I hate your I hate Bob Dylan article.

Via on Feb 18, 2011

Why you should love elephant even if you hate its editor’s stupid uninformed opinions.

Update: new back and forths, at bottom.

This afternoon, I received the following email from one of my best friends, XX, who had received a worrying message from a friend of hers:

On Feb 18, 2011, at 4:28 PM, XX wrote:

Subject: Waylon Bob Dylan article

“Did Waylon really write that article about hating Bob Dylan??? I’m having a terrible reaction to that… it’s making me not want to read Elephant at all.  I know that’s stupid…. but it’s my reaction and it makes me fear for Elephant…didn’t know what else to do so I wrote you.”

[the above is] from my dear friend. What up?

Here’s the article referenced:

My first reply:

Are you kidding?

My second reply:

Sorry…it’s just one man’s opinion. Your friend is wonderful I’m sure but her saying she is tempted to write off elephant for one man’s opinion is like saying “I’m going to stop reading the Huffington Post or NY Times” because I disagree with an opinion piece they hosted or that Arianna wrote.

Is our ability to debate and disagree really so anemic these days that we have to shut out those with differing opinions? I don’t think it’s as bad as that.

The article is about how Dylan has sold out and even in his prime wasn’t a hero of Civil Rights and frustrated many with his lack of interest in getting involved. The article is about how cafes and Pandora overplay his music, and the music of others, until we begin to dislike music we used to love. It’s not worth divorcing elephant over, I don’t think, though if your friend would like to dislike me, instead of debating, that’s her choice. I hope she’ll reconsider, of course.

Yours,

Way

Waylon Lewis – founder: http://www.elephantjournal.com | host: Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis. Ft. on 20 sites, incl Huffington Post.
http://www.twitter.com/elephantjournal | http://www.facebook.com/elephantjournal | twitter.com/waylonlewis | facebook.com/waylonhlewis
312,000 unique readers this month, 605,000 articles read: Google Analytics.Treehugger: Reader’s Choice “Eco Ambassador in Culture & Celebrity” and 2010 “Changemaker”  Discovery Network’s Planet Green: “Green Hero”  Shambhala Sun: “Prominent Buddhist”  Naturally Boulder: “’07 Entrepreneur of Year”  5280 Magazine: “Top Single ’09″  MNN: Top 10 US Green Video Blog  Beliefnet: Top 10 Buddhist Blog Shorty Awards: #1 Green Twitter in US

My friend’s reply, with her friend’s rather touching and insightful and kind reply:

response no. 2.

i haven’t even read the article yet. I will. but here you go.

the core of her reaction was rather sweet in the end…

xx

Begin forwarded message:

Yeah, I saw as his response to some of the comments that he was trying to say what he says below.  I guess I wanted to point out that I didn’t “hear” what he was saying….I was too busy having a gut reaction that was really big…. enough to make me view ELEPHANT differently.  He is completely right about what he says about my reaction being ridiculous.  I saw that too…immediately… how stupid my reaction was.  Nonetheless I was having the experience of this reaction and it over-rode my ability to see or think or feel through to get to what he was saying.  Then my reaction just took me where it wanted to.  And that had an effect on my view of Elephant.

You know me, XX, that I have loved Elephant since the early days and of course I would never stop reading it.  My pointing this out was my reaction to my reaction….. I moved into protective-mama-mode cuz Waylon and Elephant are like family to you so of course I am going to say something to you when I think there’s something out there that might be damaging to your family…

Hopefully I’m the only one out there that had such a reaction.  But from some of the comments, I don’t think so.

Just want them to be safe out there…

You too.

love you, XX

My reply:

Many folks have had that reaction. I don’t think her reaction is stupid, not at all.

I do think our ability as a country, as a people, to agree to disagree and be civil in that disagreement has become anemic, and that’s worse than sad—it just means that half of us will watch Fox News and nod our heads and half of us will watch some liberal thing and nod our heads and the whole country will go to hell.

Big thanks for sharing.

Yours,

Way

About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | facebook.com/elephantjournal | twitter.com/elephantjournal | facebook.com/waylonhlewis | twitter.com/waylonlewis | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom

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14 Responses to “I hate your I hate Bob Dylan article.”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Waylon Lewis, Red Fox. Red Fox said: I hate your I hate Bob Dylan article. http://bit.ly/ifqvpP [...]

