How Soon Until Alice’s Restaurant is Deemed Hate Speech?

By 25 Comments 2,887 views


From this post’s title you’re probably guessing that I’m about to write about the latest tirade from leftist crybullies. While thankfully this has not happened yet, it almost feels inevitable. Ace gives a roundup of the latest round of outrages from just yesterday:

Man Caves are sexist.1

Practicing yoga is racist

Schlockumentaries on mythical campus rape statistics are having their Wikipedia pages edited by people who dislike the that that they’re getting called out on their lies

And even Math itself is under attack by by feminists.

The point is that nothing is too crazy to cause offense to the Radical Left. So how does this relate to the song Alice’s Restaurant? For those of you unfamiliar, this year marks the 50th anniversary of Arlo Guthrie’s legendary counterculture song that takes a jab at the Vietnam war toward the end of its 19 minutes. The song itself is just some acoustic guitar playing while Guthrie relates a tale based on a true story that took place in his life – in a nutshell, he is arrested for dumping garbage and this conviction ultimately disqualifies him from joining the army. The story itself takes place on Thanksgiving, and over the years has become a Thanksgiving tradition itself. Growing up in New Jersey, my older brothers and I would look forward to the annual Noon broadcast of this song on the former rock station WNEW-FM.

Despite the point of the song being a leftist message it doesn’t beat you over the head with it, such as with all of the ridiculous anti-American Iraq War movies from the Bush years or your average Colbert skit. It’s genuinely funny, and Guthrie is a master story teller. At this point you’re probably wondering why on Earth this song could be seen as problematic. Well, toward the end Guthrie offers this suggestion (lyrics via Metrolyrics, emphasis mine):

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.

Such slurs are very problematic. If banning this song sounds insane keep in mind that back in 2011 Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing” was memory-holed from radio airplay north of the border by Canada’s “Human Rights” Commissars. Thankfully sanity prevailed and the ban was lifted after a few months. But given how our outrage culture has metastasized would anyone be shocked  if even a darling among the left like Arlo Guthrie came under fire?

This is one of those predictions that I don’t believe will ever come true, but if it did I wouldn’t be shocked.

And on this Thanksgiving as you enjoy time with your family, take a moment to remember the victims of the Pinedale Shopping Center Massacre.

And in the words of the late, great Rick Danko. “Happy Thanksgiving!”

Follow Brother Bob on Twitter and Facebook

Cross posted from Brother Bob’s Blog


1 I might be in the minority on this, but while the idea of having a man cave in Chateau d’ Bob sounds fun, my general thought on the subject is, “If you need a room to get away from your family you’re doing it wrong.”

Blogging by the credo of "Making the world a more offensive place, one blog post at a time", Brother Bob started writing posts around the beginning of the Obama presidency over at Brother Bob's Blog. A born-again Existentialist and self-professed libertarian with conservative tendencies, he has ironically chosen to live in the Washington, DC area - deep behind enemy lines. He has always loved history, and spent eight years volunteering as a tour guide on weekends, giving over 200 tours to roughly 2,500 mostly foreign guests. His tours were highlighted by stories generally not found in the history books or most other tours, such as the importance of the Battle if Antietam, the origins or Arlington Cemetery, and dispelling the myths of FDR's New Deal. Although his favorite subject to blog about is Economics, as seen in his Economics for Politicians series, his posts try to address angles that other conservative writers and the mainstream media (naturally!) miss. "There's no point in putting up a post on a subject that someone smarter than me has already written". He believes in the "Happy Warrior" approach, and tries to inject humor in his posts, sometimes successfully. Two such examples are his posts comparing the modern left to the horrible Star Wars prequels, and analyzing the laments of a DC woman in search of a feminist boyfriend. Brother Bob lives with his very patient wife known as Sister Babe, and their fantastic son. Little Bob. Little Bob is also the reason that being a tour guide came to an end, as spending Saturdays raising a son takes priority over giving lectures to foreign visitors on the folly of Keynesian economics. BB is also grateful for the opportunity to take his place among the outstanding writers at Flopping Aces, appreciates every person who takes the time to read his posts, and especially those who join him in the conversation in the comments.

25 Responses to “How Soon Until Alice’s Restaurant is Deemed Hate Speech?”

  1. 1

    Nanny G

    Salt Lake City had a visit from Arlo Guthrie just recently and hubby and I both were amazed that just the littering aspect of the song hadn’t made it verboten.
    People loved him here!
    All that un-PC in the most liberal city in Utah and they LOVED him!
    Arlo remade that song to be a bit more liberal than liberal was by the song’s 40th anniversary.*
    I wonder if he had to rewrite it even more by this year?
    He is willing to.

    *as per Page 240 of this book:
    Living Blue in the Red States by
    David Starkey 2007

  2. 2

    Rich Wheeler

    BB The Band–Damn!
    Alice’s Restaurant—could never stop laughing.

    Happy Thanksgiving—A little different now I’m a vegan but the wish remains the same-of course I’m Irish so the Party goes on.

  3. 3

    Brother Bob


    @Nanny: I hope he didn’t change it too much – the original is such a great song!

    @Rich: Even though The Band has nothing to do with this post I used the Thanksgiving theme as an excuse to slip it in. Sister Babe is very patient with how we overdose on The Last Waltz around this time of year! As much of a metal head as I am TLW is by far the greatest concert album ever made.

    And Happy Thanksgiving to you both!

  4. 4

    Nanny G

    @Brother Bob: Actually, I heard from one concert-goer that he only sang the 1st 3 minutes or so then stopped.
    He told the audience, ”you know how it goes….on and on and on for 17 minutes.”
    So, he avoided many potential issues.

  5. 7


    What a life it must be looking at everything so you can pick out something to be offended, no sense of humor. You dont even have to think its funny just roll your eyes and live and let live. They cant do that organize tell others to be offended burn something down. Demand that history be wiped out. Conservatives have finally had enough, not another inch, restore what was lost, peacefully, within the confines of the law. We can be as relentless as them. We need to laugh point and laugh at their ridiculous arguments, make fun of them, hurt their feelings.

  6. 8

    Rich Wheeler

    @Brother Bob:All should Turn up “The Night They Drove Ol Dixie Down” with the late great Levon* Helm on vocal and drums.

    * Did you know that’s who Elton John was singing about?

    Dr. J. Young Frankenstein Had me at “walk this way.” Happy Thanksgiving

  7. 9

    mos 8541

    It is truly amazing that the only two works in the vocabulary of the liberals, tree huggers, congress, the fool and the idiot’s toilet cabinet and demonstrators are sexist and racists? few went to college now went to high school and most do not even know their daddies.
    Time to end this crap of poor me…
    Stupidity is not curable.

  8. 11


    I believe that it was his father who changed the lyrics of “City of New Orleans” to make them “less offensive”
    The change?
    “Freight yards full of old black men” became
    “Freight yards full of tired old men”!
    Wow, from racism to ageism.
    Where’s my safe space?
    Hint: It’s a control on my CD player…

  9. 18

    James raider

    Brother Bob,
    Here’s today’s bit of insanity from socialist Canada, America’s Canary in the coal mine:

    When news started spreading about soldiers receiving letters notifying them that they would be asked to vacate their residences to make room for refugees, the Liberals denied it. They’ve now confirmed that single unmarried soldiers awaiting deployment, will indeed need to move.
    Soldiers are used to being asked to make sacrifices and we’ll have to wait and see how long they can expect this dislocation to last.

  10. 21

    William Teach

    I caught Arlo at the Garden State Arts Center back in the 80’s, and he substituted the post office for the shrink’s office, because that’s where we had to go to register for the draft.

    It was definitely a different type of leftism back when he wrote that song, as opposed to today’s bat guano insane people.

  11. 22

    Brother Bob


    @William Teach: Wow – “Garden State Arts Center”. I keep forgetting you’re a Jersey boy too, and I remember when it was called that back in the day. My last show there was seeing David Lee Roth back in ’91, who put on a most impressive show despite being apparently stoned to the gills. That show was also notable for its “best performance by a band you don’t like” that goes to that night’s opening act… Cinderella! I’m not the only one who’s said this, either – who knew?

    Thanks for the props over at Pirate’s Cove, and Happy Thanksgiving!

  12. 23

    Nanny G

    I strongly doubt these lyrics could be sung by an all-black group, but they were part of a BIG HIT in the day for En Vogue:

    Why oh why must it be this way
    Before you can read me you gotta learn how to see me, I said
    Free your mind and the rest will follow
    Be color blind, don’t be so shallow.
    Free your mind and the rest will follow
    Be color blind, don’t be so shallow


  1.  If All You See… » Pirate's Cove

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *