David Brooks Should Not Be Allowed to Listen to Bruce Springsteen:
Today, in his "column" (if by "column," you mean, "the blithering faux-intellectualism of a regular-guy-wannabe who has less insight than a dump taken by Larry the Cable Guy"), New York Times writer David Brooks gets a shitload of things wrong about Bruce Springsteen and just ignores everything else, like Chris Christie has to in order to undulate to Springsteen. To wit:
1. "Springsteen crowds in the U.S. are hitting their AARP years, or deep into them." Having seen Springsteen in Nashville, at the Bonnaroo Music Festival, and in Newark (just a couple of months ago), the Rude Pundit can report that a huge number of young people were in the audience. In fact, if anything, Springsteen's fans have gotten younger than they were in the early 2000s.
2. "[S]ome friends and I threw financial sanity to the winds and went to follow him around Spain and France." David Brooks is rich. He lives in a house worth nearly $4 million. Fuck him and his friends.
3. Responding to fans in Madrid, Spain, singing "Born in the U.S.A." Brooks writes, "Did it occur to them at that moment that, in fact, they were not born in the U.S.A.?" Did it occur to Brooks that this is a patently idiotic question? When Eminem fans sing "I'm the real Shady," does it occur to them that, in fact, they are not the real Slim Shady? Seriously, who does Brooks blow to get to keep writing this shit? 'Cause that man must be able to suck a dick.
Then Brooks swings, unbelievably, into a discussion of just why European fans might like Springsteen and his descriptions of New Jersey (leaving out that the rest of the nation that's included in the songs, like "Youngstown," which the band did at the very Madrid show that the financially strapped Brooks and his poor friends scraped together enough cash to see). Brooks gets all psychological, with, no, really, a discussion of how "structured mental communities that help us understand the wider world."
What Brooks doesn't discuss, even a little bit, is that, unlike many other American rockers, Springsteen gives a specifically working class (indeed, Marxist) vision of a society that keeps the regular guy and gal down. You think that might appeal to the rioting youth of Europe? You think that poor, bankrupt Spaniards might get something out of that?
Brooks completely divorces Springsteen's economic critique from the music, and thus is purely a dilettante, the kind of shitty fan who loves to rock out and pretend he's into it, but refuses to get down and dirty with the real anger and resentment buried beneath the rhythms and guitars.
The Boss didn't ignore anything. In Madrid, Springsteen told the 60,000 fans, in Spanish, "There are people who have lost their job and their homes. I know that the bad times are here even worse. Our heart is with you. We must send this message to all those who are fighting in Spain."
That might have had more to do with the cheering, singing enthusiasm of the crowd than David Brooks' dime store psychoanalysis.