December 27, 2010
Exhuming Bob XXVIII
Visions of Johanna Decoded
This is an attempt to place Visions Of Johanna in a context of Dylan, Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick. In this interpretation Louise is Edie, Johanna is Dylan’s mother, Louise’s lover is Andy Warhol and the narrator is Dylan,
Visions of Johanna
Ain’t it just like the night to play tricks when you’re trying to be so quiet?
We sit here stranded though we’re doing our best to deny it.
I.e. we’re alone in the night of the universe doing our best to pretend we aren’t. A night without dawn and we find the situation intolerable.
And Louise holds a handful of rain, temptin’ you to defy it.
Rain is a symbol for the misery of life that one finds inescapable. ‘Raindrops keep falling on my head.’ etc. Louise/Edie who is a bearer of pain mixed with love offers a handful of rain to Dylan essentially saying take it or leave it. If Bob takes it he has to find a way around the pain of loving Louise/Edie.
Lights flicker from the opposite loft
In this room the heat pipes just cough
The country station plays soft
But there’s nothing really, nothing to turn off.
It looks brighter in the opposite loft, greener grass on the other side of the fence, but it is freezing in Dylan’s room where no heat comes from the pipes that just cough. ‘Seems like a freezeout.’ C&W is a lot of songs about love gone wrong so let it play softly in the background.
Just Louise and her lover so entwined
And these visions of Johanna that conquer my mind.
Dylan has a real problem with his mother who he says in his movie Masked and Anonymous rejected him because he upset her life by being born. Thus his love for his mother was turned to dust and his life made miserable. He has confused Edie with his mother who he thinks she resembles. Edie after seeming to be found as a mother surrogate in the first quarter of 1965 then seemingly abandoned him for ‘her lover’ Warhol with whom she is ‘entwined.’ In his confusion and resentment of Edie he sees ’these visions of Johanna that conquer his mind.’ He looks at Edie and sees his mother. His resentment at his mother’s rejection then turns to hatred of Edie. As a son he can’t revenge himself on his mother but he can on Edie who has become his mother surrogate.
After his father’s death in 1968 Dylan is able to step into his father’s shoes as his mother’s support. Pleading poverty, which was probably real, shortly after her husband’s death Dylan wrote her a five figure check to tide her over. There’s more, but…I’ll save that for the review of Masked And Anonymous.
In the empty lot where the ladies play blind man’s bluff with the key chain
And the all night girls they whisper of escapades out on the “D” train
We can hear the night watchman click his flashlight
Ask himself if it’s him or them that’s really insane
Verbiage setting up the next six lines that get to the heart of the matter:
Louise, she’s all right, she’s just near
She’s delicate and seems like the mirror
But she just makes it all too concise and too clear
That Johanna’s not here.
Here the physically delicate Edie is present but she seems like a reflection of Johanna/Dylan’s mother. Dylan has so identified Edie/Louise with this mother/Johanna that Edie makes it ‘too concise and that too clear’ that Mother/Johanna is not here.
The ghost of ‘lectricity howls in the bones of her face (Edie’s)
Where these visions of Johanna have now taken my place.
Ghosts of electricity is ambiguous but may refer to the traces left by the electro-shock treatments which undoubtedly scarred Edie’s mind indelibly while Dylan has now completely blended Edie/Louise and Mother/Johanna into one.
Now, little boy lost, he takes himself so seriously
He brags of his misery, he likes to live dangerously,
This obviously refers to Warhol of whom it’s a pretty good description. Living dangerously probably refers to the hoodlums hanging around the Factory.
Muttering small talk at the wall while I’m in the hall
How can I explain?
Oh, it’s so hard to get on
And these visions of Johanna, they kept me up past dawn
Dylan mutters small talk at the wall where he is placed outside the relationship with Edie in the hall ‘while visions of Mother/Johanna trouble him into the small hours of the night.
