Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Woody Guthrie on the TV tonight

Well, this day - the day after the baseball All-Star Game - is officially the slowest day on the sports calendar. Not one game on today, in any sport of significance. Not one. Check the listings if you don't believe me. Tonight, SportsCenter will debut the running "special feature" that will carry it through to football season - something like "Kenny Mayne's salute to hot dogs," or an NFL training camp preview preview.

But luckily, thankfully, I'm saved! Tonight at 10 on PBS is "Ain't Got No Home," another in the terrific "American Masters" series, this one focusing on the life and career of the singular Woody Guthrie. This is not to be confused with "No Direction Home," the American Masters Dylan documentary from last year. Next year, it will be "I Am Homeless: the Donovan story." Can't wait for that one.

That's a pretty sweet machine, Woody. Mine just makes toast.

The Post write-up says the Guthrie documentary doesn't have any Dylan interviews in it, which is unfortunate but unsurprising, as Dylan (who was directly and overwhelmingly influenced by Guthrie) is awfully media reticent (unless
he's the media in question). But I think Guthrie's life -- his roots in the Dust Bowl, his involvement with the Communist party, his massive talent, his simultaneous love and hatred for his country that is all too understandable nowadays -- is enough in and of itself to carry a special. A Woody Guthrie documentary would be hard to mess up. But hey, it's TV. You could give TV a shotgun and a barrell of fish, and they'd just end up hitting themselves in the groin with a football. So we'll see. But I'm optimistic.

- Washington Post
American Masters

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ombudsamn said...


MSH said...

That's tonight? You'd think they would have given some buffer time after the World Cup. Anyway, can't do it, unfortunately. I've got a dog lesson tonight, plus this weekend is the Allgood festival. I've got to buy all my hippie supplies. Animal Liberation Orchestra, here I come!

I.P. Daily said...

Soccer is not a major American sport. Major American sports don't end in ties. Hockey is a good example. Hockey is a sport for people with socialist values, just like soccer. Americans are not tiers - we're winners. U-S-A U-S-A!

I don't know if I can watch this special. It'll probably give me the dustbowl blues.

I'm eatin' chitlins.

MSH said...

The Celtic All-Stars are a pretty big deal...I was hopin to go to that. Probably wouldn't watch it on TV, but would've been cool to attend.

I'm eatin' bagels.

I.P. Daily said...

"Woody is just Woody. Thousands of people do not know he has any other name. He is just a voice and a guitar. He sings the songs of a people and I suspect that he is, in a way, that people. Harsh voiced and nasal, his guitar hanging like a tire iron on a rusty rim, there is nothing sweet about Woody, and there is nothing sweet about the songs he sings. But there is something more important for those who will listen. There is the will of the people to endure and fight against oppression. I think we call this the American spirit."

John Steinbeck; quoted in Joe Klein, Woody Guthrie: A Life, London, 1981, p. 160.

I.P. Daily said...

PS - Syd Barrett died last night.

Anonymous said...

Hey Daily, sure soccer and hockey are sports for people with socialist values....just like Woody.

MSH said...

Ah, yes, indeed. Anonymous gets the square!

ombudsman said...

Do you consider American Football a major American sport?

MSH said...

No...I consider it a major WORLD sport. To wit, I give you the Canadian [American] Football League. Or, ever hear of NFL Europe? I heard Steve DeBerg can't walk down the street in Belgium. Want me to keep going? No? That's what I thought. The defense rests, jerk. Wait...did I lose the conversation thread?

RogueHistorian said...

Daily, you do realize that the NHL got rid of the tie, don't you? They have gone to one overtime period of 5 mintues and then they go to a shoot out.