In these and other songs of the period, Dylan recoils with horror (and wit) from a public world poisoned by militarist patriotism and commercial hucksterism. Far from having jettisoned politics, Dylan was redefining its scope. In compositions like 'Visions of Johanna' or 'Desolation Row,' great social themes jostle with intimate grievances. When a disappointed punter at the Albert Hall called out for "protest songs," a frustrated Dylan replied: "Oh come on, these are all protest songs."
Another politician pumping out the piss
Another angry beggar blowing you a kiss ...
Man can't live by bread alone
I pay in blood, but not my own.
- Bob Dylan: Pay In Blood (Tempest)
If Dylan doesn't let those politicians off the hook, we shouldn't, either!