Fuck Bob Dylan

Yesterday, prolific folk singer Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. This is a crock of shit.

I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I care about the Nobel Prize, nor will I pretend that I can even name more than a handful of winners over the 115-year history of the prize. We’re all familiar with groundbreaking work that netted Nobel victories for Albert Einstein, Madame Curie, and Martin Luther King Jr. Similarly, we’re familiar with the bitter irony of a criminal warmonger like Henry Kissinger being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In the grand scheme of things, some folk singer getting a prestigious prize in literature is a fairly innocuous event. But this is the Internet, and if you’re on the Internet, you either take a hard stance or log the fuck off. Fuck Bob Dylan.

Bob Dylan’s piercingly nasal timbre had been shitting up the planet for almost 30 years before I was even born. The Earth has not once let me forget it. Starting in roughly 1960, a young Bob Zimmerman embarked on a half century of unprecedented posing. Here in 2016, it looks like he may never stop. Over the years he’s self-mythologized through so many personas that Bob Dylan might as well not exist as a real person. Which version of Bob Dylan do you want? The young man desperate to be a beat poet/Woody Guthrie amalgamation? The politically conscious freedom fighter stealing melodies from slave songs? The coked-out rockstar Bob Dylan? (Note: this era persisted for a good while) Country music Bob Dylan? Born-Again Christian Bob Dylan? Hip hop Bob Dylan? Creepy motherfucker in a Victoria’s Secret commercial Bob Dylan? No matter which you choose, your end result is a mediocre talent with an insatiable thirst for celebrity.

As a man in his late 20s, I do not respect the legacy of Bob Dylan. Nor should you, if you’ve not not been touched by his music personally. “Bob Dylan” is a product of 50 years of media saturation, starved of artistic inspiration from anything that happened beyond the 60s and 70s. It’s not Bob Dylan’s fault that he’s maintained legendary status for so long. No man, no matter how much of an egomaniacal monster he may be, can stay on top for half a century on his own. To his benefit, the massive wave of human spawn known as Baby Boomers have damned us to a world in which Bob Dylan is an uncontested genius.

Baby Boomers are desperate to impart the glory of their youth upon younger generations. Woodstock, The Beatles, Elvis. These are all touchstones in American culture that they demand must be treated with the gravitas of world-changing elemental forces that they surely were – to teenagers in the 1960s. Rolling Stone, the paper of record for Baby Boomers, has to date featured Bob Dylan on its cover TWENTY SEVEN TIMES (first appearance issue 12, latest appearance issue 1222). Lazy biographies and Time Life compilations don’t sell themselves. As a commodity, Bob Dylan is an easy sell to the legions of nostalgia-hungry Boomers of the world. The rest of us are collateral damage. I was a teenager in the early 2000s. Can you imagine me trying to convince my grandchildren to respect the counter-cultural institution of Limp Bizkit starting a riot at Woodstock ’99? Of course not. If nothing else, we’ve learned to avoid being self-important fools, lest we emulate Baby Boomers.

Though he’s been the subject of countless documentaries, biographies, anthologies, and lyrical dissertations, Bob Dylan has written a single book by himself (allegedly). It was one part of a planned three-part autobiography. It was released in 2004. If the Nobel committee wasn’t thirsty for PR, Bob would never have a Nobel Prize in Literature. But sometimes, just sometimes, Bob Dylan penned timeless poetry.


Written by:

Published on: October 14, 2016

Filled Under: Opinion

Views: 1359

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  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    He sucks. Moving on….

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  • 365ChaosRiddenDays

    Fuck no, forget about it and listen to some old rad stuff:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHmzFVDjVnM

  • Señor Jefe El Rosa

    Well alright then

  • Kevin Nash’s Jackknife

    I refuse. I fucking refuse. He deserves this more than any artist posted here. You haven’t seen me angry before but I’m pissed now. This article is so wrong on so many levels. Blood On The Tracks levels any and all black metal artists posted here. Blonde On Blonde makes technical death metal look like my diarrhea. Highway 61 Revisited is so good that music still hasn’t caught up to how good it is. Bob Dylan for life.

