Exhuming Bob 2-2 Detourning The Folks

December 24, 2007

A Critique

Exhuming Bob 2-2

Detourning The Folks

     Greil Marcus has written of detournment extensively especially in his Lipstick Traces.  The French word means hijacking, rerouting or diversion, or in other words changing the direction of the flow or meaning.  Thus one strips an object of its familiar values and replaces them with others but leaves the object intact.  In a conflict of cultures the question becomes who will assign the values or meanings to objects and words.

     I will use as a starting point for my purposes here H.L. Mencken of the twenties.  The values into which immigrants migrated were those of the Anglo-Saxons.  From the immigrant viewpoint the Anglo-Saxons detourned their languages and cultures attempting to replace them with English and Anglo-Saxon values.  The inevitable result was that immigrants felt that they had been devalued and demeaned.  So it is no wonder that having recovered some balance by the end of WWII they fought back by attempting to detourne Anglo-Saxon culture in their favor.

     This is nowhere more apparent than between the Jews and Angl0-Saxons.  No matter whether you place the conflict between the Old Dispensation or the New Dispensation the Jews always view themselves as a separate, independant and potentially dominant culture.  Hence the drive is always first for autonomy and then detourning the host culture to reflect Jewish laws and customs, hopefully making Hebrew the official language.  To Jews, like Greil Marcus and Bob Dylan then ‘freedom’ means the replacement of the Anglo-Saxon law and culture with Jewish law and culture with the Jews as arbiters of the fate of what become essentially subject peoples.  The Jews can never be ‘free’ no matter how unrestrained they may be so long as they are subject to others legal and social systems.  This is the central problem the United States and the West refuse to face.  The same is true of the Semitic Moslems.  It is the purpose of Moslems to detourne Western culture for a Moslem Culture.  It is quite simple.

     By the time H.L. Mencken was making his rise Anglo-Saxon pride was at its maximum.  I haven’t been able to determine whether Mencken was Jewish but he allied himself with the Jews making common cause with them.  The approach naturally was to defame Anglo-Saxonism.    Mencken naturally chose the least sophisticated  Anglo-Saxons to represent the whole.  Thus he went to the mountain folk of Appalachia and the hill country all along the Line.  He began to ridicule these people as representative of all Anglo-Saxons.  I mean, he was mean; he was vicious; his Jews caused a huge fuss for much less criticism or in their terms- defamation.

     Expanding the arena, using these rural folk as their model the Communists then picked up on these people with the least possibility of education as the example of Anglo-Saxonism.  In 1932 and 1933 following Mencken’s example Erskine Caldwell, a Communist writer, published two mammoth best sellers, Tobacco Road and God’s Little Acre.  These books were especially mean and vicious making Mencken look laudatory in comparison.  Perhaps using Mencken and Caldwell as inspirations a Jewish cartoonist by the name of Al Capp created the L’il Abner comic strip in 1934.  This strip also ridiculed Anglo-Saxons but in a less demeaning manner that not only didn’t offend the majority but actually pleased them.  There were some few of us who saw through the sham but there was nothing obvious enough that the majority could see.

     Capp would be convicted on a morals charge late in his career that effectively ended his influence.  The motif was carried forward on television in the series Archie Bunker.

     Now, the Anglo-Saxons used to represent the whole were the custodians of the Folk music that was so revered by the New York City Jews of the late fifties and early sixties.  So you actually have Jews imitating Hillbillies.

      The vilification the Mountain Folk endured actually shamed the city Anglo-Saxons causing a dichotomy in their character.  They rejected the Mountain Folk as representing all Anglo-Saxons.  This is made quite clear in Caldwell’s novel when his urban relative throws his rural cousins out of his house and tells them to never come back.  Something like a son testifying against his father.  The Liberal-Conservative split was given a difinitive form.

     The Mountain Folk formed what Greil Marcus calls the Weird Old America.  After the Roosevelt administration was elected and the New Deal was established as a continuation of the Wilsonian New Democracy Jews flooded back into Washington as under Wilson.

     During the twenties as radio became a reality and recording technology became more widespread and available a number of Mountain Folk and/or White Trash as they were alternately known, recorded their distinctive music in their own voice.  Nor was this music ill received, many of the recordings were huge sellers according to the standards of the times while some like Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family became very successful recording acts.  Thus what was known as Hillbilly music until 1954 came into existence.  For whatever reason whoever controls these things thought the term Hillbilly was insulting so the various rural flavored musics were grouped under the term, Country and Western.  Hicks are hicks to me whatever you call them,  Hillbilly or Country, I’ve been called worse.  Having ancestors that came down from the Kentucky hills I have no objection to my Hillbilly ancestry.

     The Anglo-Saxon dichotomy was such that those who were shamed by Communist efforts had an extreme aversion to Hillbilly or Country music that they considered ignorant while professing to admire the Blues simply because it was performed by Blacks even though the intellectual content was well below that of Hillbilly music.

     Nevertheless the Hill Folk were the custodians of the old English folk traditions.  Folk music was then separated from Hillbilly music and approved on that basis.  Thus after the Roosevelt administration was installed in an effort to counter the Depression certain cultural programs were developed.  One involved the attempt to preserve the quaint customs and music of the Hill Folk and the rural Blacks.  These two peoples were treated as anthropological specimens on the same level as Tobriand Islanders and others.

