Reuters blog archive

from The Great Debate:

Dylan: The times have changed

In the third quarter of the most-watched TV event in U.S. history, Sunday’s dull Super Bowl, there was one memorable moment: Bob Dylan’s solemn commercial for American craftsmanship generally and the Chrysler Corporation specifically. The Internet buzzed over Dylan’s alleged treachery in extolling a car. One site called it “surreal.”

Dylan’s ad seemed to signify not just that the 1960s are officially over, with Dylan’s “selling out,” but that the United States is a country of clichés so overpowering that they overpowered the artist who built his career challenging them. No matter how much you may try to resist America, it wears you down. Or so it would seem.

Dylan’s moment came when we heard that reedy twang of his, but his words weren’t about things roiling society or the wearying pangs of lost love or human wreckage -- his standard subjects. He was talking about America’s greatness -- “Is there anything more American than America?” he asks -- about the power of her workers, and about the things that this country does well. Basically, about making automobiles.

It wasn’t an out-and-out shill, since he never mentioned the product’s name. But the voice of protest had become the voice of the pitch. It wasn’t the first time Dylan lent himself to Madison Avenue -- he appeared in an ad for Victoria’s Secret in 2004, and a Cadillac Escalade ad in 2012, and his “I Want You” was used in a Chobani ad earlier during this Super Bowl. There was, however, something startling about hearing Dylan, perhaps the man most responsible for framing the critique against American materialism, salute American commerce.

from Unstructured Finance:

Cleveland Fed leads in measuring stress

By Matthew Goldstein

 When you think of Cleveland, finance isn't the first thing that comes to mind.

 If you're old enough or a rock-and-roll historian, you might say DJ Alan Freed (and i don't mean DJ as in electronic dance music).1 Or maybe, the old adage  "mistake by the Lake" comes to mind.

from India Insight:

‘Nobody can stop you if you engage in art with dignity’: Zila Khan on singing and Islam

The members of Praagaash, an all-girl band in Kashmir, split up this week after an influential cleric deemed their music un-Islamic. Zila Khan, one of India’s most popular sufi singers and daughter of sitar maestro Vilayat Khan, spoke to Reuters about how singing is closest to worship and meditation and how children should be allowed to sing.

Here are excerpts from the interview:

Questions about Grand Mufti of Kashmir and Islam are best answered by experts in the field of religion. I am an expert in music, it will be no use pondering on subjects that I am not an authority on. There will be more experts to say better things on this issue. I can, however, talk about music, on my journey as a singer and the issue of women’s rights.