Before becoming the voice of his generation, Bob Dylan (born Robert Zimmerman) grew up in Hibbing, Minnesota, and the frustration expressed in the above passage refl ects a distinctly Minnesotan confl ict. A Minnesotan myself, I can say with authority that although not all of the stereotypes about our state are true — Garrison Keillor tends to exaggerate — many of them are. Minnesotans believe that the simplest explanation is the best and that a cigar is always just a cigar. We exalt stoicism as perhaps the greatest of all virtues, and we have a natural distrust of those who call excessive attention to their own opinions and feelings. Yet those feelings still roil beneath the protective padding of our ubiquitous parkas. With his irreverent response to questions about the meaning of his famous ballad, Bob Dylan represents the quandary of his native state. Everyone knows the song is profound, and intended to be so, but Dylan doesn’t want to be caught trying too hard or feeling too deeply. So he is stuck stubbornly defending an untenable position. There’s no metaphor, he insists; the meaning of the song is exactly what the song says it is. The answer is blowing in the wind.