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ulfhpersson

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  1. Dear Daisey Jeep, I am sorry, if my view of Mr Springsteens work as a downhill movement has in any way made you sad; but I hold for true, that critique is better for a Poet, than just admiration. I have admiration for his work up to Nebraska, but after that, I think he has gone astray; good songs, yes, good albums no. There is, I dare say, something disturbing in his book "Born to Run", that I think is his own reflection of his later musical work: after reflecting on Nebraska, the book is a way self-glorifying of himself, his family and his work, that makes me think, that he himself is aware of, that he after that album has produced work of lesser importance.
  2. Never ever did I imagine, that Mr. Springsteen would sell himself, but he did, and to a car manufacture, and hence to an ideology, that threatens our future; I always thought "the car" was a metaphor for our wish to leave this destructive world behind us, that Thunder Road was a road out of this our cannibalistic society of poor and vulgar rich, but now he is defining the car as only "the car". I have always thought, that Mr. Appel was not the Apple of knowledge, but the Apple of Sin, and by now I am sure of, that the destructive greed, that Mr Springsteen and Mr Appel so unabashed exhibit, was in the core of their relationship already from the beginning. Dancing in the Dark was the bite, that forced him out of Eden, a piece of money, that he, I think, deep inside has regretted all his life. Or worse: not at all.
  3. Dear Mr. Springsteen, ”This” in the following sentences of course apply also to your Work: So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. But ”this” is in your case still an ongoing project, - and, after listening to your latest album, I can not believe, that that ”this” is just what you nowdays are capable to to create; no, I sincerely believe, that you are more than ready and have the guts to create The Great American album, - and hence to let us breathe and see again! Yours sincerly Ulf Persson
  4. We all know, that everything, whatever else it is, also is political, hidden or open it is there, everywhere. And Mr. Springsteens work is surely a proof of this. Many years ago I wrote this: http://docplayer.se/14801772-Floden-till-anthony-wilden.html.
  5. Yes, I think you are right. Its more complicated than my simplistic "analysis". The means, but no real goal (Born to Run), a real goal, but no means (Darkness on the Edge of Town) - perhaps.
  6. Well, you (or better: I) should not write anything after a bottle of wine. But I wrote it, and even if I now read it a little embarrassed, it surely expresses my inner thoughts. As always, Daisey Jeep, you are uncompromising kind. As for the status of having growing up, I prefer to grow up for ever. On the other side of the line, we find the hero being more specific: be ware of, that the things you want, not seldom is what others wants you to want: Blow away the dreams that tear you apart Blow away the dreams that break your heart Blow away the lies that leave you nothing but lost and brokenhearted
  7. Well, I, who thinks Springsteen have not produced a good album (but surely some good songs) since Nebraska, who am I to speak about his songs? And still, I have to speak. Now, rock n roll is, to be true, also, and perhaps mostly, about ”getting out of this place”. That is, to create a place where you can explore and evolve the things you have deep, deep inside, the very things the ordered society around you try to blockade. Not many have succeeded to manage this escape, and only a few of those that have succeeded have shown any solidarity with those (the majority) who did not make it, i. e. the ones (many) left behind. But - the Kinks with Dead End Street, and Springsteen, with Factory, managed to do it. And, alas, there surely is, to be able to succeed in being true to you history, a line you have to cross: that is, at the same time, too leave and stay, - and this line surely is hard to define. But I think that this line has a name. That name is: The Promise. This song is, as you surely know, something of a in between. On the one side, it surely do not fit in Born to Run. It is too melancholic. And on the other side, it does not fit in Darkness on the Edge of Town. Its to defeatist. Born to run is ,as we all know, based the idea that the promised land can be reached without any effort: hence the joyful tone of the album; Darkness on the edge of town, on the other side (and this is really on the other side) is based on the idea that the promised land surely can be created by, - not I but by us all; but therefore, it must be created against the force of the capitalistic society: hence the harder, uncompromising tone. And The Promise? Well, its in between. Between running away and fight. Gone is the idea of a simple solution (Thunder Road: I am pulling out here to win). But here is not yet the insight of: not I, but We are the vehicle needed to have the work done (Racing in the Street: we are going to the see to wash these (our) sins from our hands). But, you say, so far so good, but: what about The Promise? Its a product between the I and the We. What stands between I and We? The things the capitalistic society wants us to buy instead of searching for the things we really, really wants. What do we want? A society. in which our concern is our fellow human being, not the things we are learned to think is of importance to us. Not the things, the human beings. So: the hero of Springsteens song know in the end, that you have to thowe all that away, that the capitalistic society wants you to look for and long for. No things between you and your human fellow. Be naked and be vulnerable. Be a human being.
