Over his long career much has been written about Bob Dylan's music. Does he care what people write about him? It turns out that Dylan wrote about critics in 1965-1966 in his book, Tarantula, which wasn't actually legally published until 1971. The following section on pages 93-94 is very direct about his view of his critics. It was the second and third pages of the chapter titled Ape on Sunday, with no separate title of it's own.
look you asshole
"…look you asshole – tho i might be nothing but a butter sculptor, i refuse to go on working with the idea of your praising as my reward – like what are your credentials anyway? excpt for talking about all us butter sculptors, what else do you do? do you know what it feels like to make some butter sculpture? do you know what it feels like to actually ooze that butter around & create something of fantastic worth? you said that my last year’s work “The King's Odor” was great & then you say i havent done anything as great since – just who the hell are you talking to anyway? you must have something to do in your real life – i understand that you praised the piece you saw yesterday entitled “The Monkey Taster” about which you said meant “a nice work of butter carved into the shape of a young man who likes only african women” you are an idiot – it doesnt mean that at all . . . i hereby want nothing to do with your hangups - i really dont care what you think of my work as i now know you dont understand it anyway . . . i must go now - i have this new hunk of margarine waiting in the bathtub – yes i said MARGARINE & next week i just might decide to use cream cheese - & i really dont care what you think of my experimenting – you take yourself too seriously – youre going to get an ulcer and go into the hospital - they’ll put you in a ward where you cant have any visitors - you’ll go right off your nut - i really dont care anymore - i am so bored with your rules and regulations that i might not even talk to you again - just remember tho, when you evaluate a piece of butter, you are talking about yourself, so you’d just better sign your name . . . see you, if youre lucky, at mrs. keeler's cake festival.
p.s. youre my friend & i’m trying to help you"
He certainly didn't mince his words, did he! There is no effort to dissemble about what he's really thinking. I suspect many great artists (most?) would agree with the idea of approaching their work based upon his statement that "i really dont care what you think of my work as i now know you dont understand it anyway." Dylan has certainly maintained his artistic integrity over the entire course of his career, always following his own path, the critics be damned.
My friend Gerry had a notable birthday this week and his daughter organized a surprise birthday party for him aboard the USS Hornet museum ship in Alameda.
She did a great job of bringing friends there who had known Gerry all the way back to his Stanford eating club days, as well as some of us who have been fortunate to know Gerry from the PAARA ham radio club, especially its well known Field Day activities, made famous in Silicon Valley in large part because of Gerry's tireless Field Day work for many years. Gerry never had a hint of what she had in store for him and when he stepped onto the fantail where the assemblage of his friends was waiting for him, he was totally surprised and blown away by the event. He was very excited to see some Stanford folks he had not seen for twenty to thirty years. Imagine that!
Speed Control System
Besides a great lunch with friends on this historic aircraft carrier, we also got guided tours that took us all over the 41,000 ton ship to see its amazing facilities and systems. After climbing down many steep ladders, holding tightly onto metal and chain link railings, we ended up in the forward engine room, where high pressure (and low pressure) steam was used to turn one of the four propeller shafts. Each steam turbine generated 37,500 horsepower and the four engines together produced the equivalent of 500 1999 Corvettes: 150,000 horsepower. This would move the giant ship at an average speed of 32.5 knots (37.4 mph or 60 km per hour), for 12,500 nautical miles (14,400 miles or 23,200 kilometers) on one load of fuel oil.
The throttle for this incredible system is a little more complicated than the rubber pedal we press down with our right foot in our cars. It requires the use of the Engine Order Telegraph for the skipper on the Bridge to signal to the engine room how much steam he wanted, and thus how much speed he wanted, at any given time. There were a number of discrete steps he could choose, all the way up to full speed and then flank speed, the top speed.
The Real Top Speed
Except flank speed wasn't actually the top speed! There was one other step after that, with the indicator dial pointing straight down at "BENDIX." What does Bendix mean? It is the name of the manufacturer (probably the Bendix Corporation) of the indicator dial used aboard this and many other ships, a trade name! Having no speed related sense at all in the word itself, "All Ahead Bendix" came to mean "as fast as she can go," although one source says the use of this phrase "tends to irritate the Chief Engineer" .
Everyone found this to be quite marvelous. Well we're not sailors, though a few of us had been when much younger. Hopefully we have no Chief Engineer in our lives who we might irritiate, by using a rather arcane expression. When we're moving in a direction that is fully aligned with our life goals and purposes, one indicator of that is our willingness to let out all the stops, put aside all reservations, doubts and fears and blast forward with full steam ahead. All Ahead Bendix!!