The Boss is shrill:
“I have spent my life judging the distance between American reality and the American dream,” Springsteen told the conference, where the album was aired for the first time. It was written, he claimed, not just out of fury but out of patriotism, a patriotism traduced.
“What was done to our country was wrong and unpatriotic and un-American and nobody has been held to account,” he later told the Guardian. “There is a real patriotism underneath the best of my music but it is a critical, questioning and often angry patriotism.”***
Springsteen, 62, says he is not afraid of how the album will be received in election-year America: “The temper has changed. And people on the streets did it. Occupy Wall Street changed the national conversation – the Tea Party had set it for a while. The first three years of Obama were under them.
“Previous to Occupy Wall Street, there was no push back at all saying this was outrageous – a basic theft that struck at the heart of what America was about, a complete disregard for the American sense of history and community … In Easy Money the guy is going out to kill and rob, just like the robbery spree that has occurred at the top of the pyramid – he’s imitating the guys on Wall Street. An enormous fault line cracked the American system right open whose repercussion we are only starting to be feel.
I like it, but I’ve come to realize that this actually is what America is all about, built on the backs of slaves, then whatever cheap immigrant labor could come along until we had a brief period of union strength and a dominant middle class, and now that is being crushed so the robber barons, the financiers, and the monied classes can profit. We’ve had our fits of patriotism every now and then with a good solid war, but even then the rich make it richer while the poor go off to die. And when we aren’t exploiting our own, we’re profiting at the expense of someone else in another land who we will never have to hear about. Maybe I am just pessimistic tonight, but what has happened to America isn’t un-American, it’s as American as hot dogs, Chevrolet, and Halliburton, and always has been. It just took me 35+ years to figure it out.