Friday, July 31, 2009
So, this morning on a total whim I slipped Arlo Guthrie's Greatest Hits in to my car's CD player on the way to work and chuckled along to "Alice's Restaurant," which I had not heard in years. Then, this link comes across my Facebook scroll, an interview in which Guthrie reports that he became a registered Republican four or five years ago.
I admit, I would not have seen that coming.
My wife and I are both big Arlo fans. It's remarkable how politically incorrect the lyrics of "Alice's Restaurant" are!
Back then, we wanted the government out of our lives and we were "hippies". We haven't changed since the 60's,except we are now called "wingnuts".
Arlo is basically libertarian in outlook, and he was a Ron Paul supporter. Not a deep thinker politically, but a pretty decent chap and a great family man. He escaped the whole red diaper baby thing intact, and with a sense of humor.
Loved Arlo since "I don't want a pickle", saw him perform in Ithaca, NY, a few years ago, knew something was up when he made a comment to the effect that "some of those folks in the military are pretty good guys". Risky opinion to express in Ithaca!
Arlo is probably more RINO than Reaganaut, and the '60s counterculture has always been a bogeyman to the right, especially "cultural conservatives". Nevertheless there is a certain resonance between the hippies' mistrust of authority and right-wing skepticism of government solutions.
You must have an awfully long commute!
As others have said it is weird how the libertarian hippies of the '60s became the small gov't wingnuts of the 21st Century...at least those who were able to pay attention.
I shall tell my brother, who wore a Chesire cat grin while Arlo's backup band made snide remarks about Bush at a concert in Chautauqua back, oh, some four or five years ago.
Made me somewhat uncomfortable, and nearly ruined my enjoyment, as I don't attend concerts to be knowingly lectured by politically ignorant musicians about politics.
Now, if they allowed me to take the mike and refute some of their inanities, then that would be a whole 'nother proposition. Maybe Arlo is now lending some well-needed balance, although I do hope he retains his clever touch and never becomes as heavy handed.
Thank you for the link. Guthrie's rationale for becoming a Republican seemed fairly "relaxed"!
But what really caught my attention was his comment
"I think of my parent's as a single unit and it's interesting because they shared so much and they were totally opposite."
I wonder if this is true for most of us?
Thanks again, maman.
Always click the link:
"Where are you politically these days?
I became a registered Republican about five or six years ago because to have a successful democracy you have to have at least two parties, and one of them was failing miserably. We had enough good Democrats. We needed a few more good Republicans. We needed a loyal opposition."
Hardly a conservative conversion story.
It came to my attention a few years ago that I had failed to educate my children about Alice's Restaurant.
They had never heard it and their spouses hadn't either. We were all together for Thanksgiving and I couldn't find a recording on the internet... what a let down. Reading the lyrics and singing "You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant" just didn't quite convey the whole thing to them.
But I still wonder how three people can sing four or five part harmony.
Yep, he's a Susan Collins/Colin Powell type. Don't gloat too much. My father's been a registered Republican for 20 years and pretty harshly conservative on some stuff. But he despises Fox News/Sarah Palin/Glenn Beck/Neil cavuto/Newt/Michelle Malkin et al as much as he despises the uber liberals; more importantly, he's always had a beef with LOCAL/STATE Democrats. So, g'head with your bad self, Arlo.
BTW you should go see "The Hurt Locker." Something in that for both liberals and conservatives.
(though my brother in law thought it was a gay S & M porn flick when he first saw the title on the Internet).
Arlo lives just up the road from us, and to be countercultural in Massachusetts is to be something other than a Democrat. Ask your friends at Maggies'.
He and Pete and Joan Baez and Judy Collins are headlining Newport's 50th Annual folk festival.