Bob Dylan

Posted at 8:38pm on Jun. 26, 2008 Maureen Dowd's Paean to an Empty Suit

By Vladimir

Maureen Dowd, looking longingly at Barack Obama and apparently finding no there there, invents a romantic persona for him out of whole cloth:

Unlike W., Obama doesn’t have a chip on his shoulder and he doesn’t make a lot of snarky remarks. He tries to stay on a positive keel and see things from the other person’s point of view.

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Posted at 9:56am on May 30, 2008 Yonder stands your orphan,with his gun.

By Paul J Cella

ImageMen who have forgotten more about the earthy rough-n-tumble of politics than I shall ever know assure me that the device of “email blasts” — occasional notifications, sent out to a self-selected list, of the need for action on specific issues of consequence — is a highly useful one. “We're already having an impact with our Redstate Action Emails,” one of these political savants tells me. “But the bigger the list, the more impact we have.”

It has long been a lament of political operatives that Conservatives, traditionalists, libertarians, reactionaries, populists — all the raucous panoply of the American Right — are peculiarly resistant to the kind of organization that lends itself to success in democratic politics. Some of the reasons for this are plain enough: Conservatives are more likely than Liberals to be busy with private life — families, businesses, churches — and to hold public life in a certain disdain. They are much better at stopping bad things, than they are at organizing to achieve good things. But all this is only true as a generality. In specific cases it does not apply; and I venture to speculate that there are quite a few Conservatives out there who, though busy indeed, would not be averse to occasional activism which is focused and effective. Even the rough-n-tumble of politics, and all its frustrations and indignities, may now and then be necessary to vindicate a just cause.

The fact is — whatever we may think of the GOP’s failings — we face the real possibility of a party winning control of both the Legislative and the Executive branches, which, to saying nothing more, does not inspire confidence as to its judgment, its patriotism, its fortitude in the face of the Republic’s enemies. Very likely Conservatives are going to be called on again to do what they are genuinely good at: stopping bad things— resisting folly, fraud and utopian delusion.

Take heart, friend: this we can do. Contemplate the noble work that a disparate coalition of Conservatives has accomplished, in the teeth of the zealous craving of the elites of virtually every sector of our society, against the project to dispossess America by another massive, disingenuously promoted immigration amnesty. We have triumphed, many times. But the other side is regrouping, and shall hurl themselves against our ramparts again soon enough.

With all that in mind, I invite you to sign up for the Redstate Action Email list. There is no cause for despair, but there is cause for alarm. My language may be extravagant and antiquated, even comical; but the future of the Republic is no laughing matter. If by this small effort of organization we can do our part to secure that future from Socialism, from Degeneracy, from Jihad and Sharia, and a dozen other menaces, we shall have done well.

We shall have avoided the taunt that the Left is preparing for us — a taunt which, though it misuses the material, would heap scorn upon us with the famous lines of Bob Dylan:


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Posted at 7:24am on May 23, 2008 Ain't gonna work on Maggie's Farm no more.

By Paul J Cella

At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, Bob Dylan was introduced to thunderous cheers. What happened next is the stuff of legend.

Dylan came out, backed a blues band, and plunged right into a raw, blazing, hard blues rendition of “Maggie’s Farm” — a song that has about as much in common with standard folk music as chalk does cheese. There were boos, jeers, astonishment, and outrage. Pete Seeger is said to have threatened to take an axe to the sound equipment. Dylan fed off the audience’s mixed, but very vocal reaction. (Around 3:00 to 3:40 in the video below shows him answering the jeers with defiance and amusement.) “Like a Rolling Stone” was also in the set. Then later, after more commotion and confusion, Dylan returned, all by himself, to play an acoustic set — which concluded with a haunting version of “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.”

The episode is commonly acknowledged to signify Dylan’s declaration of independence from the moribund protest movement of the folk singers. Folk music had jumped the shark, and Dylan was not going to let these ragged commies go home from their folk festival unconfronted with that fact.

In our day of farm bill outrage, moribund movements, and a crying need for Conservatives to declare independence from the GOP leadership that is careening toward oblivion, this 1965 episode seems to me somehow apposite.

Open thread.


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Posted at 3:23pm on Jan. 20, 2008 The irony of Bob Dylan.

By Paul J Cella

Whaddya say we talk about something unrelated to the primaries? I say we try it. Anyone with me, clear your minds of all that compelling tomfoolery and read on.

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Posted at 9:56am on Oct. 23, 2007 A mattress on a bottle of WHINE.

By Paul J Cella

Here’s the story, in brief:

Bob Dylan appears in an ad campaign for Cadillac. A “multiplatform” campaign, they call this — TV, print, Internet, etc. In the first, he utters a couple of terse, jocular remarks. The ads end.

Naturally this appears as a topic for discussion on Dylan fansites and message boards. On one, The Never Ending Pool, not ten messages had been posted before two posters declared their wish that Dylan’s house burn down, the second one even after being admonished that such talk is most unfortunate considering that in southern California many houses are, even as we type, burning down.

The reason for this perfectly unembarrassed malice*: apparently any association with Cadillac means that Dylan is indifferent to climate change. His “contribution” is to the side of gas-guzzlers; that is to say, to the side of the enemy. Treason! is the charge against Bob Dylan. May his house burn down!

To all this comical stupidity — its ugliness made amusing by absurdity, and by the fact that Dylan has done this to the Lefties many a time — one can only add:

Well, I see you got your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat
Yes, I see you got your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat
Well, you must tell me, baby
How your head feels under somethin’ like that
Under your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat

Well, you look so pretty in it
Honey, can I jump on it sometime?
Yes, I just wanna see
If it’s really that expensive kind
You know it balances on your head
Just like a mattress balances
On a bottle of wine
Your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat.

Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat,” by Bob Dylan
(Copyright © 1966; renewed 1994 Dwarf Music.)

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