October 22, 2016

"Bob Dylan's failure to acknowledge his Nobel Prize in literature is 'impolite and arrogant,' according to a member of the body that awards it."

Well, it's impolite and arrogant to say that too, isn't it?
Academy member Per Wastberg told Swedish television: "He is who he is," adding that there was little surprise Dylan had ignored the news. "We were aware that he can be difficult and that he does not like appearances when he stands alone on the stage"...

Mr Wastberg called the snub "unprecedented", but... Jean-Paul Sartre in 1964 [rejected the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1964].
And here's the very cool video of Doris Lessing climbing out of a cab and getting confronted with the news that she just won the Prize:



I especially love the artichokes.

And why did Sartre refuse the Nobel Prize? Here's his explanation, translated and published in The New York Review of Books in 1964:
[M]y refusal is not an impulsive gesture, I have always declined official honors...

This attitude is based on my conception of the writer’s enterprise. A writer who adopts political, social, or literary positions must act only with the means that are his own—that is, the written word. All the honors he may receive expose his readers to a pressure I do not consider desirable. If I sign myself Jean-Paul Sartre it is not the same thing as if I sign myself Jean-Paul Sartre, Nobel Prizewinner....

The writer must therefore refuse to let himself be transformed into an institution....
That is the "personal" reason for refusing. There are also what he calls the "objective" reasons:
The only battle possible today on the cultural front is the battle for the peaceful coexistence of the two cultures, that of the East and that of the West.... I myself am deeply affected by the contradiction between the two cultures: I am made up of such contradictions. My sympathies undeniably go to socialism and to what is called the Eastern bloc, but I was born and brought up in a bourgeois family and a bourgeois culture. This permits me to collaborate with all those who seek to bring the two cultures closer together. I nonetheless hope, of course, that “the best man wins.” That is, socialism.

This is why I cannot accept an honor awarded by cultural authorities, those of the West any more than those of the East, even if I am sympathetic to their existence....
I love the illustration, by the great NYRB caricaturist, David Levine. 



And suddenly, I want to link to this article that I just saw on the front-page of the NYT website: "Campaign Aims to Help Pepe the Frog Shed Its Image as Hate Symbol."



ADDED: Making a Doris Lessing tag and applying it retroactively, I discover that I commented on that Doris Lessing video clip back in 2007 in a post called "Why did Doris Lessing say 'Oh, Christ' on hearing that she won the Nobel Prize?" At the time I said:
I think she was annoyed that this was going to be the video clip that everyone would watch forever. She'll always have her hair like that, her face like that — however she happened to end up after she'd been dragging herself around town all morning. And now she has to say something, and it better be good, because everyone will quote it. Oh, Christ, I have to go through this whole thing right now.

And it worked out for her. Everyone thinks "Oh, Christ" means so much. It's profound. But, really, it's not as if she could have squealed like an actress winning the Oscar. You don't think she was thrilled, inside?

Or maybe she was kind of pissed, and said "Oh, Christ" in the sense of: So, now, finally they get around to me... after all those second-rate hacks who got the prize all those years when I was ready with my hair done and my makeup on and a nice quote ready to go.

105 comments:

traditionalguy said...

Just for the record, I will not refuse a Nobel Prize. It sounds like fun.

Unknown said...

Sounds like they've never been to a Dylan concert. Pissing people off is his shtick.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Recipients were happier to get the good news that they had won back when Ed McMahon was doing it.

Alexander said...

Huh. So people on the left can openly declare a culture war. If you do it on the right you're a delusional racist.

Harold said...

Why should he have to acknowledge them, it's not like he entered his work into a contest. They picked him without taking the time to find out if he was even interested in the award. From what little I know about Bob Dylan he doesn't strike me as the type that cares a lot about what committees and panels think about his music.

buwaya puti said...

The real reason Sartre refused was that the Nobel had been given to Boris Pasternak (Dr. Zhivago) a few years earlier, very unwelcome to the Soviet Union.

Sartre was being disingenuous; he was an outright commie and an agent of the Soviet Union, as were his French communist party clique.

He would gave ruined his reputation among his own fans.c

n.n said...

The New York Times is trying to rehabilitate its brand after supporting the leftist solution, selective exclusion, class diversity, progressive wars, progressive poverty, immigration reform, anti-native policies, health penalty tax, progressive corruption, and scientific mysticism? That would require a miracle from their gods in the twilight zone.

Rob said...

I won't take a prize from that dynamite-inventing glory seeker. Just send me the money.

buwaya puti said...

And Doris Lessing - huge meh.
The guy who deserves it is Gene Wolfe.
Go get his stuff on the Althouse Amazon portal!

YoungHegelian said...

I nonetheless hope, of course, that “the best man wins.” That is, socialism.

It's still disconcerting to read, even though I know example after example from the time, such cheerleading for the Soviet Bloc from a Western intellectual. It was much more common in Europe than in the US, but there was no shortage of fellow travelers here, either. They just did it, sotto voce, in The Nation, or the like.

