Bill and Bob

Pistol shots ring out in the barroom night
Enter Patty Valentine from the upper hall.
She sees the bartender in a pool of blood,
Cries out, my god, they killed them all!
Here comes the story of the hurricane,
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin that he never done.
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.

There are a countless attributes that I admire about Bob Dylan but the talent that still has me in awe – although I have heard the songs a thousand times before – is his talent for exposition.

In that first verse ofThe Hurricane, he lays down everything you need to know about Rubin Carter. A few short verses later and you know the whole story years before the real story even ended and in detail that the movie was barely able to touch.

And he does it in song after song.

A bullet from the back of a bush took Medgar Evers’ blood.
A finger fired the trigger to his name.
Only a Pawn in the Game

Hollis Brown
He lived on the outside of town
With his wife and five children
And his cabin fallin’ down
Ballad Of Hollis Brown

William Zanzinger killed poor Hattie Carroll
With a cane that he twirled around his diamond ring finger
The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll

There was something about Bill Clinton’s speech today that reminded me of Bob Dylan.

After 8 years of republican mismanagement, the dems have been unable to put their frustrations into words without waffling or nuance or hedging.

Clinton covered the whole thing in 159 words.

Our nation is in trouble on two fronts: The American Dream is under siege at home, and America’s leadership in the world has been weakened.

Middle class and low-income Americans are hurting, with incomes declining; job losses, poverty and inequality rising; mortgage foreclosures and credit card debt increasing; health care coverage disappearing; and a big spike in the cost of food, utilities, and gasoline.

Our position in the world has been weakened by too much unilateralism and too little cooperation; a perilous dependence on imported oil; a refusal to lead on global warming; a growing indebtedness and a dependence on foreign lenders; a severely burdened military; a backsliding on global non-proliferation and arms control agreements; and a failure to consistently use the power of diplomacy, from the Middle East to Africa to Latin America to Central and Eastern Europe.

Clearly, the job of the next President is to rebuild the American Dream and restore America’s standing in the world.

In the next few verses, he told the rest of the story – even before the real story has ended.

I think he might have just won the election for Obama.

Published by

Ragged Clown

Based in San Jose, California

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