Monday, May 23, 2011

Fuck Dylan

Bob Dylan is 70 years old, and I say so fucking what? It is time to stop worshipping this guy. I don't care how many good songs he's written, no one deserves the kind of sycophantic , unquestioning adoration this man has received. We are critical of all other things in our popular culture--rap music, Lady Gaga, name your pet annoyance--but Dylan gets a pass despite the over praise and reviewers over exposure. The molding heaps of cliches of what's already been written about Bob Dylan over the last give decades and ponder some as yet unremarked upon essence about the songwriter. What this was, though, was a bit of head scratching , a desperate attempt to force some enthusiasm for a subject while at the same time avoiding saying what everyone is painfully aware of: Dylan has had it as a live performer, and that his genius is something that is long ago, left in another generation's hey day. What this cliched-clogged "review" is saying, in essence, is that Dylan gathered a paycheck with little regard for presenting the music as his audience remembers it, and the faithful kissed his ring and gave him fresh roses. It's a sad thing that Dylan has become a professional celebrity. He has become a bore, and it's painful to read reviewers who insist that he hasn't.The alternative is up to each of us, individually. It is one thing to have a hero while young because he or she sets an example of how to be your own person, apart from the creature comforts of conformity. This, however, should be the transition point where we discover our own interests, trust our own instincts and take the risks that are of our choosing; we should become our own heros. We should have grown up and embraced an interesting world of music and art quite beyond Dylan; we genuflect to him, however, even as we gain speed into our sixties. We cannot get over our youth , we have aged badly in some regards. Our worship of Dylan , for good or ill, becomes the same thing as claiming that Lyndon LaRouche is merely misunderstood. This strips Dylan of his true worth and makes him merely another dime store cult hero. Enough. Fuck Dylan.

5 comments:

  1. Blind Boy Grump6:33 AM PDT

    I agree. While we're at it, fuck Norman Mailer also. I know he's dead, so dig him up and fuck what's left of his skeleton. Genius turns to moldy bacon after 50 years. No forgiving Knocked Out Loaded or The Gospel According to the Son. Oh Mercy? No Mercy. Fuck 'em.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Not the same thing; beats, gays, women, blacks and general readership were saying "fuck Mailer" for decades. His time in the limelight was not the uncritical adulation that has been the dominant tone of what's said of Dylan's work for fifty plus years.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mac the Finger12:24 PM PDT

    Check out the reviews Bob got for Self-Portrait and Street-Legal -- or, even better, Renaldo and Clara -- to sample the sort of "uncritical adulation" he has received over the years. Not to mention how his conversion to Christianity went over.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Amazingly, Dylan's reputation is such an article of faith that the occasional sniping he has experienced hasn't harmed his reputation a bit. The treating of Dylan as a stand- in savior and philosopher king is stronger and more entrenched than it's ever been. It is time for the man to be quiet.

    ReplyDelete

Say something clear and smart.Lets have a discussion.