(Via Hot Air Headlines) I mean, it’s not like I can’t see Ron Rosenbaum’s basic point – although I don’t think that, for example, Bruce Springsteen’s lost his contempt, merely redirected it. Springsteen always wanted to be the next Woody Guthrie, singing the songs of the people and showing how the system keeps folks like him down. The fact that the system instead decided to give him large amounts of money, fame, and influence instead pretty much wrecked Springsteen as an artist until he could flee into the welcoming embrace of traditional celebrity leftist activism. Seriously. The reception given to Born in the USA must have freaked him out, particularly when Reagan cheerfully stole the iconography and completely subverted it.
Anyway, Billy Joel. I can understand the entire “unearned contempt” argument (not sure if I buy it, but I can see it), and as somebody from New Jersey I can certainly grok the entire Burden Of Being The Place Where Billy Joel Comes From (it’s hard to explain; suffice it to say that both Joel and Springsteen have a complex relationship with the region). That being said, I wonder what triggered this? Did Joel get arrested again?