Adieu, Robert Zimmerman

The latest, and very arguably the most heinous, violator of the Hicks Dictum*:

*Here’s the deal folks: you do a commercial, you’re off the artistic roll call forever. End of story, OK? You’re another corporate fucking shill, you’re another whore at the capitalist gang-bang. And if you do a commercial, there’s a price on your head, everything you say is suspect, and every word that comes out of your mouth is now like a turd falling into my drink.

13 Replies to “Adieu, Robert Zimmerman”

  1. Much as i love his songs, Bobby already has form as a corporate shill. In 2004 he was flown to Venice to peddle lingerie. What makes enormously wealthy and succesful people like Dylan want to peddle anything? Is he still trying to live down the voice of a generation thing? Or is he just another whore at the gang-bang?

  2. Just as Dylan was (only arguably) ‘the voice of a generation’ during an earlier, more engaged time, one could argue that, in this two-minute self-crucifixion, his is the genunine ‘voice’ of this pathetic, dumbed-down, iGeneration as well.

    ‘Let Asia assemble your phone’…..where does one even begin? With the de-personalization of slave labor? The vacuous patriotism? Or the sheer environmental irresponsibility?

    This must be the standard by which all ventures into commercial whoredom are to be measured.

  3. Well, it’s scary to watch: it still gives me the goosebumps, even while fully aware of the manipulative, viscious , unreal brainwash behind the clip… This shit is being piped directly into our brain stem. Think about that next time you ‘feel’ american cars are pretty decent, after all.

  4. Over at the poisoned libertarian well that is, the ridiculous Nick Gillespie asserts: “Dylan is an artist [sic] that purposefully makes his fans uncomfortable, not out of anger or contempt for his audience, but out of an undiminished sense of adventure, exploration, and creativity.”

    More fool me. I could’ve sworn it had more to do with an irredeemably lost sense of adventure, exploration and creativity.

  5. It’s apt that they are running the tune to “Things Have Changed” behind this silly shock-nationalist blather: “I used to care, but things have changed.”

    Quite so, in both directions. Robert don’t care, and Robert certainly also won’t be touching another nickel from me.

  6. What makes enormously wealthy and successful people like Dylan want to peddle anything?

    What say you, fellow TCTers? It certainly mystifies me, beyond the point of suggesting that a guy like Dylan never cared that much in the first place, and merely saw the Movement as a way to get big. Maybe Zimmerman somehow squandered his stupendous fortune? Not sure that’s really possible, as he must get a shocking amount of royalties every year, no matter what.

    But the list of loaded supposedly lefty celebs who do this is quite long. Consider Susan Sarandon, a.k.a. the voice of Tylenol.

  7. I think the fundamental explanation is simply choosing to live / or ending up living a public, rather than private life. If you are a celebrity, you are by definition a public figure dependent on appeasing this or that group of interest or taste. If so, there is no an apparent decision rule to flag ‘good’ and ‘bad’ peddling – it is all mostly peddling. Further, you can’t, in fact, have too much money – living in isolation from the rif-raf is enormously expensive, plus you’ve gotta save for all these high-tech medical wonders that will prop you up for a few extra decades.

    So I can’t be too harsh on them – it doesn’t matter if some may have an occasional pang of shame or a glimmer of progressive thought. Who cares? Your life is devoted to bullshit regardless.

    Thus I would extend the Hicks dictum to cover celebrity in general – if you are a celebrity, you’re off the artistic roll call. It doesn’t much matter if you do a commercial or not.

    With a few notable exceptions, the truly enlightened people will never seek a public role, and it is probably a good thing that many of those who did, died young.

  8. Does it gladden a nihilist’s heart to see this poseur/ersatz bluesman self-outed as the charlatan he always was? Yes. I can now be revealed as the all-knowing skeptic of the folkie lunacy ( believe you me, I ran from the room anytime folkie screechers like the now sainted Pete seeger came onto the grade-school screen), but earnest lib types revere their heroes, from this Beat boy to the voice o’ the common man, Mr. Obama-endorser bluesman B Springsteen.
    Fiat may be own Chrysler, but Chrysler made a huge profit while Fiat is hemorrhaging money.
    Nationality matters not – the whole Super Bowl spectacle, which I could only wincingly watch for a second or two, was epic stupidity.
    I now get my sociological truth from the Onion, which absolutely destroyed B. Dylan in a mock entry in its hilarious “Book of Known Kbowledge.”
    Should we care about these dopes? Yeah, these are big people in our culture. Can’t we be permitted bilious scorn at their irksome fascism?

  9. Dylan, John Lydon have done adverts. Rolling Stones concerts ARE adverts. Maybe one lesson to be learned from dylan’s adverts is that it’s a mistake to confuse popular ‘counterculture’ with genuine subversion. Ever since punk, people can wear pretty much whatever they like. People can swear on tv. The guy who works at the bank has a lip ring. The world is awash with recreational drugs. The profit motive, imperial plunder, militarised society,the hierarchies of wealth and privilege haven’t in any way been threatened by any of this. I think a thousand flowers should bloom in the worlds of music and fashion but no-one should suggest that people like bob dylan have substantially changed the world. Capitalism will always snuff out, co-opt or neuter every ‘revolution in the head’.

  10. hey marla, you just sound like all the other elitist, celebrity followers….aka, groupies? you think these people live by different rules than everyone else. guess what? we live by rules that are above you/them.

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