Saturday, July 14, 2012

Has Woody's Ameirca Been Homogenized?

On Woody Guthrie's 100th birthday, let's think about the country he loved so much. He was born in Oklahoma, driven to Texas by the dust bowl, ended up in California, New York, the Pacific Northwest, and here and there all over the country. He was so moved by the lives and plight of the working and out of work folks he found that he wrote song after song after song. So many of them were about rambling, seeing the country, going to places. Are there still really places in the country? Have we become a single culture rather than the patchwork of Woody's time. Is there that much difference between Seattle and Tulsa? Between small towns in the midwest and New York City? We use red and blue as if there were different Americas in America, but how full of distinct places are we anymore? Would rambling have the same meaning now that it did for Woody Guthrie? Would it really have any meaning?