Before I get into the beef of the series, it seems I need to do a little remedial art appreciation, logic and rhetoric.
For starters, my thesis, and the case I’m making, is “Why Bruce Springsteen is America’s Greatest Conservative Songwriter”. Not “Bruce Springsteen is a Conservative”. He’s not. That’s all duly noted and stipulated in advance.
Not “Everything Bruce Springsteen Has Ever Written Resonates with Conservatives”. It does not. Merely most of his best stuff.
But as Socrates showed us a few millennia back, the best way to teach is to ask and to answer. In other words, it’s time for one of my Frequently Asked Questions:
- “But Springsteen is a teh liberal!”: It doesn’t matter even a little. The series isn’t about him or his personal politics. They are, in fact, utterly irrelevant. Art is in the eye of the beholder. Many conservatives find resonance, even inspiration, in his music, though; this series merely explains why.
- “But what if Teh Boss himself were to tell you you were wrong?”: Again, doesn’t matter. It’s not about him. It’s about what he wrote.
- “What does Nate Silver say?”: Nothing.
- “Don’t be teh smartass. You know what I mean. How can you empirically prove your thesis?”: There is no “empiricism” in art criticism. It’s stating a critical case for a subjective point.
- “You are just trying to make teh music fit your intellectual template”: Nope. I’m stating a case for why the music not only fits my worldview, but reinforces it.
- “But did you ever REALLY listen to it?”: As we’ll see in coming days, clearly, more than you have. Whoever you are.