From Party Time? Leonard Cohen Gets Caught with a Cockeyed Grin by Charles Taylor (Boston Phoenix: November 27, 1992), Originally posted November 4, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
As I wrote in 1975 or 1976, ‘These are the final days, this is the darkness, this is the flood.’ I had this sense that some thing had happened, and that people were kind of hanging on to their little bits of furniture and bobbing about in the torrent. Therefore, descriptions like ‘conservative,’ ‘liberal,’ ‘pro-abortion’ or ‘anti-abortion,’ these definitions that were current and still define the political life, were entirely irrelevant, considering the catastrophe and the predicament people found themselves in.
Note: “These are the final days, this is the darkness, this is the flood” is a line from the lyrics of The Gypsy’s Wife, released on Leonard’s 1979 album Recent Songs.
What are your feelings now about the French Canadian separatist movement?
There has clearly been a victory for the French Canadian spirit. Whether it manifests itself exactly in a separate state or in an associate state, or just in a psychic differentiation is quite irrelevant. The fact is that the French Canadian spirit has triumphed in Québec. There’s nobody that seriously contests the idea that this is a French state of some kind. But also, certain of my political opinions in the past have been anti-leftist, anti-communist, which stopped me from really throwing myself in against the Vietnamese war. Because I thought that the communists were using this battle to weaken America and to destroy American youth and to destroy the American army. I still do feel that way. I feel that America suffered a terrible defeat. I do feel the youth has been brainwashed by the communists, and poisoned both spiritually and physically as part of the communist conspiracy. I think we have been defeated in a war, and I think America’s been disarmed. I think it’s very weak, and I think a country without an army is in a very dangerous position. I think there are lots of people waiting to carve America up, psychically or actually.
From Leonard Cohen Looks at Himself by Danny Fields. Soho Weekly News, Vol. 1, #9. Dec 5, 1974.
Credit Due Department: This outstanding interview was discovered and contributed by Jugurtha Harchaoui.
As I said, ‘I have seen the future baby, it is murder.’ I would say one of the consequences is going to be tremendous disorder and the reanimation of the blood-lust which human beings seem to fall back on whenever they get mildly bewildered about their predicament. When the Berlin Wall came down, I wrote, ‘Give me back the Berlin Wall, give me Stalin and Saint Paul’ — there weren’t many people saying that at the time.
Except for one or two great poets like Dylan, I saw a lot that was extremely fuzzy. Then when I found out how bad the acid had been, what a bummer it really was. I started to suspect that all was not as it had been advertised. Then when I got ripped off by some people who wore boots and had long hair, I knew for certain that nothing had changed.
Quotation from Melancholy Baby by John Walsh. The Independent Magazine: May 8, 1993. Photo by Paul Townsend. Originally posted Jan 8, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric