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Friday, August 05, 2005

Misogynistic song "changed the world"

Hearing Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" on the radio the other day, I was struck by the deep misogyny of it. "How does it feeeeeel," to live in a world where men don't protect women; "to be on your own, with no direction home," "scrouging your next meal," asking the mystery tramp, "do ya wanna make a deeeeeeel"; and just think that you used to hold your head up high, back when people cared about you, before you descended into the liberation from responsibility that is the counter-culture, and now there is no one you can trust, nothing but a sneering minstrel to applaud your downfall.

Very interesting to see that a poll of 60's rock stars rated Rolling Stone the song that most "changed the world." Unlikely that the song itself changed much, but it is a good choice as a song that most marked the change in the world.

I remember going to a Dead concert at Stanford's Frost Amphitheater, back when the Dead were still alive. A group of groupies sat nearby, talking about the last concert and where they were going to caravan to next. Amongst them was a really beautiful 20 year old girl, dressed like a flower child. I had a few words with her. She was sweet, like the girl next door, and I could see a sad kind of whistfulness in her as she looked out across the amphitheater, seeming to look past the trees, as if she was trying to see outside. One of the fellows in her group picked up on it too and started taunting her. "What are you looking at Jennifer? Are you wishing you could stay here in Pullo Ulteauuuuu." Before dragging the name Palo Alto out with his weird left-coast accent, he aspirates the P into a spray of spit. It is impossible to describe the sacrasm dripping from his voice. He knows she wants a normal life, and just imputes all the distain to it that he can muster, as if even the thought of valuing the normalcy of "Pullo Ulteauuuu" makes her a traitor: This is what we hate! Don't you know that? You gonna "sell out" Jennifer? You gonna give up on ideals and be a NOTHING? Pure demagogic manipulation. A sick creep with a little bit of a grip on a pretty girl, twisting it for all he's worth. You dirtbag. I wanted to punch his face. The band sparks up the next tune: "Shake it, shake it Sugaree. Just don't let on that you know-ow-ow me." Hear that song Jennifer? You are amongst MISOGYNISTS!

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