Because the right

Bobo (link fixed) has a piece today about Bruce Springsteen. Shorter Bobo: I really love Bruce Springsteen and feel that I learned from listening to his stories of “teenage couples out on a desperate lark, workers struggling as the mills close down, and drifters on the wrong side of the law”.

George Will once composed a paean to the boss as well and Ronald Reagan spoke of “message of hope in the songs of a man so many young Americans admire: New Jersey’s own Bruce Springsteen.”

Why do righties like the Boss so much? Aren’t they at least mad that he did that song about Charlie Starkweather?

Update. I like this answer from commenter Paris:

Bruce lives the macho stereotype many of the righties can only dream of. They’re too busy standing in airport mens rooms, indulging in fetishes, and wearing bow ties.






90 replies
  1. 1
    Todd says:

    Think you meant to link tothis.

  2. 2
    Scruffy McSnufflepuss says:

    Aren’t these the same people that like a Pledge of Allegiance written by a Soshulist? (With the exception of their favorite words, of course, which were added in 1954.)

  3. 3
    DougJ says:

    Aren’t these the same people that like a Pledge of Allegiance written by a Soshulist?

    Yes, that is true.

  4. 4
    Mnemosyne says:

    Why do righties like the Boss so much?

    They’re too busy romanticizing the working class to listen to the lyrics.

    That, and they just can’t get the cover of Born in the USA out of their heads.

  5. 5
    JenJen says:

    Aren’t they at least mad that he did that song about Charlie Starkweather?

    Or that he played “The Rising”, a 9/11 Anthem, at the Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial?

  6. 6
    smiley says:

    Why do righties like the Boss so much?

    Yeah. And why no love for John Mellencamp? He’s another lefty who sings about “real” working Americans.

  7. 7

    [Insert standard compliment for post title here]

    Good question, especially since he endorsed Obama for president in ’08.

    Why this piece of hardcore fRiechtard Bruce pron was written in ’09 just goes to show how fucking oblivious those cretins get when they’ve found something to wank over.

  8. 8
    Fallsroad says:

    “Born In The USA” was quickly adopted by righties when it came out, and for years afterward.

    I’m pretty sure they were unable to tease out the actual lyrics…

    The righties love affair with Springsteen has to do with their romanticized (and inaccurate) vision of working people, since they don’t know any themselves.

  9. 9
    JustinCognito says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That’s the real problem with these people, isn’t it? They think you can put on “the working class” like it’s some fucking hat. Same thing with Chris Matthews. They address the working class in terms of trappings — beer, coffee, bowling, and Bruce Springsteen. They imprint their own prejudices on the workers — like Matthews’ ideas that “the common people” won’t go for a black “egghead” — and never focus on the actual issues underlying the memetics. They’ll talk to you endlessly about how Barack’s an elitist for eating arugula, but then they’ll freeze up when you ask them about the current status of labor unions in local shops (well, aside from some vague “Card check BAD” statements, I’d bet).

  10. 10
    Todd says:

    I’m getting annoyed that all my comments are never moderated into existence. Your link is bad, unless you want to randomly link to an Elle Fitzgerald review.

    Wikipedia has this to say:

    In late August 1984, the Born in the U.S.A. album was selling very well, its songs were all over the radio, and the associated tour was drawing considerable press. Springsteen shows at the Capital Centre outside of Washington, D.C. thus attracted even more media attention, in particular from CBS Evening News correspondent Bernard Goldberg, who saw Springsteen as a modern-day Horatio Alger story. Yet more notably, the widely-read conservative columnist George Will, after attending a show, published on September 13, 1984 a piece entitled “A Yankee Doodle Springsteen” in which he praised Springsteen as an exemplar of classic American values. He wrote: “I have not got a clue about Springsteen’s politics, if any, but flags get waved at his concerts while he sings songs about hard times. He is no whiner, and the recitation of closed factories and other problems always seems punctuated by a grand, cheerful affirmation: ‘Born in the U.S.A.!'”[2] The 1984 presidential campaign was in full stride at the time, and Will had connections to President Ronald Reagan’s re-election organization. Will thought that Springsteen might endorse Reagan, and got the notion pushed up to high-level Reagan advisor Michael Deaver’s office. Those staffers made inquiries to Springsteen’s management which were politely rebuffed.

