Letters

Shame on Rich Kane for his anti-semantic [sic?], mockery-bashing slur on the nature of the beast. You will of course get many threats and denunciations from those of an even more questionable mental status than Mr. Kane. Do not let this dissuade you from your duty to fire the sourpuss for being boring himself and finding the world and its beautiful people boring. Mr. Kane does snot [sic] respect his elders, leading to the downfall of the nuclear unit. Thank you in advance for your immediate and swift axing.

Sonny via e-mail

The Weekly needs to rethink some of its staffing choices. They should hire someone who knows something about music to write the entertainment column.

Linn Carpenter via e-mail

Yes, I know that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, but that review written by Rich Kane about Bob Dylan was quite frankly really low. And yes, I actually am a Bob Dylan fan, but I would be making the same comments if that article was written about Marilyn Manson. That was purely not a review of a concert, but a personal dig on "nostalgia" in itself.

Jennifer Elliott via e-mail

Dylan's lack of appeal to today's audience, as demonstrated in Mr. Kane's article, is a prime indicator of the decay of music. Dylan is not a "man prostituting his legend," as if it were necessary for him to do so. To borrow a line from a musician your music critics are more likely to admire and laud, his candle will blow out long before his legend ever will. See, Dylan's the only thing left in this country to remind itself of its roots. One can discover the history and mystery of America through his music. But his true power not only lies in the incredible catalog he has amassed throughout the years. No, it's deeper, much deeper. His performances also transmit something powerful. Dylan's not the Homerian balladeer everyone likens him to. For he is able to do something far more difficult than someone under the former title could ever hope to accomplish. He's able to transmit ideas and feelings without the use of words. In fact, nowadays, that's what he's doing. He's not singing words so that we can understand, memorize and contemplate them. No, sir; he's singing and playing sounds that do much more than words could ever hope to. Isn't it obvious? The words to "Blowin' in the Wind," "The Times They Are A-changin" and "Tangled up in Blue" don't mean anything anymore. He's not singing those songs to get people to hear the "message"; he's singing those sounds to allow people to feel and realize a mystery that's far more complex than any message anyone could conceive.

Sebastian Cucullu via e-mail

Let me be frank: I'm dismayed. I'm dismayed that small-town, West Coast journalism tries so hard to fulfill stereotypes that long ago should have been outgrown. I'm dismayed that the writer has nothing to say-no standards, no sense of beauty that might have been confirmed or outraged by the concert: only a Pauline-like itch to be thrilled that seemingly wasn't scratched (poor thing!). I'm dismayed that the author's warped sense of chronology-or inability to resist pushing predictable buttons?-has him referring to an illness Dylan recovered from three years ago. I'm dismayed that nothing's been delivered. Would it be going too far to say you are a large part of what's wrong with the world? I suppose. Assign someone to say it better.

John Haas via e-mail

Rich Kane has no clue about music. He does not understand Bob . . . and the real kicker was that Bob is not like the multitalented Jakob??!! Jakob's talent had to come from somewhere, and I am positive that Bob is a lot more multitalented than Jakob will ever be-guitar, harmonica, piano, writes the best songs. What more do you want? Rich Kane should go to his room, turn on his Discman, and place his old Spice Girls and Ricky Martin CDs in the player and transport himself to the reality of his life: he knows shit about music.

Jay Veck via e-mail

Rich Kane was fortunate to catch a glimpse of a living work equaled by few but seems to have been more concerned with the apparent evidence of late middle age that surrounded him. I understand a review should place an event in a proper cultural context; however, I believe Mr. Kane's flippant review, in its focus on age, is rather shortsighted in that regard. Mr. Dylan is a living treasure. He is just as likely to play a Buddy Holly song as a Frank Hutchison song in the same concert. His songs, concerts and albums reflect a deep appreciation for the broad American musical tradition. Mr. Dylan is both a curator and a messenger of that tradition. No one else of his stature does what he is doing. From condescending words on dancing grandpas to unnecessary and cruel words on Mr. Dylan's mortality, Mr. Kane's focus in his review seems, to me at least, to say more about his own views toward age and mortality than what actually happened at the concert. Hooray for Mr. Dylan! He's still out there on the road. Perhaps his constant touring and refusal to fade away are his way of reaffirming his famous warning that "he not busy being born is busy dying."

Otto Thompson Zama City, Japan

Words can't express how deeply sorry I am that the audience didn't acknowledge punk's musical influences and insisted on asserting that "strange, sickening '60s vibe."

Mike Miazgowicz Berkeley
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