Saturday, August 07, 2004

Springsteen - the intellectual

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Contributor: Chords for Change
Like many others, in the aftermath of 9/11, I felt the country's unity. I don't remember anything quite like it. I supported the decision to enter Afghanistan and I hoped that the seriousness of the times would bring forth strength, humility and wisdom in our leaders. Instead, we dived headlong into an unnecessary war in Iraq, offering up the lives of our young men and women under circumstances that are now discredited. We ran record deficits, while simultaneously cutting and squeezing services like afterschool programs. We granted tax cuts to the richest 1 percent (corporate bigwigs, well-to-do guitar players), increasing the division of wealth that threatens to destroy our social contract with one another and render mute the promise of 'one nation indivisible.'

It is through the truthful exercising of the best of human qualities - respect for others, honesty about ourselves, faith in our ideals - that we come to life in God's eyes. It is how our soul, as a nation and as individuals, is revealed. Our American government has strayed too far from American values. It is time to move forward. The country we carry in our hearts is waiting.

If Springsteen indeed wrote this piece, there's no doubt he's a strong writer. He isn't, of course, responsible for the dorky title.

He has come "out", not so much as a democrat (that was long suspected), but as an intellectual and a social critic. In this realm he joins a number of other rock and folk stars who made their wealth with a different image. Achieving mega-stardom, as the Terminator has recently demonstrated for the dark side, seems to require a formidable intellect as well as domain specific talent.

Time to hit Amazon and see if I can add anything to my Springsteen iPod list.

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