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And you know something’s happening, but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?

Monday, August 28th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — gulf water temperatures 2° above average fuel winds, flooding in TX ]

Furthermore,

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These frank admissions that we have gone beyond the known signal a qualitative shift in the situation.

You don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?

It’s altogether a hard rain falling..

Gingrich appraises Mueller

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — fwiw my first name, charles, translates to churl ]
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I am far from the only one to have noticed this juxtaposition:

I read the first of these as a simple statement of the concensus as to Mueller‘s character, what is generally known of the man after years of pubic service. I think of it, in other words, as a statement of received opinion, which Newt Gingrich is presenting for the record. I imagine I could find similar endorsements of Mueller from the Democratic side of the aisle.

The second tweet strikes me as of a diFfferent sort altogether. This one I believe I could find echoed in other statements from aides to Trump — it’s a talking point.

I know politicians lie. I imagine I could find instances of Joe Biden, or Hillary Clinton, making similarly opposed statekents. I take Bill Clinton‘s “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” to be the Lie Direct in Jacques’ terms. But this —

I don’t believe Gingrich has changed opinions, I believe he has simply changed hats. I think, in short, that he still takes Mueller for a man with an impeccable reputation for honesty and integrity — but in his second tweet, he’s parroting a party line, not his actual opinion.

Dylan: But what’s the sense of changing horses in midstream?

Maybe Jacques would classify this as a Reply Churlish. Gingrich, you’re a Churl.

If your memory serves you well..

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — Muslim travel ban DoubleQuoted with Japanese internment camps, history rhyming, Ginsberg on Dylan’s national rhyme ]
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Anna O Law (The Immigration Battle in American Courts, Cambridge, 2014) made the connection:

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What kind of rhyme is that anyway, Mister History?

Is it one like:

Idiot wind, blowing everytime you move your jaw,
From the Grand Coulee Dam to the Mardi Gras.

— the first version the current Nobel Laureate in Literature tried out — or this, definitive one? —

Idiot wind, blowing like a circle around my skull,
From the Grand Coulee Dam to the Capitol.

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The question interests me because there’s a back-level where the rhyme is in the concept, not the sound of the words as pronounced by poet or listener, reader — as with the rhyme womb / tomb, where before-birth and after-death meet both soncally and conceptually, making life freshly worthwhile as only the mechanics of poetry can.

Ginsberg explains:

Christopher Ricks, who has also penned books about T. S. Eliot and John Keats, argues that Dylan’s lyrics not only qualify as poetry, but that Dylan is among the finest poets of all time, on the same level as Milton, Keats, and Tennyson. He points to Dylan’s mastery of rhymes that are often startling and perfectly judged. For example, this pairing from “Idiot Wind,” released in 1975:

Idiot wind, blowing like a circle around my skull,
From the Grand Coulee Dam to the Capitol

The metaphorical relation between the head and the head of state, both of them two big domes, and the “idiot wind” blowing out of Washington, D.C., from the mouths of politicians, made this particular lyric the “great disillusioned national rhyme,” according to Allen Ginsberg.

Ginsberg’s formidable liking for this rhyme is part of what got him invited to Dylan’s Rolling thunder Review:

Ginsberg’s tribute to that rhyme is one of the reasons he is here with Bob and Joan and the rest of the merry motley. It was, says Allen, “one of the little sparks of intelligence that passed between Bob and me and that led him to invite me on the tour.”

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I caught the rolling thunder in Fort Collins:

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Ah yes.

And If your memory serves you well is, as I recall via Google, Dylan’s top of the hat to Rimbaud‘s A Season in Hell, which opens with the words:

Jadis, si je me souviens bien, ma vie était un festin où s’ouvraient tous les cœurs, où tous les vins coulaient.

This Wheel’s On Fire, lyrics by that Nobel fellow, Rick Danko and the Band:

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Memory, pattern, association, analogy, history, learning.

And Dylan on how literature works on you a similar wonder — in his recently released Nobel speech:

Music to my ears.

I did not lead a busload of others down a path

Monday, May 29th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — the unrealities and realities of dream and vision, sensitive compartmented information, zahir and batin, bin Laden and the Mahdi, more ]
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I did not lead a busload of others down a path to a hotel.
I did not arrive near my childhood home by bus.
I was not a member of a CIA team meeting for a conference.
I did not attend breakfast in the hotel.
I did not have a pen clipped inside my trousers.
My attention was not called to my pen having leaked by a female friend.
I did not have a female friend.
I did not manage to remove both pen and leaked ink from my trousers.
I did not wonder how I would climb hills or trees if ncecessary during the conference exercises.
I am in no condition to climb hills or trees, nor to lead others down a path.
There is, however, a conference center very close to the house I used to live in during my childhood.
I dreamed these things.

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The De Vere Horsley Estate, just a couple of fields away from my childhood home, now a conference center:

Google images thinks of it more as a marriage location. This particular photo is from the Hetty Hikes album.

