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  • Stephen Daniel Arnoff

Bringing It All Back Home - Part One


Even the president of the United States must have to stand... for something. And in this case, he stands for something about Bob Dylan's quest for home. It's a story of America's off-again, on-again healing from the wound of the Civil War, its love of mythologizing itself and its artists, and Dylan's own colorful life as a teller of tales and living embodiment of the power of myth. Welcome to our two-part final episode, as we try to bring it all back home.


There is a lot of hard traveling to do in this episode, but it begins where there is no place like home: Kansas. John Brown was there when Kansas could not make up its mind about slavery, and as an overture to both the Civil War and his own demise at Harper's Ferry, Brown's Kansas was a typically conflicted about what American was supposed to be.


You may well have sung it as a kid, but did you know it was the Kansas state song? Ranges and sweet homes and a certain kind of quiet betray a dark and painful tale with which Dylan wrestles time and time again.


It's all in there: the journey, the destination, the destiny, and the home that we're still all trying to bring back.


In a world of formative and ridiculous rock and roll moments, few are as formative and ridiculous as this one. The cry of "Judas" as Dylan held the stage with his Hawks still echoes down the corridors where Mr. Jones has no clue, bands play f()$&ng loud, and the spiritual wisdom of the ages just keeps coming back to popular music for one more encore.

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