  2. JoLinda Van Haren says:

    I live in Arizona so I have an enormous range of stupid opinions from stupid people to read from everyday in our local newspaper. Actually, I enjoy the thought provking opinions of the unusually intelligent and literate people that I find on EJ. Btw, Dylan did sell out.

  3. ARCreated says:

    have I mentioned I adore you Way?

  4. Emily says:

    I love Bob Dylan! But I also do not pay much attention to the selling out or being overplayed because I only put him in when I want to listen to him. Maybe try that and you will appreciate him again. If not, I still respect your opinion and will continue to read you online . . . unless you talk negatively about WEEN, then we are over:)

  5. Melissa Taylor says:

    Take it as a compliment! At least you're making her react. You must have hit a nerve. Hopefully, more people will learn the art of dialogue and speak up when they disagree. I'm afraid that we see too many poor examples in the media such as disagreements that attack others personally instead of the issues. Sad.

  6. monkeywithglasses says:

    Tuning out when you disagree with someone is just selling yourself out; denying yourself a chance to learn and broaden your mind. What, you're not strong enough to handle other opinions? You need to disengage entirely? Is it a fear? Is it ego? I find that reaction, which seems so common these days, totally bizarre. And kinda sad.

  7. Joe Sparks says:

    People can reach agreement to any desired degree, if they get their distresses out of the way and acquire enough information and allow for the differences in viewpoints.

  8. Jason says:

    Nicely put, Waylon!

    I just recently learned that Bob Dylan didn’t really vocalize any stance in particular, nor had much opinion on the Vietnam War or the Civil Rights movement. To me in his time, that just seemed ludicrous?!

    Regardless, I think you make a great point. Sometimes it’s through that friction caused by disagreement or dissent that sometimes makes us a better society in the end by respecting other’s differences and creating tolerance – instead of trying to be so homogenized.

  9. Katherine says:

    While resisting the temptation to teach that which I'm just learning about myself, the short answer is "yes" some people will cut you off if you don't agree with them. These people haven't learned, or don't want to admit, that they are responsible for their own emotions. They blame you for how they feel, so their reactions revert to basic emotional postures of fight, flee, freeze or caretake.

    A more emotionally mature individual will take responsibility for his/her own emotions and can discuss the issues from and "equal, open and separate posture". Meaning they treat you as an equal, they are willing to openly discuss the issue at hand, and they own and know how to manage their own internal emotions separate from the discussion.

    What your friend did was to triangle in a third party to alleviate her anxiety instead of taking responsibility for it herself or discussing it with her friend directly. I'm getting too teachy here, which I was warned not to do; but if you're interested there is a very good book called "Extraordinary Leadership" by Roberta M. Gilbert, M.D. which is based on the Bowen theory that discusses the topic in detail.

  10. interesting article …

    i got a slap on the wrist recently for something i wrote and pushed out … in short, the comment was 'you give people way too much credit for being willing to look at their own s**t'

    the challenge here is to balance the need to stimulate effective discourse while at the same time not communicating in a fashion that results in people shutting out/off

    it's a balance i'm still trying to find and, frankly, one i believe elephant does a reasonably good job at effecting

  11. Joe Sparks says:

    We can best persude another person to change his or her opinion and choice to agree with ours by enthusiastically considering his or her position in a positive manner and warmly encouraging his or her criticism of our position. Telling people something almost never changes their mind. Listening to people well will always tend to help them consider a rational position. " The man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still."

  12. [...] I’ve gotten (well-deserved, I’m sure) hell in the past for not loving hearing Bob Dylan all the effing time in cafes and bookstores and an… [...]

  13. elephantjournal says:

    I don't always agree with me..! Often, after hearing and learning from the dialogue that is Web 2.0—as opposed to print media, which I know and love—I come out more informed and more open. Sure, I should start that way—we all should. But that's what media and information is for—to educate, enlighten, dispel prejudice. ~ Waylon

  14. yogi tobye says:

    Ooh! I do love the odd rant and rave every now and again!

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