Thursday, 31 January 2008

Bob Dylan>Ballad of a Thin man

Ok, so it's Bob again - but I'm the one who makes the rules here - and he's the only one who can bring the kind of catharsis I need right now. There's something I just have to get off my chest and although I nearly went with 'Idiot Wind' I decided to opt for something a little more cerebral - thus 'Ballad of a Thin Man' (1965, Highway 61 Revisited).

In Scorsese's No Direction Home, you get amazing footage of the violent reaction to Dylan when he goes electric (see clip below) - the boos and jeers at his gigs, the constant probing and inane questions from the press and ultimately the questioning of his motives for simply doing what he does best - which is write and sing songs. Dylan's response is magnificent as he just raises the bar time and again despite the animosity. He ploughs on relentlessly and eventually everyone caught up.

The truth is, his critics in '65 just don't get 'it' - they don't understand what he's singing about, the changing world that he represents and thus the chorus: 'Something is happening here but you don't know what it is, do you Mr Jones.' And yet during this period his records sold faster than ever, his concerts sold out. Why? Because they knew the world was changing and they needed to be part of it - but they couldn't reconcile it with where they were at.

And so for me, this is the point we are at with church and mission today. Something is happening - David Bosch calls it a paradigm shift. Something new is happening - and so many people with influence don't 'get it'. Something new is happening - and for whatever reason I am a part of it - and I refuse to be dragged down by the 'booing' from the sidelines, the questioning of my motives for what I do and the criticisms of the Mr Jones' out there. I'm simply going to take a leaf out of Bob's book - I gonna turn the volume up and continue exactly where I'm heading. And I know when I need it, I always have a live version of a Ballad of a Thin Man to put in the stereo and give me catharsis!


Cosmo said...

"They that have ears to hear..."

This is such a great clip. I need to watch the 2nd DVD of the documentary next time I'm over!

Anyway, turn up the volume.

Gordon said...

Thanks nick

I remember readingthis a while back - but it was worth a revist.

Someone once said tome ' it is not that you can not teach that they can not hear, it is because they can not hear that you can not teach...!'

It is beautiful when the penny drops