Expecting Rain

Go to main page
It is currently Sat November 18th, 2017, 08:24 GMT

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 113 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon October 26th, 2009, 13:12 GMT 
User avatar

Joined: Fri September 1st, 2006, 06:19 GMT
Posts: 3604
Location: Sub specie aeternitatis
P.Jekk wrote:

So "sister" is supposed to mean transvestite? Gays in drag? I just can't see the alleged homophobia in that song.... But ambiguity is Dylan's middle name, so what do I know..


Huh? Sister means sister i.e. a woman.
The original lyric implies that in Soddom and Gomorra you wouldn't find a person who would want to marry "your sister" - a woman, because in those towns 'everyone' engaged in homosexual acts - at least according to some intepretations of the song. Both towns are more or less swept of the face of the earth in the old testament, alledgedly because of the sinful behaviour of their inhabitants.

Dylan's lyrics seems to suggest that he - or from whomever's point of view he is singing - believes this homophobic version of the tale.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon October 26th, 2009, 13:24 GMT 
User avatar

Joined: Fri September 1st, 2006, 06:19 GMT
Posts: 3604
Location: Sub specie aeternitatis
Interesting reply James, thanks.

Regardless of how he changed those particular lyrics afterwards, I must say that I do find it odd to find Dylan lyrics to be hinting towards homofobia. I mean, from his friendship with Allen Ginsberg I would guess that he has had a very 'open' point of view in these matters from a young age onwards. Since he's an artist you would expect that by the time he recorded 'Jokerman' he would have had quite a bunch of friends and acquintances who were gay.
So I wouldn't expect Bob to be homophobic - the fact that he did change the lyrics even seems to confirm that.
But then again, we all know how religion can mess up your mind, don't we?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon October 26th, 2009, 13:47 GMT 
User avatar

Joined: Wed July 30th, 2008, 10:28 GMT
Posts: 1565
andy1983 wrote:
P.Jekk wrote:

So "sister" is supposed to mean transvestite? Gays in drag? I just can't see the alleged homophobia in that song.... But ambiguity is Dylan's middle name, so what do I know..


Huh? Sister means sister i.e. a woman.
The original lyric implies that in Soddom and Gomorra you wouldn't find a person who would want to marry "your sister" - a woman, because in those towns 'everyone' engaged in homosexual acts - at least according to some intepretations of the song. Both towns are more or less swept of the face of the earth in the old testament, alledgedly because of the sinful behaviour of their inhabitants.

Dylan's lyrics seems to suggest that he - or from whomever's point of view he is singing - believes this homophobic version of the tale.
'

OK, now I sort of understand. Still a bit far fetched, though. As far as I remember the sins of the Sodomians and their neighbours over in Gomorrah were diverse and not just of an homosexual nature, but it's a long time since I read it, so I might be wrong....


Last edited by P.Jekk on Mon October 26th, 2009, 13:55 GMT, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon October 26th, 2009, 13:50 GMT 
User avatar

Joined: Fri March 27th, 2009, 22:07 GMT
Posts: 2308
andy1983 wrote:
But then again, we all know how religion can mess up your mind, don't we?

Are you suggesting that Bob could have changed his mind to an homophobic one because of his faith in religion? :roll:
Maybe you're just trying to ridicule religion.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon October 26th, 2009, 13:54 GMT 
User avatar

Joined: Wed July 30th, 2008, 10:28 GMT
Posts: 1565
Isa wrote:
andy1983 wrote:
But then again, we all know how religion can mess up your mind, don't we?

Are you suggesting that Bob could have changed his mind to an homophobic one because of his faith in religion? :roll:
Maybe you're just trying to ridicule religion.


'Cause certainly no religion is hostile to homosexuality.

Yeah right.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon October 26th, 2009, 14:11 GMT 
User avatar

Joined: Fri March 27th, 2009, 22:07 GMT
Posts: 2308
I know, some religion sectors are really homophobic. But do you think that religion twist the minds of all believers (for example the mind of someone like Bob Dylan) in such a way to make them homophobic? That would be like saying everybody who believes in a religion becomes fanatics who doesn't have an open mind to tolerate others. That's a way to ridicule religion, I think.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon October 26th, 2009, 14:16 GMT 
User avatar

Joined: Fri September 1st, 2006, 06:19 GMT
Posts: 3604
Location: Sub specie aeternitatis
P.Jekk wrote:
OK, now I sort of understand. Still a bit far fetched, though. As far as I remember the sins of the Sodomians and their neighbours over in Gomorrah were diverse and not just of an homosexual nature, but it's a long time since I read it, so I might be wrong....


