Thursday, April 9, 2009

Even the President of the United States

In anticipation of Bob Dylan's upcoming album Together Through Life, the Bard has submitted to a fairly lengthy interview, which is posted at In it, Bob offers his take on Barack Obama:

He’s like a fictional character, but he’s real. First off, his mother was a Kansas girl. Never lived in Kansas though, but with deep roots. You know, like Kansas bloody Kansas. John Brown the insurrectionist. Jesse James and Quantrill. Bushwhackers, Guerillas. Wizard of Oz Kansas. I think Barack has Jefferson Davis back there in his ancestry someplace. And then his father. An African intellectual. Bantu, Masai, Griot type heritage - cattle raiders, lion killers. I mean it’s just so incongruous that these two people would meet and fall in love.

Bob's way too smart to be taken in by all this pretty storytelling though:

Do you think he’ll make a good president?

I have no idea. He’ll be the best president he can be. Most of those guys come into office with the best of intentions and leave as beaten men. Johnson would be a good example of that … Nixon, Clinton in a way, Truman, all the rest of them going back. You know, it’s like they all fly too close to the sun and get burned.

Incidentally, the most Dylanesque thing I have ever seen was an old man missing a ring finger who was playing a little electric organ in a subway station in New York City. I had to go back and check the lyrics of "Desolation Row" to see if "the nine-fingered organist" was in there.