Monthly Archives: November 2005

“You To Me Were The Best”?

The below is from a fan who submitted a review of Dylan’s November 26th show in Dublin, Ireland to Bill Pagel’s Tour Guide. (I don’t have any comment to make on it.)

I’m pretty sure that the performance of “Forever young” at this show was
Dylan’s personal tribute to Belfast-born football star George Best, who
died the day before aged 59.

Having spent the last few days in London and in Ireland where this story
has received blanket coverage, Dylan cant have failed to notice what a
huge impact it’s had.

The inclusion at an Irish show of this song, of all choices, plus the fact
that it was (to my knowledge) the only time this year where he has
returned to play a second encore, seems more than a coincidence, even
though Dylan himself didnt mention anything about it.

One ’60’s icon paying tribute to another. An unforgettable moment.

You Say Pajamas, I Say Sayonara

Althouse continues to follow the painful story of OSM/Pajamas Media, while Tim Blair jumps out of the frying pan. You would think that to maintain (or develop) some credibility, the front page of OSM/Pajamas Media would feature some mention of Blair’s departure, and maybe at least link to his explanatory statement, but no dice. It’s just as obliviously cheerful and utterly pointless as it’s been since the launch.

Now, if they wanted traffic, they should have just fought out this whole thing right there on the front page, from the beginning.

I’ll Be Your Baby

Via Drudge, there is this story from Britain’s Sunday Times on the increasing number of babies who are surviving attempted abortion procedures. Albeit surviving with injuries. Unencumbered by a Supreme Court fiat that demands an unlimited “right to abortion,” Britain’s laws instead seem to be based vaguely around the concept of viability. Abortions are permitted up to 24 weeks. As I understand what this article is telling us, doctors in Britain are colliding with medical advances which would permit saving the life of a child born towards the end of that stage, and indeed earlier. If the child comes out of the womb alive, and that care is not administered, are the doctors not guilty of killing by neglect?

Well, at least they’re worrying about it.

Paul Clarke, a neonatal intensive care specialist in Norwich, has treated a boy born at 24 weeks after three failed abortion attempts. The mother decided to keep the child, who is now two years old but is suffering what doctors call “significant ongoing medical problems”.

“The survival of this child was not recorded in any official statistics,” Clarke said. “There is nothing at the moment to force abortion practitioners to account for their failures.”

The issue will be highlighted by Gianna Jessen, 28, who survived an attempt to abort her. She is to speak at a parliamentary meeting on December 6 organised by the Alive and Kicking campaign, which is lobbying for a reduction of the abortion limit to 18 weeks.

Jessen, a musician from Nashville, Tennessee, was left with cerebral palsy but is to run in the London marathon next April to raise funds for fellow sufferers.

“If abortion is about women’s rights, then what were my rights?” she asked.

It’s a harbinger of the debate that hopefully will one day soon take place in the United States, and which would be ongoing were it not for the stifling of debate by Roe v Wade in 1973.

Imagine: an inability to relevantly debate the merits of killing a million babies a year. No need to imagine, of-course, because that is the status-quo in America. Oh sure, you can talk about it. But a debate where there are winners and losers and actual results? Nope. All that matters is what the nine berobed life-time untouchables think. It’s rather unbelievable that such a situation has existed in the “land of the free” for 32 years now. As much as many things will be said in the upcoming battle over Judge Samuel Alito, this is what it will all be about.

Dylan remarks, in the notes to Biograph, that it has occurred to him that the following song “could have been written from a baby’s point of view.” Listening to it that way makes it even sweeter and funnier than it already is, and not just a little poignant.

Close your eyes, close the door,
You don’t have to worry any more.
I’ll be your baby tonight.

Shut the light, shut the shade,
You don’t have to be afraid.
I’ll be your baby tonight.

Well, that mockingbird’s gonna sail away,
We’re gonna forget it.
That big, fat moon is gonna shine like a spoon,
But we’re gonna let it,
You won’t regret it.

