Bob Dylan and Euclid: Dogs and Gods (Part II)

By Larry Fyffe

On the contention that God’s name ought not be uttered, I propose that singer/songerwriter Bob Dylan ‘avoids the issue, at least most of the time, by spelling God’s name backwards'(Part I).

‘Morton Jonsson’ goes further; he relies on Euclid’s notion, and it’s converse  – ‘things equal to the same thing are equal to each other’:

“If ‘dog’ usually means ‘god’ then obviously the reverse must be true. It’s only logical.

‘Dog knows the secrets of your heart, he’ll tell them to you when you’re asleep’. No one knows you like your dog.

‘And some day if dog’s in heaven overlooking his preserve’; ‘Well, dog is in his heaven, and we all want what’s his.’ All dogs go to heaven. We know that. But will we meet them there?

‘Dog don’t make promises that he can’t keep’. Dog the truthful, the ever-faithful: Fido.

‘Tattooed my babies with a poison pen, mocked my dog, humiliated my friends’. They’ve got to quit kicking my dog around.

‘Standing by dog’s river, my soul is beginning to shake’. Shake like a wet dog, of course (‘Morton Jonsson’).

On this last point, major schisms develop among Dylan scholars.

For one, Tony Attwood contends that the location mentioned in the song ‘Summer Days’ by Bob Dylan ‘is  not in the deep south at all, but in the frozen north of Canada’. He makes reference to Gods River in northern Manitoba (Summer Days: Bob Dylan), but Attwood renounces the apostrophe: ‘Standing by God’s River, my soul is beginning to shake’ (Bob Dylan).

In the song ‘Summer Days’, I suggest that ‘Dylan has a vision of himself as Joshua, leader of the Jews, standing on the banks of the River Jordon, waiting for God to break the river’s flow so he can cross into the Promised Land of Canaan’ (F. Scott Fitzgerald And Bob Dylan). I also point that  heretic Attwood relies on the album ‘Mask Marauders’ about Dylan being up near Hudson Bay, Canada, and that the album is a pure fraud.

On the other hand, ‘TG McEwan’ references an authoritative book in making his claim that the ‘Mississippi is God’s River’:

‘The Mississippi is God’s river, mighty and yielding,

reaching the Rocky Mountains before reaching the music of New Orleans'(The Life And Times Of Nathaniel Lande).

Modern scholars decide that the immediate above is the one and true doctrine of the Dylan Church though who among us is going to argue with Euclid. Bob Dylan has a Jewish background so ‘Joshua’ gets a pass. But Attwood is unrepentant.

He’s been brought before the Dylan Inquisition, ordered to dress in sack cloth and walk on ashes and beg for forgiveness – by so doing, he might just possibly avoid being burned at the stake. ‘Dog Ma’ have mercy on his soul.

Indeed, this wouldn’t be the first time that someone has been done in by a punctuation mark (See: Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynn Truss).

The theological schism created by ‘Jonssonianism’ is nonetheless condemned by orthodox scholars for its introduction of Egyptian mythology into ‘McEwanism’, and the mighty Mississippi transformed into the Nile of America:

But not all dogs are friendly; ‘Abe says, Where you want this killing done? Dog says, Out on Highway 61’. Abraham recast, prophetically, as David Berchowitz, the Son of Sam, who also lets a dog tell him where the killing should be done.

‘Disillusioned words like bullets bark as human dogs aim for their mark’. Human dogs …a woman with the head of a hyena …the beast who comes as a man of peace.

‘The face of dog will appear, with his serpent eyes of obsidian”; The dog offers comfort in an hour of peril.

But he has snake eyes; what sort of comfort, and what sort of dog is this?

‘El perro nos vigila’ …The gods are barking and what’s done is done’ (‘Morton Jonsson’).

Clearly, the reference here is to ‘Seth’, the Egyptain dog-headed god of Chaos, who watches for his chance and mangles his brother Osiris to death. Their sister Isis is able to retrieve her dead  brother’s testicles, and she becomes pregnant.

Order is restored although sometimes Isis does get the Memphis blues again.

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  1. What I would say is that on the issue of punctuation, if you look at such of Bob’s manuscripts that have been made available, they are not always that complete nor indeed accurate when it comes to the use of apostrophes. Would he really bother to distinguish in writing between The Songwriter’s visions and The Songwriters’ visions?

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