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Old 10-01-2002, 02:35 PM   #1
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Bruce and the U.S.A.

Does anyone know of any articles or websites...or even have personal opinions about Bruce and American politics?

Basically I have this project with NO RULES and I chose to explore Bruce's songs and his attitudes about American political policy, or something like that

I really am bad at history and government and politic things, so any help would be muchly appreciated.

Or maybe I should alter my topic a little?

BOSS ROUND TABLE DISCUSSIONS

WOO!

Tanks
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Old 10-01-2002, 03:53 PM   #2
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Something to research and consider:

Ronald Reagan quoted the chorus of "Born in the USA" as a patriotic slogan while he was president. I don't remember the context, but it was clear that he did not understand the song. Bruce got more overtly political after that. He had had food bank workers and people like that at his concerts before, but Reagan kind of made him speak out a little more.
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Old 10-01-2002, 03:54 PM   #3
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what an awesome ideaer

Hey girlie,

I'm feeling like my head is stuffed with one of Stevie's scarves right now and my throat needs some honee, but when I'm feeling better I'll toss in my two cents, okbie?

<----mmm, Bruce vids will make me feel bettah.


PS-One thought for now...you can discuss American artists and their role in politics. Reason being, Bruce has kinda shifted away from being directly involved in recent years, but you can look to Stevie and some of the stuff he's done, but both of them really were more involved in the 80's and not so much now.... (No Nukes, all of Steve's aparheid stuff, Sun City, etc.)

See, I'm no good when I'm sick.
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Old 10-01-2002, 03:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha
Something to research and consider:

Ronald Reagan quoted the chorus of "Born in the USA" as a patriotic slogan while he was president. I don't remember the context, but it was clear that he did not understand the song. Bruce got more overtly political after that. He had had food bank workers and people like that at his concerts before, but Reagan kind of made him speak out a little more.

He still has the food bank people at his shows, and on the first leg of this tour he made a statement before BITUSA.

Another thing....that song has been so misconstrewed by many over time, it's taken as an anthem when it's really about Vietnam vets. Anyone but me find that odd?

Also, the way he's been performing it lately is back to the way he did it in the 80's. He did it on the Tom Joad tour accoustic, giving it more of the "atmosphere" it deserved for the subject matter.

Ok, I'll stop jabbering now...
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Old 10-01-2002, 04:14 PM   #5
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I wish he'd run for the NJ Senate.
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Old 10-01-2002, 08:49 PM   #6
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good luck

Bruce has spoken out here and there but mostly his viewpoint on political and social issues has to be interpreted through his music. But here are a few things that might trigger some ideas:

There is a book called Born in the U.S.A.: Bruce Springsteen and the American Tradition by Jim Cullen who is I think some Harvard historian. I didn't read it but I think it discusses the things you're talking about.

"American Skin (41 Shots)" as you probably know was written about an unarmed black man (Amadou Diallo) who was shot 41 times by NYC police. Bruce got a lot of flack for the song and told Speak Up magazine: "I was writing about the place that I live and, you know, what defines "American-ness," you know. I think that I live in a country where a lot of people of color feel denied full citizenship, they feel denied full "American-ness," and that the Diallo case became a metaphor for that feeling. And it was just something I wanted to write about."

Here is a link to a great interview from The Advocate in which he discussed "Philadelphia", gays & lesbians, and "Dead Man Walking," the "Born in the USA"/Regan thing that martha mentioned, and some other good stuff.

http://www.geocities.com/mybrucesite/advocate.htm

Also, a couple of years ago Bruce came out publicly against Proposition 209 in California. Here is a little article on that:

Quote:
Monday, October 28, 1996

Protesters hope to sway voters in last days of campaign
By Marie Blanchard and Karen Duryea

"How does it feel to be the civil rights of the movement of the '90s?" asked civil rights leader Dolores Huerta, at Sunday's STOP Prop 209 rally.

