Re: Re: Bob Dylan: To See or Not to See

Last week I wrote an article entitled “Bob Dylan: To See or Not to See”. You can read it here.

The article drew a bit of controversy, both from a laundry list of reader comments and from fellow Manolith writer Quinn Vincent Hough. He wrote a response piece, which you can read here.

My original article explained my internal struggle of whether or not to see Bob Dylan perform in what is now his latter stage. Quinn condemned this struggle, and questioned the authenticity of my fandom for Bob. Surely one who has not seen the American icon live could not brand themselves a “true fan”, in Quinn’s words.

Before I continue, there are two important points I’d like to make. The first is that I genuinely welcome criticism of my work. In many ways, that’s the point. Quinn is a great writer and I’m grateful he took the time to respond to one of my pieces personally. I have opinions and I express them; they are no more valid than any of yours. The best art has a literal magnetic quality – it draws people in, but disperses them to two (or more) sides. As a writer, my fear of apathy far exceeds my fear of outrage.

The second is of another internal struggle of mine (and there’s plenty more where that came from). It took a great deal of careful consideration before I finally relented to write this piece.

Many writers actively respond to reader comments, which I think is great. But I don’t. When I compose an editorial, what you read is what I have chosen to reveal. If there are unanswered questions, if I’ve done my job properly they were left that way for a reason. I believe I have a responsibility to maintain the mystery.

Therefore, Quinn, I’m going to keep this response quite short. In fact, it will be uninhabited with any of my own words. I concluded the best way to say what I want to say, without revealing too much of course, is to simply quote Bob Dylan himself. Paraphrased, here is his sermon from “Trust Yourself”. As Bob would urge, do with it what you will.

Trust yourself to do the things that only you know best

Trust yourself to do what’s right and not be second-guessed

Don’t trust me to show you beauty, when beauty may only turn to rust

Don’t trust me to show you the truth, when the truth may be only ashes and dust

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4 Responses to Re: Re: Bob Dylan: To See or Not to See

  1. when i was 6 years old in 1951, my dad and grandfather took me to see a Yankee game.as i fiddled and paid no attention to the game, my dad said ” see that man in centerfield ? his name is Joe Di Maggio. after this year he’ll never play there again. watch him for a minute so you can tell people when you grow up. that you saw him play” obviously it stuck in my memory
    I’ve been a Dylan fan since his days in Greenwich village and saw more than a few of his concerts . my son grew interested in Dylan when he was young and in his 13th year I took him to an outdoor concert at Lake Compounce in Ct. it was pouring rain but when a lone spotlight lit on the stage and Dylan sang his fitst word i could hear my son gasp ! we went to a few more concerts. last year we took his son to se Dylan and he sung with his croaky voice barely understood, my son told my grandson, ” see that guy, his name is Bob Dylan. when you grow up and have the chance to take a class on him in college you can tell the class that you saw him play in person” many of his concerts are attended by multi generarations of families for the very same reason. that being to show the young ones a look at a person who changed the course of music, if you catch him early in a tour you have a good chance of seeing a great show. as some poet said his like will not seen again, for a while

  2. Don’t put your hope in ungodly man
    Or be a slave to what somebody else believes.

    Trust yourself… ;)

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