Verses four and five seem to be verbiage that sounds meaningful and may be to Dylan but escape me. The song is copyrighted 1966 which would be after Dylan had taken his vengeance on Edie so the lines of the last verse:
But like Louise always says
“Ya can’t look at much, can ya man?”
As she herself prepares for him
And Madonna, she still has not showed
We see the empty cage now corrode
Where her cape of the stage once had flowed
The fiddler, he now steps to the road
He writes ev’rything’s been returned which was owed.
Edie/Louise is preparing for ‘him’ who might be Warhol or Neuwirth but it isn’t made clear.
Dylan referred to Sara as a Madonna so she is probably the Madonna referred to. ‘Empty cage’ is personal to Dylan, no idea, anyway he was already married to Sara. So having crushed Edie as his mother had crushed him and passed her to Neuwirth he thinks he has settled his score with Mother/Johanna. ’Ev’rything’s been returned which was owed.’ Edie has repaid his mother’s debt but he apparently feels some guilt ‘as his conscience explodes.’
After the ball was over, after the dance was through’ these visions of Johanna are now all that remain.’ So, if the song means anything, written in 1966 it must refer to Edie who Dylan has confused with his mother in his mind. While songs like Like A Rolling Stone and She’s Your Lover Now read clearly once you have the Edie key, Johanna is a little more ambigious but while I con’t guarantee this reading as yet, I think it is on whole accurate.
December 23, 2010
Who Is The Mysterious John Carter?
There are nine wise men who control the destiny of the world and I am on a first name basis with each of them. Sworn to secrecy I cannot reveal the names of these Unknown Masters. No Wiki-leaks here. Due to the upcoming movie concerning doings under the moons of Mars first revealed by the adept Edgar Rice Burroughs beginning in 1912 I have been advised that it is thought expedient to reveal who John Carter really is.
Elipsis being the favored mode of action of the Nine rather than just give the info straight out I have been given a list of web sites, articles and books from which Carter’s identity may be deduced leaving some room for error on my part from which Carter’s identity may be deduced. Given the nature of the material, much of which I had already read that I have always thought rather fanciful I can’t guarantee that I have succeeded in determining J.C.’s true identity. If I have failed in this great trust placed in me by the Nine I lay the blame at their feet for having made an erroneus choice but it is possible that, as a result of such a possible failure, I may not be heard from again.
Burroughs, who seems to have known the true identity of Carter, whose books were part of the package given to me, as if I hadn’t already read them many times, gives us a clue in that Carter was at least one thousand years old and had enjoyed many identities over the centuries. Actually with a little invention I may be able to whiff this past the Nine.
Amongst the papers entrusted to me was the web address of the French Wold Newton Universe which I abbreviate FWNU. As this site intelligently summarizes a thousand years of history I found it an invaluable resource but just because I’m relying on the FWNU doesn’t mean I’m lazy; I’ve already read the other stuff: the Greek myths, Homer, Grave’s White Goddess, the Bible, De Santillana, Eco and a host of others, besides which I have to use the sources the Nine supplied.
It will be necessary to begin our search with the Knights Templar and the Crusades. It is quite possible that J.C. by whatever identity he may have been known is co-existent with the First Hominid Predecessor. For all we know he was present at the creation, among the artists who painted the caves at Lascaux or he may even have had an intimate acquaintance with the Via Dolorosa; but, that might merely be relying on the coincidence of initials. We have no reliable or even quasi-reliable records that far back.
We will have to content ourselves with beginning at the Crusades. The historical figure who claims an ancient pedigree is the Count de St. Germain. He makes his appearance under that name in revolutionary France. As the name he uses then is demonstrably French we have to assume that over the centuries he has been known under many, many names, many guises, many roles as the concept French is of fairly recent origin. He was perhaps one of the nine who formed the Knights Templar, a very secretive group. The Crusades changed the course of European society just as the Templars were the first catalysts of that change. While Templar history is in the hands of those sympathetic to them who find them wholly admirable I who should be among those sympathsizers have a lurking suspicion that the Order was wholly sinister. Who else, I ask you, would recruit in taverns haunted by criminals and excommunicants? What building material was this?