     The New Deal of the Roosevelt administration was a direct continuation of Wilsonian New Democracy.  It was as though they’d never been gone.  With the creation of a huge new bureaucracy Jews came flooding back into Washington as they had in the two Wilson administrations.  In many if not most cases these people were the ones sent out to deal with our homegrown anthropological specimens as Superior to Inferior.  Sort of a domestic Peace Corps.  Yes, they did profess to revere the music of these simple folks.

     So Folk Music always had an honored place in Anglo-Saxon cultivated circles perhaps spurred to some extent by the ‘field’ recordings of the New Dealers.  Folk played a prominent part in popular music from the end of WWII on.  Foremost practioners of the genre were the Almanac Singers and their successors The Weavers.

     A key member of both groups was Pete Seeger.  Pete was both Jewish and Red.  This was a bad combination during the post-war anti-Communist reaction.  While making hits of a number of Leadbelly songs under Seeger’s guidance The Weavers had a major success with the Jewish melody Hava Nagila.  It was a catchy tune.  I liked it.

     Capitalizing on this success The Weaver’s under Seeger’s guidance concocted a ‘folk’ tune called Song of the Sabra celebrating Jewish ‘pioneer’ efforts in Israel.  Apparently the Sabras were some kind of hobo outfit that sat around campfires and ate stew a lot.  Thus the effort to detourne American Folk Music began.  The Song of the Sabras was so egregiously promotive of Israeli/Jewish interests that the song caused a big reaction.  If I remember correctly it was staged at least once on a TV version of the Lucky Strike Hit Parade.  That’s where I got the camp fire bit as Pete roasted his weeny and sang.  Whether it was an extra or supposedly in the Top Ten I can’t remember.

     Somewhere about then Seeger and The Weavers were found to be subservice giving a bad name to Folk Music as long as the genre lasted in 1966  or ’67.  The Weavers disappeared from the air waves.  However at least one member would be instrumental in guiding the musical direction of the Kingston Trio.

     Folk music continued strong between the demise of The Weavers and the emergence of the Kingston Trio both as popular music and ‘purist’ Folk.  The greatest of them all was Lonnie Donegan who had a successful career in the US and a tremendous impact on the British scene from England to Australia as Skiffle Music.  Josh White, Odetta, Harry Belafonte, Terry Gilkyson and the Easy Riders among others, one might add Mitch Miller, had many memorable folk tunes competing equally with Rock and Roll if not its superior.  If one considers the Presley Sun recordings objectively they also can be seen as Folk or highly influenced by Folk.  After all Elvis was known as the Hillbilly Cat.

     The Kingston Trio with their Tom Dooley that was an actual sensation in 1958 sort of broke the taboo against Folk music although the Kingstons were plenty subversive.  The great Chad Mitchell Trio emerged at this time also as an even more politically subversive group but also with a popular sound and enough bite to defuse Dylan’s claim to have introduced serious lyrics into popular music.  The Chad Mitchell Trio is probably running neck and neck with the Kingstons as my favorite folk groups although Terry Gilkyson along with the Pozo-Seco Singers are right behind them.  The old Seekers from Australia are hot stuff too.

     So that brings us up to Grossman’s Gate of Horn in Chicago of ’58 and the founding of the Newport Folk Festival in ’59 as well as Dylan’s entry into the New York Folk Scene in ’61.


     After WWII the Jews had introduced the raw form of multi-culturalism designed to replace the Anglo-Saxon model of society with the Jewish.  With the election of the Irish Catholic John F. Kennedy it appeared that the Anglos had been defeated. 

     The next phase of the Jewish program was put in place.  The thing was to detourne or hijack American culture. 

     Detourning Folk music was part of it.  The study of Dylan concentrates on the New York City East Village group that was virtually Jewish with its specific outlook.  Actually the Folk scene was very diverse and different in its emphasis in each locale.  Bob would focus the entire Folk movement in himself.

     Boston with the Mel Lyman family and Jim Kweskin Jug Band, Geoff and Maria Muldaur was quite different from NYC.  The strictly commercial LA scene with Randy Sparks’ New Christy Minstrels had its own flavor.  In San Francisco Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter and others had credentials that easily matched those of Dylan.  The whole San Francisco Sound was Folk based.

     The top bands like Kingston Trio, Chad Mitchell Trio and semi-pop groups like the Brothers Four and the Christy Minstrels really carried the banner for folk.

     And then there was the Country or Hillbilly faction that was considerable.  Great old tunes like Jimmy Brown The News Boy were Country smashes.  Hank Snow recorded a passel of old Folk songs like Nobody’s Child.  New murder ballads appeared for people who like that sort of thing that were fabulous like Snow’s Miller’s Cave  and Lefty Frizzell’s dazzling The Long Black Veil.  It would be years before it was known that Veil was newly written and not an old Hillbilly song.  If you compare the Kingston’s  Tom Dooley with Frizzell’s Long Black Veil you can’t tell the difference.

