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PostPosted: Sun April 10th, 2011, 08:41 GMT 
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http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/10/opini ... ssnyt?_r=1

Maureen Dowd's incredibly misinformed op-ed caps off a week of press nonsense surrounding Dylan's China visit. The "controversy" is based almost entirely on nothing, as this article proves ( http://www.cinchreview.com/bob-dylan-in ... nued/2877/ ). As for Dowd, there are lots of things you could go after (she slams him for not playing Hurricane!), but this is just galling:

"[David] Hajdu [the New Republic music critic,] told me that Dylan has distanced himself from his protest songs because “he’s probably aware of the kind of careerism that’s apparent in that work.” Dylan employed propaganda to get successful but knows those songs are “too rigidly polemical” to be his best work."

Maybe Hajdu deserves the most scorn, but that's an amazing statement. The lie that Dylan avoids "protest" songs is obvious to anyone who is informed. This BS seems to coalesce around the fact that he didn't play either BITW or The Times in China. The latter hasn't been on sets in a year, the former was featured on Chinese state television! ( viewtopic.php?f=2&t=57651 ). Dylan's character is being drug through the mud and it's amazing how many go along with it.


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PostPosted: Sun April 10th, 2011, 09:30 GMT 
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I believe that this is a misquote...don't have the book handy to look it up "Performing his message songs came to feel “like carrying a package of heavy rotting meat,” he wrote." I think the quote was about his old songs in general...and he was talking about a time in the '80's....
so he wasn't referring specifically to "message songs," but probably his whole catalogue up until then.
I wonder if Maureen Dowd visited China as a journalist, if she would try to distribute some of her opinions in writing, while she was there.


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PostPosted: Sun April 10th, 2011, 09:35 GMT 
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Was kümmert es die Eiche, wenn sich die Sau an ihr reibt.


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PostPosted: Sun April 10th, 2011, 09:53 GMT 
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If that's the same Mr Hajdu that wrote a book full of gossip on Bob, Joan and Mimi Baez and Richard Farina.... :roll:


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PostPosted: Sun April 10th, 2011, 10:01 GMT 
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Yes it is...Positively 4th St....is the title...it mentions it somewhere in the article.

Quote:
In Hajdu’s book, “Positively 4th Street,”


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PostPosted: Sun April 10th, 2011, 10:24 GMT 

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dylan always wins because he never says a word. for a long time he's understood the power of silence. it's helped maintain his appeal so long. he lets the idiots fill the vacuum. all this issue has highlighted is how shallow the world press is. they turn on event for a few day and pass snap judgement based on partial fact then move on.
were they expecting him to stand up and scream 'free Ai Weiwie'? he's not lilly allen.
dylan played over 20 different song in the two concerts, all of which shared common themes of personal expression and individual liberty- a liberty to be free from any impinging forces no matter whether it's state control or idealogical moralistic preaching.
he did his job.


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PostPosted: Sun April 10th, 2011, 10:33 GMT 
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woodruth wrote:
dylan always wins because he never says a word. for a long time he's understood the power of silence.


Ex-ac-tly!


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PostPosted: Sun April 10th, 2011, 10:41 GMT 
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He's not Joan Baez. Has she performed in China?


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PostPosted: Sun April 10th, 2011, 12:11 GMT 
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Speaking of gossip, a person on this board was at the concert and said they spoke to someone claiming to work for the government who laughed at the idea of Blowin in the Wind being censored, he said the government simply ran his lyrics through a computer to catch any bad words.

Dylan played Hard Rain, which seems just as dangerous a song as Blowing in the Wind - I mean who would disagree with the vague sentiments Blowin' expresses?

Of course, he could have played it knowing how important it would be to people there, he could even have said 'free Ai Weiwie'. They wouldn't have put him against a wall and shot him. Frankly, I kind of wish he had, though perhaps he judged that letting western culture in would over the long haul have greater effect and him saying something like that would only harden the government against allowing any westerners in. Same reason no one in the US (or other) western government ever makes a big deal about human rights there - engagement is the strategy. I kind of wish he had said something all the same.


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PostPosted: Sun April 10th, 2011, 12:16 GMT 
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But it ain't me, babe
No no no, it ain't me, babe
It ain't me you're looking for, babe


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PostPosted: Sun April 10th, 2011, 12:30 GMT 
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I missed this blog originally and started one along similar lines. Here is what I wrote:

I'm reading the articles about Dylan censuring himself in Beijing and I'm wondering, what do these people expect from this guy?

"Bob Dylan should bring Communism to its knees in China by singing 'Blowin' In the Wind'!"

That would be one powerful performance. Do our best writers and thinkers, left and right, cling to the romantic notion that a story well told can change a nation and a culture? Do they secretly hope it could?

"Where do you look for this hope that yer seekin'"
We're lookin' everywhere except within.


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PostPosted: Sun April 10th, 2011, 12:31 GMT 
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There is just so much weirdness around Bob Dylan and everything he does. I've seen several writers comment on the significance of him playing Change My Way of Thinking, I could swear at last one acted like he hasn't played it in 20 years and broke it out just for this concert (that was the tone anyway), when we all know he played it most of last fall and even in 2009.

Really, the mainstream media should just come here for advice before publishing idiotic shit. If they want a negative opinion about Bob they'll find that here too - and most likely expressed with more wit then they can muster.


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PostPosted: Sun April 10th, 2011, 12:41 GMT 
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Folk music is a bunch of fat people - hilarious! Mo may be ex-folkie or ex-fatty. Actually the Hajdu book is a good beach read. And Dylan's said all kinds of things so no surprise that he gets carved up for his oddball remarks from time to time. The point stands: only a nitwit would miss Hard Rain looking for BitW


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PostPosted: Sun April 10th, 2011, 12:52 GMT 
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Through the years the so-called protest songs became works of art and lost a good bit of their edge. They're little more than pop songs anymore and haven't had that edge for about 40 years... they're everyday, mainstream... it was the newness, unfamiliarity, the near shock value of their message that gave them the edge and all of that is over and it won't (can't) be recaptured... but telling that to people still trapped in the '60s is like explaining Kant's Critique of Pure Reason to a chocolate bar... its a waste of your time and the chocolate bar is never going to get it. Dylan's written a hundred other songs with pointed social commentary as incisive and revealing and they missed it all. Its not worth the bother getting upset about them missing it. They'll miss it next year too... and the year after... and the year after... and the year after... and the year after... and the year after...


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PostPosted: Sun April 10th, 2011, 13:03 GMT 
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I think Maureen Dowd is just jealous. As a great writer herself, she undoubtedly knows Bob Dylan will have a larger place in history, and it must really hurt. I like Maureen a lot, and read her faithfully, but she doesn't "get" Bob, like so many.


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PostPosted: Sun April 10th, 2011, 13:07 GMT 
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I like this comment on the Times site by Marie Burns, a regular there -

"Marie Burns
Fort Myers, Florida
April 9th, 2011
10:48 pm
We should credit Bob Dylan with being a fine lyricist, a middling composer and an interesting performer. We should not impose art itself on the artist, particularly when the artist is a performer. Some performers, like Robert Redford, George Clooney and Bono, rise above their art and become actual role models. Dylan never did that, nor did he attempt to.

We can abhor Dylan's deep bow to an authoritarian dictatorship, but before we get too enamored our own high moral standards, we should check the labels on the clothes we wear and on the "made in" disclosure on the appliances we use. We might also start sending 95 percent of our take-home pay to our own federal government, so we can settle our tremendous financial debt to the ruthless leaders of China. Dylan only sings for them. The rest of us have surrendered our wallets -- and perhaps the future -- to them.

The Constant Weader at www.RealityChex.com"


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PostPosted: Sun April 10th, 2011, 13:17 GMT 
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I think that these turkeys (not the one just posted ahead of this) missed the really interesting point to the China concerts..... I think there were some concerns about us getting the set list info..... or holy crap bootlegs .... or PICTURES!!! We have had some of the best coverage of those two concerts then we have had from any of the other concerts from anywhere else in the whole world....... As to his song choices..... they would fit right in with any song list from anywhere else ..... he was playing to a crowd the biggest part of which were going to see his this one time ..... and his selection reflected that.... he doesn't play BITW all the times, he does play LARS ...... and as someone has said I am just amazed that he played Hard Rain ............ and Gonna Change My Way of Thinkin' ......... anyone who has just zoomed in on the lack of BITW .......... has a very, very shallow knowledge of Dylan .......... and to them I say ...... hey, guess what his hair is not the big curly top it used to be and he doesn't always wear the RayBans all the time..... I tell them that because he must have looked like that the last time they were really paying attention.....but even then, he has always said that he was a song and dance man..... well he sang and danced...... and we loved it!!!!!


