To cleanse the palate, I had to blog it for that headline alone.

Nothing against Dylan or Madeleine Albright or former Tennessee women’s hoops coach Pat Summitt, all of whom were among those who received Presidential Medals of Freedom today, but shouldn’t there be a separate/more serious award for this guy?

William Foege

A physician and epidemiologist, Foege helped lead the successful campaign to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s. He was appointed director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1977 and, with colleagues, founded the Task Force for Child Survival in 1984. Foege became executive director of The Carter Center in 1986 and continues to serve the organization as a senior fellow.

Or how about this gentleman?

Jan Karski

Karski served as an officer in the Polish Underground during World War II and carried among the first eyewitness accounts of the Holocaust to the world. He worked as a courier, entering the Warsaw ghetto and the Nazi Izbica transit camp, where he saw firsthand the atrocities occurring under Nazi occupation.

Anyway, your homework assignment: Explain Dylan’s appeal to me in the comments. I find most of 60s culture (and especially 60s music) accessible enough but I’ve never understood the Dylan phenomenon. It feels like an elaborate put-on, and yet the guy is sufficiently iconic that he could receive the country’s top civilian honor from the president at the White House while wearing shades and no one really thinks twice. Impressive. Click the image to watch.