The Medium is the Massage Research Report
The Revolutionist:Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is one of the most celebrated artists of our time. He has received all kinds of awards: several Grammys, an Oscar, a GMA Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Nobel Prize for literature, he had been inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and he has even received a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Bob Dylan receiving the Medal of Freedom.
Clearly Dylan has gotten a lot of recognition over the years, but what makes Dylan so great? Well, there are a number of factors that play into Dylan's significance and distinction. Before the 60s, rock and roll was mostly about love songs and dancing. Then a new era of folk came along, led almost entirely by Bob Dylan. This new genre of music in the 60s experimented with a lot more than just love songs; these new songs told a story in a very real way. This kind of music is in direct relation to McLuhan's notions of "allatonceness." Folk songs like "Where Have all the Flowers Gone?" and "Blowin in the Wind" not only tell a story, they bombard us with a surge of emotions, thoughts, and images. This was very relevant and necessary during the 60s. All sorts of things were happening around the world in 1960, two of which the American Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War. Bob Dylan was a peaceful activist during this critical time.
Here's a video of Bob Dylan (and his good friend Joan Baez) performing during the March on Washington in 1962--you know, the one that MLK gave his super epic "I Have a Dream" speech at.
Okay, so he has super genius lyrics that tell a story and are relatable/a voice to a generation's ideals and apprehensions... So what? SO WHAT?! SO WHAT!! Well, I guess the facts that he's a lyrical genius and a politically explicit poet aren't the only reasons why McLuhan included Dylan in his book. In his book, McLuhan speaks a lot about the avant-garde and what it means to be an avant-garde. Bob Dylan completely embodies McLuhan's notion of avant-garde. He was a nobody from a small (BUT FREAKIN AWESOME) town that's WAY up in northern Minnesota, called Duluth. He came up with his own way and style of being a musician. He was completely unorthodox and extremely experimental, and from many he was highly criticized for it (he was even booed while on stage). He proved that anything is possible. One example of his avant-gardeness is his talking style of singing in the song "Talkin' New York."