The Templars ostensible purpose, good reason as opposed to real reason, for existence was that they were to protect pilgrims to the so-called Holy Land but, once created, they lost interest in such a worthy cause. Perhaps they were created for a much more subversive and less worthy purpose. The Templars are frequently linked with another band of ‘holy’ soldiers, the Assassins of Alamut in Persia. Who were the Assassins? The FWNU: Will There Be Light Tomorrow, Part I:
The word “assassins” is usually linked to hashish, and the name of the group is sometimes spelled “hashishins,” because of their alleged use of the drug to keep their fearsome warriors properly motivated…What is not widely known is that, in fact, the name “Assassins” derives from the word “Assass,” meaning “Guardians,” or “Protectors,” for the Assassins were in reality the Islamic Soldier Monks in charge of the protection of the Holy Land. “Assassins” in Arabic signifies “quardians,” and some commentators have considered this the true origin of the word: “Guardians of the secrets’” – Arkan Daraul, Secret Societies.
If the Assassins had secrets to protect and/or disseminate then they might easily have swayed the minds of a group of simple unsophisticated Nordic warriors. Once swayed then their role would have been to form a fifth column in Europe in alliance with the Assassins to subvert the Church and State which is exactly what the Templars were doing. Thus though the Moslems had been defeated and thrust back by Charles Martel the Templars would be internal allies to achieve the Moslem conquest not unlike the Liberal undermining in favor of the Moslems in the West today. Wheels within wheels, plans within plans. There undoubtedly was constant communication between the two groups for well over a hundred years until the Mongols of Ghengis Khan stormed Alamut putting an end to the Assassins c. +1260. An unforseen event. It was then only a few decades later that Philip Lebel of France terminated the career of the Templars launching Europe on the period of confusion that terminated with the murder of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
From the wreckage of the Templars, for they were only wrecked not destroyed, came great criminal organizations such as the Commora, the Carbonara and the Mafia. All these elements combined to create the revolution in France during which the Compte de St. Germain and the extra sinister Caligliostro, who might have been the same, appeared and who in all possiblility emigrated to America to become…John Carter.
Names and dates in this underworld milieu can never be taken as certain. As the FWNU points out it is clear that Cagliostro left for America after 1795 or at about the same time Edgar Allan Poe was handed the mysterious manuscript detailing the adventures of Arthur Gordon Pym. We’re slipping into the realm of pure fiction here but suppose that Poe did get the story from someone and suppose that someone was merely posing as Cagliostro or St. Germain, probably the same person in two identities. Still fantistic but not impossible.
However contrary to Man’s desire nobody lives forever so at some point Cagliostro has to die but before he does he finds the Virginian John Carter and instructs him in this pious fraud to keep the tradition going. Now, it is clear that whether or not someone gave Burroughs a manuscript which he at least claimed happened in the case of John Clayton he writes of John Carter in the tradition of the Great Conspiracy that had its roots in the Crusades.
Burroughs may very well have been self-indoctrinated in the Traditions as many of us are, however Burroughs was learned in several matters not least of which was psychology by his brothers’ partner, Lew Sweetser.
Sweetser along with the Burroughs Boys was graduated from Yale University which we know is the home of the prominent occult organization the Skull and Bones Club. The Skull and Bones takes its emblem from the pirates of the Caribbean. Their banner was a corruption of the black and white Beauceant banner of the Templars. It is generally thought that the excaping French Templars, or a portion of them, fled to Scotland. After 1492 when the Spanish gold fleets of his Most Catholic Majesty, the Defender of the Faith, the King of Spain began their runs, the Templars set sail for the New World to prey on the treasure fleets to avenge themselves on Church and Throne.
