Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Something is Happening


video


Bob Dylan performing Ballad of a Thin Man, referenced on page 104-106 of Marshall McLuhan's The Medium is the Massage, from D.A. Pennebaker's Eat the Document. An amazing, spirited performance. McLuhan must have been impressed with the song, dedicating three pages of the book to Dylan's likeness and the words:
"Because something is happening
 But you don't know what it is
 Do you, Mister Jones?"
Although many have tried to link the lyrics to specific people and events, the song can be interpreted as a universal critique of people unaware of the world around them. It was one of a very few songs Dylan kept performing over the years, typically introducing it with the reflection that "there are still a lot of Joneses out there."