Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I Guess My Son's a Cinch to Get into Harvard or, An Arlo Guthrie Thanksgiving

And I don't think he'll need his near-legacy status of his aunt to do anything special about it either.

At least that's what I conclude by reading - thanks to World o' Crap- this diatribe from this young man, one Ben Shapiro from "":

That cosmic mission -- to spread American values across the globe in order to protect American values at home -- is difficult, rife with pain and sacrifice. At the same time that we thank God for his beneficence, we must thank those fighting every day to secure the blessings God has granted us. To that end, I spoke last week with Charlie Daniels, the founder of the fantastic Charlie Daniels Band. Daniels is heading up Operation Heartstrings, a "plea to corporate America to help the dedicated men and women serving in the Armed Forces overseas … by providing instruments, albums, DVDs, CD and DVD players," according to Daniels' website. (You can learn more about Operation Heartstrings and give at

Daniels is a uniquely American figure -- his America is the America for which I am thankful. Daniels, whose new album, "Songs from the Longleaf Pines," is an uplifting mix of country, bluegrass, gospel and psalm-reading, described his vision of patriotism thus: "This country was founded on a Judeo-Christian principle -- it makes no difference what the ACLU says about it. Why would we deny our Judeo-Christian heritage? Why, after 200 years of prosperity and blessing, would we turn our back on the Almighty? Patriotism is about doing what's best for the country -- and the best thing for this country is to get back to God again. That's what's going to have to happen in this country if we're going to stay who we are and keep our place in the world."

Now I've alway been partial to Alice's Restaurant, as a nice Thanksgiving Day reminder of what we should be grateful for: a government which is ultimately accountable to us, the right and obligation to laugh and satirize authority figures, even when guilty of crimes, and the right to use humor to protest a war.

Unfortunately, I don't get WNEW FM here in Portland, and don't know if they still have a tradition of playing that song on Thanksgiving, like they did for decades when I lived there.

But if Mr. Shapiro really wants endorse a Jack Charlie Daniels Thanksgiving (wouldn't a Wild Turkey Thanksgiving be more appropriate?) he can just go down to his local recruitment center and sign up, and if he can't do that, maybe he ought to just go in, sing a bar of Alice's Restaurant, and walk out.

"Kids, this-piece-of-paper's-got-47-words-37-sentences-58-words-we-wanna-
officer's-name-and-any-other-kind-of-thing-you-gotta-say", and talked for
forty-five minutes and nobody understood a word that he said, but we had
fun filling out the forms and playing with the pencils on the bench there,
and I filled out the massacre with the four part harmony, and wrote it
down there, just like it was, and everything was fine and I put down the
pencil, and I turned over the piece of paper, and there, there on the
other side, in the middle of the other side, away from everything else on
the other side, in parentheses, capital letters, quotated, read the
following words:


I went over to the sargent, said, "Sargeant, you got a lot a damn gall to
ask me if I've rehabilitated myself, I mean, I mean, I mean that just, I'm
sittin' here on the bench, I mean I'm sittin here on the Group W bench
'cause you want to know if I'm moral enough join the army, burn women,
kids, houses and villages after bein' a litterbug." He looked at me and
said, "Kid, we don't like your kind, and we're gonna send you fingerprints
off to Washington."

And friends, somewhere in Washington enshrined in some little folder, is a
study in black and white of my fingerprints. And the only reason I'm
singing you this song now is cause you may know somebody in a similar
situation, or you may be in a similar situation, and if your in a
situation like that there's only one thing you can do and that's walk into
the shrink wherever you are ,just walk in say "Shrink, You can get
anything you want, at Alice's restaurant.". And walk out. You know, if
one person, just one person does it they may think he's really sick and
they won't take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony,
they may think they're both faggots and they won't take either of them.
And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in
singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. They may think it's an
organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day,I said
fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and
walking out. And friends they may thinks it's a movement.

And that's what it is , the Alice's Restaurant Anti-Massacre Movement, and
all you got to do to join is sing it the next time it come's around on the

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