    Nevertheless, on September 19, 1984, at a campaign stop in Hammonton, New Jersey, Reagan added the following to his usual stump speech:

    “America’s future rests in a thousand dreams inside your hearts; it rests in the message of hope in songs so many young Americans admire: New Jersey’s own Bruce Springsteen. And helping you make those dreams come true is what this job of mine is all about.”

    Interesting.

  11. 11
    JenJen says:

    Speaking of wingnuts and the music they love, the other day, I watched “Poliwood”, Barry Levinson’s documentary about celebrities and the 2008 Election. One really interesting part involved some footage from the Crosby Stills Nash & Young “Freedom of Speech” 2006 tour, in support of Neil’s album. When the band played “Let’s Impeach The President”, the crowd booed heartily and gave the finger to the band.

    After the show, which Levinson attended, he interviewed David Crosby about the nasty reception, to which Crosby replied, “What band did they think they were coming to see tonight?”

  12. 12
    Dollared says:

    Is this a trick question?

    Because they like to hear about working class suffering. Duh. They think that that fear and anxiety (and of course, lots of travel because when you’re poor you gotta go where the work is) is what makes good, humble employees. Mellancamp is way too uppity.

  13. 13
    Sentient Puddle says:

    Yeah, I always assumed it’s because they never read the lyrics sheet for Born in the USA. Or those who did just kinda forgot and went back to their romanticized notion of what the song was about.

    I think that would also explain John Mellencamp, who never really wrote a song that could be misinterpreted like Born in the USA. Well, Our Country, but by then, they knew he was a flaming lefty.

  14. 14
    kuvasz says:

    Righties always suck up to the the Boss.

  15. 15
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    It’s purely a zeitgeist thing. Bruce made the big time during the Reagan era, post hoc ego teleprompter hock, his music is Republican in essence. Think Rambo, Morning in America, the Olympics on TV, Big #1 Foam Fingers, USA! USA! USA!, and baby I was born to ruuuuuuuunnnnnn…

    We don’t have a memory hole, we have a memory blender, set to puree. Once it all goes into the cultural blender, nobody makes it out alive.

  16. 16
    khead says:

    Why? Because Bruce is quite high up there in the list of “Stuff White People Like”. Doesn’t matter what the lyrics say.

  17. 17
    Fallsroad says:

    We don’t have a memory hole, we have a memory blender, set to puree. Once it all goes into the cultural blender, nobody makes it out alive.

    Bravo.

  18. 18
    JenJen says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    We don’t have a memory hole, we have a memory blender, set to puree.

    This.

  19. 19
    drowning in a sea of red says:

    And Texas loves Willie Nelson

  20. 20
    Mike in NC says:

    Aren’t they at least mad that he did that song about Charlie Starkweather?

    Had he gotten off, he’d probably now be Representative Charles Starkweather (R-NE).

  21. 21
    Ed Drone says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    We don’t have a memory hole, we have a memory blender, set to puree.

    This is a cognate for the “folk-processor,” beloved of all pop-folk fans and despised by the folk police (i.e., the “tradder than thou” crowd). “Tradder” means “more traditional” and is an old term of art I just made up.

    Ed

  22. 22
    GReynoldsCT00 says:

    @smiley:

    I thought Mellencamp was Republican, you’d think they’d like him more. I think Bobo is just trying to make everyone think he’s cool.

  23. 23
    Mike G says:

    Why do righties like the Boss so much?

    They love him so much that they continue to create more shuttered factories, unemployed workers and devastated towns for him to sing about.

  24. 24
    licensed to kill time says:

    Because they never delve below the surface of a thing and listen to the actual content. The Boss looks like a regular dude in jeans and Born In The USA just sounds awesome if you only listen to the chorus.

    Sort of like the folks who bought Sarah!s book only to return it because w/o the signature it was worthless – they weren’t going to actually read the thing.

  25. 25
    Legalize says:

    They “like” Springsteen so much because they’ve either (a) not actually listened to his songs and/or (b) totally don’t understand what his songs express.

  26. 26
    Liberty60 says:

    Rightists love Springsteen for the same reason that dogs love their masters; its like that old Far Side cartoon where the man is scolding his dog, and all she hears is “Blah blah blah blah Ginger; Blah blah Ginger: Ginger blah blah blah.”

