Christmas in the Heart: a polemic.

Not mine: Andrew Ferguson’s.  Not having purchased Bob Dylan’s Christmas In the Heart, I’m not sure how much of this:

Many of the notices about Christmas in the Heart have been pussyfooting. We should be clear: The record is not irony, or camp. This is not a case of “It’s so bad it’s good.” Dylan is not Florence Foster Jenkins or Tom Waits. This is a case of “It’s so bad I can’t believe it.” Under no one else’s name would a commercial concern like Sony release a product so embarrassing. Yet embarrassing doesn’t quite cover it. For a man as self-aware as Bob Dylan, it’s–what? The conclusion is unavoidable: He’s doing this on purpose. He knows what his record sounds like. It’s not a misstep. It’s not a gag. It’s an affront, a taunt. He’s giving us a choice. He’s saying, Okay, this is what it’s come to: You’ve got two options. You can cover your ears and go running from the room in horror, or you can call me an enigmatic genius who’s daring to plumb heretofore unexplored archetypes of the American imagination. But you can’t do both.

…is righteous anger, and how much of this is a reaction to the music; but I can’t help but note that I didn’t get the joke of this Weird Al video until I actually saw it.

Which may mean that Al just proved Andrew’s point for him.

Moe Lane

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