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12 comments, In Series: Small is Better than Big; small acts, world, economics, lifestyles, solutions, activism

Life Arts

Thanks, Pete Seeger For Your Small Idea

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From http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pete_Seeger_sings.JPG: Pete Seeger
Pete Seeger
(image by Wikipedia)



Pete Seeger has passed away. His music and spirit have touched millions. Here's a personal chunk of experience that Pete Seeger played a big part in.

A few years ago, watching Pete Seeger on Democracy now, he said something that really inspired me. I used, it, for at least two years as part of my signature line on my emails.
"I honestly believe the future's going to be  millions  of little things saving us."
Pete   Seeger  on Democracy Now


This was one  of a few things that inspired me-- to continue on my bottom-up project-- my Bottom-up radio show, the book I am working on, my recent article, Needed: A Science, Economics and Lifestyle of SMALL-- It's Time to Face Reality-- Too BIG is Too Dangerous,  and the creation of my website-- smallacts.org , which supports the idea that small acts can literally make huge differences and save the world . 

Seeger's passing inspired me to do what I had not done before, check out the video and transcript of Seeger on Democracy now. First, here's a more exact, expanded citation of the quote
" AMY   GOODMAN :   In 1967, you made your stand against the Vietnam War clear on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour . Can you talk about that?

PETE   SEEGER : Well, the Smothers Brothers were a big, big success on  CBS  television. And way back the year before, I think in the spring of '67,  CBS  says, "Anything we can do for you? You're right at the top. What can we do to make you happier?" And they said, "Let us have Seeger on." And  CBS  said, "Well, we'll think about it." Finally, in October they said, "Okay, you can have him on." And I sang this song "Waste deep in the big muddy, the big fool says to push on."

The tape was made in California, flown to New York. And in New York they scissored the song out. And now, the Smothers Brothers took to the print media and said, " CBS  is censoring our best jokes. They censored Seeger's best song." And they got some publicity, and during November, December and January, the arguments went on. Finally, in February -- no, pardon me, late January, late January of '68,  CBS  said, "Okay, okay, he can sing the song." Six hours notice, I flew out to California.

...

I sang "Waste Deep in the Big Muddy," and this time only at a station in Detroit cut it out. But the rest of the country heard it, so seven million people heard it. Who knows? Later that month, in late February, Lyndon Johnson decided not to run for re-election. The song would be probably just one more thing. I honestly believe that the future is going to be millions of little things saving us. I imagine a big seesaw, and at one end of this seesaw is on the ground with a basket half-full of big rocks in it. The other end of the seesaw is up in the air. It's got a basket one-quarter full of sand. And some of us got teaspoons, and we're trying to fill up sand.

A lot of people are laughing at us, and they say, "Ah, people like you have been trying to do that for thousands of years, and it's leaking out as fast as you're putting it in." But we're saying, "We're getting more people with teaspoons all the time." And we think, "One of these years, you'll see that whole seesaw go zooop in the other direction." And people will say, "Gee, how did it happen so suddenly?" Us and all our little teaspoons. Now granted, we've gotta keep putting it in, because if we don't keep putting teaspoons in, it will leak out, and the rocks will go back down again. Who knows? "
And here's the video:



Seeger refers to his song, Waist Deep at the Big Muddy. Here are the lyrics: 
Lyrics to Waist Deep In The Big Muddy  :
It was back in nineteen forty-two,
I was a member of a good platoon.
We were on maneuvers in-a Loozianna,
One night by the light of the moon.
The captain told us to ford a river,
That's how it all begun.
We were -- knee deep in the Big Muddy,
But the big fool said to push on.

The Sergeant said, "Sir, are you sure,
This is the best way back to the base?"
"Sergeant, go on! I forded this river
'Bout a mile above this place.
It'll be a little soggy but just keep slogging.
We'll soon be on dry ground."
We were -- waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool said to push on.


