“Where’s the global warming?”
The 40th Anniversary edition of Rolling Stone is now on newsstands. The interview by Jann Wenner of Bob Dylan contains a lot of material that was not in the audio clips posted on the RS website over the weekend. Among other things, there is a continuing pattern of Wenner trying to get some political quotes out of Dylan, and not receiving that which he’d clearly like to receive.
Wenner: What do you think of the historical moment we’re in today? We seem to be hellbent on destruction. Do you worry about global warming?
Dylan: Where’s the global warming? It’s freezing here.
Wenner: It seems a pretty frightening outlook.
Dylan: I think what you’re driving at, though, is we expect politicians to solve all our problems. I don’t expect politicians to solve anybody’s problems.
Wenner: Who is going to solve them?
Dylan: Our own selves. We’ve got to take the world by the horns and solve our own problems. The world owes us nothing, each and every one of us, the world owes us not one single thing. Politicans or whoever.
Wenner: Do you think America is a force for good in the world today?
Wenner: But in practical fact …
Dylan: The practical fact is always different than theory.
Wenner: What do you think the practical fact is now?
Dylan: With what’s going on? Human nature hasn’t really changed in 3,000 years. Maybe the obstacles and actualities and daily customs change, but human nature really hasn’t changed. It cannot change. It’s not made to change.
The scent of desperation from Wenner is palpable. He’s doing his damnedest to pin Bob down, but Dylan just keeps stepping back and speaking on an entirely different level, at the same time dismissing the left/liberal clichés that form the premise of the questions
This next piece comes from Peter Bronson, Cincinnati Enquirer
In other words, a Who's Who of the far-out left - Jane Fonda, Jimmy Carter, Norman Mailer, George McGovern, Steven Spielberg, Bill Moyers, Michael Moore, Neil Young and the other usual suspects. It's predictable from a magazine that calls the Bush administration "a band of reckless, power-drunk ideologues" who "steal elections."
Mailer calls Bush a "spiritual terrorist," Paul McCartney says the answer is "peace and love," Fonda says, "We're fighting for ... the life of the Earth." And Rolling Stone waves its Bic lighter in a rock-concert cheer - "More, More!''
It's almost as if the clock stopped at Rolling Stone in 1967. The interviews are a time capsule - with only a few words changed. Nixon becomes Bush. Vietnam becomes Iraq. Pollution becomes global warming.
And through it all, there's the same old stubborn hippie optimism that catastrophe is just around the corner.
In every interview, the questioner eventually asks something like: "Isn't it a drag that the world is coming to an end because nobody listened to us in the '60s - and they still don't?"
But here's a bigger bummer than a dime bag of oregano: Some of the rock stars refused to play along.
"Do you think it's gloomy on the horizon," Editor Jann Wenner asks Bob Dylan.
"In what sense do you mean," Dylan replies.
"Bob, come on," Wenner goads.
"No, you come on. In what sense do you mean that?" Dylan demands.
Wenner tries again: "We seem to be hell-bent on destruction. Do you worry about global warming?"
"Where's the global warming?" Dylan asks. "It's freezing here."
As my friend Mike McCarthy said, "There's some surprising stuff in there." He's right.
Author Tom Wolfe: "Anyone who thinks that religion is bad for society is out of his mind. We are now beginning to see what happens when you don't have it."
Spielberg, on the dark legacy of the '60s: "Just narcissism, a collective and personal narcissism."
Jack Nicholson: "I'm a patriotic fella and this factionalism today isn't to my liking. I'm incapable of hating a president of the United States."
Stewart Brand, LSD tripper and inventor of the Whole Earth Catalog: "Almost everything we tried either failed hideously or didn't pan out. Communes failed, drugs went nowhere, free love led pretty much to AIDS. A lot of people thought Mao Tse Tung was a hero."