4 thoughts on “Dylan-o-Matic™

  1. I tried. I find the results unconvincing: “The poor little cat is a-fightin’ in the wolfman’s disguise” doesn’t sound much like something Dylan would write, sorry.

    Nevertheless, I get the point. By the way, the French surrealists would sometimes cut words or sentences out of newspapers and paste them together randomly. Perhaps a similar mechanism has been at work in Dylan’s mind.

    Should Dylan have received the Nobel? Well, better than Dario Fo and Jelinek and many others. And, refreshingly, this time an American. I didn’t expect that, not after what Swedish Academy permanent secretary Horace Engdahl said in 2008:

    “Of course there is powerful literature in all big cultures, but you can’t get away from the fact that Europe still is the center of the literary world, not the United States… The US is too isolated, too insular. They don’t translate enough and don’t really participate in the big dialogue of literature. That ignorance is restraining.”

    Makes me wonder what caused the about-face.


  2. Ha. I used to own a freeware 16 bit or MS-Dos poetry generator, the size of a few kilobytes. Must be on a floppy disc somewhere. It spit out five-liners at the click of a mouse, and I never found out where it got its words from. Modern lyrics, yes, but you could send selected ones in to poetry contests and sometimes win (so they said).

    Anyway, I found them indistinguishable from the garble generated by humans. Well, a bluebottle can do any trick a pilot can, plus land upside – down, on a brain the size of a pinpoint; and procreate to millions (hi there, pilots!).

    Here’s some theory on it. And for those that need an ego boost whenever the turn on the internet, here’s your new starter page.

    But that repeats itself sometimes – not bad for your narcissism though. Yes, you are great. Kings needed people for this service. You get it via machine.

    Random and not so random machine poetry (some strangely meaningful) can be created on various sites of the net, if you google “poetry generator“. And for those that need it, google “random scientific paper / speech generators“, fill in the subject of choice, and you’re off!

    Some of these brainlessly concocted accumulations of nonsense were accepted for publishing before being found out (and some never were). And we haven’t even started on robot trolls yet. I mean human robot trolls, that jumble together trash like this.

    And what does that tell you? You can create an impressive meaningless impression by just dumping three random bucketfuls of words in a mixer, stir three times and puke onto a screen, paper or some other medium.

    The reader’s brain will give you the benefit of the doubt and read meaning into the meaningless, randomly generated text at a cost of 0.05 milliseconds and 0.075 milliwattseconds of nuclear energy – thereby costing him or her much more than it cost you. Do that often enough, and you win! And if they pay you for this sham….

    Rorschach didn’t paint those tests, you know.

    The trick ist to fail them. What do you see?

    Soiled paper. And one more dead tree.

    But no machine can generate this – yet:


    Or this little accumulation of pain:


    Lyrics in the description – you can’t jumble those 😉


  3. The funny thing is, Bob Dylan, fully aware to the fact, used to re-write and re-jumble his own lyrics all the time, as was once documented by his then GF, Joan Baez.

    Yes, folks – those were the days when a lone girl with a lone guitar and a single mike could entertain a packed audience into dead-silence rapture all by herself for a whole hour.

    Why? Because, like her singing or hate it, we listened to every single word she sang (and most of the time, Dylan had written). And therefore these thoughts were not foreign to us.

    It was the deaf & blind of my generation (top use a dylanesque picture) that lead us into this mess. I just cannot imagine Angela Merkel, Joschka Fischer (to just randomly name two – and yes, I have to say it – Mme Clinton) listening to Messrs & Mmes Dylan & Baez and then do what they did. But then, you never know what goes on in people’s minds.

    Traitors on their own cause, if they did…

    bob dylan lyrics farewell angelina


    Shut the eyes of the dead,
    Not to embarrass anyone,
    Farewell Angelina,
    The sky is flooding over and I must be gone

    The camouflaged parrot,
    He flutters from fear,
    When something he doesn’t know about suddenly appears

    What cannot be imitated perfect must die,
    Farewell Angelina,
    The sky is flooding over and I must go where it is dry

    Machine guns are roaring,
    Puppets heave rocks,
    At misunderstood visions and at the faces of clocks

    Call me any name you like,
    I will never deny it,
    But farewell Angelina,
    The sky is erupting and I must go where it is quiet


    Shut the eyes of the dead
    Not to embarrass anyone
    Farewell Angelina
    The sky is embarrassed
    And I must be gone

    The machine guns are roaring
    The puppets heave rocks
    The fiends nail time bombs
    To the hands of the clocks

    Call me any name you like
    I will never deny it
    Farewell Angelina
    The sky is erupting
    I must go where it’s quiet


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