Noble? Or Opportunistic? Dylan’s Nobel

Did That Prince of The PC Establishment, Bob Dylan, Deserve the Nobel? Maybe, But…

I liked Bob Dylan’s music for decades. Too bad so much of it is marred by his often terrible voice. I did not pay attention to his writing, with the exception of “Hurricane” (below), which I praised and “Like A Rollingstone”, which I view as well deserved compendium of sexual jealousy and deplorable hateful resentment. So now Dylan has a Nobel in literature, the US PC establishment rises, stronger than ever before, as if it knew how to write better than anybody else in the entire world. Hey, the killer with the great suits in the White House thinks so. So what does that mean with the state of the world? More confused than ever?


The Elite Is Transnational, And Sweden Nothing Much Without the US:

The permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, Sara Danius, confided that while it had “not been a difficult decision”, she ‘hoped’ the academy would not be criticised for its choice, as Dylan “created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”. America never stopped being a great song. Something is going on, but we don’t know what it is. Do you, Ms. Danius? Let me help you, with a few allusions about that elite which feeds you so well.

The tall and good looking Sara has a PhD from Duke University (and also one from Uppsala U.). Duke is what I call a plutocratic university. Why? Tuition at Duke for graduate study is $52,995 (in 2016). That’s more than the median family after tax income in the USA. Such hefty fees prevent the attendance of anyone who is not part of the elite, or loved by the elite. What a joke of a democracy!

Let me explain a bit more: its colossal tuition, means that the people attending Duke University have a special connection with the elite (Ms Danius got somebody in the Swedish-American power circles to pay for her attendance at Duke, somebody who invested a third of a million dollars, and somebody which she now rewards with great lip service, among other services, maybe even a Nobel, Pluto knows, I don’t, but I can guess).

How to thank the elite for their dinero, indeed? It could simply be with the eagerness to serve said elite. As Ms. Danius was processed through Duke, she learned the proper attitude to have, relative to, and in service of, the powers that be. Same as her hero, Bob Dylan. Talk big, carry a celery stick for a weapon, and get entangled with the elite big time, complete with honoring each other as if there would be no tomorrow.

So the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy is another great bridge between great America and Politically Correct, rape obsessed, Sweden (Sweden has officially twice the rape rate of any other country; whichever way one looks at it, it says something about the country… and especially the pride Swedes experience from that number alone: hey, it had imprisoned that critique of “great America”, Julian Assange, for five years now on obviously fake rape charges allegations).


Dylan Is A Pillar Of The Domineering PC Establishment:

One could say Dylan invented the genre. And has been that way, nearly since his inception (the singer-composer got his first public award in 1963, and proceeded to insult the audience at the award in an ageist fashion). Dylan did not get just the Pulitzer, he invented a whole new way of making American Politics Correct: protest against the “Masters of War”, in the abstract, but not against the Iraq invasion, in practice, and let them embrace your neck. 

US Establishment Deserves Nobels, According to Itself

Three US Nobels Congratulate Each Other On Their Good Fortune, And We Are Supposed to Adulate The Product Of Their Thought Processes.

[Dylan getting Medal of Freedom from Nobel Obama, While Nobel Novelist Morrison applauds, and Astronaut-Senator John Glenn watches.]

Funny picture, is it not? It was made 800 years, to the day, after the Magna Carta Libertatum (Great Charter of Freedom). The Magna Carta was in particular supposed to prevent the king from doing whatever caught his fancy, including killing people at will… A right which Obama conferred to himself, for the whole planet to see, and meditate.

Bob Dylan is so much the establishment that the servant of our masters, the Clintons, are his spiritual babies: all for the few, nothing for the rest, under the guise of total Political Correctness, only second to Stalin’s (amusingly, Dylan, version December 1963, agreed that politics was down in the gutter, and that he “saw something of himself in Lee Harvey Oswald”, as he put it pedagogically, a few weeks after president Kennedy’s assassination).

Sara Danius, the noble Nobel giver: “We hoped the news would be received with joy, but you never know.” She compared the work of the American songwriter to the works of Homer and Sappho. Indeed, many writers were positively irate after the announcement, and proclaimed the Swedish Nobel elite had ridiculized itself.

Sara:We’re really giving it to Bob Dylan as a great poet – that’s the reason we awarded him the prize. He’s a great poet in the great English tradition, stretching from Milton and Blake onwards. And he’s a very interesting traditionalist, in a highly original way. Not just the written tradition, but also the oral one; not just high literature, but also low literature.”

It is not just “America” which is great, it is England too. Anglo-Saxonia, ever greater, and keep that Ecuadorian embassy, with Assange locked up inside, under close supervisionLow literature? What is that? Babies surrounded with wild wolves? (See below!) Salman Rushdie opined that : ‘Dylan towers over everyone‘.  Well, at least he is not boring like Salman.

Something is going on, but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Rushdie? Well the work of “Homer” (there may have been more than one Homer) comprises 270,000 words, whereas at (say) 200 words average for 500 songs, Dylan’s work is around 100,000 words long (less than a tenth of the work of yours truly). However, much of it is very repetitive. After all, Dylan’s work is music, namely rhythm… But that means the fresh ideas are not that thick on planet Dylan.  