     A word about Harry Smith’s  Anthology Of American Folk Music that Greil Marcus and Bob Dylan revere so much.  The collection is a very small selection of songs culled from a huge mass of material that just happened to fit Harry Smith’s personal psychosis.  Anyone going over the same mass of material could select an entirely different selection of songs that reflected their own personal outlook and would be just as ‘authentic.’  I mean, I heard The Cuckoo and I Wish I Was A Mole In The Ground over the radio decades ago as a kid.  I was signally unimpressed.  I never called in to hear either again.  So as far as being some authentic voice of America I rather think the collection reflects Jewish and Communist ideals. 

     What is the message exactly of ‘I wish I were a mole in the ground, I would burrow until I brought that mountain down.’

     It that isn’t a call to detournement I don’t know what is.  So Harry Smith is Harry Smith and welcome to him but I have my own agenda.

     So Dylan left his old life behind to begin a new life in New york City but with an old agenda.  His secret agenda was to detourne American culture.  Of course the word ‘detourne’ was unknown in America at that time.  I have to thank Greil Marcus for adding that very useful word to my vocabulary.

     Bob started out detourning Woody Guthrie.  Within a couple months he had hijacked Woody’s life.  Clinton Heylin believes that even the Guthrie persona was second hand having been detourned from Jack Elliot who had of course detourned it from Guthrie.  Boy, there was another stone bore I never could listen to, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot.

     Dylan more or less confirms this in his Chronicles Vol. I.  I’m copying a quote from Chronicles as noted by Jim Kunstler in his excellent review of Bob’s memoir:



     “You’re trying hard, but you’ll never turn into Woody Guthrie,’ (John) Pankake says to me as if he’s looking down from some high hill, like something has violated his instincts.  It was no fun being around Pankake.  He made me nervous.  He breathed fire through his nose.  ‘You’d better think of something else.  You’re doing it for nothing.  Jack Elliot’s already been where you are and gone.  Ever heard of him?’  No, I ‘d never heard of Jack Elliot.  When Pankake said his name it was the first time I’d heard it.  ‘Never heard of him, no….’ Pankake lived in an apartment over McCosh’s bookstore, a place that specialized in eclectic, ancient texts, philosophical political pamphlets from the 1800s on up.  It was a neighborhood hangout for intellectuals and Beat types, on the main floor of an old Victorian house only a few blocks away.  I went there with Pankake and saw it was true, he had all the incredible records, ones you never saw and wouldn’t know where to get.  For somone who didn’t sing and play it was amazing he had so many….Pankake was right.  Elliot was far beyond me….I sheepishly left the apartment and went back out in the cold street, aimlessly walked around, I felt like I had nowhere to go, felt like one of the deadmen walking through the catacombs.  It would be hard not to be influenced by the guy….He was overseas in Europe, anyway, in a self-imposed exile.  The US hadn’t been ready for him.  Good.  I was hoping he’d stay gone, and I kept hunting for Guthrie songs.”


     Of course the US hadn’t been ready for Elliot.  One Guthrie was one too many.  Who needed a Guthrie detourned by another Jew?  Let the English have Elliot.  But that didn’t stop Bob from detourning both Guthrie and Elliot when he got to the Big Apple.  He followed Elliot around studying and copying his mannerisms.  Elliot should have painted on his guitar the slogan:  This machine kills copycats.

     Well, no matter Bob learned his error when he learned another Guthrie copycat wasn’t needed in NYC but Bob had mastered a style, a persona on which he could build.  That was more than he had had before.

     Pete Seeger and the Jewish busybodies were busy fomenting discord in the South.  Already knee deep in the Big Muddy Seeger was encourging others to write political diatribe songs.  The path was clear and Bob met a girl named Suze Rotolo.  Rotolo worked at CORE.  She then encouraged Bob to write ‘politically relevant’ songs.  Well, what are you going to do but go with the flow, swim with the current? Bob didn’t like the topical songs though.  You have to give him credit for good sense there.  He wrote literary style lyrics that talked around the political issues without dealing with them directly.

     Now there were songs that other voices could sing.

     As a lyricist Bob was not a tunesmith so he merely borrowed tunes from old ballads and other people.  In other words he detourned Anglo-Saxon folk tunes grafting on Jewish sensibilities.  Heylin gives a perfect example in an exchange Dylan had with Martin Carthy in England.  Carthy showed him the old English ballad Greensleeves.  Bob dutifully learned the song.  Then he went away for a few weeks.  When he came back he collared Carthy and played him Greensleeves.  Here’s your Greensleeves he said.  Then he played the tune set to the words of Girl From The North Country.  Thus he detourned tune after tune to his own Jewish sensibilities.

     Now things were heating up on the Jewish revolutionary front.  The so-called Free Speech Movement was being launched at UC Berkeley.

     As I mentioned Jews could never be ‘free’ so long as they were merely part of a dominant other culture.  So ‘Freedom’ meant to them detourning the dominant culture so that their own law and culture was supreme.  Freedom for the Jews meant slavery for everyone else.  Thus we have Greil Marcus in the bleachers cheering his heart out at Free Speech rallies for ‘freedom.’  There were many of us in the bleachers much less enthusiastic.  But then we weren’t Jewish and we weren’t clear as to what was going on.

