[I posted the following on Suburban Guerrilla Thursday and felt compelled to post it here today after seeing the bizarre video of Bob Dylan, bobbing from side to side onstage, looking like he got off at the wrong bus stop, as Barack Obama, on the same stage, said nice things about him.]
From Rolling Stone:
Bob Dylan received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor, at a ceremony at the White House [Tuesday] afternoon.
At the ceremony, President Obama said of Dylan, “There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music,” adding that the “unique gravel-y power” of his voice helped redefine “not just what music sounded like, but the message it carried and how it made people feel.”
When the White House announced that Dylan would be one of this year’s recipients, they wrote in a statement that the rock & roll pioneer had “considerable influence on the civil rights movement of the 1960s and has had significant impact on American culture over the past five decades.”
Dylan also had considerable influence on the anti-war movement — you know, protests against the undeclared Vietnam war, the war that made it so easy for future presidents to send young Americans into equally unnecessary conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to keep them there long after it was obvious there was nothing to be gained.
Too bad Dylan didn’t get to sing a few verses of “Masters of War,” although I don’t think Obama would have been amused by the irony.