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Dylan predicts landslide for Obama at Madison concert

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Dylan predicts landslide for Obama at Madison concert

Postby jjoyce » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:18 pm

Normally, I couldn't care less. But there's a pretty funny side story going on.

One of our favorite bloggers, Ann Althouse, reported this in her brief review of the show:

And not a word... not a word... about politics. No imploring us to vote for Obama. Or even to vote.


Ooops! Stu Levitan, who reviewed the show for Isthmus, reports the opposite.

"We tried to play good tonight since the President was here today. He's a tough act to follow," Dylan said during "Blowin' in the Wind," the encore to his 15-song set. "I think he's gonna still be the President," he said, predicting, to loud cheers, "It's gonna be a landslide!"


Citing a brief AP item via the Washington Post, Althouse recants. Sort of.

I loved the absence of politics, and I believe/have believed that Bob Dylan has almost entirely avoided politics since the early 1960s. I can see a way to say his quote about Obama is enigmatic, sardonic, and in some real way nonpolitical: Don't believe what they're telling you in the newspapers. A sound and distanced observation. Etc.

But no subtle interpretation can undo my over-strong "not a word." So I have to confess that Meade and I have been to a lot of Bob Dylan concerts. We know he will do one encore. We even knew it would be "Blowin' in the Wind." Halfway through it, we slipped out into the night. We zipped right out of there.


The comments are, predictably, hilarious. They're trying to decide whether Dylan meant Romney when he said he thought the media was wrong and that it was going to be a landslide. Levitan's report indicates exactly what Dylan meant. The AP report seems to be a little more ambiguous. But since Stu was actually, you know, there in the actual room, listening, I'll go with his account.
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Re: Dylan predicts landslide for Obama at Madison concert

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:29 pm

Althouse wrote:And not a word... not a word... about politics.


Bob Dylan's Set List, November 5th, 2012
I'll Be Your Baby Tonight
Man in the Long Black Coat
Things Have Changed
Tangled Up in Blue
Rollin' and Tumblin'
A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum
Chimes of Freedom
Highway 61 Revisited
When the Deal Goes Down
Thunder on the Mountain
Ballad of a Thin Man
Like a Rolling Stone
All Along the Watchtower


Hmmm...
Last edited by Prof. Wagstaff on Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dylan predicts landslide for Obama at Madison concert

Postby rrnate » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:33 pm

And now, after all this time, we finally have a good read on who Althouse and Meade are - people who leave during the encore.

Sounds about right to me.
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Re: Dylan predicts landslide for Obama at Madison concert

Postby minicat » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:34 pm

What's next for ol' Outhouse, arguing that "Masters of War" is a pro-military song?
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Re: Dylan predicts landslide for Obama at Madison concert

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:34 pm

Also, from channel3000.com: Bob Dylan predicts Obama 'in a landslide'

Confirmed.
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Re: Dylan predicts landslide for Obama at Madison concert

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:38 pm

rrnate wrote:And now, after all this time, we finally have a good read on who Althouse and Meade are - people who leave during the encore.

Sounds about right to me.


Seriously, who leaves during an encore? It's like dropping out of college with 3 credits left. You spend all this time at a show just to leave with minutes to go. Is it to beat the traffic cause I thought they had their cute little bikes to trot around on?
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Re: Dylan predicts landslide for Obama at Madison concert

Postby jjoyce » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:39 pm

Commenters are alleging that Dylan is a keen marketer and, therefore, a capitalist, which would make him, obviously, a Romney supporter, right?
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Re: Dylan predicts landslide for Obama at Madison concert

Postby fisticuffs » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:52 pm

Commenters are alleging that Dylan is a keen marketer and, therefore, a capitalist, which would make him, obviously, a Romney supporter, right?


Clearly. Capitalism after all is solely the domain of conservatives.
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Re: Dylan predicts landslide for Obama at Madison concert

Postby christopher_robin » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:40 pm

"I loved the absence of politics, and I believe/have believed that Bob Dylan has almost entirely avoided politics since the early 1960s."

-- Ann Althouse.

I just wanted to see that again.

