Welcome to my blog. Here you will find information that is both interesting and useless. You can even see how Steve, my camera, sees the world through my eyes, or get your hands on my latest novel, Jihad Joe at:


Thanks for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the coffee and cake. Sorry we ran out of donuts.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Bob Dylan used a cheat sheet

(Photo: AP)
Bob Dylan recently won the Nobel Prize for Literature without ever having written a book. Now he is accused of lifting portions of he lecture from SparkNotes. 

The singer talked about three books he allegedly read and had the biggest impact on his life. One of these was Herman Melville's "Moby Dick." In fact, he quoted a passage from the novel--but it isn't actually from the novel. 

It's from the SparksNotes, a website that helps students use a shortcut on major works of literature and other topics when they don't want to read the full book.

Writer Ben Greenman initially called attention to the singer's lecture in his June 6 blog post that Dylan seemed to have invented a passage from "Moby Dick." He also discussed "The Odyssey," by Homer and "All Quiet on the Western Front," by Erich Maria Remarque.

Andrea Pitzer wrote a Slate article on Tuesday stating that Dylan's quote was not in "Moby Dick" but was clearly a line from the SparkNotes summary of the book.

Dylan said: "Some men who receive injuries are led to God, others are led to bitterness."

SparkNotes said: "someone whose trials have led him toward God rather than bitterness."

Pitzer and the Associated Press verified 20 additional sentences with traces and phrases from the "Moby Dick" SparkNotes.

At least there were no sentences that were verbatim from SparkNotes, but even a high school student is smart enough not to copy verbatim.

In the past, Dylan had been accused of pilfering lines from older artists for his songs, though his fans tend to dismiss it as the common borrowing of the folk-and-blues genre he drew his music from.

Dylan recorded the lecture in Los Angeles and gave it to the Swedish Academy, and they called it "extraordinary" and "eloquent" [I call it 'something borrowed, something blue'].

In order to collect the $922,000 in prize money, the lecture is required. 

You cannot tell the Nobel Committee "the dog ate my lecture."