Mark Steyn, as part of his always diverting “Song of the Week” series, has a delightful piece today on Leonard Cohen’s song Dance Me To The End Of Love. It begins with his reflections on the difficulty songwriters have always had in coming up with interesting ways to use the very limited number of rhymes for the word love. Cohen did spectacularly well in this song, Steyn argues. Read his whole piece — but he included a quote from Cohen that was news to me, as regards the genesis of the song:
It’s curious how songs begin because the origin of the song, every song, has a kind of grain or seed that somebody hands you or the world hands you and that’s why the process is so mysterious about writing a song. But that came from just hearing or reading or knowing that in the death camps, beside the crematoria, in certain of the death camps, a string quartet was pressed into performance while this horror was going on, those were the people whose fate was this horror also. And they would be playing classical music while their fellow prisoners were being killed and burnt.
Click here to listen to the song on YouTube.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Well, I didn’t plan on writing anything about the troubles of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, his wounded family and his Argentinian lover. Like, I am sure, many others of a conservative bent, I was just dismayed to see another Republican of fairly strong repute falling to a scandal, and I preferred to avoid the story as much as possible. Yet, the story is out there in such a public way — thanks in part to the apparent openness and straightforwardness of both Mr. and Mrs. Sanford — that it does have elements of the salutary parable to it. By all appearances, it does seem that this is not the usual case we see in political life of a serial philanderer finally getting his comeuppance, but rather the case of a poor schlub who genuinely fell for someone in an initially unintentional if still stupid and adolescent fashion.
And then a reader (thanks to Linda) alerted me to an oblique Dylan connection in the whole thing. (… continue reading …)
Friday, June 26, 2009
Troopathon 2009 had raised a grand total of $603,049.14 by the end of last night. Our glorious Anti-Jihadist team of bloggers has been credited with the fantastic total of $9,298.72! We came in third in the blogger rankings, behind the late-surging Greyhawks team with $17,146.06 and the first place Hot Air Steamers with an amazing $24,704.36. Thanks to all who contributed. By all accounts these care packages mean a lot to the troops, and you can’t say more than that. (… continue reading …)
Thursday, June 25, 2009
In the Forward, Seth Rogovoy has many worthy reflections after reading two new books on Bob Dylan. The two books are: “The Cambridge Companion to Bob Dylan,” edited by Kevin J.H. Dettmar, which Rogovoy likes, and “Revolution in the Air: The Songs of Bob Dylan, 1957-1973” by Clinton Heylin, which Rogovoy doesn’t much like. The whole piece deserves a read: Bob Dylan’s Mystical Midrash. I haven’t at this point read either book myself, but I would agree with much of what Rogovoy himself says here generally about Dylan. I notice that he finds some of the words of Abraham Joshua Heschel — from his book “The Prophets” — illuminating in considering the special qualities of Dylan’s perspective in his songs. I wrote more along those lines in this space a few months ago: Prophets, octaves and blood.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Pamela Geller has pulled together the horrific stories and clips from what has clearly been an incredibly gruesome day in Iranian history. Shot by snipers, beaten to death by thugs, their bodies even stolen from the hospital by the agents of a regime determined to murder its own people and get away with it.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
For your consideration:
In the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI and Bob Dylan fan) spoke to the Iranian situation, in particular focusing on the killing of Neda Soltan, and making some pointed remarks regarding the posture of our Commander-in-Chief. (… continue reading …)
Monday, June 22, 2009
As of the most recent daily update, our Anti-Jihadist team has raised $4,474.31 towards care packages for the troops! We remain in second place behind the Hot Air Steamers, who have raised $9,381.18. Enormous thanks to all who have given so far! (… continue reading …)
Considering the amazing coverage it received, I guess everyone is aware of the incident about a week ago in a television interview when President Barack Obama swatted a fly on camera. (You may not know that the White House has actually been infested with flies.) (… continue reading …)
Sunday, June 21, 2009
From a famous live performance in Japan in 1994, this YouTube clip is Bob Dylan singing his magnificent song Ring Them Bells. (… continue reading …)
Saturday, June 20, 2009
On a somewhat lighter note:
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