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It’s all over now

Now that the public sphere has disintegrated, we have only two options.

I leave the choice to you, the public.

Posted by on 08/20 at 09:14 AM
  1. This is not an either/or blog, so I choose Duran Duran’s “The Reflex.”

    Posted by Orange  on  08/20  at  10:54 AM
  2. The empty handed painter still draws crazy patterns on my sheets in spite of all the brave talk. Over? Hardly.

    You’re not likely to get a super majority in this poll as long as Ben Nelson has a vote. And yes, I voted for him last time. You should have seen the other guy.

    Posted by  on  08/20  at  11:09 AM
  3. Van’s version (which I first encountered in the soundtrack to Basqiat) is the greatest ever, no question; it’s not even close (captcha)

    Posted by  on  08/20  at  12:09 PM
  4. Actually, it is close, Flora.  You are wrong on the Internets.  But as black dog buzzkill points out, it’s all over for democratic deliberation.  Also.

    Posted by  on  08/20  at  12:33 PM
  5. On the subject of the radical right:
    It is not realistic to think that we can convince them otherwise and it is advisable not to enter into debate on the subject.” FEMA spokesman

    Didn’t some guy name Dylan do a cover of this?

    Posted by  on  08/20  at  12:46 PM
  6. That’s precisely what they would say at F.E.M.A., spyder.  Remember:  it’s W.A.S.T.E., an acronym, not “waste,” and we had best not go into it any further.

    Posted by  on  08/20  at  12:51 PM
  7. Joan and Van are lucky that Frankie Valli seems not to have covered that particular Dylan tune. Because if he had, it would indeed be all over.

    Posted by  on  08/20  at  12:53 PM
  8. I could blame this on Rich, but you know i have to do it.  After all, it is the moral (captcha) of the story.

    Posted by  on  08/20  at  01:13 PM
  9. I guess if you are potentially the subject of the song you get extra points, but otherwise Them’s got it. I’ll note that the Wikipedia* entry on this song is astonishingly detailed. The part on the Them’s cover alone is seven paragraphs and there are 58 footnotes.

    *Future Friday sub-discussion. Complete the following sentence: The last update to a Wikipedia article will occur on _________ (insert date). Support your prediction with a well-reasoned argument of less than 3500 words (the length of the Baby Blue article).

    Posted by  on  08/20  at  02:58 PM
  10. . . . both/and . . . ?

    Anyway, either one is a nicer apocalypse than the Giant Nuclear Fireball.

    Posted by  on  08/20  at  03:34 PM
  11. Jon Stewart’s version of with five degrees of bacon “it’s all over now FoxNews”

    Posted by  on  08/20  at  03:39 PM
  12. Having read the Wiki writeup on Van’s version before listening to it (I"m a bit surprised I hadn’t heard it before, but I don’t recognize it at all), it doesn’t live up to the hype. And it’s hard to hear anything garage-y in it.

    Posted by JRoth  on  08/20  at  03:47 PM
  13. Okay, Wikipedia has me confused; is the version that’s on the soundtrack for Basqiat really the Them version? On the soundtrack i think the artist is just identified as Morrison.

    Posted by  on  08/20  at  04:18 PM
  14. If Wikipedia has you confused, then maybe you should consult Conservapedia!  That’s what I do.

    Anyway, yes, this is the version from the Basquiat soundtrack, which really should have attributed it to Them.  There’s nothing garage-y about it at all—it’s kind of stoned and dreamy, which is no doubt why Beck sampled it for “Jack-Ass.” Whereas Joan’s upper range and oft-derided vibrato gives the penultimate line of each stanza ("look out, the saints are comin’ through,” etc.) an urgency that Morrison’s rendition completely lacks.  So there.

    Posted by Michael  on  08/20  at  05:12 PM
  15. I didn’t really mean that the public sphere was dead like it had just died, I meant that it was dead like the idea of phlogiston is dead—just doesn’t fit observational evidence.  There’s still a public sphere, of sorts, it’s just one where people are as likely to be planning racial lynchings as they are to be having conversations.

