Trip Report, Part I: ContextSubmitted by Michael Nystrom on Sat, 06/01/2013 - 22:45
As some of you may know, I've been away for almost a month now, recovering from my affliction. (I have an affliction called "The Daily Paul.")
I'd like to thank Aaron Jones, aka radiofriendly, for posting this interview of Bob Dylan at his blog iroots.com. He's a fan, as am I, and this video just hit home at the right time for me.
They're all up on his ass, looking for answers: "Tell us, tell us. Tell us everything! Tell us how you did it! How did you do it? Become so popular.
"And now that you're so popular, tell us! Tell us what to think. Tell us what to do!"
And he's so bothered by it all. "How did I do it? It just happened. It just happened, like everything happens."
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And this ties in, because in London, I bought that book about Dylan's, Highway 61 Revisited." In it, the author talks about the radical nature of the cover of that album.
To me, coming to that cover 20 years after it was release, it's just a cover. Doesn't look much different than any other rock cover I'd seen in my years.
But in the book, the author makes the case that at the time, it was revolutionary. "The challenging stare" of the artist. That whacked out gaze. What did it mean - in context?
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And that is really the important thing - the context. And that ties in to what I'm going to tell you about my trip.
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Without going into too much boring personal detail, It was a year + of pain, from a variety of sources in my immediate neighborhood. Followed by an intensification of pain, from a variety of sources in the particular building that I lived in. Followed, after the Boston Marathon bombing (I live in Boston), an intensification of pain from the city, the country, the newsmedia. The media itself was a great delivery source of pain for me. Followed by the carrythrough, or the required Conspiracy Antithesis to Any Mainstream News Tragedy, here at the Daily Paul.
The required internet generated Conspiracy Antithesis to Any Mainstream News Tragedy seems to give the tragedy the maximum exposure. First there are all the sympathizers, second they're are all the looky-lou's and story tellers.
Since I moved to Boston, I have come to love this city. It was a long slow burn, starting with curiosity & novelty, followed by disappointment. But eventually, the long slow burn started. It is a lovely, beautiful, unique city. It has a history, but that history is largely lost on the people here.
The signs and monuments are everywhere. They just need to be awakened. Now, they just drift into the background. How does one rekindle that passionate, revolutionary spirit. It is dead and moss covered here in Massachusetts. The celebrations - the reenactments - are just theatre. The meaning of what actually happened here is lost.
What was it that led to the hostilities, actually?
Historians all have their theories. But like Dylan said in that interview, it just happened. Like everything else, it just happened.
Which is to just to say - it is all predestined anyway. It all just unfolds. It is an emergent system that we are in.
-Our actions do have consequence, and meaning.
- But in the end, we have no control over the sequence of events we set into motion. We set the first domino falling. What happens after that? Well, we're not omniscient. Who knows where that last domino is, or how it will fall.
So the ultimate answer comes to, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law."
There it is. You don't even need to buy the book. That is, as proclaimed in the Law, the Whole of the Law. Do what thou wilt.
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You can see, in that interview above, Dylan driving that guy out of pants: "WHY!" that guy is screaming. "Why were you wearing a Triumph T-shirt?! I need to know WHAT IT MEANS!"
The guy couldn't figure it out for himself. He was demanding meaning from Dylan. Dylan was tired of it all. Giving him nonsense answers: "I like motorcycles."
"It just happened."
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Of course, the question is, after it "happened," what do you do? For most of us who are still hanging around here - the Daily Paul - it really "Happened" back it 2007, and again in 2011. But the first time was the best. The first cut is the deepest. The first cut is always the deepest.
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All of this was on my mind for the last year and a half, just before I left for vacation. It was intense. But the pressure of living in America these days, in the late stages of the empire, are great. We are all subject to inspection. Removing belts, and shoes. Showing X-rays of our naked bodies (something I have yet to do), and subjecting our bank accounts to anal cavity searches.
All of this was on my mind before I left on the cruise. It was a multistage rocket of pain. Culminating in some of the folks around here pursing a line of thought that the whole thing in Boston was just a staged event.
Well, at the tip of that multi-stage rocket of pain, that just blew the whole thing out: Explosion. Functional impasse. Overload. Overflow. I'm checking out.
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And so based on my recent experience, I can understand the anti-911 truthers. In fact, about a decade ago, I had a conversation with one, 40 years my senior. A WWII vet in his 70's. He would hear nothing - NOTHING - about 911 conspiracies from me. He was about to reach across the table and strangle me. Then beat me to a bloody pulp! How dare I! How dare I suggest that our government committed or allowed such a devious act? (All posed by me as hypotheticals, mind you. You really don't want to pull someone out of the matrix at that late stage. It would probably kill them. It is better just to leave them be.)
But his rock solid belief system was also a matter of C O N T E X T
Not just "what happened," but "what was going on when it happened?"
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