Well, it pretty much comes down to what you want to read apparently.
There are numerous references to the sins of Soddom & Gommora that suggest that their sins were indeed many and not even purely sexual in nature.
But this seems to have changed over time towards a more unified condamnation of sexual perversion.

One thing I find a bit odd is that the text speeks of angels who are with Lot, not men.
So, if you want to come up with the homophobic conclusion, you must accept that angels are masculin.
I'm not sure if religious people would agree with that.

But regardless of what interpretation you want to give to this tale, it seems from 'Jokerman' that Dylan goes with the "homophobic" version.

And Isa ... I'm surely not saying that it's not possible. :wink:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon October 26th, 2009, 14:19 GMT 
User avatar

Joined: Fri September 1st, 2006, 06:19 GMT
Posts: 3604
Location: Sub specie aeternitatis
Isa wrote:
That would be like saying everybody who believes in a religion becomes fanatics who doesn't have an open mind to tolerate others.


If you listen to some of his doomsday preaches that he gave in concert ca. 1979 - 1980, than you can't help but think that he was rather fanatic.

A lot of homophobia in the world is being justified with or by religion.
It's not a radical view to think that someone who's fanatic about their faith might take on a negative attitude towards homosexuality.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon October 26th, 2009, 14:23 GMT 

Joined: Mon July 6th, 2009, 21:29 GMT
Posts: 1218
Long Johnny is right. The vocal on the album version is tiresome.

It's not a bad song, but it's too much a self-homage to take really seriously.

Jokerman, you don't show any response

Compare to:

Ain't talkin', just walkin'

Yeah, yeah. Bob the great inscrutable enigma. Like, look at how mysterious he is!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon October 26th, 2009, 14:24 GMT 
Promethium Member
User avatar

Joined: Sat October 27th, 2007, 12:44 GMT
Posts: 16755
Location: Workin' as a postal clerk
andy1983 wrote:
Isa wrote:
That would be like saying everybody who believes in a religion becomes fanatics who doesn't have an open mind to tolerate others.


If you listen to some of his doomsday preaches that he gave in concert ca. 1979 - 1980, than you can't help but think that he was rather fanatic.

A lot of homophobia in the world is being justified with or by religion.
It's not a radical view to think that someone who's fanatic about their faith might take on a negative attitude towards homosexuality.


From what I understand some of those doomsday sermons got a bit homophobic in spots.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon October 26th, 2009, 14:27 GMT 

Joined: Wed July 30th, 2008, 01:43 GMT
Posts: 735
Location: on the scene missing
I praise the song, because it's so worthy of praise, but I think those lines are probably homophobic and unworthy of the song - just as I dislike the lame "as the gay night wore on and men bathed in perfume and practiced the hoax of free speech" from the nearly-great Caribbean Wind. In 1980 in Hartford, one of his onstage rants was an objectionable one against the amount of homosexuality in San Francisco -
"So now, you look around today, when we started out this tour, we started out in San Francisco. It's a kind of unique town these days. I think it's either one third or two thirds of the population that are homosexuals in San Francisco. I've heard it said. Now, I guess they're working up to a hundred percent,I don't know. But anyway,it's a growing place for homosexuals and I read they have homosexual politics, and it's a political party. I don't mean it's going on in somebody's closet. I mean it's political! All right, you know what I'm talking about? Anyway, I would just think, well I guess the iniquity's not yet full. And I don't wanna be around when it is!"


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon October 26th, 2009, 14:32 GMT 

Joined: Mon July 6th, 2009, 21:29 GMT
Posts: 1218
Yeah, Bob is pretty much a dick for ragging on homos.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon October 26th, 2009, 14:36 GMT 
User avatar

Joined: Fri September 1st, 2006, 06:19 GMT
Posts: 3604
Location: Sub specie aeternitatis
CShoe wrote:
Yeah, Bob is pretty much a dick for ragging on homos.


At least he sang songs of praise for decent Christian folks like Joe Gallo!

