Bobby sings Hard Rain real good, but no one did it as well as Leon.
Bobby sings Hard Rain real good, but no one did it as well as Leon.
In the course of human events, taking the capital has always been an option
“Wow, I didn’t even know that Nigeria had a royal family.”
INCOMING FACETIME REQUEST
“Oh, can’t I just play Candy Crush in peace like all the other ladies my age?”
“Please hold for the President.”
“It’s FaceTime. There’s no holding.”
“Hillary, look at me.”
“Look at me, Hillary. Look at this face, damn you. If you were able to pick up on human social cues and facial expressions, you would recognize this face.”
“Why are you like this?”
“If I had received a memo on your facial expression, then I would have had time to digest it and test out a number of reactions.”
“Why would I send you a memo? I’ll just send it straight to Putin and cut out the middleman.”
“I’m doing much better with the computer.”
“The fact that you call it ‘the computer’ detracts from your assertion.”
YOU’VE GOT MAIL!
“Is that AOL? MotherFUCKER!”
“That’s where my e-mails are!”
“Your e-mails are in the Kremlin, woman. Stick to pad and paper. Oh: what the hell did you to Bon Jovi? He called me crying.”
“Jesus. Try to keep your hands off Bruce.”
“No promises. We got anyone else in the tank? Gotta keep the momentum going.”
“Maybe. I’ll call you back.”
YOU’VE GOT MAIL!
“Oh, the IRS sent me something.”
“No, they didn’t! Don’t open that!”
“Mr. President, let me call you back.”
“Computer being held hostage again?”
“This keeps happening!”
“You got somebody?”
“Maybe. I’ll call you back. Try not to set anything on fire.”
“Couple songs, c’mon.”
“You’re doing what?”
“Not returning their calls.”
“Yeah, right? Garcia, what the fuck are you guys wearing?”
“Repeat the question. I couldn’t hear you over your fingerless gloves.”
Hey, Bill Graham. Whatcha doing?
“What am I doing? Working! What, does this look fun to you? Sitting here, arguing with gonifs all day long? Phone keeps ringing, one putz after another trying to steal from me. Every call is like a robbery and you wanna know what I’m doing. Unbelievable.”
Today’s an anniversary for you.
“Eh. Not as bad as Dylan died when he did his Christian bullshit.”
No, Bill. You actually died.
“And I’m telling you: still not as bad. When I booked him, he was a Jew! Shows up with a cross around his neck like a preacher, singing this dreck about Jesus. You ever some have asshole waste your time? Some jackoff thinks he’s funny, he tells you one of those stories sounds like a joke, but it just goes on and on? Like that, except with a crowd. Around an hour in, the kids realized they weren’t getting any of the hits. Got ugly. Had it not been for the strict ‘No Refunds’ policy I adopted a half-hour in, I would have been ruined.
“I go backstage after the first show. ‘Bob! You’ve blessed us,’ I tell him. Dylan’s skittish, so I’m kissing his ass. Can I get, can I do, the whole song-and-dance. He wants Jujyfruits, so I get him Jujyfruits. Gotta admit: that’s a solid candy choice. Man’s a pain-in-the-ass, but he’s got taste in candy. Bob Dylan has his candy, his bible, he’s thrilled with life.
“Meanwhile, I got a house full of miserable customers. I mean: in between the songs, which are caca, he’s haranguing people. ‘We’re all gonna burn in Hell, and this and that.’ You can’t even imagine the effect this was having on t-shirt sales. Shit night for ancillaries from the beginning: when he walked in, Bob overturned the merch table. Screaming about money changers in the temple. Still: it’s Bob Dyan. You make allowances for genius. If Stephen Stills had pulled this shit, I would have thrown him out the window.
“So I’ve made nice with Bob, he’s got his candy, he’s happy. And we’re schmoozing about this guy, that guy, and I get into what I came in there for.
“‘Bob,’ I say. ‘What about the dessert? The kids are here to hear your message. They love you, Bob. Great show. And you give them a meal, Bob. Your message is a meal. After a meal, though? A treat, a reward. You give ’em an old number. Anything you choose, a short one.’
“And then it’s quiet in the room for a good long while. I just sit there. Who knows with Dylan?
“Finally, he says something.
“‘RRmnbwaugh fmum bismny mmmm.’
“It’s Bob Dylan with a mouth full of Jujyfruit. I got no fucking idea what he’s saying. I just keep nodding. ‘Yes, Bob. Yes, Bob.’ What the hell am I agreeing to? Not a clue.
“All of a sudden, this huge grin comes across his face, and he leaps out of his chair and grabs my head! He drags me over to the shower, and would you believe that crazy motherfucker baptized me? That’s what he was saying! I figure at least we made a deal, a baptism for a a Mister Tambourine Man, something. I’ll take a baptizing for show biz. I’ve taken worse.
“Nope, bupkes. Fourteen shows, fourteen sermons. Roughest two weeks of my life, except for the part with the Nazis.”
You have the best stories, Bill Graham.
It’s astounding to me that we’re on this for a second day when the republic is collapsing around us, live on Twitter, but we still don’t know whether or not Bob Dylan deserves the Nobel Prize for Literature. I will answer this with finality here, and then we will move on to our bright new futures under Allfather Trump: yes, no, it depends, and (this last one is the important one) who gives eight shits?
Yes, Bob Dylan deserves the Nobel Prize for Literature because Bob Dylan deserves. I’m aware that deserve is a transitive verb that requires an object, but I stand by my statement: Bob Dylan deserves. A Nobel, a Grammy, a swift kick in the ass, the Stanley Cup: Bob Dylan deserves all of these things. “What about an Olympic medal?” you might say, and I would tell you to shut the fuck up and listen to Blood on the Tracks again. Bob Dylan deserves.
No, Bob Dylan does not deserve the Nobel Prize for Literature because he doesn’t produce literature. Literature is books, or at least book-shaped objects. Poetry gets in there, and so do short stories, but the connecting thread is that it’s written down; furthermore, that the intended medium was the written word. Dylan’s lyrics have been published (and re-published and re-published), and of course they originated as words on a page, but their intended medium was an oral one.
It depends: this argument comes down to definitions, and may be seen as picayune, but it also may be a fatal one: words should mean things, especially to people giving out writing awards. Literature means the written word, delivered typographically. Are Martin Luther King’s speeches eligible for the Nobel in Literature? How about George Carlin’s stand-up routines? Bob Dylan’s lyrics (and he is being given the Prize for his lyrics, not his novels, which border on readable) were meant to be listened to, and not read. If you think literature means whatever the hell you want it to mean, then he deserves it; if you don’t, then he doesn’t.
And finally: who gives eight shits? If an organization wants to give Bob something, then I’m fine with it. The Hyde Amendment ended taxpayer support of the Nobel Prize, so I have no skin in the game. Been fun watching all the serious authors fuss, though: they all worked so hard on the perfectly vicious tweet. Maybe one day there will be a Nobel Prize for Twitter, and one of those serious authors will win that.
This year’s James Beard Award has been awarded to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards for their contributions to the culinary world.
Also: I know where Bob got his shirt: a store. Where Mick and Keith found whatever you would call their garments is beyond me.
“Seriously, Jer! The Nobel fuckin’ Prize!”
“No accounting for the taste of a Swede.”
“Jer, what the fuck’s your bass player wearing?”
“I don’t wanna talk it, man.”
“I wouldn’t, either.”
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: