Bob Dylan: An outlandish provocation
OK, so here’s the deal….
First off: This is of course a follow-up to Grant’s thread about Merle Haggard being “the greatest living American songwriter,” which ended up provoking much discussion. That was partly because it involved high-profile names, and partly, I would contend, because the very statement which was posited as the provocation was so easily shot down (or at least opposed) that a lot of people were compelled to respond.
I have somewhat of a new-media-theory about that, actually, and it ain’t a good thing by any stretch: There is more value to the internet media-mogul in posting something that is outrageous and can be virulently disagreed with than there is in posting something that’s well-thought-out and carefully presented. (The obvious reason being that the former stands to draw a lot more responses, and thus eyeballs, which ultimately translates into higher numbers of visits and impressions….and that’s the financial engine in the modern media machine. Messed up, eh?)
Thus, fine, since Grant started it — intentionally or not — I’ll see about perhaps furthering the theory. This is, in my defense, an actual thought that I had while participating in Grant’s other thread, and it’s a notion that has occurred to me many times over the years. I didn’t bother to bring it up on Grant’s thread because it just seems a bit over-the-top to try to make a case for. But, OK — let’s play this game. I’ll make the statement — and you tell me why it’s wrong!
And the statement is:
Bob Dylan is the modern-day equivalent of William Shakespeare.
There, have at it.