Cue "The Times They Are A-Changin'"

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Speaking to The Times (London) about an exhibition of his sketches opening next week in England, Bob Dylan tips his leopard skin pillbox hat to the Democratic nominee:

"Well, you know right now America is in a state of upheaval," he says. "Poverty is demoralising. You can't expect people to have the virtue of purity when they are poor. But we've got this guy out there now who is redefining the nature of politics from the ground up…Barack Obama. He's redefining what a politician is, so we'll have to see how things play out. Am I hopeful? Yes, I'm hopeful that things might change. Some things are going to have to." He offers a parting handshake. "You should always take the best from the past, leave there and go forward into the future," he notes as the door closes between us.

Whole thing here. And don't miss Brian Doherty's classic 2001 reason account of Dylan's "wonderfully inauthentic art."

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  1. Two celebrity stories in a row. If you want to be the political TMZ, at least have Prince Von A-Hole’s endorsement of John McCain.

  2. Hope and change. Jesus Christ, can’t Obama’s cultists say anything else?

  3. You know that gullible, naive Bob Dylan.

  4. Must be in some kind of cult.

    Pffffffffffffftt. It’s all…just…BULLSHIT, man.

  5. I wonder when was the last time Bob Dylan was poor and demoralized?

  6. But we’ve got this guy out there now who is redefining the nature of politics from the ground up…Barack Obama. He’s redefining what a politician is, so we’ll have to see how things play out.

    So senility has begun to consume the mind of Bob Dylan. This is so sad.

  7. I thought the only demoralized people in the US are Ron Paul republicans.

    Oh, yeah, and Bill Clinton.

  8. joe, can I hope that you change?

  9. So if Obama picks Hillary for VP, can he still hoist the “change” banner?

  10. Oh, look, Bob Dylan says he’s excited about Barack Obama.

    Yeah, well, he’s just some kind of naive cultist.

    How do you know he’s just a naive cultists?

    Didn’t you hear? He says he’s excited about Barack Obama.

  11. Prediction: 150+ posts where the majority are constituted by joe and some other shmuck exchanging insults.

  12. Midwest power, man. We got Obama and Dylan, d00d.

  13. I was in line at a grocery store a month or so ago, the checker was a young woman probably somewhere around Mr. Root’s age and I was wearing a Dylan t-shirt. “I like the shirt,” she said. “Do, um, do you know who it is?” I asked. “No,” she admitted. “Bob Dylan,” I told her. Deer. Headlights. “You don’t know who Bob Dylan is?” I asked, trying to keep the incredulity from my voice. “Um,… well, um, some kind of singer, maybe?”

  14. There is God’s poor, and the devil’s poor. The first from providence, the latter from vice.

  15. “…this guy out there now who is redefining the nature of politics from the ground up.”

    joe, I’ve got a reasonable amount of respect for Dylan even though I’m really not a fan. This statement is pretty naive, no matter who said it.

  16. I wanted to read Mr. Doherty’s 2001 article; the link has the books reviewed, but beyond that none of the text of the actual article.

  17. Odd but revealing how and why the least interesting part of the interview was chosen as the topic.

  18. D.A. Ridgely,

    some years back I was in a burger joint in a tiny cental Idaho town. My shirt was a real loud tie dye that had the name Garcia at the bottom. Young lady at the counter says “ooooh I like your shirt.” Other girl says ” Who is Garcia?” First girl says real condescendingly, “geeeeez, you don’t know?Jeremy Garcia.”

  19. “geeeeez, you don’t know?Jeremy Garcia.”

    Oh, yeah! Jeremy Garcia…he was the 49ers QB after Steve Young, correct? 😉

  20. Now all we need to know is the crucial Peter Paul & Mary endorsement…

  21. Members of cults don’t see themselves as cultists, joe. Like, for instance, you.

  22. So…this might sound like a dumb question, but I’m only 18 and I just started listening to Dylan so I have an excuse. I got Blonde on Blonde and I like it, but I was wondering. What exactly is a “leopard skin pillbox hat”?

    I wanted to read Mr. Doherty’s 2001 article; the link has the books reviewed, but beyond that none of the text of the actual article.

    Me too.

  23. “But, politically, it’s a bit naive, don’t you think?”

  24. No I think Jeremy Garcia, is like one half of Ben & Jeremy’s ice cream.

  25. >>>What exactly is a “leopard skin pillbox hat”?

  26. Cherremy Garcia is to die for

  27. What exactly is a “leopard skin pillbox hat”?

    Something showy one puts on to try to draw attention to one’s self.

