"Death to my Hometown" - Bruce Springsteen
There is something about Bruce that makes conservatives desperately crave his approval or to be able to co-opt him in some form or fashion. There were ham-handed attempts by the Reagan people to invoke "the hope" in Bruce's music as an example of morning in America -- Bruce had a wonderful, succinct response, musing
"The President was mentioning my name the other day, and I kinda got to wondering what his favorite album musta been. I don't think it was the Nebraska album. I don't think he's been listening to this one."
before launching into a particularly fierce version of Johnny 99. That bow-tied fuck George Will tried the same treatment, in what is to this day one of the most infuriating columns that I have ever read. (Eric Alterman suggests that Will's column was inspired by a show that I was at in the old Capital Center in Landover, MD in 1984, which also featured a blistering Johnny 99, in which Bruce changed the words "put me in that execution line" to the more blunt (and bluesy sounding) "put me in that killing line.") One reads the Will column with amazement that anyone anywhere could be so wrong about anything.
And today Will's spiritual heir (sadly Will is actually still around, but his relevance died at least a decade ago), prissy fussbudget David Brooks got into the act, describing the experience of following Springsteen around to shows in Spain and France, basking in his peculiarly American glow. No word on whether "Moral Hazard" accompanied him on these outings. (It's the sort of thing that makes me want to grab the baseball bat out of the car and hop the Metro two stops down to Cleveland Park and administer a serious knee-capping. Hey, it is the unofficial state sport of New Jersey.)
But topping all of the nauseating right wing fanboy attempts to claim the Boss as their own, has been the Atlantic's pity party for Springsteen enthusiast Chris Christie, whom Bruce has had the temerity (some might say wisdom) to ignore. It started with a lengthy Jeffrey Goldberg piece that I submit is a masterpiece of some kind -- I just can't figure out what. Then, in a special kind of horrifying synergy, Clive Crook got into the act, giving a hearty amen to Goldberg and Christie and demanding that Springsteen do his duty and buy Christie a beer. (I'd recommend a Miller 64.) It's a short piece, but it packs a remarkable amount of wrong into so few syllables. (I also strongly recommend reading the comments to Crook's piece, which are truly high-sterical.)
All I can say to these right wing clowns is that they need to accept that Springsteen doesn't like or share their politics or world views and he probably wouldn't be all that keen on them as people. Tough shit. Go follow Lee Greenwood or Toby Keith around, assholes.
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Further Update: Never mind -- it seems to have cured itself. Comment away.