February 28, 2021

"I dare you to name something more archetypally boomer than these two cherished idols—the Boss and the Chief—dubbing themselves rebellious in a Spotify-exclusive podcast..."

"... sponsored by Comcast and Dollar Shave Club. ('How do I handle grooming below the belt?' the ad spot asks; mercifully, neither host is made to read it.)... As a cultural figure, the Boss sits in a cross-racial sweet spot, as an anointed idol for the coded white working class who pairs his aging denim with bright-blue politics. He is also comfortable playing the good white liberal without self-punishing overtures. His home town of Freehold, New Jersey, was 'your typical small, provincial, redneck, racist little American nineteen-fifties town,' he says plainly, without squeamishness.... Discussing the protests of last summer, Obama comes just short of infantilizing the activities of those who were on the ground. 'I think there’s a little bit of an element of young people saying, "You’ve told us this is who we’re supposed to be."' A guitar strums gently in the background. 'And that’s why as long as protests and activism doesn’t veer into violence, my general attitude is—I want and expect young people to push those boundaries.'...  But I can understand the people who might still take comfort in hearing Obama right up against their eardrums, doing his host schtick, asking, 'Did you see the movie "Get Out"?,' referring to a memorable line that invokes his name."

From "Obama and Springsteen Are Here to Lull America" by Lauren Michele Jackson (The New Yorker).

The line in "Get Out" is: "By the way, I would have voted for Obama for a third term if I could." Read more about it in "Bradley Whitford didn't realize Get Out's Obama line was supposed to be a joke at first" (AV Club).

202 comments:

1 – 200 of 202   Newer›   Newest»
Rusty said...

Cherished by who?

David Begley said...

Obama is no Boomer. His mom, Anarchist Annie, however was a real primo Boomer; Commie that she was.

Readering said...

Obama is a boomer. His mother was born same year as Biden.

Fernandinande said...

As a cultural figure, the Boss sits in a cross-racial sweet spot, as an anointed idol

Gag me with two spoons.

Having somewhat less than no interest in anything either of those characters has to say, I'll mention an amusing televisional series called "Lilyhammer", which effectively features Steven Van Zandt as an Eye-talian-NY-style American gangster hiding in a small town in Norway, and who in real life played guitar in Bruce Stinkstink's band, of which I have collected zero songs over the years so I have have no idea what he sounds like other than vocally sounding like an Eye-talian-NY gangster despite his misleading last name.

Just John said...

Springstine the pretend working class hero and real limousine liberal and Obama the one who corrupted the most alphabet agencys in the least amount of time NO THANKS!
We would all be better off without either of them.

MayBee said...

And that’s why as long as protests and activism doesn’t veer into violence, my general attitude is—I want and expect young people to push those boundaries

How is that even interesting when we talk about last summer? It did veer into violence. It veered into constant daily violence. Deal with what is, Obama.

Iman said...

Springsteen’s East Coast Overrated... 0bama’s a Self-Worshiping Weeping Wound.

Shouting Thomas said...

His home town of Freehold, New Jersey, was 'your typical small, provincial, redneck, racist little American nineteen-fifties town,' he says plainly, without squeamishness....

What a fucking asshole, biting the hand that feeds him.

Kissing black ass is now the defining characteristic of a worthless white asshole.

rehajm said...

They don't care that both of these little men are large phonies?

michaele said...

In the last paragraph, this almost beyond parody sentence is written ... "And then we are back in the studio, and Obama continues quoting his own words." Ahh, yes, Obama's most favorite thing in the world to do...quote himself.

stevew said...

Cherished is not the word this boomer would choose.

rhhardin said...

Springsteen had a few good songs, Jersey Girl. Obama had nothing.

Shouting Thomas said...

What’s the theme today, prof?

Assholes on Parade?

Ann Althouse said...