The Sergeant said, "Sir, with all this equipment
No man will be able to swim."
"Sergeant, don't be a Nervous Nellie,"
The Captain said to him.
"All we need is a little determination;
Men, follow me, I'll lead on."
We were -- neck deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool said to push on.

All at once, the moon clouded over,
We heard a gurgling cry.
A few seconds later, the captain's helmet
Was all that floated by.
The Sergeant said, "Turn around men!
I'm in charge from now on."
And we just made it out of the Big Muddy
With the captain dead and gone.

We stripped and dived and found his body
Stuck in the old quicksand.
I guess he didn't know that the water was deeper
Than the place he'd once before been.
Another stream had joined the Big Muddy
'Bout a half mile from where we'd gone.
We were lucky to escape from the Big Muddy
When the big fool said to push on.

Well, I'm not going to point any moral;
I'll leave that for yourself
Maybe you're still walking, you're still talking
You'd like to keep your health.
But every time I read the papers
That old feeling comes on;
We're -- waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on.

Waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on.
Waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on.
Waist deep! Neck deep! Soon even a
Tall man'll be over his head, we're
Waist deep in the Big Muddy!
And the big fool says to push on!

[ These are  Waist Deep In The Big Muddy Lyrics  on http://www.lyricsmania.com/
Pete surely demonstrates the power of the arts to cast unique light on the truth. This song, to me, talks of top down leadership, how the powers that be are taking us toward a future that is deadly. Sometimes we need a voice cloaked in song or art to shine the light of truth. Pete Seeger was one of those voices-- a strong one-- one man, one strong voices, standing up against some very big rocks. 

My guess is that during Pete Seeger's life, he manifested thousands of acts and deeds affecting millions of people, helping fill those scales. Now that he is gone, w e are Pete's sand pebble movers. We can bring Pete's vision to reality. 

 

Rob Kall is editor-in-chief, publisher and site architect of OpEdNews.com, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and an inventor. He hosts the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, aired in the Metro Philly area on AM 1360, WNJC. Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.

See more Rob Kall articles here and, older ones, here. To learn more about Rob and OpEdNews.com, check out A Voice For Truth - ROB KALL | OM Times Magazine and this article. For Rob's work in non-political realms mostly before 2000, see his C.V..  and here's an article on the Storycon Summit Meeting he founded and organized for eight years. Press coverage in the Wall Street Journal: Party's Left Pushes for a Seat at the Table

Here is a one hour radio interview where Rob was a guest- on Envision This, and here is the transcript. 

To watch Rob having a lively conversation with John Conyers, then Chair of the House Judiciary committee, click hereWatch Rob speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.

Follow Rob on Twitter & Facebook. His quotes are here

My articles express my personal opinion, not the opinion of this website.


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A true model for gentle strength. Mahalo ke akua... by Cynthia Piano on Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 11:50:11 AM
Pete - wherever you are.  You could not help ... by Suzana Megles on Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 12:48:50 PM
Can you share what you wrote? ... by Burl Hall on Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 5:25:27 AM
Burl - I would love to and I do have that letter S... by Suzana Megles on Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 7:18:47 AM
Rob, you inspire me every day. And Pete Seeger ha... by Sandra Lindberg on Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 12:57:38 PM
Rob, thanks for the lyrics.Those who lead the push... by Richard Pietrasz on Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 4:04:38 PM
Thanks for posting this.  Seeger was definite... by Burl Hall on Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 5:23:27 AM
Rob, Pete was so right.  All the little act... by Paul Roden on Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 8:41:42 AM
Burl I looked for both my letter and his reply and... by Suzana Megles on Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 6:04:05 PM
You have a lot of heart Suzana.  Regarding yo... by Burl Hall on Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 6:33:47 PM
Thanx Burl.  Yes, I know about the author's p... by Suzana Megles on Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 7:29:25 PM
Thanks for posting this Rob.  Pete was right ... by Michael Dewey on Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 5:12:21 AM