Sunday, July 20, 2008
Parody in Palindromes
This weekend we were listening to Oh Mercy, Bob Dylan's Daniel Lanois-produced and vastly under-appreciated 1989 recording, when Revel felt compelled to share this video by Weird Al Yankovic. My world was instantly culturally enriched. This spot on parody of D.A. Pennebaker's 1967 Don't Look Back is brilliant on so many levels. For starters, the original Subterranean Homesick Blues footage is, in itself, inherently ridiculous and begging to be mocked. Yes, Dylan's a genius, but when I first saw Don't Look Back, my big take-away was "What an asshole!" And yes, Dylan's lyrics are often deep and brilliant, but sometimes they're just nonsensical easy rhymes delivered with great feeling. This, too, begs for mockery. But the best part is that Yankovic has written his parody completely in palindromes, or lines that read the same frontward or backward. Bet you can't watch it just once.