Kick your shoes off, do not fear,
Bring that bottle over here.
I’ll be your baby tonight.

Ask and you shall receive

Not long ago RWB complained about the lack of any major films since September 11th that focus on the countless heroes of this war, whether from the WTC, Afghanistan or Iraq (and wondered at the America-hating perversity of an industry that could clean-up at the box office by making such films). Bruce Willis is about to do something about that.

Angered by negative portrayals of the Iraq conflict, actor Bruce Willis is to make a pro-war film in which US soldiers will be depicted as brave fighters for freedom and democracy.

It will be based on the exploits of the heavily decorated members of Deuce Four, the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry, which has spent the past year battling insurgents in the northern Iraqi town of Mosul.

Willis attended Deuce Four’s homecoming ball this month in Seattle, Washington, where the soldiers are on leave, along with Stephen Eads, the producer of Willis’s films Armageddon and The Sixth Sense.

The 50-year-old actor said he was in talks about a film of “these guys who do what they are asked to for very little money to defend and fight for what they consider to be freedom”. Unlike many Hollywood stars, Willis supports the war and recently offered a $US1million ($1.35million) bounty for the capture of any of al-Qa’ida’s most-wanted leaders such as Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri or Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, its commander in Iraq. Willis visited the war zone with his rock and blues band, the Accelerators, in 2003.

“I am baffled to understand why the things I saw happening in Iraq are not being reported,” he told MSNBC, the US news channel.

He is expected to base the film on the writings of the independent blogger Michael Yon, a former special forces green beret who was embedded with Deuce Four and sent regular dispatches about their heroics.

Willis is likely to take on the role of the unit’s commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Erik Kurilla, 39, a Bruce Willis lookalike except with more hair, a chest full of medals and a glamorous blonde wife.

He was injured in August after being shot three times by insurgents “in front of my eyes”, Yon recorded in his blog: “He continued to direct his men until a medic gave him morphine and the men took him away.”

When the battalion arrived in Mosul in November last year the city was under threat from insurgents. “We faced very heavy fighting for about three months,” Kurilla recalled.

“Every patrol was making contact with enemy forces. We would hit them where they slept, where they worked and where they ate.”

Today the picture was very different, he said. “I have watched a city that was in absolute chaos turn into one that has a viable Iraqi security force, which is taking the lead in fighting the terrorists.”

Good for Bruce.

Dublin, 11/27/05

Tonight was the final night of the tour. The set list from Bill Pagel:

1. Drifter’s Escape
2. Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power)
3. God Knows
4. It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
5. Love Minus Zero/No Limit
6. Cry A While
7. Boots Of Spanish Leather
8. High Water (For Charley Patton)
9. Every Grain Of Sand
10. Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum
11. New Morning
12. ‘Til I Fell In Love With You
13. Visions Of Johanna
14. Highway 61 Revisited
15. Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
16. All Along The Watchtower

Pass Me Not O Gentle Savior

Of all the old sacred songs from the hills that Dylan has revived for his live shows, this one is probably my favorite. Pass Me Not O Gentle Savior is a special song, with a lyric written by Fanny Crosby in 1868. It again seems likely he picked this one up from the Stanley Brothers. Here, for a little while, is an mp3 of Dylan and the boys performing it in Santa Cruz, California on March 15th, 2000.

And these are the words as Dylan sings them:

Pass me not, O gentle Savior,
Hear my humble cry
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by

Savior, Savior,
Hear my humble cry
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by

Place me at the throne of mercy
Find my sweet relief
While I kneel in deep contrition
Heal my unbelief

Savior, Savior,
Hear my humble cry
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by

Dublin, 11/26/05

Tonight’s set list from Bill Pagel’s tour guide:

1. Maggie’s Farm
2. Tell Me That It Isn’t True (Bob on harp – center stage)
3. Watching The River Flow (Bob on harp)
4. Lay, Lady, Lay
5. Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine)
6. I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine (Bob on harp)
7. Cold Irons Bound
8. Shelter From The Storm
9. Floater (Too Much To Ask) (Donnie on violin, Bob on harp)
10. Highway 61 Revisited
11. Ballad Of Hollis Brown (acoustic) (Donnie on banjo)
12. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
13. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll (acoustic)
(Donnie on electric mandolin, Bob on harp)
14. Summer Days

(1st encore)
15. Like A Rolling Stone
16. All Along The Watchtower

(2nd encore)
17. Forever Young

Something special for the second last night of the tour, in dear old Dublin: a second encore. Not to mention the uncommon I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine.