    They hear: “Blah blah America; Blah blaaaaahhh America! America blah blah blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”

  27. 27
    DougJ says:

    I thought Mellencamp was Republican, you’d think they’d like him more.

    No, he’s a DFH too.

  28. 28
    licensed to kill time says:

    @Liberty60: Oh, snap! One of my favorite Far Side cartoons. The cat one has the cat just hearing “blah blah blah blah blah….”

  29. 29
    Paris says:

    Bruce lives the macho stereotype many of the righties can only dream of. They’re too busy standing in airport mens rooms, indulging in fetishes, and wearing bow ties.

  30. 30
    JGabriel says:

    DougJ:

    Why do righties like the Boss so much?

    I’ve always wondered this too. Springsteen pretty much stands against everything Republicans are for, and most of his songs are written from the POV, and with sympathy in mind, of the same class of people that GOP’ers routinely despise.

    The only thing I can figure, is that maybe it gives them some kind of “walking on the wrong side of the tracks” frisson.

    Whatever. It’s weird.

    .

  31. 31
    JenJen says:

    @DougJ: Yep. And for all intents and purposes, Mellencamp is the Corn Belt version of Springsteen. He’s always been more popular here in southwestern Ohio than Springsteen, but it was the same message, at around the same time, from two excellent populist minstrels, one celebrated (Springsteen, and rightfully so), and one rather underrated (Mellencamp).

  32. 32
    Legalize says:

    I’d bet a million dollars wingers never heard of Springsteen prior to Born in the USA anyway. See e.g., Nebraska. There’s no way they’d profess love for the man if they spent 5 minutes with that record.

  33. 33
    muddy says:

    I think they are so delusional that they imagine they ARE the downtrodden, and he speaks to them. But then everything is meant to be for them, so that makes sense.

  34. 34
    JGabriel says:

    Fallsroad:

    “Born In The USA” was quickly adopted by righties when it came out, and for years afterward. I’m pretty sure they were unable to tease out the actual lyrics…

    IIRC, I’m pretty sure those lyrics were printed on the inner album sleeve*. Which means that winger reading skills were just as bad a quarter century ago as they are today.

    (*Yes, kiddies, CD players had only been commercially available for a year or so when Born in the USA was released, and, at the time, vinyl was still, by far, the most popular media for music distribution.)

    .

  35. 35
    JenJen says:

    @Sentient Puddle:

    I think that would also explain John Mellencamp, who never really wrote a song that could be misinterpreted like Born in the USA. Well, Our Country, but by then, they knew he was a flaming lefty.

    Count me as one lefty who things “Pink Houses” is an indictment, a celebration, an anthem and a wake-up call all at once.

  36. 36
    Suzan says:

    I met several members of the E Street band on a plane flight years ago who laughed like crazy when I asked them about the right’s support of their musical message.

    They were convinced that it was an attention span problem.

    Ha. Obviously the brighties couldn’t listen to the whole song.

    These guys were great!

    S

  37. 37
    Comrade Jake says:

    For the same reason they love the movie “We Were Soldiers”: they’re some of the most shallow people walking the planet.

  38. 38
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Legalize:

    They “like” Springsteen so much because they’ve either (a) not actually listened to his songs and/or (b) totally don’t understand what his songs express.

    If somebody is trying to communicate an idea to you, and they are screaming it at you at 120 decibels pumped out of a 10 foot high bank of electronically amplified speakers, and you still can’t hear what they are saying, then either you are stone deaf, or a Republican.

  39. 39
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @JenJen: I actually just read that McCain used Pink Houses during his stump speeches last year. So…yup, I stand corrected.

  40. 40
    JGabriel says:

    Legalize:

    I’d bet a million dollars wingers never heard of Springsteen prior to Born in the USA anyway. See e.g., Nebraska.

    Nah, they’d heard of him. They just thought “Mansion on the Hill” was a paean to their way of life — or aspirations, for the lower class* GOPer’s.

    (*Meaning “lower class” in the economic sense, not the moral sense. Obviously, in the moral sense “lower clas GOPer” would be redundant.

    .