Beyond Dylan, It Is Rock & Roll Which Is Honored:

In 1967 the Rolling Stones played in the Polish capital, beyond the Iron Curtain. Local press compared that to a :hurricane”. Displeased by the elite of the regime’s youth in the front rows, protected by police officers, covering their ears from being damaged by the Stones’ wall of sound, Keith Richards used his mike to abuse the elite:

“You fucking lot! You can fucking get out and let the bastards in the back down front!”

Mick Jagger ate, chewed and spat out a bucket of flowers, and made constant obscene gestures towards the police cordon and the front row elite. The insolent behavior of the Stones turned most of the crowd in the back red hot with approval. Outside a battle between the crowd and the police erupted. The police state got severely disrupted.

The Stones made no money from playing on the other side of the Iron Curtain: they just wanted to disrupt. And so it was, not just in the East, but also in the West. In the 1960s, rock and roll was highly discombobulating for the established order. The Stones’ apocalyptic Gimme Shelter and Sympathy for the Devil shook the souls deep down inside. So did Dylan:

Dylan’s A Hard Rain:  

“Oh, what did you see, my blue eyed son?

And what did you see, my darling young one?

I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it

I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it

I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin’

I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin’

I saw a white ladder all covered with water

I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken

I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children

And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard

It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.”

Stones’ Gimme Shelter, written a few years later:

“Oh, a storm is threat’ning My very life today If I don’t get some shelter Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away

War, children, it’s just a shot away…Ooh, see the fire is sweepin’ Our very street today Burns like a red coal carpet

Mad bull lost its way

War, children, it’s just a shot away… Rape, murder! It’s just a shot away… Rape, murder yeah!”

The music of Gimme Shelter is superlative, a Ninth Symphony for the Twentieth Century.  Just as good, or better, than the best of Dylan. And there are a few striking ideas there, and in songs such as “Paint It Black“. So a music Nobel for the Rolling Stones? Yeah. A literature Nobel? No.

All this disruption is now mainstream, perfectly synchronized with the global, tax-free, financially towering, Clintonian elite (Wikileaks just showed Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs give Hillary advice, or orders, about what to do with Iran… and Obama obeyed!) Yesterday’s disruption, now mainstream, needed to be rewarded. And who is the most rewardable? Clearly, the one most honorable in Rock & Roll is Bob Dylan. Dylan was already part of the establishment by 1963, as we saw above, when he and Joan Baez were the object of a cult. Soft, whiny PC singing: nothing like it. After all, the Nazis had “Lili Marlene“:

“Outside the barracks, by the corner light
I’ll always stand and wait for you at night
We will create a world for two
I’ll wait for you the whole night through
For you, Lili Marlene
For you, Lili Marlene…

Bugler tonight don’t play the call to arms
I want another evening with her charms…
When we are marching in the mud and cold
And when my pack seems more than I can hold
My love for you renews my might
I’m warm again, my pack is light
It’s you, Lili Marlene
It’s you, Lili Marlene”


Philosophy Is Elevated By Songs, That Is Nothing New:

Neuronal circuitry is established by repetition (Hebbian mechanism). Songs are repetitions full of repetitions. Thus their importance to imprint young children with ideas, and emotional systems.  

Cato the Elder wanted to destroy Carthage. So, at the end of any of his discourses in the Roman Senate, on any subject, he would end with:”Carthago delenda est.” (We must destroy Carthage.) It worked. Sheer repetition works, it hammer the words, hence the meaning. This is what songs do, and why children are so thrilled by songs, as they learned from them what is important, with aforesaid hammering.

The colossal Middle Age philosopher Abelard was immensely famous in his times for his philosophical teachings from the Notre Dame Cathedral School (Soon to be renamed as a “University”) (OK, )  But he was even more popular, throughout Europe, for his songs (the tradition of top singing from Notre Dame would last centuries, and had a huge influence on music).

I long thought that “literature”, per se, is all too often despicable. It’s just something for airport people who are not really interesting. I mean, look out there, at this astounding world! Most novelists and their novels say nothing of it. I t’s not just that they don’t know Quantum Theory, but they love to rehash Conventional Wisdom, especially around the terrible world war of 1914-1945. Thus they have nothing to contribute in the way of new ideas of important significance.

Thus it is a breath of fresh air to give the Nobel to somebody who made so many think, out of the small little boxes they use for repeating what they heard, without considering what it means.

It is no accident that Dylan is opening for the Rolling Stones at the Desert Trip festival, while said Stones made a magnificent, majestic version of John Lennon’s “Come Together”: Hillary Clinton’s motto is “Stronger Together”. To make that link a bit clearer, Pink Floyd’s Waters floated a giant pig above the audience, with Trump’s face accompanied with the words “Ignorant, lying, racist, sexist pig.” Just to make sure, giant letters flashed across the big screen reading “Trump is a pig.” I am sure the millions of unemployed workers from Clinton’s era (past, present and future) were not in the audience, so it was rather safe. Just  as it was safe for Jagger’s tax status to campaign for Brexit (only the EU is unsafe).

