After Bob Dylan got the Nobel Prize for Literature and entered the Nobel Hall of Fame, it was only a question of time before the Vatican followed suit. Within hours came the announcement, Angelina Jolie was to be beatified. Before her demise? disbelievers complained. Well, she’s not half as much box office as she used to be in her Lara Croft days, is she? the Vatican secretray said. And now she’s broken up with BRad Pitt and is just ANGELINA. You know what that means in Hollywood, or in the Vatican, don’t you?
Saint La La, as her devotees are already calling her, will be the first Christian saint to have had three husbands and six children. The UNHCR has devised a plan for her to ‘adopt’ three and a half million refugee children – a symbolic adoption, but no more symbolic than Turkey taking back refugees or Germany welcoming them. As regards the objection to her still being ‘alive’, Michael Jackson earned $825 million last year, seven years after his death, making some artists who are still alive wish they were dead. Why just beatification, ANJOLIE – Anjali? – might well become the first saint to achieve canonisation in the course of her mortal existence, the Vatican said. The Swedish Academy has set the pace and shown the way. Not just with Bob Dylan. What about Malala Yousafzai getting the Nobel Peace Prize with seventeen? The only thing left for her to become now is the first Muslim woman president of the United States, right after Donald Trump, say.
As we can see now, both the Nobel Committee and the Vatican are doing it right, in these days of the Internet and the Twitter and the Instagram – you got to beat the masses, you got to beat History, you got to beat Time. Can’t wait for a saint to die before you canonise her or him. She or he is old hat by then. You gotta catch ’em young. Malala got the Nobel with 17, that was in 2014, she being born in 1997. History was already in the making in the sense that a male child by the name of Justin Drew Bieber had been born three years earlier in London – Ontario, Canada – and would be just 16 by the time he released his debut single One Time in 2009.
What was the Nobel Committee doing, pray? Had they given the Nobel Prize for Literature in time to Justin Bieber, who knows what might have happened? He’s written or co-written 42 songs since then, I’m told (by Wikipedia). And I know that Benazir Bhutto got shot after becoming the first woman prime minister of Pakistan. Malala might do it the other way round, bless her, as a cynic friend of mine quipped the other day. Dylan wrote 271 songs in 55 years; ‘Just in’ would have done that ‘in just’ 45 years. So combining Dylan and Malala, a grave injustice has been done to Justin Bieber. The only way to salvage the situation is for the Nobel Committee to give him the Nobel Peace Prize as well as the Nobel Prize for Literature, at one go – that would be something new all over again and set the wires buzzing.
We’d forgotten all about Saint La La in all this hooey about Justin and Malala. Every saint has enemies. Angelina had the Fiery Jennifer, whom she vanquished. And now she’s got the Wily Amal – the Clooney woman, who is gunning for sainthood too. Both of them are active in the refugee sector. And then the Vatican exploded the bombshell: apparently it’s a new secretray and he mixed up Anjolie and Amal and – now hold on tight – Angie, our very own Angela Merkel! Merkel and not Angelina is to be beatified, no, canonised, because she has already performed her miracle. “One of my favorites is Angela Merkel because I think she’s been an extraordinary, strong leader during difficult times in Europe, which has obvious implications for the rest of the world and, most particularly, our country,” this is what Hillary Clinton has said about the German Chancellor – and Donald Trump has accused Hillary of wanting to be America’s Angela Merkel. So it’s not Saint La La but Saint Angela, the reporters got it all wrong, the Vatican secretary says.
But we still have to resolve the issue, was it right to give the Nobel Prize for Literatrure to Bob Dylan? All we’ve got to do is to remember that Winston Churchill, no less, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953 “for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values”. After that, I suggest the next Nobel Prize for Literature be awarded to the Nobel Committee for – you figure it out.
I asked my good fiend Bob what he thought about the whole shindig and this is what he said, or sang: “Someone’s got it in for me, they’re planting stories in the press / Whoever it is I wish they’d cut it out but when they will I can only guess”. When Sara Danius, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, rang up to tell Bob, he apparently picked up his guitar and sang: “You’re an idiot, babe. / It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe” (Idiot Wind, 1974).
Wish you’re like you never won the Nobel prize the next time you write a song, Bob, and remember, we still love you.