    Like, for example, Episiarch’s pose.

  28. 1. Swap out joblessness for poverty and you have a good explanation for about 4% of the United States, but there’s no way to blame our tolerance for corrupt liars on this nation’s poverty, given how we’re one of the wealthiest in the world.

    2. Obama has been far more ground up than any major party nominee ever. His fundraising has largely come from small donors and his support generally came from unorganized groups rather than stuff like labor endorsements. Even his success at getting black voters on his side came from circumventing the more formal channels, like churches, that the Clintons had already sewn up.

  29. I’m biased against Obama and in favor of Dylan, so I must point out that Dylan’s comment isn’t actually an endorsement so much as it’s an acknowledgment. Dylan often says vague things and lets other people draw their own conclusions and then chastises them for jumping to conclusions

    Love him or hate him, Obama is doing politics in a different way. I think he’s a phony, but there’s no denying that he’s different and is, to some extent, changing politics. That, coupled with an old man’s desire to be vaguely optimistic about the future doesn’t (quite) an endorsement make.

  30. What exactly is a “leopard skin pillbox hat”?

    Isn’t that a type of merkin?

  31. Bob Dylan is still alive?

  32. The link to Brian’s story is wonderfully inauthentic too. I mean, the story isn’t there.

  33. Bob Dylan is still alive?

    As live as you or me/ strolling through these quarters in utmost misery

  34. His fundraising has largely come from small donors and his support generally came from unorganized groups rather than stuff like labor endorsements. Even his success at getting black voters on his side came from circumventing the more formal channels, like churches, that the Clintons had already sewn up.

    His organizing, too. From TIME:

    Obama uses a different frame of reference. “As somebody who had been a community organizer,” Obama recalls, “I was convinced that if you invited people to get engaged, if you weren’t trying to campaign like you were selling soap but instead said, ‘This is your campaign, you own it, and you can run with it,’ that people would respond and we could build a new electoral map.” The chum stores, the e-mail obsession and the way Obama organizations sprang up organically in almost every congressional district in the country meant that by the time Obama’s field organizers arrived in a state, all they had to do was fire up an engine that had already been designed and built locally. “We had to rely on the grass roots, and we had clarity on that from the beginning,” says Plouffe.

    By contrast, the Clinton campaign, which started out with superior resources and the mantle of inevitability, was a top-down operation in which decision-making rested with a small coterie of longtime aides. Her state organizers often got mixed signals from the headquarters near Washington. Decisions from Hillaryland often came too late for her field organization to execute. Obama’s bottom-up philosophy also helps explain why he was able to sweep the organization-heavy caucus states, which were so crucial to building up his insurmountable lead in pledged delegates. What was not appreciated by many at the time: while Clinton spent heavily in every state she contested, Obama’s approach saved money. Says Dean-campaign veteran Trippi: “His volunteers were organizing his caucus victories for free.”

    It’s the difference between how Red Army’s attitude towards initiative independence by its field officers, and the American Army’s.

  35. Does anyone know a site where I can find the % of the black vote Obama won by state?

  36. It’s the difference between how Red Army’s attitude towards initiative independence by its field officers, and the American Army’s.

    To continue the analogy, the Ron Paul campaign, with it’s reliance on Meetup groups, was sort of the Maoist alternative.

  37. Like, for example, Episiarch’s pose.

    I’m too sexy for my shirt/too sexy for my shirt/too sexy for my shirt/so sexy it hurts…

  38. I just read a column that stated that HRC won a “significant” amount of the black vote. Perhaps she did, but I remember Obama’s numbers being somewhere around 85% plus in most states. My memory of the various races could be wrong though, and I’d love to know if there is any data on this out there.

  39. Hey, that’s copyright infringement! I demand you pay me for the use of my song.

    I really need the money.

    Really.

  40. I think HRC’s biggest problem was that she was so sure of winning early that she played it far too safe, playing to the general election too soon. She hemmed and hawed on the war (partly due to her vote on the AUMF I guess) which made the primary voters less enthused with her while Obama took a risk and said he was 100% against it.

  41. I cannot believe people have bought this Obama creation. The democrat party totally hand picked and groomed him. It seemed like they were going to go with grooming Harold Ford Jr a few years ago, but then his whole family went to jail in Tennessee, so the dems had to get themselves another one. Enter Obama.

    If he wins this thing we’re all going to be in even deeper shit than we are now.

