Monthly Archives: March 2011

Stick with me, baby

At least I hope you do. I’m moving all regular operations over to my other website, The Cinch Review. It will now include a category I’m calling Dylanosophy (about halfway down the home page); to be different, and because it probably better describes the best of whatever it is I do in that regard (i.e. better than the term Dylanology). I’m doing this because (a) it’s long past time to put all my internet scribblings in one place and (b) my motivation to comment on everything happening in the Dylan universe is just not strong enough to justify this venue any more. Too often I would be repeating myself, which I don’t like to do — it’s all in the archives somewhere, and I don’t have any plans to take down the archives (although I’ll probably move a few items over to the new spot). I’d like to do Dylan-related things only when I have something to say, rather than trying to keep up-to-date for no other reason than keeping up-to-date.


I’m enormously and sincerely grateful for all the eyeballs and support I’ve received here, and I hope whatever bizarre mix of things I continue to launch into the ether will meet your fancy in one way or another.

Goodbye is too good a word, so I’ll just say … bookmark this! Look for new writing in various categories including: Commentary, Reviews, Dogs and Dylanosophy.

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You can still access the archives of this website here via links in the right sidebar or via the search box below.

The Times They Are A-Changin'

Chinese checkers hold up Bob Dylan shows

Britain’s Telegraph reports that the Chinese government is in fact reviewing the planned Bob Dylan concerts in Beijing and Shanghai, slated to take place in April. As the writer, Martin Chilton, points out, the April 6th and April 8th gigs gigs in mainland China do not appear on the tour dates listed on the official BobDylan.com website. However, they have been listed for some time as confirmed dates on the unofficial but traditionally very reliable site run by Bill Pagel.

Interestingly, the official site also does not list the gigs in Taipei (Taiwan) on April 3rd, or in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on April 10th. (The show in Hong Kong on April 12th is listed on both sites.)

Last year, proposed dates in mainland China did not come off, although I don’t recall that they ever had achieved “confirmed” status on Bill Pagel’s website, leaving the possibility that the business aspects never really gelled. Mr. Chilton observes: Continue reading “Chinese checkers hold up Bob Dylan shows” »

Pete Seeger: Never too old to support the wrong cause

It’s being reported that Pete Seeger, the 92 year-old folk/protest singer, has now joined the BDS movement. Some of you might say: “Well, I’m not really surprised that Pete Seeger would have Bush Derangement Syndrome, but isn’t this a bit tardy on his part?” Unfortunately, this BDS is even worse than that one. It stands for “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions,” and is all about ostracizing, punishing and ultimately destroying the state of Israel.

Even on the flagship website for the movement, you will have a hard time finding what it is — specifically speaking — that Israel would have to do to satisfy the Boycott/Divestment/Sanction folks. In the end, while it begins with a call for “self-determination” for Palestinians (about which Israel has openly been willing to negotiate for years, but lacking a willing partner) the goals are designed to be amorphous, so that the “movement” can just continue until Israel is completely gone. And so it’s just another iteration of the oldest hatred in the world. Continue reading “Pete Seeger: Never too old to support the wrong cause” »

Masked and Anonymous

Just a passage from Abraham Joshua Heschel’s deeply inspiring book, Man Is Not Alone.

God is unwilling to be alone, and man cannot forever remain impervious to what He longs to show. Those of us who cannot keep their striving back find themselves at times within the sight of the unseen and become aglow with its rays. Some of us blush, others wear a mask. Faith is a blush in the presence of God.

Some of us blush, others wear a mask which veils spontaneous sensitivity to the holy ineffable dimension of reality. We all wear so much mental make-up, we have almost forfeited our face. But faith only comes when we stand face to face — the ineffable in us with the ineffable beyond us — suffer ourselves to be seen, to commune, to receive a ray and to reflect it. But to do that the soul must be alive within the mind.

Responsiveness to God cannot be copied; it must be original with every soul. Even the meaning of the divine is not grasped when imposed by a doctrine, when accepted by hearsay. It only enters our vision when leaping like a spark from the anvil of the mind, hammered and beaten upon by trembling awe.

I noted that particular passage for its (pre-)echo of Dylan’s concept of humans as beings who go around wearing masks, as in his 2004 film.However, it is soaring and galvanizing writing irrespective of any potential Dylan links. And every page of the book is like that. Quite amazing.

My shoes, they come from Singapore

During his recent performance at the Grammys, Bob Dylan was wearing a pair of two-tone, black and white shoes, which caught the eyes of many viewers. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen him wear them before, whether on stage or in some publicity photo, but I can’t be specific. Since then, I came across a similar pair of shoes somewhere else; namely, in the episode of Kojak embedded from Hulu.com below. It’s from 1974. Continue reading “My shoes, they come from Singapore” »