Bob Dylan is so important to me that the only reason in the world I don't have his name tattooed on my body is because I think he would think that was pretty lame and pathetic of me. I read his book last Autumn; it's an excellent book. My third-favorite part of Bob Dylan's excellent book is when he talks about how Joan Baez was famous before him but he knew in some fiery and guttural way that one day he would get to her. That's so magical for Bob Dylan- I wish every crazy thing I knew in some fiery and guttural way would come so fantastically true. My second-favorite part of Bob Dylan's book is when he says that Al Capone "seems like a man who never got out alone in nature for a minute in his life," which is a cool point to make about Al Capone or anybody and also stresses that Bob Dylan thinks it's important to get out alone in nature for a minute or two in one's life, which is true- I'd be pretty heartbroken to find out if Bob Dylan didn't think that.
My favorite part of Bob Dylan's book is when he says But what he say, I knew not what about James Joyce. It's one of my favorite sentences I've ever heard, humbly shoved into the extremely boring section of Bob Dylan's book about how he never collaborated with a playwright named Archibald Something on some project I forget now. The entire rest of Bob Dylan's book is written in proper, regular English, and then all of a sudden in the middle of reading it you're so thrilled to realize that you're about to find out about Bob Dylan's James Joyce opinions, and then it turns out that they're written in this wildly grammatically incorrect way: But what he say, I knew not what. The first time I read that sentence I immediately Googled it because it was so gorgeous, so perfect to me, that I thought it must have been a quote from something else that Bob Dylan reappropriated. But it wasn't. It was just Bob Dylan writing down the sentence But what he say, I knew not what about James Joyce, because that's what the world is. The amazing, perfect place where that sentence happened.
2. The Scene When Pete & Peggy & Ted Chaough Have Oysters & Whiskey Sours & Everyone's in Love with Each Other
That was one of my favorite things in 2013. It's from the third-to-last episode of season 6 of Mad Men, which is titled "Favors." Pete and Peggy and Ted Chaough have just flown on Ted Chaough's plane to some meeting with Ocean Spray somewhere, and they're nicely drunk and laughing a lot - giggling - and you can really feel the looseness of their shoulders. Ted Chaough and Peggy are in love and Pete's a little jealous:
but he's also happy for her and says that sweet thing about "I've seen that look." And then Ted Chaough goes to call his wife, and Pete and Peggy are in love with each other again for a minute, and then Peggy makes fun of Pete for being in love with Ted. It's all very romantic and Pete refers to it as "a romantic dinner," and the restaurant has checkered tablecloths and lots of nautical decor and those cute dumb red candles with netting. The best is how Peggy asks Ted to order her a whiskey sour and then the whiskey sour comes and Pete steals it, then pours half into his own glass:
and Peggy looks a little annoyed, but whatever, she's cool, it's all right. I was listening to a Grantland interview with Chuck Klosterman and he was talking about this scene and saying how Pete and Peggy have an "easy knowledge" of each other that's kind of rare on Mad Men/in life, and that really got to me. Easy knowledge is everything. Whiskey sours and oysters and loose shoulders and nice warm restaurants with wood paneling are everything. Along with this scene, another of my favorite things in 2013 was the end of "Freak Scene" by Dinosaur Jr., the part that goes "Sometimes I don't thrill you/Sometimes I think I'll kill you/Just don't let me fuck up will you/cuz when I need a friend it's still you." Sweetness hidden inside something weird and messy is one of the best kinds of sweetness, I feel.