Bob Dylan, TV pitchman

Bob Dylan is doing TV commercials now.

“Why is Dylan shilling for IBM on a set of commercials that place him on the same level as Ken Jennings?” USA Today’s For the Win blog asks today. “He’s the voice of an entire generation? He’s the greatest poet in American history. Why debase himself like this?”

In the distant past, he’s also done commercials for Victoria’s Secret, cars, and a soft drink.

It’s been said that Bob Dylan is the biggest enigma in American culture. But what if it was just as easy as a one-time troubadour turned folk singer turned rock star turned recluse turned country singer turned revue musician turned born again Christian turned fading superstar turned man recovering from a near-death experience turned wistful musician with a keen eye for life, death and everything in between simply doing something that makes him happy? What if it’s as easy as that?

That is to say: Does Dylan need to be what we want him to be?