As a core Boomer, born in 1951, I don't see Obama as a Boomer, but he was born in 1961, and the standard cut off that you see is 1964. Seems to me, if you were 2 when JFK was shot, 3 when The Beatles came to America and 8 when they broke up, and 6 in the Summer of Love, you did not have the Boomer experience. The standard lines are drawn so that everyone can be in something called a generation, but the Boomers are different from the standard generations. We had parents who grew up in the Depression and came of age during WWII and experienced the normal life of the 1950s as truly wonderful, and we the Boomers were the children they created. Obama's mother was 3 years old when WWII ended. I think she's much more of a Boomer than he was.

Springsteen is clearly a Boomer. He was born in 1949. He's 12 years older than Obama. The idea that they are generation mates is pretty fake. Springsteen faced the Vietnam War draft. (The was even called up, but he failed the physical. The reason: "concussion in a motorcycle accident when he was 17, and this, together with his "crazy" behavior at induction.")

John henry said...

Boomer is born 46 to 64 per the book of knowledge.

Obama was born in 61.

John Henry

Butkus51 said...

some love to be led

Jim in St Louis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danno said...

Let's be thankful Ann reads this drivel so we don't gag.

Eleanor said...

I loved "Lilyhammer". I started watching it when I saw Van Zandt was in it. Yesterday I found a series done by Milton Friedman in 1980. "Free to Choose". With 40 years between when it was made and now, we get to see how much he and the other people got right and how much they got wrong. It's fun to see a young Thomas Sowell. At the time it was made, Donald Rumsfeld was my husband's boss. A much more interesting walk down Memory Lane than listening to two blowhards quote themselves. I found the series on Youtube. It's 10 installments of close to an hour each. Each one starts with a film made by Friedmen to illustrate the topic of the day followed by a roundtable hosted by the University of Chicago.

Ann Althouse said...

"Althouse, I know you were excerpting from Yorker, but you left out the juici-est and best-est Obama-est quote of all..."

It's not quoted in the article I'm reading. I did see that a few days ago. It is spurious for the reason you say. Anyway... my purpose here is not to look for the best Obama quotes, especially once other people are quoting it.

Obama's book "Dreams" has him confessing to failing to help a black classmate who was getting bullied.

Bob Boyd said...

"I dare you to name something more archetypally boomer than these two cherished idols"

Althouse provides the answer, stating this belief:

"the Boomers are different from the standard generations"

Iman said...

Springsteen must’ve pulled the old “reach down the back of your jeans, come up with fingers full of crunchy peanut butter, now taste it” move.

Sydney said...

Do you suppose the writer really believes that stuff? Or was she given an assignment to write a glowing review of the podcast?

wendybar said...

Obama's Presidency was a joke to a lot of us. The Great Messiah turned out to be the Great Divider...and he is STILL at it.

Ann Althouse said...

I've blogged about my reaction to the notion that Obama is a Boomer here, in April '08, and here, in August '08.

From the second link (which I didn't reread before writing my comment above): "The main thing that ought to make you a Boomer is that you were raised by parents who lived through the Depression and WWII. These people thought it was the greatest thing just to have a normal, nice family life. So they had us, and we, who knew nothing but that pleasant life, found it insipid and turned on them, mocked them, and rebelled. Most of us know now what assholes we were to treat them like that, after what they went through, but they made us what we were. So being a Boomer has to do with who your parents were. Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was born in 1942, so she was more of a Baby Boomer herself, because she was raised by parents who went through the Depression and WWII. She lived through part of WWII herself, but only as a baby. And look how she lived her life. Obama had to build his character in response to that. Now, he did also spend a lot of his formative years living with his grandparents, and that might have produced something of a Boomer personality. But, basically, I'd say Obama is not a Boomer."

Breezy said...

“At the close of the first episode, Obama revisits one of his speeches, delivered in Selma, in 2015, on the fiftieth anniversary of the bloody civil-rights protests that occurred there. He begins, as if off the cuff, “Let me tell you about America. We’re Lewis and Clark and Sacagawea. We’re the pioneers and the farmers and the miners and the entrepreneurs and the hucksters.” Then an audio clip from the original speech fades in. You can hear the faint echo of an open space, the noise of the crowd. And then we are back in the studio, and Obama continues quoting his own words. How distant this man sounds from himself, advancing the ideal of American pluralism then and now. The projection of the orator has been replaced by the proximity of the interviewer, and neither from this vantage sounds particularly moving.“

This is the final paragraph of the article. “[N]either from this vantage sounds particularly moving.” Wow - is that really disappointment in Obama?

