Out in the Street


Do you often fantasize about the purity of the workingman? He may not be as noble as all that, but he works hard for his money, and damn, his arms sure do look good from all that heavy lifting. Maybe you truly believe in the basic decency of the hard working proletariat, maybe you just want to bang guys with good muscles. But admit it, you’re susceptible to that idealized image of the All-American working stiff. If so, you may be a Bruce Springsteen fan. Nobody does sweaty blue collar kitsch like Springsteen. He didn’t invent the idea of the working class hero, but for his generation, he owns the image. Of course, Springsteen exited the working class decades ago, but that doesn’t stop him delivering those common guy anthems with the stamina of a man half his age (and as I understand it, Springsteen struggles with the discrepancy between his image and his actual lifestyle a lot more than his adoring fans do.) If it was already simplistic and hokey in 1980, well, it was simplistic and hokey before Springsteen came along, and it works because people like it. The working class does exist, those Average Joes who just wanna work hard and have a beer afterwards exist, pretty girls who never leave their small town lives exist, failed high school athletes exist, all of those corny Springsteen characters exist, and most of them are decent people, and they like to see themselves represented. And nobody represents them with more sympathy than Bruce Springsteen. And goddamn it, he’s so fucking good at it, he’s so damn good he appeals to people for whom the whole beer’n’blue jeans aesthetic is as exotic and foreign as outer space. I can’t relate to that shit for the life of me, but I want to hear Bruce Springsteen sing about it.

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