starlady: Toby from the West Wing with a sign that says, "Obama is the President."  (go vote bitches)
Bruce Springsteen's speech in Madison, WI, yesterday: too good not to quote in full.
Let me begin with a shout out to all of our neighbors in the Northeast who are reeling from Hurricane Sandy and its immense impact. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

So, it's good to be here with you today--and it will be great to feel the power of your votes and voices tomorrow.

I'm here today for Wisconsin, America, and for President Obama. For the last 30 years I've been writing in my music about the distance between the American dream and American reality. I've seen it from inside and outside: as a blue collar kid from a working class home in New Jersey--where my parents struggled, often unsuccessfully--to make ends meet--to my adult life, visiting the 9th Ward in New Orleans after Katrina, or meeting folks from food pantries from all around the United States, who work daily to help our struggling citizens through the hard times we've been suffering

The American Dream and an American Reality: Our vote tomorrow is the one undeniable way we get to determine the distance in that equation. Tomorrow, we get a personal hand in shaping the kind of America we want our kids to grow up in.

I'm a husband and a dad, my lovely wife Patti is here with me. We've got three kids growing up and on their way out into the world, I'm 63 (Patti is much younger)... but we have both lived through some galvanizing moments in American history: the Civil Rights struggle, the Peace Movement, the Woman's Movement, we played in East Berlin one year before the Fall of the Berlin Wall, and we were with Amnesty International a year before the release of Nelson Mandela and the end of apartheid. These were days when you could feel the winds of change moving and the world shifting beneath your feet.

And... we both remember another galvanizing moment, the night that President Obama was elected.

It was an unbelievable evening, when the hope of your heart felt fulfilled, when you could feel the locked doors of the past being blown open to new and previously unimaginable possibilities-- to fresh Hope and Change.

Today we have another battle. Now we are charged with the hard daily struggle to make those possibilities, those changes real and enduring in a world that challenges your hopefulness, a world that is often brutally resistant to change. We've lived through that struggle over these past four years when the forces of opposition have been tireless.

I stood with President Obama four years ago and I'm proud to be standing with him today. Because...

I'm thankful for the historic advances in healthcare.

I'm thankful for a more regulated Wall Street that will begin to protect our citizens from the blind greed of those who over reach.

My father worked on a Ford assembly line when I was a child and I'm thankful that we have a President that had faith in the American automobile industry and that General Motors is today making cars. What else would I write about.

I'm thankful that we have a decisive President working hard to keep America safe... and I'm appreciative of the fact that, as promised, he has ended the war in Iraq and is bringing the war in Afghanistan to a close.

I'm here today because I'm concerned about Women's Rights and health issues both at home and around the World. I don't have to tell you about the dangers to Roe versus Wade under our opponents policies.

I'm also troubled by thirty years of an increasing disparity in wealth between our best off citizens and everyday Americans. That is a disparity that threatens to divide us into two distinct and separate nations. We have to be better than that.

Finally I'm here today because I've lived long enough to know that the future is rarely a tide rushing in. It's often a slow march, inch by inch, day after long day. We are in the midst of one of those long days right now. I believe that President Obama feels those long days in his bones for all 100 per cent of us. He will live those days with us.

President Obama ran last time as a man of hope and change. You hear a lot of talk about how things are different now. Things aren't any different--they're just realer. It's crunch time. The President's job, our job--yours and mine-- whether you're Republican, Democrat, Independent, rich, poor, black, brown, white, gay, straight, soldier, civilian--is to keep that hope alive, to combat cynicism and apathy, and to believe in our power, to change our lives and the world we live in. So, let's go to work tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that.. Let's re-elect President Barack Obama to carry our standard forward towards the America that awaits us.
starlady: Abraham Lincoln, vampire hunter (alternate history)
My dad and I went to the National Constitution Center to see the exhibit From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen. I have mixed feelings about the NCC; I have none about Bruce Springsteen, or about the exhibit, which was pretty damn awesome, and for Springsteen fans, well worth the trip.