     Dylan as a Jew came to Berkeley to play where he was received as a hero by his fellow Jews.  Both must have been aware of what they were doing.  Jerry Rubin was the sparkplug whether Greil Marcus slyly disagrees with him or not.

     The revolt at Berkeley soon spread to Columbia and the rest of the Ivy League and across the country where it meshed with Mao’s Cultural Revolution.

     Dylan himself progressed from his political associations to Another Side of Bob Dylan in which he worked out his own personal problems in a Jewish social context in highly symbolic language.  The lyrics are complex, poetical and not easily understood.  the concept of ‘Freedom’ plays a prominent role.


     Freedom as the idea of a complete lack of constraints developed in the latter half of the twentieth century.  Prior to this ‘freedom’ meant to be free so long as your own freedom didn’t conflict with the freedom of others.  Latterly it has taken the meaning that others be damned so long as one can do what one wants.  This entails the related notion:  consequences be damned.  Consequences won’t be damned so if one does the crime one must do the time.  I suppose the notion is that if you can run fast enough you can avoid the consequences.  I don’t know if one can but some have done a very presentable job of it.  Mao was one, Dylan is another.  Of course there was that one little incident at Redwing that didn’t work out too well but since then it has been fairly smooth sailing for Bob and he may leave the building without suffering too many serious consequences. 

     Now, in order to be free one has to dominate everyone else.  If one is obligated to an other then one isn’t free according to this latter day interpretation of ‘freedom.’  In that sense in the entertainment industry Frank Sinatra was as free as anyone has ever been.  The man need only place a call to anyone elses wife and she would leave her husband’s bed and run over and give Frank a blow job and there was nothing the husband could do about it.  This is no joke.  Sinatra could have anyone beaten up with impunity.  When he was offended by President Kennedy, Kennedy was shot.  There are those who maintain Frank had a hand in it.  Never been proven but there are reasons to so believe.  Frank Sinatra had ‘freedom’ while he escaped the most serious consquences dying in bed a very old man.  Alone and despised perhaps but then one can’t escape all the consequences.

     So while limiting himself to a field in which he could be successful Bob has perhaps been the most ‘free’ of the Rock ‘n Rollers.  He never took on Frank however and if he had he would have discovered the limits of his ‘freedom.’  Although Albert Grossman may have limited Bob’s ‘freedom’ somewhat I find it interesting that Bob came out at least even in his brush with the current Hollywood hard-on, David Geffen. 

     Now, Bob wasn’t so free that he could achieve his goals without leaning on or being dependent on others.  However to compensate himself he destroyed, trashed whoever and whatever he had used as stepping stones to achieve his ‘freedom.’  In the pursuit of his freedom he became a very vicious and nasty man.

     There is no reason to believe that at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival he wasn’t trashing the whole Folk scene that he had used to get him to the launching pad of his Rock ‘n Roll dream.

     The arguments about how or who brought Folk Rock into existence may well be interminable.  The fact is that both Folk and Rock at the time were stagnant.  Whether the music died in that corn field in Iowa in 1959 or not the big labels had pretty well tamed the music of the fifties.  Columbia had separated Dion from the Belmonts and had him singing standards to syrupy instrumentals.  Ruby Baby was his last great effort before Columbia detourned him.  Safe teen acts and emasculated falsettos dominated the airwaves .  By late 1963 and early 1964 the Folk ethic had worn out as Folk groups dressed in loden green pull overs and sang like the Brothers Four.  Even the emasculated and detourned version of   Michael Row The Boat Ashore couldn’t prop up Folk for long.

     So musicians had to be searching for something different if not new.  Folk Rock was as new as anything while the electric blues served as different.  Thus as the middle sixties came in one had Folk Rock, the electric blues and rough sounding garage bands like the Seeds.  Oh yes, that was another development temper tantrum teenagers screaming ‘I don’t want to be like anybody else.’  Not to worry. 

     Folk rock would have or did develop without any real help from Bob.  He already had electric recordings out so that if he didn’t want to stick it in their ear he could have done an acoustic set at Newport and let his electric side take its natural course.

     I’m not so sure even then that electricity was the problem.  Personally I welcomed the electric Bob.  I was glad to see him leave the Folk stuff behind.  I was on the West Coast but I didn’t run into many or any people who were emotionally involved.  Even Greil Marcus doesn’t seem to be put out by the change.

     I think you had to be emotionally invested in Bob the protest singer.  When that fellow in Manchester cried out Judas I would have to think that his problem wasn’t an electric guitar but the fact that Bob seemingly betrayed the political stuff he had been singing.  He had pandered to the protest crowd and now he wasn’t letting them down easy.  He was turning his back on them.  Rathr than being the standard bearer of spokesman for the generation that he had let them believe he was he now trashed everything they believed in.  They had given him his and now he didn’t need them anymore.

     His whole career was based on trashing his believers.  Not that I understood any of this at the time.  I didn’t even know about it and if I had I wouldn’t have cared.

     Positively Fourth Street was his ‘kiss my ass’ song to all those Folkies he had used and abused and now abandoned.