F for comprehension.
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Re: Dylan predicts landslide for Obama at Madison concert

Postby christopher_robin » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:47 pm

... and here's the man himself:

"Here's pretty close to what I said last night in Madison. I said from the stage that we had to play better than good tonight, that the president was here today and he’s a hard act to follow. Also, that we’re not fooled by the media and we think it’s going to be a landslide. That’s pretty much all of it."

-- Bob Dylan
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Re: Dylan predicts landslide for Obama at Madison concert

Postby christopher_robin » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:57 pm

"We live in a political world/Love don't have any place/We live in a time where men commit crime/And crime don't have a face..."

Those are the first lines of "Political World", a single off of 1989's celebrated "Oh Mercy." Uh...

Then's there's "Hurricane," "Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum", and a dozen others.

Dylan's examination of the human condition is often concerned with politics, in fact, and has been for his entire career.
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Re: Dylan predicts landslide for Obama at Madison concert

Postby acereraser » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:05 pm

I had posed the question to the folks I went with shortly before Bob went on, if they thought he would mention the election in anyway. Nobody could predict anything, because it is hard to say how insulated he is from everything, and for what reasons. One guy said he saw him a few years ago on election night in Green Bay, and there was no mention. But still, that meant nothing towards a prediction.

It did appear that Chimes of Freedom was the nod, until Blowin' in the Wind. Fun stuff, and it is always delightful to see Bob acting human, it catches you off guard.

Althouse's take (and re-take) is pretty appropriate and telling; "nothing happened, Bob Dylan has nothing to do with politics, maybe something happened, but I only missed it because I knew what was going to happen, even though it didn't."
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Re: Dylan predicts landslide for Obama at Madison concert

Postby christopher_robin » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:07 pm

"nothing happened, Bob Dylan has nothing to do with politics, maybe something happened, but I only missed it because I knew what was going to happen, even though it didn't."

!!!
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Re: Dylan predicts landslide for Obama at Madison concert

Postby acereraser » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:12 pm

christopher_robin wrote:Dylan's examination of the human condition is often concerned with politics, in fact, and has been for his entire career.


I was gonna second you with Sundown on the Union, and then I recalled one of my favorite Dylan concert moments, at Warner Park in 2004. Willie Nelson opened, and then joined Bob for a song they recorded together for Willie's Across the Borderline album, Heartland.

There's a home place under fire tonight in the Heartland
And the bankers are takin' my home and my land from me
There's a big achin' hole in my chest now where my heart was
And a hole in the sky where God used to be

There's a home place under fire tonight in the Heartland
There's a well with water so bitter nobody can drink
Ain't no way to get high and my mouth is so dry that I can't speak
Don't they know that I'm dyin', Why nobody cryin' for me?

My American dream
Fell apart at the seams.
You tell me what it means,
You tell me what it means.

My American dream
Fell apart at the seams.
You tell me what it means,
You tell me what it means.


No politics there.
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Re: Dylan predicts landslide for Obama at Madison concert

Postby Meade » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:15 pm

jjoyce wrote:One of our favorite bloggers, Ann Althouse, reported this in her brief review of the show

Reported? Review? Jason you don't really get this whole blog thing, do you?

As for leaving before the encore is finished: Blowin' - and I suspect Bob would agree with me here - is the perfect song on which to walk out of the show. Unless you are some soppy old boomer who needs to stand there with your Bic lighter torch in order to express to him just how much you believe he is the greatest and most important Western writer since William Shakespeare.

Bob knows a certain number of his fans have a need for that. So lately, he's been giving them his signature protest anthem for the perfunctory encore. Last night, he apparently even gave a little pepping up talk because he could tell they were sad that Obama has been such a disappointment and no one likes him the way they did in 2008 when he was "historic" or whatever it was Bruce Springsteen was going on and on about earlier in the day.

So we missed that. Thank. God.

But really - at the end of every show - Bob means for us to cheerfully get up and move on back into doin' whatever it is we do with our lives without getting all self-indulgently sentimental.

Then he and his band can get back on the road headin' for another joint, knowing we don't all feel the same, we just see what we see from different points... of view.

Someone may need to tell Stu.
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