Sunday, March 29, 2020

Dylan's "Murder Most Foul" Assorted Commentary


The release of Bob Dylan's new song "Murder Most Foul" at this point in time - in the middle of an unprecedented pandemic gives reporters, media people and writers something different to discuss other than the virus, disease, death and the complete shutdown of most major social institutions.

While most of the commentary is not worth repeating, a few stand out so I will quote some of them.

For starters, the title originates from Shakespier’s Hamlet (I.v. 27-28) in which the Ghost comments: “Murder most foul as in the best it is/ But most foul, strange and unnatural.”

Though I also think that Dylan was probably also influenced by Stanley J. Mark‘s $1.95 pamphlet “Murder Most Foul” – subtitled – “The Conspiracy That Murdered President Kennedy – 975 Questions and Answers.” Stanley Mark was a Jewish academic who also ranted in pamphlets about Catholics.

The video of Dylan’s reciting of the lyrics with soft piano accompaniment has been heard by almost 2 million listeners in two days, and is the subject of numerous articles and media reports,  most of the commentary is not worth repeating, a few stand out so I will quote them.

"Only a man who once lived by the dictum 'Don't Look Back' could look back with such somber clarity." 
- Alex Wilson

This song seems to have been written at the time of the 50th anniversary as it mentions the search for the soul of JFK had been going for 50 years. Seven years ago. That's a long time sitting on a song with this kind of impact.  Not many people can weave the paint from a black and white palette and not end up with a dull grey canvas.

And black and white it is. An old movie reel. With the fog rolling in, we see the Beatles rolling out of the Cavern, suddenly ducking as they rock down Elm St. And was that the Acid Queen they passed as she morphs into JFK falling into Jackie's lap?

Suddenly we are in a kaleidoscope of cultural references intersecting at odd angles... Dylan the  prize-fighter using the broken rhythm method so no one knows when the next blow is coming or where it is coming from.
In the end, it can be recognized as just the ordinary flow of history put in its proper poetic context.

And the takeout is unequivocal. A domestic plot and a patsy flicking the switch on the tracks with barely a blip in the continuum. After all, who has to time to recognize fleeting ghosts from parallel realities on a runaway mystery train?

Unsentimental, yet drawing tears. Unrelenting, yet you want it to go on.
Proof of the pen and the synapses between it and the ciphering Muse.  Dylan as Alan Turing. 

Ben Wecht:  Thanks for sharing, William Kelly! I finally took the time to give it a listen, and the first thing I have to say is that despite its melodic weakness, I find it hauntingly beautiful. The piano, the violin, the lyrics. Tear-inducing, to be honest. Beyond that, I find the abundance of cultural references reminiscent of The Wasteland, which speaks to the splintering of meaning and experience in modern times. Finally, it's good to see/hear a great mind report on this "murder most foul" accurately -- "*they* blew off his head," "*We're* gonna kill you," "*We'll* mock you," etc. etc. Bobby D ain't no fool for these coincidence theorists still spouting bullshit all these decades later! THANK YOU, Mr. Dylan! THANK YOU!

David Talbot: Bob Dylan, whose newly released bombshell of a song "Murder Most Foul" blows away the stone from JFK's tomb, is belatedly following a long line of artists and dignitaries who denounced the Kennedy assassination as a conspiracy and cover-up. In fact, back in 1966 an independent New York researcher named Charles Stanton took it upon himself to distribute a questionnaire about the Warren Report, the official inquiry that blamed the assassination on the conveniently dead "lone gunman" Lee Harvey Oswald (who went to his grave shouting he was a "patsy," as Dylan observes in his song). Among the prominent respondents to the Stanton questionnaire who rejected the Warren Report and asserted Kennedy was the victim of a plot were: poets Allen Ginsberg (pictured here with Dylan) and Kenneth Rexroth; writers Ray Bradbury, Paddy Chayevsky, Katherine Anne Porter and Terry Southern ("Dr. Strangelove"); British intellectuals Bertrand Russell, Arnold Toynbee and Hugh Trevor Roper; and the famed "Kon Tiki" explorer Thor Heyerdahl.

In addition, musician David Crosby famously introduced the Byrds' tribute to JFK, "He Was a Friend of Mine," onstage at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival by telling the crowd (to his bandmates' great unease): "President Kennedy wasn't killed by one man -- he was shot from several directions. The truth has been suppressed. You should know that. This is your country."

And comedians Dick Gregory (pictured here) and Mort Sahl mounted crusades against the Kennedy conspiracy, which led to blacklists and damage to their show business careers.

The scorn about the official story was also widely shared by world leaders like French President Charles de Gaulle (pictured below), who told an aide after returning from Kennedy's funeral that pinning the crime on the dead Oswald was "baloney!"

De Gaulle -- who himself was the target of multiple assassination attempts by far-right, militarist plotters -- enjoyed a more loyal security force than Kennedy did and was very informed about the dark labyrinth of intelligence agencies. The French president confided at length about Dallas to his aide, telling him:
"Security forces all over the world are the same when they do this kind of dirty work. As soon as they succeed in wiping out the false assassin, they declare that the justice system no longer need be concerned, that no further public action was needed now that the guilty perpetrator was dead. Better to kill an innocent man (Oswald) than to let a civil war break out. Better an injustice than disorder."

The savvy de Gaulle rightly predicted how the American establishment, including the mainstream media, would close ranks behind the official cover-up of the Kennedy assassination. "They don't want to know. They don't want to find out. They won't allow themselves to find out."