It's weird, isn't it? When you get to know he looks like the most brilliant person you'll ever meet.
Than you get to know his work a little bit better and find out there's quite a bunch of things that are rather embarrassing.
Joe Gallo, Hurricane Carter, Christian Doomsday fanatism, homophobia, the NET, ..., :lol:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon October 26th, 2009, 14:42 GMT 
Titanium Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed October 26th, 2005, 16:21 GMT
Posts: 7050
I first heard the song when he did it on Letterman. I recorded the audio from the TV, so that's how I became familiar the songs he did that night - most importantly, Jokerman and License to kill.

When I picked up Infidels, I went right for those two songs to hear what the studio versions sounded like. I couldn't believe how different they were. Jokerman especially. The LP version just rubbed me the wrong way. It's like someone poked a hole in it and let all the air out.

He should have taken those Plugz guys that he used on the Letterman show into a studio to re-record Infidels. It could have been his most rocking album.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon October 26th, 2009, 14:56 GMT 

Joined: Sun September 21st, 2008, 14:03 GMT
Posts: 2891
Location: Bonnie Scotland
Both overrated and underrated.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon October 26th, 2009, 15:08 GMT 

Joined: Thu April 9th, 2009, 11:10 GMT
Posts: 391
quote]'Cause certainly no religion is hostile to homosexuality.

Yeah right.[/quote]





I think Dylan's religious conversion changed the man in a multitude of ways...he got pretty deep into that stuff.

It would not surprsie me at all if he began to see homosexuality as an "iniquity" for a time actually, given the near literal interpretation of the Bible he spouted and the way both the old and new testament's treat homosexuality in general.

So, i think i just changed my mind...i think that line in Jokerman, given the context of the early 80s for Dylan,could well tinged with homophobia.

( if so, it is terrifiying to think that a man who so naturally seemed to have time and deep, deep empathy for civil rigths and liberties, who was part of an avant garde movement in the 60's which boasted many liberal minded (and many homosexual) individuals, could turn against a section of society...)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon October 26th, 2009, 15:17 GMT 

Joined: Fri March 6th, 2009, 01:56 GMT
Posts: 1322
ballad of a closet homosexual.

You walk into the room
With your pencil in your hand
You see somebody naked
And you say, "Ooooo who is that man?"
You get so hard
But you don't understand
Just what you'll say
When you get home

Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?

You raise up your head
And you ask, "Is this where it is?"
And somebody points to you and says
"It's his"
And you say, "What's mine?"
And somebody else says, "Where what is?"
And you say, "Oh my God
Am I here all alone?"

Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?

You hand in your ticket
And you go watch the geek
Who immediately walks up to you
When he hears you speak
And says, "How does it feel
To be such a freak?"

And you say, "Impossible"
As he hands you a bone

Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?

You've been with the professors
And they've all liked your looks

With great lawyers you have
Discussed lepers and crooks
You've been through all of
F. Scott Fitzgerald's books
You're very well read
It's well known

Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?

Well, the sword swallower, he comes up to you
And then he kneels
He crosses himself
And then he clicks his high heels
And without further notice
He asks you how it feels
And he says, "Here is your throat back
Thanks for the loan"

Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?

Now you see this one-eyed midget
Shouting the word "NOW"
And you say, "For what reason?"
And he says, "How?"
And you say, "What does this mean?"
And he screams back, "You're a cow
Give me some milk
Or else go home"


Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon October 26th, 2009, 15:28 GMT 

Joined: Mon July 6th, 2009, 21:29 GMT
Posts: 1218
Three legged man wrote:
He should have taken those Plugz guys that he used on the Letterman show into a studio to re-record Infidels.


This might be the one great "what could have been" for the latter half of Bob's career, followed by a "purer" Time Out Of Mind.

I forgot to say--the Letterman version is great, along with the other two from that show.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon October 26th, 2009, 15:30 GMT 

Joined: Sun September 21st, 2008, 14:03 GMT
Posts: 2891
Location: Bonnie Scotland
Bob recorded a session with the Sex Pistols back in 78, 15 songs were recorded and one of them was a punked up version of I'm Cold.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon October 26th, 2009, 15:38 GMT 
Mercury Member
User avatar

Joined: Sat February 26th, 2005, 02:31 GMT
Posts: 10327
Here's a couple blistering versions from '94:
http://www.humyo.com/F/164399-43938574
http://www.humyo.com/F/164399-55101657

