Dylan and Dogs Of War

Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan, born May 24, 1941, is an American singer-songwriter, artist, and writer. He has been influential in popular music and culture for more than five decades. | Photo: Archives | Link | Bob Dylan, Singer, Songwriter, Icon, Legend,

How many times must the cannon balls fly?

"For a man who would establish prizes that celebrate the best in human accomplishment, at times Alfred Nobel had very little enthusiasm for people. Nobel, who suffered from chronic bad health, lived a lonely life; he preferred not to entertain and once wrote that "numerous friends are to be found only among dogs." In addition, the people he met in his career often frustrated him, as competitors tried to appropriate his work on multiple occasions."

As this scribbler who, like Nobel and, of course Dylan, has penned a poem or two that somehow (as to those two who aren't named Robert) have been published, ('Nobel had a lifelong appreciation for literature. He often wrote poetry, and also drafted a few novels.') a double-take was experienced as the above quote was read from Alfred Nobel's biography page.

Reading further, the suspicion this writer's held since the Prize in Literature was awarded (on condition of delivering the requisite lecture, at least in writing, ahem)--i.e., the very seminal lyrics of a signature poem delivered a la troubador method, singing, reveal the core objection now given for his non-attendance, encoded as 'other commitments'.

Commitments, indeed, to wit:
'Yes, and how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned?'

('Blowin in the Wind' lyric, Bob Dylan, poet/troubador)

The coup de gras:

'Throughout his life, Nobel didn't see his work with explosives as something he had to atone for... Of course there were military applications for all his explosives, but Nobel felt that "there is nothing in our world that cannot be misused."' (same source as initially linked)

So, then, let us issue a challenge of sorts--a call, if you will, into that same 'blowin wind' of the worldwide web: Raise your hand if you agree that one Robert Zimmerman, a.k.a. Bob Dylan's 'commitments' to the same peace that Nobel nobly hoped for--and Dylan sung for with majestic poetic power--now, as then, prevent him from physically attending the ceremony, preferring, as ever, to use language in its stead, thereby honoring via apparent dishonor their shared misanthropy?

And while those answers are blowing in said wind, permit but one further observation on this whole (hole?) matter of cannon balls and their explosive impetus, complement, sans compliment, to destruction and the allegedly destructive (in)action of Mr. Dylan.

In a 'Playboy' interview in 1978 this unfolded from that to-be poetic mouth:

“He was a great fan of Matt Dillon, the sheriff of the television series Gunsmoke. In 1958, he confided to his high school sweetheart [Echo Helstrom] that he planned to devote his life to music, adding that 'I know what I'm going to call myself. I've got this great name—Bob Dillon.' That was how he told new friends to spell his (assumed) last name. He also told them that Dillon was his mother's maiden name (it wasn't), and that Dillon was a town in Oklahoma (it isn't).”

And, ahem, what did ole Sheriff Dillon do, and with what? It is offered that Dr. Freud may have seen Zimmerman's angst at both bad guys and the means of subduing them--old Mr. Nobel's seemingly igNoble chemistry.

But, then again, old Dr. Freud did observe that 'sometimes a cigar is just a cigar'. Hmm, 'GunSmoke'.

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Updated Aug 12, 2017 12:01 PM EDT | More details


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