  8. Well, perhaps its possible also to understand this song as a story about the dilemma of having a uncompromising urge to fully express ones personality, i. e to live a authentic life? Our hero lives in a town. Of all the people living in this town, he distinguish three different kinds: a) those who are still racing out at the Trestles, b) the ones that by now have left this racing life for a life in Fairview, but only to find that they are struggling with a life they hardly can afford, c) the very few ones, that live a good life, given to them by birth or taken anyway, anyhow. Now every man and women has an urge to explore their human capabilities. But they are usually afraid to face it because it will lead them into the darkness of a very unsure path. Hence: some will keep it buried inside them selves, safe from the alienated world and work and life they find that they have to endure. This urge then, is the one and only dream that they do not follow. And so they find, that this dream hunts them as a reminder of what they have had to give up, that is: the price they had to pay. In the end, this urge, or dream, offers two possibilities: a) you cut it loose, and accept your alienated life as a necessity (and choose one of the ready-made and alienating forms of life: street racing or a life in Fairview; the alternative c) above is for all of them out of reach, if ever wanted), or b) you can let it drag you down in the darkness on the edge of town, to be able there to search for an un-alienated life (i. e. to pay the price for wanting to realize your dream); darkness, because you do not know what this life or this realized dream looks like; edge of town, because it can not be found or created in the pre-fabricated, alienated life or work of the town. This path b) is no doubt the path of our hero. He sacrifices everything for his goal. He tell us, that he has lost his money and his wife, but that them things do not seem to matter much to him. The word ”seem” is important. By it the hero is telling us, that by pursuing his quest, he has to sacrifice all that he also wants. His cost, the price he has to pay, is not small: friends, family, lovers, money and so on. Of course, for most inhabitants, and they do not even exist for our hero, alternative b) is not an option. They all do have someone they care about and are responsibly for, friends, a wife, children, and they do have to adapt to one or more of the ready-made styles of life and work in town (bus-driver, factory worker and so on). And for them alternative a) is a provocation. To go racing in the street is to choose the loneliness of competition (they do not have to listen to the hero of Racing in the Street to know this, they experience the need for solidarity each working day), and they have once and for all accepted the need for the solidarity, that is a condition for the survival of a family and for friends. But the hero do not want the ready-made, alienated life. He wants the thing that he know he has the capability for, the things (?) that can only be found in the darkness on the edge of town. He is without doubt true to his quest, for his dream of an authentic life. But the dilemma is, that he tries to create an non-alienated life by alienating himself from all and everything that is connected to the life of the town. And since any thing or living being has existence only as far as it has relations to other things or other people, the ultimate loneliness, that is the core of the darkness on the edge of town, threatens to dissolve the hero, hurl him into that terrifying void, that other heroes, in a future, has the urge to speak about. But then, of course, for the Hero, who is blind for the real life of ordinary people, all the people in this town is alienated and lonely. Here is, as far as he can see, no couple that drive out of the alienated valley down to the free flowing river. No, only for the coming hero, the hero that will be, will the relations to other people be as important as the quest, the dream of an authentic life. He will learn, and hence be this other, new hero, for whom an authentic life, whatever this can mean, is possible only in the community with other people. If you are blind for this fact, then somewhere, sometimes, perhaps in a small village way out west, you will be be aware of this fact, and in the community of the people in this village, you will see you loss, and this loss is the loss of your selves, for only wanting things, that can be found in the darkness on the edge of town. The truth of Darkness on the Edge of Town is Nebraska. So what Mr. Springsteen, who really did pay the cost for wanting things that only can be found in the darkness on the edge of town, really found in the darkness on the edge of town, was, just what we all have to find in The Darkness on the Edge of Town: that two hearts are better than one.
