youtube.com is my new favorite way to waste time on the Internet. It's mostly full of young people's stuff but there is plenty for oldsters like me to view and reflect on.
Here is Joan Baez singing "Diamonds and Rust" in what is obviously a fairly recent performance. As I watch her sing, with her 60-something face and 60-something voice, I can hear all of the heartache and promise of my own youth, and that strange time of coming-of-age during the Vietnam War, when my bratty, idealistic generation tuned in, turned on and dropped out. It's a wonder my mother could stand to be in the same room with us, so full of self-rightousness were we. I remember explaining to my mom, after a freshman course in American history, how the US dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki because we didn't want Russia or China to have a chance to invade Japan and win a victory, because then we would be forced to let them have more power in post-WWII reconstruction.
Joan Baez was never a phony. She admitted her own pecadillos instead of just ranting against those of others, like some of the peace crowd who were really just dilettantes. My respect for her remains solid, even though I no longer share her political point of view.
Hearing old, wise Joan sing about young, madonna Joan & her love affair with Bob Dylan almost made me cry. "Diamonds and Rust" is as good a love song as any, honest and vulnerable, wise and wry.