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NEW YORK (CAP) - In a rare statement to his fans on his website, Bob Dylan this week explained something, possibly the recent controversy over his concerts in China, although no one seems to know exactly.
"Well my daddy, he didn't leave me much, you know he was a very simple man, but what he did tell me was this," Dylan wrote on bobdylan.com. "He did say, son, he said, China's mighty big, but I'll tell you what's bigger - God, your mammy and pappy, and maybe even your dog, depending on the breed."
The statement is accompanied by a black-and-white photo of Dylan with his hands in the pockets of his knickerbockers, his wicker trilby hat angled jauntily at the back of his head.
Dylanologists have been poring over the statement to discern its meaning. Most are in agreement that it has something to do with his recent China concerts, which were notoriously slammed by columnist Maureen Dowd in the New York Times. "Although it's possible he may just be talking about his dog," said Fred Tarshbuck, professor of Dylan Studies at Berkley.
Dowd's column takes Dylan to task for going to China where, she wrote, he "sang his censored set, took his pile of Communist cash and left." However, there's no evidence that the Chinese government censored Dylan, and several media pundits have reported that Dowd has never actually heard a Dylan song. She's also been rumored to have written the column on her Blackberry in a cab just minutes before her deadline.
Asked whether she did any actual reporting for the column, Dowd responded, "Do you know who I am? I'm Maureen Dowd, goddammit - I'm a columnist for the goddamn New York Times!" Columnists for the New York Times are prohibited from doing any actual reporting, according to a representative from the Newspaper Guild.
Dowd also defended her musical pedigree, claiming to have once had coffee with Celine Dion.
Dylan's China shows also sparked controversy among the likes of Fred Markinson, 69, of Pawtucket, R.I., who has been protesting Dylan since he went electric at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, and was vocally opposed to Dylan's recent solo Christmas album and his holiday collaboration with Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits.
"Judas!" commented Markinson about the China controversy, while nuzzling his recently purchased 180-gram vinyl copy of Bob Dylan: In Concert, Brandeis University, 1963, and dreaming of happier times.
Dylan's website statement continues as follows:
How did I wind up in China? Carelessness. I lost my one true love. I started drinking. The first thing I know, I'm in a card game. I wake up in a pool hall. Then this big Mexican lady drags me off the table, takes me to Philadelphia. She leaves me alone in her house, and it burns down. I wind up in Phoenix. I get a job as a Chinaman. And the rest is history.
Some people seem to think that when I went to China I was there to create the new imperial empire. But as James Earl Jones said, "The one constant through all the years has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. Today will be a day long remembered. It has seen the death of Kenobi, and will soon see the end of the rebellion." My daddy said something very similar.
"Well, maybe he wasn't censored, but he's definitely wacked," responded Dowd.
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