An apolitical rolling stone

I have a confession that one of my t-shirts makes equally well: I love Bob Dylan. I have another confession, one that may sound as inharmonious as Dylan’s irreverent voice: To me, politics is bunk—as history was to Ford.

My record player spins me towards this anarchy of sorts. I will always prefer the poetry of Another Side of Bob Dylan and Blonde on Blonde to the polity of “The Times They Are A-Changin’.” The racism and political injustices Dylan decries are inaccessible to me. He brings them out descriptively to effect change, but that change has passed, or not passed, depending on whom you ask.

The irony of ranting against politics in a political forum like a newspaper is not lost on me. But ultimately, I’d rather attend to my mysteries than my supposed responsibilities. I’d rather read and write poetry, listen to music, make music, self-investigate and suffer in ways that Wolf Blitzer will never need to understand, but I will.

I haven’t been to too many dinner parties—my orange hair and its tendency to grow long offends some—but political discussion like CNN is a sedative for me. I’m not saying that we should recite verses of Blake for our serious fare. Far be it for me to establish your menu, I’m just giving you a peek at mine. I realize that there is usually a balance between trivial and serious discussion—one makes us laugh, while the other can help us know something of our companions through revealing something of ourselves. I just wish we didn’t automatically take the trivialities of politics so seriously.

Politics, trivial? Somebody get this boy a liberal education. Can he be so narrow-minded so as not to see that there are real injustices in the world that humanity needs to resolve and that are more important than the trite lines of longing he wrote about the girl that sold him a beer at the QP?

All right, I reject the ancient Hindu scripture that “Evil does not exist.” The suffering of others affects me—though never as much as my own—for I don’t believe that there is a way to quantify anguish.

I am humanist insofar as my aim in life is to live it. It’s not too noble and it will make my epitaph rather ironic: “His aim was to live life, until he died.” Machine politics seems to interfere with my endless pursuit of self-discovery, in the same way that sports does—and no, this is not my resignation letter. It’s just that part of me wishes that people would take themselves as seriously as they take politics.

If you are ready to sling arrows labeled “hypocrite” at me, I am ready to bend them. By attending to my contradictions, I see the value of accepting rather than despairing, which means accepting all and despairing none.

I endeavour not to be deceived as Dylan once was by the black-and-white terms that politics is usually couched in. As he confesses in his “Back Pages”: Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats/Too noble to neglect/Deceived me into thinking/I had something to protect.

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