American Thanksgiving – 2021

May your life be full of both Thanks and Giving!

I’d like to thank Ray at Mitigating Chaos for posting this ‘traditional’ American Thanksgiving video on his blog.  I’d never seen it before (maybe because I am Canadian…) but I enjoyed the story so much that I wanted to share it with others.

The song/story is folk singer Arlo Guthrie’s  mostly true recollection of events that began at Alice’s Restaurant in 1965.

‘Alice’s Restaurant Massacree’ was originally released in 1967. It is only a bit about Thanksgiving, Alice, or her restaurant. It’s more about the favor they did for Alice – driving her trash out to the dump, only to find that the dump was closed for Thanksgiving.

We’d never heard of a dump closed on Thanksgiving before, and with tears in our eyes, we drove off into the sunset lookin’ for another place to put the garbage.
We didn’t find one till we came to a side road, and off the side of the side road was another fifteen-foot cliff, and at the bottom of the cliff was another pile of garbage. And we decided that one big pile was better than two little piles, and rather than bring that one up, we decided to throw ours down…

You will have to watch the whole video to see how trash led to an arrest which led to… well, just watch it!

5 thoughts on “American Thanksgiving – 2021

  1. Ah, one of my favorite movies ever. In the current version, Joni Mitchel’s song “Songs to Aging Children” has been deleted from the movie, but everything else is intact. Brilliant movie 🙂


    1. The song and movie are new to me now, though may have been something I was aware of back in the day.

      Further research (as a result of your comment) took me to the Smithsonian Magazine: Guthrie says, ““Performing it is like being in the same half-hour Groundhog Day movie every night of your life….Reflecting on why “Alice” still connects with new audiences despite its Vietnam War and military draft protest roots, Guthrie cites its timeless theme of questioning authority. “I’ve remained distrustful of authority for my entire life.”

      In early October I did a blog post comparing the ‘Rona Virus and Elections to Groundhog Day. We were in the 4th wave of the pandemic and had just finished tabulating the results of a prematurely called federal election that no one wanted (the results were almost identical to the previous election.) I wonder if the world would have treated this pandemic any differently than the other pandemics I’ve lived through if our young people had questioned authority with the same vigor we did when we were teens and young adults.

      I suggest this idea because it is my age group that tends to view lockdowns with the greatest suspicion.

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