Monday, May 01, 2006

Springsteen Slams President at New Orleans JazzFest; Joins Stephen Colbert in Snub Club

Much of my attention has been drawn to those public figures who have been willing over the past few weeks to speak out against the President despite his spin machine which as shown the capability to tear careers apart. Mick Jagger, Jaime Pressly, Neil Young, and most recently and impressively Stephen Colbert have been focused on here. Well, it’s time to make room for the Boss.

Springsteen, while performing Pete Seeger tunes at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, lashed out at the president and gave him a new nickname, “President Bystander”, and claimed that labeled the government’s support of the city during the crisis “Criminal Ineptitude”.

Perhaps the most pointed moment came as he prepared to sing an old song that he had rewritten lyrics to for New Orleans. Noting that he visited the city's Ninth Ward, perhaps the most devastated area in the city, Springsteen said: "I saw sights I never thought I'd see in an American city," and added: "The criminal ineptitude makes you furious."

With that, he launched into a song titled "How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?" and dedicated the song to "President Bystander." Its lyrics included the lines: "There's bodies floatin' on Canal and the levees gone to hell ... them who's got out of town, and them who ain't got left to drown, tell me, how can a poor man stand such times and live?"

I should note that over the weekend a friend indicated that perhaps reporting on the growing Snub Club, to which Springsteen just earned membership, is negative, that I am wrong to republish these events because it does nothing to help the situation. I must say, I think exactly the opposite is true.

I think it’s empowering to find your voice again when an oppressive force is trying to prevent free speech. I think that the first step in retaking control of this country is being willing talk about these problems despite the fear of retribution. As such, I’ll continue to write about the snubs, and see them as a sign of hope for making this a country run by the people for the people again.  I welcome other opinions, but this seems right to me.

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Posted by Scottage at 10:42 AM / | |