Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Springsteen: Barack Knows All About the Darkness at the Edge of Town

From the LA Times:

Springsteen endorses Obama for president

You may remember that 70s-era TV ad where Robert Young, whose big show at the time was “Marcus Welby, MD”, had to explain to the audience that “I’m not a real doctor, I just play one on TV.” He was selling Sanka as being medically more beneficial than real coffee.

For some reason everyone alive from that era remembers that line.

Maybe it was the implicit insult we all felt that Madison Avenue thought we needed to be told that the guy from “Father Knows Best” wasn’t a real doctor; or maybe we all felt the same glum confidence that a lot of folks were going to start buying Sanka based on a hazy referral they’d been given by some guy with an M.D. after his name.

Bruce Springsteen’s endorsement of Barack Obama is the same kind of cynical thing. If you can't get a real doctor to hawk the health benefits of Sanka, get an actor who plays one; if you need a blue-collar spokesman to try to explain Obama’s idiotic remarks about small-town, working-class people, get someone who himself impersonates a small-town working class guy every night in front of tens of thousands of adoring fans?

"I'm not a real doctor," said Robert Young.

Just so, now Bruce is saying, “I’m not a real small-town, working-class American, but I play one on stage. I wear t-shirts, a leather, biker boots and jeans during all my shows, and I sing a lot about people worried about money and the police. I sing about fixing up cars, punching clocks, mean streets, giant Exxon signs--all that shit. Which is what qualifies me to reassure you--on behalf of all heartland America--that Barack Obama is not the priggish, out-of-touch Harvard snob that everyone can see that he is. Now who're you gonna believe? A guy like, me whose always got his hair styled to make me look like a greaser, or someone like Eva Longoria Parker, who plays a rich suburban housewife with a style she’s trying to maintain, and supports Hillary? What does Eva know about Katrina, or coming back from Vietnam to no job?”

Of course Bruce is entitled, as any other red-blooded American, to endorse and support the candidate of his choice. I just find it a bit hard to take having Senator Obama's blue-collar credentials vouched for by a guy who made his first million probably longer ago than Bill Gates did.

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