Seems to me the media accounts of this story are missing the point. Yes, it’s amusing and a bit surreal to picture Bob Dylan wandering around a local neighborhood near where he’s giving a concert. But now everyone’s having a good laugh about how two local police officers had no idea who Dylan was when they stopped and detained him after some residents reported an elderly man acting “suspiciously.”
I don’t know. I find it pretty depressing. There was a time when we condescendingly used the term “your papers, please” to distinguish ourselves from Eastern Block countries and other authoritarian states. Post-Hiibel, America has become a place where a harmless, 68-year-old man out on a stroll can be stopped, interrogated, detained, and forced to produce proof of identification to state authorities, despite having committed no crime.
I guess I just don’t see the punchline.