In the shade of the Federal Building, thousands gathered yesterday afternoon to hear speakers Rev. Jesse Jackson; Eleanor Smeal, leader of the Feminist Majority; Tom Hayden, 23rd District state senator; Congresswoman Maxine Waters and singer/songwriter Bruce Springsteen.

With Nov. 5 quickly approaching, the rally was one of several last-ditch efforts in a 10-day countdown to the elections aiming to appeal to indecisive voters.

"The polls say we're behind," Smeal told the crowd. "Don't be discouraged by the polls; the supporters (of Proposition 209) are dropping ... Our job is to make sure they're behind the only day that counts, and that's Election Day."

Organizers of the rally said their goal was to inform voters that Proposition 209, if passed, would end affirmative action. Nowhere on the ballot does the phrase affirmative action appear, possibly misleading voters, Smeal said.

People of all races and ages pressed forward as Rev. Jesse Jackson stirred the crowd, stressing that de-racialization of issues like affirmative action must occur for Prop. 209 to be defeated.

"It's a majority issue, not a minority issue," Jackson said. "Whenever we all come together, we almost always win."

The latest polls indicate that 54 percent of California voters support the initiative, according to Smeal. Nonetheless, an estimated 2,500 anti-209 advocates attended the rally, according to Jen Bott, press coordinator. But when Huerta asked the crowd if there were enough protesters there, they replied, "No."

"You shouldn't have any room between you," Huerta urged.

Huerta told the crowd to help mobilize voters by asking for a "big favor;" to ask at least 10 trustworthy friends to vote against the proposition in hopes that their message will spread and 209 will be stopped.

"If, in fact, all of us do that, then we have a chance of winning," she said. "Red shirts," as the volunteers were referred to, worked the crowd to request donations and recruit more volunteers to man the polling places a week from Tuesday.

As the final speaker, Bruce Springsteen took the podium after Rev. Jackson and, once again, the crowd surged forward. He joked that he was unprepared to speak.

"Jesse Jackson just gave the speech I was going to give," he said.

The traffic and police sirens on Wilshire Boulevard served as a backdrop for "The Boss'" speech, but he wasn't talking about music Sunday.

"I am here today because I believe it is very important to stop Proposition 209 in California," Springsteen said. "It's not a race and colorblind country; if you think so, then there's a job for you over in Disneyland. Affirmative action has been an effective tool since the beginning."

After he sang two songs, harmonica and all, the crowd made requests for Springsteen to sing "Born in UCLA," to no avail.

Sen. Hayden expressed his opposition to the proposition.

"California can still be a model of opportunity and diversity for the world if we defeat this initiative," he said. "Where is our party? Is it courting Wall Street instead of Watts?"

Congresswoman Maxine Waters attacked the UC system and its lack of diversity.

"Regents ought to be ashamed of the nine college campuses ... ," Waters said.

"Look at the meager numbers of people of color who are still out of the system. We need to work hard to attract young kids."
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Old 10-01-2002, 09:22 PM   #7
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wow thanks
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Old 10-01-2002, 11:21 PM   #8
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See? Brucie is a very smart man.



Why is there no Brucie smiley face?
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Old 10-01-2002, 11:25 PM   #9
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silly woman....

Quote:
Originally posted by Patty Scialfa
See? Brucie is a very smart man.



Why is there no Brucie smiley face?

<----this is the closest we got to one, lol
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Old 11-03-2002, 09:05 PM   #10
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This project is going fairly well......

if anyone else has any uber-useful sources I should consult.....or just wanna express your OWN opinion about the appeal of Springsteen....feel free I'm SO into this.....I have like TOO MUCH to say, and I dunno how to say it all
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Old 11-04-2002, 09:44 AM   #11
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There are some great articles here-hope this helps a little

http://www.greasylake.org/talktome/talk.htm
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Old 11-07-2002, 03:26 PM   #12
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Thank you Gina. I found some useful stuff in there
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