Ada, Countess of Lovelace, who intuited the operational utility of punched cards of the type used in Jacquard looms for retaining information generated by her friend Charles Babbage‘s Difference Engine, prototype of today’s computers, lived at Horsley Towers, built by the same architect, Sir Charles Barry, who designed the Houses of Parliament..

My own more modest childhood dwelling was within the grounds, just a few hundred feet inside the Horsley Towers Gates.

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Dreams are, in a sense, occulted from waking life: there is a secrecy to them.

When the time comes that we can reliably scan and record the visual and verbal imagery of dreams, perhaps even at a distance from and without the consent of their dreamers, questions will arise as to whether their contents should be classified, indeed perhaps deemed Sensitive Compartmented Information, and dreaming permitted only in SCIFs?

Various occult, psychological and imaginal theories suppose that dreams can touch upon a subjective yet absolute realm, Jung‘s collective unconscious with its archetypes, Shia Islam’s ‘alam al-mithal, termed by Henry Corbin the mundus imaginalis

there exists an inner world, which lies ‘outside’ our personal minds, and in which they are contained in exactly the same way as our bodies are contained in the outer world revealed by the senses

writes D Streatfeild in Persephone.

And Corbin, writing of the Suhrawardian mundus imaginalis:

Essentially the relationship involved is that of the outer, the visible, the exoteric (in Greek ta exo, in Arabic zahir) to the inner, the invisible, the esoteric (in Greek ta eso, in Arabic batin), or the relationship of the natural to the spiritual world. Leaving the where, the ubi category, is equivalent to leaving the outer or natural appearances that cloak the hidden inner realities, just as the almond is concealed in its shell.

Zahir and Batin are, respectively, the literal or apparent meanings of Quranic verses, and their hidden or spiritual meanings, known only to those who have eyes to see, ears to hear…

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For a dream in which the young bin Laden is instructed to carry a black flag (“similar to the flag of Saudi Arabia” and with “something written on it in white color”) to the Mahdi at the gates of Al-Quds, Jerusalem, see A “Big Dream” attributed to Osama bin Laden.

I’ll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours — Bob Dylan said that.

Dylan’s 1980 apocalyptic

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — delighted at his Nobel — with a quick note on antinomianism ]
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So Bob Dylan has at last won the Nobel Prize, which has been — forgive me — a slow train coming.

David Remnick of the New Yorker suggests we “Celebrate Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize in Literature the obvious way: by listening” — and among his suggested selections I found this apocalyptic jewel:

It contains quite a bit of low-key Daniel and Revelation. Dylan recalls being booed for suggesting that Russia would intervene in the Middle East just a few months before Russia invaded Afghanistan.

I read the Bible a lot, you know, it just happens I do, and .. so it says certain things in the Bible that I wasn’t really aware of until just recently.. anyway, in the Bible it tells you specific things. In the books iof Daniel and in the Book of Revelation which just might apply to these times here, and is says there are certain wars that are soon, about to happen, I can’t say exactly when, you know, but.. pretty soon anyway..

He goes on to mention two countries, which he identifies as Russia and China, and with regard to Russia, says:

So anyway, I was telling this story to these people. I shouldn’t have been telling it to them, I just got carried away. I mentioned to them “well you know, watch now, because Russia is going to come down and attack the Middle East. It says this in the Bible. .. These things in the Bible, they seem to uplift me and tell me the truth. I said “Russia’s gpoing to attack the Middle East” and they just booed. They couldn’t hear that, they didn’t believe it. And a month later, Russia moved their troops into Afghanistan it was, and that whole situation changed, you know. And I’m not saying this to tell you they were wrong and I was right or anything like that, but these things that it mentions in the Bible I pay mighty close attention to.

This is pretty much straightforward from a Hal Lindsey era Dispensationalist point of view, though the bit about Russia interfering in the Middle East fits Russia’s campaign in Syria today, thirty-seven years later, better than its 1979 invasion of Afghanistan did back then.

Dylan then follows up with a discussion of the Antichrist, mentions Jim Jones and Hitler along the way.. and closes with a rendition of his gospel song, Slow Train Coming.

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So just one technical note here on that apocalyptic aspect.

Antinomianism is the name given to a common feature of apocalyptic rhetoric — the doctrine that the law (to include the moral law) no longer applies — so that both theft from the rich and sexual anarchism are permitted to “the pure”. Norman Cohn documents this doctrine extensively in The Pursuit of the Millennium, see particularly his chapters VII and VIII on “An Élite of Amoral Supermen” — ie the 12th century “heresy of the Free Spirit“.

Listening to Dylan’s Slow Train with that in mind, these lyrics take on a new significance:

Man’s ego is inflated, his laws are outdated, they don’t apply no more
You can’t rely no more to be standin’ around waitin’

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To end on a lighter note..

Some critics of the Nobel award seem to feel that “song” is not a category that sits easily within the scope of “literature”. To put it bluntly:

If only he’d thrown away that damn guitar, written his stuff down, and read it out loud as poetry, we might have given Orpheus the prize sooner..


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