Thursday, August 11, 2011

Experts Determine That Singer-Songwriter Bob Dylan is "Just Some Guy" - A DAILY FLYLEAF SPECIAL REPORT

Experts Determine That Singer-Songwriter Bob Dylan is "Just Some Guy"


by Jeremy Kellerman

Originally published in

"The Daily Flyleaf"

August 6th, 2011


            Today during a press conference, an international team of scholars, scientists, philosophers and music critics have announced that they have determined that "legendary" singer-songwriter Bob Dylan is, in fact, human, the result of a study that has taken over three decades to complete.

            "Few singers, songwriters and musicians, or in fact artists of any field or medium, have had the impact same impact as Bob Dylan." said lead geneticist and Harvard University professor Frank Edmonds. "Dylan's music captured the interest of the youth during the turbulent 1960s and has somehow remained relevant to nearly all subsequent generations and to people from nearly every walk of life. Though his career has experienced some downturns, the overall consistency of his success is remarkable, to say the least."

            Explaining the particular reason for the study, simply dubbed the "Dylan Human Question Project," Edmonds went on to say that "...unlike other, similar artists, Bob Dylan has acquired a mythical quality that from the earliest days of his career has caused his fans and followers to view him in an elevated, even supernatural light. Many have referred to him as a prophet, a mystic, and other such lofty titles. We felt, decades ago, that it was worthwhile to determine the truth of these claims and to discover just what value one might find in Bob Dylan's life and work."

            What these scholars found, said Edmonds, is surprisingly underwhelming.

            "From what we can tell, Bob Dylan is just some guy. Essentially, he is no different than you or me. Genetically speaking, Dylan is absolutely just a typical human with a basic genetic structure like that found in all people." Dr. Edmonds went on to explain that thanks to testing on multiple tissue, urine and stool samples collected over the years, the research team had concluded that in an overall biological sense, there is simply nothing different about Bob Dylan.

            However, a biological evaluation of Dylan isn't the only type of study the team has focused on. Brown University professor Martin Hilliard headed a special task force as part of the study to examine the neurological makeup of Bob Dylan, and Hilliard's group worked closely with those led by doctors Annie Dodson of Ohio University and Michael Thomas, who led teams formed to study the mystical/spiritual power of Dylan's lyrics and their literal meanings (as close to this as could be determined) respectively.

            "We studied Mr. Dylan's brain during several daily processes. Firstly, of course, we studied it during songwriting, and also while performing, and listening to music, and his neurological functions during these activities proved not at all dissimilar from those of other singers and songwriters, or even of any other type of artist at work. In an effort to be thorough we also tested it during other activities, such as during meals, talking on the telephone with friends and while sleeping, and absolutely none of these produced any results outside of those usually found in normal, human subjects. It was," Hilliard added, "kind of a letdown."

             Dr. Thomas, chair of the English Department at Royco University in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, has scrutinized Dylan's lyrical content since his career began in the early 1960s.

            "I began taking serious notice around the time that the album Bringing It All Back Home was released. At the time I saw the album's title as a clever metaphor about the Vietnam War, though in retrospect I saw nearly everything as a clever metaphor for the Vietnam War back then. In all fairness, nearly everything was. As the years passed I saw his lyrical focus shift a number of times, and I wrote a number of well-received essays and delivered a number of highly successful lectures on the various literary allusions and other such techniques employed in Dylan's creative process."

            However, Dr. Thomas's enthusiasm for Dylan's work suffered some strain over time.

            "Don't get me wrong, I still think his stuff sounds cool as all Hell. The thing is, though, after all the work I've done, figuring out the various ways he has borrowed from sources as varied as Confederate poets, obscure Japanese crime novels, and traditional American blues music, I can't honestly tell you with any sense of authority what the f--- any of this stuff actually means. I mean, really, what the f--- are you supposed to do with it?

