We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Thursday, November 22. 2012
Psst! Did you hear?
Arlo Guthrie, lefty hatemonger and anti-war activist extraordinaire, has become a (gasp!) Republican.
Doc's List of Great Lefty Hatemongers:
Great hatemongers, all.
But now that Arlo is officially one of the good guys, we'll allow him to preach his virulent, scathing, anti-war screed to the world. God help the ears of any poor recruiting sergeant should someone actually walk in and pull off such a stunt. It sounds a bit cruel to say, but most people don't sing very well.
For another Guthrie tune (and me seriously screwing with your head when it comes to his politics), please...
Pictured: Former lefty hatemonger Arlo Guthrie hanging out with other (probable) lefty hatemongers
(I'm sure glad nobody we know plays any of those angry, hateful songs!)
Please remember that you're subject to propaganda machines from both the Left and the Right. And while it's in both sides' ideological interest to portray events back in the 60's and 70's as having the same us-versus-them flavor that times have today, such is far from the truth. They'll portray someone like Arlo as a 'Lefty' because he wrote an anti-war song or two (really scathing stuff, like the above), conveniently disregarding his songs about romance, heartbreak, motorcycles, life on the road, and the sad, slow disappearance of America's past.
Posted by Dr. Mercury in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:30 | Comments (31) | Trackbacks (0)
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
A delight to hear the whole darn silly thing again. That's not an anti-war "song." It's a stoned song.
Tell it to the first flabbergasted recruiter when this post actually inspires somebody to do it.
"I dunno, Sarge!"
"Call the captain! This sounds like a movement!"
"The Village Restaurant" is what it was named, when I had breakfast there in 19-oh-78. Pews 'n everything. Haven't been through Stockbridge in some time.
Officer "Obie" followed my VW Beetle around town, probably thinking he was stopping another Canuck invasion!
In May 1989, on my way to Boston to get hitched, the future (and now current) bride, and me, stopped in Stockbridge for a bite and a stroll. To my right sat "Obie". Cost me a beer for an autograph.
Thanx for dusting off a good memory. Will try to dig up the autograph and the picture.
Chickens flying everywhere around the plane
Could we ever feel much finer? Whoa OH...
He was a travelling man for sure
That's what it was. I had the funniest feeling rolling around the back of my head while slapping together the post that I was missing some popular song he'd done. Cool song, too. They called that "the western sound" at the time. The monotonal singing, the chord structure, the beat. 'America' and The Eagles were in the same genre.
Good catch on your part.
I thought he was moving in this direction. About 15 years ago, I heard him give a concert, where he made really witty fun of how we were supposed to give our children "self esteem." Can't remember what he said, it was between-song patter, but it was definitely making fun of standard leftist drivel. Good guy.
City of New Orleans was composed by the inimitable Steve Goodman - Guthrie recorded it, but let's put the credit for a song about the "the sad, slow disappearance of America's past" where it belongs.
Writers (of all kinds) don't get enough credit.
Thanks for that, Judith. Though the latter brought the song to national affection, I still listen to the inimitable Mr. Goodman much more than I do Arlo Guthrie.
And I just realized I used the same descriptor as you. GMTA?
I adore Goodman's music. I played his "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" for my Mom who was then in her sixties. She played as a young woman, and her father played in the minors. It became her favorite version. She loved "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request"
Sorry about the mini-hijack, Doc. Hope you're well on the mend.
He's still another damned dirty hippie folksinger. I suppose a late arrival at sanity is better than none at all, but a man who couldn't be bothered to support the struggle against Communism back in the 1960s is a man who is fundamentally unserious.
His father, Woody, was a communist. He was raised in that environment. He was surrounded by left wingers in the business. Sometimes it takes a while to figure things out.
I recently finished reading The Communist, Paul Kengor's work on Frank Marshall Davis, whose main claim to fame is having been a mentor to Barack Obama. The book mentions Woody Guthrie's acting as the troubadour for William Foster, the head of the CPUSA at the time.
Frank's November 9,1946, article, which yet again mocked "the American way of life," sat adjacent to a large ad plugging a coming Chicago appearance by William Z. Foster, CPUSA national chairman, with musical appearance by Woody Guthrie.(page 130- hard copy).
As Roy Lofquist mentions, it is to Arlo's credit that he didn't follow all his father's footsteps.
David Horowitz's Radical Son is an autobiography which focuses on his evolving political views. It is well worth the read. The book probably meant more to me than to others because it mentions some people I knew from my dropout activist year in Berserkeley.
I was almost born on the Panama Limited (from New Orleans to Chicago; the City of New Orleans was the opposite trip) and since nobody's going to write a song about the Panama Limited, I have a special fondness for The City of New Orleans - I just wish Arlo wouldn't pronounce it "New Orleeens". Having said that I think Arlo's version has the most emotion and is by far my favorite (Sorry, RP. I'm listing to your post right now).
I had heard several months ago that he is now a Republican. He's not MY kind of Republican (in that I disagree with some of his stands), but I still welcome him. As for his activities in the '60s, I suppose anybody can be stupid (I sure was back then) and the fact that he's apparently changed his mind on some fundamental beliefs speaks highly of him. Trimegistus, would you still disparage David Horowitz? The fact that he WAS a communist and radical and is NOW a strong conservative makes a very strong statement in my mind.
Actually Bukka White wrote "Panama Limited" in 1930. Here's a Tom Rush version.
Thanks Garry! That was really good (even if he got the direction backwards!). Whoda thunk! Nice slide guitar.
That was definitely cool. Great catch, Garry.
Merc & Jim G.,
This is a better clip. Shud have sent this one along. Still travellin' backwards, though.
Here's Mr. White!
Thanks again for the links, Garry! Bukka was a lost treasure. Too many of those old guys died without the recognition they deserved.
Heard of Robert Johnson? Another lost treasure.
"When A Soldier Makes It Home"
Happy Thanksgiving !
And there wasn't any big parades
For those that made it back
They flew them in at midnight
And unloaded all the sacks
And the living were left walking down
A long and lonely road
Because nobody seemed to care back then
When a soldier made it home
Well, now I know what I'll be posting next Veterans Day. It almost brought a tear to my eye, especially given the author. What a marvelous find on your part.
It almost brought a tear to my eye, especially given the author.
When our idealism is exposed to time we all become more pragmatic (or should, IMO). Youth can be wasted on the young.
I found this tune a number of years ago and the words are certainly poignant enough to mist my eyes every time I hear them.
'So much owed to so many by so few'.
"When our idealism is exposed to time we all become more pragmatic"
On the subject, this remains my favorite:
"A Democrat is just a Republican who hasn't been mugged yet."
As a train enthusiast, I like the song. Thanks for posting, Doc.
The Panama Limited and the City of New Orleans were two different trains.
If memory serves, the Panama Limited was Illinois Central's flagship passenger train. I believe it was an all Pullman (sleeping car) train and ran on an overnight schedule.
The City of New Orleans was an all coach train that ran mostly during the daytime. It ran on like a 16 hr schedule. As a coach train the seats would have been much cheaper than those on the Panama Limited.
The trains ran under their respective names regardless of direction. IOW it did not run as the City of New Orleans in one direction and the Panama Limited in another.
It all changed under Amtrak.
Your useless trivia for this post.
I can't listen to "City of New Orleans" anymore because it has become an anthem of the Sierra Club types who want to waste our tax money on commuter trains, as opposed to roads that people would actually want to use. Efficiency arguments don't matter to them, because it's all about hating the personal automobile and those of us with the guff to still be driving them.
But Arlo is still relevant to current politics here.
Arlo had it right the first time,he musta took up Alcohol>>and old foggie jello brain
Don't let your gobbler loaf!!!
It was nice to hear "Alice's Restaurant" on the classic rock station in Columbia. It's a tradition back in CT where two or three classic rock stations play it.
First time I heard it, I laughed so hard I damn near peed my pants. Believe it or not, it became something of a underground hit in Vietnam along with Country Joe's "Vietnam Rag". Every once in a while, I play the guitar part for a friend who actually can sing - I can't.
"who actually can sing - I can't."
Recruiting sergeants around the country appreciate your candor.
Re the commie folk singers --then, they were rebels called 'radical chic'. Now i suppose the rebels would be 'radical sheikh'. Long time ago down south it was 'radical sheet' and was a sort of nocturnal costume (rather than communist) party equestrian movement. Another type of equestrian movement results in a 'road apple' (AKA 'horse turd'), an item so unreflective in a gloaming light it disappears before foot-fall of an evening constitutional --a situation upon reflection, that caused eventual development of the 'flashlight', which of course became more popular once the battery weight was reduced from 500 lbs.