     An interesting aside that could use closer examination was his visit to Carl Sandburg in 1964.  All the biographers assume that Carl Sandburg snubbed Bob because he hadn’t heard of him.  Maybe, I can’t say but it is significant that Sandburg was a folksinger himself or, at least, he sang folk songs.  While Bob and Greil are enthusiastic about Harry Smith Sandburg himself had published his American Songbag in 1928 and then followed it up in 1950 with a new collection.  Unless he was brain dead in ’64 there is little reason to believe he hadn’t maintained his interest in folk into the sixties and kept up with it.

     After all the Christies were doing a number of songs from the 1928 Songbag so Sandburg must have experienced great satisfaction that everything he had been hoping for had come to pass.  I don’t know his singing style, and he did publicly perform the songs, but I suspect it was more Christy style than the cacophony of Bob.

     I don’t think it improbable that he in fact knew exactly who Bob Dylan was, had probably heard him on record and/or the radio and fully detested him,  so that when he opened his door and found Bob Dylan, let us say the folk devil himself, standing there he just froze.  It would be nice to know exactly what was said.  I think it unlikely that he would have been familiar with Paul Clayton but as Clinton Heylin suggests if he had dropped the needle into the groove there is little doubt which record would have been played through.

     If Sandburg had shown any preference for Clayton at all for any reason, manners for instance, there is little doubt that that sealed Clayton’s fate with Bob.

     If It’s All Over Now Baby Blue was a put down of Clayton which seems likely then the odds are that it was resentment over something that was said or done at Sandburg’s is the reason.

    That would have been added to the fact that Bob had stolen a couple tunes from Clayton that required the trashing of the man in ’64 to cover up the evidence.  One can’t hold it against Bob that Clayton committed suicide, after all, we’re all big boys here, but he must certainly have contributed to a deteriorating mental state.

      The trashing of Joan Baez also at this time doesn’t require further comment in this place.  Suffice it to say that Bob had taken hers to keep with his and now it was her turn for the circular file.  It is hard to believe Bob didn’t enjoy what he was doing amidst the flashing gongs on the road to ‘freedom.’

     In ’66 Bob’s mind broke.  He had what used to be called a nervous breakdown.  In his terms a motorcycle accident.  There was a long recovery period of several years.  I certainly  don’t hold the nervous breakdown against him.  He was pushing too hard.  Even if he had been straight he would have become distraught, but under the influence of what all his biographers agree were monumental amounts of drugs washed down with quantities of alcohol it is a wonder if not a miracle that he lasted as long as he did.  Apparently he was driven to complete the sound in his head and vomit out all his rage accumulated up there in the North country before he cracked.

     When he went down he went down hard but in pleasant enough circumstances.

     Why he came out isn’t clear unless it was to trash his fans.  It didn’t take much for me to catch on back then but then on the first hearing of Blonde on Blonde I realized he’d ridden his board all the way to shore.  From there he would have to start all over again while he would never catch a wave like that again. 

     Bob still had a lot of past to bury though.

     He achieved this in spectacular fashion in 1975 on his Rolling Thunder tour as an overseer on his very own Maggie’s Farm.  The tour mayby be considered as a vision of Plantation Bob.  And he was a sadistic overseer too.

     As Heylin points out the shows were over four hours long while Bob may have been on stage only a few minutes to a half hour or possibly a little more.  Thus his cast of characters were slaving on Maggie’s Farm while Maggie or Bob showed up from time to time to make sure his darkies were singing as they slaved.  A very good joke.  If you step back and look at it the gig is pretty transparent.

     Now, Dylan asked people if they were for it.  As the only ‘free’ man in the group Bob had no trouble in getting his victims to come on board his ship that had just come in.  The performers couldn’t have been paid much if at all.  The payroll and expenses of such an extravaganza couldn’t have been recouped at all.  If there was any money left over it went into Bob’s pocket.

     Bob reached way back in the past to bring Ramblin’ Jack Elliot aboard.  Bob owed Elliot a lot so the old man had to be trashed.  McGuinn was brought along because he had traded on Bob’s talent or else had done such sparkling versions of Bob’s songs that he had made Bob look bad.

     Phil Ochs wasn’t allowed to come along not because Bob had pity on his fragile mental state but simply because Bob didn’t owe him anything.  If he had had reason to trash Ochs you may be sure he would have.

     One may guess that he was already finished with Sara, his wife, as he not only allowed her to come along to witness his degenerate behavior but actually cast her as a prositute in his movie Reynaldo and Clara.  One just doesn’t allow the mother of one’s children much less a woman one respects to play a prostitute.  I find it unforgiveable while Sara took him for much much more than thirty-five million if Heylin and Sounes are correct which is pretty good wages of sin.

     As if that wasn’t enough Bob brought along his old inamorata Joan Baez to confront his wife, Sara.  Gratuitously cruel and unnecessary so I suppose Bob was attempting to trash his entire pre-1975 past.  Like a snake shedding his skin he was attempting to begin a new existence.

     Here his Frankist upbringing rose up to bite him because you can’t pour out that quart and half of evil.  As Bob said you can change your name but you can’t run from yourself.  Bob wasn’t released and one can never be released, only the truth can set you free.  You have to come to terms with yourself and acept things as they were and are.  Even then your freedom is conditional; at best you are only out on parole.  You can’t trash reality.

