Saturday, October 29, 2016

The workings of Bob Dylan

There were Bob Dylan records in the house when I was a kid.  My parents were not and are not hippies.  Quite the opposite to be honest but they were of that generation and they were of that age and they bought those records and I listened to them.

Dylan, Johnny Cash, Simon & Garfunkel and Leonard Cohen.  I never really got Leonard Cohen.

Dylan had the funny voice and the strange words and the stories.  The tapes my parents had were from the seventies when he was past his best but I liked them.  I liked the live at Budokhan tape and over the years I tracked down the rest of his stuff, listened to much of it, read books about him and learned to play some of his songs.  Dylan taught me you could sing in your own voice and forget about what anyone else thought.

As the years have gone by we have managed to see how Dylan worked.  He re-worked his songs time and time again with massive evolutions and mutations between takes.  You can put together your own version of classic albums using mp3s and those version may, for you, supersede the original.

He was recently put up for a Nobel prize for literature, an unheard-of thing for a writer of pop songs.  Songs that have soundtracked much of the past 50 years.  Songs that have twisted the concept of pop. I saw him once, playing in Glasgow maybe 20 years ago.  If I remember properly it was pretty good.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Human frailty and failings in health care

People don't last for ever.  Parts of our body fail and break.  We can survive without much of our bodies but eventually we die.  This is life.

It's difficult to watch a family member when they are sick.  In the UK we pride ourselves on the NHS but care is often poor.  There are failings in the health service that can worsen the failings of our bodies.  Most of us want the NHS to be better but right now the county has no money and the government are not interested in the health of the masses.

A bit shit really.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

The state of the nation

The UK is looking a bit sad now.  The government wants businesses to list foreign employees.  People worry that they will be made to leave the country when the UK relinquishes membership of the European Union.  There is financial uncertainty and many of the things that have made the UK great, like the NHS, are in trouble.

How have we got here?

I have a few ideas but you will have heard them all before.  As a nation we need to think about where we are going.  The future looks grim at times and we need to avoid that.  We should strive to be good and to do our best but we have to take the poorest, the weakest and the most disadvantaged with us to be really great.  I don't see the government doing that just now.