  41. 41
    burnspbesq says:

    @JenJen:

    Don’t forget to add Steve Earle to the mix. He wrote some bleak but moving songs early in his career about life in towns that the economy forgot.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHyGuI3N2x0

  42. 42
    JGabriel says:

    Ed Drone:

    “Tradder” means “more traditional” …

    I’m pretty sure More Traditional is the title of an album from the anti-matter universe version of Rilo Kiley.

    Which raises the question, what would be the name of the anti-matter universe Rilo Kiley — Miley Cyrus?

    .

  43. 43
    Betseed says:

    The New York Times had an article a few weeks ago about then-candidate, now governor-elect, Chris Christie’s love of the Boss. The article ended with Christie saying that unlike Springsteen, who believes we all lose unless we’re all winners, he believes that some people in our society are meant to be losers.

  44. 44
    Jinchi says:

    Springsteen spoke about this in an interview:

    “In my songs, the spiritual part, the hope part is in the choruses. The blues, and your daily realities are in the details of the verses. The spiritual comes out in the choruses, which I got from Gospel music and the church.”

    When Republicans listen to “Born in the USA” they think they’re listening to the national anthem. Some of them even like the part about killing the yellow man, but they miss the point about losing the war, losing his friend and living day to day at the edge of homelessness.

  45. 45
    JGabriel says:

    Legalize:

    They “like” Springsteen so much because they … totally don’t understand what his songs express.

    “Whaddaya mean Born in the USA is anti-war? You’re fulla shit! Reagan was president!”

    .

  46. 46
    bellatrys says:

    Oh down to the river…

    …why didn’t you run from the cannonball…

    …pay me my money down…

    …if I had my way…

    …or is it something worse…

    Oh Bobo, pray you never ever understand what The Boss has been singing all these years, because if you do – it’ll be because we’re singing ça ira instead…

  47. 47
    Martin says:

    I’m pretty sure they were unable to tease out the actual lyrics…

    Nothing is more emblematic of right-wing laziness than the constant embrace of that song. A quarter century later, and most conservatives still couldn’t bother to Google the lyrics. And we should trust them on economics and foreign policy?

  48. 48
    disappointedGOPer says:

    I believe John Candy explained this in Canadian Bacon.

  49. 49
    HRA says:

    They wrap themselves around what they think they know when in fact they know nothing. Sounds familiar? We hear it or read it almost every day now from those I will not mention by name again.

  50. 50
    JenJen says:

    @burnspbesq: Link didn’t work for me, but I couldn’t agree more about Steve Earle. There was so much great music during that time about the dying cities and the heartland struggles, and it should be celebrated, and revisited, as much as late-60s music is. Helps you make sense of things, and understand that what we’re experiencing today didn’t exactly happen overnight.

    I’ve always loved the way music connects with time.

  51. 51
    shecky says:

    ISTR Springsteen caught some flack from conservatives in late 2001/2002 for some critical comments about the new war on terror. Recall that this sort of thing would be a bit eyebrow raising at the time, when most of the country was scared shitless enough to hand over all the keys to Bush/Cheney. I pointed out to some of these morans that this is exactly the kind of candor they claimed to love about The Boss. Which amusingly led to such witty retorts as, “…well he should just shut up.”

    Short memories, perhaps?

    Personally, I never really cared much for Springsteen or his cornbelt counterpart, Mellencamp. Maybe it’s just my elite West Coast upbringing, but the populist rustbelt crooning was something I could never really relate to. Musically, I thought Springsteen wrote good songs, and recorded unlistenable albums, often overwrought and grandiose.

    I think what really bothers me the most is that Bobo takes such pride in his kid going to see her first Springsteen concert, like it is some kind of ritualistic rock n roll right of passage. Now that I’m in my 40s, I have my “kids these days” moments. But with a bit of a twist. Like, why are kids these days even listening to fogeys like Springsteen at all? There’s something supremely pathetic when the kids don’t have their own generation’s idols, but those of their parents, with Mom and Pop’s approval.

  52. 52

    […] } … and maybe the year, from commenter ThatLeftTurnInABQ, at Balloon Juice: “We don’t have a memory hole, we have a memory blender, set to puree. […]

  53. 53
    licensed to kill time says:

    @shecky:

    Like, why are kids these days even listening to fogeys like Springsteen at all? There’s something supremely pathetic when the kids don’t have their own generation’s idols, but those of their parents, with Mom and Pop’s approval.