  9. the Bridge starts in the Darkness at the edge of own, and ends in the Promised land; the hero wants us, who thinks we are satisfied to live with a fair view of life and the prospect of consumption, to go with him over this Bridge. He can not pass over by himself, he can only pass with us; hence he can be easily found under the towering, hope giving Bridge. We think this Town is all bright and sun lit, but the the poet knows, that it is surrounded by Darkness. This Darkness is the Towns own Darkness. Its a Darkness of folks born into a good life, and folks getting it anyway, anyhow. The poet points to this Darkness so that we shall see it, and wish go over the Bridge. But we do see, do not go. So, the poet has to, in front of us all sinners who try to maintain the style of the Town, go up to that Hill, carrying the burden of the cross of our sins, to make us see this devastating Darkness on the edge of Town.
  10. I surely can read your text, but i find it hard to understand. The released version surely is ”I am...”. That the opposite would be the fact, is only in your imagination. And a ”we” would not make the made promise ”completely phony” to anyone. You can wish, that you where in a position in which it was possible for you to uttered these words, and believe that it was possible to live by them, but most people has a family to provide for, and for them it is a kind of unrealistic, but not, in your words, a phony promise, since we all know, that to be able to "run" from this destructive society, its not enough with a I, but must involve a we. You can invest your emotion in the hero of Thunder Road, and thereby get the feeling of how it would be, to fight for and live in an non-alienated world, to be able to do what is right for you and your family and the society you live in, and still have to accept the bitter facts of this alienating society. And, if i may dare to be a bit rude, what else is Springsteens work, but a emotional and intellectual reminder for us ordinary people of how neccesary it is for us to, as good as we can, fight for a better world? It helps us to keep that same dream of a decent society based on solidarity alive. Springsteen, true to the USA that has brought him up, has, as the base for his creativity, a individualistic worldview (I want to marry you), but in some remarkable way, he transmitter to us, that this, his own, individualistic society must be overcome, if we and our children will have any future whatsoever. You think, that ”It's a line one can more easily believe in when really young”, - well I guess that I am older than You, and I can more easily believe in these word today, than back in 1975, and that's because the change of I for a We.
  11. I got it wrong here. I meant, of course, to refer to the sad eyes part of the live versions (1978) of Backstreets, not the song with the same name. Sorry.
  12. Lampi, I see now, that I expressed myself ambiguously in my fist post above; with "the record should have ended with its first song" I did not mean the position of Thunder Road in the album, I meant to say, that if Mary had accepted the offer of the I who speaks in the story, then Thunder Road would have been the ONLY song on a one song album, i. e. there would not have been a Born to Run at all, only a song named Thunder Road. Not the heroes on the record, not Mary is really leaving anything behind on Born to Run; yes, they say they will leave on Thunder Road, but never do; they do not go further than the Backstreets; and even if the songs of the record uses words that gives a dynamic expression, it is a dynamic expression of a standing still; and this must be so, since when you are running away, you are still in the grip of what you are running away from; and Backstreets is the place of this life in limbo; years later, in Sad Eyes, this beautiful, youthful, hope giving propaganda of a life in limbo is criticized and corrected by the words: WE got to STOP hiding in the Backstreets. With Darkness the mission is no longer a mission of a solitary I to run away with a Mary from a world he do not want to be a part of, it is to change this world for a better one, The Promised Land, and that is not possible for an I , only for a WE.
  13. Well, I am talking, not about the exterior history of the record, but about the immanent world of the same.
  14. As I tried to show in a short text in Thunder Road from Maryś POW ( I think that was the name), she did not climb in; if she had done that, the record should have ended with its first song; but - the record was made, hence she did not climb in.
