Ron Rosenbaum on Bob Dylan, Judaism, Christianity etc

It’s kind of amazing, when you think about it, that it even needs to be said that there is a “profoundly Jewish thread woven throughout Dylan’s life.” Isn’t that pretty hard to miss? But then the Jewish experience in America includes the phenomenon of those who try to run away from their Jewishness, in a variety of senses, and Dylan has given some reason to believe that he might be doing this at different times.

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Another Self Portrait – Bob Dylan (Bootleg Series Volume 10)

So it is: Self Portrait is a joke wrapped in a joke, wrapped in a joke. The latest joke is that over forty years later, they’ve released the outtakes from this almost-universally-despised album, and people all over the place are writing long intellectual-sounding treatises on how wonderful it is. You truly can’t make up this stuff.

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Something’s Burning, Baby – Bob Dylan

Happy Easter, again! Today, May 5th, was Easter Sunday for those Christians following the Eastern Orthodox calendar (a not inconsiderable number). Reaching around in the muck of my memory for a song to reference in celebration of this fact, I thought about the big concepts of Easter, and thought of various songs about “rising again” … Continue reading Something’s Burning, Baby – Bob Dylan

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From the Complete Rolling Stone Interview: Following Up On Dylan & God (etc)

If you’ve read the whole interview, you’ll know that Dylan goes off on a big tangent about a notion of “transfiguration”: his own, somehow connected with the death of another, different Bobby Zimmerman in a motorcycle accident in the early 1960s (mentioned very briefly in Chronicles, page 79). Rolling Stone unabashedly makes this the centerpiece of the article, highlighting it in the intro as a story “much more transformational than he has fully revealed before …

Bob Dylan Jesus Mofos

Bob Dylan: “I still believe in Jesus, mofos!”

In the end, it’s his business. Some people pick up on it and some don’t. Yet, people continue to be curious. Many people go to Google and type in “Is Bob Dylan still a Christian?” and similar queries. I know because some of them happen to end up in my website statistics after doing so, because they hit upon something I wrote on the subject in the past. (Others have written plenty too.)

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Writer made up Bob Dylan quotes; resigns from New Yorker

Why make up quotes from Bob Dylan? There are few figures in popular culture of the past 50 years who have given as many lengthy and fascinating and amusing interviews as Dylan has. I guess the obvious answer is that you make them up if you want to have Dylan expressing a thought he never … Continue reading Writer made up Bob Dylan quotes; resigns from New Yorker

God’s Problem with Bob Dylan (and with Us)

This style of argument over whether we can believe in an omnipotent and loving God given the reality of evil in the world has been going on a long time, of-course. And it will echo down the corridors of history for the rest of the time allotted to history. But, in my view, it arrives nowhere. It ultimately becomes, I think, a game of ghoulish numbers, attempting to delineate a certain quantity or frequency of evil acts and events that are permissible while still accepting the possibility of the existence of that all-powerful and loving God.

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“Senor” – Dierks Bentley sings Bob Dylan; thoughts on Street Legal

Thanks to Bob Cohen for referring me to Dierks Bentley and his bluegrassy version of Bob Dylan’s song “Senor.” I hadn’t heard it; it’s very fine, and Bentley seems to be an estimable musician in general. “Senor” is featured on his album Up on the Ridge. Dierks Bentley singing “Senor” Checking Dierks Bentley out on … Continue reading “Senor” – Dierks Bentley sings Bob Dylan; thoughts on Street Legal

Christopher Hitchens on Ricks, Bob Dylan and Bach

However, his choices also raise a question, which has surely been raised before regarding these recent highly-vocal advocates for atheism (the most high-profile being Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins). The question is this: How many of them would really like to live in a world where everyone agreed with them that there was no God (or that if there was a God that he must be either evil or entirely unknowable)?

Christmas in the Heart Bob Dylan

Follow the Light: The Heart in Bob Dylan’s Christmas

This tension of the competing narratives of Christmas is felt, inevitably, in the songs of Christmas. There are on the one hand the hymns about Jesus and Bethlehem, and then there are the songs of Santa and his reindeer and his lists of the naughty and the nice. Treading the middle ground are secular songs of the season such as “White Christmas” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” Yet every time that someone records an album mixing these various Christmas songs together, the implicit question for the listener is this: Which is it?

Q & A with Robert Spencer on Bob Dylan

Robert Spencer’s bio at Jihad Watch states that he “has been studying Islamic theology, law, and history in depth since 1980.” Since September 11th, 2001, he has been one of a priceless few whose knowledge of and clear speaking to issues surrounding Islam, jihadism and terrorism has helped the rest of us catch up (although … Continue reading Q & A with Robert Spencer on Bob Dylan

Chronicling Chronicles (reactions to Bob Dylan’s autobiography)

Collected posts relating to Chronicles and the world’s response to it (in straight chronological order, first to last)   New Morning … 09/26/2004 Chronicles is excerpted in Newsweek. My own reaction to reading Bob’s narrative is just plain joy and amazement. It is absolutely direct. From the liner notes to the Jimmie Rodgers tribute album … Continue reading Chronicling Chronicles (reactions to Bob Dylan’s autobiography)

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The First and the Last in Phillipsburg, New Jersey

The problem is the double standard, and the zero tolerance and indeed outright hostility afforded to Christian words and concepts. By promoting and talking about all kinds of other ideas, but treating Christian ones as off-limits, the underlying message being communicated is that Christianity is toxic: whatever you do, don’t look for meaning there.