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  1. Seems to be a popular past time here on the lake: good – better – best · bad – worse – worst · little – less – least · much (many) – more – most · far – further - furthest. Now, this is an interesting subject. I will here try to give my answer to this complex question. What is interesting is, in my opinion, not always good. As far as I am concerned, Mr. Springsteen's work up to Nebraska is interesting and good, on the other side, his work Born in the USA and Tunnel of Love is interesting, but not good. What makes his part of his work interesting up to this record I have tried to make clear in the essay The River. A lot has been written in this forum about Mr. Springsteen's as a person, about money and greed, but I myself does not care at all: the only thing that interest me regarding Mr. Springsteen as a person, is what can say, that makes me think again about his work. His work is what we can learn from, not what he as a private person does or not does.
  2. I think the story is much more bitter, than Hines wishes it to be. Hines is of course unsure himself. He writes: "I'm a long gone daddy in the USA." his protagonist sings, as if confident that all the hypocritical judges, hard-assed sergeants and head-shaking personnel officers in the world can't break his spirit". The protagonist does not, as Hines seems to imply, put forward questions and answer them by citing Hank Williams. He is just telling the story of his life. It is a grim story. He fought a war that was not his, lost his friends and can find no job. The hypocritical judges, hard-assed sergeants and head-shaking personnel officers has all turned their backs on him. Yes, a long time has gone since he was someone that someone else listened to. He is a long gone daddy. He is on his own. He has no-one. There now is no Sandy or Mary or some mister to whom he can tell his story. He has nothing but this story of loss. And he can only tell it to none and all. So he talks real loud. Perhaps, perhaps someone out there will hear and say: are you talking to me?
  3. Mr Springsteen's art deals with the ugly side of the national and international history of the USA by creating individuals, that in one way or other REPRESENTS aspects of this dark side. Mr Grossberg on the other side, so it seems to me, REDUCES Mr Springsteen's art by REDUCING it to the level of (only) individual lives.
  4. I think the Wiki-article "Discrimination based on skin color" describes very precise the context in which Mr. Springsteen and Mr. Obama are speaking. See the part concerning USA ( History, Business, Criminal justice system, Education, Health, Housing and land, Labor market, Media, Politics, Beauty, Sports). It exposes a society that is racist on every level. In the bar as well as in the White house.
  5. Mr. Obama: “In an ideal world, what Bruce and Clarence portrayed on stage was essentially a reconciliation, right? And redemption. But most of your audiences were primarily white. And they can love Clarence when he’s on stage, but if they ran into him in a bar, suddenly the N-word comes out.” Mr. Springsteen: a nod and a yeah. The article is of course not satisfied with what Mr. Obama says. No, since we all know what kind of man he is, we all know, that what he really proclaims is this: His ( Mr. Springsteen's) Fans (are) Vile Racists. And since we also know what man Mr. Springsteen is, we all know, that what he nods and says yeah to, is not what he nods and says no to, but what we proclaim to be what Mr. Obama says. Yes, when Mr. Springsteen nods and says yeah, he is declaring, that all his fans are vile racists. That is the very truth. And apparently they also imply that USA is a ”rabidly racist society”. But the article and we know better. They are lying. How do we know? Well, Mr. Clemons was black, and still made it to the stars. And many others did the same, for exaple Mr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. How did they not reach the top and became famous and important! And do not put forward again that ”yellow man” we have talked about in this forum. We all know, that the 3.5 miljon ”yellow man and women and children” that dies in Vietnam was not killed for the color of their skin. No, they were ”left”. And we know, ”Leftists talk about unity and then routinely sow seeds of discontent. It’s a habit they don’t want to break. They want no peace.” Well, now at least some of them rest in peace. You see, not racism, but to reveal racism is racism. The ones who reveals racism and its consequences, hatred and division, are the ones who propagate hate and division. What is wrong is not wrong, but to say it is wrong is wrong. I will not here refer to the statistics (income, quality of schools, % poor, % in jail, % dead in wars and so on, you can easily find it in internet) that clearly show that not only USA but also most countries are inherent racist, I will just end with saying, that racism in words and attitudes only reflects that economic and cultural racism that is at the very core of most countries, and what people suffer most from.
