Sunday, May 23, 2004

Leave it to Kevin Canfield on AlterNet to write what is surely the lamest article yet on Bob Dylan's transformation to underwear salesman.

As early as sentence two -- "After more than 40 years of fighting for the oppressed, the wrongfully imprisoned, the hoodwinked and the heartbroken..." -- Canfield reveals that he's somewhat out of the loop where Dylan's true significance lies. Maybe he was the one who yelled "Judas!" at Royal Albert Hall when BD went electric, or possibly that was his grandfather. (You never can tell on the Internet -- I may well be cutting a new asshole on a 16-year-old.)

From there -- in order to make his point that Dylan has declined along with American commerce, or some such thing -- he makes a comparison between early and later Dylan that indicates he hasn't the slightest fucking clue as to what he's talking about. "It's Alright Ma," he tells us, is remarkable, while "Love Sick" is "pedestrian," and because the latter was the first song on Dylan's Grammy-winning Time Out Of Mind, it just proves that "we've come to expect ever-diminishing levels of inventiveness from our homegrown artists." Actually all it proves is that Canfield never listened to the whole record -- or if he did, he did so with his head up his ass, because Time Out of Mind is a fantastic record for far more than "Love Sick," which is more interesting musically than lyrically, another distinction Canfield doesn't make. For him, this is all a very simple matter -- if you don't like what Dylan's up to lately with Victoria's Secret, then cook up some kind of stupid-ass reasoning that explains it all very neatly and convincingly to the same group of people who know as little as he does.

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