How interesting that the professional Left that seeks to hold our ancestors in contempt for their acquiescence in slavery quietly ignores how many of their recent intellectual heroes carried water for regimes that murdered millions of their own citizens in peace time.

khematite said...

Maybe Dylan doesn't accept the results of the Nobel committee vote?

Anyway, they should be careful what they wish for. Here's Dylan's acceptance speech from that time in 1963 that he accepted the Tom Paine Award from the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee. I'll bet they wished afterwards that he hadn't:

http://www.corliss-lamont.org/dylan.htm

Bob Ellison said...

I won a Nobel Prize once. Remember it clearly. I never acknowledged it, so the Nobelists scrubbed my award. You can check it yourself. My name does not appear in the records.

Ann Althouse said...

The full text of Sartre's statement, at the link, talks about Pasternak.

The Bergall said...

It's none of their DAMN business........

Fen said...

I'm glad he refused the award, it would have made him lesser.

buwaya puti said...

And as for Pepe the Frog - good lord, the whole point symbolically is to be a rebel, dangerous, extraordinary.
Who wants to be safe?

Bob Ellison said...

This is a clash between the Self-Important and the Self-Aware.

Wilbur said...

I respect and even admire Dylan's refusal to make a big deal out of it. Sartre, too, although his adoption of socialism is tragic.

I consider it a rejection of the cult of celebrity.

It's only different from a People's Choice by degree of difficulty.

buwaya puti said...

Yes, he does, in passing. But note he does not mention that the remainder of his comments were part of the Soviet propaganda line of the day. The Soviets had thoroughly slagged the Nobel when Pasternak got it.

matthew said...

Ghosting the nobel prize. Feels bad man.

buwaya puti said...

It is worth mentioning that Sartre was a complete swine.
And if you want to torture people, making them read "Being and Nothingness" is far more effective than waterboarding.

Paddy O said...

When I watched American Idol it was interesting to see why people wanted to be on the show. Some really enjoyed singing and were good at it and were pushed by people to go on. Some just wanted to be famous and even if they weren't good singers, they were desperate for some level of acknowledgment, so heartbroken when they were dismissed out of hand.

I envy, yeah envy, the attitude that could just dismiss the Nobel Prize, because it is such a declaration of meaning and purpose. It's nice to be acknowledged, but to not need that, to not even care, that's real freedom.

Meanwhile the Nobel Prize committee are thrust in the role of needing the acknowledgement. They want to be prized, and they've prided themselves on having what would be the Nobel prize of prize-giving if that were such a thing. Care about us, Bob! We're cool folks now! And as he ignores them they stomp off the stage and mutter something about how next year they will show the world how good they are and don't need Bob's approval.

In a single move, Dylan deflates the egos of the gatekeepers. That's literature in action. He doesn't need or even want them. They need and want him. He ignores their pleas. Love's labor now lost.

Laslo Spatula said...

Brokedown Bobby Shakes says...

Man, sometimes I don't get old Bob Dylan. If I won an award I'd sure as hell be there to take it, as long as they paid the airfare and put me up in a good motel...

Maybe I ain't as artful as Bob, but my songs have as much Truth as his does, and that's gotta be worth something: like maybe they have a runner-up prize for ol' Bobby Shakes...?

If I had to play them Award People just one of my songs I reckon I would play them this one: "I Wish You Could Be Twelve Forever."

There's twelve eggs in a basket
There's a dozen donuts in a box
Then there are the twelve-year-old girls
all cute in their little pink socks
(Bobby loves them little pink socks)

There's twelve inches to a foot
There's twelve months in a year
Then there are the twelve-year-old girls
drinkin' their very first beer
(Thanks to Brokedown Bobby)

I wish you could be twelve forever
I'd never let you go
Why do you have to turn thirteen?
Why does that cruel wind blow?
(listen to that cruel wind blow)

I wish you could be twelve forever
And our sky was always clear
Why do you have to turn thirteen?
Do you not see all my tears?
(Lord? It's me, Bobby: help me understand)

Then the Gospel Choir comes in, it's beautiful, that.

So see? If Bob Dylan said he wrote that everyone would say it's genius and heartbreakin' and all that shit. But when Brokedown Bobby writes it they say it's just another one of his songs about twelve-year-old girls. And it seems there sure ain't no award for THAT...

So I live my life on the road, rockin' and rollin'. Who knows -- I might be comin' to your town, too, and if you come see me, do Bobby a favor: bring your granddaughters...

I am Laslo.

Fen said...

"How interesting that the professional Left that seeks to hold our ancestors in contempt for their acquiescence in slavery quietly ignores how many of their recent intellectual heroes carried water for regimes that murdered millions of their own citizens in peace time."

Fen's Law in play. Their inconsistency makes no sense until you assume that they don't really care about slavery to begin with - its just a prop to them, to be discarded when its no longer convenient to the argument of the day.

Its how they can clutch their pearls over lewd comments Trump made about women while ignoring how Hillary slut shamed her husband's rape victims. The outrage is fake.

