missing

Have you seen one of my heros? Bob Dylan, the man who started up where Woody Guthrie left off, has been disconcertingly silent lately when it comes to issues that it seems everyone is weighing in on. Not only that but in his recent autobiography he rejects the notion that he ever spoke for a generation of the time:

A few years earlier Ronnie Gilbert, one of The Weavers, had introduced me at one of the Newport Folk Festivals saying, “And here he is … take him, you know him, he’s yours.” I had failed to sense the ominous forebodings in the introduction. Elvis had never even been introduced like that. “Take him, he’s yours!” What a crazy thing to say! Screw that. As far as I knew, I didn’t belong to anybody then or now. I had a wife and children whom I loved more than anything else in the world. I was trying to provide for them, keep out of trouble, but the big bugs in the press kept promoting me as the mouthpiece, spokesman, or even conscience of a generation. That was funny. All I’d ever done was sing songs that were dead straight and expressed powerful new realities. I had very little in common with and knew even less about a generation that I was supposed to be the voice of. I’d left my hometown only ten years earlier, wasn’t vociferating the opinions of anybody. My destiny lay down the road with whatever life invited, had nothing to do with representing any kind of civilization. Being true to yourself, that was the thing. I was more a cowpuncher than a Pied Piper.

People think that fame and riches translate into power, that it brings glory and honor and happiness. Maybe it does, but sometimes it doesn’t. I found myself stuck in Woodstock, vulnerable and with a family to protect. If you looked in the press, though, you saw me being portrayed as anything but that. It was surprising how thick the smoke had become. It seems like the world has always needed a scapegoat – someone to lead the charge against the Roman Empire. But America wasn’t the Roman Empire and someone else would have to step up and volunteer. I really was never any more than what I was a folk musician who gazed into the gray mist with tear-blinded eyes and made up songs that floated in a luminous haze. Now it had blown up in my face and was hanging over me.

A few excerpts and an interview here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6099172/site/newsweek/

Crap. I think he just weighed in. Sounds to me like a bitter man in his twilight looking back and rejecting what he once stood for. Scratch Mr. Zimmerman off my relevant people list.

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