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  1. It’s just in the podcast they talk about pledging allegiance with such warmth and pride - it’s very sweet but baffling to me. My mum talks about how they used to play the national anthem in the cinemas when films ended and you had to be careful not to get trampled as people rushed to get out! Although, I might sing if I had the Knopflers along for the ride.
  2. I do take your point but doesn’t the idea of ‘pledging allegiance’ to a flag make you wince - sorry Americans. Imagine trying to get a class of English teenagers to do that - it would be mumbled, muttered and sniggered throughout. Like school prayers are just so embarrassing. That’s not to say it’s wrong just that you would struggle to get that level of enthusiasm in England. And I am very much not including the Welsh,Scottish and Northern Irish in this as I know you have a different relationship to your flags, nations etc.
  3. The ‘we’ was meant as a comment on the English attitude to patriotism. You know how it can be seen as a bit embarrassing. The comment in relation to politics is not that other people aren’t moved by the music and the lyrics, the quite clearly are, very much so. It’s more that there are certain lyrics that are clearly social, Bruce himself describes them as such, and if you happen to agree with him it might add another dimension. I would certainly struggle to engage with a lyric that expressed a view I did not agree with. In the same way the discussion about patriotism is interesting to a non American but I realise there is part of it that is separate and not visceral to me as I am simply not American.
  4. Oh and episode 4 I felt excluded by my lack of Americanness. I find the overt patriotism very ‘uncomfortable’ and a bit embarrassing. This is a very English response. We can be weird about stuff like that. I still enjoyed it as an insight into a separate and very different country.
  5. As someone on the left, I get so much from the lyrics, I don’t think a U.S conservative would get as much. Not saying you can’t enjoy it, or don’t get it but there is a depth of understanding I get, that I think (could well be wrong), that you can’t ‘get’ if you come from a different point. And then in a slightly evangelical way, I want everyone to share that feeling, when the world clicks in to place, with the music, and the emotion, my head and my heart all match up and it feels like he sees inside me and understands. I differentiate between a US conservative and the rest of the world. A moderate U.K. conservative would be a U.S Democrat. I would speculate the same is true in Aus, Canada and NZ.
  6. I was listening to Bruce reading Born to Run last night and in the chapter Darkness on the Edge of town he writes about the politics in his lyrics. He discusses politics in terms of a “dignified and decent living” not necessarily party political but an ideal of what we should move towards. If you define politics this way, and I do, then virtually every album is political or contains politics. I can’t see how Jungleland and Badlands can’t be political, they just are. He says the lyrics are politics spiced with “cars and girls”. The politics is the centre the rest is the dressing. That’s what he writes if you choose not to hear that and access those lighter aspects without digging in it’s like eating the cheese and no burger. Perhaps you like cheese? However, to be shocked and uncomfortable when he discusses the politics in party political terms when the ideas are laced throughout and intertwined into his work is...surprising.
  7. Political is everything. The darkness on the edge of town, the need to get out of here to win, the secret garden that many women need and living somewhere when the criminal crown has stolen the throne. Party political is different again, but the urge many have to try to dilute the political and societal ideas out of his lyrics is... puzzling. What moves you is the political, Jack of all Trades is overtly political, the power imbalance and the dignity in the face of injustice is the core of that. Political. If politics is boring then why are you a Bruce fan? I speculate that people reject the aspects they find uncomfortable, the bits that make them question and dig a little too deep into their own issues and dismiss it as ‘political’. Anyway, I could listen to voice recite the phone book and find it meaningful and moving - I think that’s my problem.
  8. Bruce’s conversational style is lyrical. I don’t see how you can separate his lyrics from his conversation. There is skill in the way the sentences are shaped and delivered, he is a poet to his bones. The message is his lyrics is the message in these conversations. If all you see is politics and point scoring that is what you bring to the table. Look at yourself first. Bruce is able to study some complex aspects of humanity without judgment - I offer you Reno as evidence. If you feel judged that is something for you to consider. These two men have reached a point where they can discuss their own frailties and issues and this is a significant shift in the way that generation of men face societal and emotional issues. I can see why people would think it is boring, and I can see why people would reject it. Again, your issue not theirs.
  9. Any Bruce more songs about the sea? Seaside Bar Song Sherry Darling Sandy Girls in their Summer Clothes I’m doing a beach based playlist and beaches are proving less fruitful than roads. This is a bit odd as Bruce often says how much he loves the ocean. What am I missing?
  10. I would explode! The mere mention of Boulevard or the glimpse of a 10th has set me off; an E street 10th combo would send me into orbit. I feel at some point I may make a pilgrimage to the promised land of New Jersey. The USA is so full of contradictions I love it and am appalled at the same time.
  11. I am a teacher of English and politics, I spend time trying to get 16 - 19 year olds to write. Balboa Park really beautiful with lots of interesting museums. When you look you can see the poverty and the homelessness. I come from Manchester (England) and the homelessness in the US looks less obviously distressing as it isn’t raining. I find the amount of ex military homeless particularly distressing, people with limbs missing begging on the street. It’s odd other countries poverty seems more distressing than my own countries poor - as always Bruce and my internal Springsteen play list makes me think about issues more deeply. On a lighter note I am absurdly thrilled every time we drive near E Street, 10th Ave nearly had me wetting myself. There are also a lot of Boulevards and I am very much enjoying them. I saw a car with Ohio plates and and I was wondering where Frank was - in bloody New Jersey obviously. I don’t think the whole adventure would be as rich without Bruce. His lyrics are so intertwined with my thought processes he is an optic through which I experience life. And my life is so much richer for that optic.
  12. On the playlist today........ Balboa Park - GoTJ will be the album today. My partner is not fond of ‘mumbly Bruce’ (his words) but I love it (unsurprisingly). I think we are lucky enough to be able to afford this holiday and so a dose of reality is good. We talk about politics a lot as a family and the current political crisis on the boarder with Mexico is brought home when you are on a beach and can actually see Mexico. Should the actual physical reality of the desert, the empty road, the border make a difference to your understanding of an issue? Intellectually, it makes no difference but I am having a significant emotional reaction to philosophical and political issues because I am actually ‘walking in the footsteps of’ so to speak. In a good way the vastness of the desert, the unrelenting heat, the long stretches of road gave me a glimpse of the American obsession with driving and ‘getting out of here to win’ and how you can ‘fall in love with lonely’. The juxtaposition of wealth and poverty makes you aware of the great good fortune of being born in the latter half of the twentieth century in an industrialised nation compared to the grinding poverty a wire fence away. And as always Bruce is the sound track to my life and experiences. Matching up my enjoyment of my good fortune while sympathising with and wanting to help those less fortunate. So Balboa Park for a fun day out while maintaining an awareness of the underbelly.
  13. Well it’s nearly empty you can just see the back of our hire car. To the immense delight of my sons and near orgasmic pleasure of my partner the car we have hired is a Dodge Charger. We didn’t plan it they offered it to us, what could we do?
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