  42. The link to Brian’s story is wonderfully inauthentic too. I mean, the story isn’t there.

    Heh. That’s the genius of it.

  43. I wonder: as some point, do you think it will start occuring to the people spouting Republican talking points that they will come across as more plausible if they restrain themselves from sprinking Republican cant into their comments?

    “Dear Editor, as a lifelong member of the Democrat Party, I’m concerned that Barack HUSSEIN Obama will not be as strong a candidate against John McCain this Fall as the She-Beast, Hitlery…”

  44. The text of Brian’s article on Dylan is now restored, though some formatting may still be missing.

  45. dormouse- leopard skin pill box hat–the pill box hat is like the one jacki o used to wear. or audrey hepburn.

    and get highway 61 revisited. that album will blow your fucking socks off

  46. Dylan only wants Obama because “universal health care” will presumably include complimentary colostomy bags.
    Jesus, who give a fuck was some post-beatnik hack poet thinks about politics?

  47. Thanks, Jesse.

  48. Ah, Bob Dylan… that shining beacon of intellectual clarity…

  49. Dylan only wants Obama because “universal health care” will presumably include complimentary colostomy bags.
    Jesus, who give a fuck was some post-beatnik hack poet thinks about politics?

    If Dylan does in fact use colostomy bags, he fills them with more insight than your entire body will ever contain. Dude’s brilliant.

  50. Dude’s brilliant.

    No, Longfellow was brilliant. Chaucer. Hemingway.
    Dylan is good (especially “Hurricane), but when it comes to literature, he isn’t fit to suck the balls of any of the above.

  51. I heard Dylan was diagnosed with asperger’s when he was a kid.

  52. Joe,

    “”Dear Editor, as a lifelong member of the Democrat Party, I’m concerned that Barack HUSSEIN Obama will not be as strong a candidate against John McCain this Fall as the She-Beast, Hitlery…”

    Who said this?

  53. Chaucer, Steinbeck Milton, Shakespeare are brilliant, Longfellow comes close, and Hemingway has no business in that company.

    Superficially, Dylan songs may look like substandard poetry because of the chorus/verse structure, and when he writes shit, it’s shit, but I can’t think of any songwriter who compares, and e.e. cummings is his only rival in 20th century poetry.

  54. Hemingway has no business in that company.

    Fightin’ words. As a journalist, the man is my hero.
    “Hemingway. He’s no good.”
    “Why?”
    “Dialogue.”
    “Too curt for you?”
    “Yes. Let’s drink.”
    “Yes, let’s.”
    He passed the brandy. Slid three fingers into the smoked glass.
    “Hemingway’s brilliant, a man’s writer.”
    “That’s what it is with you. Maleness.”
    “Partly. But he was a poet, from his loins.”
    “You’re obsessed. Sex, loins.”
    “That’s where good literature comes from.”
    “I’ll concede the point.”

    They drank into the morning. And the next day, they would hunt.

  55. To me, Hemingway and HST are very similar. Both write about themselves primarily, both are really good at it, but both are predictable.

  56. Jamie Kelly,

    That reads more like Delillo.

    Hemmingway’s manly men don’t talk about poetry and literary style.

  57. Dormouse | June 6, 2008, 10:47am | #

    So…this might sound like a dumb question, but I’m only 18 and I just started listening to Dylan so I have an excuse. I got Blonde on Blonde and I like it, but I was wondering. What exactly is a “leopard skin pillbox hat”?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pillbox_hat. Very popular in the early sixties. If the hat’s made of real leopard skin (possible in the sixties), it would be a little tacky, if made of fake leopard skin, more tacky. And a few years behind the times.

  58. I thought Dylan was dead. I know Heminghaw is. The guy wasn’t a writer, but a poser. Fitzgerald was a writer.

    Before Dylan went to NYC he stayed in Madison, WI crashing for a few months back in the early day. When he ran into some of his Madison buddies a few years later in NYC, he completely snubbed them—when the Rolling Stone reporter asked him who they were, he said “Just some fans, I guess.” That’s the kind of p.o.s. Bob Dylan is.

  59. “Hope and change. Jesus Christ, can’t Obama’s cultists say anything else?”

    No, they can’t. And then stupid fuckers like joe have the nerve to claim Republicans use talking points too much.

  60. can’t Obama’s cultists say anything else?

    We prefer to be called “Obamatons”, and we ‘hope’ you’ll ‘change’ your mind about our fearless leader candidate. He needs to appear on the Colbert Report, Bob Barr style.

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