If' you're like me, you fell asleep 'round midnight last night in a foul mood over the state of our nation, with the steady stream of revelations that an alleged serial groper (which is not a kind of seafood) is still one October Surprise away from the White House. So when I woke up at 7 a.m. and checked Twitter (isn't that what you do when you wake up?), I thought I was still dreaming. Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize? For Literature?
How does it feel?! Sure, you can and should debate the merits -- whether folk-rock lyrics are literature on a par with Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Samuel Beckett and Toni Morrison, whether the prize should instead go to an underappreciated bard from the developing world, or whether Springsteen and not Dylan should have been the first U.S. rocker to cop a Nobel. But for us mostly-despised Baby Boomers, this news was still a wonderful thing -- a chance in 2016 to celebrate one of the icons of our vanishing youth at something other than a funeral.
One of the first Dylan tunes to bust into the American consciousness in the early 1960s was, "The Times, They Are A-Changin'" -- but are they, really? A bit worn down in my first week back, I've decided to ask the so-called Voice of a Generation (though probably not yours) to bring the week home here at Attytood. Turns out that our guest blogger, the former Robert Zimmerman, has a lot to say about 2016.
Headline: GOP members of Congress endorse, un-endorse, and endorse Donald Trump for president:
You've got a lotta nerve to say you are my friend
When I was down you just stood there grinnin'
You've got a lotta nerve to say you got a helping hand to lend
You just want to be on the side that's winnin'
-- "Positively 4th Street" (1965)
Headline: With little fanfare or media attention, President Obama (also a Nobel Prize winner...hmmm) orders bomb strikes against targets in Yemen:
Come you masters of war
You that build the big guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks
Headline: Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, who advocates fiercely for marijuana legalization, doesn't seem to know much about Syria or the rest of the world:
They'll stone ya when you're tryin' to make a buck
They'll stone ya and then they'll say "good luck"
Tell ya what, I would not feel so all alone
Everybody must get stoned
-- "Rainy Day #12 and 35" (1966)
Headline: Protests erupt in Charlotte and elsewhere around the country over police-involved shootings and policing of urban neighborhoods:
When a cop pulled him over to the side of the road
Just like the time before and the time before that
In Paterson that's just the way things go
If you're black you might as well not show up on the street
'Less you want to draw the heat
-- "Hurricane" (co-written with Jacques Levy, 1975)
Headline: Obama administration is drawing up a new policy for Syria and the Middle East:
I was thinkin' about turquoise, I was thinkin' about gold
I was thinkin' about diamonds and the world's biggest necklace
As we rode through the canyons, through the devilish cold
I was thinkin' about ISIS, how she thought I was so reckless
Headline: Polls show Donald Trump is still within striking distance of the White House:
Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good?
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could?
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul
Headline: Trump campaign inflames U.S.-Mexico relations:
Señor, señor, let's disconnect these cables
Overturn these tables
This place don't make sense to me no more
Can you tell me what we're waiting for, señor?
-- "Señor (Tales of Yankee Power)" (1978)
Headline: Executive director Vince Fenerty ousted at the Philadelphia Parking Authority in a sexual harassment scandal:
Don't follow leaders, watch the parkin' meters
-- "Subterranean Homesick Blues" (1965)
Headline: At least news-wise, 2016 seems to be going down as one of the worst years on record:
There must be some kind of way outta here
Said the joker to the thief
There's too much confusion
I can't get no relief
Business men, they drink my wine
Plowman dig my earth
None were level on the mind
Nobody up at his word