“Desert Trip” put together Dylan, opening for the Stones, Neil Young, opening for and with McCartney, and Roger Waters and The Who. Official ticket prices for “Desert Trip” started at $500 and went up above $1,500  Only the wealthy and the clueless underclass can afford to be Politically Correct nowadays. OK, the elite can give each other Nobel Prizes and make, as the Clintons did, 250 million dollars out of what is clearly, legal political corruption. Many things are legal, for the wealthy. The kind of Roger Waters generally enjoy perfectly legal tax havens’ part residency. Roger Waters is a socialist who loves Switzerland’s towering walls (he, or at least his tax base long resided there, before the rise of Dark Money under Obama has made the whole issue moot: the hyper rich can perfectly well escape taxation, as Apple Inc. does, and the White House will probably give you the Nobel Prize for it, and then fine a European bank to death, as the cherry on the cake).


Some of Dylan’s poetry hit right in the middle of what needs to be considered: Basically the opposite of the sex accusations laden US political campaign.

Blowin’ in the Wind, Bob Dylan:

How many roads must a man walk down

Before you call him a man?

How many seas must a white dove sail

Before she sleeps in the sand?

Yes, and how many times must the cannonballs fly

Before they’re forever banned?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind

The answer is blowin’ in the wind

Yes, and how many years can a mountain exist

Before it’s washed to the sea?

Yes, and how many years can some people exist

Before they’re allowed to be free?

Yes, and how many times can a man turn his head

And pretend that he just doesn’t see?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind

The answer is blowin’ in the wind

Well, cannonballs have flown since they were used by the (southern) French in the “Lancasterian” phase of the “100 Year War”. They will be banned only when they have been replaced by more potent weapons (such as the drones Obama ordered around to kill and maim). The winds of history shear through human destinies as self-devouring hurricanes.

Bob Dylan is no giant philosopher. He fails the honesty test. “I’m only Bob Dylan when I have to be.” He puts a  “Bob Dylan mask on,” he admitted to a Halloween crowd during a show in 1964. Asked who he was the rest of the time, Dylan sighed: “Myself.”

However, as a political philosopher, Dylan played an important role.“Hurricane” is not just fabulous music, put excellent politically, thus, in practical philosophy.


Pistols shots ring out in the barroom night

Enter Patty Valentine from the upper hall

She sees the bartender in a pool of blood

Cries out “My God they killed them all”

Here comes the story of the Hurricane

The man the authorities came to blame

For something that he never done

Put him in a prison cell but one time he could-a been

The champion of the world.

Three bodies lying there does Patty see

And another man named Bello moving around mysteriously

“I didn’t do it” he says and he throws up his hands

“I was only robbing the register I hope you understand

I saw them leaving” he says and he stops

“One of us had better call up the cops”

And so Patty calls the cops

And they arrive on the scene with their red lights flashing

In the hot New Jersey night.

Meanwhile far away in another part of town

Rubin Carter and a couple of friends are driving around

Number one contender for the middleweight crown

Had no idea what kinda shit was about to go down

When a cop pulled him over to the side of the road

Just like the time before and the time before that

In Patterson that’s just the way things go

If you’re black you might as well not shown up on the street

‘Less you wanna draw the heat.

Alfred Bello had a partner and he had a rap for the corps

Him and Arthur Dexter Bradley were just out prowling around

He said “I saw two men running out they looked like middleweights

They jumped into a white car with out-of-state plates”

And Miss Patty Valentine just nodded her head

Cop said “Wait a minute boys this one’s not dead”

So they took him to the infirmary

And though this man could hardly see

They told him that he could identify the guilty men.

Four in the morning and they haul Rubin in

Take him to the hospital and they bring him upstairs

The wounded man looks up through his one dying eye

Says “Wha’d you bring him in here for ? He ain’t the guy !”

Yes here comes the story of the Hurricane

The man the authorities came to blame

For something that he never done

Put in a prison cell but one time he could-a been

The champion of the world.

Four months later the ghettos are in flame

Rubin’s in South America fighting for his name

While Arthur Dexter Bradley’s still in the robbery game

And the cops are putting the screws to him looking for somebody to blame

“Remember that murder that happened in a bar ?”

“Remember you said you saw the getaway car?”

“You think you’d like to play ball with the law ?”

“Think it might-a been that fighter you saw running that night ?”

“Don’t forget that you are white”.


Arthur Dexter Bradley said “I’m really not sure”

Cops said “A boy like you could use a break

We got you for the motel job and we’re talking to your friend Bello

Now you don’t wanta have to go back to jail be a nice fellow

You’ll be doing society a favor

That sonofabitch is brave and getting braver

We want to put his ass in stir

We want to pin this triple murder on him

He ain’t no Gentleman Jim”.

Rubin could take a man out with just one punch

But he never did like to talk about it all that much

It’s my work he’d say and I do it for pay

And when it’s over I’d just as soon go on my way

Up to some paradise

Where the trout streams flow and the air is nice

And ride a horse along a trail

But then they took him to the jailhouse

Where they try to turn a man into a mouse.


All of Rubin’s cards were marked in advance

The trial was a pig-circus he never had a chance

The judge made Rubin’s witnesses drunkards from the slums

To the white folks who watched he was a revolutionary bum

And to the black folks he was just a crazy nigger

No one doubted that he pulled the trigger

And though they could not produce the gun

The DA said he was the one who did the deed

And the all-white jury agreed.

Rubin Carter was falsely tried

The crime was murder ‘one’ guess who testified

Bello and Bradley and they both baldly lied

And the newspapers they all went along for the ride

How can the life of such a man

Be in the palm of some fool’s hand ?