    Hey you kids, get off my rock stars!

  54. 54
    Anoniminous says:

    A Public Service:

    Born down in a dead man’s town
    The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
    You end up like a dog that’s been beat too much
    ‘Til you spend half your life just covering up

    [chorus:]
    Born in the U.S.A.
    Born in the U.S.A.
    Born in the U.S.A.
    Born in the U.S.A.

    I got in a little hometown jam
    And so they put a rifle in my hands
    Sent me off to Vietnam
    To go and kill the yellow man

    [chorus]

    Come back home to the refinery
    Hiring man says “Son if it was up to me”
    I go down to see the V.A. man
    He said “Son don’t you understand”

    [chorus]

    I had a buddy at Khe Sahn
    Fighting off the Viet Cong
    They’re still there, he’s all gone
    He had a little girl in Saigon
    I got a picture of him in her arms

    Down in the shadow of the penitentiary
    Out by the gas fires of the refinery
    I’m ten years down the road
    Nowhere to run, ain’t got nowhere to go

    I’m a long gone Daddy in the U.S.A.
    Born in the U.S.A.
    I’m a cool rocking Daddy in the U.S.A.
    Born in the U.S.A.

    It’s a song about a homeless Viet Nam veteran. Which, I submit, perfectly reflect Conservative Values:

    1. Start a War

    2. Make a ton of bucks

    3. Screw the people who fight it

    4. Shout “USA! USA! USA!”

  55. 55
    JenJen says:

    Because the right
    Belongs to ruv-ers
    Because the right
    Belongs to russ

  56. 56
    Anoniminous says:

    Oh damn, forgot the correct blockquote procedure.

    let’s see …

    Put “blockquote” between ‘.’ Stick left foot in right ear while singing “God Save the Queen” UNLESS it’s a Thursday in which case the left index finger goes up the right nostril while making “ah-rooo-gah” noises.

    FWP

  57. 57
    Montysano says:

    While we’re on the subject of Springsteen: I much prefer his first 3 albums; after that, I respect it, but don’t really care to listen to it.

    Until a couple of weeks ago, I was unaware of the “Live at Hammersmith Odeon 1975” album, which culls songs from “Asbury Park”, “E Street Shuffle”, and the soon to be released “Born to Run”. Yowzers, what a big, badass machine they were. Here’s a 17 minute “Kitty’s Back” that’s my current Best Thing I Ever Heard.

    Part 1

    Part 2

    Cool threads, too. Also.

  58. 58
    licensed to kill time says:

    @Anoniminous: It’s the empty lines. Put two underscores in each empty line to prevent spillage.

    That sounds kinda koan-y and related to the empty lines righties hear instead of the actual lyrics.

    I like your proposed blockquote method, would only add “We mean it man!”

  59. 59
    Napoleon says:

    Recently the Rock and Roll Museum here in Cleveland had an exhibit on Springsteen which I went to and it had a bunch of memorabilia, including a lot of stuff from his early years, like a poster from 1972 for a fund raising concert he held for McGovern.

  60. 60
    burnspbesq says:

    @shecky:

    Like, why are kids these days even listening to fogeys like Springsteen at all?

    For the same reason we still listen to Bach and Coltrane. Quality endures.

    And if I had to listen to a steady diet of the crap that’s being made today, I’d take a knitting needle to my eardrums. Even the good music is ruined by being engineered to be played as 128k mp3 files. Gaak!

    Yes, get the fuck off my lawn.

  61. 61
    different church-lady says:

    Righties love Springsteen because they can’t comprehend irony. They hear the chorus of “Born in the USA” and their brains shut down and the meaning of the verses never even comes into play.

  62. 62
    Anoniminous says:

    @licensed to kill time:

    Thanks and LOL

    (I TOLD In-kan-hot-ep we shouldn’t get rid of cuniform. All we need, I said, is a stick with a wedgie and a hunk of clay. But did he listen? NoooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooo.)

  63. 63

    @Montysano: That’s the first Springsteen album I ever bought. It’s an amazing live show.

