Interpretations:Alienation's For The Rich

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Interpretation 1[edit]

Flans has occasionally jokingly attributed this song to his father Earl. Since Flans attended the Pratt Institute, he could be the son who's "gotta go to art school." I seriously doubt this song is ACTUALLY about Mr. Earl Flansburgh, who, by all accounts, is a successful architect, not a penniless drunk driver. The (unreliable?) narrator might be intended to be a largely fictionalized version of Flans's father, though. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 20:28, 25 July 2004

Interpretation 2[edit]

I think it's just a country music spoof, but a funny one at that. A hard-drinking grizzled country singer whose son's gotta go to art school is pretty amusing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 00:12, 17 February 2006

Interpretation 3[edit]

"Alienation" was a crucial part of Karl Marx's theory about the experience of the proletariat. This feeling (which was supposed to result from the fact that workers were not in ownership of the 'means of production') was to lead to revolution toward communism. The joke in the song is that the idea is a favorite of rich (middle class) leftists, and is worthless to the working class louts themselves. --Nehushtan 20:55, 16 Feb 2006 (CST)

Interpretation 4[edit]

This song reminds me of Phil Ochs's music. Which makes sense, considering he's referenced in the following track, and They have even covered one of his songs. --RaygunShaun 22:33, 22 October 2011 (EDT)

A message of hope[edit]

I've always taken it as the subject feels less and less alienated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 05:43, 10 November 2011

For the rich?[edit]

Early on in my TMBG fandom I heard this song title, humorously, as "Alien Nation's for the rich". Of course, I knew that wasn't correct, but it did get me thinking. That movie, which eventually led to a short-lived TV series and a couple of made-for-TV movies, was the kind of thing that might only appeal to a certain demographic (i.e., fairly well-off people who could comfortably imagine aliens intermingling with humans without much conflict). That's about as far down this particular rabbit hole as I'm willing to go. :-) --MisterMe (talk) 08:55, 17 February 2016 (EST)

Eventually, Alcohol Is the Only Thing He Pays For[edit]

The narrator has stumbled into financial instability and a poor lifestyle, so he may have turned to alcohol to solve some of his problems. But as the second verse is sung twice in this song ("drinkin' and a-drivin'"), it can be implied the narrator got addicted and is only paying for alcohol rather than anything else.