The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Your Low-Rent Friends Are Dead

Posted on | May 3, 2020 | Comments Off on Your Low-Rent Friends Are Dead


Glenn Reynolds continues piling up the obscure Steely Dan references, and spotting them is becoming easy: If you see any phrase on Instapundit that doesn’t make sense, Google it, because it’s probably a Steely Dan reference. As for example when, in reference to Joe Biden’s doomed campaign, he drops in a lyric from “Kid Charlemagne”:

You are obsolete.
Look at all the white men on the street!

The professor is educating us here because, even though I vaguely remember “Kid Charlemagne,” a minor hit (#82 on the Billboard chart in 1976) from their fifth album, The Royal Scam, I’d never paid any attention to the lyrics, and had no idea what the song was about. Turns out it’s the story of the downfall of legendary LSD maker Owsley Stanley.

On the hill the stuff was laced with kerosene
But yours was kitchen clean.
Everyone stopped to stare at your technicolor motor home.

That last line refers to the Merry Pranksters‘ bus, and you can see how, by the mid-1970s, that psychedelic hippie vibe was long gone:

Now your patrons have all left you in the red.
Your low-rent friends are dead.
This life can be very strange.
All those Day-Glo freaks who used to paint the face
They’ve joined the human race.
Some things will never change.

Yes, we’ve all joined the human race, and some of us have even become Republicans. This life can be very strange, indeed.



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