As the years slowly strip Bob Dylan of the legendarily patient demeanor and sunny disposition he once had for several weeks as a toddler, the 71-year-old artist has responded in typically Bob Dylan-esque fashion to longstanding accusations of plagiarism. Asked by Rolling Stone about lifting lines from Civil War-era poet Henry Timrod and Japanese author Junichi Saga on, respectively, 2006's Modern Times and 2001's Love And Theft, Dylan responded by pointing out the long history of quotation in folk and jazz, saying his sources are too obscure for anyone to care this much, and challenging his critics to do better before calling them pussies:
As far as Henry Timrod is concerned, have you even heard of him? Who's been reading him lately? And who's pushed him to the forefront? Who's been making you read him? And ask his descendants what they think of the hoopla. And if you think it's so easy to quote him and it can help your work, do it yourself and see how far you can get. Wussies and pussies complain about that stuff.
Dylan elaborates that this sort of criticism has its own rich history, comparing it to the infamous "Judas" incident heard on the "Royal Albert Hall" bootleg: "These are the same people that tried to pin the name Judas on me. Judas, the most hated name in human history!" Dylan says. "If you think you've been called a bad name, try to work your way out from under that. Yeah, and for what? For playing an electric guitar? As if that is in some kind of way equitable to betraying our Lord and delivering him up to be crucified. All those evil motherfuckers can rot in hell." Dylan then kicked over the table and stubbed out a cigar on the Rolling Stone reporter's forehead, or at least he did in our imagination.
Anyway, it's a bit early still, but MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM BOB DYLAN, pussies.