Like a Rolling Snowball

Great writing in the review of Dylan’s Christmas Album in the Post yesterday. You knew it was going to be fun when it began: “This Christmas season, parents will introduce their children to a legendary sage from northern climes renowned for his unsettling facial hair and unmistakable voice. This man is, of course, Bob Dylan.” They say that genius is finding real connections between seemingly unlike objects, and if there is anything more unlike than Bob and Santa, well, have at it. And you know what? “They” have a point. To a physicist and an artist, we really are all One, and making others see that as clearly always makes for good work.

But what makes this particular piece so wonderful is Chris Richards’ barely supressed ecstasy over the bizarro collision of the unstoppable force of Dylan’s steely-eyed, pierce-the-world-to-the-heart negativity and the immovable object of manufactured Christmas cheer. How about this for a thesis paragraph?

“The man’s serrated croon isn’t just jarring — it actually gives these chirpy old chestnuts a sense of menace.

And it is awesome.”

Later on, Richards observes that Dylan manages to make “Here Comes Santa Clause (Down Santa Claus Lane)” sound like a threat.

Now, that’s my kind of holiday record.

(For another fab take on Christmas, try Hank Steuver’s “Tinsel: A search for America’s Christmas Present.” More on that soon).

Speak Your Mind