Thursday, June 21, 2012

DO WE HAVE TO BRING HIM? It's charming that Chris Christie likes to go to Springsteen concerts, and it speaks well of him that he can enjoy the concerts despite disagreeing with Springsteen on matters of politics, an admirable trait well beyond the reach of Max Boot and a million other miserable kulturkampfers. Where it all goes wrong in Jeffrey Goldberg's essay is here:
Christie believes fiercely that Springsteen would understand him if he only made the effort.
As would Princess Leia, no doubt.
But here’s what I told him I imagine Springsteen might ask: “Governor, do you really believe it’s a level playing field? Do you really believe that marginalized people even have access to opportunity?”

“Look,” Christie said to the imaginary Springsteen...
I have an overactive, indeed feverish, imagination, but I stopped pretending to challenge my artist heroes like this when I was a little boy. The "I bet if I said to him" style is not exalted by application to rock stars. I love Evelyn Waugh and even if given the opportunity (e.g., in hell) would not dream of trying to talk him out of being Evelyn Waugh so he could reform and spread the good word about single payer. There really is a difference between a nerd and a dork.

Much as I dislike Christie, I blame Goldberg for this. He's insufferable. He seems genuinely hurt on the Governor's behalf that "Springsteen studiously ignores Christie at shows" and that Springsteen "doesn’t seem to care that Christie is the sort of Republican many Democrats find appealing." He bets Springsteen is "confused" that his fans vote for Christie, as he does not have the sophisticated electoral analytic skills of Jeffrey Goldberg at his disposal. (Here's his resume, though!) Plus this:
I asked him if he thought Springsteen was a hypocrite. This suspicion has scratched at me ever since my discovery, a dozen years ago, while visiting Boston to interview one of his guitarists, Steven Van Zandt, that Springsteen and his band had parked themselves at the Four Seasons.
Christie tells him off there, and probably enjoyed having a straight man set him up for his subsequent rant about bootstrap economics. Which, along with Goldberg's opportunity to get funky with a rightwing heartthrob, is really the only reason why this extended bro-hug exists.

UPDATE. Lovely comments. whetstone asks why I disliked Goldberg's article: "I thought rich asshole boomers Jeffrey Goldberg and Chris Christie having a Civics 101 dialogue with Invisible Bruce Springsteen while waiting, pining for their hero to toss a sweaty bandana their way was exactly the Waiting For Godot 21st-century America deserves." You know, I can't argue with that.

Several commenters share Keith's intuition that "so many Republicans have this unspoken assumption that all rich people should vote for them, and that the ones who don't are hypocrites or class traitors." Well, yes. The other latest culture-war boohoo is that Jon Stewart is rich yet he "openly criticizes, condemns and mocks rich Americans," which of course is hypocrisy. I don't know why these guys don't choose literacy as their standard for hypocrisy instead: "Jon Stewart knows how to read and write, yet he attacks Mitt Romney, who also knows how to read and write. What a phony!" That would leave Jonah Goldberg as the only one above suspicion.

I could fill the page with your genius, but
No More Mister Nice Blog also had a good swipe at Goldberg's essay and his commenter Victor's reaction should be backed up:
"I compartmentalize," Christie says.
I guess that's what happens when you have 4 stomachs.

No comments:

Post a Comment