I have seen no record that Lew Sweetser was in the Skull and Bones but if he was or aspired to, if the Skull and Bones have any secrets which they obviously do, Sweetser may have become privy to some and whether intentionally or inadvertantly he probably imparted some to young Burroughs. At the very least, in educating young Burroughs as he obviously did he would have given him his outlook or point of view. Young Burroughs was at an impressionable age.
This point of view was reinforced by all of Burroughs’ reading. That reading was more heavily occult and revolutionary than is usually supposed. By 1912 when he began writing ERB was fully versed in the underground French literature in translation of the day. There doesn’t seem to be a reference to Balzac although he must have read something but maybe not. He did read Eugene Sue, one of the early nineteenth century writers, a veritable mad man. Sue’s The Mysteries Of Paris was in his library while I’m relatively certain he read Sue’s Wandering Jew also. Between
those two books his mind would have been ripped apart and reassembled as was mine for instance. He read Dumas, Three Musketeers and Count Of Monte Cristo for sure and probably The Man In The Iron Mask. He plowed through Victor Hugo’s sewer epic, Les Miserables. He devoured whatever was translated of Jules Verne. Verne’s works were firmly implanted in his mind: From Earth To The Moon and Mysterious Island absolutely filled his mind. Paul Feval and
Emile Gaboriau weren’t translated as yet so these very important crime/revolutionary writers missed him. They write much more directly at what Sue, Dumas, Hugo and Verne imply. But, all four of those guys are powerful writers dealing with life in a very direct way. Edgar Allan Poe, another prime influence of Burroughs, 1808-1849 seems to have been influenced by the early bunch of French writers, probably Balzac and some writers less well known but earlier than Feval and the rest. Poe may be the most astounding writer of all in the French school although its hard to top Sue. I shudder while I write his name. And then it is impossible to know what magazine and newspaer articles about such topics Burroughs may have read. His age was a magazine and newspaper age.
And, of course, Burroughs read a full slate of English and American writers not least the detective stories of Conan Doyle and many others. One should not overlook George W.M. Reynolds incredible ten volume novel The Mysteries Of The Court Of London which is found in ERB’s library. An amazing 5000 page novel.
All of this reading seemed to come together in the John Carter Martian Trilogy. Burroughs never again wrote anything quite like it. One could remember that one doesn’t have to be fully conscious of what one is writing. One is caught up in the sweep of intellectual currents developing themes whose antecedents began long before so that one is merely developing the themes.
Thus Burroughs was part of the breaking up of the Semito-Aryan mythology of say -2000 to +1000 which was accentuated by the first of the three major blows to Man’s self-confidence picked out by Freud- the place of the Earth in the Universe. Once it was understood that Earth was merely one lone planet spinning in a Universe that if not thought boundless in his time was understood to be more extensive than mythological heaven. The old mythology crubled to the ground, the old gods of the Semitic religions had their teeth pulled, their knees crushed, in other words, they lost their power to command.
Now, it is often asserted that there is no mythology to replace the old mythology, that science has destroyed the concept. This is not true. The Templars began a new mythology, while Galileo, Copernicus and Kepler forwarded it when they discovered or revealed that the Earth was a point in a surrounding universe. Thus, if the Earth is not the center of the universe with God in his heaven above it then Man can penetrate this boundless space. This is where John Carter enters the mythology of the Scientific Era.
The idea of traveling in space according to the FWNU was almost immediately written in a story by Kepler himself. While this is a sort of change of venue travel in the upper spheres has a long history predating Kepler. To cite only two examples there is Jacob’s Ladder on which Jacob was said to ascend to the heavens or, in other words, space. Mohammed is said to have mounted his horse and risen to the Seventh Heaven, way up there in the ideas of the time, where he conversed face to face with God, or in Moslem terms, Allah. So, now that space became open it isn’t unusual that Kepler immediately translated the old mythology into scientific terms. So while a magic carpet may have served Gullivar Jones if fails as science.
Thus from Kepler to Burroughs the tales of space travel and the complexity of methods increases.
