The true story of Tempestgate and how Bob Dylan was There at the End of News
Seven letters that changed some things.
If only I had spotted it earlier, in the first few days after the unveiling of the artwork, the whole thing could have been different, this sorry sequence, this grotesque parade of factual things that happened. It is only right that this thankless task fall to me, and for what it’s worth I will not shirk it in a shirking way. I accept that as a Keen-Eyed Man of Science with a Firm Grasp of the Facts I had two basic duties, both of which I manifestly failed to perform. My failure of grasp was an inevitable consequence of my failure of eyes, and responsibility for this spiral of failure claws solely at my hunched and wretched form, bearing down, restricting my very breath. It is a bitter joke that I breathe at all, and I will not insult you with the hollow wheeze of contrition; there can be no refuge for the debased, no quarter for the unforgivable. The following is a sequence of the key events in this sordid debacle, cinematic in its scope and as vivid a piece as ever graced our language:
12/9/12 – Pontiac confirm rumoured lawsuit vs. Bob Dylan, folk-rock icon and writer of such hit songs as “All I Really Wanna Do” and “Quinn The Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)”. Dylan Naysayers flock to showrooms.
13/9/12 – Armed fanatics torch Pontiacs, purchase standard CD jewel case release, deluxe CD release, double vinyl LP release (with CD), iTunes release.
15/9/12 (a.m.) – Speculation regarding mutual financial gain of Sony and Pontiac reaches critical mass in twittersphere, becomes news.
15/9/12 (p.m.) – Joint Investo-Journ Sting Op launched by Pitchfork Media and 911truth.org. Richard Nixon re-pardoned pre-emptively by Emmy Award-winning funny man Chevy Chase (Outstanding Writing in a Comedy-Variety or Music Series, “The Paul Simon Special”, 1978).
17/9/12 – Anonymous inside source (“Debbie Does Dallas”) quoted making vague assurances that if you’ve got the readies it’s on tape, capiche?
26/9/12 – Tempestgate returns to headlines when liberation of Iran deteriorates into repetitious casualty statistics, etc. Pontiac Burlesque rolls off production lines to lukewarm reviews, although it will later be considered a minor peak in Pontiac’s “missing” years, brash though not without merit.
30/9/12 – Identity of Debbie Does Dallas revealed by anonymous source (“The Opening of Misty Beethoven”) as Marvin Pontiac, no forwarding address. First tape chewed by machine, partially salvaged by means of ballpoint pen and gentle smoothing with knuckles. Bulk of contents (Sides 1 through 7, and Side 9) identified as “Jude the Obscure” by Jeremy Irons and Thomas Hardy. Further analysis reveals fragments of Boogie Nights OST and early attempts at Daniel Plainview’s accent, previously thought lost.
9/10/12 – Threat of unspecified legal action from The Office of Daniel-Day Lewis forces broadcasters to resume coverage of Tempestgate®. Violence intensifies despite appeals for peace from @Joey7Barton and @RevRichardColes.
13/10/12 – Electricity returns to Eastern Seaboard of USA. Paul McCartney found with charred remains. Remaining four Beatles and a Wing taken in for questioning, later released without charge. Yoko Ono rumoured.
15/10/12 – Senior executives at Pontiac and Sony enter into private talks at Hugh Hefner Sky Villa, Las Vegas. Unconfirmed reports of chortling and, later, guffaws. Time elapses.
19/11/12 – A man gives a statement somewhere in which he muses on the unfortunate regrettableness of these unforeseeable events. Several passers-by agree that it’s sad when people die.
20/11/12 – Sweden sweeps board at delayed Spotify Nobel Prize ceremony.
22/11/12 – Eruption of Krakatoa linked to eruption of Vesuvius.
21/1/13 – 45th and Final President of USA Willard M. Romney inaugurated. Lowest attendance since records began.
14/2/13 – Mayans emerge from volcanoes, commence repopulation.
14/2/13 to Present – Science and spirituality, united at last, lead to lasting peace and prosperity for the Mayans and their slaves.