  15. A pice of art is not a thing. Even a thing is not a thing. Take for example a stone. It lays wet and shimmering on the beach. Take it home, and you will find, that it dries up and does not at all look the way it did at the beach. So the stone, just like art, whatever else it is, is also a relation. So whats the use of trying to make a piece of art to a stone, when not even the stone is a stone? Art is not a non-relation, someting good or bad in itself, its a relation to its audience. It also is a moment in the becoming of the artist. The streaming water of the artists evolution is also what wets and makes an perhaps otherwise dry and dull stone beautiful for the beholder.
  16. So many words I have used trying to express what you do in a single line. That line of yours is the most beautiful I ever read about Springsteen!
  17. I see that I have not been too clear in my writing. So yes, Silvia, also I do not think that mortality is the direct theme of WS. But as I see it, the absent of the insight in their mortality is the real theme of WS. The heros longing for the past, that forces them to live not their own life, but the life in the crane that they think the other will approve, that repetition, that makes them work five days a week in a work that takes their life from them, just for the two night in the Café, where they say that they comes alive, but in a voice, that do not tremble of any life whatsoever - all this longing, all this repetition can go on as long as the insight of their mortality has not confronted them. But without any doubt, by what they are satisfied with, we can measure their loss. And I would say: they are not really alive. And they know it. They admit it. If we remember. The girls at the Café are not the girls out in the street, who gives our hero brilliant eyes, no they slap on their makeup and flirt the night away. Its not for real. They all live a kind of non-life. In the world under WS, nothing will change, until the absolute Master enters there scene.
  18. Well, I agree with Berlin tramps remark above. And I really think that der absolute Herr is at the center of WS. I use my own words again: How astonishingly close (yet surprisingly distant from) Springsteen's latest heroes arenot the main character (grippingly played by Harry Dean Stanton) in John Carroll Lynch's movie LUCKY. Close, for he too, like Springsteen's latest heroes, lives a ritualized life, a non-life in anticipation of real life. He and they are fixed by their past. They live only for and by what has been. They are for that reason alone. They live only horizontally. Distant, since he, unlike them, finally returns to life; during one of his routines, he faints and falls to the floor, and then, when he rises again, - he is enriched with the insight of his own mortality. Now he can relate to other people again, become part of a community. He has experienced the verticality of life.
  19. Daisey Jeep! So beautiful you write about Springsteens work in general and WS in special! Your text expresses most of what I think on the subjekt, but much better than I can. I just want to add the following: Of course WS can be performed in front of a audience. But such a performance would, I think, be a connection between Springsteen and the audience of a different kind than the usual one. Nothing wrong with that, there are many different kind of places for an audience: film-, classical-, Max Raabe-audiences and so on, and none is better than the other. But I do not think that an artist of Springsteens kind would be satisfied with the kind of place for the audience, and the connection, that WS creates. And, if I dare speculate (hey stupid, you nothing else!): perhaps is it possible to image, that WS is an expression of the poets understanding, that not to far away, he will be without that audience that made it all possible, both for him selves, and the audience. That is, WS was thought to be his swan song.
  20. Well, I agree with you, that these songs have a place for an audience, but then I would say: outside the songs. They do not have that place in them where we, as a audience, is represented by one figure or other. This place is were the audience and the poet meets, and the existence of this place is what makes Springsteens relation to his audience so extraordinary. So what kind of tour would it really be? I think he realized, that it would be like going to different places with a movie - and so he made one.
  21. Why did not Springsteen perform his new songs on tour? Well, I think a tour centered around this new material was not really possible for an artist of Springsteens kind. The reason, as I see it, is the following. In Western Stars there is no real other. There is no Mary at the porch, no Mister in the valley. The other is lost, is a memory. The porch and the valley are boarded up, i. e. the poet and the other are only in the mind of the poet. That is: the songs of Western Stars has no place for an audience.
