It should come as no surprise to anyone that Bruce Springsteen is disingenuous. The guy has made a long and lucrative career out of writing songs that are clearly not about his own life experience, but are most likely culturally appropriated from the guy who cleans his pool.
The Boss was a pioneer of a kind of pre-fab approximation of genuine music, who pretty much paved the way for most of the similarly unconvincing pre-fab ‘genuine’ music we see out of Nashville nowadays.
I get it. He found a niche and exploited it. Bruce’s choice of music genre also allowed him to heavily promote it, by paying conspicuous political lip service to issues close to his small “l” liberal heart, and vice versa. The Boss making a public statement about employment inequities, for example, conveniently promotes a couple of Marxist ballads on his latest record. Those same Marxist ballads conveniently promote Union membership. Bruce sells a bunch of records, and the Union remains relevant in a time of irrelevance.
It’s a symbiotic relationship. I’m not just talking about the relationship between Bruce and whatever cause he gets behind at any given moment. I’m talking about the symbiotic relationship between all these Entertainment and Industry Cultural Marxists, and the good old fashioned tenets of Capitalism… that which shall be employed to the fullest but never named. Everybody wins, and everybody makes a lot of money.
North Carolina recently drafted some bathroom legislation, that had the panties of social justice warriors everywhere in a bunch. If you were only to listen to the perennially triggered, you’d assume that transgender people could only use the restroom that corresponded to the gender to which they were born. If you were to take even a cursory glance at the legislation, you’d find that it states quite reasonably that you must be legally identifiable as the sex that corresponds to the bathroom you wish to use.
Why is this important? Well a few scenarios spring to mind. The left media pounced upon the most ridiculous (yet still quite likely) sounding ones. But how’s this for a scenario that justifies it?
A drunk, Republican voting, wealthy, white cisgender male with an open carry permit, has all night been stalking a young feminist woman wearing a ‘Feel the Bern’ shirt. She flees into the restroom to get away and call campus authorities, and he strolls straight in after her. She protests, but our quick thinking stalker explains that he identifies as a woman.
The feminist apologises profusely for her transphobic transgression, and may even be hesitant to seek help for this same reason. I’m being facetious, but it could technically happen. Just like any of those rare anecdotal possibilities that the left always like to frame as the rule, rather than the exception.
The legislation is really that simple. It’s all about discriminating against the tourists. Those that should be discriminated against. It’s a minor inconvenience, but it’s still easy enough to change your personal details on a license. Newly married women and people who change their address do it all the time. People aren’t likely to card somebody who just walked out of a restroom. But importantly, if a crime is alleged, answering the question of why you were in the ladies in the first place is going to be a whole lot less awkward if you can show your drivers license, and there isn’t an M where it says sex.
But Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Van Zandt, and the rest of the E Street Band were never going to let such a profitable chance to virtue signal go to waste. They loudly and proudly boycotted North Carolina, cancelling several shows that some have suggested may have been struggling with lacklustre ticket sales anyway. It was applauded as a bold move, and one that could be damaging to their careers. But few could suggest that at least 98.999% of Bruce Springsteen fans wouldn’t be completely on board with this kind of conspicuous progressive nonsense, and still keep a straight face.
I’m sure the minor inconvenience of losing a couple of nights’ box office takings were recouped, with the subsequent viral media on a slow news day, that almost certainly replenished the slowly thinning ranks of delusional, left-leaning, coffee house baby boomer fans, with fresh faced, delusional, freshly-triggered millennials, who drove up Bruce’s coffers as they downloaded ‘Streets of Philadelphia’. These new, youthful legions must have delighted in the concept of being able to get behind a performer whom their parents listen to, who didn’t do or say something totally awkward and non-PC in the seventies.
But before millennials add ‘Born in the USA’ to the Old-School Socialist playlist on their iPod, alongside ‘This Land is Your Land’ by Woody Guthrie, and ‘I Am Woman’ by Helen Reddy, they should carefully take note. Bruce, Little Stevie, and the rest of the E-Street Band actually did just do something really awkward and problematic, (or more precisely, didn’t do something) in their own right that may see history judging them as even less socially acceptable than Ted Nugent.
On the 12th of June, American born Islamic extremist, Omar Mateen, shot up the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. As soon as I heard about the atrocity, I (wrongly) assumed that we’d see a flood of lazy hash tagging, and in particular a cavalcade of celebrity solidarity that invariably accompanies any tragedy, real or perceived, that touches one of their pet causes.
I thought it would be a given. The rest of us were shocked and outraged at this attack on one of the great freedoms of any civilised society – freedom of sexuality. I anticipated a rare moment of solidarity between conservatives, centrists, the moderate left, and social justice warriors. Lazy hashtags and filters against hate from across the political spectrum. But while I saw plenty of #prayfororlando hashtags from conservative religious types, flying in the face of the usual propaganda that portrays anybody who’s down with Jesus as being one Hail Mary away from picketing gay funerals, hashtags of solidarity from many of the usual suspects on the left were conspicuous in their absence.
In my haste, I hadn’t taken hierarchal equality into account. The rights of an oppressed and marginalised community are only to be fought for and championed until they conflict with the rights of a community that is cooler and even more marginalised. The LGBT community easily trumps cisgender, but the moment the Islamic community enter the equation, they vanquish the LGBT community in the gender/identity politics equivalent of a royal flush. This problematic caste system of oppression makes absolutely no sense for the most part, and the nuances deserve a column all of their own.
But a basic understanding of it does explain why, at best, celebrities simply ignored the atrocity, and at worst, treated it with much the same sensitivity they would have had, had Omar Mateen shot up a gathering of over-fifty, intoxicated, Republican, wealthy white cisgender males with carry permits, (who of course would have been blamed for being attacked because of their lifestyle).
The delusional concepts of hierarchal equality and cultural relativity is at least partly to blame for why the same celebrities who openly protested against the ‘injustices’ of North Carolina’s so called ‘bathroom bill’, also boycotted any show of solidarity or sympathy with the Orlando LGBT community. Even Ted Cruz showed more empathy than most high profile celebrities, and that’s saying something.
Let’s look at the NC boycotters more closely. Aside from Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band, we had Ringo Starr, Bryan Adams, Michael Moore (naturally), and a few big evil corporations – Microsoft, Pepsi, General Electric, etc. – with little to lose by getting behind a populist cause, and who clearly care more about who pees where than they do about exploiting cheap foreign labor, eroding local wages, obesity, and, (in the case of General Electric and Microsoft,) directly contributing hardware to the military-industrial complex, that has killed and maimed hundreds of thousands of brown women and children in war zones around the world in the past decade alone.
All of these North Carolina boycotters were conspicuously silent when it came to Orlando. No #istandfororlando… not even an innocuous rainbow filter. Springsteen’s Twitter feed lay idle between June 6th, when he tweeted a thank you to London for a great show, and June 17th when he was shilling his autobiography. Are we to believe that a celebrity who tweets prolifically (not least, about North Carolina,) either didn’t realise that Orlando happened, or didn’t find it topical our heinous enough to mention on Twitter, Facebook, or to mention on any kind of conventional media? Bruce is a boss at exploiting issues to sell tickets and records. His silence speaks volumes.
A cursory look at the Twitter feeds of the other boycotters revealed similar hypocrisy. Ringo tweeted innocuously about a couple of shows on the 12th and 14th. No mention of Orlando. Never happened. Bill Gates was silent between the 11th and the 14th. On the 14th he tweeted about the gender pay gap. Process that for a moment. One of the wealthiest men on the planet is outraged enough by perceived restroom apartheid that he boycotts an entire state over hurt transgender feelings, but isn’t sufficiently outraged by a massacre to risk offending 1.6 billion potential customers in the Islamic world, with a simple gesture of support and solidarity.
Michael Moore danced around the elephant in the room by tweeting about gun violence, but was conspicuously careful not to mention Orlando, gays, Islam, or homophobia. He essentially saved face by changing the subject, obscenely framing the most murderous hate crime against homosexuals in U.S. history as a shallow gun violence issue.
To his credit, Bryan Adams mentioned Orlando and shared a rainbow drawn by his daughter. Touching, yet obviously and painfully innocuous, and much like the gay community he showed (begrudging) solidarity with, Adams was in the minority of Hollywood and the music industry in even acknowledging that Orlando had ever happened. Even still, it equated to little more than mild constructive criticism from somebody who clearly cares mainly about keeping his head on his shoulders, and keeping the small “l” liberal soccer mums, (the only people who still buy his records,) on side.
When it comes down to brass tacks, it’s a lot less hazardous to one’s career and revenue stream to mercilessly target a bunch of (presumably) old white male legislators over a real or perceived minor PC transgression, where the only thing that risks being hurt are feelings, than it is to potentially offend the gatekeepers of outrage by expressing anything remotely resembling sympathy or solidarity for those killed in a massacre, by a member of a minority group who is problematic because he reinforces negative stereotypes.
Such a conspicuous example of noticing stuff would be unforgivable to the delusional progressive masses who consume music, film, and programming. Bill Maher has found this out the hard way in recent months, as his audience continues to turn on him for being consistent in his world view, making reasonable observations about certain factions of Islam.
I don’t expect celebrities to be political. In fact, I prefer them not to alienate half of their fans. But if Bruce and the others are going to boycott North Carolina over an almost inconsequential transgression against the LGBT community, and reap the residual benefits, then they damn well better show some consistency and a bit more ticker, next time Jihadists slaughter members of that same LGBT community in cold blood.
Otherwise, June the 12th may well be remembered as the date that the regressive left finally jumped the shark in Orlando. Perhaps the only mistake that North Carolina made, was not being able to find an Islamic legislator to sign the bathroom bill.
Eh?nonymous was a thoroughly repellent unemployed social justice warrior until a one in a million glitch in his Facebook account affected the algorithms in his news feed, omitting posts from his much loved left leaning Huffington Post and I F**king Love Science, and inexplicably replacing them with centrist and conservative newsfeed items that slowly dragged him kicking and screaming into the light beyond the safe space that Mr. Zuckerberg had so carefully constructed for him. It’s a long road to recovery, but every Mark Steyn share he sees in his newsfeed is like another day clean from social justice addiction.
Photo by Lola’s Big Adventure!