Some in Washington did immediately figure out JFK was killed by a conspiracy and astonishingly they privately communicated this explosive information to our Cold War "enemies" in the Kremlin -- namely the murdered president's brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and JFK's widow, Jacqueline Kennedy.
Despite all this truth-telling at high levels, the corporate media STILL has its head in the sand about Dallas.
PS One of the prominent respondents to the 1966 Stanton questionnaire who did strongly support the Warren Report was Allen Dulles, the CIA spymaster who had been fired by President Kennedy. Dulles was not only the main architect of the crime, but as a leading member of the Warren Commission, also the cover-up.

Read more about all of this in my books "The Devil's Chessboard" and "Brothers."

And David's latest: “Between Heaven and Hell.”

Will Ruha:  David, Please! Let us put this in its proper historical context. Two weeks after JFK was killed, Bob Dylan stated to the assembled NY crowd that was awarding him the Thomas Paine Award that he could identify with the President's killer. "I don't think it would go that far, but I got to stand up and say I saw things that he felt, in me.” For his statement of accordance with the president’s killer, he was roundly booed and hissed, and received notable denunciation, and finally had to issue a rambling, almost inchoate response, albeit, notably, a refusal to apologize. That's how much animosity Dylan had for John F. Kennedy. He never did apologize for that horrific, shocking, untimely, outrageous insult to our collective injury. Now, more than a half-century later, he seeks to capitalize on JFK's assassination with this song that is, in truth, like Dylan himself, pretentious, overblown, rather banal, poorly written with its spate of name-dropping cultural references that amounts to nothing more than inflated overrated ego. An example: “. . . I’m a patsy, like Patsy Cline . . .” Please! What absolute RUBBISH!

I'm from Northern Minnesota and know ALL about Bobby Zimmerman, an egregious poseur with his adenoidal drone of a voice, pretentious attitude, publicity ploys, acute arrogance, and at times, profane rants against those who dared criticize him......

In a 2012 interview, some 47 years after being booed for using an electric guitar, Bob “Dylan” went postal over a New York Times article published some six years earlier that pointed out that he had lifted, without attribution numerous lines of verse from Civil War poet Henry Timrod, in writing lyrics for his album “Modern Times.” Critics noted how his album “contains at least ten instances of lines or phrases culled from seven different Timrod poems, mostly poems about love, friendship, death, and poetry. .... This was too much for “Dylan” who had risen to fame on the widely-circulated (Newsweek Magazine article) rumor that he had never actually written “Blowin’ in the Wind,” but lifted it (for a price) from a New Jersey high school singer-songwriter..... [BK Notes: This was proven to be untrue]

Then, still stinging from rebuke given some 41 years before even this criticism, “Dylan” went ballistic: “These are the same people that tried to pin the name Judas on me. Judas, the most hated name in human history! If you think you've been called a bad name, try to work your way out from under that. Yeah, and for what? For playing an electric guitar? As if that is in some kind of way equitable to betraying our Lord and delivering him up to be crucified..."

Robert “Dylan” Zimmerman., I suspect, was, like the Beatles, a product of, or promoted by, the Deep State as a means of socially engineering America’s Baby Boomer generation, most notably in the direct wake of JFK’s assassination. Quite notably, while Pete Seeger, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, and Barry McGuire all vociferously protested the Vietnam War musically and in marches and public performances, Bob “Dylan” remained notably silent, even reclusive, never authoring so much as a line of anti-war protest. In fact, asked about this, he sneered and replied, “I don’t write protest songs.” He lied. Around 1961 or so, he wrote “Masters of War,” a criticism of what Ike had just termed, the “Military-Industrial Complex.” But that was it. When LBJ and his CIA-induced Gulf of Tonkin ruse plunged us into the Vietnam War, Dylan went silent.

I do consider him, for the most part, a decent songwriter, albeit nowhere worthy of the Nobel Prize for Literature conferred upon him, doubtless for his covert service to the Deep State. For example, have you ever read his execrable book, “Tarantula,” a claptrap pastiche of ignominious doggerel that, by his own later admission, he was embarrassed to lay claim to. But beyond being a notable songwriter, his modest talents pretty much end. And his vaunted ego and vile mouth are a real turn-off. So, no, I am not particularly pleased with Bob “Dylan.”

Bill Kelly: My response to Will Ruha is the following: After we are all dead and gone, Bob Dylan will be remembered in the same vein as Walt Whitman and Robert Frost – America’s most engaging poets that transend time, and no one will remember Will Ruha ever lived. Ruha reminds me somewhat of A. J. Weberman, a “Dylanologist” and former neighbor who went so far as to root through Dylan’s trash, a standard Counter-Intelligence procedure, and has written about Dylan for years.

Weberman with Mike Canfield also wrote “Coup d’etat In America,” the galley proofs that I read, that they sent to my friend John Judge, were inspirational as to how to approach the assassination – as a Coup. And Weberman has continued to pursue the JFK coup angle in academic papers he has posted on line that I think are very informative. 

Here's a link to Jim DiEugenio's anallysis of Dylan's song: 

Kennedys And King - The Dylan/Kennedy Sensation

Here's David Talbot's take on the new song by Dylan:

‘Murder Most Foul’: Unpacking Bob Dylan’s new epic — from Dallas 1963 to the pandemic of 2020 –

More on Dylan and JFK on the Way. Stay Tuned.

If you can please support JFKCountercoup - and many thanks to those who have. It keeps me going.

1 comment:

Reuel said...

while i like and liked Dylan's songs and acknowledge that ol Will loves the sound of his written word, i have to agree with much of what he said. Dylan is a pretty safe "revolutionary". ofcourse Will blows up the identifying with Oswald statement way too much. if Dylan will or won't live on, so what? many will live in history propped up by the latest victors.

note: when the first stills of the Z film were shown in Life mag, there was also a big spread about the Beatles. by '64 the killing had faded being replaced by Bond, James Bond, etc, rock, sex, drugs, Nam.