By now it’s obvious that Princeton professors have a big old crush on Bruce Springsteen. First there was this fall’s course on the sociological implications of the Boss. Next up: AMS401: At Home in New Jersey, a spring seminar that promises to investigate Bruce’s first studio album Greetings From Asbury Park “at a more sophisticated and advanced level.”
But elsewhere, (less sophisticated?) Bruce-watchers seem to have grown weary of the Jersey Shore troubadour. Hipster collective Pitchfork Media gave Springsteen’s latest effort, Working on a Dream, a lackluster 5.8 out of 10 and called the track Queen of the Supermarket “Maybe the worst thing he’s ever written.” (Ouch.) They also named the album’s cover art the absolute Worst of 2009. (Ouch again. Also: true.)
So who wins–Indies or Eggheads?
Intellectuals, for never underestimating the absolute power of the Bruce. How much of a god is this man? Just look at the recent New Jersey gubernatorial race. Governor-elect Chris Christie said during the race that he had been to 120 of Springsteen’s performances during his lifetime, including international shows in Paris and London, compared to defeated incumbent Jon Corzine’s record of “about a dozen.” Our governor-elect even hired an E-Street cover band, the B-street band, to fill in at his first party as Governor-elect of this state after Springsteen rejected Christie’s invitation.
If Springsteen can manage to get a supernerdy conservative elected over a zillionaire incumbent, he’s still rocking.
Bruce has been getting a lot of love from national politicians as well. “I’m the president, but he’s the boss,” President Obama said of the singer at a dinner honoring Springsteen’s lifetimes worth of contributions to the performing arts. Truer words have never been spoken.
As a Jersey resident, I have to say: suck it, Pitchfork. All hail the Boss. (But maybe we all need a graphic design course next year.)