Sunday, January 4, 2009
First blog of a new year. Dylan. Did I tell you I used to have a dog named Dylan? Great dog. Someone stole him. He was that great of a dog.
Sean Palmer, a friend of mine, recently commented in my presence that Dylan holds some weird fascination for every 50 year old male he knows. With friends like Sean... First, I'm only 50 if you round up, which is an important distinction. Second, the phrase is "50 year old dude." And third, I can leave Dylan if I want. I've quit several times. And rumors to the contrary, my hand tremors are not worse during those times.
It could be worse. It could be Manilow on a Sunday, or Abba, or Neil Diamond, or show tunes. I know this is a weak defense for Dylan on a Sunday. I'm just saying that there are other musical obsessive figures that are not as worthy of blog meditations. I mean, "I Write the Songs"? Give me a break.
Truth is, Dylan's stage allows me to talk about a lot of the things I'm interested in. And I'm of the opinion that the best theology is not delivered in a creed, but in a song, something that is a bit more three dimensional. And theology that is not poetic is necessarily a step closer to ideology, and from there idolatry. In fact, one of the things I like about Dylan is that he doesn't play it straight with Scripture. He alludes to it all over the place, but not in some kind of straightforward quote, and often with a weird twist. After all, the letter kills, but the spirit gives life.
So, with this apology, there will be more Dylan on a Sunday this year. He makes me seem smarter, and gets me in the neighborhood of cool without making it seem obvious. That just won't happen with Abba.
"No reason to get excited," the thief, he kindly spoke,
"There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.
But you and I, we've been through that, and this is not our fate,
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late."