Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

“Bob Dylan Does Not Deserve The Nobel Prize,” Said The Blog Post

Today, Bob Dylan joined the illustrious ranks of Yassar Arafat, Henry Kissinger, and the guy who invented the lobotomy as a Nobel Laureate; all of Hibbing should be proud. Dylan has received the Prize for his work in the field of Literature, which makes more sense than if he had won it for Physics.

Dylan, a short history:

Bob Dylan was born at a IWW rally on the Lower East Side; he emerged from his mother with a full afro and already wearing a vest. Women were alternately kind to him, which he wrote songs about, or cruel to him, which he wrote better songs about. In 1965, his transition from folk music to electric rock incensed the crowd so much that it burned down the Royal Albert Hall, even though the show was taking place in Manchester. Joan Baez becomes involved at some point.

Should Jews ride motorcycles? No, of course they shouldn’t, but Bob did. He recovered from his broken neck in a house called Big Pink in Woodstock, NY, and we’ve been tolerating Robbie Robertson ever since. The Seventies saw Dylan release any number of classic songs that I can’t be bothered to look up right now, and in the Eighties, Bob met Jesus. Their relationship was not a productive one.

In the summer of ’87, Deadheads greeted the Dylan & the Dead tour with a resounding, “Well, that occurred.” Since then, Dylan has been on the road, playing up to 1,800 shows a year. Recently, he has begun playing piano onstage exclusively while cultivating the look of a saloon dandy.

Unlike some rock stars, Dylan is currently alive.

And that was the story of the Bobbicane: simple, really.

Now he’s getting the Nobel Prize for Literature, which is a bit odd, honestly, but fuck it: it’s Dylan. (They could make him a Supreme Court Justice as far as I’m concerned, if just for the opportunity to read his opinions.) Have the Professional Rock Nerds issued their takes? By the dozens, Enthusiasts, and most were approving, if mildly amused. Some disagreed: Anna North from the New York Times says nay, but it’s an argument based around the very reasonable idea that the Nobel in Literature shouldn’t go to a songwriter, just as induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame shouldn’t go to an author. Tough to disagree with that: no matter how good a quarterback you are, the Cy Young is out of reach.

After a recent streak of coherence, Pitchfork is back to engaging in its usual dipshittery. There’s the aforementioned category-error argument, but there’s also this graf, which I reproduce in full:

Along with all the holy prestige, recipients of the Nobel Prize in Literature are granted a near-million-dollar windfall. Not having an intimate understanding of Dylan’s finances—though knowing he performed at a concert with a talent budget reportedly in the tens of millions last weekend—it seems like a safe bet to say he doesn’t need the money.

Fuck you, Commie. Worry about your own wallet.

As usual, Enthusiasts, the innertubes and the opinion-spouts have it all wrong, and only I can save the country, believe me. There are good reasons why Bob Dylan doesn’t deserve the Nobel Prize for Literature, but no one’s hit upon them yet, and I don’t know if anyone ever would were it not for my help. You’re lucky to have me.

TotD presents Reasons Why Bob Dylan Doesn’t Deserve The Nobel Prize For Literature:

  • Self-Portrait.
  • It overlooks the important work he’s done in chemistry, specifically his discovery of palladium-catalyzed cross couplings in organic synthesis.
  • The six years in the 90’s that he was secretly in KISS.
  • I am too dumb to understand most literature, but I can pick up what Bob’s laying down. (Sometimes.)
  • That little creeper mustache he has now.
  • Not his fault, per se, but his fans–the real ones–are utter loony birds.
  • In 2016, it just seems off to be so nice to a legend while they’re alive.


  1. I don’t think Self Portrait is a valid argument. It was the first Dylan album I listened to intensively, and I found it very engaging, with the heft and precision of great literature. And even if you don’t like Self Portrait, it does have the undeniable virtue of offending Greil Marcus. Further, it gave birth to the wonderful Another Self Portrait. In fact, I think Dylan should have won the Nobel Prize in 1970, just for Self Portrait.

    However, the way the Committee has timed it, even though Dylan is still above ground according to reliable authorities, it feels a lot like one of those Lifetime Achievement Awards that are handed out when everyone feels guilty about ignoring somebody’s work the whole time they were alive. And that is a pretty good argument against the award.

  2. Perhaps it should have gone to Charlie Pride, or maybe Junk Yard Dog (who also did a brave and hella job for race relations in the south).

  3. Luther Von Baconson

    October 14, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Elke should’ve gotten it

  4. Surely this is the end,

    the end of literature…

    No ?

    besides that.. whatevs..

  5. Count me in as a fan of Self Portrait.

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