Ignatius Boone sent me this note on Bob Dylan. It is based on a book a review in the Los Angeles Times (not available on line). Enjoy it.
OK, you aging Baby-Boom Conservatives, and baby-boom
high-achiever babies. You’ve known since 1980 that one thing only was
needed for a re-alignment in American politics and culture to be
consummated: Conservatives and conservatism must come to be seen as
"cool." But despite Dinesh D’Souza, Bobos, Ann Coulter, and Ahnold,
"cool" was as elusive for conservatives as the dead on arrival (and
departure) meanings of Jacques Derrida--RIP.
Now comes Bob Dylan--of all people--to the rescue. I haven’t
read the first volume of his autobiographical "Chronicles," just out,
but a review by Timothy Ferris in today’s LA Times quotes some culture
shifting lines that almost make me want to revisit the Sixties. A few
Aside from reporting that he was a fan of Ricky Nelson, the
Kingston Trio, Moon River, and wrestler Gorgeous George, Dylan puts in a
plug for consumerism, prime time television, and money-making. But
that’s just on the surface. As Ferris writes, Dylan "once dreamed of
graduating from West Point and dying gloriously in battle, and that he
raised his children to respect ’America, the country of freedom and
independence.’" Then--straight to the heart of the re-alignment, with
the pith of an American poet: "His favorite politician was Barry
Goldwater, ’who reminded me of Tom Mix.’"
But not quite to the deep American heart. To get his legs as a
young singer-songwriter, Dylan "started hanging out in an upstairs
reading room of the New York Public Library, reading hundreds of daily
newspapers, circa 1855-1865, on microfilm. The Civil War, when ’America
was put on the cross, died, and was resurrected . . . would be the
all-encompassing template behind everything that I would write.’"
So this Goldwater-, cowboy-, Lincoln-loving patriot-bard, out to
make an honest or dishonest buck, like any decent American, is
"[u]nwillingly dubbed the spokesman for his generation," and no matter
where he tries to hide, finds himself deluged by ’"gangs of dropouts and
druggies . . . [m]oochers . . . [g]oons . . . rogue radicals . . .
scarecrows, [and] stragglers’" from "all fifty states," and does what?
The obvious, all-American thing: he arms himself to the teeth! "with a
brace of repeater pistols and a clip-fed Winchester." ’"I wanted to set
fire to those people.’" But, of course, he is confronted with the sad
dilemma of all the true-blue Second Amendment faithful: The local chief
of police tells him that if there’s any shooting, "’it would be me that
would be going to the lock-up.’"
All right, so a little Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill sneak into
his repertoire--what are you: Platonists!? And besides, showing like a
true poet that he sees what everyone sees, but sees it first and more
clearly, Dylan records that even back when Dan Rather was a pup, he knew
what to think of the MSM: "’The press?’ he writes. ’I figured you lie