And a great one from '95:
http://www.humyo.com/F/164399-52081665


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon October 26th, 2009, 15:48 GMT 

Joined: Wed July 30th, 2008, 01:43 GMT
Posts: 735
Location: on the scene missing
It's a big if, but if he'd re-recorded Infidels with those guys, leaving Blind Willie McTell well alone, and used some of the material he had left over from Shot of Love, you could have had :

Blind Willie McTell (Electric)
Someone's Gotta Hold of My Heart
Caribbean Wind
Angelina
Jokerman
Foot of Pride
I and I
Yonder Comes Sin
Blind Willie McTell (acoustic transcendent)

Full of killer.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon October 26th, 2009, 20:40 GMT 

Joined: Thu August 30th, 2007, 22:44 GMT
Posts: 3974
RE: Sodom & Gomorrah, Infidels has a running theme of using man/woman dichotomies to represent Man/Nature conflicts. Most notably in LICENSE TO KILL and SWEETHEART LIKE YOU, but it may also be in play here. The homosexuality (and it's true that this was not the only sin ascribed to the cities' inhabitants, but it's certainly the one most engrained in traditional and popular perception of the story and he had to know it would come up in a listener's mind) of Sodom and Gomorrah may be taken as a metaphor for them having shunned the natural world and gotten caught up in their own vain pursuits. Man has fallen in love with himself and lost his relationship with Nature. (LICENSE TO KILL uses a similar allusion to the story of Narcissus, worshipping at the altar of a stagnant pool and being fulfilled simply by seeing his own reflection.)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon October 26th, 2009, 20:59 GMT 
Promethium Member
User avatar

Joined: Fri June 27th, 2008, 20:28 GMT
Posts: 17309
Location: Maybe it isn't a tour, maybe he's just lost.
Readings of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah that interpret homosexuality as a cause of their destruction are relatively recent and highly political. The most common and traditional readings describe the sins of the cities as a lack of compassion and numerous acts of savagery and cruelty. Indeed, almost all of the Bible's supposed condemnations of same sex relations actually disappear when examined closely.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon October 26th, 2009, 21:15 GMT 

Joined: Thu August 30th, 2007, 22:44 GMT
Posts: 3974
Long Johnny wrote:
Readings of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah that interpret homosexuality as a cause of their destruction are relatively recent and highly political. The most common and traditional readings describe the sins of the cities as a lack of compassion and numerous acts of savagery and cruelty. Indeed, almost all of the Bible's supposed condemnations of same sex relations actually disappear when examined closely.

In the larger picture this may be true. I mean, in terms of geologic time, the whole human species is a "relatively recent" development. But "relatively recently" in this case is since at least the 13th century or so (when the word sodomy came into use specifically to describe what were perceived as sexually deviant acts) and so I'm not sure what you mean by the "common and traditional readings." Surely it's only within the 20th century that an increased cultural awareness and acceptance of homosexuality has led to revisitation and revision of such interpretations, undoubtedly met with resistance from fundamentalists. I'm not advocating for any point of view on the subject, really, just speculating on how it might fit into the context of the song and its writing.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon October 26th, 2009, 21:46 GMT 
User avatar

Joined: Fri September 1st, 2006, 06:19 GMT
Posts: 3604
Location: Sub specie aeternitatis
The particular context of the verse seems to hint at the homophobic reading, doesn't it?
"What do you care, ain't nobody there would want to marry your sister."
That phrase doesn't seem to reflect any of the other sins that you can find being ascribed to the inhabitants of Soddom and Gomorra.
It can easily be read as a hint at homosexuality - why won't you find anyone there who would want to marry your sister (a woman)? Because of the homosexual behaviour of the inhabitants - they don't want to know a woman.

The rewrite James Padden posted even seems to confirm this reading.
Writing about 'finding a love who will call you mister' - I'm quoting by heart here, this phrase might not be entirely accurate - seems to imply that Dylan now wants to express himself more positively about this issue.
He could have just dropped the passage if there was a reason why he didn't like it anymore, or why he didn't feel that it fit the song anymore. But by rewriting - and, let's admit, the rewrite is of rather poor quality - it looks more like he wants to re-express himself on the matter.

Which, in turn, suggests that for Dylan the original version of 'Jokerman' did contain an (openly) homofobic passage.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 113 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: cabanascaravan, Clapberry


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group