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Springsteen is a phony "every man" - he admitted it a few years ago.

Obama is a smooth talking tight-rope walking have it both ways talker. Obama will lull you to sleep while the nation burns. Bruce will sing about life in the rust belt. but soon after, he'll be on the polo fields.

Quayle said...

The very “man” themselves, telling you how they’re “sticking it to the man.”

Ann Althouse said...

My experience of myself and others as Boomers did NOT include the idolization of Bruce Springsteen. He came a little too late for us. The idea that he was "the future of rock and roll" was not accepted. The idols of the Boomers — within my experience — were The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, and maybe a few others, but it was all rooted in the 60s, not the 70s.

Achilles said...

Obama spied on political opponents.

Obama sent the FBI and IRS and other agencies after people that disagreed with him politically.

Obama is a terrible human being and so is anyone who openly or tacitly supports him.

Danno said...

I think Ann is more of a stereotypical boomer than a core boomer. The post-war period that is covered by the boomer generation appears to be those born after WW2 and the Korean conflict, allowing some time for finding spouses and attaining an education before having a family.

Not all of us were hippies, did drugs, free love and whatever else made one a member of Ann's select cohort.

chickelit said...

This is pagan idolatry. I'm more repulsed than amused.

Readering said...

I'm a boomer from Jersey and the Jersey Shore Sound was a boomer thing.

Achilles said...

Both of these people are complete frauds.

Springsteen made music idolization blue collar pro American values.

Now he casually calls the town he grew up in evil and racist.

Obama just lies to everyone. He told open blatant unmitigated lies. Not stupid misinterpretations or disagreements in opinion.

The only way to be a supporter of Obama is to accept blatant deception as a means of gaining power over others.

Ann Althouse said...

Now, if Obama had a podcast with Bob Dylan, I would feel compelled to listen, but it wouldn't be peak Boomer, because Obama isn't, as I see it, a Boomer. Neither is Dylan, though he was clearly the big idol of the Boomers. Dylan was born in 1941.

Is there any politician I'd want to listen to Bob Dylan talk to? I can't think of one. Who'd be any good at drawing Bob out? Obama can't even draw Bruce out, I don't think. Not worth trying.

chickelit said...

Readering said...Obama is a boomer. His mother was born same year as Biden.. You contradict yourself -- in typical Readering fashion.

JAORE said...

Anyone note the Jeep commercial at half time?

I watched without really paying attention. My primary thought was, "Why did Jeep use this shrunken, little old man to ride around in a Jeep?"

Well, my wife explains, that shrunken, little old man is Springsteen.

OK, why did Jeep use shrunken, little old man Springsteen....

Readering said...

Quayle, Clinton, Gore, Bush, Obama, Trump, Pence, Harris all boomers. Cheney, Biden, not.

Michael said...

Obama did not break someone’s nose. Did not happen. Why is he only telling the story now when he has puked out every facet of his life in multiple bios. Odd that this very useful antidote only surfaces in the last week.

M Jordan said...

Obama, if you really listen to him, is conflicted. He knows the BLM stuff is destructive, he knows the race merchants have ruined countless black lives.

Springsteen, otoh, is an idiot,

Readering said...

Clinton could talk to Dylan. Clinton could talk to most anyone.

Breezy said...

I am technically a boomer and was a huge Springsteen fan in college in the 70’s and beyond. I’ve seen him in concert twice.

I am amazed at the nostalgia here from two far left men whose political party now actively destroys the American fabric. Pushing boundaries, sure, but razing monuments and cancelling people who disagree? Did they expect this to get so far out of hand and are they regretful?

Quayle said...

Also grew up in Jersey. Loved Springsteen. Still do. He was always right on the feeling. His lyrics were always envision-able.