            Take It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) for instance. The opening verse goes like this:

            "Darkness at the break of noon
            Shadows even the silver spoon
            The handmade blade, the child’s balloon
            Eclipses both the sun and moon
            To understand you know too soon
            There is no sense in trying"

            That sounds cool as F---. SERIOUSLY. But what the f--- does it f---ing mean?! Like, if I went home tonight, and found out my neighbor's house was burning down with the whole family inside but I only had time to save one of them, how the f--- is this song going to help me? Okay, so maybe it isn't a personal morals and ethics kind of song, maybe it's more political, sure. So say I'm the President of the United States and I'm on the brink of a third world war. What then?
            Gee whiz, better pop on the old It's Alright Ma, and that'll clear everything up, right? The only statement in that line that remotely resembles any kind of advice or prescriptive statement is "There is no sense in trying," and not only is that bleak as f--- but he doesn't even try and support it. All that's there is a bunch of bullsh-- imagery about darkness at noon and some kid's balloon. What the f---, seriously?!"

            A visibly exasperated Dr. Thomas went on:

            "And take Highwater (for Charley Patton) from Love and Theft in 2001. This one he wrote close to forty years after It's Alright, Ma but it's still the same thing: f---ing cool song but you can't make sense out of it for sh--. I'm no pig without a wig, I hope you treat me kind. Really? REALLY?! The only album of his that actually has any sort of definite, discernible meaning is Christmas In the Heart, and that's just a Christmas covers album without any original songs!"

            Catching his breath before excusing himself, Dr. Thomas concluded that:

            "It's just f---ing disappointing. You know, he's supposed to be a prophet, his music is supposed to bring about world peace, he's supposed to be this mystical, incredible force, but when you get right down to it, he's just some guy who writes really f---ing cool-sounding songs that don't mean anything in particular at all. They're great for when your girlfriend breaks up with you or you're mad at the government or your cat just died, but objectively, they just don't have any real significance whatsoever. 
            Just think about it. The answer is blowing in the wind. What the f--- is that supposed to mean?! I could write something as profound as that. Why not The meaning is resting on the clouds or The truth is sailing down the stream? Sorry, but f--- this. I love his music but f---, trying to figure it out is just a big f---ing waste of f---ing time!"

            Dr. Thomas's colleague, Dr. Dodson, has attempted to search for potential meanings in Dylan's lyrics relating to various kind of spiritual truths.
            "Certainly just as much has been said by various scholars over the years in regards to the spiritual, religious and philosophical content of Dylan's work as has been said about any other possible connection. My team attempted to cross-reference and evaluate each song, working with Dr. Thomas's  group, to see if any pattern presented itself. Nothing has. We've even taken his biographical details into account to see if his attributes align with any type of known gods or similar deities.

            Strangely, the only valid argument for Dylan's identification with a known spiritual entity is the Anti-Christ. Look on the back of his CDs. The address listed in the fine print is 666 Fifth Avenue. No, seriously, look at the back of this one." Dr. Dodson then produced a copy of Dylan's 1981 album Shot of Love and indicated the address. "It's not only that, but Dylan is friends with the Grateful Dead, and they sing Friend of the Devil. That's pretty hard evidence. Still, there are too many discrepancies and not enough indicators aside from these things to prove that he is anything other than a man with a real flair for songwriting.  That 666 Fifth Avenue thing is pretty weird, though."

            The news of Dylan's official status as a human being and not any sort of official spokesperson for a generation, spiritual or political leader or prophet was released just after his August 5th, 2011 concert here in Kettering, OH. Fans have only just begun to issue reactions. From the infamous Dylan "Red" boards, run by a Texas pastor who claims himself a fan of Dylan's Christian albums, fans had the following comments:

            "typiccal" : Bob Dylan is definitely God, but so is everybody else. The spirit of a thousand-year old Atlantian warrior, channeled through a middle-aged housewife, told me this.

            "Mr. Stinx" : Bob Dylan is not God, but he's definitely Protestant. I must go jump in a lake now.

            "bloomin' insane" : Bob Dylan is definitely a hippie.

