These days, there’s only one way left for an artist to shock the lumpenproletariat, as veteran folkie Arlo Gutherie discovers:
Washington Post Magazine humorist Gene Weingarten reacted badly in his Sunday column to the discovery that folk singer Arlo Guthrie is now a registered Republican: “By becoming a Republican, Arlo Guthrie has shredded the last remnants of my faith that our hippie principles had any lasting meaning. How can he do this to us? I’m a peaceable man, but if I had a hammer…”
In the immortal words of James Lileks:
On the other hand, this may be a first: a Washington Post journalist threatening violence, albeit in a backhanded, kidding around sort of way, over someone’s party affiliation. (Insert obligatory “Cold Civil War” reference here.) A couple of years ago, the Post ran a story titled “Most Diversity Training Ineffective, Study Finds.” Well, now we know it was certainly ineffective within the Post’s newsroom.
Or to put it another way, they told me that if I voted for John McCain, artists would become enemies of the state, and they were right!