End of Exhuming Bob 2-2




5 Responses to “Exhuming Bob 2-2 Detourning The Folks”

  1. Oh Mercy Says:

    t that isn’t a call to detournement I don’t know what is? So Harry Smith is Harry Smith and welcome to him but I have my own agenda.

    This is the perfect quote from your diatribe… or whatever the hell you are doing here.
    You have an agenda.

    If you want to be taken seriously:
    1. you need an editor.
    2. you need to give some kind of attribution to your presentation of what other’s are thinking, saying, doing. Why should anyone take your word for it?
    3. you need to explain more clearly why and how this agenda of the Jews has come to your attention.
    4.You need to state YOUR agenda clearly.

    This is such fuzzy, and incoherent rambling that it cannot be given any serious consideration. What is your thesis? Why?
    Feeling like a displaced white man who thinks the Jews are to blame has been done already.
    Remember Hitler?

    Get help.

  2. reprindle Says:

    Oh, Mercy?

    It ain’t over yet. Part 4 follows. I’ll answer you more fully within a few days when i disgest our diatribe. Sorry to offer you an alternative reality.

  3. R M Says:

    I wouldn’t just call someone a “Hitler” in so cavalier a fashion. The wording may be course, but after my posts, I saw a someone seeing something with fresh eyes, and a much more open mind than first appears. Perhaps it is generational: groups are spoken of here in language that is now considered barbaric, when I think Prindle is trying to say something very simple: “we are all one people, one human race, and what was recently called “identity politics” works against that. Of course, I am glad people agitated Jim Crow laws out of existence!! Elvis was mighty glad as well, and was anguished that King was killed in his beloved Memphis and what people would think of him and his family and even friends like George Klein and Jerry Schilling and Alan Fortas (well, Marty Lacker was Jewish, but he was still “red” we said down south – and it did NOT mean “communist.” It meant racist). Elvis was appalled at “Get Rhythm,” and so was I before I knew that Elvis had been appalled by it!!! But this is one America (one planet, actually, with one humanity), and I think this is what Prindle is working towards using words that just do not work. Hell, Marcus once went on a crazed diatribe defending Western Civiliazaion from . . . well, non-Western, I guess. I was rather shocked, but I let him off easy then. I should have known that he should have known better — or he DID. Look, I AM Jewish, so I know that there is a cultural current recently — and perhaps in the “fake folk” boom, where indigenous American culture is appropriated by immigrant groups (no, Frank did not kill Jack!! Everyone has had THAT idea, but it’s falsea: Jack continued to speak on the sly to his friend!! Since “The Ambassador”‘s illnes, little brother took over the “parental” role in the family, even “busting” the President on his drug use, his Clintonizing (sorry, Bill, but you never should have denied it!!), etc. Jack once virtually threw his little brother down a stairwell to be groped by Marilyn!! I ain’t kiddin’. This is how Robert Kennedy met her!!!!!!! Jack was literally laughing his ass off watching him struggle out of out. So, no, I don’t believe that Bobby had a real “affair” with her, but men sometimes . . . well, I have good reasons for not believing it. GOOD reasons. And no way Frank killed Jack. NO WAY. And if LBJ and Hoover didn’t do in Bobby Kennedy, Frank sure as hell didn’t do it. Besides, Frank was a poser as a “gangster.” A groupie. A fake. It was all a childish fantasy. He was basically a decent guy who wanted to feel powerful because he felt weak. But he only slugged guys bigger than himself. And he had strong beliefs that all people should be equal. He was ok by me. And so was Jack. And Bobby Kennedy spent the last bit of his life beating the hall out of himself for the stupid things he had done earlier – in trying to be the Ambassador’s favorite, when he was thought of by even his ole man as nothing but “the little punk.” The one with no future prospects . . . etc. So he would boss Jack around, end his relationships, be the “Big Guy.” It was only in the last few months of his life that he broke free and felt like himself. And he didn’t care what happened to him. Look, either people are pissed at Jews or Arabs if they’re anti-Semitic, not BOTH. And Marcus . . . I discovered that he was a secret racist, and I was felt so betrayed, you cannot imagine. To the core. It was really sad, but that’s what college student rock criticism was! I have no idea why I once wanted to be one of those people. And it was an old boys club, too!! Despite Ellen Willis, who had great contacts. And a few others. I know some of the people involved personally. Some are really good people who got suckered, and I believe she was one of them. Somebody like Marcus finally revealed himself, even to his closest friends. I cannot repeat what I was told. But it had nothing to do with racism, but with his isolation from the real world, and this escape into a fantasy world. Poor and hungry kids like Elvis (and, in many ways, Dylan . . . who was lower middle class, but NEVER experienced privation until . . . well, until) had little time to be isolated. Marcus’s fantasy was Elvis’s reality, and while most of the critics enjoyed seeing a lot of rock stars drown (inlcuding Dylan), it wasn’t fun for them at all. His ’84 “Rock ‘n’ Roll Confidential” description of what a rock concert “should” be was horrifying. He felt that both performers and audience should somehow get hurt, or hurt each othre. When he saw a sort of brotherhood, he was disgusted. And invented further fantasies. I could go on, but I won’t. It’s sad.
    But, for the record, we are all Americans here, and this is one small planet in a great galactic sea, and we have our humanity, which is uniquely our own (no matter what signals SETI finally picks up; we are still human, and there’s no one no where like us beautiful human beings, and we should not have a home for hatred on this beautiful oasis of life in the burning cauldron of our wild and furious little star system. Now, we want to run to Mars. Fine, but what are we running from? How about getting our act together so we can all be one people? And then think about all that orange dust. (Not to mention the violent, deadly gasses that lay further away . . .) Here we have beauty, so much life, and wonderful mankind. If only we knew how lucky we are.
    And I’ll wave farewell, and “not give a damn.” (Oh, shoot, I ALWAYS “give a damn.” Old habit.)
    See ya.

