Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Fashionable Fascism of Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen announced yesterday that he has cancelled his show in Greensboro N.C. scheduled for this Sunday, April 10.
He did this after the North Carolina legislature passed a law restricting bathrooms to the gender to which the users were born.
Instantly this was seen as an “anti-gay bill” and the outcry was astounding. The facts be damned, these people were screaming about this law being discriminatory.
North Carolina HB2, as the law is officially designated, is specific. It allows for public, multi-occupant restrooms, locker rooms, shower rooms and changing rooms to be used only by the gender notated on one’s birth certificate.
The bill makes CLEAR provision for single user, unisex bathrooms. So the bill takes into consideration the claim that transgender people are at risk using the restroom to which their birth certificate (or most would say God) has designated them. They are not making a law that mandates that you pee in the men’s room even if a unisex room is available.
It’s apparent that Springsteen never read the bill in it’s entirety, and if he did, he chose to ignore the facts, and twist the words so that his adoring minion would get riled up and revolt.
Bruce needs to feel relevant again…I get it. He’s sixty-six. He hasn’t written a truly great album since “Tunnel of Love” back in 1987. That’s 29 years of half baked, halfhearted efforts, punctuated by repackaged box sets of old songs that all his diehard fans (like me until this week) already owned. Each set was to celebrate the anniversary (typically the 30th or 35th) of one of his landmark albums. Currently it’s “The River” we are revisiting with the box set “The Ties That Bind” which is getting horrible reviews from diehards like me who plunked down a C note (I didn’t…I can’t afford it in Obama’s economy) for a box of stuff they already had. I have read review after review where the buyers were dismayed over spending the money for a collection of songs that have been out there for three decades now. Bruce’s studio albums used to be a guaranteed sale of about five million units minimum. Now he’s trying hard to sell a couple hundred thousand. That’s why we get these repackages and it’s why his live shows are predominantly sets of the great Springsteen songs of old…back when he gave a damn. Nobody really wants to hear the new songs and he knows it.
Bruce’s worst enemy is his own success. His wealth is rumored to approach a half-billion dollars and I’ve heard even more. Yet he writes song after song about the evil rich and those horrible bankers on “banker hill” (Banker Hill??) yet nobody wonders where he keeps all that money he has? Mayonnaise jars in the back yard? Under the mattress?
Bruce’s middle kid went to Duke. She rode for their equestrian team. You think she got a scholarship? Old Bruce plunked down close to $125000 a year for her to go there. Oh, and that horse she jumps with…almost a million dollars.
God bless him! Seriously! I love me some capitalism and I am all for a guy hitting the jackpot. But don’t let your guilt from doing so, be used as a means to attack me or punish everyone who disagrees with you.
That’s really the point of this article. Bruce’s fraudulent, guilt-driven attack on anyone who doesn’t line up with his politics. Bruce decided that a 66 year old rock star from New Jersey, who lives in New Jersey, grew up in New Jersey, lands his private plane in NJ, houses his horses on his farm in New Jersey, keeps his wealth in New Jersey (except for that which is doubtless secured in the Cayman’s…he’s not stupid) knows better what is best for North Carolina than North Carolinians do.
But he is so sure he knows better that he doubled down and told them all that unless they agree with him entirely on this position, he would not be bringing his services to Greensboro this Sunday night.
He was withholding his art because their policy violated his personal beliefs.
Sound familiar?
Imagine Bruce was a cake baker and 20,000 people wanted a wedding cake and Bruce told them all “No!” because he disagrees with their “legislative lifestyle.”
Is it clearer now?
Bruce is a fraud. And every single person who sides with him is a fraud as well.
Bruce is doing exactly what the bakers in Washington and Colorado did and he is being applauded, while they lost everything.
Bruce is telling you and me that unless we adopt HIS personal views on life, we are no longer allowed to hear his music or enjoy his shows. He cannot TOLERATE dissent in any form.
That, folks, is fascism.
Bruce Springsteen…you are a phony. You are a self-loathing rich man who can’t handle the blessings God bestowed on you and so you punish yourself vicariously by writing scathing songs about people who are, in fact, exactly like you.
You are intolerant. You are, by definition, a bigot. You defy everything you claim you stand for by denying your fans their joy in hearing your music unless an entire state does your bidding.
Who the hell do you think you are?
I refused to discuss the points and counterpoints of the bill in question here…that would take far too long.
I won’t go back into my devotion to Bruce from the time I was eleven years old…forty one years ago now. That has been documented on my blogs in the past.
This is about the fascism and hypocrisy he demonstrates today.
A dear friend once said to me –about five years ago when we were discussing the demise of Bruce’s writing skills- “He needs to lose every penny, lose his family, and end up working on a crab boat in the Bering Sea for about a year. He’s led a charmed life since he was about 25 and he has no idea what his real fan base even thinks or feels anymore.”
My friend was right.
Bruce only connects with mindless idiot millennials now. Kids who think the world owes them everything and everyone else needs to pay for it. Kids who believe in a phony equality because it’s better than proving yourself against long odds.
The people, like me, who’ve been fans since Bruce was a Northeast novelty, have fought the wars…military and personal. We’ve earned the money we bought those records with. We knew he was a liberal but he kept it out of his music back then and so we tuned out his politics and turned up the music.
Now he’s punishing us for disagreeing with him. He who values dissent above all…
He is a hypocrite.

It’s time to retire Bruce.