[Marxism] Kristofferson's musical creativity and politics

lshan at bcn.net lshan at bcn.net
Sun Feb 8 20:56:42 MST 2004

Here is another excellent Kristofferson site, but it has some factual
errors. Below I correct them as well as errors I have seen on other sites.
Most importantly, it shows how his creative composition intertwines with his
politics. It describes how Kristofferson interrelates Clinton's attack on
Iraq with 9/11 and Argentina's "disappeared."

Kristofferson did not major in "creative writing" at Pomona. Then, as now,
Pomona College had no "creative writing" but did have single courses. In
those days and even today in small colleges, unless its a specialty of the
school, there are no "creative writing" majors. However, there are creative
writing courses within the English department.

He evidently took Ranger training (eight weeks of basic mountain climbing,
river crossing, and extraordinary sleep deprivation during night patrols)
and Airborne training (a shorter course that teaches how to parachute and
reassemble upon landing), which were open to all soldiers, and he became an
Army helicopter pilot. But he was not an "Airborne Ranger helicopter pilot,"
which as far as I can tell doesn't and never did exist. Army pilots flew in
support of ground troops; sometimes those were Ranger units. He did not
serve in Vietnam, although there was a report that he volunteered as a
helicopter pilot in 1965. Instead he was assigned to West Point to teach
English, whereupon he resigned from the service to follow a career in music.
In my opinion, this is not a mark against him. It was only 1965, after all.

He was the only son of a Major General--his mother very conservative as
well. He was an impulsive rebel and rebellion is often an unthinking leap
into the dark. A young acquaintance of mine--sincere Christian, almost
pacifist, outstanding runner and A-student at "elite" New England
college--abruptly left school to join the Marines. He quickly changed his
mind and was able to leave, under considerable pressure, before it was too
late to avoid the stockade. When I was a freshman at New Mexico Military
Institute, I almost did the same thing. Although I was an only child in a
middle-class family, my parents (still conscious of the Great Depression)
emphasized the cost. I thought to break through, join the army during the
last stages of the Korean War and earn the benefits of the GI Bill. Later I
found a purpose for my rebellion. The "way of a man with a maid" is not the
only thing about young men that surpasses understanding.

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