Realizing the importance of visual imagery in blogging, I usually have a photo or cartoon accompanying my post du jour. So, when I decided to give my thoughts on Bob Dylan’s recent “endorsement” of Barack Obama the first thing I did was search the Internet for a recent photo of Dylan.
Unfortunately, finding a post 1960’s photo of him isn’t as easy as you’d imagine. Type “Bob Dylan” into the Google search engine and search Images and you can see for yourself.
As cluas.com writer, Aidan Curran points out in his piece, Bob Dylan’s Dubious Legacy;
“Bob Dylan has been mythologised to a degree disproportionate to his musical accomplishments. His songs have been weighed down with interpretations and importance based on a belief that if it's Dylan singing it then it must undoubtedly be profound and poetic.”
But, it's the 60's Bob Dylan the fans want. They want the image of Dylan as a twenty-something radical and not the old fart he's become.
Sadly, the same mythological viewpoint can be said about his political opinions.
In an interview of Dylan in timesonline.co.uk there’s this;
“My time with Dylan is up and we stand in preparation for my leaving the room. As a last aside, I ask for his take on the US political situation in the run-up to November's presidential election.
“Well, you know right now America is in a state of upheaval,” he says. “Poverty is demoralising. You can't expect people to have the virtue of purity when they are poor. But we've got this guy out there now who is redefining the nature of politics from the ground up...Barack Obama. He's redefining what a politician is, so we'll have to see how things play out. Am I hopeful? Yes, I'm hopeful that things might change. Some things are going to have to.” He offers a parting handshake. “You should always take the best from the past, leave the worst back there and go forward into the future,” he notes as the door closes between us.”
Let’s look at what Dylan is reported to have said;
“Well, you know right now America is in a state of upheaval,” Really? I know folks are upset about the price of gas and there’s currently an economic downturn but there is no “upheaval”. There is the odd protest/demonstration , but that’s been pretty much commonplace since the 60’s.
“Poverty is demoralising. You can't expect people to have the virtue of purity when they are poor.” Of course, poverty hurts but if Dylan thinks there is real poverty in the US, he should travel to India or Philippines or every country in Africa. And you can’t “have the virtue of purity when they are poor”…what the hell does that mean, anyway?
“But we've got this guy out there now who is redefining the nature of politics from the ground up...Barack Obama.” Only a fool would believe that. Obama is a talented orator but his message is from the same Democrat Liberal play-book they’ve been using for decades (they’re the only ones who can save the poor, the downtrodden, the worker, the common man. The Republicans only want help the rich and the corporations and they want your children to go hungry).
“Am I hopeful? Yes, I'm hopeful that things might change.” “Might”? What happened to “The times they are a changin’ “ ?
Does anybody really expect a baby-boomer , former protest singer rock star to support anyone other than a Democrat?
And Obama? Why didn’t he endorse him while Hillary was still in the race? He probably didn’t want to upset his fans who wanted Clinton to take the nomination.