[Marxism] A trailer: It's not the politics, it's the morals
Paul H. Dillon
illonph at pacbell.net
Sat Oct 1 13:56:16 MDT 2005
As a prelude to a longer post: the answer is -- not the politics but the
moral and ethical framework that Dylan provides that accounts for (1) why
he was thought (incorrectly) to be the "spokesman of his generation" and (2)
his wide and universal appeal. And it's what he says, not what he does that
is important, the depiction of Mozart in Amadeus, and Salieri's cries to his
God against the linking of venality and genius come to mind. So out out ad
hominem before you raise your pustulent face.
It's an ethical perspective with a universal appeal. Something about the
universality of Dylan:
Example: I was searching for the chords of "Dear Landlord" on google and
came up with 534 hits for just one rather obscure song. But "Dear
Landlord" is clearly one of those songs where Dylan expresses the voice of
those who bind us through economic ties in which they have greater or lesser
degrees of control over us. It doesn't really express a political
condemnation of private property, it just says that there have to be limits,
it says: give me some space, I'm doing the best I can. Don't lay your trip
on me, understand where I'm coming from and I'll understand where you're
coming from. The single line "anyone can fill their lives with great things
that they can see but they just cannot touch" provides an implicit ethical
message about the relationship between anyone and what they own --
something at the heart of the ethics that pervades Dylan's songs.
The lyrics should be read more the way you'd read Hopscotch by Cortazar than
the way you'd read Hemingway. They aren't linear and each one expresses an
specific moral/ethical framework
Please don't put a price on my soul.
My burden is heavy,
My dreams are beyond control.
When that steamboat whistle blows,
I'm gonna give you all I got to give,
And I do hope you receive it well,
Dependin' on the way you feel that you live.
Please heed these words that I speak.
I know you've suffered much,
But in this you are not so unique.
All of us, at times, we might work too hard
To have it too fast and too much,
And anyone can fill his life up
With things he can see but he just cannot touch.
Please don't dismiss my case.
I'm not about to argue,
I'm not about to move to no other place.
Now, each of us has his own special gift
And you know this was meant to be true,
And if you don't underestimate me,
I won't underestimate you.
About the universality:
I read one page of the search results (was only searching for the chords to
play it on the piano after all) and that included musicological analyses of
it harmonic structure by a Dane and the following Russian website which also
had the chords and words.
Now I'd like to be referred to any other artist from 40 years ago on whom a
Google search might produce the same quantitative or qualitative
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