Bonnie, your anonymous commenter must be a fascist, and that should be all that any god-fearing American needs to know about him.

bonnie said...

Sounds good to me. Far more logical than anonymous curses.

Ed actually has a blog somewhere but I can't link to it 'cause I forgot where it is and he asked me to unfriend him after I asked him not to put links to Joe the Plumber's website on my Facebook page. As far as I could tell it was all about how Obama is the antichrist.