  4. reprindle Says:

    You seem to have sources I haven’t got. I do have to disagree with you about Frankie Boy. If he wasn’t mobbed up nobody has ever been. I think he may be the key figure of the fifties and sixties though. He shows up a lot.

    I have seen his ‘house’ in Acapulco from the outside and a distance. The place is an exemplar of mob architecture while the stories about the mob I heard in Acapulco seem probable.

    I have some famailiarity with the Cal Neva Lodge which was also posititively mobbed up. Horrible place. The Outfit was all over Tahoe at the time. Frank may have had his compassionate side, one hears stories of his generosity that I don’t doubt, but then by the late fifties, early sixties the money was nearly free.

    An analysis of the personnel and roles of the Rat Pack doesn’t speak well of Frank. The disdain with which he was treated by certain Hollywood elements also doesn’t speak well for him. The Barbara Marx episode could bear some real study.

    Overall, Frank was an evil influence. No one would accuse him pulling the trigger on Kennedy but then neither would anyone accuse Giancana.

    Very negative on Frank, even moreso on the Kennedy’s. Jack should never have lifted the lid of his trash can let alone got out.

    Greil Marcus is interesting for his SI connection and his connection to Sarkozy. Lynch also got an award from Sarkozy so it must involve destructive propaganda against America in Lynch’s movies. Marcus of course touts Lynch so there’s a nice Sarkozy-Marcus-Lynch connection. Somthing’s happening here but we aren’t clear on what it is, are we?

    Hid a girl like you get from New York to Memphis to California. Sounds like a story.