Still are:

“ And I hope when I get old I don't sit around thinking about it
But I probably will
Yeah, just sitting back trying to recapture
A little of the glory of, well time slips away
And leaves you with nothing mister but
Boring stories....”

Bob Boyd said...

It's part of the Dem attempt to win back the white, working class, the people they betrayed and sold out and vilified after they calculated that they didn't need them anymore.
Will it work? It might.

M Jordan said...

To qualify as a Boomer you must: 1) Remember where you were when you heard the news that JFK had been shot and 2) Remember watching The Beatles when they came on Ed Sullivan.

That’s it. That the effing teeet.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'm a boomer from Jersey and the Jersey Shore Sound was a boomer thing."

I lived in New Jersey from 1964 to 1969, and nobody I knew called New Jersey "Jersey." I also think the expression "Jersey Shore" refers to northern New Jersey. Southern New Jersey, where Bruce lived, is very different. My parents moved there in 1969, so I had my summers after I'd gone to college in that remote place — the Pine Barrens. I almost lost my mind.

In the 1950s/early 60s, we went to Ocean City for a week or so every summer. That's in the south. All I remember is the cottage, the beach, and the boardwalk — no cultural memories at all... except my cousin Hank playing Kingston Trio-type songs on his guitar and hearing the news one day that Marilyn Monroe had died.

Kai Akker said...

Our hostess really needs to find some new sources. But this was a funny line:

"Obama’s post-Presidency has been disappointing, in part, because it came with special burdens."

A fun moment imagining the person who could write that with a straight face.


Fernandinande said...

but he failed the physical

"Bruce Springsteen admitted in a Friday interview with Tom Hanks at the TriBeca film festival he was a “stone-cold draft-dodger" and wrote one of his biggest songs to work through his guilt."

I can't fault him, though, since the draft is a form of slavery and served no purpose at that point.

Milton Friedman in 1980. "Free to Choose".

That's a great series.

Ann Althouse said...

"Clinton could talk to Dylan. Clinton could talk to most anyone."

I don't think Dylan would say anything. It's not a conversation unless both talk. I can't picture Dylan giving anything more than monosyllables in a conversation with Clinton.

Danno said...

And BTW, I am a boomer (1954) and never "turned on them, mocked them, and rebelled" with my parents, and thought the people who did were the privileged brats. I was always conservative and belonged to the Teenaged Republicans in high school. I voted for Nixon in 1972 when I turned 18.

Not all of us were alike in all aspects.

Ann Althouse said...

"Our hostess really needs to find some new sources."

Suggest something that would actually appeal to me. I mainly read elite mainstream liberal media and I've been doing that here for 17 years. If you're reading this blog, you must like what I'm doing with what I'm reading. I can't imagine what you think would plug into my project better than what I'm relying on.

Achilles said...

M Jordan said...

Obama, if you really listen to him, is conflicted. He knows the BLM stuff is destructive, he knows the race merchants have ruined countless black lives.

Springsteen, otoh, is an idiot,


I agree with this.

Obama is somewhere in there sad about being a liar and a fascist tyrant.

But he believes in the cause very greatly and he doesn't understand why he has to do these evil things. People should just follow him and do be good.

I wonder if he views it in a parental framework where he is just disciplining bad children by sending the IRS after them.

On the other hand I have seen his face when he is taken over by a demon inside.

Readering said...

Bruce lived and lives in Monmouth County. It's the North Jersey shore. My haunts too. Never been to Ocean City.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Obama is not a boomer. He grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia.
I was born in 1960. My dad did not fight in World War Two, he was far too young.
When I was in my teens and twenties, I experienced the oil crisis, Carter's stagflation, and Reagan's two recessions.
I always thought of boomers as coming of age in the 1950s and 1960s, a time of greater economic opportunity than I experienced.
Though real GDP per capita was 30% higher in 1985 than it was in 1970, it didn't feel that way.

Gunner said...

Bruce is kinda right about stupid small town white people who enjoyed the 50s. After all, they are the ones who made him famous. Lord knows it was not black people buying his music.