The worst mistake I have made with the Left was the assumption they were decent honest people who simply have a different wordview. That was naive - they are just as intellectually dishonest, morally bankrupt and corrupt as Hillary is. Start off assuming they are acting in bad faith and everything they do falls into place.

Big Mike said...

People who win Nobel Prizes for science and/or medicine sometimes have negative reactions -- one scientist is supposed to have been aghast. "What is left for me to do?"

It is not rude to decline a Nobel Prize, however it is very rude to ignore one when given to you. I disagree with you, Professor, that it is rude for a member to point out how rude and arrogant Bob Dylan's response is. He has not accepted the award. He has not declined it. He treats it like a traffic ticket from a town he never expects to come back to.

Paddy O said...

Bouncing off Fen, it's always about power. Post-Ghandi, power comes through shaming and posing as a defender of the left-out. But when in power, the left-out are still left out, while the bank accounts of the politically empowered blossom.

That's why I prefer someone like Jean Vanier as an example of someone truly concerned about those who are abandoned by society.

Big Mike said...

The worst mistake I have made with the Left was the assumption they were decent honest people who simply have a different worldview.

@Fen, don't be hard on yourself. Once upon a time I think it really was true. I think Professor Althouse deep downside wants to believe that it still is.

That was naive - they are just as intellectually dishonest, morally bankrupt and corrupt as Hillary is.

Yes. You and I get it. I wonder whether Althouse ever will.

Unknown said...

What would Solzhenitsyn say? (About the award, and the indifference.)

Big Mike said...

"deep down inside"

Diogenes of Sinope said...

So the Nobel committee are all pissed off that Bob Dylan didn't come running to kiss their butts when they offered their blessing on his life's work?


What a concept....Who in the hell appointed the Norwegian parliament as the authority on all mankind's accomplishments? Norway a country of 5 million, not even as many people as the state of Wisconsin is the judge of us all? Wisconsin's legislature should appoint a committee, the Curly Lambeau committee to award Curly prizes.

lemondog said...

I was curious about the ADL hate symbols and checked its site to find a database that can be viewed by category. Apparently only whites and frogs hate.

Hate Symbols

Mark said...

How interesting that the professional Left that seeks to hold our ancestors in contempt for their acquiescence in slavery quietly ignores how many of their recent intellectual heroes carried water for regimes that murdered millions of their own citizens in peace time.

You assume that the professional Left cares about rational or moral consistency. They don't and never have. Rather, the left has always been an intellectual, philosophical farce.

Moreover, the left may use slavery as a bludgeon against people today, but rather than expressing contempt for those of the past, they totally ignore and refuse to acknowledge that it was the Democrat Party that promoted and defended or otherwise acquiesced in slavery and for its extension throughout the west. Just as it was the Democrat Party who instigated segregation. Today, the left continues to run a plantation, they continue to foster slavery, but it is simply more hidden.

Back then, many who owned slaves believed that it would be wrong to free the slaves because they would not be able to take care of themselves. That the owners were superior and were taking care of the slaves like they were children. Today, the left pervasively believes that the masses cannot take care of themselves, that they need to be taken care of by the superior intelligentsia and ruling class elites.

Fen said...

"however it is very rude to ignore one when given to you."

Not really. He didn't ask to be nominated. If you read you post objectively, it sounds like his "rudeness" was the audacity to ignore the elites handing out the award. Doesn't he realize how important these people are? As if he has some duty to respond to them. He does not.

In fact, it was poor form of *them* to drag him into their stupid game.

What *would* have been rude is if he declined the award by saying the Nobel has been disgraced with political corruption and is now meaningless, and almost an insult to be considered. Rude but true. And had the class to not do that. I certainly would have told them where they could stick their "award".

Laslo Spatula said...

Brokedown Bobby Shakes says...

While you all are reminiscing yourselves over Bob Dylan, don't forget my new Greatest Hits Album: "God Made Twelve-Year-Old Girls For a Reason."

It's got all my best tracks:

"She May Be Twelve"

"Sweet Little Twelve"

"Yo Sister Be Twelve"

"You're Just Jealous (My Girl Is Twelve)"

"The Twelve-Year-Old Backseat Blues"

"Girl, You Just Turned Thirteen"

"I Remember When You Were Twelve"

"366 Days (You're Twelve On a Leap Year")

"God Made Twelve-Year-Old Girls For a Reason"

and, of course:

"I Wish You Could Be Twelve Forever," recorded live at the Blaine County Fair with the Blaine County Fair Symphony.

So I live my life on the road, rockin' and rollin'. Who knows -- I might be comin' to your town, too, and if you come see me, do Bobby a favor: bring your granddaughters...

I am Laslo.

tim in vermont said...

But I reckon I got to light out for the territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally, she's going to adopt me and sivilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before. - Huckleberry Finn

Paddy O said...