With the development of astronomy, that is space, the concept of Time developed apace. The Earthly year had already been adequately measured so now the conquest of the Earth day, hour, minute and seconds- eventually nanoseconds- began. Thus Time and Space became one word, timeandspace. Along with rocketry came the fantasy of the Time Machine, the time traveler. As we know Burroughs was an expert on both, having some very well developed ideas about Time. Rather than being a merely frivolous romanticist then it can be seen that Burroughs was trying to work out the central problems of his times. to a very large extent, he did. In a literary sense, then, Burroughs is the equal of Freud and Einstein. Hence his writing style is odd. He is trying to convey ideas he is struggling to understand, not unlike Freud and Einstein. While Freud is considered a literary stylist I find him barely comprehensible, not at all clear.
As the FWNU points out, while John Carter takes his place in space travel in the 1860s his amanuensis, Burroughs, only published Carter’s exploits from 1912 to 1914.
Burroughs himself completely distorts the facts as he claims he himself was born c. 1855 in the Trilogy while we know he was actually born twenty years later in 1875. He could not possibly have known Carter as a child and been his ‘favorite nephew.’ Why he would tell such a transparent falsehood isn’t clear. Even when Carter made his second vanishing in 1888 Burroughs would have been entering his teen years while being in Illinois rather than living on the Hudson in the State of New York. Does he think we’re stupid? Perhaps he is concealing his real sources.
Even though the issue is somewhat clouded because of the lapse of time between the historical events and Burroughs’ publication of them only in 1912, one thing is clear, John Carter is the Lord Of Time And Space. As Burroughs recounts Carter’s words claimed to be to him in the prologue to the Gods Of Mars:
I have learned the secret, nephew, and I may traverse the trackless void at my will, coming and going between the countless planets as I list…
Carter’s achievement is of great import because it means that he has become one with the gods. he has joined the heavenly pantheon with the added advantage that he can move equally freely between the spiritual and the temporal. Not even the Great Gods can do that. Although he has the secret he doesn’t choose to divulge it to his ‘favorite nephew’ who we know did not possess this occult secret.
It is interesting in light of Carter’s achievement to pay some attention to the Urania Book that was received by another Chicagoan. Why Chicago was selected to be the center of revelation at this time isn’t known. The book of Urania is a massive volume giving the details of the celestial organization of the gods dispersed throughout the universe of which Carter must have been familiar although he didn’t impart that knowledge to his nephew. Fortunately that vast organization was related by the Uranians.
As Burroughs was left more or less on his own on that score by Carter it is evident that Burroughs must have fleshed out Carter’s bare announcement of having discovered the ‘secret’ of traversing interstellar space by hints from the famed French explorer of space Camille Flammarion. That author discusses outer space in several profound works chief of which are The Plurality Of Inhabited Worlds, The Inhabitants Of Other Worlds, Imaginary And Real Worlds and Lands In The Sky. It is to be noted also that rather than taking his information on the nature of Mars from the American Percival Lowell Burroughs took it from the Frenchman, Camille Flammarion. Lowell and Flammarion were in close communication so it is probable that Lowell’s inspiration was taken from Flammarion. Burroughs speaks of Flammarion many times even going so far as to say he formed his early ideas on him but he never mentions Lowell. Unfortunately Flammarion’s information on Mars turned out to be more inspired than factual. Let us hope his ideas on interplanetary space are more sound. But then he is a pioneer and the lay of the land always looks different to the first comers than the settlers who become familiar with it. Cartographers so to speak. Geographers, that sort of thing.
At any rate the transition from the old astrology to the new astronomy, from myth to science, was achieved through the medium of Edgar Rice Burroughs. There should a BB and AB, before and after Burroughs. Thus with the publication of A Princess of Mars in 1912 world history entered a new phase. The centuries after Keplers’ space epic culminated with Burroughs in 1912 when he more or less perfected the new mythology as far as the heavens were concerned.