To see him obviously framed

Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land

Where justice is a game.

Now all the criminals in their coats and their ties

Are free to drink martinis and watch the sun rise

While Rubin sits like Buddha in a ten-foot cell

An innocent man in a living hell

That’s the story of the Hurricane

But it won’t be over till they clear his name

And give him back the time he’s done

Put him in a prison cell but one time he could-a been

The champion of the world.

[This song, and another six of Dylan’s songs, was co-written with Jacques Levy; funny that the one song of Dylan I appreciated the words of, was written with someone else; Carter was released from prison in 1988, after 19 years in prison.]


PC Splendid In Masters Of War:

Bob Dylan:

Come you masters of war

You that build the big guns

You that build the death planes

You that build all the bombs

You that hide behind walls

You that hide behind desks

I just want you to know

I can see through your masks

You that never done nothin’

But build to destroy

You play with my world

Like it’s your little toy

You put a gun in my hand

And you hide from my eyes

And you turn and run farther

When the fast bullets fly

Like Judas of old

You lie and deceive

A world war can be won

You want me to believe

But I see through your eyes

And I see through your brain

Like I see through the water

That runs down my drain

You fasten all the triggers

For the others to fire

Then you sit back and watch

When the death count gets higher

You hide in your mansion

While the young people’s blood

Flows out of their bodies

And is buried in the mud

You’ve thrown the worst fear

That can ever be hurled

Fear to bring children

Into the world

For threatening my baby

Unborn and unnamed

You ain’t worth the blood

That runs in your veins

How much do I know

To talk out of turn

You might say that I’m young

You might say I’m unlearned

But there’s one thing I know

Though I’m younger than you

That even Jesus would never

Forgive what you do

Let me ask you one question

Is your money that good?

Will it buy you forgiveness

Do you think that it could?

I think you will find

When your death takes its toll

All the money you made

Will never buy back your soul

And I hope that you die

And your death’ll come soon

I will follow your casket

By the pale afternoon

And I’ll watch while you’re lowered

Down to your deathbed

And I’ll stand o’er your grave

‘Til I’m sure that you’re dead.

“Masters of War” is pretty good as a flow of invectives. Just “Like a Rolling Stone” is pretty good a torrent of insults and schadenfreunde. Yet “Masters of War” will slip on history, like water on a duck. Why? It is primary school philosophy. It thinks war is about money, primarily. Yet, it is not, war is a force which gives us meaning. At least to those of us who don’t make much sense otherwise. 

Nasty people do not enjoy their souls as flaws, they relish them as the treasures which make the world good. They enjoy their nasty souls, they bought them at high prices.

They know all too well, that there are no souls, only destinies, and most can be crushed to elevate the few.

Thus what we have above is mostly posing, in the greater scheme of things. Scheme, like in a conspiracy.


Is Dylan A Progressive?

The establishment want us to believe that, as it makes the establishment, which approves of Dylan, progressive too. Some will say, yes, and point at the Vietnam War. However, the Vietnam War, in the greatest scheme of things, was a conversation between the Viet Minh leadership, which the US had supported against the French. The conversation was muscular, more than three million innocent people died, the land got poisoned. And now the USA and Vietnam are allied again, as they were in 1945. Against China. It is as if nothing happened.

I did not hear Dylan any during the Iraq invasion. Or during the UN blockade organized by the Clintons in the 1990s. The great game played in the Middle Earth is completely outside of the range of usual critique (the best proof of this is that Obama, under order from the Deep State, tried his best to prevent US victims to sue the Saudis for the 9/11 attack. In this case, amusingly the Republican Congress and the Senate overwhelmed the deep state.)

Conspiracies can become so involved that nobody understands anymore, or, at least, none of the victims understands anymore, what they are about, or even suspects their existence. Undetected conspiracies are the most efficient ones. To this day, conspiracies such as the Socrates-Plato-Aristotle trio, or the plot against Caesar, have not been really condemned for what they were (in both cases, conspiracies against We The People, and that can be seen just by looking at the grossest, most elementary facts of the situation; similarly, the US attack against Afghanistan (July 3, 1979) and the Iraq invasion were, first of all, parts of a huge conspiracy to put most of the Middle Earth out of order; some will say, there was no hand-written plan; sure, it was written in the minds, in so many non-saids).

Unfortunately, in this respect, detecting the power lines of oppression and subjugation, Dylan does not seem to help much (differently from, say, a John Lennon, who would certainly have expressed himself about Iraq). Tacitly, by being such a prominent member of the establishment for so long, Dylan supports it.

And the establishment we have in straight from hell, second to none. No human establishment prior to the present one, presided over the destruction of the biosphere: we are on track for a temperature rise of three degrees centigrade, within 80 years (but all member of the establishment are happy with the situation, starting with Nobel Al Gore; do you see a pattern here? Give a Nobel, keep the establishment happy!)  

So Dylan, and all famous musicians nowadays, are as progressive as climate change: not for the better. Money, fame and power have made their souls into the pillars of what made them great in society, the establishment.

The predecessor of Ms. Sara Danius, Horace Engdahl, then permanent secretary of the Nobel prize jury commented in 2008, that “the US is too isolated, too insular. They don’t translate enough and don’t really participate in the big dialogue of literature … That ignorance is restraining.”