Concerning the Left, I think it's wrong to dismiss all of them as morally bankrupt and corrupt. There's two tiers of Leftism. There really are the genuinely idealistic, people who genuinely want to help people and are living their lives for this pursuit. They are swayed by the rhetoric, and in being idealistic they trust what people say as being genuine. So, people talk about helping the poor, the idealists buy into that and wonder why people protest.

The true-believers are then manipulated by the really morally bankrupt and corrupt, who are much more morally bankrupt than most precisely because they use and abuse the poor to gain power and wealth.

Give me an honest hedonist over a dishonest minister any day.

Corruption is the single most important issue in resolving poverty. But the idealists don't see that, they just hear people talking about the poor and excuse corruption as part of the process.

Fen said...

Mike: "don't be hard on yourself. Once upon a time I think it really was true"

Thanks. It's been hard though, I've lost faith in people. I never realized it would affect me so deeply. There are days I almost hope the walls come down, so it will no longer be illegal to hunt people like Wallace. They did this to us, intentionally.

William said...

Here's an interesting trivia fact: the only two people to have won both a Nobel and an Oscar were George Bernard Shaw and Bob Dylan. There's no way that Dylan's political beliefs will ever be considered as pernicious as those of Sartre, GBS, and some other heavyweight Nobel winners. How did Dylan respond to his Oscar? It must have been low key. I don't remember anything about it.

William said...

Cromwell had Milton and Marvell in his corner. Goethe, Byron, Beethoven were admirers of Napoleon.. Can anyone name a single artist or intellectual who admired Coolidge more than Lenin? This isn't a recent phenomenon. Homer gives the best lines to Achilles, not to Hector. All the great dramatists find Caesar worthy of their poetry, but Cincinattus is ignored. The aesthetic impulse has nothing to do with prudent virtues and is, in many ways, antagonisticistic to those virtues.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

William: ".... Homer gives the best lines to Achilles, not to Hector..."

Wow. Thanks William, I never looked at it that way. Now I have to go refrigerate ;)

Good post.

William said...

I think I'd rather win an Oscar than a Nobel. You get to hobnob with true celebrities and not those weird looking scientists. Who would even want to get lucky with them?

Fen said...

"There really are the genuinely idealistic, people who genuinely want to help people and are living their lives for this pursuit."

My experience is that those in this "tier" do not genuinely want to help people. They want to be *seen* as wanting to help people. Its all about Vanity, which is the major "sin" of the day. It makes them feel better about themselves, and they use it like a religious Indulgence - moral credits that can be used to offset future sins in their daily lives

"Sure, maybe I did make a pass at the babysitter, but I CARE about the homeless, so I can't be a total douche, right?" they speak to their mirror in the morning.

It's how they can pretend they are the 99% while Somali kids starve to death right under their noses. For fun, ask them about redistributing *their* wealth to the real poor.

Granted, there are exceptions. I know a liberal Jewish family that shames me - they have NOTHING nice in their small house, not even a tv or computer. The furniture, what little they have, is crap. Because they spend 9 months out of the year in some 3rd world hell hole teaching people how to purify water, lay sewer lines, plant food. They amaze me. But they are the very very few that actually walk the walk.

Oh, and guess what? They don't tell anyone about it. No "look at me" posts on facebook, no "today we were Righteous Dudes again!" virtue signaling to their friends and relatives. Because they ditched Vanity long ago.

I think the rest of the Left has become so corrupt that they no longer recognize Corruption. They aren't just lost and off the Path, they've wandered for so long that they have forgotten their is a Path.


/wish we had an edit function

Big Mike said...

@Diogenes, only the Peace Prize is awarded by the Norwegians; the prizes in medicine, chemistry, physics, literature, and economics are awarded by the Swedes.

I will repeat myself but use shorter words this time. There. Is. Nothing. Wrong. With. Declining. The. Prize. What is deeply rude is ignoring it.

Paddy O said...

Yeah, maybe there are three tiers (or more). I do think there are genuine people wanting to help but there are also a lot of virtue signalers. A lot of academics, maybe a very high majority, fall into this latter category. They may not start there but they get there fast.

I like what one theologian has to say on this:

"People take flight into relationships, into social action and into political praxis, because they cannot endure what they themselves are.

They have ‘fallen out’ with themselves. So they cannot stand being alone. To be alone is torture. Silence is unendurable. Solitude is felt to be ‘social death’. Every disappointment becomes a torment which has to be avoided at all costs.
But the people who throw themselves into practical life because they cannot come to terms with themselves simply become a burden for other people.

Social praxis and political involvement are not a remedy for the weakness of our own personalities.

Men and women who want to act on behalf of other people without having deepened their own understanding of themselves, without having built up their own capacity for sensitive loving, and without having found freedom toward themselves, will find nothing in themselves that they can give to anyone else.

Even presupposing good will and the lack of evil intentions, all they will be able to pass on is the infection of their own egoism, the aggression generated by their own anxieties, and the prejudices of their own ideology.

