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Thu Jan 12, 2012, 12:09 PM

Is this land made for you and me? by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship [View all]

Published on Thursday, January 12, 2012 by Moyers & Company

Is This Land Made for You and Me?
by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship

Over the next few weeks, on the air and on our new website, BillMoyers.com, we’ll be talking a lot about “winner-take-all” politics and how economic inequality – the vast gap between the rich and everyone else– isn’t the result of market forces and Adam Smith’s “invisible hand.” It has been deliberately, politically engineered.

But first, as they used to say on radio, a musical interlude. The traveling medicine show known as the race for the Republican presidential nomination has moved on from Iowa and New Hampshire, and all eyes are now on South Carolina. Well, not exactly all. At the moment, our eyes are fixed on some big news from the great state of Oklahoma, home of the legendary American folk singer Woody Guthrie, whose 100th birthday will be celebrated later this year.

Woody saw the ravages of the Dust Bowl and the Depression firsthand; his own family came unraveled in the worst hard times. And he wrote tough yet lyrical stories about the men and women who struggled to survive, enduring the indignity of living life at the bone, with nothing to eat and no place to sleep. He traveled from town to town, hitchhiking and stealing rides in railroad boxcars, singing his songs for spare change or a ham sandwich. What professional success he had during his own lifetime, singing in concerts and on the radio, was often undone by politics and the restless urge to keep moving on. “So long, it’s been good to know you,” he sang, and off he would go.

What he wrote and sang about caused the oil potentates and preachers who ran Oklahoma to consider him radical and disreputable. For many years he was the state’s prodigal son, but times change, and that’s the big news. Woody Guthrie has been rediscovered, even though Oklahoma’s more conservative than ever – one of the reddest of our red states with a governor who’s a favorite of the Tea Party.



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Reply Is this land made for you and me? by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship [View all]
G_j Jan 2012 OP
salvorhardin Jan 2012 #1
G_j Jan 2012 #2
woo me with science Jan 2012 #3
G_j Jan 2012 #4
Javaman Jan 2012 #5
G_j Jan 2012 #9
Javaman Jan 2012 #11
woo me with science Jan 2012 #6
RedEarth Jan 2012 #7
Uncle Joe Jan 2012 #8
Solly Mack Jan 2012 #10