Just saw an article saying that it *appears* as though Bruce will be in an ad for Jeep during the second half of the game on Sunday. Taking it with a grain of salt, of course.
Look, I'm ambivalent about the ad. No real opinion either way in terms of Bruce and what it means for my fandom. Probably refer to my recent post in the driving under the influence post. (Ironically, our idol may have cancelled out the whole financial/selling out side of the discussion with that, but I digress).
I'm more interested in this discussion about 'the Middle'. How would this discussion differ in the US if there was compulsory voting, like we have here in Australia?
I have a friend who was a member of our left major party, Labor. That was on the back of them being the champion of unions, and the working class. He has become increasingly upset and agitated by the left's embrace of 'woke' ideals, to the point he has flung reasonably far right. To the point of sprouting all the usual right points of doom to society as we know it.
I calmed him down, and eventually he agreed, that in Australia there is no more chance of the far left sending us back to the caves than there is of the far right eradicating our indigenous population and deporting everyone less than white. Because we have compulsory voting. We have elements of crazy at both ends of the spectrum, but they are at best 10% on either side. The remaining 80% are far from that. And, in a democracy where all 100% are compelled to vote, the 10% extremes are just that as the 80% 'middle' sway back and forth.
A great example is the John Howard Liberal government (Liberal being our right party... confusing, I know, but this is our Republican equivalent) who from 1998 through to the mid 2000's carried a whole swag of voters who may normally lean centre left by pork barrelling them with money (e.g. a $5k 'baby bonus' for low to mid income couples having a baby). This was until the Liberals won both houses in our Parliament and tried to really alter the workplace regulations in favour of business. The great 'middle' swung, and snuffed that attempt at a bigger move to the right out.
My point is, I suspect the great majority of Americans are living in the middle already. How would it play out if these folks were all compelled to vote, and both parties were required to engage and sway these voters, as opposed to the lunatics on each far side running the asylum just trying to get the already invested to vote.
Why all this controversy about the middle? It isn't meant throwing together all conflicting attitudes, stirring briskly and coming out with an undefinable mishmash.
The middle is the metaphor for some things all people (of good will) should be able to agree on: Decency. Integrity. Truthfulness. Empathy.
You can add some more essential basic qualities; these are just examples.
Like @Louisa I have been thinking about this more than I probably should. I have to acknowledge that, as ever, I am looking at it through my rose tinted Bruce glasses - If another artist had done this, e.g. Bono, I would be thinking 'what a sanctimonious prick' .
I do think he has become somewhat 'preachy' of late. Maybe all these years of fans treating him like God has gone to his head.
What’s the middle between servant and citizen?
I think he was on the previous board? And I'm pretty sure he was on the old LuckyTown mailing list, and positive he wrote for Backstreets.
Where do I know that name, Matt Orel?
Here's a powerful piece — the best one I've yet encountered, I think — on the ad by Matt Orel, longtime Springsteen writer, comparing this ad with Bruce's decision to cancel his North Carolina show in the wake of the recent transphobic law passed there.
Here's the nut but you should check out the entire thing:
I have been thinking about this ad more than I probably should.
It opened several topics, and if his goal was to make people reflect and discuss, maybe he has performed an adequate job. I haven't checked any media outside this forum, so I have zero knowledge about how the American public responded.
I am bewildered that Bruce took part in an environmentally hazardous automotive industry advertisement that managed to degrade concerning political matters into a Superbowl commercial. Is this an element of the American Dream - making a show out of absolutely everything, even your nation's trauma?
The ad implies that creating consensus within the divided nation is just a simple, reasonable choice, similar to picking low-fat milk in the supermarket. It signifies a dangerous simplification of a critical sociological issue. Bruce has decided for lame political sweet talk, he just presented it in a visually likable artistic and poetic package.
The more I think about it, the more I see it as an advertisement for himself, not for Jeep.
Anyone else thinks this was perhaps an extravagant ego trip?
...when's the last time you actually saw your jacket...?
Look, I'm not saying definitively that he stole it. I'm just saying a lot of people are suddenly questioning his character the past few days, and well, it would be irresponsible not to speculate.
I have that same western Sherpa jacket as Bruce wears in the ad, but he didn't sell it to me. I bought it last Spring. It makes me happy that Bruce tries to dress like me.
Thanks Rick nice of you to say so.
A sad night of Football indeed. The problem I have with Brady is that he is dishonest about his support of Trump, took loans from the Covid relief program designed to support struggling small businesses, and then bought a yacht. He cheated several years ago by deflating footballs before a playoff game. His excellence on the football field when you look at it deeply is pretty lucky. This Super Bowl win is the first win of his career in the big game where he was truly dominant. When the football fan in me looks again at the details I realize that the defense did a better job than Brady. Andy Reid's drug-addict son got into a car crash last week that must have really distracted him and the whole team. My point here, if anyone is still reading is that Brady is a bad person that is hated by the majority of progressive sports fans and media. It was sad to see him arrive at the game maskless.
I said earlier I liked the ad, and still do. However, politically it's very naive to say it out loud just like Biden. He does sound like Biden. This desire to appease the right-wing, who sent terrorists to Washington to over turn an election must be dealt with in some fashion before I move on. These QAN people making up the R party must be expelled from the party and congress. The sad news is that we are rid of Trump, but he has been replaced by a very destructive wing of his party. The good news is that they will not survive the war in the party between old school conservatives and the QAN wing. But it will be ugly and these people are crazy with white rage against anyone who wants a better way.
What has happened to my country is horrible. I spent hours discussing this with my son after the game. It's gonna be a long walk home indeed.
Jeez, I just composed a lengthy post and thought I'd posted it.....but it's gone.
To be honest, I also dislike this “the middle“ thing. I don’t know what it is, exactly. All the things it can mean, however, are things I disagree with.
I don’t agree with centrism and I don’t think it‘s good for society. There is no middle ground to be found, there’s only specific political solutions. The ones I think are beneficial for society are not in the middle and cannot be bettered by compromise.
On top of that, I’m really bothered by the idea of discussing politics by means of a TV ad. I can’t word this in any way that doesn’t sound condescending but I can’t help thinking that everyone looking at this and not seeing it for what it is (and ad to promote a brand) is being incredibly naive.
That's an interesting perspective, and there's little in there I could disagree with TBH.
Incidentally, I read through the thread on this subject on the old place (against my better judgement).
There's some toxicity on the go and no mistake.
Whilst a few called him out re: the "selling out" aspect, a lot of the usual suspects seemed actively offended by "the middle" concept, because all the rabid left wingers (you know like Biden......) won't deviate from their radical agendas and head to the middle....
Scary stuff, mustn't do that any more.
This WaPo column is pretty spot on:
I‘m possibly being naive, but I find it very hard to believe that Bruce will personally benefit financially from this, I’m sure if he was paid he’s already donated it to a worthy cause.
I do find the environmental aspect troubling though.
Positive aspects of this thread - Ann’s f bomb and “figurative fellatio”, not sure they’d have been permitted on our former home.