• Jay EuDaly

Porn & Bob Dylan

I have a new favorite word: "porn." I've found myself applying it to almost everything.


Many years ago I joined FaceBook as a way to try to keep tabs on my kids. It was the new thing that all the kids were into. It functioned that way well enough for a few months. Then I accepted a friend request from one of my musician buddies. Within a few days I was flooded with friend requests from other musicians, some of which I hadn't seen or heard from in years. My kids' feeds got buried.


It became a business tool; I started networking online for bands, gigs, students and whatnot. It's no secret FaceBook demographics have been trending older for quite awhile. Kids are no longer flocking to the platform - they swarm like lemmings to whatever new platform has the latest bells and whistles.


I came to the conclusion that I would use social media in general for business only. Any personal stuff that gets put up is usually posted by somebody else; my wife, my kids and friends - and that's ok, I don't mind; I understand it's beneficial for customers and fans to feel a personal connection and I certainly personally appreciate them. Occasionally I'll put something up about my grandkids, dog or whatever, but 99.9% of what I post is business &/or music-related.


Even though I have strongly-held political and religious convictions/opinions I vowed to NEVER become embroiled in ANY kind of political or religious "discussion" (to put nicely what happens on social media). I've remained true to that position; I defy you to find any post from me about politics or religion. If you do find something you will not be able to tell what side I am on. You would find it very difficult to find even a comment or a like from me on ANY political or religious post.


You wanna talk politics or religion? Sure, but only in private. There's a reason the voting booth is private. You can blither-blather and rant about politics all you want on Twitter and FaceBook but I'm going to STFU. Just remember - your every post, your every like and your every click affects the algorithms that determine what you see. You paint yourself into a corner.


I became even more intractable about this policy when I began to shift my business model to an online focus and actually began to make some money with my website, MasterGuitarSchool.com.


Politics and religion are bad for my business.


Music is apolitical. It gets used, subjugated and manipulated for political purposes but, in and of itself, is beyond politics. It gets used for lots of things, but is not of those things.


And since my business is music, my business is apolitical. My politics and religion are not business, and therefore are none of your business. Don't try to engage or bait me on social media concerning those subjects; I will ignore you. This blog is as close as I'll get to publicly stating a political philosophy. PM me and then maybe I'll talk.


Back to my new favorite word.


Social Media = Porn


Political Porn. Fear Porn. COVID19 Porn. Fake News Porn. Information Porn. Bullshit Porn. Trolling Porn. Argue Porn. Discussion Porn. Diatribe Porn. Science Porn, The Latest Pandemic Model Porn. The Latest Climate Change Model Porn. Statistics Porn. Racial Porn. Ranting Porn. Bait Porn. Ad Porn. Virtue-Signalling Porn. Shaming Porn. Climate Change Porn. Anti-Climate Change Porn. Left-Wing Porn. Right-Wing Porn. News Porn. Health Porn. Pandemic Porn. Face Mask Porn. Conspiracy Porn. Food Porn. PETA Porn. Environmental Porn. Anecdotal Porn. Double-Blind Studies with a Control Group Porn. Cheap-Talk Porn. Not to mention Porn Porn.


Part of the definition of porn is that it's public. When people argue politics in private that's not porn. When people argue in public, with onlookers, throw shade, and descend into name-calling and ridicule - that's porn.


See Elephant Talk by King Crimson:


Talk, it's only talk

Arguments, agreements

Advice, answers

Articulate announcements

It's only talk


Talk, it's only talk

Babble, burble, banter

Bicker, bicker, bicker

Brouhaha, balderdash, ballyhoo

It's only talk

Back talk


Talk talk talk, it's only talk

Comments, cliches, commentary, controversy

Chatter, chit-chat, chit-chat, chit-chat

Conversation, contradiction, criticism

It's only talk

Cheap talk


Talk, talk, it's only talk

Debates, discussions

These are words with a D this time

Dialog, duologue, diatribe

Dissension, declamation

Double talk, double talk


Talk, talk, it's all talk

Too much talk

Small talk

Talk that trash

Expressions, editorials

Explanations, exclamations, exaggerations

It's all talk

Elephant talk

Elephant talk

Elephant talk


Bob Dylan


I'm a fan of King Crimson's music, especially the '80's version with Adrian Belew singing. Conversely, I was never a fan of Bob Dylan's brand of musicality.


However, I am a big fan of his lyrics. The guy is a poetic genius in my opinion and the simplistic nature of his music just accentuates the complexity of some of his lyrics.


Many years ago a friend of mine gave me a 2-CD boxed set of Bob Dylan. It was all early stuff and was pretty much demo-quality; just him playing guitar and singing. Some of the later cuts are alternate studio takes with various combinations of players. All but 2 tracks were previously unreleased material.


There were 28 songs on this thing. 3 to 5-minute songs - song after song after song. I sat and listened to the whole thing in one sitting. Aside from 2 or 3 folk standards it was all alternate takes of Dylan tunes. I was mesmerized by the lyrics. Brilliant lyric after brilliant lyric just flowed out of the guy, verse after verse, song after song. He struck me as being like some kind of prophet or shaman or something.


