A little more than four years ago Tatiana and I attended a J.J. Abrams Oscar Wilde party at Bad Robot. My post about same used this headline: “Hansard Recalling Guthrie — A Beautiful Moment at J.J. Abrams’ Oscar Wilde Soiree.”
The evening’s highlight, I meant, came when Once maestro Glenn Hansard sang a portion of Woody Guthrie‘s “This Land Is Your Land” a capella. Everyone was humming along and the feeling in the room was quite beautiful, which is to say patriotic in the best sense of that term.
During the recent presidential inauguration (1.20.21) of Joe Biden, Jennifer Lopez performed some verses of Guthrie’s as part of a medley with “America the Beautiful”.
But now it appears that this heartfelt Guthrie narrative — i.e., “Woody was a beautiful guy and a serious humanitarian socialist, and we all love this song for its values” — is coming to an end. The new narrative is basically that “This Land Is My Land” is a racist-white-man song that dismisses the historical rights of Native Americans and Mexican Americans, and is basically a tribute to white American expansionism and suppressing native voices, etc.
And yesterday MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell went after the song also:
Next in line will be attacks upon Hal Ashby‘s Bound for Glory (’76).