Monthly Archives: June 2007

Ordinary people

In the war by radical Islam against the West, there is a recurring theme, from United Flight 93 to the present day, and that is the unexpected and incredibly courageous actions of normal, everyday people — actions which have so often blessedly frustrated the aims of the terrorists, who act on the assumption that their intended infidel victims will shrink like decadent cowards. Early reports on this weekend’s events in Britain suggest that many lives have been saved by both the sharp eyes and the unimaginably brave interventions of average Joes. Below is a YouTube clip (h/t Hot Air) of an eyewitness and an apparent hero in today’s near-horror at Glasgow International Airport. (And dig the 24 karat Scottish accent.)

Mary-Kate, Ashley and Bob

From the New York Daily News gossip column:

The Olsen twins may be pint-size, but they share a massive love of Bob Dylan. The diminutive duo went to Atlantic City Saturday just to hear the legend perform at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. They ventured backstage before the show and were overheard professing to Dylan their deep love of his music. Just knowing Mary-Kate and Ashley were out there in the audience must’ve tweaked his performance – or was it his lucky golden statuette sitting on the amp? Dylan always takes his 2001 Best Song Oscar (for “Things Have Changed” in the film “Wonder Boys”) whenever he goes on tour.

I always thought those girls had good heads on their shoulders.

I fought with my twin, that enemy within, ’til both of us fell by the way.

Regarding the Oscar statuette: it is not news to Dylan followers that he took to having one on stage ever since he won the Academy Award for Things Have Changed. However, personally, I’ve always assumed that the one on stage was a facsimile rather than the real thing, in light of the risk of having the thing stolen.

Odds and ends

Robert Spencer — the director of Jihad Watch and an estimable Dylan fan — makes a Bob reference at the beginning of a post dealing with the horrific topic of female genital mutilation and its intersection with Islam.

Also, don’t miss his latest enlightening piece in the continuing series at Hot Air: Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 2, “The Cow,” verses 75-140

The offensive against al-Qaeda in Baqubah continues. Who got away and who didn’t? Michael Yon has the indispensable perspective from ground level.

Did someone mention Bob Dylan? His newest tour is three dates old. Noteworthy items, going by the tales at Bill Pagel’s page, are new arrangements of Moonlight and Shelter from the Storm. Dylan is continuing his approach of playing guitar on the first few numbers, and then going to the keyboard for the balance of the set.

Very positive reviews in the press of his concert last night in Pennsylvania are here and here.
And click here to read about the 42 unsuspecting Dylan fans caught in the police crackdown at that same gig. Be careful out there! And be good.

Thanks to Don W. for the e-mail on this: Charlie Daniels was honored today with the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service, in recognition of his long dedication to entertaining American troops stationed in hot spots throughout the world. Click here for the article.

In addition to visiting troops at bases in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Korea and elsewhere, Daniels started Operation Heartstrings in November 2005. The program to date has donated 100 Gibson guitars, as well as drums, keyboards, microphones, and more than 13,000 pieces of musical accessories to deployed servicemembers.

A CD and DVD set of some of Charlie’s recent performances in Iraq is being released tomorrow. Amazon link below.

And click here to read a previous post from this website about the relationship between Bob Dylan and Charlie Daniels.

And in other music news: Click here to visit YouTube and see a video of the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens, in a panel discussion from 1989, speaking approvingly about the idea of executing Salman Rushdie for his writings and — specifically — wishing that he could partake in burning Rushdie alive. (H/t: LGF.)

Ooh, baby, baby, it’s a wild world
It’s hard to get by just upon a smile

Ain’t that the truth.

To know Him is to

New on YouTube is a clip of Dylan from Toronto on April 19th, 1980, singing his original (but unpublished) gospel song I Will Love Him. Fervent doesn’t begin to describe the song and the really galvanizing performance. Click here to view it directly on YouTube or play below. (Thanks to those several who e-mailed me about it.)

A take on the lyric is over at the great Dylan Chords site. Some eschatological musings for you this Sunday:

He said when the fig tree was blooming
He would be at the gate
He was talking ’bout the state of Israel
From nineteen forty-eight
And the time is near, and

I will love Him
I will serve Him
I will glorify His name

Watching or listening to a performance like this can’t help but bring to my mind a couplet I’ve quoted before from Bob’s recent song Thunder on the Mountain:

I did all I could and I did it right there and then
I’ve already confessed — no need to confess again

On a side note, the other day I was re-reading Robert Hilburn’s interview with Dylan from November of 1980. In the prelude to the interview, Hilburn writes:

Even when he returned last spring with another gospel album, the less commercially successful Saved, rumors abounded that he had abandoned his born-again beliefs. But his shows in San Francisco …

Just think about that for a second. Dylan records and releases Slow Train Coming, tours with a no-holds-barred gospel show, follows that up with the even more devout and crystal-clear Saved, while continuing to perform his barn-burning gospel on stage, and therefore, naturally, “rumors abounded that he had abandoned his born-again beliefs.”

That ought to tell you a very great deal indeed.

And on another note, also on YouTube is a video supportive of the state of Israel which incorporates Dylan’s similarly-themed 1983 song Neighborhood Bully. The video’s intent is to illustrate instances where Israel has provided humanitarian assistance to others around the globe. Click here to view.

Baqouba, Baquba, or Baqubah

“Spell it any way you want” seems to be the rule, but however you spell it, things are happening there. Michael Yon has another dispatch, subtly titled “Surrender or Die”. As that suggests, the plan is very much to trap and kill as many al-Qaeda as possible, though there are reports that some “leaders” have succeeded in fleeing. Obviously, it won’t begin to be clear what the end result is until there is an end result. From CBS:

Soldiers spread maps across rubble and pulled up charred concrete blocks as stools inside the crumbling building. Controlled explosions of roadside bombs boomed in the distance. Soldiers laden down by body armor mopped sweat from their faces.

“It’s 24/7 for us here, and it’s probably the same for our adversary as well,” Bednarek said. “It’s house-to-house, block to block, street to street, sewer to sewer — and it’s also cars, vans — we’re searching every one of them.”

The al Qaeda leaders abandoned a field hospital, complete with oxygen tanks, heart defibrillators and other sophisticated medical equipment, said Col. Steve Townsend, commander of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. They also left behind at least seven homes booby-trapped with trip wires, said Townsend, 47, from Griffin, Ga.

On the road again

Bob Dylan and his band kick off the latest leg of the Never-Yet-Ending Tour tonight at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa Event Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey. There is news today that Bob and the boys were rehearsing Monday through Thursday at Dylan’s favorite opera house in Poughkeepsie. Fans will be able to hear all of those new arrangements at gigs across the country (and some in Canada) between today and July 28th. About a week after that, Dylan and the band will head south to Australia and New Zealand for a total of ten concerts. By the way, opening for Bob on that tour will be an Irish band called The Frames, led by one Glen Hansard. Interesting factoid (or not, as you determine): your humble scribe here busked a few times alongside young Glen, back in another lifetime when Dublin was my place of residence — around 1986-87. Small world, as they say. (Definition of “busking”: entertaining in a public place for donations. Hmm, not unlike what I do here. But I definitely made more back then.)