[Marxism] The bitter tears of Johnny Cash

Dennis Brasky dmozart1756 at gmail.com
Mon Nov 9 11:35:22 MST 2009

> clip --
> In July 1972, musician Johnny Cash sat opposite President Richard Nixon in
> the White House's Blue Room. As a horde of media huddled a few feet away,
> the country music superstar had come to discuss prison reform with the
> self-anointed leader of America's "silent majority." "Johnny, would you be
> willing to play a few songs for us," Nixon asked Cash. "I like Merle
> Haggard's 'Okie From Muskogee' and Guy Drake's 'Welfare Cadillac.'" The
> architect of the GOP's Southern strategy was asking for two famous
> expressions of white working-class resentment.
> "I don't know those songs," replied Cash, "but I got a few of my own I can
> play for you." Dressed in his trademark black suit, his jet-black hair a
> little longer than usual, Cash draped the strap of his Martin guitar over
> his right shoulder and played three songs, all of them decidedly to the left
> of "Okie From Muskogee." With the nation still mired in Vietnam, Cash had
> far more than prison reform on his mind. Nixon listened with a frozen smile
> to the singer's rendition of the explicitly antiwar "What Is Truth?" and
> "Man in Black" ("Each week we lose a hundred fine young men") and to a folk
> protest song about the plight of Native Americans called "The Ballad of Ira
> Hayes." It was a daring confrontation with a president who was popular with
> Cash's fans and about to sweep to a crushing reelection victory, but a
> glimpse of how Cash saw himself -- a foe of hypocrisy, an ally of the
> downtrodden. An American protest singer, in short, as much as a country
> music legend.
> <
> http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2009/11/08/johnny_cash/index.html?source=newsletter
> >

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