comment 0

Remember From Whence You Came

There are many perks that come with having Jay Z for an agent, I’d imagine, and one of them is that you get fantastic mini documentaries made about you, apparently. This short film about Robinson Cano, a baseball player who is a delight to watch, takes us through the streets and fields of his Dominican hometown of San Pedro de Macoris.

I know it’s really just a propaganda piece by Jay Z and his Roc Nation people, but I enjoyed it anyway. I think you might enjoy it too.

comment 0

Another Side of Bob Dylan

There are few public figures more enigmatic than Bob Dylan. Go back and watch some of the interviews he’s given over the years if you need to be reminded of just how guarded and evasive he can be. I think especially of his thoroughly uncomfortable 1965 conversation with TIME‘s Horace Judson. More recently, his own autobiography, Chronicles: Volume One, further served to mystify his devoted fans (while likewise delighting many others, of course).

Perhaps this longstanding pattern of evasiveness is the reason so many of us keep reading books and essays or watching documentaries and feature films about him in hopes of filling in some of the blanks and connecting a few more dots in his life and music.

The latest of these perspectives comes to us in from Dylan’s longtime tour manager, confidante, and traveling companion, the late Victor Maymudes. Another Side of Bob Dylan: A Personal History on the Road and off the Tracks, which is edited and co-written by Victor’s son Jason Maymudes, is based on a series of recorded memories that were taped before the elder Maymudes died suddenly in 2001.

another-sideThough Dylan and Maymudes eventually had a falling out, these are the recollections of a friend. It’s not a juicy tell-all memoir but rather a chronicle of the ordinary, as told by someone who spent a lot of time by his side.

It’s a bit disjointed at times, truth be told, and we learn more than we probably need to about portions of the author’s life that have nothing to do with Dylan. But we also pick up fascinating tidbits regarding Dylan’s life from Maymudes’ perspective—like the claim that Dylan’s motorcycle accident really amounted to a one-mile-per-hour tip-over, or the claim that Dylan tried—and failed—to personally introduce the Beatles to marijuana.

This book doesn’t paint anyone in a particularly flattering light, but neither does it go out of its way to  vilify anyone. Rather, it simply gives us another perspective on life with the man who, for my money, is the greatest songwriter of our time. And for a Dylan fan like me, that’s reason enough to pick it up.

Header photo via

comment 0

Nationalism vs. Patriotism

“I despise every form of nationalism, a provincial ideology (or rather, religion) that is shortsighted and exclusive, that cuts off the intellectual horizon and hides in its bosom ethnic and racist prejudices, for it transforms into a supreme value, a moral and ontological privilege, the fortuitous circumstance of one’s birthplace… We should not confuse a blinkered nationalism and its rejection of the Other, always the seed of violence, with patriotism, a salutary, generous feeling of love for the land where we were born, where our ancestors lived, where our first dreams were forged, a familiar landscape of geographies, loved ones, and events that are transformed into signposts of memory and defenses against solitude. Homeland is not flags, anthems, or apodictic speeches about emblematic heroes, but a handful of places and people that populate our memories and tinge them with melancholy, the warm sensation that no matter where we are, there is a home for us to return to.”

– Mario Vargas Llosa, In Praise of Reading and Fiction