The Super Bowl ad that Bruce did shocked me.
Is that Bruce Springsteen I asked myself? An advertisement?
But quickly, though, looking past that small aspect, I turned my attention to the beautiful cinematography. It has that same magical feel that many of Bruce’s videos have of late. The manner in which everything is cloaked in deep sepia tones, lending it a timelessness that soothes: Could this have been made one hour ago or fifty years ago?
Neither the eyes nor the mind can know — just eased along, we enjoy the sensation that as if a magic carpet is holding us aloft.
Unknown observers, this is what it probably feels like to be angels or some other divine beings.
These were the feelings that washed over me as Bruce slowly unraveled the story. As if untangling a garden hose, letting out a little slack, a bit more and then finally, once fully unraveled, a confident snap and the hose uncurls into a useable form. Water can be added to the soil Bruce mentioned in the ad — the common ground on which we all stand.
The Jeep used in the creation of the “prayer,” as Bruce calls it, has been used by him since 1980. Bruce has a horse farm outside of Freehold, New Jersey — his and my hometown. The ad, to the bitter and angry, was about selling a Jeep. It was “insincere words spoken by a life long Democrat” whose utter revulsion for the right’s god, Donald Trump, was never concealed.
Not supporting Donald Trump does not make a person insincere — it makes them honest. But in Trumplandia, conformity, disguised as rebellion, as “speaking one’s mind and breaking out from government tyranny,” is the only thing that makes one real.
The irony of words hurled across Twitter by angry Trumpists, Bruce through (sic) us, the workingman under the bus; Bruce is a rich man telling us to buy a Jeep with gubmint $600 checks. Let those words sink in, Bruce threw the workingman under the bus. If Bruce tossed them under, then Trump, the entirety of the Republican Party, steamrolled them into the pot-holed roads that make up so much of our national highway system today.
Doesn’t the very nation they claim to worship, the party to which they claim allegiance, say that being wealthy is next to godliness? Especially when that wealth comes from working non-stop, and harder than anyone else? This is how Bruce Springsteen became a wealthy man — if you have ever been to a Bruce concert, you know this.
Bruce was calling to the nation to set aside its differences; but we are not one nation anymore. We are the Americans and they the Trump-sick. Where is the middle ground with people who think January 6th was an act of patriotism? With people who worship the most boring letter in the alphabet? With people who think that Coke without ice is communist? Who think that Hillary Clinton eats babies?
I disliked George W. Bush but I considered his supporters Americans. I cannot feel the same away about Trump supporters. They need to prove to us they are still FOR AMERICA — and not against it as they demonstrated over four years; on January 6th and continue to do in their incessant twittering — and on sites like gab.com (truly horrible stuff there).
Bruce Springsteen wasn’t doing the ad to sell records or add fans.
Bruce was doing it because he loves America. Bruce has spent his life singing to us, the suffering, the working men and women — to Americans. The man who stole the hearts, souls and commonsense of half the nation, Donald Trump, never was and still is not, a man of the people. In my world, he is not an American — if you wage war against the “rules” of our Constitution then you are the enemy.
Trump has lived his entire life in a bubble surrounded by wealth 99% of Americans can never know.
If you ever understood, or loved America, then you know the words Bruce gave up on Super Bowl Sunday were not to God. In that 2-minute snapshot, filmed in the remnants of what used to be one nation, Bruce was offering up those words to all of us.
Sadly, however, only the chosen people will hear them. The rest will emote, tweet, hate and be “smart-asses;” and, they will wallow further in the sadness that became our nation thanks to Donald Trump.
(And forty years of failed trickle-down, supply-side mania.)
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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