Funny how things change. Meanwhile the Obama years happened, Bush with a fresh coat of paint, and US plutocracy has become more powerful than ever: the world is its island. Ignorance is a strength, it helps warriors concentrate on what they know best. The very paucity of Dylan’s poetry is a strength. Ballads for thin brains. 


Math and Philosophy Nobels Needed:

There is no mathematics Nobel: Nobel’s wife had eloped with a famous mathematician. There is no philosophy Nobel: Nobel spent most of his wealthy life in France, where he came to be known as the “merchant of death”. He was not amused by such sharp criticism. Philosophy criticizes or is not. (Some philosophers got Nobels: Russell, Bergson, Camus, Sartre… But the discipline deserves its own prize, especially as it could then cover adjacent areas such as sociology, psychology, gender theory, etc.)

Sara Danius, the Nobel spokeswoman, opined that the Nobel committee wanted to give the prize to Dylan, but they wondered if they had to create a new category of Nobel Prize (!) Then she said, no, we realized that, ever since Homer, poetry was an essential part of literature. Ii is interesting to see a woman think in public, a rare spectacle (the Nobel was attributed to Zero Woman this year, confirming that this Zero (?) gender is mostly best at foiling Donald Trump; this pernicious remark of mine should not be construed as a sneaky attack against either Trump, women, or the Nobel Committee; the fact is, there is lots of sexism out there, and neither Trump nor the Nobel, nor women themselves are basal fabricating factors; greater schemes are at work).

Poetical thinking is an indispensable method of thinking. One cannot think, and not be a poet. Or then one is a Tesla, Model S (2 fatal crashes this year). The most edgy philosophy depends upon poetry like propulsion depends upon force (and therefore, all the rest of creative thinking depends upon poetry too).

So let me help the Nobel committee here:


Yes, Nobel Committee, you need to create new Nobel Prizes. A Nobel Prize in MUSIC would have been best for Dylan.

Last week the Nobel in physics was attributed. It rested on some fundamental work in mathematics, more specifically in topology (fiber bundle theory, Chern classes, etc.). I knew Chern, and he was a more important thinker than the worthies who got the Nobel. Still, as a geometer, Chern could not pretend to get the Nobel. Thus the worthiest was not rewarded. Not just the worthiest individual (Chern’s life was rewarded enough), but the worthiest field. The occult masses don’t know what topology and differential geometry are, and that absence of knowledge makes them more stupid than they would be otherwise.

This is the first time, but not the last that fundamental work in mathematics and logic has an enormous impact on society: the work in LOGIC of the famous topologist Brouwer, is applied every single time someone uses a machine distributing money or other goodies.

It is not that I am anxious that some celebrity gets a prize. By giving highly visible prizes, one makes a field famous. Brouwer, famous for his Fixed Point theorem, went at mathematics with a hammer, and rejected much of the infinite obsession other mathematicians had. That was excellent for the computer, which cannot handle the infinite well (I am even worse that way, as I am what one should call an ultra-finitist).

By making famous fields which otherwise would stay ignored, one promotes the Open Mind without which the Open Society would not be.

So, yes the Nobel Committee should create prizes in: Logic, Mathematics and Philosophy. Similarly, the prizes in Biology and Medicine should be split (just like physics and chemistry are distinct, although often the works and certainly the fields, overlap). Maybe the Nobel organization has probably not enough money to do so. Then one should not have to attribute the prizes every year (sometimes, Nobel prizes were not attributed, for cause of World War).

I disagree with the novelists who were irate about giving the Nobel to Dylan, found that ridiculous. Maybe their work is ridiculous. (However, maybe there are excellent poet and writers out there, unjustly discriminating against by an all too discriminating Nobel committee, little do I know.)

It’s good to see a new genre be rewarded. Someday a pure Internet author will get the Nobel. Meanwhile, the Swedish Academy may want to look at science-fiction more carefully. As far as I can tell, there are more ideas there than in airport novels, and novels about East Coast low lives.


All Along the Watchtower

Bob Dylan

There must be some kind of way outta here

Said the joker to the thief

There’s too much confusion

I can’t get no relief

Business men, they drink my wine

Plowman dig my earth

None were level on the mind

Nobody up at his word

Hey, hey

No reason to get excited

The thief he kindly spoke

There are many here among us

Who feel that life is but a joke

But, uh, but you and I, we’ve been through that

And this is not our fate

So let us stop talkin’ falsely now

The hour’s getting late, hey

All along the watchtower

Princes kept the view

While all the women came and went

Barefoot servants, too

Outside in the cold distance

A wildcat did growl

Two riders were approaching

And the wind began to howl

The establishment deserves all the prizes it can get. At least that is how it nurtures the respect for itself which feeds it supremacy.

Yes, the thief does not want us to believe he talks falsely. There is no way, but some kind of joke outta there. The hurricanes of a vengeful Earth will soon howl us all to shreds, we are lorded over by thieves all along the watchtower. Prizes are given to princes, while barefoot servants dare deplore the death of pathetic hope. Can’t low lives just look up to dreams they are unworthy of? Instead of clinging to their guns, their insults, and their pain?

Ultimately, the beat goes on, and the beaten fades away, even as an objection or a murmur.

OK, let’s finish on a positive note. I attacked fiercely the barely disguised human sacrifice religion known as Abrahamism, the Judeo-Christo-Islamism, which is not satisfied with killing people, but civilization itself. That Muslims worship to this day the  willingness of a man to kill his son to satisfy his superior’s mania. I think that is ultimately repugnant, and it explains much of the murderous of Judeo-Christo-Islamism. My point of view is not funny, it is that of a severe critic. Yet Dylan is smarter than me here, from some angle, as he turns the whole mania into a joke:

“Highway 61 Revisited
Written by: BOB DYLAN
Oh God said to Abraham, “Kill me a son
Abe says, “Man, you must be puttin’ me on”
God say, “No.” Abe say, “What?”
God say, “You can do what you want Abe, but
The next time you see me comin’ you better run”
Well Abe says, “Where do you want this killin’ done?”
God says, “Out on Highway 61””

Well, F God, indeed.

Patrice Ayme’  

11 Responses to “Noble? Or Opportunistic? Dylan’s Nobel”

  1. Gmax Says:

    Lots to munch on, thanks. So many questions asked, so many partly answered in an unusual way. But lemme cut the crap. Seems to me that the Nobel in letters should reward letters, and not superstars who dunno grammar nor spelling

    Next thing you know, they make Hillary Clinton a Nobel laureate, for being the first woman elected president. This is all beyond silly. Just about Sweden trying to seduce America, a tale of prostitution gone wacko


  2. Patrice Ayme Says:

    An appropriate comment of the LA Times on the desert that is the Desert Trip concert featuring Stones and Dylan:

    At Desert Trip, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones make the world go away — instead of fighting for it
    Rolling Stones
    Mick Jagger performs with the Rolling Stones on Friday night at Desert Trip. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
    Lorraine Ali
    If there was ever a time in the last half-century that’s come close to mirroring the social upheaval of the 1960s, it’s now.

    Think of the protests over institutional racism brought on by police shootings, the feminist issues revived on a national scale by sexual assault allegations against Donald Trump, the decade-plus conflicts overseas that have already taken thousands of American lives.

    But Friday night at Desert Trip, the second round of a two-weekend music festival in Indio starring the most influential artists of ’60s counterculture, there was little if any of that urgency in performances by the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan.

    Instead they stayed safely rooted in nostalgia, delivering well-executed sets while doing exactly what they railed against in their youth: fostering complacency by sticking to a well-worn script.
    Dressed in a bright red and electric blue shirt, Mick Jagger strutted across the stage, clapping and jumping frenetically as he and the rest of the Stones turned the foreboding “Paint It Black” into an almost cheery number.

    And Dylan, who’d just won the Nobel Prize for literature a day earlier, moved silently between originals such as “Tangled Up in Blue” and a cover of a tune made famous by Frank Sinatra, delivering a smooth, steady, ire-free set.

    They gave the crowd what they wanted, it seemed. Fans who made the trek to the desert venue (which is also home to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival) and paid $699 for seating or $199 to sit on the grass appeared content just to witness all of their musical heroes in one place — one-stop shopping for the Woodstock generation. The rest of the weekend’s line up includes Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Roger Waters and The Who.

    “God, he’s 75 and he still sounds this good?!” yelled one silver-haired attendee to his friend as Jagger, 73, performed “Tumbling Dice.”

    The grounds were as comfortable as the artist’s sets. Those who could afford it payed $179 for a “culinary experience” that offered food by name chefs; others sipped $13 cups of pilsner in the beer gardens or shopped at merchandise booths that included $70 Macca hoodies and $25 Desert Trip canvas shopping totes.

    Escapism and immediate gratification, of course, are core components in pop and rock music, and that was true in the 1960s as well. But what made the acts on Desert Trip the legends they are today was an iconoclastic approach that wasn’t simply about a generational divide; their music captured the fears, hopes and confusion of a culture on the precipice of change.

    We’re there again today, and the music they made back then — “Street Fighting Man,” “The Times They Are a-Changin’” — couldn’t be more relevant.

    But rather than make that connection Friday with comments from the stage or a revived urgency in their music that one could just feel (no new lyrics required), it was about enjoying the familiar — much of it in songs whose meanings have become watered down by radio repetition or buried in historical reverence.

    If the first weekend of the festival was any indication, the repeating roster of rock greats this weekend will leave all the political stuff up to Waters, who plays Sunday.

    On Friday, Jagger instead chose to riff on the fact that the average age of the headliners at the fest is 72, thus the nickname Oldchella. It’s the “Catch ’Em Before They Croak” tour, he said. Funny — and sad — for fans and the bands they love.

    The world is still theirs to fight for, and their music still has a place in that fight. But only if they’re willing to sacrifice nostalgic comforts for a bit of modern-day tumult.


  3. Kevin Berger Says:

    Bon, en général je n’ai pas trop de chance avec mes commentaires ici, ni avec leur qualité, ni avec les réponses qu’ils suscitent, mais voilà quand même ma petite crotte.

    Après vôtre texte du “moderator from hell”, je faisais ma remarque habituelle sur la suprématie anglo consécutive à l’effondrement qu’a été la révolution française, et, dès lors, sur la cessation de “production de civilisation” (vôtre expression).
    Stérilité particulièrement notable pour la France il me semble, mais, aussi pour nos cousins anglos, Godons comme Burgers, assez curieusement.
    De la technologie, de la recherche, d’accord, ils sont même très bons pour ce côté utilitaire… mais des idées, de la “philosophie”?
    (Sauf bien entendu si l’on inclut promouvoir des écrivains de 3ème ordre pour excuser faire les poches des fidèles, passe-temps favori du “christianisme” made in USA, ou pour justifier l’égoïsme et l’avidité du système).