  22. Well there’s a place on a blank stretch of road where nobody travels and nobody goes.This blank stretch was once a Promise. This Promise was created and presented and pointed at by the Poet. This Promise was Thunder Road. It was at Thunder Road the Poet pointed. The promise was that of the way, the truth and the real Life. But the Poet could not go that way by himself, alone. If he did, it would be consumed, be lost. No, just he pointed at Thunder Road, for the sake of us all. If this Promise was to be fulfilled, we would have to fulfill it together. This Promise was given at the place were we were: the Porch. We heard the Promise, we believed that Thunder Road was a possibility. But now-days we do not believe in the Promise of Thunder Road. This our new world of non-belief stretches out under Western Stars. The Porch, i. e. the place in which we thought, that a better world for us all was possible, is deserted. Now we se, that the Porch was just a place on our own, solitary journey. It was a motel. It was Moonlight Motel. In Moonlight Motel we still believed in the Promise. Now we do not believe any more. Hence we can never go back to Moonlight Motel. We have boarded it up by our non-belief. There exists only ordinary motels in which two young folks only can disappear into themselves. We have lost We. So much came in the way: the ordinary life. Once we was at the Porch: we believed in the Promise; now we see, that we never was at the Porch: we just believed just during a quick stop at Moonlight Motel. Now, when we not any more have a belief in the promise of Thunder Road, it is not possible for us to go to Moonlight Motel. We can only go to a closed Moonlight Motel. This is a Motel opposed to what we once believed in. Where there once stood a sign, saying: This is the land of peace, love, justice, and no mercy, there now is a sign saying: ”Children be careful how you play”. We do not believe in the Promise, but we almost remember the exuberant feeling of believing in it: and so, slowly backwards those memories pass across the valley floor, back over the porch and in behind the screen door to that moment just before the poet gave us the Promise. But all that is now gone. We can not really remember. We do not remember, that the wind, that now is blowing the covers of our lonely bed, once was promised to be the wind that would blow back our hair when we travelled on Thunder Road; and the covers, well were they not something else, back at the Porch at the edge of Thunder Road? And yes, the road back to what now is the closed Moonlight Hotel is by no means the two blank lanes of Thunder Road; no it is a black road, filled with a cold wind and tumbling leaves. The Poet could not alone leave the Porch for Thunder Road. This Road was, as we now know, for us all or none. He can not return to the Porch, because we was never there, it never existed. He can not return to Moonlight Motel, since we ar not still there. He can only travel to the boarded up Moonlight Motel. But by doing so, he forces us to start to remember. We remember the Porch, the Moonlight Motel, The Promise of Thunder Road. We give them all their tribut and know, that even if its a fact, that everything dies, in one way or other it will all come back.
  23. There is a place on a blank stretch of road where nobody travels and nobody goes in the world lit up only by the Western Stars. This road is the road that is leading out of the past to a place of a new life facing the future. This road is blank of illusive memories. But the hero do not travel this route. He can not break loose from his past, - that is his finest hour and the index for his now. Wherever he is and whatever he does, he returns in his mind to the past. The memories of the emotions he had at that moment in the past, is the emotions he have today. He lives only in the past, i. e. he does not live. It is autumn in his world. Everything is in decay. Yes, he lived once. He loved once. He himself was once. Then came the ordinary life. The life of the living dead. And now he is satisfied with his non-life in memories. As a substitute. As alcohol. But of course, his memories are a lie. He remembers only the part of the poem that legitimate his non-life: It’s better to have loved. Yes, under Western Stars it is better to have loved, then to love. Its better to indulge in the past as a lie, than to act now for the future. Under Western Stars the poets wound up wounded, not even dead. But of course, alcohol can, in the end, correct that all that.