  64. 64
    burnspbesq says:

    @Anoniminous:

    There ain’t a lot that you can do in this town.
    You drive out to the lake and then you turn back around.
    You go to school and you learn to read and write,
    So you can walk into the County Bank and sign away your life.

    Now I work in the fillin’ station on the Interstate,
    Pumpin’ gasoline and countin’ out-of-state plates.
    They ask me “How far into Memphis, son, and where’s the nearest beer,”
    They don’t even know that there’s a town around here.

    Someday I’m finally gonna let go,
    ‘Cause I know there’s a better way.
    I don’t know what’s over that rainbow, but
    I’m gonna get out of here someday.

    Now my brother went to college ’cause he played football,
    But I’m still hangin’ round ’cause I’m a little bit small.
    But I got me a 67 Chevy, she’s low and sleek and black.
    One day I’ll put her on that Interstate and never look back.

    Someday I’m finally gonna let go,
    ‘Cause I know there’s a better way.
    I don’t know what’s over that rainbow, but
    I’m gonna get out of here someday.

  65. 65
    Jager says:

    I was in Indy when Mellencamp (then John Cougar) opened for Fleetwood Mac. The crowd went nuts when he said, “I can’t believe you paid to see me, you could have watched me pour cement last summer for nothing!”

  66. 66
    Montysano says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Even the good music is ruined by being engineered to be played as 128k mp3 files. Gaak!

    It’s god-awful. I read somewhere (can’t find a link) that Gnarls Barkley’s St. Elsewhere was compressed until it only had 6 db of dynamic range. It’s a wonderful album that is unlistenable at anything more than moderate volume.

  67. 67
    licensed to kill time says:

    @Anoniminous:

    Prego, always willing to help out a fellow pagan, especially one of the clay and cuneiform crowd.

  68. 68
    4jkb4ia says:

    Dave Marsh had to tell the stories of both the George Will endorsement and the Ronald Reagan endorsement in “Glory Days”. The Reagan staff were unable to immediately answer what Reagan’s favorite Springsteen song was and had to come back with “Born To Run” the next day. George Will got tickets from Max Weinberg because Mrs. Weinberg was a faithful viewer of “This Week With David Brinkley”, but he had never been to a rock and roll show until that point and left two songs into the second half. Take it away, Mr. Marsh:

    I have not got a clue about Springsteen’s politics, if any, but flags get waved at his concerts while he sings songs about hard times…”
    Will was hardly the first conservative to attend Springsteen’s shows and become confused about the message. For instance, Barbara Carr’s father, an oil executive, came away with the impression that Springsteen was implicitly proposing a national reorientation best realized through the “Reagan-Bush program”. But George Will had quite a bit less excuse, for if he had listened more closely–or less selectively–that Saturday night, he would have heard Springsteen introduce “Nebraska” by saying, “It seems like one of the big problems we’ve got in the country today is people feeling isolated from their jobs, or from their friends, from their government. You get a sense of powerlessness sometimes and…uh….some people just explode.” This was not the optimistic, hard-working patriotism Will wanted to portray, so the columnist simply ignored it (presuming he was still there to hear it).”

    So two of DougJ’s three are basically rank exploitation. I think right-wingers can latch on to Springsteen because his music isn’t entirely about class and they can pretend it is entirely about personal responsibility. They can also pretend that the dreamers in Springsteen’s songs are simply out for glory for themselves.

  69. 69
    JasonF says:

    The rightwing did jump off the Springsteen bandwagon briefly when he released American Skin (41 Shots). But then 9/11 happened, he did The Rising, and all was forgiven.

  70. 70
    licensed to kill time says:

    Well, I finally got around to skimming Bobo’s article and I got to this:

    These stories don’t directly touch my life, and as far as I know he’s never written a song about a middle-age pundit who interviews politicians by day and makes mind-numbingly repetitive school lunches at night.

    and I thought well, thank god for that and then I started penning my own lyrics for him:

    Bobo in the USA!
    Boboboring in the USA!

    Hitting fifty and goin’ grey!
    Talkin’ to pols hearin’ what they say!
    PB/jelly day after day!
    Maybe bologna this Fri-i-day!
    Cuz I’m gonna try the wild side hey hey hey!

    Bobo in the USA!
    Mind-numbing us every day!
    Boboboring in the USA!

