Bob Dylan, crypto-Catholic poet, and indeed the greatest poet in the history of the English language, has done it again. Late last week he gave to the public a previously unreleased, epic song– clocking in at 17 minutes– which on the surface considers the JFK assassination. There is a lot there. The song, which I needn’t tell you is absolutely awesome, rewards repeated listening.
Of course, it is widely known and accepted by now that the lone gunman explanation adopted by the Warren Commission is false. But it was a watershed event for the naiton. Surely Kennedy’s death was a “Murder Most Foul”, as the song’s title states. But looking back, I think a very good argument can be made that his death marked the end of the remnant of the Republic left to us after Lincoln destroyed the foundation of it. It seems to me that the last freely elected President was assassinated and replaced by a different gang of electors. Even the two Presidents who came closest to breaking the grip of the new masters–Reagan and Trump– can only go so far without triggering danger to themselves on many levels.
(This reminds me of a family story– the kind of story, I guess that could only happen with a family like ours. A few years back we visited Dallas on a college recruiting trip, and were out one day looking for touristy things to do. My wife and I decided to see Dealey Plaza. So, feeling like the comedian, I announced to the 37 children in the van that we were going to see the place where the last American president was shot. Without hesitation my son quipped back, “I didn’t know Jefferson Davis was shot.” I immediately gave him an A+ in history. Good times.)
Anyway, Bob sent a message to accompany his video. He gets it:
Greetings to my fans and followers with gratitude for all your support and loyalty across the years. This is an unreleased song we recorded a while back that you might find interesting.
Stay safe, stay observant and may God be with you.