    • nbm02ss
      • Kevin Nash’s Jackknife

        You better believe my Jimmies are rustled! They’re so rustled that it’s beyond that.

    • Maik Beninton™

      No black metal is ever mentioned in this article, it’s just that there are other artists that deserve it more than this guy who has been shoved into people’s throat for so many years.

    • Abradolf Lincler

      ill take Noktu’s writing over Dylan’s any day

    • Spear

      Bob Dylan wrote one halfway-decent song that Hendrix made a thousand times better. The rest is entirely forgettable tripe by any era’s standards, not just today’s.

    • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

      It’s really hard to decide if anyone’s ever deserved this award less or not. I’m going with nobody’s ever deserved this less. Fucking hippies.

    • Stanley

      I’m pretty sure that you only got into Bob Dylan on October 3rd, 2016.

    • Bob Dylan is the definition of dad rock, which automatically disqualifies anything he ever wrote or recorded being better than literally any metal band or genre. It’s just science.Objective science.

  • Freedom Jew

    *Obligatory Neil Peart deserves it more post*

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      I do not know of dust to dust
      I live from breath to breath
      I live to climb that mountain
      To the Fountain of Lamneth

      • Freedom Jew

        That’s what I’m talking about right there.

        • Señor Jefe El Rosa

          Neil Peart is the man

    • It obviously should have gone to Chris Hardwick.

      • Damage_Inc89

        Lol I’d actually be perfectly fine with that.

      • mother☆shabubu

        Who dat?

  • Señor Jefe El Rosa

    This will cause many a rustled jimmies

    • Kevin Nash’s Jackknife

      This is beyond rustling Boss.

      • Señor Jefe El Rosa

        Sounds like the perfect time for a Mr. In Your House 4 reunion

        • Kevin Nash’s Jackknife

          You’d better believe it is!

  • Joaquin Stick

    I’m trying so hard to not be mad about this decision. I totally get that he made a huge “impact” to the culture at the time with his lyrics, and that’s more than we can say about the last few winners. So few people even know who they are. But at the same time, IF WE (the world) DECIDED TO PICK UP A BOOK THAT DOESN’T HAVE VAMPIRES IN IT EVERY ONCE IN AWHILE, maybe good writers would have a better shot at winning.

    • It is this the first time in which they gave the prize to a non-conventional writer? Or there’s another weird pick like this?

      I don’t follow these Nobel thingies, to be honest.

      • Joaquin Stick

        As far as I can tell, it’s all play-writes, essayists, novelists, and poets (I guess he falls in this one?). So yeah, kinda. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nobel_laureates_in_Literature

        • There are philosophers and historians too! Thanks for sharing.

          This is a very bad anomaly with the Dylan work. I read a little about last prize, Svetlana Alexievich, who is a journalist, but Dylan is mostly a pop figure, to my perception.

      • Megapsychoticone

        Gotta read Gunter Grass’ The Tin Drum It is extremely disturbing

        • Joaquin Stick

          I’ve always wanted to start reading through all the winners of the national book award, or Pulitzer prize novels, or some other distinguished list like this. I’m sure there are so many that I haven’t heard of, like the one you mentioned, that are excellent.

        • Thanks for the rec. It’s difficult to me with books recs, since English is not my main language, so I just check if I can find a Spanish version of the title 😀

          • Megapsychoticone

            I think the original is actually in German. I did read the English translation. It was also made into a film that was banned in some areas as it was deemed child porn…the book is much more socially aware than the film.

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain
      • Joaquin Stick

        He’s not sparkling. Not a real vampire. /s

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          Damn it.

      • Grim as fuck.

