Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Not Dark Yet (An Election Day Bob Dylan Fix)

"It's not dark yet. But it's gettin' there."

As I have indicated before here at Reason to Believe, Election Day brings me invariably to Bob Dylan. Not sure why. Maybe it's because he sees things that most of the rest of us never see. Maybe it's because he can make cynicism so irresistible. Or maybe it's just because he's been making music for more than 50 years and that is indeed one of the truly enduring things about the Republic over the last half-century.

I remember when Krispy Kreme came to New England a decade ago and everyone went gaga over it. I mean, hell, me too. Warm glazed donuts? Yes please. Why should only the south have something that you can only otherwise get by sticking a cold glazed donut in the microwave. (Yeah, I know—Krispy Kremes were orgasmic. I get it.) Cars lined up by the dozens to get inside the restaurant to buy 'em. There were two kinds of donuts once they arrived: Krispy Kremes and get the hell out of my face with that weak nonsense you're calling a donut. Krspy! Kremes! Forever! That was us.

But then suddenly one day a few years ago...poof. Krispy Kreme was gone in these parts. As if it had never been here. And time moved on. And now I just realized I have taken something of a digression off this Election Day topic.

The point, I guess, is unlike Krispy Kremes, Bob Dylan endures. He's endured Goldwater and Nixon, Afghanistan and Iran-Contra. He's gone from mockingly calling himself a "song and dance man" to hawking Chryslers on TV. But he keeps making music. All these 50+ years down the road and he's still making damn music. And there's something decidedly American about that, isn't there?

So Happy Election Day and go and do your civic duty today. And to make it worth your while, here's one of the best songs he's written in the last 25 years (from his exceptional 1997 album Time Out Of Mind), yet one that given how prolific he is probably wouldn't make it even into his all-time Top 50.

But still. This is a great song. Listen to it. Then go vote. Then listen to it again. Because this is Election Day. And Bob Dylan, like democracy, is still here. Even if Krispy Kremes aren't.

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