by Larry Fyffe
Kindred spirits of political satire be cartoonist Walt Kelly and the younger singer/songwriter/musician Bob Dylan.
Writes, plays, and sings the latter:
Well the Lone Ranger and Tonto They're riding down the line Fixing everybody's troubles Everybody's troubles 'cept mine (Bob Dylan: Bob Dylan Blues)
Add a newspaper cartoon clipping featuring a fearmongering politician ~
None other than the long-horned, silver-starred Texas Ranger Lyndon B. Johnson.
Howdy, old buddies I'm the Loan Arranger Here to protect y'all ... You feared of dragons, gal (Walt Kelly: Pogo 'Possum)
Follow up with a punch thrown by Pogo Bob at his Beat Poet buddy – the crooning Al ‘Bing’ Ginsberg:
See you later alligator Crocodile crocogator After a while crocodile Crocogator crocogator Allicrile allicrile Allen Ginsberg Allen Ginsberg Allen Ginsberg (Bob Dylan: See You Later Allen Ginsberg)
John Mitchell And Fidel Castro
If there’s a direct connection between the artistry of singer/songwriter/ musician Bob Dylan, and the newspaper cartoon “Pogo”, an analysis of the two art forms does not provide a clear answer.
However, a case can be made that within many of Dylan’s songs, a Jungian “collective unconsciousness” unfolds therein.
By means of dreams, archetypes, and phobias, a shadowy kingdom is revealed that exists behind the outward goodness usually expressed by human nature.
Dark fairy tales and dark folk songs come into play: Let the wind blow low, let the wind blows high One day the little boy, and the little girl were both baked in a pie (Bob Dylan: Under The Red Sky)
Take what you can gather from coincidence, and “swamp-speak”:
While you is thinkin' over bombs and stuff I's gonna mux up a botch of Taffery (Walt Kelly: Pogo 'Possum)
John Mitchell, President Nixon’s chief legal officer, he’s rabid antiCommunist, and, like Richard, he’s all for America participating in military action against the ‘godless’ Russians and Chinese.
Nixon convinces FBI “bulldog” J Edgar Hoover not to dig too deeply into John’s previous political and ‘legal’ dealings.
Fidel Castro of Cuba, Kelly inks from a right-wing point of view ~ gives the anti- American rebel the goat’s feet of the Devil.
For a wandering drifter anyway (in the song lyrics below), paranoia comes in handy when you in a hurry to escape the clutches of of a farmer’s daughter:
I had say something to strike him weird So I shouted out, " I love Fidel Castro and his beard" (Bob Dylan: MotorPsycho Nightmare)
Both Nixon and Mitchell become involved in a huge political scandal; ‘plumbers’ are hired to break into the offices of the Democratic Party, offices located in Washington DC, at the Watergate Hotel.
To make a long story short , pipe-smoking Mitchell’s handed a jail sentence, and the President resigns.
In ‘Pogo’, Walt Kelly portrays Watergator John as though the Republican Attorney General were just another wind-up toy.