Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Chomsky (in 1994) not impressed by Bob Dylan’s incoherent rambling (Dec. 4, 2013)

Chomsky not impressed by Bob Dylan’s incoherent rambling
June, 1994
Just the other day I was sitting in a radio studio waiting for a satellite arrangement abroad to be set up. The engineers were putting together interviews with Bob Dylan from about 1966-7 or so (judging by the references), and I was listening (I’d never heard him talk before — if you can call that talking). He sounded as though he was so drugged he was barely coherent, but the message got through clearly enough through the haze. He said over and over that he’d been through all of this protest thing, realized it was nonsense, and that the only thing that was important was to live his own life happily and freely, not to “mess around with other people’s lives” by working for civil and human rights, ending war and poverty, etc. He was asked what he thought about the Berkeley “free speech movement” and said that he didn’t understand it. He said something like: “I have free speech, I can do what I want, so it has nothing to do with me. Period.” If the capitalist PR machine wanted to invent someone for their purposes, they couldn’t have made a better choice.http://www.chomsky.info/letters/199406–.htm
  • ok..a stoned-rant in/from 1966..
    ..got anything else..?
    phillip ure..
    • Rogue Trooper15.1.1
      a stoned rant from 2013 suffice?
    • Morrissey15.1.2
      Stoned or not, Dylan’s political naïveté and the lack of intelligence is a sad fact of life for too many pampered American musicians. Here’s another fool who doesn’t seem to have much idea about anything….
      • Rogue Trooper15.1.2.1
        certainly not The Ghost of Tom Joad and a long way back to The River .
      • fender15.1.2.2
        It’s true that the wonderful word play, various interpretations/ meanings of a Dylan song outshine his ability to make sense with his spoken word more often than not. Many artists are better off letting their art do the talking.
        • Jokerman15.
          Talk Talk
        • Morrissey15.
          You could have a valid point there. Perhaps Shakespeare was an indolent thinker and an incoherent dolt in his everyday discourse. Certainly Martin Amis is. As was his father Kingsley. And Bruce Springsteen.
          In fact, it’s hard to think of a singer or a writer who does have the ability to express him/herself coherently, and who has actually done some serious reading and thinking.
        • Morrissey15.
          It’s true that the wonderful word play, various interpretations/ meanings of a Dylan song outshine his ability to make sense with his spoken word more often than not.
          Dylan made perfect sense, even though, as Chomsky observed, he was clearly under the influence of drugs at the time. The problem is not that his thinking was so muddled; the problem is that it is so threadbare, so irresponsible, and so contemptuous of people who did actually care about something other than themselves. Dylan was not stupid, he was indolent. Judging by some of his recent utterances, nothing has changed in forty-seven years.
          • fender15.
            He seemingly hasn’t moved on from trying to shock and offend the way he did in the ’60’s when he wanted to shake off the “voice of a generation”, “prophet” etc. labels people tried to pigeonhole him with. He’s the quintessential troubadour and would be best to keep to that field of expertise. i.e. Blind Willie McTell
  • joe9015.2
    Bob and John incoherent, – pissed or stoned.
    edit: Bob’s been busy too.

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