Can I just begin this post by saying I am so glad I decided to take a class on the Vietnam War concurrently with this one on Phil Ochs? Well I guess I just did. That class, as with many classes on American Studies or American History, is so dense with information and interesting and happens pairs so well with learning about Phil Ochs. Every lecture of the Vietnam War class is so jam packed with information that provides so much more context for learning about Phil Ochs. Anyway, don’t tell anyone but I think I’m becoming a history nerd and I don’t know how to stop it.
I chose the song ‘Draft Dodger Rag‘ to annotate for a similar reason to my wikipedia edits, it had a lot of easter eggs that hadn’t been caught yet and seemed simple enough. Agaian, similarly to the wikipedia edits, it was not simple enough.
Although my song had been partially annotated already there was still a lot to be said. One of the challenges of this assignment was that once you begin researching, it is hard not to end up distracted by all of the interesting events surrounding the song. What I realized while completing this assignment was that all thought the song was directly in protest of the Vietnam War, it was also largely in protest of the red scare witch hunt that was occurring around the same time. Ochs was not only able to discuss the Vietnam War but also the draft and the domino theory that was overtaking American politics.