  6. Let us imagine a person, who has his existence in living relations to other people, inside as well as outside his work. His work as such is alienating, but he endure it because of his real, living relations. They are his goal in life because they are the ground for his living existence. Let us now also imagine a person, whos all overriding goal is his work. All his relations are subjected to it. He is not alienated in his work as such, but his work alienates him from all real, living relations. And of course, the more important he finds his work to be, the fewer and more un-real and un-living will his subjected relations be. And the more un-real and un-living these relation tends to be, the more he is fixed and dedicated to his work. Let us name the first person worker, and the other poet. The poet, who more and more concentrates on his work, experiences that he is threatened by his own dissolution. This is so, because what gives a man existence, is his real, living relations to other people. And since for the poet his work gets more and more important, he reduces the ground for his existence. In the end he is an unreal individual who is reduced to have unreal relations inside his work. He himself is a unreal part of his work, and in it and through it he has an unreal relation to unreal others. This un-reality he of course experiences as a threat. He tries to re-connect to real, living relations. He tries to tie the bind that binds. But he tries to do so in his work. But this is of course not possible. In his work his ambition is reduced to simply state: ”Two Hearts are Better than One”, and ”I want to marry You”. But then – in his work he begins to explore the devastating experience of the worker during the hard-hitting economic depression that is ongoing around him. He sees the worker lose his work, and with it also the economy that granted him and his family and community real, living relations. And so he sees workers, their families and whole communities threatened by dissolution, existentially and morally. But in the workers alienation the poet now suddenly recognize his own ditto. There are of course differences. The worker worked to live, the poet lived to work. The worker lost his ground when he lost his work, the poet his when he in his work lost his real relations. But in their respective work they are both alienated from all real, living relations. Both had these real relations outside their relation to work. The worker had his existence in living relations outside work, and the poet realizes, that also he must have his existence in real relations. He now sees the paradoxical position he is in. His work, in which he tried to find his existence, is alienating him from this very existence. But he has to really hit the ground. This he do when he in a far away little town he sees people dance and drink and talk in their real, living relations, and mesmerized of the apparent simplicity and naturalness of their life, the malady of his alienated condition comes tumbling down over him. He must, if he will turn away from the nothingness, that threatens him, search his existence in real, living relations. He must have his goal in this, rather than in his work. He has to get out of his work. Fist makes apparent that he is mastering his work, has it in his firm fists, not vice versa. His work, just like the workers work, must give him the economic ground for the real relations in which he will have his existence, i.e. it must give him a wage. And his poetry as such can no longer be what it once was. His poetry must now be an alienation from the alienation of this his older poetry. It thus has two poles: the alienation as such, and the alienation from this his original alienation. We can call the first the Dark-side and the second the Dance-side of his work. Between the Dance and the Dark is a separation. The Dance hinders the Dark to appear as it is: it is no longer the original alienation. The voice of the Dark is no longer an identification with the Dark, the inflated Dance drives it away towards itself: it is the domineering of the two and distracts the attention from the Dark. Likewise hinders the Dark the Dance from getting jubilant, gives it a tint of loss and sadness. The Dark (a condition of lost friends, lost love, lost glory days, lost society, lost war, no real fire in heart, surrender, life in chains) side is passive, with no way out, the Dance-side is one of machinery. But now something really unexpected happens. He is forced to realize, that his work suddenly reflects a fundamental division in society between the perpetuated dream of this society and the reality of this dream. The ground for this is the above named split in his poetry: his work is not anymore only in the dark, it is - Dancing in the Dark. And so the poets poetry reflects an fundamental opposition in society: between the dream of a un-alienated life that this society propagate, and the very reality of this dream. The Dancing is the false dream and the false self-imagine as a denying of the world in which the poets work was born, the Dark is its reality, the correction of this not come true dream that the rich and powerful propagate to be true. This inner duality of his poetry is now confronting the poet from outside. People, who represent dominant political and economic groups, sees only what they want to see: the Dancing as a propagation of the dream they hold to be true. And that makes the poet infuriated. Now he has to point to the other side of his work. The dark side. But he also has to realize, that it is easier to fall for the only emotive and false interpretation of Dancing, than accepting the more intellectual Dark. And so, in the end, I can not refrain to give my answer to the question: besides the interesting duality of this poetry, what artistic value has it? I find that its alienating Dancing reduces the emotional elaboration and the possibility to identification on the Dark side. The poets work has two sides, but no real unity. The poet realizes, that other versions of his poetry is needed, if he want to correct the dominant and often misleading Dancing-side of his work.
  7. There are three classes of readers; some enjoy without judgment; others judge without enjoyment; and some there are who judge while they enjoy, and enjoy while they judge. The latter class reproduces the work of art on which it is engaged. Its numbers are very small. Goethe
  8. I tried to explain the two faces of Born in the USA as an expression of Mr. Springsteens struggle to escape from himself as an absolute artist (his goal up to and including Nebraska) and to create a civil life outside rock n roll. Now, after I have read Mumfords text, I can wery well imagine, that the songs ambivalence between text and music can be looked upon also as an commentary on how we, not only in the USA, but also in Europe and the rest of the rich world, are enticed not to acknowledge what we deep inside know is true. We want to escape the guilt we feel, will not face, that we are part of an order that let people starve, although there is food for everyone, that wages war and commits crimes against humanity because we feel that our "superior" way of life is threatened and so on. So we are looking for amnesia. And so Mr. Spring-steen song is an apt lesson: we choose to look upon it as an anthem (for what we deep inside know is a lie), and do not bother about the disturbing message of the text. Looked upon Born in the USA in this way, it is an Trojan horse. Without this perspective, I prefer the version given by Floom2, with it I see the merits of the ambivalence of the studio version.