            "Spartacus" : Bob Dylan is definitely gay.

            "Eggbert" : "Under the Red Sky" is definitely a WAY better album than "Highway 61 Revisited."

            "DefinitelyThatGuy" : This is all definitely ridiculous.

            At the Kettering, Ohio, concert, fan reaction was mixed. A Daily Flyleaf correspondent in attendance, Leo K., had this to say:

            "Leopard Skin Pill-Box Hat and Girl of the North Country were amazing. Things Have Changed was absolutely top-notch as well, but after that I couldn't focus because the guys in front of me decided that they would be THE ONLY ONES in our entire section to STAND UP. I'm sick of concerts. 60 bucks to see some idiot's back. I hope that guy is reading this and feeling ashamed of himself. Oh, also, The Carolina Chocolate Drops were AWESOME."

            This mix of fan reactions is nothing new to Dylan. During his 1966 European tour, when he "went electric," a fan infamously called out "Judas!" The man later revealed in a televised interview that he actually mistook Dylan for the current persona of the Biblical Judas Iscariot, who he presumed to have become immortal. It was assumed during that time that folk music was imbued with the Power of Christ. Later, fans thought they saw heavenly visions of Dylan during the airing of a Victoria's Secret ad. It was later explained that the "angels" that surrounded him were simply models wearing fake wings.

            Noted Dylan trash collector A. W. Jeberman and obsessed Dylan scholar Rhistopher Cricks, upon hearing the news of Dylan's humanity, have since locked themselves in Cricks's office at Cambridge University and are refusing to leave. Sounds from inside, plus the large amount of ponchos and umbrellas they were seen hauling with them, indicate to authorities that they are either engaging in sexual activity and/or preparing for very rainy weather.

            Despite Bob Dylan's lack of godhood, the research team did manage to determine that Dylan's son, former Wallflowers front man Jakob Dylan, is in fact the Babylonian god Marduk, Lord of Cities. So far, neither the public nor the media has taken much of an interest in this.



    This is hilarious. My cat is staring at me with disdain as I laugh myself silly. Thanks!!!

  2. Brilliant! Maybe Dylan would enjoy this, too.

  3. Finally, the truth about the infamous Mr. Bob Dylan!!

  4. Thanks for the comments, folks!

    Think Well, Live Well and Be Well,

    Jeremy Kellerman

  5. just wondering, with all the charges of plagiarism,has anyone ever figured out who really wrote Idiot Wind?
    My guess is Joni Mitchell

  6. Betty Ann,

    I've never heard charges that "Idiot Wind" was plagiarized. I only ever heard of Hootie and the Blowfish getting in some trouble for borrowing lyrics from it for their song "Only Wanna Be With You" in the 1990s.

    My pal David Munson's grandfather wrote a song with the same title during the 1950s, which he later sold to a man named Cyrus Oates who later claimed to be Bob Dylan's taxidermist, but that was a children's song so it was probably just a coincidence.

    Gotta love me some "Blood On the Tracks!"

    Thanks once again for the comments and interest, everyBobby!

    Think Well, Live Well, and Be Well!

    Jeremy Kellerman

  7. I was joking of course.
    Love Idiot Wind. No one else could have written it.

    So Joni Mitchell must be jealous of this taxidermist. saying mean things about Dylan every time she moves her teeth.

  8. Oh, ha ha ha! I get the pictur! It seems as if you have "joke pwned" me, Betty Ann!

    I still imagine that someone else COULD have written it, in an inter-dimensional sense. There is probably countless alternate dimensions in which everyone in the world wrote that song, probably with slightly different lyrics.

    Joni Mitchell should do a cover of the Munson "Idiot Wind" song. That one, as I said, is more for kids, about a gust of wind that keeps blowing in the wrong places because it is an idiot. Actually, she should talk to that taxidermist and write a new song called "Big Yellow Taxidermist," about an overweight, cowardly taxidermist. There's POTENTIAL!