Achilles said...


Ann Althouse said...

"Our hostess really needs to find some new sources."

Suggest something that would actually appeal to me. I mainly read elite mainstream liberal media and I've been doing that here for 17 years. If you're reading this blog, you must like what I'm doing with what I'm reading. I can't imagine what you think would plug into my project better than what I'm relying on.

I would like to see you do the Epoch Times.

They have a lot of China related topics from Chinese writers. They deal with some extra topics the US media hides from and these are mostly international.

It would engender adult discussion.

I appreciate the scan of the Oligarch owned US media but it is so myopic and closed scope and they are all pushing the same message. The discussion on these articles is myopic and a difficult place to start from because their goal is to keep Americans ignorant of the world around them.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/

Will Cate said...

Lewis Wetzel said... "Obama is not a boomer."

Correct, and this effort to make the two of them look like old high-school buddies is just silly. Bruce is 12 years older than Barak.

Crimso said...

Those of us born in 1964 are part of a lost and restless generation.

tcrosse said...

I grew up in North Jersey, 1948 to 1968. In our part of the world the Shore meant the strip from Red Bank down to Island Beach State Park. For people from Philly the Jersey Shore was points south of there, including Ocean City and Wildwood.

Danno said...

Ann said "In the 1950s/early 60s, we went to Ocean City for a week or so every summer. That's in the south. All I remember is the cottage, the beach, and the boardwalk — no cultural memories at all."

Spoken like a true East Coastie! The people of the eastern shore of Maryland are considered southern, and other than the folks in Ocean City (who like your money) have a distaste for the D.C. swamp types and Coasties that travel through to the beaches.

Temujin said...

We're in Obama's third term. Ever wonder why he didn't leave Washington to go back home to his 'beloved'..(Ha) Chicago? He's in a fortress in DC, running the show. All of his people are in place, and Joe is missing in action. The policies are an extension of the (nauseating) direction we were headed in those days.

As for Bruce. I got nuthin. Never cared about him or his music. Can't even work up an insult. I just don't care enough.

Readering said...

Yeah, Bay Head, end of the line.

Will Cate said...

"A guitar strums gently in the background..."

Can we even call this thing a podcast? Ultra-slick video production with no expenses spared? Isn't this just..... TV?

Shouting Thomas said...

The good news is that Black History Month ends at midnight.

We can dial down the ass kissing a bit.

chickelit said...

Point:
Ann Althouse said...I lived in New Jersey from 1964 to 1969, and nobody I knew called New Jersey "Jersey." I also think the expression "Jersey Shore" refers to northern New Jersey.

Counterpoint:
Readering said...Bruce lived and lives in Monmouth County. It's the North Jersey shore. My haunts too. Never been to Ocean City.

The point about dropping the "New" needs a third opinion. It reminds me of how people from San Francisco never referred to it as "Frisco.". Help me here, Altfolk. The further east I've ever lived was Cleveland, OH in the early 1980s. When I moved "east," I skipped the whole US coast and landed in Europe.

AMDG said...

i was born in 1959. I remember the 60’s but only observed that time period as a child. I am part of a group of people who, culturally, are too young to be boomers and too old to be Gen X. The movies “Dazed and Confused” and “Breaking Away” are good portrayals of this group.

Springsteen might write about Blue Collar stuff but his appeal is strictly white collar. When he started the working man schtick with his fourth album (Darkness on the Edge of Town) the people he was singing about were going to Disco’s and listening to The Bee Gees and The Tramps. His first three albums are great (The, Wild the Innocent & the E. Street Shuffle has a great jazzy feel which he never explored again).

Steve Van Zant was a member, producer, and songwriter for Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. He wrote some fantastic Motown influenced songs.

Obama is absolute trash. While he put on the smooth front he hired nothing but SJW types that infected the Government with the CRT cancer. He also promoted the “my way or the highway” ethos that led us to Trump. The codification of race as a primary factor in a person’s character and the idea that simple majority, instead of a broad consensus, can enact radical changes will destroy the Republic.