The National Constitution Center is part of the post-2001 reshaping of the heart of the "Historic Philadelphia" area in Old City, and as someone who has very fond memories of the old mall and the old Liberty Bell pavilion, I really just am not a fan of the NCC. It is big, it is ugly, the new parking garage put a hump in the mall that obscures the sightlines to Independence Hall from a block away, and it is fundamentally weird to have an entire museum dedicated to a document that is…in Washington, D.C. That said, I have gone through the NCC's permanent exhibit, "Freedom Rising," which despite the idiotic name is an interesting take on the history of the United States in that it is framed through the prism of the Constitution and the idea that the history of the United States is the history of the extension of that document's privileges to successive groups of formerly disenfranchised people. Which, yes, is a task that is not yet done and is also a particular romantically progressive delusion, but on the other hand narratives make history and our sense of the future and I don't think it's a bad story to tell people, although the exhibit does not, I think, completely hit its mark. Well, as Benny F would have agreed, the great work is still unfinished.

It occurred to me as my dad and I were leaving that the NCC should have the Bad Romance: Women's Suffrage video in its collections. It doesn't, of course, and it won't. Video embedded below )

The Bruce Springsteen exhibit is on one level an odd choice for the NCC, and on the other, if you've ever half paid attention to any Bruce lyrics, a perfect fit. The exhibit collects a lot of archival memorabilia (I have seen the guitar and the leather jacket from the Born to Run cover, the guitar that Bruce has played in hundreds of shows, in person!) and in particular dozens of pages from Bruce's notebooks, showing his obsessive rewritings of some of his most famous and most obscure songs. For me, the insight into his creative process alone was worth the price of admission, and it also sharpened my appreciation for his genius: just where does he get these words? Who the hell talks like this, let alone writes songs like this? Where did Springsteen come from? From New Jersey, from the US of A, from the spirit of the times that summoned him up and has animated him and his career ever since, from the heart of rock and roll. You would never think, listening to a masterpiece like "Born to Run," that the lyrics--which seem so natural, so inevitable--had been rewritten nearly fifty times before he ever cut the demo track. But they were.

Baby we were born to run... ) So it goes, I guess.
starlady: (justice)
Too Big to Fail
edited by [personal profile] starlady
music: How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live? - Bruce Springsteen and the Sessions Band (Live in Dublin)
summary: Gonna be a judgment, and that's a fact.
content notes: Contains images of police violence against protesters and of a hanging in effigy.
vidder notes: Thanks to [personal profile] wintercreek and to [personal profile] kuwdora for arranging for and/or providing feedback, and to [personal profile] were_duck for encouragement. Almost all of the images are via The Atlantic's In Focus blog.

download:
35mb mov @ mediafire | 21mb mp4 @ mediafire | subtitle .srt
Many people have reported problems with the mp4 in VLC. I recommend downloading the .mov file. 

stream with subtitles: on YouTubeon Critical Commons (no subtitles, but not blocked in Germany!)

embed & lyrics )
starlady: headphones on top of colorful buttons (music (makes the people))
The peerless saxophonist and key member of The E Street Band, Clarence Clemons, has died at the age of 69.

Fuck. Just, fuck. I grew up on Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band to the extent that I tried to deny it and only realized just how awesome they were and how much I loved them when I moved out of Jersey to college in Minnesota. Clarence Clemons is an irreplacable talent, and we're all poorer without him.

ETA: Appreciations from The NY Times and The New Yorker. The New Yorker's is better. /eta

His last performance is probably in Lady Gaga's newest video, "The Edge of Glory," which I embed below.

starlady: (we're all mad here)
So my dad and I went to the soon-to-be-demolished Spectrum to see Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band last night. They were just, well, incredibly awesome.

Well it ain't no sin to be glad you're alive )

We took SEPTA there and back, and on PATCO back into Jersey we heard thanks to our cell phones that the Phillies had pulled it out in the bottom of the ninth, 5-4 over the Dodgers, and the entire train car broke out cheering. So really, how could it have been any better? 

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