Well, will be trying to get back to normal around here after this Thanksgiving break …

London, 11/24/05

Last night’s set list from Pagel:

1. Maggie’s Farm
2. Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You
3. I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight
4. It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
5. Positively 4th Street
6. Down Along The Cove
7. Girl Of The North Country (acoustic)
8. High Water (For Charley Patton)
9. Just Like A Woman
10. Highway 61 Revisited
11. Every Grain Of Sand
12. Honest With Me
13. Sugar Baby (acoustic)
14. Summer Days

15. London Calling (incomplete)
16. Like A Rolling Stone
17. All Along The Watchtower

London, 11/23/05

Set list from Pagel:

1. Rumble (insturmental song by Link Wray) (incomplete)
2. Maggie’s Farm
3. She Belongs To Me
4. Cry A While
5. Shelter From The Storm
6. Down Along The Cove
7. Positively 4th Street
8. High Water (For Charley Patton)
9. Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine)
10. Million Miles
11. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
12. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
13. Honest With Me
14. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll (acoustic)
15. Summer Days
16. Blue Monday (song by Fats Domino & Dave Bartholomew)
17. Like A Rolling Stone
18. All Along The Watchtower

London, 11/22/05

Tonight’s set list from Pagel:

1. Rumble (insturmental song by Link Wray) (incomplete)
2. Maggie’s Farm
3. Love Minus Zero/No Limit
4. Lonesome Day Blues
5. Positively 4th Street
6. Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine)
7. Cold Irons Bound
8. Girl Of The North Country (acoustic)
9. I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)
10. John Brown (acoustic)
11. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
12. Mississippi
13. Highway 61 Revisited
14. Waiting For You
15. Summer Days

16. Like A Rolling Stone
17. All Along The Watchtower

Cairo Conference

Some bloggers who are affiliated with formerly Pajamas/ formerly Open Source/now Pajamas Media but have not let it noticeably break their stride, are Mohammed and Omar over at Iraq The Model. Mohammed provides some on-the-ground perspective today on the conference and communique of the Iraqi leaders in Cairo.

The statement was decorated with a call to put a timetable for foreign troops withdrawal and this part was the focus of the talks while it is a quite technical issue that cannot be solved by Iraqi politicians as the final word will be in the hands of the elected government that is yet to come and this is the only entity that will have the right to speak on behalf of the Iraqi people.

We heard a similar sort of talks prior to January elections and many parties held the slogan of ending “the occupation” but after the elected representatives sat to figure out what to do most of them found that asking the troops to leave would be in no one’s interest so they found themselves asking the UN to let the troops stay for another couple of years instead of asking them to leave.
Again, this issue is a technical one and speeches mean almost nothing and I’m positive that whoever is to be elected next month will realize the complexity of the situation especially when it comes to building Iraqi forces capable of preserving security.

But there are still a few good things that came out of this meeting as this is the first time since the fall of the past regime when the Arab League denounces Saddam’s regime opening the door for discrediting more dictatorships in the future.

Second there was a condemnation for media networks that were asked to lower their tone a bit and to stop saying things that might create hatred or encourage sectarian or ethnic differences and this call addressed both, Arabic and Iraqi media that is serving certain partisan interests.
Other than the above, nothing is worth mentioning and I feel that this conference isn’t going to make tomorrow different from yesterday.
I trust elections way more that I trust such events sponsored by a dying league. If we want to improve our conditions then we (Iraqis) must first think well before making our choice this time.