Temujin said...

The good news is that Black History Month ends at midnight.

And google calendar has informed me that Women's History Month begins when Black History Month ends. So...get ready for 30 days of Womyn's stories. Can't wait.

What collectivist group has called dibs in April?

tommyesq said...

This is Obama pitching to be the next Al Sharpton, before whom all (whities, anyhow) must prostrate themselves to move up in the liberal universe.

Bob Boyd said...

It's the next best thing to a podcast with Fonzie and Dr. Huxtable.

chickelit said...

Shouting Thomas said...The good news is that Black History Month ends at midnight.

Derek Chauvin's trial in Minneapolis next week promises another whole Black Histrionics Month.

BUMBLE BEE said...

IIRC, Time magazine called Bruce this generation's Dylan on it's cover, which announced his Born To Run album.

tim in vermont said...

Cross Dollar Shave Club off my list. Why not just buy the razors directly from China instead of going through “Dollar Shave Club"?

https://www.made-in-china.com/products-search/hot-china-products/Dorco_Razor.html

It’s no surprise that people pushing manufacturing offshore to China would back Obama.

tim in vermont said...

“Cherished idols”

Speak for your cult, not for me.

donald said...

“Elite media”. Garbage media. What’s the difference anymore huh?

narciso said...


Lying press


https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2021/02/not_a_rose_garland.html

chickelit said...

BUMBLE BEE said...IIRC, Time magazine called Bruce this generation's Dylan on it's cover, which announced his Born To Run album.

I recall well before that. As a teen, I listed to WIBA-FM in Madison -- known colloquially then as Radio Free Madison. The station had two DJ's -- Chris Morris and Pete Sherrick (sp?) who obsessed over Springsteen and his first albums. Neither man was from New Jersey-- Morris was from Chicago and Sherrick was from Michigan, IIRC. They regaled their listeners with stories of pilgrimages to New Jersey to see Springsteen. I listened with an open mind and even bought the early vinyl at Lake Street Station. But when that Time Magazine cover hit, I was like "Yeah, right." That early adulation really went to his head.

Tank said...

chickelit said...

Point:
Ann Althouse said...I lived in New Jersey from 1964 to 1969, and nobody I knew called New Jersey "Jersey." I also think the expression "Jersey Shore" refers to northern New Jersey.

Counterpoint:
Readering said...Bruce lived and lives in Monmouth County. It's the North Jersey shore. My haunts too. Never been to Ocean City.

The point about dropping the "New" needs a third opinion.


Tank lived in NJ his whole life until retiring five years ago. New Jersey people did not say "Jersey", but some NY people did. On the other hand we did say "going down the shore."

Springsteen was very big in NJ while I was there, but not for me and my friends. He was supposed to be great live, but I never saw him live. He did have a great sax player.

chickelit said...

AMDG said...The movies “Dazed and Confused” and “Breaking Away” are good portrayals of this group.

Bingo! (I was born in 1960).

The movie "Gran Torino" resonated with me because my dad and his brothers were Korean War vets and not part of the greatest generation. My dad used to self-identify as part of the "Lost Generation."

Lewis Wetzel said...

Springsteen is worth half a billion, Obama maybe 80 million.
So why are they doing a podcast? Aren't they easily the world's wealthiest podcast hosts?

Ralph L said...

Obviously, those born before 1960 should be called Old Boomers, and those 1960-64, Young Boomers--for a few more decades.

chickelit said...

BUMBLE BEE said...IIRC, Time magazine called Bruce this generation's Dylan on it's cover, which announced his Born To Run album.

Time Magazine -- distorting American history and Americans one office visit at a time for quite some time now.

Mr Wibble said...

Springsteen is worth half a billion, Obama maybe 80 million.
So why are they doing a podcast? Aren't they easily the world's wealthiest podcast hosts?


Leading the way to our glorious future economy consisting entirely of marijuana, solar panels, and podcasts.

Browndog said...

I was born is 62.

I am not part of the post WWII baby boom, no matter what some book says.

chickelit said...

