I grew up as a landowner's son. But I don't think I ever realized the proper interrelationship between the landowner and those who worked on a farm until I heard Dylan's record, "I Ain't Gonna Work on Maggie's Farm No More." So I come here speaking to you today about your subject with a base for my information founded on Reinhold Niebuhr and Bob Dylan.In my old post I wondered why Obama had come up with "Maggie's Farm":
Do you believe "Maggie's Farm" is one of his favorites, or do you think they just tried to find a political song that had some appropriate rhetoric? The character in the song is perceiving what's wrong with the farm (the country) and is looking for a change.A commenter over at Expecting Rain — a Dylan fan site — made the Obama connection too:
Hunter Thompson covered the 72 campaign and championed McGovern. After McGovern dropped the ball by choosing that sweaty Eagleton guy for his running mate, Thompson was disillusioned for years until he saw Jimmy Carter make an early campaign speech to Ted Kennedy and a bunch of lawyers, brazenly criticizing the American legal system.I don't know whether this means Obama and Carter are soulmates or Obama is cribbing from Carter's playlist or Obama reads Hunter S. Thompson or it's well known among Democratic campaign advisors that you can push some useful buttons by invoking "Maggie's Farm" or what. I'm just noting the linkage.
Thompson was rejuvenated. In the speech, Carter quoted a Dylan song, Maggie's Farm, which Obama is citing now. Maggie's Farm is a metaphor for transcending the political system. Dylan plugged in and played it for the acoustic folkies at Newport Folk Festival to say, "I'm not a symbol of the right or the left, I just want to rock and roll."
And I wanted to tell you I saw the movie "Gonzo." Watch the trailer. You will get an accurate impression of the film from this:
It was a bit long and rambling, but a pretty good documentary about a very interesting writer and his wild life and times. Recommended if you like documentaries and can deal with some heavy-handed comparison of Bush to Nixon and Iraq to Vietnam.
IN THE COMMENTS: Palladian writes:
Just once I'd love to hear a politician who would say something like:
"You know, I don't think I've been the same since I heard the 14th unfinished fugue of J.S. Bach's "Art of the Fugue", specifically the point where Bach inserts as a countersubject the notes corresponding to the letters of his own name. It was that moment that I felt a profound connection between humanity and the universe, between numbers and metaphysics. It was that moment, listening to the ailing old Bach's assertion of his selfhood, coded into his own complex and beautiful system, that I felt truly alive and driven to spend my life devoted to the advancement of civilization and humanity."
But no. It's "Maggie's Farm". Fleetwood Mac. Wyclef Jean. You can't be elected if you actually like music anymore.