Bobby Zimmerman’s Secret Victoria

DylanSo a Victoria’s Secret commercial comes on during tonight’s “Survivor.” Nothing unusual in that. But there’s this music playing as the soundtrack — a Bob Dylan song. Strange! But I lost track of his career somewhere back there around “Blood on the Tracks,” so what do I know about him anymore (I didn’t even know the name of the song, which turned out to be “Love Sick”; it was just that his voice is so distinctive you couldn’t miss it). We’re watching this sort of odd presentation, and then suddenly, there’s Bob himself, looking sort of made up. Or maybe that’s just the way he looks. Everyone’s (everyone who’s not a Dylan fanatic) got the same general take (like this one from the Houston Chronicle) on this: what a weird clash of cultural — what? symbols? The major variation on the theme: Dylan’s a sellout (again). And there are the inevitable attempts — considered and reluctantly rejected here, though there’s a peach of a line from “Ballad of a Thin Man” you might use — to use Dylan’s old lyrics to send him up now (Montreal Gazette headline: “Hey, Mr. Lingerie Man.” I wish I had something real fresh to say, but all I’ve got is this: Now absolutely everyone is selling something. So Dylan’s to be congratulated for scoring a deal with the underwear company (as opposed to Pringles or something).

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