Ralph L said...Obviously, those born before 1960 should be called Old Boomers, and those 1960-64, Young Boomers--for a few more decades.

I see it as a sinusoidal wave. Births plotted vs. time have peaks and troughs like a fading ripple. The peaks get names but not the troughs. I'm a trough dweller and so was my dad.

Now we're about to witness the greatest boom in death as the Baby Boomers fade away. I definitely want to outlive that curve.

Another old lawyer said...

The dividing line for Boomer got moved up sometime in the last 30 years. I remember not being considered a Boomer, but somewhere during the last 30 years, it moved from around 1959 or 1960 to 1964.

Kai Akker said...

---If you're reading this blog, you must like what I'm doing with what I'm reading. [AA]

I enjoy the discussions. But the sources you use seem awfully stale, even for what they are. (What is elite and also mainstream?)

The NY Times is not what it was 50 years ago, and neither is The New Yorker. I want to ask, don't you care? But you can't care and still rely on them so heavily. Don't you get sick to death of their predictability and biases?

Browndog said...

Women bearing children children in 1946 were not still bearing children in 1964.

wendybar said...

I live 5 miles from Point Pleasant...Lived here for 24 years now...was a Connecticut transplant. Love my house. Love the area. Hate the left wing run government, the high taxes, the benefits to illegals since we are a Sanctuary state. Will be leaving when Hubby retires soon. Too bad. Beautiful area being run to the ground by Democrats.

Achilles said...

Ann Althouse said...

Suggest something that would actually appeal to me. I mainly read elite mainstream liberal media and I've been doing that here for 17 years. If you're reading this blog, you must like what I'm doing with what I'm reading. I can't imagine what you think would plug into my project better than what I'm relying on.

Substack.

Most of the way through this article for example. There is far more intelligent and engaging stuff going on here. The NYT and WAPO is drivel for idiots compared to some of this.

This article is for all of the conservatives here. You need to read this.

Like actually read it.

I am at about 90% agreement. He misreads Trump a bit is all but that is a perception issue.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Lilyhammer was a great series.

I don't think Dylan was an idol to the majority of boomers. Doors, Stones, Hendrix would rank way higher.

Ralph L said...

An interesting question is What caused the Birth Dearth beginning in '65? Fewer births during WWII or was it during the Depression? Early boomers aborting their teenage pregnancies so they could go to college? Young adults sick of all the kids around them?

I'm Full of Soup said...

I'm from Philly Readering and never heard of any Jersey Sound. Of coure, as far as we were concerned, New Jersey only including the South Jersey shore- anything north of there was considered part of the hated NYC.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann said "In the 1950s/early 60s, we went to Ocean City for a week or so every summer. That's in the south. All I remember is the cottage, the beach, and the boardwalk — no cultural memories at all."/Spoken like a true East Coastie! The people of the eastern shore of Maryland are considered southern, and other than the folks in Ocean City (who like your money) have a distaste for the D.C. swamp types and Coasties that travel through to the beaches."

Oh no no no... you misread that. Read the whole paragraph. All I mean was in the south part of New Jersey. I grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, further south than that, and, as I've said a few times on this blog, we never considered that the south. We called it "mid Atlantic." I learned as an adult that Black people considered Wilmington the south, but that was news to me. We white people of northern Delaware did not consider ourselves to be southerners, I assure you. We don't have a Southern accent, we don't call ourselves Southerners, we look at other people as being Southern, and we consider them to be living in a different region.

And now I realize that you think I was talking about Ocean City, Maryland! No, it was Ocean City, New Jersey, just south of Atlantic City.

chickelit said...

Ralph L said...An interesting question is What caused the Birth Dearth beginning in '65? Fewer births during WWII or was it during the Depression? Early boomers aborting their teenage pregnancies so they could go to college? Young adults sick of all the kids around them?

Oral contraceptives.

William said...

I read the article. I got the feeling that the author is chronically disappointed in white people. All her life they've been letting her down. Take Springsteen: As the author points out he had only one Black member in his band. Technically Springsteen is not a racist, but clearly he did not do all he could and should have done to further racial harmony. In a better world, the Boss would have been a back up singer for Marvin Gaye.

chickelit said...

