"Unlike many artists who reacted to the pandemic with a kind of dutiful tenderness—'Let me help with my song!'—Dylan has decided not to offer comfort, nor to hint at some vague solidarity."

"Lyrically, he’s either cracking weird jokes ('I’ll take the "Scarface" Pacino and the "Godfather" Brando / Mix ’em up in a tank and get a robot commando') or operating in a cold, disdainful, it-ain’t-me-babe mode.... Dylan is a voracious student of United States history—he can, and often does, itemize the various atrocities that have been committed in service to country—and 'Rough and Rowdy Ways' could be understood as a glib summation of America’s outlaw origins, and of the confused, dangerous, and often haphazard way that we preserve democracy. He seems to understand instinctively that American history is not a series of fixed points but an unmoored and constantly evolving idea that needs to be reëstablished each day—things don’t happen once and then stop happening. In this sense, linear time becomes an invention; every moment is this moment.... [F]or me, Dylan’s vast and intersectional understanding of the American mythos feels so plainly and uniquely relevant to the grimness and magnitude of these past few months. As the country attempts to metabolize the murder of George Floyd, it is also attempting to reckon with every crooked, brutal, odious, or unjust murder of a black person—to understand a cycle that began centuries ago and somehow continues apace. What is American racism? It’s everything, Dylan insists. Indiana Jones and J.F.K. and Elvis Presley and Jimmy Reed—nothing exists without the rest of it. None of us are absolved, and none of us are spared."

You can tell by the diaeresis in "reëstablished" that it's The New Yorker. Amanda Petrusich reviews Bob Dylan's new album, "Rough and Rowdy Ways," which will be released on Friday.

Petrusich sure is putting a lot of her own clunky words into Bob Dylan's mouth. She's insisting that he's insisting — insisting that everything is American racism. Why would you go and assume that what he's saying is what you're fired up to think everybody is supposed to be saying right now?

She did say "for me." You can listen to whatever you want any way you want.

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