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PostPosted: Sun April 10th, 2011, 13:58 GMT 
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This is what I just posted on FB:

Quote:
HA-MEDIA AGAIN is blown' idiot wind.10 min piece on CCTV (looks like a SNL skit) talking about Bob Dylan's historic first visit to China.The station is one of the official outlets of the Chinese gov't & reports directly to high-level officials in the Propaganda Department of the Communist Party of China.The piece has clips of Bob singing Blowin' and Times,so I DON"T BELiEVE YOU. Bob's true-"true like ice, like fire".
http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150214009635540&oid=145540145475257&comments


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PostPosted: Sun April 10th, 2011, 15:40 GMT 
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Unbelievable. She got paid to write that, you know.


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PostPosted: Sun April 10th, 2011, 16:27 GMT 

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Warren Peace is totally correct. Somewhere there's a great quote from Dylan himself about how a lot of the stuff from the so-called protest songs is all in "Desolation Row."

As for David Hajdu, he's got a lot of nerve. Let there be no doubt he used Bob Dylan to write a book that basically was a bio on Richard Farina, where most of the research he bought from another writer who would have written a far better book.

In Hajdu's book, he tries to convey the misinformation that Dylan turned to rock and roll because of Richard Farina. At a Q&A for his book tour, I asked him about that pointing out that Bob Dylan played in bands in high school and recorded with a band for the Freewheelin' sessions. Hajdu's response was to deny that was what he wrote, but it's right there in his book.


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PostPosted: Sun April 10th, 2011, 16:52 GMT 
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The Dutch press reports the same story: no Blowin' in the wind.
And you never read this kind of sh*t when other musicians play in China.
(Look at the picture that was published in the Dutch newspaper)
Attachment:
volkskrant 9 april 11.JPG


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PostPosted: Sun April 10th, 2011, 17:29 GMT 
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It was a paramilitary group practicing in front of the theater prior to the show (don't know if it was same day or many days before)... I found it entertaining.


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PostPosted: Sun April 10th, 2011, 17:32 GMT 
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woodruth wrote:
dylan always wins because he never says a word. for a long time he's understood the power of silence. it's helped maintain his appeal so long. he lets the idiots fill the vacuum. all this issue has highlighted is how shallow the world press is. they turn on event for a few day and pass snap judgement based on partial fact then move on.
were they expecting him to stand up and scream 'free Ai Weiwie'? he's not lilly allen.
dylan played over 20 different song in the two concerts, all of which shared common themes of personal expression and individual liberty- a liberty to be free from any impinging forces no matter whether it's state control or idealogical moralistic preaching.
he did his job.


That's so true; after i finished banging my head against whatever blunt object was within arm's reach for 22.5 minutes, I re-read her article - scratch that - story, dream, fart, what-have-you - and found that the one thing i like is that her title include the one word that i'm sure entered most people's minds by the time they finished the headline. does the responder's job for them in that respect.


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PostPosted: Sun April 10th, 2011, 17:33 GMT 
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smoke wrote:

Really, the mainstream media should just come here for advice before publishing idiotic shit. If they want a negative opinion about Bob they'll find that here too - and most likely expressed with more wit then they can muster.


well i see how that might benefit them but would we really wish that upon us??


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PostPosted: Sun April 10th, 2011, 19:01 GMT 
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Quote:
U.S.-based Human Rights Watch issued a statement saying, "Dylan should be ashamed of himself."

"The young Dylan wouldn't have let a government tell him what to sing," said Brad Adams, executive director of the organization's Asia division. "He has a historic chance to communicate a message of freedom and hope, but instead he is allowing censors to choose his playlist."

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/04/10/27 ... z1J9Fe6mTe


http://www.kansascity.com/2011/04/10/27 ... ecial.html

Can anyone figure out a way to contact these people? If what they are doing for human rights is critizising Bob for playing the same songs in China as he does elsewhere, we might well send them a link to the playlists of the last couple of NET legs. There is nothing to be ashamed of in these two concerts.

I'd also like to see where they issued that statement too....


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