Nor was Burroughs finished when Carter using the ‘secret’ transported himself to Mars the second time. One is inclined to believe that Carter stumbled on the secret before the cave in Arizona or else was selected by the Celestial Organization to receive it. The latter would have been impossible for a naive earthling like Burroughs to understand so Carter probably chose to say he discovered the secret.
Burroughs himself who was undoubtedly chosen as the conduit to the New Mythology was immediately recognized as the avatar of the New Mythology as nearly all other mythographers began to develop the ideas in Burroughs framework. His knowledge which was itself almost miraculous seems as though it must have been divinely imparted. Perhaps the two concusssions he received before 1900 rearranged his synapses so that he could intellectually go where no man had gone before. He celebrates the memory of these two concussions by beating a steady tattoo on the skull of Tarzan.
Having organized the way in which inter-stellar planetary travel was to be perceived Burroughs set out to create the man-god of the New Age on earth, the second aspect of the trinity, John Clayton otherwise known as Tarzan Of The Apes. Burroughs retained the JC initials linking Jesus Christ, John Carter and John Clayton as so many have noted although those three are not the Trinity in question- the three in one, one in three. One must beware of the so-called revolutionaries who with their inability to understand common sense deride the triple aspect of mankind as faulty arithmetic. In the course of evolution it would seem that they failed to acquire the advanced intelligence gene.
Three of Burroughs’ most formative years were spent at Harvard Latin School in Chicago where he developed his classical knowledge and fell in love with classical mythology.
Thus, as the mythological god of heaven was Zeus to whom John Carter corresponds, John Clayton, or Tarzan corresponds to the terrestrial god, Poseidon or, perhaps more accurately to the son of Zeus, the great man-god Heracles. Burroughs often refers to Tarzan as the Heracles of the jungle so perhaps he shoved Poseidon aside in favor of the son of Zeus. This leaves only the realm of the underworld ruled by Pluto or Hades in Classical Mythology which Burroughs renamed Pelucidar and placed at the center of the Earth. He doesn’t seem to have felt the need for a ruler of that particular realm. Thus while the three realms exist in his mythology the trinity seems to be curiously truncated by one but perhaps I’m missing something.
Thus Burroughs updated the Trinity. It might be coincidence or maybe it was destiny but Burroughs was chosen to transit the bases of the New Mythology at the first glimmer of the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Was he conscious of his role as the Man of Destiny? While he could never be sure he undoubtedly hoped the Light was shining on him.
Although obscure this move shows a very astute religious understanding. If one wishes to supplant a religion the wise idea is to appropriate the forms of symbols, shrines and ideas and replace their content with your own. Catholicism did this with Greek and German sites and Jewish and Moslem religions are attempting the same with Christian and or Western sites, symbols and ideas now. There is an eternal religious war. For instance Jews have instituted the new Jewish holiday Hannukah in opposition to the Western Christmas which in itself contains the superposition of the Christian religion on pagan sites. While shining the light on their Hannukah they make vicious attacks on Christmas trying to have it outlawed. Christmas celebrants are thus being nudged to embrace Hannukah at which time they will be left in peace to celebrate their Christmas under the guise of Hannukah. In the time honored manner Christianity will have been superseded, in this case by a lesser religious faith. Undoubtedly they will be happy with an eight day celebration rather than a one. A little bribery works well.
Thus Burroughs makes John Carter the Master of Time and Space in place of Jahweh or Allah. When the scientific British conquered India and scoffed at the Hindu notion that the world rested on the back of the elephant as an impossibility the Hindu priests withdrew, worked it over in their minds and countered: OK. The world rests on the back of the tortoise. The Hindus could not accept the negation of their religious beliefs.
So science made clear to Christians, Jews and and Moslems that there was no god and that instead of the earth nestling in an egg of seven heavens with god in the seventh and highest balanced by seven layers of hell beneath the flat earth and that space was in fact boundless and the earth occupied an infinitessimally small space in the universe, the Christians, Jews and Moslems retired to consider the problem then each gave a new solution based on God in heaven much as the Hindus switched from an elephant to a tortoise. It is impossible to just switch the human mind from one system to another. As Voltaire said: No one ever willed himself an athiest.
