Monday, December 1, 2008

You Are Now The Boss of Nuthin', Pal. Happy?

This was such a great Monday morning laugh. From a column by Kyle Smith in the NYPost about the problems an Obama presidency presents for Bruce Springsteen:

A bright new day is percolating across the land. What will Bruce do for material? From now on, as Springsteen foretold when he campaigned for Obama in Cleveland on Nov. 2, there will be, "economic and social justice, America as a positive influence around the world." And the new president is finally going to fulfill "the right of every American to a job, a living wage, to be educated in a decent school, to a life filled with the dignity of work, promise, and the sanctity of home." So: 100% employment and 0% substandard schools? Sounds good for the country but alarming for Springsteen fans.

There is a bracing consistency in Springsteenian gloom, from the Ford years ("The street's on fire, a real death waltz") to Carter's ("Lately there ain't been much work on account of the economy") to Reagan's ("This old world is rough, it's just getting rougher") to the first Bush's ("Ain't no mercy on the streets of this town, ain't no bread from heavenly skies") to Clinton's ("Oh brother are you gonna leave me wastin' away on the streets of Philadelphia?") to the second Bush's ("Woke up Election Day, skies gunpowder and shades of gray").

If the Boss has a motto, it has always been this: No hope, no change, no way.

All of these fears were realized on Monday, when Springsteen released his new single, "Working on a Dream." The first line: "Out here the nights are long, the days are lonely. I think of you - I'm working on a dream!"
There isn't a lot of doubt about who that "you" is. Springsteen hasn't written a lot of love songs about Patti Scialfa, and now that they've been married for 17 years, they might be working on not finishing each other's sentences, they might be working on home maintenance and domestic staffing issues, but they're pretty far past working on a dream.

Springsteen debuted the song at an Obama event, and he's releasing the new album of the same title on Jan. 27, exactly a week after the Obama inauguration. The song goes on, "My hands are rough from . . . workin' on a dream!" Springsteen used to need escape, freedom, catharsis. Now he needs a bottle of Jergens lotion.
Then comes the really twisted part: "Tweet-tweet-tweet-tuh-tweet-tweet-tweet!" Bruce Springsteen whistles?

If Bruce is channeling the theme from "The Andy Griffith Show," there's no telling what might happen next. There could be an Iraq war movie in which George Clooney plays a US colonel who helps liberate a country from an evil dictator. Sean Penn could play a CIA agent who devises a way to save thousands of lives using domestic surveillance and rendition of suspects.
(Questions coming over the transom about that picture of Bruuuuuce driving the golf cart and looking a bit out of, ahem, game shape. Well, it comes from February 5, 2004 and was taken at the 32nd Winter Equestrian Festival at the Palm Beach Florida Polo Equestrian Club. Hey, a guy can't be running on the backstreets every day and hiding out behind the dynamo at the factory! Ya gotta have time for, you know, polo.)