Turns out this 2-CD boxed set was released as a companion piece to a Bob Dylan documentary - No Direction Home - that I happened to watch on Netflix last week. It was long - almost 4 hours - and it covers only the early years; it ends in 1966. In my opinion, that’s the most interesting era of his career. I do many of his songs from this era; I’m sure I relate to them because I was in THE formative stages of my early musical life when he wrote and released them.


I was first exposed to his music by others who covered him; The Byrds with Tamborine Man, Peter, Paul and Mary with Blowing in the Wind, Jimi Hendrix with All Along the Watchtower and Like a Rolling Stone, Johnny Winter with Highway 61 and many other popular artists who covered Dylan tunes.


One of the fascinating things this film brought out was his refusal to participate in politics. Joan Baez (they were lovers at the time) expresses great frustration and hurt because of his noncompliance relative to her political agenda; not engaging with the anti-war movement, not showing up at rallies, demonstrations, marches, happenings, be-ins and whatnot.


Even though many of his songs were used as anthems for various political movements he always refused to take a stand and would never define what they were about. He would let people interpret and use his music in whatever way they did. What choice did he have?


I've spent some time ferreting out old interviews on YouTube (example) and, over and over, he seems amused and confused by questions concerning some perceived deep meaning or political message to his lyrics. He says, "Hey, man, it's just a song." When asked to define himself as a poet, or a spokesman for the counter-culture, his only answer was, “I'm just a song-and-dance man.”


I like that. In my experience people are always tugging at me one way or another to submit my musical abilities to one agenda or another, whether it be politics, religion, a favorite charity or whatever. Music is bigger than all that. And at the same time, it’s only music; just a song-and-dance. As Frank Zappa said, “Shut up and play yer guitar!”


Music can be used for anything. However, I've written elsewhere about the fact that music can transcend whatever it's being used for, whether it be drink sales, gambling, a wedding, promoting a car dealership, a funeral, prostitution, a church service - or politics.


Even though I come from the sixties - a politically charged era - I identify much more with Bob Dylan's apolitical stance rather than those who thought they could change the world of politics through music and the counter-culture (Joan Baez, CSNY, etc). I've always thought that the hippie ethos was originally an apolitical thing, a spiritual thing; something tried to get the affairs of men to notch up the evolutionary ladder but it got co-opted and corrupted by the anti-war movement (politics) and drugs, morphing into violence and depravity.


The fact that Dylan's song, "The Times They Are A-Changing" seems just as current now as it did when it was written in 1964 just goes to show that nothing's really changed as far as politics go...the same old crap just comes back around and the same old song and dance is just as relevant. If you are engaged politically, no matter what side you're on, the war is never-ending - ever. Somebody is always trying to take over the world.


Today's revolution becomes tomorrow's status quo. Which is the establishment the next revolution overthrows which then becomes the status quo. "Meet the new boss; same as the old boss."


Come senators and congressmen please heed the call

Don't stand in the doorway don't block up the hall

For he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled

There's a battle outside and it's raging

It'll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls

For the times, they are a-changin'


Sorry, but that could be said at any time! I think Bob knew that.


John Mayer, who was born 13 years after Dylan wrote that song, wrote the hit song, Waiting on the World to Change. Coming from the '60's era I can't help but notice that the bridge is Mayer's nod to Marvin Gaye's 1970 hit, What's Going On?.


Sorry John, you're gonna be waiting a looong freakin' time; we're still asking, "What's going on?"


In 2015 I had occasion, through a mutual friend, to have lunch with Bob Dylan's guitar player, Stu Kimball. Although now no longer a member, at the time Stu had been in the band for 11 years.


There were several very interesting directions to the conversation, musical and otherwise, but the one pertinent to this blog was Stu's response when asked a question about Dylan,


"I'm not at liberty to talk about Bob."

Stu Kimball & myself. Photo by Steve Barrett

When our mutual friend requested a couple of photos, Stu agreed, but there were stipulations;

  1. 1) No social media. I was free to post pictures to my own website, but absolutely NO social media - FaceBook, Twitter, etc.

  2. 2) Stu picked the spot.

I'm sure the primary reason for these demands was security related (Hello? John Lennon!); any FaceBook post can be geo-located - FaceBook actually announces location!


When Stu picked the spot, nothing in the background could hint at location.


However, I think these parameters also sync with Dylan's famous reticence to engage with the press, do interviews and commit to some kind of political position. His "security" involves not just his physical safety, but his apolitical stance.


In a mid-sixties Interview with Time Magazine Dylan said,


"I got nothing to say about these things I write, I mean I just write 'em! I don't have anything to say about 'em, I don't write 'em for any reason. There's no great message. If you wanna tell other people that, go ahead and tell 'em but I'm not gonna have to answer to it."


Like Dylan, I refuse to participate in the porn. Porn perpetuates the fraud.


I'm just gonna play my guitar. That's the best thing I can do for the world.

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