Science is abstract while religion is visceral. so even those working in science retain their religious views. The Christians said: Alright then, if God didn’t create mankind what happened is that a comet brought life to Earth. You see, Evolution or Creation must come from outside. It is more comfortable to think that. Thus nothing changed, life came from ‘above.’ As the space idea developed one had the spectacular Uranian religion develop where the entire universe becomes one huge revival camp while ‘visitors’ from outer space landed handing knowledge to dumb ox earthlings. Knowledge wasn’t acquired bit by bit by humble earthlings but was given by superior aliens, i.e. God. The Aliens then began to hover over Earth in flying saucers to monitor our activities until we were ‘ready’ to enter the congress of planets in a peaceful manner. Like God they don’t interfere in our affairs.
Thus John Carter the man-god can replace both God in his heaven and space aliens and God will still be in his heaven and all right with the world. Only the symbols will change which is as it must be. As above, so below. Following that religious formula Burroughs placed the avatar of primitiveness and sophistication, Tarzan, as overlord of Africa. Tarzan remains a savage but is sometimes dressed in a tuxedo, even in the jungle.
How aware is this? Currently certain groups are going into the very heart of darkness to haul Negroes out of the jungle, put them on airplanes which they may only have seen flying high above them and transporting them to the United States where these groups expect these primitives to get a job, eat frozen food, and flush the toilet none of which the primitives have any knowledge. As is well known feral humans are incapable of transiting to human society. The brain can only absorb so much and at such a rate. This inability cannot be accelerated or changed. Even well educated, supposedly sophisticated humans can’t make the transition from a magical religious mindset to a rational scientific one so what is to become of primitives? Scientific thought has had no part in Chinese or Asian thought until very recently so how can these peoples be expected to abandon their essentially mythopoeic thought processes for a scientific one?
So, while Burroughs was attempting to lead the way to an Aquarian scientific conception of the coming New Age he was wisely attempting to do the impossibhle: Putting new wine in old bottles without bursting the bottles. It may be impossible yet it has to be done. The issue has now been complicated, probably irreparably, by the introduction of hundreds of millions of people into Western society for which the transition is a complete impossibility. The enlightened Westerner will be swamped by those incapable of understanding whether it be their natural limitations or not.
In this global society the Aquarian religion must displace several antiquated thought systems. The truth is obvious. A palatable religion has to be packaged for the masses that will make them psychologically comfortable and an elite and priesthood who hopefully understand the issues who can keep society moving forward on an even keel. Is this possible? Even Burroughs could solve the problem only by continuing the institution of slavery. Slavery permeates his entire work.
In our situation it is important to keep the religious warfare confined to the warring elites and away from the masses.
That means of course that the egalitarian character of the last two hundred years has come to an end. Of course, the Semites put a period to that on 9/11.
The question then is who will wear the crown? Burroughsian religious ideas must triumph. The Carter-Clayton ideas must be put into action driving the three Semitic religions off the field as well as conquering the minds of the Asians and Africans.
Not as difficult as it may seem but it takes a steely determination so far shown only by the Jews and Moslems. You have to know who you are, what you want and be prepared to deal with any obstacles as these two groups obviously are an do. Know who you are and the superiority of your beliefs. There is no longer any room for tolerance as with them. Everything else out there is inferior, nothing can successfully slander our beliefs unless we permit it.
December 1, 2010
Understanding The Myth And Music Of Bob Dylan
Stephen Hazan Arnoff: www.forward.com/articles/133344/
Stephen Hazan Arnoff comes back among us to talk around Sean Wilentz’ Bob Dylan In America and Greil Marcus’ Bob Dylan: Writing 1968-2000 by which is meant Marcus’ writings on Dylan, more specifically reviews of songs and LPs. I have read and reviewed Wilentz while having bought Marcus I flipped through it determining it was more for possible reference than reading, definitely not literature per se.