  71. 71
    Bas-O-Matic says:

    @Sentient Puddle:

    See here:

    Ronald Reagan, the “great communicator,” relied on the inspirational “God Bless the U.S.A.,” but had some disagreements with songwriters. His advisers’ attempt to use John Cougar Mellencamp’s “Little Pink Houses” was thwarted by the artist.

  72. 72
    Boudica says:

    Add Hannity’s use of “Let Freedom Ring” as a theme song to Righties’ cluelessness.

  73. 73
    Fax Paladin says:

    I used to think Republicans were morons when it came to music, but now I’ve come to realize they’re brilliantly cynical bastards. When you play the music over the loudspeakers at a rally, about the only thing anyone can make out over the crowd noise is the repeated bits of the chorus. The rest of the song doesn’t matter, and who in the crowd is going to go home and look up the lyrics?

    It was true when Reagan used “Born in the USA,” it was true when Bush I used “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” it was true when Sarah Barracuda used Heart’s ode to their duplicitous ex-publicist as her theme song.

  74. 74
    ThresherK says:

    ISTR Springsteen caught some flack from conservatives in late 2001/2002 for some critical comments about the new war on terror

    Touring in CT, Oct ’03 I heard, between songs, something like (not verbatim) “I don’t know about the President, he seems a good sort, but maybe he should stop taking Dick Cheney’s advice so much.”

  75. 75
    New Yorker says:

    I also think that in the delusional fantasy world inhabited by most wingnuts, Springsteen can’t be a lefty because he wrote an album about 9/11. Remember, these people think anyone who is a registered Democrat is a traitor who feels the US deserved 9/11.

    They simply can’t wrap their minds around the concept of a patriotic leftist. It reminds me of when Alan Colmes pointed out to Hannity that Pat Tillman was a DFH. Hannity’s response? “I don’t believe it.”

    That’s probably the same reaction you’d get from a wingnut if you point out that the Boss is a lefty too.

  76. 76
    Napoleon says:

    On his Live 75-85 album he included War ( “War -What is it Good for”) with a long spoken introduction that makes it crystal clear he is a DFH. He added that song to the Born in the USA tour as a kind of protest against Reagan and I think the single of it charted pretty high.

  77. 77
    smiley says:

    @Boudica: Please explain. I’m not familiar with the faux country phenomenon that accompanied the founding of the Church of St. Ronnie in the ’80s.

  78. 78
    HyperIon says:

    @shecky: Musically, I thought Springsteen wrote good songs, and recorded unlistenable albums, often overwrought and grandiose.

    I agree.
    Plus his being canonized (by Nesweek or TIME) as the new Beatles was a bit off-putting as well.

  79. 79
    HyperIon says:

    @JenJen: Because the right Belongs to ruv-ers

    It took me a while to get the post title.
    I never pegged Cole as a Patty Smith fan.

  80. 80
    smiley says:

    @smiley: Never mind. I looked it up. Wow. A theme song that is about domestic violence. Good going Sean. I especially like this line from the song (which I’ve wondered about), “Let the right be wrong.” They usually are. Strange choice by Hannity and his people.

  81. 81
    Mnemosyne says:

    @smiley:

    I’m really confused — the “Let Freedom Ring” lyrics that I can find are a flag-waving song by The Charlie Daniels Band with no domestic violence in sight. Is the song actually “Independence Day” by Martina McBride?

  82. 82
    chrome agnomen says:

    @HyperIon:

    that’s a Boss-written song, too

  83. 83
    smiley says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Is the song actually “Independence Day” by Martina McBride?

    I think so. It’s a female voice and definitely not the Charlie Daniels Band

  84. 84
    pcbedamned says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yep. That is the song. Hannity is a big Country fan. (What is it with the far right and Country music anyway?!?)

    @shecky:

    I too am guilty of being ‘one of those parents’. I just took my daughter to her first concert last month. Metallica. And I had seen them every time they were in Toronto from 86-92. The arena was filled with us ‘middle-aged’ folks with our kids in tow.
    What I find incredibly mind blowing is not that the kids of today listen to the music we did, but that they actually want to go to a concert, in public, with mom or dad. I wouldn’t have been caught dead at a concert with either of my parents – not even when I saw Floyd, The Stones, or The Who. It’s. Just. Not. Done…

  85. 85
    redoubt says:

    @pcbedamned: Either they remember Nixon at the Grand Ole Opry or they saw Altman’s Nashville and thought it was a documentary.