Anyone who wants to fill up his own hollowness by helping other people will simply spread the same hollowness. Why? Because people are far less influenced by what another person says and does than the activist would like to believe. They are much more influenced by what the other is, and his way of speaking and behaving.

Only the person who has found his own self can give himself. What else can he give? It is only the person who knows that he is accepted who can accept others without dominating them. The person who has become free in himself can liberate others and share their suffering."

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Who put the Nobel Prize folks in charge of deciding "best on the planet"? Now that's arrogance fer ya.

Fen said...

"What is deeply rude is ignoring it."

Why is it rude to ignore it? Not hectoring, I genuinely want to get inside your thought process here.

Wilbur said...

It seems to me the fact that the Democrat Party used to be the party of slavery and institutional racism is more of a historical irony than a fact that has any real relevance to today. It's just as true that most (not all) of the Old South segregationists still alive switched parties to the GOP.

It's rankling to be falsely labeled a racist by "the progressives", but this seems to be the weakest response available.

Fen said...

"Today, the left continues to run a plantation, they continue to foster slavery, but it is simply more hidden."

Hitching a ride on your post - it also explains the inconsistency. We enslaved Africans because we defined them as subhuman. We exterminated natives because we deemed them subhuman. We put Jews in ovens after declaring them subhuman. Now we kill babies by defining them as subhuman too.

So consider - someone who truly thought through why slavery was contemptible would have long established the principle that its wrong to define people as subhuman, because that's how we have justified doing horrible things to them in the past. And they would be able to apply that principle to issues like abortion.

They don't, because they don't condemn slavery on moral grounds, they condemn it to shame and guilt Americans about their own history. Its just a prop to them.

Mark said...

"used to be"???

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

As for Dylan and Nobel, the actual topic at hand, the Nobel organization has long been a joke, devoid of real, objective merit in favor of ideological favoritism. It also probably has become what the Emmys, Oscars and Grammys have become - an in-crowd, cliquish, self-perpetuating popularity contest of incestuous pat-on-the-back group sex.

Why cater to them? Besides, they are only about five decades late with their praise.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

My mistake. Same concept.

Original Mike said...

"I respect and even admire Dylan's refusal to make a big deal out of it."

Making a big deal of it is exactly what's he's doing. Just showing up and accepting the award would be not making a big deal out of it.

buwaya puti said...

You enslaved Africans because they were available and could survive tropical labor. It was all plain cold blooded economics. Anything else was rationalization after the fact, not a cause.

Big Mike said...

@Fen, a Nobel is a major award -- in some areas it is the major award. Treating it the way Dylan has thus far indicates that to him it is so unimportant that he need not even acknowledge it. By contrast he actually carried his Oscar (for Best Original Song) around from show to show and feature it on stage.

buwaya puti said...

As for why the Nobel is a big deal - because old Alfred gave them a pot of money with which to make it a big deal, and because it was the first such institutionalized award.

If some hedge fund billionaire wanted to do the same thing and buy a lot of attention you would have another, no problem. Dueling awards, why not.

Bill Peschel said...

Until Big Mike returns to give us his thought process on why it's rude to ignore an award you did not want nor ask for, let me add this:

The official's comment reveals the leash. An artist should not allow himself to be leashed.

It's like all those journalists like Andrea Mitchell who suck at whatever Democrat is in office. They let themselves be co-opted with the idea that they'll get "access."

They do, but it's "access" on the party's terms, not there's.

If they did their job, reporting the news fairly, and also reporting when their questions are being ignored, loudly, I guarantee you that they'll get their phone calls returned.

Can you imagine if Andrea Mitchell went on the air and discussed Hillary's deals with Libya and Morocco, and pointedly said, "Hillary Clinton has refused to answer questions about these dubious deals", do you think they would remain silent? Hell no.

And yet, Mitchell willingly falls into line and let's the Democratic Party spin the news in their favor.

Now, Bob Dylan is an artist. No matter what you think of him, his songs, or his singing voice, I don't think that can be disputed.

An artist should tell what he or she perceives as the truth, unfettered by the demands the gatekeepers of society try to place on them. This leads to uncharitable behavior at times.

For them to say, "How dreadful," reflects their inability to understand him. They didn't even look at his past behavior when given awards. How much does that reflect their understanding of his music?

The Nobel Committee are the arrogant ones here.

Bill Peschel said...

Ah, Big Mike returned while I was writing. Unfortunately, I can't edit that out.

Douggie Tremain said...

Seems to me that Bob Dylan is simply walking in the footsteps of Brian Williams who,of course also refused the Nobel prize

Earnest Prole said...

Do not arouse the wrath of the Great and Powerful Swedish Academy!

Lydia said...

How did Dylan respond to his Oscar? It must have been low key. I don't remember anything about it.

Bobby was all in for the Oscar; from IMDB:

Best Music, Original Song -- Wonder Boys (2000) --For the song "Things Have Changed". Bob Dylan performed the song and accepted the Oscar via satellite due to the fact that he was on tour through Australia at the time. Since winning the Oscar, Dylan has taken it on tour with him and it presides over shows perched atop his amplifier.

rcocean said...