  5. R M Says:

    A story like you wouldn’t believe. Holiday Inn was my home. As I said, 17 different schools. Flushing to Levvittown to Merrick to NYC (two apartments and two schools in 5 monthss: A RECORD!!), out to Stony Brook, several more schools, then the oasis of Lake Grove that was destroyed by an evil man named A. Michael Desisto. If you really knew that guy, you would LIKE “Masters of War.” “And I’ll watch while you’re lowered . . .” Enough of that, but I could have had an adolescence if Brayson hadn’t hired that maniac. His death came soon, in Dylanesque, and I never watched on that pale afternoon in ’03. Didn’t cry none either. Down to Florida after my dad got so caught up, he forgot it was Christmas (also my mom’s birthday!!): I practically pulled apart the house that morning, looking for ONE hidden present. The next year we lost everything, but like in some short story, he took me shopping on Dec. 24. Had a budget. I brought it down to an Ali sweatshirt (“The People’s Champion”) or a cheap chemistry set. Like an idiot, I picked the chemistry set. I still can’t get excited about chemistry, but I dig quantum physics ’cause it’s so damn freaky and fun. Anyway, I never want to go back to Florida for the rest of my life. Went down there at 10, back to Long Island at 11, back to Florida again. Bad times struck, as I said. The next year, we’re in Atlanta, Georgia, and we had a lovely tree that seemed to get bigger and bigger as the years went on. Only three high schools! My dad is a great guy, by the way, but he never could sit still and still is pretty wild for a fella his age. You cannot keep up with him. I went to ‘Bama for my J-School degree. Talked to everyone who ever met Bear Bryant or Joe Namath. Namath remembered me in N.Y in the ’80s!! “Good to see you again, Love, Joe Namath.” He kissed me and I think I floated out of the store. I never asked him if he remembered me! Scary ’cause when I finally met The Bear face to face, he said, quite terrifyingly, “been seein’ you around.” I was a southerner by then, a real one, but still . . . that was scary. I hung around Bryant Hall all the time ’cause I had a press pass to do so. Met all the managers, trainers, saw the dressing room from the inside (the stadium! and I’m a girl!!! Or, I was. I’m a woman, now, even if people still say “there you go, hon.” Hate that!). I wanted to know and see EVERYTHING. I organized our dorm’s flag football team, and in one year we were in the championship game against the Legal Eagles. The were grownups and always won, but NO DORM TEAM EVER GOT TO PLAY THEM UNTIL I MADE IT HAPPEN! I pretty much took no prisoners in college. I was free of all the bullying. I had boyfriends and was engaged (didn’t work out; he hit me and I left him after he followed me back up to Long Island where my folks had moved). My parents tricked me into going to grad school. Said “come to NY and I’ll get you on Newsday.” GREAT!! And then they came on like gangbusters: “something to fall back on.” Yeah, right. “Will teach for food!” Anyway, I got my Ph.D. from the CUNY Graduate Center. (Oh, Lord, my friends will find me now!!), and I drifted from academic jobs like all good little young homeless professors who have to knock on mom and dad’s door when they wanted to be a famous columnist for Newsday. Oh, well. Anyway, at Bama, I found as many Memphians as I could!! With cars!!!!!!! And my dad had regular business flights there. He coulda just dropped me off at Graceland and forgot about the damned hotel. Stay there with my mom; I wanted to be “home” at Graceland. Hell, I never did have a home, so what the hell. My Memphian friends, well, I would ask for money for college stuff and things, and it was “on the road to Tupelo and Memphis, Tennesse!!! I went there as much as I could. Great that my dad could fly there directly from Tuscaloosa, too!! Or Birmingham, or Atlanta. Didn’t matter to me as long as I could hang around there. Like I said, the place was just crawling with his guys and all kinds of other Graceland regulars. You would hear something said on TV, or in a book (I have over 300), and you could just go there and ask them to explain or tell the rest of the story. Like I said, most were cool, but Charlie Hodge was bitter and jealous. Gave me the creeps. Heard Sam Phillips speak. Best speaker in America save for Lincoln and MLK, Jr. Serious. You had to hear him yourself. Wild! He was wild eye and he always meant every word.
    I loved Memphis. Saw it in the ’80s and ’90s, too, but it became very formalized. In the early days, it was fun, and open. The only one missing was Elvis. And boy, did I miss him. I had nightmares of banging on that arena glass, trying to get into a concert. I saw everybody: Dylan, Jerry Lee, Muddy Waters, Clapton, Ray Charles, the Stones in Philly. And more! And of course, “the other guy” who is not Prince. He was also my childhood idol, because I had to leave a kid who looked like him behind who I adored, and the kid in the TV was ALWAYS there. Until recently, of course.
    Nowadays, in music, “everything is broken.”
    (Just watched again the most awesome Elvis DVD: from the big ’68 special box set. Gawd! One time his eyes nearly popped out of his head. He sang so hard he got dizzy and felt the air leave his lungs completely. Grabbed his chest. And then laughed like hell. Oh, and by the way, listen to “Pieces of My Life.” Dylan didn’t write it, but so what. It’s the same thing. Much, much sadder, actually. It’s painful to hear. From ’75, when his Daddy told him he “worried your momma into her grave” and Elvis sobbed into the pillow. I got this both in books and in person. It’s fully, fully corroborate, as is the Cash-rat-fink situation. It happened, just like that. Elvis was just about 20, bought a house finally, and he couldn’t get in it! He tried to laugh in front of the two guys who were with him. But they saw he was both angry and damn scared of Gladys. She was gonna kill him!! She lost it, totally. A guy who was there said “if his mama was alive, and he was doing what he later did, she would have knocked him clean across a room!!” This was from someone who WAS THERE. Said on several occassions, and I heard him say it in person. And I heard somebody else confirm it separately. The Cash thing is in several books. And they are utterly related. Absolutely. Elvis thought he was so damn smart. He could do anything and get away with it, except for that one time, and the “running off to Washington” thing, where HE WON! Or thought he did. But he had love. Love down south among REAL southerners can sometimes get a bit rough, but he had real love. And Vernon loved him dearly. Very dearly. This is no “Joseph Jackson” tale. They loved him with all their might. But Vernon was mistreated as a child and youth. He just couldn’t bear to mistreat his son in any way. After his death, he kept talking about the one and only time he ever hit Elvis: when Elvis was five years old, he tried three times to give away his Christmas present to a kid from a big family. A trike with streamers and a bell. Vernoon saved up for about 9 months to buy it, and he was pissed off. When Elvis only lived a very brief life, Vernon told everyone he could “if only I had known that he wouldn’t have lived long! Why, oh, why did I spank him when he was five for trying to help another child?” He thought he would be sent to hell for doing that. Compare that to Abe Zimmerman or Joseph Jackson. Compare that.
    Elvis was so loved. And yet he died. I don’t think I’ll EVER get over it. I became a fan in high school. A girl had gone to a concert and the other girls were chirping “how was it? What does he look like? How did he sing?” And on and on. And, deadpan, without any feeling, she said “he got fat.” I bought ALL of his records and I loved them so dearly, and I still do. Even just last night, he was so wonderful and crazy and stupid, and petulant, and warm and funny, and so sexy in ’68, a gal could just pass out!!!!!!!! Oh man, was he sexy then. He and a black girl with a big ELVIS button on the middle of her silly sixties dress caught one another’s eye. He knelt down, and she looked like she just might not stay conscious. She reached out her hand, not expecting anything, but he LOCKED eyes on her and looked at her hand and nodded “yes!” She put it on his THIGH. They continued to lock eyes. He was grinning like the cat that ate the canary. And she was in HEAVEN. Floating. And kept her hand on that thigh as long as he keep his eyes on her with the clear “YES!” And then a little later in the set, they did it again!!!!!!! That never made it on to the original TV special, obviously. First, because it was NOT ALLOWED, and second, because his wife with a new baby would have KILLED HIM.
    He was a rake, and a big kid, and a fool, and but you had to love him. You had to love him. And he was so very loved.
    But he died. He died.

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