Hypocrisy, my friend, is blowin' in the wind. Groovy.
Well, I guess it really kind of figures that sixties protest icon, Bob Dylan, would enjoy his twilight years in the last of the world's great Workers' Paradises, serenading the proletariat with a repertoire bearing the Communist Thought Police Seal of Approval. Personally I'm partial to the idea of buying an RV and visiting Lake Tahoe, but to each his own, I suppose. After all, it's a free country. Here, I mean. Not in Vietnam, but I'm sure that Dylan wouldn't know anything about that.
John W. Whitehead at the Rutherford Institute wrote:
Yet despite the vagaries of his musical career, his often mundane live performances and his own eccentricities, Dylan has remained a potent reminder of all that the Sixties generation once stood for (peace, love, hope) and all they fought against (war, materialism, human rights abuses). Thus, the news that Dylan would embark on a concert tour of Asia–including stops in Beijing and Shanghai, notable for their being Dylan’s first appearance in Communist China, as well as Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, the target of many of Dylan’s anti-war protest songs–had many waiting to see what, if anything, the man once hailed as the voice of freedom would say to audiences long oppressed by their governments. So far, the so-called voice of freedom has remainoed mute.
Doesn't this make Dylan's life story almost poetic in all its balanced, orderly, evenness? After all, Dylan started out his career in the late fifties and sixties as the designated minstrel for Mao, Kruschev and Castro's pimply-faced useful idiots here in the U.S. It's fitting that his career should be consummated with an overseas Parrot-the-Party-Line tour so that Mao's successors can reward their most well-behaved citizens for not making them use the guns they hold over their heads.
For those who came of age in the Sixties, Bob Dylan was the voice crying in the wilderness–the conscience of our generation. He set to music what many of us were struggling to put into words and in so doing, he gave the civil rights movement some of its greatest anthems. Classic protest songs such as “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” “Desolation Row,” “Chimes of Freedom” and “Masters of War”–none of which were performed during Dylan’s recent trip to China–set the mood for a youth-driven cultural revolution that was all about peace and love and fighting oppression.
Oh my. I respect John Whitehead, but come on. Cry me a river for the plight of the Spoiled Brat Generation in the early sixties, the "conscience of our generation.. struggling to put" something or other "into words."
Pardon the expression, but gag me.
We're not talking about the college students of that era in Prague and Hungary, desperately resisting Stalin and Kruschev's rifles and tanks. We're talking about their antithesis here in the U.S. — a generation of sanctimonious gasbags born while their dads were off taking the cliffs of Normandy, liberating the Philippines, Okinawa, Iwo Jima, and driving Hitler’s Wehrmacht back to Berlin one scorched inch at a time. You know, the first generation to ungratefully slurp up the most priceless legacy imaginable and then spit their parents faces for thwarting the murderous expansionism of their heroes in China and the Soviet Union.
Good thing their parents succeeded, sort of, despite their horrific spawn. If they hadn't Dylan could very well still sucking up to communist thought police, the only difference is that he wouldn't have the option not to.
Incidentally, despite my snark, Whitehead's piece was interesting and insightful. You can read it here.