I'm beginning to like this Dylan fellow.

rcocean said...

"Can anyone name a single artist or intellectual who admired Coolidge more than Lenin?"

Ezra Pound, Wydham Lewis, TS Eliot, Kipling, and Edith Wharton to name 5.

Of course, they had no real love Silent Cal, they simply thought Lenin was a bloody tyrant. Which he was.

rcocean said...

Probably a better example is the Spanish Civil War, where a poll was taken in 1937 or 1938 of 150 or so British writers and "intellectuals" and something like 135 supported the communist side and only 2 or 3 supported Franco, with the rest being neutral.

The murder of 6 thousand or so Catholic Priests or Nuns didn't raise an eyebrow, but of bombing of Guernica resulted in a river of tears.

Mark said...

It's like all those journalists like Andrea Mitchell who suck at whatever Democrat is in office.

I forgot to add Pulitzer to that list regarding today's Emmys, Oscars and Grammys.

As for the press, the entertainment industry, and the (rest of) the left, including Hillary, and how they relate to those outside the circle, and to the masses at large, what "Gunnery Sergeant" R. Lee Ermey said in Full Metal Jacket comes to mind -- she and the rest of the left are "the kind of guy that would fuck a person in the ass and not even have the goddamn common courtesy to give him a reach-around."

It is all about their own personal fulfillment at the expense of others, the autonomy and "choice that is right for them."

Yancey Ward said...

I hope Dylan continues to refuse to acknowledge it, and refuses to go and accept it. Don't even turn it down- just ignore it. If you had asked my opinion a week ago, I would not have had that opinion, but listening to sniveling little elite douche bags whine about being ignored changed my mind.

Howard said...

I think Doris Lessing's photo should be in the dictionary next to unflappable.

chickelit said...

The Swedes are dying to know Bob's opinion on Trump v. Clinton. That was their ulterior motive here.

lemondog said...

Bob Dylan and the Nobel Prize Ceremonies per the Swedish Academy.

Mac McConnell said...

No doubt, by “the best man wins" Jean-Paul Sartre meant the state perfected man.

robother said...

They shoulda ambushed him like Doris Lessing. Maybe fly in, arrange a surprise Nobel Award with some sleazy local promoter (think of the publicity for your venue, a Nobel First!) and close in on him from both stage left and right as he finishes his show. If your gonna start awarding Nobels to performance artists, you better start thinking like a performance artist.

Big Mike said...

@Bill Peschel, did I answer your question?

And I don't disagree that there are other, better, possible recipients of the award, but to treat it like a nothingburger is simply wrong on many different levels.

Paul said...

Having met the man I could have told you he was impolite and arrogant.

Sebastian said...

Hey, JPS: the best man did win.

Sebastian said...

Bob standing up the full-of-themselves-for-no-good-reason Nobelites is funny, not rude.

I like the man better than his work.

Lydia said...

Bob was also honored at the Kennedy Center and played for Obama at the White House. And he loved getting his Oscar.

Maybe what's ticked him off re the Nobel is that they gave it to him for literature, the very idea of which has exposed him to ridicule in some quarters. That he cannot abide.

traditionalguy said...

I suspect Bob remembers that its the guys building monuments to the great Hebrew Prophets who are admitting their fathers were persecutors of the Prophets.

Nobody doesn't hate the really good Hebrew Prophets. Being one has always meant a difficult life.

walter said...

Yancey Ward said...
I hope Dylan continues to refuse to acknowledge it, and refuses to go and accept it. Don't even turn it down- just ignore it.
--
Yep.
Whether one liked Obama or not, the Nobel got a lot less noble with that pre-achievement beclowning.
They turned it into a "nothingburger".

Fen said...

Big Mike: "a Nobel is a major award -- in some areas it is the major award. Treating it the way Dylan has thus far indicates that to him it is so unimportant that he need not even acknowledge it."

I agree somewhat. Many people regard the Nobel as a major award, but many also regard it as a shadow of what it once meant, due to political corruption of the process - like awarding a Nobel to Obama pre-emptively, or awarding one to fraudulent scientists. It's become a joke. And if I were Dylan, I wouldn't want them using my name to lend it credibility.

I do agree with Dylan that its so unimportant that he doesn't need to acknowledge it.

If Dylan was somehow involved in their circles, I think you would have a point. But from here, it would be as if some clowns on Fox's Red Eye gave me some bs award I never cared for or asked to be considered for, and then got upset that I refused to acknowledge their award.

Fen said...

Hey Mike, I will admit that my contempt for these Elites and the bullshit that have pulled with past Nobels is clouding my objectivity. I really like that Dylan is treating them as irrelevant. It's even made better that they are whining about it now.

walter said...

In sharp contrast, btw, to Obama accepting his faux-bel.

Fen said...

Yup. A good tell on how vain and corrupt Obama is was his refusal to tell the Nobel he didn't deserve it, to at least wait and see how his presidency turned out. Complete lack of integrity and moral character there.