  • Jack Rabbit

    Remember that time Rolling Stone ranked Bob Dylan the seventh greatest singer of all time?

    • Remember that time Rolling Stone listed the last Revenge album as one of the best metal albums of 2015? I’m still baffled by that.

      • Jack Rabbit

        Omg, did they really put Manson as the best metal album last year?

        • Probably. LOL

        • Maik Beninton™

          They did.

        • GoatForest

          Woof. Rolling Stone has about as much relevance to the music world as an actual rock careening down a hill at this point.

      • Joaquin Stick

        These ‘member berries are rotten as fuck.

      • more beer

        I am seeing them on Sunday.


          • more beer

            Yea one of the sets I am looking forward to this weekend.

          • Is this California Deathfest?

          • more beer

            Yes it is. Should be a good weekend of beer and metal.

    • Maik Beninton™

      Remember that time Rolling Stone wrote about Nirvana?

  • Jack Rabbit

    Also, Bob Dylan was the worst part of the Traveling Wilburys

    • Kevin Nash’s Jackknife

      I can’t believe I’m saying this but I agree. There’s so much talent in that group and Bob doesn’t fit in.

  • Backed in a totally unironic and non-satirical way.

  • I mean I agree with you, but do you even remember the last book you read?

    • Joaquin Stick

      Does a menu a Buffalo Wild Wings count?

    • Suttree by Cormac McCarthy. Do you remember the last book you read that wasn’t about elves or required for high school?

      • Joaquin Stick

        How is that one? I basically found a copy of Child of God recently and that kinda turned me off of McCarthy for awhile. Love The Road and No Country though.

        • It’s a strange one. Doesn’t have near the impact of the others. Fun though

      • Dune has zero elves and I just finished the 6 frank herbert novels this summer!

      • Edward/Breegrodamus™

        The Road and Blood Meridian are both the illest books.

    • I started reading Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

      • Elizabeth Short

        Exceptionally fun and hilarious read. I love most all of Gaiman’s stuff, but Pratchett is one of the few authors that consistently manages to make me laugh out loud while reading. Very smart collab.

        • I can’t say I’ve gotten very far into it as of now but the sheer wit of it makes this a joy to read in addition to the quite interesting set up. I’m probably going to end reading more Prachett before the end of my life because of this.

  • Also, cool fact that the Colombian president that won the peace prize this year went to the same college as I did.

  • Abradolf Lincler

    dont you have to like . . . write books to get a nobel prize for literature?

  • Megan Alexandra

    Irvine Welsh ✔ @IrvineWelsh
    I’m a Dylan fan, but this is an ill conceived nostalgia award wrenched from the rancid prostates of senile, gibbering hippies.
    5:11 AM – 13 Oct 2016

  • 365ChaosRiddenDays

    Iron Bonehead declares war eternal with some filthy and savage combination of heavy, black, speed metal to crush our skulls, seems fucking rad to me:https://soundcloud.com/iron-bonehead-productions/sacrificio-guerra-eterna

  • RustyShackleford

    I’m just gonna say that I THINK the last American to win the Nobel Prize for literature was Toni Morrison and, regardless of how good you think Bob Dylan is, believing that he’s as good as Toni Morrison is almost as stupid as believing that Donald Trump is qualified to be President. Just sayin. Yep.

    • Taylor

      I read a couple of her books for one of my literature classes. Leading up to the actual reading, my professor constantly gushed about her work, and rightly so. I gotta say, it’s an insult to writers of such caliber to give him this award.

  • I have no opinion on this thing. I’m going to keep listening to this new A7X song like a gigantic poser, because I am a gigantic poser, posing gigantically.

    • Maik Beninton™

      I liked that too, jajajaja.

    • Spear

      M. Shadows >>> Bob Dylan

      • M Shadows!


        • Joaquin Stick


          • M Shadows!


      • mother☆shabubu

        Stubbing my big toe >>>> both.

  • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

    No opinion on Dylan as I’ve hardly listened to him at all, but I think literary awards in general are a lame idea. Literature shouldn’t be quantified.

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    Awards are fucking dumb; fuck validation. We all die.

  • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

    Right on Joe. Fuck hippies too, the whole “movement” was a sham, accomplished nothing and created one metric fuckton of entitled yuppie mofos in the 80’s and 90’s.O and Bob stole Woody Guthrie’s entire schtick man, FUCK HIM!

    Is that Joe Pantoliano on keys?

  • Dr. K

    That’s a mighty sharp edge you’ve developed, my friend. As a guy with a terminal degree in bullshitting about poetry, I say Dylan rules and deserves this silly award as much as anyone else – though certainly not more than, say, Thomas Pynchon, Cormac McCarthy, or Don DeLillo.

    • Joaquin Stick

      Your three choices please the fuck out of me.

      • Dr. K

        They are purposely uncontroversial picks, but all unquestionably great and influential novelists whom I love.

        • Joaquin Stick

          White Noise is mandatory.

  • Elegant Gazing Globe

    “outrageous opinion”

  • Cockypock Aioli

    Hmm hah i like the hot take and I suppose I agree with the sentiment. Still though, like it or not, Dylan had an enormous impact on the trajectory of our culture, even if unwarranted or manufactured or whatever.

  • The Tetrachord of Archytas

    a friend and I were recently talking about how the best thing bob Dylan has to offer is cover songs for better artists

    • GoatForest

      He made excellent material for Hendrix.

  • Heliocrat

    Don’t give a fuck about the nobel thing (in one way or another) but Dylan fucking rules.

  • Count_Breznak

    This isn’t the one spitting hot fire….

  • PostBlackenedWhaleGaze

    This is actually funny, because I just saw Dylan in California. Even if you’re remotely familiar with him, you’d know he does whatever the fuck he wants and doesn’t really perform for his fans (especially the older crowd) the way they want. He completely rearranges his songs, mumbles the lyrics, and doesn’t interact with the crowd at all. Luckily I’m not a huge fan of his, so I had no expectations when I saw him. Couldn’t understand a word the man said, he never spoke to anyone, and gave one of the most boring performances I’ve ever seen in my life. So of course there were the complaining people around me or the people who only go to concerts once every 6 years saying he was great.

    Great article BTW man, you perfectly summed up how I feel about this man and his baby boomer legions.

  • Sadistikexekution

    Nobel prize for shitty lyrics and music.
    You gotta hand it to the man.

  • Waynecro

    When asked to comment on a recent Toilet ov Hell article criticizing his recent win of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Bob Dylan explained, “Hmmmms…hhhzzz…brrrb, brrrb, brrrb…hhhzzz [mumbling and wheezing].”

  • Waynecro

    When I was a little kid, I read Tarantula–Bob Dylan’s book of experimental poetry–and got a real kick out of it. I like some of his music (particularly when he was backed by The Band), and I think he’s done some fun things with lyrics and melody; however, If I had any respect for the Nobel Prize whatsoever, I’d probably be more on the outraged side.

  • What a beautiful rant.

  • RJA

    Joe – I agree that Dylan receiving the award is silly and suspect. Other than that i disagree completely! I know you are a Ryan Adams fan – I implore you to spend some more time with Blood on the Tracks, all time top 10 album for me – that man is a national treasure you son of a bitch!

  • Stockhausen


  • Noice article Joe!!

  • Random Moniker

    I’m a Boomer (though just barely — I wasn’t a teenager until the 70s), and I agree with you. Fuck Bob Dylan. And the Beatles.

  • Randall’s Sweaty Space Pants

    Defend nu-metal.

  • Patrick L. Bertlein

    One of the best lyricists of all time, and that is a fact. You may or may not like his voice, but that guys impact on many classics, from Hendrix to Beatles to Clapton, is undeniable.