Well, Happy June 19th!

There is a segment of the African-American population that doesn’t really want white people to appropriate their holiday– Juneteenth — which is today. So I won’t appropriate it, but it is big news right now so I will at least acknowledge it and, since most of my readers live in foreign lands, let you know about it!

Juneteenth is a holiday in the State of Texas, which was the final Southern State to emancipate black slaves on June 19, 1865, which meant that the entire country became ostensibly a free country — although freed blacks still had a really rough time of it , especially in the Southern States, after slavery was abolished. (That’s putting it mildly.)

However, African-Americans in the whole country now honor the Texas State holiday — called Juneteenth — which is today.

Also, today — “Disclosure” is premiering on Netflix;  a new documentary about trans lives in Hollywood. And Sandra Caldwell is interviewed in it, and was also featured in the Los Angeles Times over the weekend, in promotion of the documentary. (For readers who are new to this blog, Sandra is the Rhinebeck-based actor I work with on several theater projects. You can see her in 2 of those photos there from my trip to Rhinebeck, NY, this past September. In happier pre-virus, pre- lockdown days — when Nick Cave was still on his North American In Conversations tour!!) Sandra has been trans since the 1970s, and has been in many dozens of movies and TV shows (and stage shows) throughout that time.

Also, today is the release of Bob Dylan’s new album Rough and Rowdy Ways. This is his first album of all original songs in 8 years — and it includes that amazing new song of his that was dropped a couple months back, “Murder Most Foul.”

So, kind of a big day, with lots happening around here.

I am going to try to get some writing done, although I am battling depression here once again. So we’ll see how that goes. Sometimes I get good work done, even when I’m depressed. Other times — like yesterday — it quickly becomes a lost cause. But we shall see. I am still only halfway done with Letter #8 for Girl in the Night. And I would really, really like to finish that.

My current depression stems from a sudden inability to really discern a difference between being physical and being non-physical. (I won’t go into the myriad “Particle Physics” details of that whole thought process because it will literally make you just as insane as I am.) And now that so much of the US is just kind of reveling in such horribly awful shit every single day, with no end in sight, I keep inching toward that question: What is the point?

But I do have these many rescued feral cats depending on me, and I also know that at this particular juncture in time, Peitor would have a really difficult time coping with stuff if I simply bailed. So I try to stay focused more on him, than on these intensely convoluted thoughts concerning Particle Physics that are in my head. It would be nicest of all if I could just focus on writing today, though.

One bright spot — last evening, I began streaming  Professor T on PBS. This is a Belgian import — another murder mystery, however this one takes place in modern day. I think a new season is getting ready to drop, so I’m going to try to catch up. I really, really loved the episode I watched last night!! It’s so well written. Although, at first, the subtitles are a wee bit distracting. Eventually, though, I completely forgot that I was reading them — the show was so good.

Okay! I’m gonna close this. And I’ll leave you with one of the songs from Dylan’s new album — this one is titled “My Own Version of You.” Enjoy!! And thanks for visiting, gang. Make it a great Friday, wherever you are in the world!! I love you guys. See ya!

“My Own Version of You”

All through the summers, into January
I’ve been visiting morgues and monasteries
Looking for the necessary body parts
Limbs and livers and brains and hearts
I’ll bring someone to life, is what I wanna do
I wanna create my own version of you

Well, it must be the winter of my discontent
I wish you’d’ve taken me with you wherever you went
They talk all night and they talk all day
Not for a minute do I believe anything they say
I’m gon’ bring someone to life, someone I’ve never seen
You know what I mean, you know exactly what I mean

I’ll take the Scarface Pacino and The Godfather Brando
Mix it up in a tank and get a robot commando
If I do it upright and put the head on straight
I’ll be saved by the creature that I create
I’ll get blood from a cactus, gunpowder from ice
I don’t gamble with cards and I don’t shoot no dice
Can you look at my face with your sightless eyes?
Can you cross your heart and hope to die?
I’ll bring someone to life, someone for real
Someone who feels the way that I feel

I study Sanskrit and Arabic to improve my mind
I wanna do things for the benefit of all mankind
I say to the willow tree, “Don’t weep for me”
I’m saying to hell to all things that I used to be
Well, I get into trouble, then I hit the wall
No place to turn, no place at all
I’ll pick a number between a-one and two
And I ask myself, “What would Julius Caesar do?”
I will bring someone to life in more ways than one
Don’t matter how long it takes, it’ll be done when it’s done

I’m gonna make you play the piano like Leon Russell
Like Liberace, like St. John the Apostle
I’ll play every number that I can play
I’ll see you maybe on Judgment Day
After midnight, if you still wanna meet
I’ll be at the Black Horse Tavern on Armageddon Street
Two doors down, not that far a walk
I’ll hear your footsteps, you won’t have to knock
I’ll bring someone to life, balance the scales
I’m not gonna get involved any insignificant details

You can bring it to St. Peter
You can bring it to Jerome
You can bring it all the way over
Bring it all the way home
Bring it to the corner where the children play
You can bring it to me on a silver tray
I’ll bring someone to life, spare no expense
Do it with decency and common sense

Can you tell me what it means, to be or not to be?
You won’t get away with fooling me
Can you help me walk that moonlight mile?
Can you give me the blessings of your smile?
I’ll bring someone to life, use all of my powers
Do it in the dark, in the wee, small hours

I can see the history of the whole human race
It’s all right there, it’s carved into your face
Should I break it all down? Should I fall on my knees?
Is there light at the end of the tunnel, can you tell me, please?
Stand over there by the cypress tree
Where the Trojan women and children were sold into slavery
Long before the first Crusade
Way back before England or America were made
Step right into the burning hell
Where some of the best-known enemies of mankind dwell
Mr. Freud with his dreams, Mr. Marx with his ax
See the raw hide lash rip the skin from their backs
Got the right spirit, you can feel it, you can hear it
You’ve got what they call the immortal spirit
You can feel it all night, you can feel it in the morn’
It creeps in your body the day you were born
One strike of lightning is all that I need
And a blast of electricity that runs at top speed
Shimmy your ribs, I’ll stick in the knife
Gonna jumpstart my creation to life
I wanna bring someone to life, turn back the years
Do it with laughter and do it with tears

© 2020 Bob Dylan

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