    Anyways.  I should write something about this musical choice, but ... just as I know very little about public sphere theories, I don’t know much about it.  So here instead is a poem you can sing along to to the tune of the Clash’s classic “I’m So Bored With the U.S.A.” When I wrote it, I cannily rejected “9/11 was five years ago” in favor of “9/11 was 2001”, knowing that the poem would remain evergreen.  But at least _24_ has gone off the air since then.

    After the Clash

    Yankee children
    Growing up in New England
    Think the country can be new
    But re-runs on again

    Yankee politicos
    Gonna make people do what they said
    9/11 was 2001!
    Getting bored hiding under the bed

    I’m so bored with the U.S.A.
    I’m so bored with the U.S.A.
    But what can I do?

    Yankee agents
    Are on TV to stay
    Cause terrorists in America
    Work 24 hours a day

    It’s thumbs up for torture
    Every week a Watergate
    Old fall fashions coming back
    Hood and wires held out straight

    No use blaming the con men
    We’ve heard it all before
    Everybody loves a con
    But suckers are a bore

    Posted by  on  08/20  at  10:25 PM
  16. just as I know very little about public sphere theories,

    Well, to be honest, assuming a spherical public is primarily done to make the theories simple.  Perhaps too simple.

    Posted by  on  08/20  at  11:07 PM
  17. I leave the choice to you, the public.
    So there.

    My First Amendment rights are feeling totally refudiated right now. Free Dr. Laura!

    Posted by  on  08/21  at  12:09 AM
  18. What a hysterical overreaction, JP.  Everybody knows that when a blogger suggests that his readers are underestimating Joan Baez’s version of “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue,” the First Amendment is not at issue.  As James Madison himself pointed out, the First Amendment is violated only when a commenter is actually banned from a blog.

    Posted by Michael  on  08/21  at  09:38 AM
  19. Anyone who is a true, real, committed member of the Spherical Public movement uses the line “Yonder stands your orphan with his gun"* as the point of comparison and judgment, not the penultimate lines of each verse. I denounce these impure Penultimatists** and call for a purge of the movement. First we will purify, then we will start winning.

    * There is still uncertainty whether all the antepenultimate lines are to be used, or only the orphan-with-his-gun line in the first verse. The battle between Antepenultimatists and First Versers will be deferred for a later purge.

    ** Never mind that our host is one of them. We must not let sentimental considerations dilute our purpose.

    Posted by  on  08/21  at  10:31 AM
  20. We must not let sentimental considerations dilute our purpose

    Correct. If you lose a host, it’s possible to get another. But there’s only one purpose*.

    *About which, umm, see I think, uh… could someone maybe forward me the Statement of Purpose Powerpoint again? I’ve identified some local re-education opportunities.

    Posted by  on  08/21  at  11:21 AM
  21. Huh.  I’m thoroughly lost.  If I had actually graduated from college, would I understand what you are talking about?  Or is grad school required?

    I have a Joan Baez story, though.  I was working in a natural foods restaurant in Ann Arbor, Michigan, way back in the olden days, probably 1970 or 1971.  It was the first “natural” restaurant in the area, and it was called Indian Summer.

    One great day Joan Baez and her tour group had dinner there.  I did not wait on her; I was not allowed to wait on anyone, because they wanted the restaurant to succeed, so it was best to keep me chopping vegetables in the kitchen.  They seemed to have a great time, and she autographed a menu, and the owners refused to let her pay for the meal.  (I don’t get that.  When celebrities crash a restaurant, they shouldn’t get a free meal.  They are wealthy!  Their treat should be picking up the tab for everybody’s supper.)

    We were all happy and proud until we heard that at the next stop on her tour, Ms. Baez explained that she was a little under the weather, because she’d gotten the runs after eating at a hippie health food restaurant the other day.  It was a crowd-pleaser, but our feelings were hurt.

    It happened many years ago, and I am over it. That’s all I have.  You’d better not ban me just because I made no spherical references.

    Posted by  on  08/21  at  01:35 PM
  22. A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men. (And me too). And I also don’t follow everything music0logical up there. Great story, Larkspur.

    Posted by  on  08/21  at  01:51 PM
  23. To be absolutely clear and straightforward, the only thing I’ve ever had to add to the conversation is that I really like the way Joan sings “Yonder stands your orphan with his gun.”

