The Operation Called Verstehen

So Robin "Hurricane" Carter died. While he was an accomplished boxer, he is best known for Bob Dylan writing a song about him. When I read the news, I immediately reacted by listening to the song.*

It is a well-known phenomenon that, when musicians die, people start listening to their stuff, sometimes putting old records on top of the charts. This is usually interpreted as people sort of paying homage to the artists. But I wonder how much is simply a reminder effect: "Oh, yeah, back in school, my best friend Michael had the Thriller album, and I really liked it. But I lost the tape he made for me. I should go to Amazon and order the CD."

*I found that Spotify also has two versions by an artist who calls himself "Dylan", but is not Bob - a "Dance Mix" and a "House Mix". Whether you ought to listen to them depends on how much of a taste for trash you got.

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