    De fait, la seule, authentique, “production de civilisation” qui nous vient des USA/UK (plus quelques miettes de leurs excroissances/filiales aux Canada et antipodes) est un assèchement, une vampirisation culturelle au profit de *leur* modèle, de *leurs* normes, de virilité, de comportement, de religion, de moeurs, de sexualité, de relations entre les races,… et ceci sous l’action du rouleau compresseur de la culture pop US post-45.
    Leur cinéma, leur musique (amusez-vous à perdre un peu de temps sur, et faites le tour des genres, sous-genres et sous-sous-genres à la mords-moi le noeud des différentes musiques contemporaines, et de leurs origines géographiques invariablement UK ou US), leur télé,…
    Vous citiez l’oncle Adolf, “we already own the youth”; à travers la domination de cette culture de pure consommation façonnée par le big business – grattez un peu l’esprit “rock star”, et tout ce vous trouvez, c’est du “business”, comme vous le montrez vous même dans ce texte -, they already own the youth (and the old, too).

    Comment est-ce que la France pourrait encore “produire de la civilisation”, alors qu’elle n’est même plus la France? Juste une zone géographique sous influence, dont les habitants pensent, vivent, se vivent, suivant les normes anglos?
    Le “Nation de boutiquiers” à gagné la guerre pour le contrôle de la civilisation européenne, puis globale, et tout ce qu’elle peut ou sait faire, c’est du “bizness” : tout le reste, civilisation, culture, esprit, âme, elle l’avale, le digère, et, logiquement, le chie de façon à le rendre compatible avec elle-même; une excroissance cancéreuse ne produit que des cellules cancéreuses.

    La seule consolation au fond réside dans la vacuité de cette construction; une fois qu’elle se sera effondrée, d’une manière ou d’une autre (sa nature est à l’exploitation, pas à la “durabilité”), il ne restera rien de cette stérilité, par définition, ce cinéma, cette musique, toute cette immense machine à produire de la merde, qui tourne en rond sans jamais rien produire. Dylan, laisser sa trace dans la pensée humaine? Cette pute (sans jugement de valeur sur sa personne elle-même, juste sa nature de produit de grande consommation)? Quelle rigolade.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Kevin: your comments are always appreciated, at least by me. And plenty of them, and their links have been enlightening. Actually I appreciate other commenters, even some of the crypto Nazis, but more to fight them. So you profit in general from silent appreciation (you were once a bit cruel to Picard, who, apparently feeling unappreciated, then got much less active).
      My general opinion is that American civilization is French civilization. I love the face of Americans when I inform them of this.

      The USA, in particular, a part of America, is itself not homogenous. California is clearly forging ahead, increasingly as a France of the Pacific. Serious: instead of Melanchon’s delirium about a Sixth Republic, France should institute a referendum law similar to Switzerland (or California). California has taken, took, or contemplates an arsenal of new laws which will change the world for the best…

      The problem with collapse of the present civilization is that it means cannibalism, among other pleasantries… So it can be contemplated only as a last extremity.


      • Kevin Berger Says:

        “The problem with collapse of the present civilization is that it means cannibalism, among other pleasantries… So it can be contemplated only as a last extremity.”

        Oh, I am not “into” TEOTWAWKI, at least in any serious fashion, my precious little comfort is all too important, and I don’t care much for the kind of despair porn that seems so prevalent in sizeable swathes of the US public – fear, fear, fear… an apparent national character trait that I’ve found rather enlightening, ever since I noticed it.
        It’s rather that we’ve all collectively moved away from the dreadful TINA (there is no alternative) to the present and apparently inescapable TINS (there is no solution).
        So, yes, it is easier to picture a satisfying grand collapse of civilisation (“rapture”, here I come!), rather than to imagine radically changing (I refer you to my above rant about what I feel is the innate sterility of our insular shopkeepers-driven anti-civilization).


      • Kevin Berger Says:

        “(you were once a bit cruel to Picard, who, apparently feeling unappreciated, then got much less active).”

        I did? AFAICT, the only direct exchange I had with him was one in which both were telling the same, though in different wordings/approaches, and I quit, noting that I was in agreement with him. Miscommunication from my side, then.
        That would be rather unfair, because he has more to bring to the table than me (no false modesty), and because whenever he’s been in disagreement with one of your or Dominique Deux’s points, I though his position was stronger in my eyes (about Nationalism as a transcending feature needed for secular Republicanism, for example, something I can’t help but feel is a core truth).


  4. SDM Says:

    No question about it, Dylan has been an enigma throughout his career. He grabs bits and pieces from everywhere and weaves them into something that his fans adore. Many never found his voice appealing yet his influence on other rock artists was pervasive not only with lyrics but also musically- he electrified folk and tended towards country and western sounds that helped establish folk rock/country rock. His music is rooted in tradition and he has never been experimental such as say John Lennon.
    The Stones never were that political yet at their peak they expressed a social criticism that went well their rhythm and blues roots and outlaw counter culture stance. Much of that has been missing since 1978.