    Posted by  on  08/21  at  01:53 PM
  24. When the faster you go the rounder you get, creates a spherical public whirl, then penultimate becomes: “This sky, too, is folding under you.” And then over you, and around you…

    And i am still waiting for the James Madison version.

    Posted by  on  08/21  at  03:11 PM
  25. And i am still waiting for the James Madison version.

    I am quite sure that were James Madison alive today his nom de rap would be “J Mad.” Although “The Notorious Mad” would be okay too. 

    Captcha: “laws” as in “a nation of, not of men”

    Posted by John Protevi  on  08/21  at  04:02 PM
  26. Oh, dang, almost forgot.  Rich @ 15:

    I didn’t really mean that the public sphere was dead like it had just died, I meant that it was dead like the idea of phlogiston is dead—just doesn’t fit observational evidence.


    See, Larkspur, that’s how we debate the public sphere around here.

    Posted by Michael  on  08/21  at  04:34 PM
  27. It’s too bad this isn’t a different kind of blog, because only Jerry Garcia could sing that song right.

    thank you very much (captcha)

    Posted by  on  08/22  at  11:00 AM
  28. Always, there is a third: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W27oYDpMykQ

    Posted by  on  08/22  at  01:16 PM
  29. because only Jerry Garcia could sing that song right.

    And play it even better.... for 30 years.

    But for the insane, live, psychedelic version, i propose Roky Erickson. And if you are cruising thru Austin catch Okkervil-River with Roky; they do a version of this that is sinsational.

    Posted by  on  08/22  at  03:21 PM
  30. I always thought it was “The sky, too, is falling onto you.” bobdylan.com does say “folding under you,” but surely that can’t be right. And reindeer armies? I don’t think so.

    Posted by  on  08/23  at  12:11 PM
  31. The Chocolate Watchband version is also awesome, despite or because of the vocalist’s not really knowing the right words.

    Posted by  on  08/23  at  12:44 PM
  32. As Thomas Pynchon says in Gravity’s Rainbow, an army of reindeer can be beaten.

    Posted by Michael  on  08/23  at  01:27 PM
  33. [Chuckles malevolently as antlered minions continue their intensive combat training]

    Posted by  on  08/23  at  02:45 PM
  34. Well Flora, those are Bob’s lyrics as written and copyrighted. In his case you have to go to the source material because most of the time you can’t understand anything he sings. 

    bold for capthca? i like that Sven

    Posted by  on  08/23  at  05:34 PM
  35. Any chance of Mad Men blogging? Or is that not doable in mid-season?

    Posted by Nell  on  08/24  at  05:22 PM
  36. There will indeed be Mad Men blogging—in about two weeks.  It just won’t be here!

    Don’t worry, I’ll let you know where it appears and when.  But for now, it’s a seekrit, like JournoList.

    Posted by Michael  on  08/24  at  09:20 PM
  37. Clearly Van. But there really is another alternative:


    Posted by  on  08/24  at  10:47 PM
  38. Wow, that’s some spam filter.  I forgot that “antl*red” contains the name of one of those infamous drugs peddled on the Internet.

    Posted by  on  08/25  at  10:17 AM
  39. It just won’t be here!

    Perhaps on a site with sharks then....

    Posted by  on  08/25  at  02:38 PM
  40. Landsharks, spyder.  Though you’re probably too young to remember:


    Landsharks of Spokane


    Posted by  on  08/26  at  10:02 AM
  41. Though you’re probably too young to remember:

    To paraphraseth teh Dylan, i was so much older then, i am younger than that now. 

    Candy gram, Candy gram for Miss Zevon…

    Posted by  on  08/26  at  02:58 PM
  42. I stumbled across the Frankie Valli cover on Spotify a while back. It’s truly remarkable.

    Hole’s cover is pretty funny too.

    Posted by  on  08/27  at  01:32 PM
  43. Thanks a lot!

    Posted by jewelrytendency  on  09/10  at  01:52 AM
  44. Gotta go with Van.

    Posted by sell your songs online  on  09/14  at  07:39 PM





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