Monday, December 5, 2016

The Day of "Mr. Jones"

When, not too many weeks back, Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature I thought, frankly, that such was pretty lame. Well maybe I was wrong. Because has anyone better described what is happening in the world today than did Dylan in his song "Ballad Of A Thin Man"?

     You walk into the room
     With your pencil in your hand
     You see somebody naked
     And you say, “Who is that man?”
     You try so hard
     But you don’t understand
     Just what you’ll say
     When you get home

     Because something is happening here
     But you don’t know what it is
     Do you, Mister Jones?"

Yes, such as Dylan's "Mr. Jones" can see the outline, but only the outline. He/they with shock and dismay read the headlines on November 9th. He/they saw what to him was incomprehensible -- that the people were rising up. He/they knew that somehow he'd/they'd missed what was happening. -But just what it is that is happening he/they -- the "Joneses" of the world -- still do not understand.

They -- today's "Mr. Jones" -- cannot conceive that the "something" that is being rejected and cast off is their entire worldview.  -The idea that they -- these "Joneses" -- are the betters; the ones with understanding. -That those who they -- the "Joneses"-- view as their inferiors (and that, it is worth noting, includes everyone with a different point of view than their own) need to be understood and reckoned with. No, and not just somehow placated. Not just patted on the head.  Not just given a bit more bread and/or a bigger circus.

They -- the "Joneses" -- cannot conceive that their fundamental plan of a borderless world where the only fences that exist are those they themselves have built to keep these lessers out of their own lives -- that all of this is itself based on selfish and demeaning falsehoods.

They -- the "Joneses" -- cannot conceive that 'average people' should be the masters of their own destinies. -That such one's "common sense" is proving to be the only real sense there is, and it is something that they -- these "Joneses" -- these elites -- for all their education and self aggrandizement, lack.

As Dylan says of his "Mr. Jones"...

     You’ve been with the professors
     And they’ve all liked your looks
     With great lawyers you have
     Discussed lepers and crooks
     You’ve been through all of
     F. Scott Fitzgerald’s books
     You’re very well read
     It’s well known

     Because something is happening here
     But you don’t know what it is
     Do you, Mister Jones?

The future -- the path back to a world where such "common sense" prevails -- may be fraught with many unknowns and enormous difficulties and challenges, but it is the only real future there is. For the common man with his common sense understands common humanity with its common needs. -Needs not taught by the "professors" Dylan's "Mr. Jones" has studied with. And that people -- real, human, "average" people have needs not included -- indeed, in many cases denied -- in the "books" these "Joneses" have read and studied.

No. Nor that the power and authority the "Joneses" have taken on, they have taken on for themselves. And that now the people are wanting it back. Taking it back. And that, apparently, not just here in Donald Trump's America, but, seemingly, world-wide.

Want some free advice Mr. Jones?

You'd better get used to it.


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