Kind of like Hillary NOT refusing to accept leaked debate questions from Donna Brazile.

Biff said...

"Failure" is an interesting word choice. If anything, it is a failure of the Nobel Committee to imagine that their protocols and expectations might not be universally required. I doubt that Bob Dylan views declining to acknowledge the announcement as a failure.

Jay Vogt said...

By God he make me proud to be fellow Minnesotan.

SukieTawdry said...

I've never read anything by Lessing but now I want to.

Sometimes Robert Zimmerman overdoes his Bob Dylan schtick. If he doesn't want the Prize, he should politely decline. To simply ignore the whole thing is unnecessarily rude, particularly when people are desperately trying to reach you. I was watching when he won his Oscar for Things Have Changed. He seemed quite pleased with that.

Saint Croix said...

"Bob Dylan's failure to acknowledge his Nobel Prize in literature is 'impolite and arrogant,' according to a member of the body that awards it."

Dylan is embarrassed because he is no longer a powerful artist, like he was in the 1960's. He hasn't been relevant in decades, and he knows it.

A prize in the 60's would have been huge to him and his career. I think he would not have ignored that! Perhaps he would have done something controversial or pompous.

You could wear a T-shirt with the Israel flag on it! That would piss off people.

That was the last great Dylan song, in my opinion, Neighborhood Bully. That was in the 1980's, I think.

But the Nobel committee waited too long. They waited decades and decades and decades. They finally decided, "Okay, Bobby, you have now earned our respect." Decades after the fact. And of course they are using him for publicity purposes. At least, I suspect that's his take on it.

I mean, if you listen to his music, he's kind of cynical, you know?

sean said...

It's interesting, what total liars the university professors of Prof. Althouse's generation are. The vast majority of them agreed with Sartre, hoping that "the East," i.e. the Soviet bloc, would win, but not a one of them would admit that now.

Saint Croix said...

In sharp contrast, btw, to Obama accepting his faux-bel.

I read somewhere, or heard somewhere, that timing is everything.

Which sucks because timing is often way the hell out of our control.

I usually think of the perfect thing to say, a week after that damn stupid thing I said.

Anyway, you can really embarrass yourself with bad timing

rcocean said...

I'd like to think Dylan has contempt for the Noble Prize because of its awards to:

- Pearl S. Buck
- Winston Churchill
- Nelly Sachs
- Harry Martinson
- Saul Bellow
- Toni Morrison
- Dario Fo
- Harold Pinter

But I doubt it.

Guildofcannonballs said...

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2015/11/john-oconnor-was-sole-first-gentleman.html?showComment=1447048523925#c8356044079242714857

I AM WONDER BOY!

John said...

Rude? Bullshit.

As several others have mentioned he didn't ask to be entered in the pool of contestants. For this reason alone he has absolutely no reason to pay any attention to them.

Who the Hell would want to win a Nobel these days? (Other than that the money is nice) To be forever enshrined with the same prize, though different category, that President Obama won for bringing peace to the world.

For certain values of "world" excluding Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Iran, Iraq, much of Africa, Egypt, Ukraine etc and so on.

John Henry

Saint Croix said...

This is a clash between the Self-Important and the Self-Aware.

All politicians are filled with self-importance. All Presidents, all Senators, all Supreme Court Justices. It's really hard to escape, I think, if you're successful at all.

Children who receive a lot of love from their parents are filled with a sense of self-importance. I've always thought I was important! That's because my parents spoiled the crap out of me. I was spoiled with love, thank the sweet Lord, instead of money.

I feel like Donald Trump's father was very, very busy, and he didn't have time to love his son. So he "made up for it" by giving a lot of money to represent his love. Money is a sad substitute for love.

It's hard for many people to believe, but there are a lot of poor, working class, middle class people who have no real money, but they're very happy in their lives. That's because they were spoiled with love, rather than money.

One of the reasons I loathe the left is that they feel abortion is about money. That's what they want to focus on. "If you have a child now, it will be financially disastrous! Money, money, money. Think about your future, think about college and law school, think about how much a baby costs. Don't think about love, you are not ready to love, young lady. You think you are, but you're not. You need to think about money. Grow up, girlie, and give up on your romantic baby love."

This is an appalling and evil anti-Christian sentiment, which is why liberals get very upset if you talk about it. They know love is more important than money. They know we should love our babies.

Anyway, my parents loved me, spoiled me rotten, I was pompous and full of myself. I still am, half the time. But one of the things the world teaches you, as you get your ass kicked, is self-awareness. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have spectacularly bad levels of self-awareness. She pays people to tell her all the bad things about herself! And all that does is make her a robot. She can't even sort of pretend that she likes ordinary people. But, unlike Obama, she really likes Republican Senators and Presidents and Congressmen and all the other important people. She's a D.C. insider and she loves it and can't wait to get back.

