Posts tagged ‘Howard Beale’

Early, Middle, Late Springsteen

Like Ed Driscoll at Instapundit, I too loved Bruce Springsteen's first three albums and really don't have much interest in the rest -- though unlike Driscoll it has little to do with Springsteen's politics.  If I only listened to albums that were 100% aligned with me politically, I would have to walk around all day just looping Rush's 2112.

After several great albums, Springsteen in his mid-era, he went all poppy and dropped a lot of the lyricism of his early work.  The slide from his early work to Born in the USA was a bit like finding out Bob Dylan was the author of Call Me Maybe and All About That Bass.

In Springsteen's late era, he has simply become some grim prophet of New Jersey post-industrial decline.  I can handle his pop stuff, but his more recent stuff is simply unlistenable in my book.  Here is what it reminds me of:  For those of you who saw the movie Network, remember how Howard Beale was taken aside by the Ned Beatty character for a grim lecture?   Before that moment, Beale was a popular, authentic spokesman who hit a nerve with the populace.  Afterwards, he was boring and depressing and unwatchable.  I have always wondered if Bruce Springsteen had a similar meeting.

The Howard Beale Vote

As a libertarian, I am hugely excited that Ron Paul is getting some positive attention.  However, I have a terrible time syncing up the enthusiasm for him in some quarters with the historic indifference to libertarian ideas in the same quarters.  I am worried that this country has a 5-10% Howard Beale segment (I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it any more) that will get enthusiastic about any third party candidate who seams to challenge the establishment.  Do these people behind Paul really understand him, or are they just the same folks who supported Ross Perot's populist melange?

Lou Dobbs and Howard Beale

Is it just me, or does anyone else sense that, after years of being moderately normal on the air, someone took Lou Dobbs into the back room a few years ago and changed his outlook on life in a manner similar to Arthur Jensen taking Howard Beale aside in the movie Network?  He really seems to have turned into the first prophet of the secular religion of xenophobia and racial purity, much the same way that Howard Beale spread the religion of corporate feudalism before the network finally had to "take him out" for poor ratings.