  24. The interesting thing about the heroes, who come to the fore in Springsteen's latest album, is not that they are alienated (who are not?), but that they cannot stop rationalizing their alienation. Let's take the Hitchhiker as a representative example. You can hitchhike to get where you want; you then hitchhike to reach a goal. One can also have the hitchhiking as such as a goal. Of this latter kind of hitchhiking, there are at least two different kinds: either it is the result of rejecting all the goals and values that society otherwise holds as important; and then only a life without a goal remains, i.e. hitchhiking; or is the hitchhiking itself is the basis, and the rejection of the goals of society the result; then the hitchhiker has a life without goal as a goal. Hitchhikers of the former kind (because the reason for their hitchhiking is clear to them), rest safe in themselves, and hitchhiking is for them a conscious decision; they may therefore be silent about why they are hitchhiking; the alienation is to them an accepted consequence of a conscious rejection. The second kind of hitchhiker, on the other hand, must constantly reject for themselves and others the goals and values that bind other people to a permanent existence; to them, rejection is a consequence of alienation, not the other way around; he or she can therefore never be silent, must constantly reject society's goals. Such an existential hitchhiker must all the time repeat that he is not following a map, but is aimlessly driving in accordance with the powers of the weather. Since the hitchhiker's existence in the hitchhiking is not the result of a rejection of the goals and values of them, who he travels with, but in the telling of this rejection, the hitchhiker can neither categorically deny (his existence requires someone to give him a lift) or categorically confirm (his existence also requires the rejection of of these values and goals) the values and important goals that they have, that gives him a ride. So even though he agrees that their goals (property, family, children) are positive, he also makes it clear that they are positive only in their world, not in his. So he has to constantly repeat to himself and others his mantra, which is not: "I am a hitchhiker", but: "I am a hitchhiker all day long", which has a childish tone, and may well be interpreted as: "I rejecting your life, which consists of working all day long ”. Of course, he wants to escape the alienation which he rationalizes and maintains in his words, but since he rejects all goals, his liberation can only happen in an alienated way: just like he is carried around in his alienation by external powers (weather and wind), he can be brought out of his alienation only by one likewise external power: another human being. "Catch me now, because tomorrow I will be gone" is therefore a necessary complement to "I hitchhike all day long". The latter mantra preserves and defends his alienation, the former pleads for liberation from the same alienation. Both are equally necessary, and both must necessarily be repeated.
  25. The Promise. Springsteen band members play in other contexts. He himself does not get much done. He goes to the cinema or stays at home. Once upon a time he tried to make a dream come true, just like the heroes on the white screen do. His dream then was to create a rock 'n' roll work, one that he himself considered to be right, i. e. without having to worry about restrictions imposed. Appel gave him the promise to help him realize this dream and Springsteen also realized such a creation and was met with abundant success and was seen as the rock n 'roll great promise. But when Appel broke his promise, the promise of the future of rock 'n roll was also broken. And when the double promise was broken, Springsteen also partially lost his dream. He had already started to realize his dream before Apple's promise, but when Apple broke his promise it turns out that his promise also was Springsteen's sale of his work to Apple. At that time long ago, he was secretly living his own dream, and now he regrets letting it be captured by Apple's world. All his life he has fought the battle no man can win, namely, that to produce without that the products are stolen away from you by the commercial world, which Appel represented. So, as said, every day it becomes increasingly difficult to believe in the dream of one's own free creation. But Springsteen still clings to the possibility of this impossibility, which bears the name of Thunder Road. In relation to it, he now sees that something of significant importance, the original dream, is dying. And sure, with Thunder Road he made himself great; but the legal process with Appel showed what high price he had to pay for his success. He know now that this price is what we all have to pay, and it’s like he is carrying the broken souls of all the others who had lost their dreams. Of course, life goes on even when the promise is broken, but the crime robs something essential from your soul, and from your heart, that becomes cold when you tell the truth in court, but this truth is not even listened to. In the evenings Springsteen often goes to the movies. One night he sees High Noon, and realizes that his dream has always forced him to fight against those who want to hinder him, and without help from those who do not want to help him. But more important, he understand that even if he had to realize his dream in Thunder Road, he know now, that he, if he wants to create a new and truer version of his dream, must throw it away. Because Thunder Road is both a correct and an incorrect expression of his dream. Correct, since it is an expression of the freedom of creativity. Incorrect, since the runaway ideology that is its message in no longer adequate: if he now run away, he will lose his free productivity and his product. He will lose his dream. So he has to stay and fight. He do so. He fights. When the fight is over, he can trow Thunder Road down in the dirt, and travel to his glorious future with his muse
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