Beef With The Boss
While I had planned to discuss my adoration and appreciation for Adam Sandler in today’s post, something has come to light that I wish to discuss. I can’t quite tell if it’s because I am a contrarian or if my complaints carry any merit. At any rate, it might be an unpopular opinion but I got beef with the Boss.
I was born, bred, and pork roll fed in New Jersey. Although my New Jersey is different than what you may picture. I lived in a mostly rural area, surrounded by farms, parks, and motels. We spent our time playing tag, lighting things on fire, and hiding our parents’ cigarettes. It was glorious.
I’m proud of where I’m from but I don’t find solidarity in the Jersey Shore personality, Tony Soprano reference, or being asked what exit I’m from. In that same vane, I’m tired of being expected to fawn all over Bruce Springsteen and his hometown hero persona.. Nope. Not happening. Not my jam. How does that man represent my story or the state where I grew up? He isn’t the only New Jersey success story. Ever hear of Shaquille O’Neil, Jack Nicholson, Danny Devito, Paul Rudd, Meryl Streep, or Frank Sinatra? For whatever reason, they don’t have the same Jersey snarl following. Nor are they frustratingly affiliated with New Jersey residents.
Sure, Bruce is a legendary musician. He made it out of Jersey and got big. So did Ice T.
Isn’t the point of rooting for someone from your stomping ground so that you can share in their success? Is it that he’s the boy next door? I do dig some of his songs but I struggle to accept that others are music. We Take Care Of Our Own reminds me of every Christian song on the planet. Lazy metaphors that compare God to a light or a father. (My Lighthouse by Rend Collective is the laziest Christian song on the planet).
We take care of our own?
Has anyone seen this dude lately? He's trying this new western motif with some hints of Native America. In other words, he’s looking like he's appropriating the hell out of Randolph’s style from Free Willy.
My feelings percolated up on this issue during the Superbowl. I was minding my own business, double fisting Totino's Pizza Rolls, when I got slapped with a preachy message from the Boss. Jeep has a commercial about coming together as a country to unite… narrated by Bruce Springsteen.
He’s driving… nowhere near New Jersey, again looking like he’s the last of the Mohicans.
Bruce Springsteen is saying we must meet in the middle to unite. All while driving through, what appears to be, middle America. Even my wife, a fellow New Jersey alumni who adores Bruce and shared his hometown, laughed when he lit a candle in the commercial.
This is the dude who has been protesting the government and military involvement in Vietnam for the last 40 years. How the hell am I supposed to feel united by him driving an old Jeep across a country to light a Yankee candle?
Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Look, I love me a celebrity endorsement. I’ve owned two different Antonio Banderas colognes. I don’t need my fellow New Jersians telling me that Bruce is my Garden State hero.
This is similar to my philosophy on sport teams. I don’t believe in pledging allegiance to a team because of geographic proximity. I think it devalues the game when such blind fandom exists. This idea should not be confused with front-running.
The same is true of Bruce Springsteen. I acknowledge that he is a hall of fame great rockstar. He deserves the accolades. I just don’t feel the need to prop up his reputation because we hail from the same geographic region.
Just as I was ready to seal the deal on my Springsteen hissy fit, Jeep pulls the commercial. Springsteen’s DWI from months ago somehow discredits the message. This put my rage against the machine viewpoint at a crossroads. The masses think I should bow to Bruce as a Jersey God. The masses can shove it.
Then the internet masses believe his commercial should be taken down because of his DWI. Nothin a contrarian like myself, enjoys more than to double down on the largest voice. Pulling the commercial is weak sauce. I stand with Michael Rapport’s opinion on this.
But by no means, is Bruce Springsteen my New Jersey hero. I’m tired of being told he should be BUT this whole commercial being pulled ordeal is nonsensically driven by too many people drinking the Cancel-Culture-Kool-Aid.
To bring this back to my thesis, if someone said Bon Jovi should be my pork roll egg and cheese comrade, that is a different story. Love that guy and his headband classics. I would also share a pastrami sandwich with another New Jersey heartthrob… Joe Pesci.