Exhuming Bob XVI

Bob Dylan’s Dream or…Nightmare?

by

R.E. Prindle

I’ll let you be in my dream if you’ll let me be in yours.

-Bob Dylan

dylan-10

http://www.nextbook.org/cultural/print.html?id=1725

     When Dylan wrote those words, was he sincere or was it just part of the con?  I was recently asked not ot contribute anymore to expectingrain.com by person or persons unknown.  The webmaster refuses to identify he or them to me.  Too ashamed to let their names by known, I guess.  Or chicken.  I know I’d rather not be known as a rasty, nasty censor.

     I was ejected for voicing pretty much the same sentiments as Jay Michaelson does in the above referenced review of Joel Gilbert’s The Jesus Years.  Maybe the difference between Jay and me is that I don’t think Dylan is such a mysterious elusive guy.  Anybody with a little Freud under his belt has got Dylan pinned.

     He suffers from a fairly severe depression while being very emasculated.  He is so emasculated he can’t even fix on an identity for himself.  His natal Bobby Zimmerman failed him so he apparently attempted to become Elston Gunn which he wasn’t able to sustain so he then became Bob Dylan which also became too much of a burden to him so he threw that identity up for grabs saying anybody can be Bob Dylan who wants it, then he became Masked and Anonymous eschewing any identity whatever.  An empty suit.

     If that isn’t clear to you then there is no reason for you to tackle Freud or psychology now.

     So, what was the conflict?  Duh.  Could it have been that between his Jewish upbringing and his Christian milieu?  Gosh, I don’t know, do you?  Is there anything in his subsequent history that would suggest such a conflict?  Let me think.  I think there is, therefore I am.

     Is there a conflict in the minds of Dylan’s disciples.  Well, now there we’re on firm gound.  Just listen to Jay:

     There’s a telling moment in Joel Gilbert’s new (?) documentary Inside Bob Dylan’s Jesus Years:  an interviewee says that when Dylan became a born again Christian, he went, in two short years, from being an American Jewish hero to the “greatest apostate of the twentieth century”… But worse, because Dylan embodied a specific kind of liberal American Jewish hope that someone would speak truth to  power, and that the world would listen.  These were very Jewish dreams, and Dylan fulfilled them for awhile.

     Damn, then it wasn’t anything I said as the messenger.  I guess it was just not being Jewish that I shouldn’t have attempted to deliver the message.  Right message, wrong face.  Gee, I guess I can’t be in Dylan’s dream because I’m not Jewish.  Whatever happened to One World, One Dream?  Everybody being brothers?  The Global Village?  They didn’t think there wouldn’t be variations  on the theme I hope.  Well, no matter Dylan and his People can still be in my dream.  I’m inclusive.

     But Jay and his People themselves apparently feel excluded from Dylan’s dream also.  Jay says:

     Dylan never wanted to be the voice of his generation, and he certainly never asked to be King of the Jews or vessel for our hopes and dreams.  (My italics.)

     Wow!  King of the Jews, Jesus Christ.  I may have thought it but I didn’t have the cojones (My italics), Jay does and actually says it.  Jesus, I’d be running for my life let alone being kicked off expectingrain.com.

     Jay and his People just can’t seem to get it.  Dylan never became a Christian, he became a Jew For Jesus.  Jay even has the answer before him but his religious bigotry won’t let him see it:  “Why did Dylan…record two religious albums proclaiming the word of G-d?”  There you have it Jay.  Dylan was conflating Jesus and God into one and then substituting G-d for Jes-s.  Jesus is Christian, God is Jewish. Duh.  For Christ’s sake, c’mon Jay.

     Well enough of that.  I’m sure you can’t stop laughing.  Jay is supposed to be reviewing Gilbert’s documentary.  Michaelson; is not either well read on his subject of Dylan or well researched.  Maybe he smoked enough dope that he thinks he automatically knows everything about Dylan.  I’ve seen it happen. 

     As far as the film goes, it may not be a particularly good movie but then it is a documentary and has to judged differently.  As documentaries go I found it more than satisfactory.  The clip art was an unusual special effect but I actually found some of them humorous.  I wouldn’t have done it that way myself but Gilbert can do as he pleases and did.

     Gilbert doesn’t mysteriously look like Dylan as Jay says.  There is no mystery involved.  Gilbert is trying to clone himself as Dylan; does a good job.  He has a good understanding of his subject, after all he’s trying to be Dylan.  His selection of subjects provided enough penetrating information that I have to think they were well chosen.  Perhaps they were all that Gilbert could get, in which case the film maker drew them out well.  Rob Stoner was the key.  He was intelligent, understanding, and well informed- he knew what he was talking about.  Kasha and Glaser gave you all the information you needed to understand the Christian-Jews For Jesus scam.  Come on Jay, open your eyes.

     Weberman has been saying that Dylan was a heroin addict since Christ was a baby.  At least from 1964.  It may have been true, I don’t know, but it didn’t have anything to do with Dylan’s crash.  If Jay knew anything about his subject he would realize that the divorce was the key.  Dylan had finally, after a life time of trying, become so defiled that he had to turn to God/Jesus to lead him back.  I hope he found the way.  Freud again.

     For Michaelson who can’t separate his Jewishness from Dylan the problem is a paramount betrayal because ‘We’re (Jews) scarred and traumatized by two thousand years of Christian hegemony…  So, there you have it, the cat’s out of the bag, couldn’t have said it better myself.  Jay and his People thought Dylan was the Messiach who was going to establish a Jewish hegemony over ‘Christians,’  ‘speak the truth to power.’

     I’m not so sure Dylan won’t still try but that has little to do with the documentary.  The con and exploitation was not that of Dwyer on Dylan but Dylan over the Vineyard Fellowship.  Dylan was using them to try to reach his fellow Jews in  his faith of Jews For Jesus.  As we are never tired of being told:  Jes-s was a J-w.  Case closed.  Forget hegemony.

    In summation Gilbert, in my estimation, did an excellent job for what he set out to do.  I was properly instructed and…I got it.  But, I was still kicked out of Dylan’s dream.  He conned me too.  What a nightmare!