Now, here is something interesting. It is a windy night in Rancho Mirage. In fact, the wind is terrifying, roaring around our home like a freight train. When it first started, I thought maybe a helicopter was landing nearby, but, no, it was wind. The palm fronds by the pool are going wild.
I have been sitting at the breakfast table paying bills. It is scary how many bills I have, especially mortgage and property tax–related bills. What an idiot I was to buy so much real estate. Well, maybe it will come back in Tommy's lifetime. In the meantime, I am helping a lot of kids in Riverside County, California, Los Angeles County, California, Bonner County, Idaho, and Washington, D.C. get a good education. I guess I should say I am helping them get "access" to a good education. Whether they get that education is up to them and the omens are poor.
Anyway, I was paying the bills and watching a fund-raiser for the major Southern California PBS station, KCET. The show was a mish mash of folk songs from the late 1950s to the mid 1960s, with such giant groups as Peter, Paul and Mary, Judy Collins, that foursome who sang "Creeque Alley" (which the host of the show calls "Creaky Alley"), oh, yeah, the Mommas and the Poppas, and even Bobby Darin. They were all singing songs against war, against racism, against the bourgeois sterile conformity of the era (which turns out to have been the most creatively fertile time of the century in this country), against the institutionalized racism of this country.
As I am watching (or maybe "as I was watching") I am getting steadily more furious and puzzled.
Why are there so many songs about what's wrong with this glorious America and NO songs about Stalin's murder of fifty million innocent people? Why are there no songs about the intentional starvation of the Ukraine and its people by the commissars, mass murder against the most beautiful people on the planet there in the Ukraine?
Why were there so many songs against the U.S. attempt to save Vietnam from Communism, and not one song -- not ONE -- about the mass killings by Ho Chi Minh after 1954 or about the murder of thousands of innocents when the Communists briefly held Hue in the Tet Offensive?
Why have there been no songs about Mao's murders of tens of millions of Chinese after he seized China in 1949? Why not one song about the amazing brutality of Kim Il Sung or Kim Jong Il of North Korea, who have starved and murdered millions of the most capable people on this earth?
Why are the folk singers always finding fault with the light of the world, the United States, and never against Communist, totalitarian regimes? It must have to do with the power of the Party in media circles. It must. What else could explain it? (Well, maybe hatred of a weak but dominant father…)
That Party Power lingers: A case on point: the Russian parliament just formally admitted guilt for the brutal murder of 22,000 Polish officers in the Katyn forest in 1940. No compensation. No punishment of anyone. But admission of guilt. That is something. For generations, the Communists tried to pass it off as a Nazi atrocity but the Nazis denied it and many people believed Stalin.
Now, as long suspected, it turns out the Polish officers were murdered OGPU style, bullet in the back of the head, by the Soviets, who did not want any aristos resisting their sway in Poland.
This is a BIG, BIG story of Stalin's atrocities and lies. It appeared in a bold headline in the Wall Street Journal. It was on page A 5 of the New York Times in one small paragraph of tiny type next to another paragraph about energy legislation in the EU.
Even now, even after the General Secretary has been dead for 57 years, after there is no more USSR for close to 20 years, even now, from beyond the grave, the orders of the Comintern go forth like irresistible zombies. No meaningful criticism of Stalin! Not a word! Thoughtcrime does not entail death. Thoughtcrime is death!
Well, thank you, God, that I live far from where the Comintern's writ still runs. At least for now. I think I will go swim in that windstorm.