The legacy of the Vietnam war still shapes America even if many are too young to remember it. The general consensus now says that Lyndon B. Johnson was lying to us about the war. Johnson served as president after John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 (the controversy continues to this day of actually who was responsible). If trust was not at an all time low by then, the Richard Nixon era of 1969 to 1974 and Watergate left us “digging holes in the basement” as my friend Barry McGuire used to say.
Fast forward to today, the left and the right are further apart than they have ever been in my lifetime. Regardless of where you stand with President Trump, he has definitely shaken up the status quo of the White House, politics will never be the same.
We always thought that escaping to the music world would gives us some relief from the corrupt politics, but like the world in general, the music industry has always had the same problem with trust. Bono’s statement probably summarizes it best – “The music industry’s biggest problem isn’t piracy. It’s not illegal streaming. It’s not the death of the album. The most dangerous threat to the music industry today is the lack of transparency. The music business has historically involved itself in quite considerable deceit.”
The final escape for mankind has always been religion when everything else is falling apart, but even that has eroded to a point that this generation has become very cynical and distrustful of any form of organized religion.
I guess we are in good company, Jesus had little use for politics or organized religion Himself. I am sure He would not have approved of how the music business exploits artists that are sincerely just following a “calling.”
People are always asking me about Bob Dylan’s Christianity. I tell them I have no idea where he is at today, he has always been and continues to be a very private person. There are, however, constant hints from his biblical themes one finds in his lyrics, set lists, interviews, public comments, etc. that he has not left the faith.
It’s possible that for Dylan his spiritual journey is not about getting his theology just right, but rather, it is about getting his art just right so that the God may work through it. As Dylan said not too long ago in his acceptance speech for the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature: “If a song moves you, that’s all that’s important. I don’t have to know what a song means. I’ve written all kinds of things into my songs. And I’m not going to worry about it – what it all means.”