  86. 86
    Donald G says:

    With regards to “Born in the USA”, I doubt many people bothered to actually listen to or comprehend the lyrics of the song in 1984. While it was ubiquitous on the radio and on MTV, it was pretty much part of the background noise of the age. Springsteen’s singing voice isn’t the clearest in the world and his singing of the lyrics is often as intelligible as the gibberish lyrics of the WKRP theme song until you get to the chorus.

    The chorus is the clearest part of the song, and that’s what people remember, and that’s what the Republicans tried to latch onto in their ludicrous attempts to seem hip and happenin’.

    The funny thing is, my contemporaries didn’t vote for Reagan in 1984 because he tried to grab onto some of Springsteen’s reflected glory. They voted for him because they were overprivileged gits who were a ripe audience for his bellicosity and machismo (and he was untainted by either being Jimmy Carter or Walter Mondale).

    I swear, the period from 1978-1980 did a good amount of psychological damage on those who came of age in 1984. With the exception of throwbacks to Dirty-Effing-Hippiehood, we became materialistic assholes without empathy for others.

    Now, my contemporaries swell the ranks of the Teabaggers and the Beck-tards and I want to smack ’em with a clue-by-four.

  87. 87
    Frankie says:

    I don’t know why it should be a surprise that kids, even young kids, like Bruce Springsteen. Hell, i love Johnny Cash only because of having been exposed to him by…….my parents.

    I went to the Buffalo show last weekend as purely a casual Springsteen fan who went mainly to witness the legendary Springsteen Concert. Which is to say i’m admittedly not all that familiar with his music. Anyways, at one point – during one of his less famous songs (that someone like me wasn’t at all familiar with) he brought up onstage a young girl that couldn’t have been 13 years old. She was singing right along with him and at one point, even went solo for a stanza or 3 or 4. It was actually quite neat to see.

  88. 88
    Mikeg says:

    A 2-minute indictment of the Bush Admin as only Bruce can do:

    I got a coin in my palm
    I can make it disappear
    I got a card up my sleeve
    Name it and I’ll pull it out your ear
    I got a rabbit in my hat
    If you want to come and see
    This is what will be, this is what will be

    I got shackles on my wrist
    Soon I’ll slip ’em and be gone
    Chain me in a box in the river
    And I’ll rise singin’ this song
    Trust none of what you hear
    And less of what you see
    This is what will be, this is what will be

    I got a shiny saw blade
    All I needs’ a volunteer
    I’ll cut you in half
    While you’re smiling ear to ear
    And the freedom that you sought’s
    Driftin’ like a ghost amongst the trees
    This is what will be, this is what will be

    Now there’s a fire down below
    But it’s comin’ up here
    So leave everything you know
    And carry only what you fear
    On the road the sun is sinkin’ low
    There’s bodies hangin’ in the trees
    This is what will be, this is what will be

  89. 89
    Mikeg says:

    A 2-minute indictment of the Bush Admin as only Bruce can do:

    I got a coin in my palm
    I can make it disappear
    I got a card up my sleeve
    Name it and I’ll pull it out your ear
    I got a rabbit in my hat
    If you want to come and see
    This is what will be, this is what will be

    I got shackles on my wrist
    Soon I’ll slip ’em and be gone
    Chain me in a box in the river
    And I’ll rise singin’ this song
    Trust none of what you hear
    And less of what you see
    This is what will be, this is what will be

    I got a shiny saw blade
    All I needs’ a volunteer
    I’ll cut you in half
    While you’re smiling ear to ear
    And the freedom that you sought’s
    Driftin’ like a ghost amongst the trees
    This is what will be, this is what will be

    Now there’s a fire down below
    But it’s comin’ up here
    So leave everything you know
    And carry only what you fear
    On the road the sun is sinkin’ low
    There’s bodies hangin’ in the trees
    This is what will be, this is what will be

  90. 90
    licensed to kill time says:

    Because the right
    stole my reply arrow
    because that right
    belongs to-oo I

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