She took my favorite hat (or, hold on to your hats)

Friend Phil and I, way back when we were in college, rounded up two beautiful young ladies (mine, I’d contend, was more beautiful — a lovely blonde from Long Island, named Lee, still remembered fondly although she took my favorite hat) and went to Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue, right around the time when he was wearing white makeup and masks and wide-brimmed hats and singing a song called “Idiot Wind” just in time for the nation’s bicentennial.

The other day, I wrote something about the greed-driven economy and all the fat cats who are squashing the hopes and quashing the dreams of millions of us cooler but poorer and less powerful cats, and I quoted Dylan’s song “Thunder on the Mountain” about all the ladies in Washington rushing to get out of town because there’s trouble coming down, and friend Chuck Pizar (he of the entertaining Web site “Recovering Night Owl”) accused me of never resisting an opportunity to quote Dylan.

Well, yes, but as the second Great Depression nears — as its heavy footsteps shake our windows and rattle our walls, as the long black veil of its shadow slowly spreads over this land that was allegedly made for you and me — I’m hearing two lines from the refrain of “Idiot Wind”:

Idiot wind, blowing like a circle around my skull,
From the Grand Coulee Dam to the Capitol.

On a lighter note here’s a great Dylan-related link.  “Inside Dylan’s Brain,” is an article from Vanity Fair that offers a fascinating analysis of Dylan weekly program on XM, “Theme Time Radio.”

The link is

If that whets your whistle but doesn’t wet your whistle, check our and its exhaustive and exhausting attempt to document cultural and historical references on Dylan’s radio show.


X Minus One

Cruising the XM radio channels in search of Bob Dylan’s Theme Time Radio show and I encountered a broadcast of an episode from an old science-fiction series called X Minus One.

The one I heard was from September 1955 and titled “The Martian Death March.” It’s set way in the future, in the 1990s, several decades after Earthlings have colonized Mars and confined the Martians to reservations.

Turns out that the X Minus One show was a real trailblazer, an ancestor of shows like “The Outer Limits” and “One Step Beyond” and “The Twilight Zone,” and featured episodes based on stories by some great writers, including Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch, Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov!

This great link includes two X Minus One episodes you can download for free and a list with very entertaining and intriguing synopses of all of the episodes: