Bob Dylan is a musical pioneer and revered cultural icon. Is he also a giant, obnoxious asshole?
Earlier today, Bob Dylan decided to skip an honorary Nobel Prize ceremony at the White House. It was a special event designed to congratulate some of the world’s most innovative scientists, writers, and world-changing visionaries. It’s the first time a musician has ever been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, and could very well be the last.
At first I thought this was a Trump thing. A lot of artists hate Trump, I get it. Except, this ceremony was hosted by Barack Obama. “Unfortunately, Bob Dylan will not be at the White House today,” Obama spokesperson Josh Earnest relayed. “So everyone can relax.”
Obama seemed pretty pumped to offer his congratulations. “Congratulations to one of my favorite poets, Bob Dylan, on a well-deserved Nobel,” Obama tweeted in October.
We have no idea why Dylan is refusing to participate in the Nobel Prize awards process. Back in 2012, Dylan accepted the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and he performed at the White House two years prior to that. So there’s obviously no hesitation about accepting awards, or going to the White House.
That follows an earlier decision to skip a ceremony awarding him the Nobel Prize for Literature in Stockholm. For weeks, Dylan refused to respond to numerous calls from the Swedish Academy, which bestows the award.
Dylan has also hinted at skipping the requirement to deliver a Nobel Prize lecture, a requirement for receiving the Prize.
Which means, Bob Dylan would be the first person to reject a Nobel Prize simply because he didn’t feel like showing up.
Meanwhile, authors are expressing frustration over the situation. Initially, many writers questioned whether a singer-songwriter should be considered alongside the greatest authors of all time. Now, perhaps it’s becoming clear that he shouldn’t.
White House image by Matt Wade (CC by 2.0).