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What Utah Phillips Taught Me About Language

"Language can be a deadly and valuable tool to beat down the big bosses if used correctly and responsibily."

U. Utah Phillips, February 1976
I had just formerly resigned from the Communist Party-USA after a 2 year torrid political affair and had the privilege of talking with Utah about this for over an hour. I will never forget that conversation! Utah has been a personal hero of mine for four decades.

I had bemoaned the fact to him that those close to me called me an "ineffective tool for social change" because I made statements like: "Nixon is a mass murderer." Utah agreed that there was enough evidence in Vietnam alone to say such stuff and we both agreed that Nixon's "crimes" in Vietnam alone warranted immediate impeachment under the U.S. Constitution. He said that was fine when preaching to the choir but if I really wanted to change someone's mind in Peoria, then I needed a different approach to the Enlish language.

Sometimes to my dismay I will voice an opinion among my liberal peers and and what I get is name-calling, such as "Fuck You Troll" sent to me via email, which happened most recently in reaction to a few postings I did this past two weeks. Sometimes the intolerance of my liberal peer group can be just as bad as the right-wing goofballs.
ay, yup - catchin' more flies with honey - 17.Sep.2005 07:20


Pete Seeger had a bumper sticker on his guitar saying, 'This machine kills facists.' Amazing grace!