Startlingly Arnoff is able to compare the Dylan portrayed to both Homer and God.
In “Odysseus’ Scar,’ the first chapter of his study “Mimesis: The Representation of
Reality in Western Literature” (1953), Eric Auerbach presents the history of Western literature as a choice between two creative paths. “It would be difficult” he writes, “to imagine styles more contrasted than those of these two equally ancient and equally epic texts.” The first epic mode is that of Homer, a realm where the narrator shines an overwhelmingly bright light on the characters and situations of his story. There are no gaps in the Homeric narrative. No details of circumstance or motivations of characters are left unexplained.
The second mode is biblical. Here, Auerbach finds a storytelling tradition depending on gaps and fragments “fraught with background.” For biblical literature and its narrative decendants, motivation and detail are purposely obscured so that a life of interpretation and commentary thrives continually. While biblical scribes and their rabbinic heirs cluster around laconic narratives that leave the burden of imagination to interpreters, the Homeric mode prefers richly detailed depictions of reality in which the responsibility for imagination lies with the storyteller.
In other words the Bible, like Dylan’s lyrics, is just words. I suppose Homer’s ‘overwhelmingly bright light’ is why the Iliad is the least understood of the world’s great literature while as much commentary on it exists as on the Bible. Mr. Arnoff is sometimes difficult to follow.
One reason that Homer writes so will with relative clarity is that he is the prototype of Western scientific thought in which the purpose is to make things clear with an overwhelmingly bright light while the murky mythopoeic thinking associated with Semitic thought is based on supernatural hocus pocus that defies rational explanation.
Much the same as the latter can Dylan’s approach to ‘literature’ be explained. Dylan’s movie Masked And Anonymous written by himself has his character Penelope explaining Dylan’s lyric approach to his other character Pope John-Paul II thusly as she makes little boxes with her fingers: “I like Jack Fate’s songs because they don’t have definite sense. They don’t mean anything except what you want them to mean. I like that.” (or words to that effect.)
Well, Bob is Jewish as are Wilentz, Marcus, Arnoff and Auerbach so I suppose there is no reason that they wouldn’t reject precise science in favor of biblical gobbledegook. I wouldn’t brag about it though.
Of course one can see any artist’s work through any lens one wants but one always leaves oneself open to ridicule whether just or not. Certainly Arnoff is ridiculous as he goes on:
Christopher Rick’s “Dylan’s Visions Of Sin (Ecco, 2004) and Dylan’s own memoirs, “Chronicles, Volume One (Simon and Schuster, 2004), now share the title of “Brilliant Studies Of Dylan’s Work” because they model how Dylan- a combination of market-savvy rocker, Homeric bard and biblical seer- has carved out a place in popular culture for art “fraught with background.”
I just can’t see Dylan as more than a ‘market-savvy rocker.’ He is in no manner a Homeric bard while he definitely poses as a biblical seer. No matter what his past he is now a mediocre country and western singer in the pattern of 50s artists like Slim Whitman and Hank Snow, who he even imitates, in Masked And Anonymous. His band might be competent, good or, even, excellent but they aren’t playing anything out of the ordinary.
Bob Dylan is a legend only in Stephen Hazan Arnoff’s mind and those of Dylan’s die hard fans which, while numerous, are not universal. He is the product of incessant drum beating by people like Arnoff, Marcus and his house shill, Sean Wilentz.
We are not talking Shakespeare, Homer or even the Bible. We are talking about a market savvy ‘rocker’ who writes meaningless lyrics subject to whatever the hearer chooses to project on them. He admits that his lyrics mean nothing. That is neither poetry or literature.
If a ‘market savvy rocker’ can make hundreds of millions of dollars on this basis I suppose that does make him a legend for his time. However, Mr. Arnoff, spare us the comparison with Homer.