Wednesday, July 04, 2012

True To Form - Google's Fourth Of July Logo

I have to admit, I find the above amusing.

To celebrate our nation's birthday, Google chose as its July Fourth logo a line from a song by Woody Guthrie, an admitted communist radical and a long time apologist for Stalin who used to write for the Daily Worker.

In fact, the song in question was Guthrie's response to Irving Berlin's 'God Bless America', a song he hated. "This Land Is Your Land", written in 1940 is essentially a Marxist oriented protest song, if you look at the entire lyric instead of what's usually sung:

As I went walking, I saw a sign there,
And on the sign there, It said "Private Property"
But on the other side, it didn't say nothing!
That side was made for you and me.

In the squares of the city, In the shadow of a steeple;
By the relief office, I'd seen my people.
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking,
Is this land made for you and me?

Woody Guthrie also was one of the Americans of that time who was adamantly opposed to the U.S. getting into WWII once Hitler and Stalin signed their non-aggression pact. In other words, for these folks, what Hitler was doing to the Jews, the Poles and others was of no concern.

The hypocrisy of this stance was revealed once Hitler invaded Russia, about 6 months before Pearl Harbor. The same people who had been touting U.S. non-involvement suddenly became 'anti-fascist', began screaming for America to get into the war, and once we did,to immediately open up a Second Front to rescue Uncle Joe and the Soviets.

Great songwriter,Woody Guthrie, but essentially a dupe who wouldn't have lasted an hour as a free man in the communist Russia he idealized. And a questionable choice for a logo celebrating a nation's birthday where the right of people to acquire and own private property was one of the foundations and is enshrined in the Constitution.

UPDATE:'Arfin Greebly' (a pseudonym for the husband of a good friend) has an interesting examination of previous Google Fourth of July logos:
"This year, however, they went one level deeper into devious. While whipping up a “patriotic” looking doodle, they managed to just happen to settle on a patriotic song title from the past — one by a raving communist — Woody Guthrie.

So, while those who have no background for it will see it as a (*choke* – *gag*) patriotic glyph, those who were there and who remember the icons of the 50s and 60s will smile knowingly. Woody was their patriot."

Indeed he was.Theirs, and Stalin's.


Anonymous said...

So as not to paint with a broad brush, I'm sure there is some person responsible for being clever and witty with the 'daily' art logo, etc. who has license to post such things. Any review by attorneys was sure to miss such nuance. And it would be interesting to see if internally there was any objection voiced by employees. But as with any tyranny, silence is the golden rule. Gee it must be great to work for billionaires such as Larry and Sergei, et al.

Richard L. Brandt said...

Hey, here's a shocker for you. Being a communist does not automatically mean you're anti-American. This isn't the 50s. Guthrie seems to have been lamenting the inequality and suffering of many Americans, not advocating an overthrow. Communism is flawed and certainly not for America, but not all those with socialist sentiments are evil

Rob said...

Maybe in your universe being a communist doesn't make you anti-American, Richard. Most Americans would disagree. Communism and it's lil' brother socialism assuredly run counter to our Constitution and core values, not to mention that they've been an abject failure everywhere they've been tried, and only survive with increasing doses of authoritarianism and control.

But even you have to admit that back in the forties, fifties when Woody Guthrie was shilling for the Soviets, there was no question whatsoever it was anti-American...and an embrace of totalitarian barbarism as well.

I also find it interesting that you differentiate 'socialism' and communism, when Guthrie was a self-admitted commie and an apologist for Stalin.

Attempt to shift the ground duly noted.