On the surface, the selection of Bob Dylan for the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature seems bizarre beyond the limits of human understanding. Dylan is the first person to win the literature prize in decades who is widely known and admired. He is the first performing artist in history to win the coveted award.

In a strange way, awarding Dylan a prize usually given to people who write books and poems make sense. The award harkens back to an era when poets performed their word as part of an oral tradition.

The news has caused a firestorm on social media, where the jokes are going fast and furious. The most obvious one, “Oh, great, something else for Kayne to get irate about.” The runner up is “Next for the Nobel Prize for Chemistry --- Keith Richards.”

The award suggests that words set to music are about to get a better appreciation at the Academy than words written out on paper.

Let’s face it, a lot of what constitutes poetry these days has been ruined by social justice warriors. The time in which poetry expressed universal truths (Emily Dickinson comes to mind) has given way to poetry as agitprop.

To be sure, some of Dylan’s work was political, something that could not be avoided when being a performing artist in the 1960s. But protest songs were only a small portion of his body of work going back decades.He is considered one of the greatest song writers of all time.

One other observation. Will Bob Dylan’s Nobel lecture be spoken or sung? If the latter, it will be yet another groundbreaking event.

The next question that arises, now that the most prestigious award in literature has been thrown open to performing artists, who is next?

Paul Simon, Cat Stevens, and perhaps Joni Mitchell come to mind. No doubt the gentle reader has some other ideas and is invited to present them in the comments section.

In any case, 2016 is turning out to be the weirdest year in a long time, with two and a half months to go as this is being written.

One wonders what will be next before 2017 dawns.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!