Oil and Water

Conservatives and Rock and Roll

If I were Chris Christie, there's no way I'd like Bruce Springsteen. What gives?

A final and brief end-of-week thought. You may by now have read Jeff Goldberg's very entertaining piece about going to a Springsteen concert with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has seen the Boss something like 3 million times. Christie is a little peeved that Bruce won't deign to meet him, for political reasons, although evidently the Boss was once very nice to his kids.

I actually think this is a little churlish of Bruce. However reactionary a sycophant to rich people and slasher of programs for others he might be, he is the governor. But whatever, that's Bruce's call.

What I don't understand is how a right-winger can be such a big Springsteen fan. He hates Republicans and says so. And if I were Christie, a song like "41 Shots" would repulse me. Ditto "Born in the USA," the most stirring ANTI-patriotic anthem of our time. And all those songs about the working stiffs, taking those swipes at the Man and capitalism. If I were a conservative I really don't think there's any way I could be much of a Springsteen fan.

I don't get conservative rock'n'roll fans in general. Yeah, yeah, people are complicated and all that. But rock'n'roll exists to destroy everything conservatives say they believe in and hold dear. I liked the old days, when reactionary and usually racist idiots inveighed against jungle music, or John Lennon's blasphemy. The lines were so much cleaner. And I know there's the occasional Alice Cooper, evidently a very conservative fellow these days (what's with him, anyway? Your name is Alice and you used to bite snake's heads, and you're right wing?), but there's a reason most rockers lean left. They don't like authority, and if you're going to love rock'n'roll, you shouldn't either.