Thursday, August 09, 2012

Howard Zinn With A Guitar? - The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan - The Daily Beast:

The Remnick essay - imperfect and too uncritical - makes clear that whatever "message" Springsteen hopes to convey in his songs, he labors mightily not just to be serious, but to provide those moments of connection between artist and audience that allow us to slip out of the burdens of everydayness and enjoy glimpses of meaning and fullness. What else could Springsteen have meant, as he once sang, that he learned more from a three minute record than he ever learned in school?

All this reminds me of a line from the great N+1 essay about TNR's back of the magazine: "It confuses censoriousness with a faculty of judgment that links the aesthetic to the moral sense." That essay was titled "Designated Haters." This ultimately is what Wieseltier finds so detestable about Springsteen; he clings to hope rather than hate. The Boss is earnest. In an age of irony and near total skepticism, the perils of hope coming across as naive, un-serious, an empty form of consolation abound. If Springsteen proffers this hope, at times, in less than convincing ways, I will still choose it over a pose of condescension and contrived contrarianism.