So jetset David Brooks flies to Europe to get the experience of seeing Bruce Springsteen play in France and Spain on the rumor, “They say you’ve never really seen a Bruce Springsteen concert until you’ve seen one in Europe…”
Then the silly jackass belches out some bullshit about child psychology and “paracosms.”
These landscapes, sometimes complete with imaginary beasts, heroes and laws, help us orient ourselves in reality. They are structured mental communities that help us understand the wider world.
We carry this need for paracosms into adulthood. It’s a paradox that the artists who have the widest global purchase are also the ones who have created the most local and distinctive story landscapes. Millions of people around the world are ferociously attached to Tupac Shakur’s version of Compton or J.K. Rowling’s version of a British boarding school or Downton Abbey’s or Brideshead Revisited’s version of an Edwardian estate.
Millions of people know the contours of these remote landscapes, their typical characters, story lines, corruptions and challenges. If you build a passionate and highly localized moral landscape, people will come.
Over the years, Springsteen built his own paracosm, with its own collection of tramps, factory closings, tortured Catholic overtones and moments of rapturous escape. This construction project took an act of commitment.
What a fucking moron. Tramps? Factory closings? Tortured Catholic overtones? Moments of rapturous escape? That is these young Spaniards’ reality. Those are not fairy tales like Harry Potter for them.
The opening lines of “Born in the U.S.A.” that song that mystifies Brooks so much as to why they’d sing along, as they are clearly not born in the U.S.A.
Born down in a dead man town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
You end up like a dog that’s been beat too much
Till you spend half your life just covering up
Right now Spain is a land of austerity and los Indignados. Springsteen is not describing remote landscapes to these European fans.
David Brooks, you are a dolt.