I read about her having a drinking contest with McCain, and I think, "she should have stayed in the Senate, she would be happy there." As a boss she's a harridan, and if she has too much power, she's wicked. Hillary needs to be in an environment where everybody is equal, like the Senate. In that sort of situation, she respects everyone. Hillary has zero respect for people who are under her, which is pretty much everybody in her worldview.

This is why there are no Hillary bumper stickers. She's going to have to pass a law requiring that people put her bumper sticker on their car.

rcocean said...

"But the Nobel committee waited too long. They waited decades and decades and decades. They finally decided, "Okay, Bobby, you have now earned our respect." Decades after the fact. And of course they are using him for publicity purposes. At least, I suspect that's his take on it."

The funniest and most amazing things to me is that the "Serious Literature" community isn't upset that a song-writer won the Nobel Prize for Lit.

I think that's shows how much those characters really care about Literature.

Clyde said...

The only thing I can say about Sartre's avowed enthusiasm for socialism back in 1964 is that the world had a half-century's less experience with socialism's failures and body counts. Those who still enthuse about it in places like Venezuela, etc., have no such excuse.

William said...

I looked back at the list of winners. Some I never heard of, some I heard of but have no wish to read, but there are quite a few giants on the list. Yeats, Kipling, T.S. Eliot, Camus, Beckett, and a good number of other worthies. By and large, the names on the list are more significant than past winners of best song Oscars. Dylan has a perverse sensibility. Maybe he was more honored by the Oscars than by the Nobel win, but that is indeed perverse and will become part of the legend of both Dylan and the Nobel........He could be like GBS, his fellow Oscar winner, and just cash the check without showing up for the ceremony or giving an acceptance speech.

Fen said...

But the Nobel committee waited too long. They waited decades and decades and decades. They finally decided, "Okay, Bobby, you have now earned our respect." Decades after the fact. And of course they are using him for publicity purposes. At least, I suspect that's his take on it.

That's a valid point. I had a group I felt waited "too long" to ask me to become a member. When they finally got around to "honoring" me with an invite, I politely told them the civil equivalent of "go pound sand". I have to admit it was very satisfying to signal to that their little club was of no interest to me.

Could be what happened here.

rcocean said...

"The only thing I can say about Sartre's avowed enthusiasm for socialism back in 1964 is that the world had a half-century's less experience with socialism's failures and body counts."

"Socialism"? You mean communism. And in 1964 everyone knew about Communist tyranny, the Gulags, the show trials, the Berlin wall, the KGB-GPU-NKVD-etc.

People knew about the Red terror in 1918. You must be attempting sarcasm - if so - Well, played sir.

rcocean said...

"He could be like GBS, his fellow Oscar winner, and just cash the check without showing up for the ceremony or giving an acceptance speech."

Oh, I'm sure Dylan will cash the check.

Otherwise, I hope he just ignores them.

That would be cool.

Char Char Binks said...

I have new-found respect for Bob Dylan. You folks have convinced me that it's not as preposterous for him to win a Nobel for literature as I at first thought. It's not like he won some award for singing, guitar playing, or music -- that would be ridiculous.

Ignoring the disgraced accolade is more laudable than accepting it, and even greater than declining it. The fact that he refuses to even comment on it clinches it for me; he was the perfect choice.

I also have the greatest respect for Brokedown Bobby Shakes -- he should win, and ignore, the Nobel next year, in whatever category.

n.n said...

Beside their support for class diversity, immigration reform (e.g. refugee crises), anti-nativists, and abortion rites, The New York Times raised the rainbow flag to celebrate congruence ("=") or selective exclusion. They need to deny the racists and sexists, the abortionists, the special and peculiar interests, and other hate factions, in order to rehabilitate their reputation.

JAORE said...

Dylan? He can go to hell!

That arrogant bastard didn't show up for the First Annual JAORE award for the advancement of ..... well, me.

javabeast said...

Richard Feynman said it best, but I can't find a good clip of the entire video, described in the Wash Post in 2011.“I don’t see that it makes any point that someone in the Swedish Academy decides that the work is noble enough to receive a prize... The prize is the pleasure of finding the thing out, kick in the discovery, the observation that other people use it. those are the real things. The honors are unreal,”
He did accept the award though.

F. A. Alsbach said...

-Sartre suspected that in the long run, he was overrated. Plus he was a conceited ass. Plus, Plus if he was really who he claimed to be, and thought want he claimed to think, none if it mattered, including him... he and his work did not matter, at all. (But he just couldn't resist posing as the way too cool cat rising above the unwashed, ignorant horde.)

-Dylan is Dylan, that rarest of beings, a truly free man.

wildswan said...

When Dylan accepted the Oscar he gave credit to the "recording company that sustained me all these years." And to others who recorded with him who would benefit in their careers from connection with an Oscar winning song. That was correct and courteous. The Nobel prize is for Dylan's poetry so he is giving a performance - using silence which we are filling in with our thoughts like John Cage using street noise.


Dyland accepts Oscar. 1 1/2 minute speech
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oib-Z-obsSk