    Desert Trip is undeniably high priced nostalgia for baby boomers. Ticket prices for the Stones alone have gone through the roof the past 20 years. The money is there to be made. It is an oldies show of high order. The Stones set is available on you tube and it is loaded with much of their best but the old menace has been gone for many years. Performing is where the cash is now in the music biz.

    Face it, the rock acts have had their day and there are no current artists that have the same cultural impact that the Beatles, Stones and Dylan commanded in their heyday. Even a band like the mercurial and short-lived MC5 of Detroit were more outrightly political (at least in a youthful tear it all down respect) than the major artists of the time (about 1965-1974).

    But so what? Dylan gets a Noble prize- does anyone really care? The whole premise seems to have become a bit of a joke. Between the corporatism that pervades the media and the government, the propaganda has most deluded and entangled in cultural distractions that bear no relationship to their economic interest. It is divide and conquer – another oldie but goodie. Black vs white, immigrants (latin american or worse- Muslim). “Commies” are not even a threat now- Trump and his followers adore Putin.

    Race drives the Drumpf campaign, tapping into the rage against a black president and the demographics pointing to a white minority in the not too distant future. Analysis shows that Drumpf supporters are doing better that typically described- their rage is not as much economic as a howl for the good old days of white supremacy in all matters. They are convinced that Obama has caused all the “racism” – the immigrant horde and native born blacks dominate their consciousness as what is wrong with the US. They hate taxes that fund the welfare state because “the other” is getting their money, hate minimum wage increase (how dare lower classes get paid a fair wage) essentially buying into social darwinism and gospel of wealth all over again. Drumpf rages against the whole political process – if I don’t win it is because the election was rigged – inner city blacks will commit voter fraud!- but the rage is as much his own narcissism than anything to do with the 99 percent. He has no vision other than to make america white again. My 22 year old son tells me anyone who displays a trump sign is just saying “I am a racist and proud of it.”

    Rock music has tended to avoid all this now- there is no “movement” today. Vietnam created a real life or death situation with the draft. Today is a more convoluted picture- the occupy movement has vanished from the media. A few protests get covered- native americans against a pipeline, black lives matter- only in conjunction with a riot, etc. Even the crimes of bankers (Wells Fargo recent rip off) get only brief coverage. Warren rips into the CEO so he steps down with hundreds of millions in pay off- no criminal prosecution, and does anyone care when we have other distractions.


    • Kevin Berger Says:

      “Rock music has tended to avoid all this now- there is no “movement” today. Vietnam created a real life or death situation with the draft.”

      Dumb question, and shameless plug for a book that I haven’t read, and won’t bother to read, but are you aware of this particular Paranoid Conspiracy Theorist, the late Dave McGowan (aggressive cancer, amusingly enough), and his long series of articles-turned book about the Laurel Canyon?
      (The articles seem to maybe be back on the website, which has changed a lot, so I won’t bother to check).

      Or how, according to his thesis, far-out but with some interesting detours and connections, the 1960’s US counterculture was a grand mind control/engineered social control experiment that successfully diverted the boomer’s energy and appetite for collective reforms (including antiwar mvt) into hedonist (the drugs use angle was interesting, with the US intelligence stranglehold on LSD distribution, for example) and selfish dead-ends, while killing its appeal for the mainstream population. Turning revolution into consumerism, if you wish. To compare & contrast with the more “overt” repression, cointelpro or major assassinations style.
      Of course, it doesn’t matter; in all justice, today’s rot was started in the 60’s, by the 60’s, and no progress will be made until the very last of these POS “boomers” will be dead, every last one of them. In a fair world, the “sixties” would be beaten to death with a clawhammer, and all of their lies dumped in an unmarked mass grave, and perhaps we could begin to recover. Alas.

      In any case, rock music and all of its derivates never was about rebellion IMHO, it at best was about épater le bourgeois, about sex notably, and making beaucoup bucks. Instant “Rebellion” in a can, what a laugh.
      Reminds me of what Boris Vian, one of the fellows who first helped introduce Jazz, and later introduced Rock music into France, thought about the later… that rock was basically all about sexual repression in essence, and farcical in spirit.
      And since the sexual repression angle found in puritan/sinful America was not found in the French context, he kept only (what he perceived as) the intrinsically farcical approach with his first French rock songs. I wonder what he would have thought of today’s elderly, self-important, rock “stars”, acting up “rebellion” with their leather pants, grimaces, and big checks from big business for the last 50 years or so…?

      At least, Iggy Pop and Alice Cooper (and Marylin Manson, I believe?) have the good taste of being golf-clubs Republicans, in their actual personae.


  5. ianmillerblog Says:

    My personal view is that Lili Marlene is a better song than most of Dylan’s, but Lale Anderson, from memory, sang it first in 1938, so it -preceded the war.

    Feynman gave a comment about prizes (which I happen to agree with) but then again he turned around and accepted it. A prize is not for the best, it is for what someone thinks said recipient ought to get it.


  6. Nobel, Not Noble: Fictitious Fiction Is An Addiction | Patrice Ayme's Thoughts Says:

    […] them from Japan, especially if they have to find them from Japan… after finding them in the incoherent mumblings of a rocker who is as PC as Perfect Corruption gets. (Let me listen to some Bob, to […]


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