  9. Purpose? Well, "So long as poverty and misery still exist on earth, work such as this may not be in vain." VICTOR HUGO
  10. This is the stuff that I back then, after Nebraska, was expecting to be on the upcoming record Born in the USA.
  11. Sometimes I think like this: Born in the USA is in time close to Nebraska, and still so different. The heroes of the two albums are all alienated, but it seems to me, that the heroes of Born in the USA are double-alienated: they are alienated from the society, but also alienated from the poet who performs them. If that is so, how can we understand the reason for this difference? The poet who created Darkness tried to secure an existence for him selves by pretending he could himself overthrow the badlands and in its place establish the promised land by renunciation of the ties that bind. And he propagate this his renunciation via the heroes of the album. But in the end the poet experienced, that the use of this mean did not give him an existence, instead it threatened to dissolute him into nothingness. He then realized, that what could save him from tumbling down into this nothingness was the ties that bind. Hence in the River the heroes a) propagate the necessity of the ties that bind (The Ties That Bind ), b) despises the idea of his earlier propagation of the one mans fight for a promised land (The Price You Pay), and c) lend his voice to people, who, seemingly unlike him selves, not by an voluntary act, but by socioeconomic circumstances lost the ties that bind (The River). But his new mean is not enough. For he is, as a poet that tries to tie the binds that ties, still a poet. And as a poet he still is forsaking. What, then, is he forsaking? Well, a real life. A non-poet life. He sees, that he in the poet is just as alienated from a real life, as is the heroes of Nebraska. And so he finds that he in that, in which he during his whole life has tried fo find his existence, namely the poet, is prevented from acquiring a real existence. To really exist, he has to escape his narrow existence in the Poet. This contradiction is his existential crisis. He tries to work his way out of this crisis by freeing himself from his prison: the poet. But who is he outside the poet? Outside the poet a life can consists in having a family, friends and income. Is this what he wants? Anyway, he wants to be free from him selves as Poet. Because as a Poet he lives via his heroes, and he wants to live with walking, talking human beings, not to be confined to live with and through his heroes. And so he tries to create a life in which his heroes are no longer necessary for his existence. He openly turns his back to them. They no longer speaks through him, he speaks through them. He is permanent in the center of it all, and his heroes, well they come and go. They are his servants, he not theirs. He performs them with haste, without inanimateness. Not they, but he is dancing in the dark. And so he may for a moment imagine that he is free. It seems to him, as if his own life is the base for his heroes, not as if his heroes still is the base for his life. But of course, in reality he now is his own hero that he as a poet creates. And so he will in the end experience, that he himself as this poet-hero is in contradiction with himself, and with contrasting solemnity he later on has to confess: two faces have I.
  12. Even the soldiers returning from WW2 was treated rough, as Orson Welles tells us here: https://archive.org/details/OrsonWelles_Commentaries
  13. Dear Turkued and SamEJay, to me, Mr Springsteens work, up to Tunnel of Love, is a great piece of art, and yes, one could say, it is a late version of Odysseus, i.e. a return home, that first have to go astray, before it ends at the front porch (by indirection find directions out, as Shakespeare puts it), a return travel, where the ship, of course, is substituted by the automobile. When I tried to find a way to express the quality and complexity of his work, I had to use the work of the German philosophers Hegel and Marx. You can find the first part of ”my” work among the essays. Of course you can feel sorry for a man, who, in many, many years, has tried (in vain, perhaps) to make explicit the immanent odyssey of Mr Springsteens work from Greetings to Tunnel, and you can surely regard such an ambition ”intellectual” and the result ”garbage” filled by a bad use of comma. The easiest way, to not take the burden of understanding up on one selves, is to take Hamlets words: Words, words, words, literally.
  14. well, is there anything new hiding in this show? do anyone, who enters the audience, find anything that they did not know before they entered the show? I surely support the re-use of material stuff, since if we do not, the world as we know it, will be rained and burned to death, but this do not hold for culture: to re-use the same stories and make money of them once again, is a Mr. Springsteen specialty. To re-use is not to create. The old concerts, once paid by the audience, is now sold once again. The old stories, once told, is now told again. And you have to pay. All ambition is made, to lure us to think, that the real song has to be found in a live-versions, so we have to look into them all, to bye them all, and surely them all, while it is for most of us apparent, that the most mathematical and hence precise expressions of his ideas are to be found in the original albums. NEBRASKA is, in my opinion, the last, great album: now days he is reduced, as an artist, to re-use his material. And I ask, why pay money to hear this rank xerox-ed version of something you already heard to many times before? To be close the hero you worship? Well. I cite Mr. Springsteen him selves: Trust the art, not the artist.
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