@Ralph L: Note the calendar date in this first episode of "Mad Men," link: March, 1960. It was put there on purpose.

Lurker21 said...

There was a move to call the late boomers "Generation Jones." I have no clue why. I would split the generation into three groups. The early boomers, born in the Forties and very early Fifties, were the Vietnam and Woodstock generation. Then the mid boomers, born in the mid Fifties, who were a little too young for that. Finally the late boomers, born in the very late Fifties and early Sixties.

The early boomers got all the publicity and attention. The middle and younger ones grew up in their shadow and weren't as driven or as much the focus of national attention. If you were born in 1954 you were still influenced by early boomer tastes and opinions, though you missed out on the party. If you were born in 1960 or 1964 all that "look at me" rebellion was starting to seem out of date and alien by the time you were in your teens.

Obama's mom was a war baby. In a lot of ways, they were the real boomers. I mean, they were Peace Corps volunteers or freedom riders or folkies or Weathermen or Yippies. The war babies may have started out in cramped apartments with parents who hadn't gotten over the Depression when they were were plunged into war. The war baby left were born with a nostalgia for the Thirties and a certain disillusionment with the country and that they repackaged for the early boomers who grew up well-off but directionless.

Springsteen is an early boomer. He's the guy who somehow made the covers of Time and Newsweek when nobody even knew how he was (and when those magazines still meant something). Obama is a late boomer, but really more like an Xer. There were very few kids like him in the Fifties and Sixties, more in the Seventies, and quite a few by the Eighties. The biracial background and slacker ways make him incomprehensible and somehow unamerican to many older people, but to those younger he looks pretty typical of where the country is.

Biden was a war baby, though not part of the Sixties left. People, especially those who don't like him, think he was older and part of Rudy Vallee's or Bing Crosby's generation than Bob Dylan's or the Beatles'.

Kai Akker said...

You mention suggestions, Althouse, which is harder to do. As one of your blog readers, I think you need to find new sources. You have your tastes, preferences, and a comfort zone. But among daily newspapers, the Wall Street Journal has been far broader and more reportorial than the NYT for several decades now. It has a far bigger circulation and a broader perspective, IMO.

Lurker21 said...

We white people of northern Delaware did not consider ourselves to be southerners, I assure you. We don't have a Southern accent, we don't call ourselves Southerners, we look at other people as being Southern, and we consider them to be living in a different region.

Careful. There may be an executive order about that by now.

"What kind of a chance would a northeastern liberal like Joe Biden stand in the south if you were running in Democratic primaries against southerners like Mark Warner and John Edwards?" Wallace asked.

"Better than anybody else," Biden replied. "And you don't know my state. My state was a slave state. My state is a border state. My state is the eighth-largest black population in the country. My state is anything from a northeast, liberal state."


...

Biden also invoked Delaware's "slave state" past while speaking in South Carolina to the Columbia Rotary Club that year, joking Delaware would have fought in the Confederacy if not for its geographic location.

Delaware "was a slave state that fought beside the North," he said. "That's only because we couldn't figure out how to get to the South. There were a couple of states in the way."

gilbar said...

i was born in 1962, which means; i'm So Old, i remember NOT being a baby boomer
then, about 1981; they changed it, and suddenly i was supposed to be a baby boomer

my dad didn't fight in WWII, i didn't protest the Vietnam war
my dad spent 1952-53 in Korea, i protested disco and 18% interest rates

i never knew JFK,
i stayed up late to watch the moon landing, i watched the Challenger explode

i ain't no baby boomer, and Springsteen SUX! (Long Live the Ramones!)

Ann Althouse said...

"Substack."

How do you just go looking for stuff on Substack? It's like telling me to read Blogger, isn't it? You have to have particular individuals to look at, I think. So you'd need to be more specific.

Ann Althouse said...

"It has a far bigger circulation and a broader perspective..."

Bigger circulation is for business coverage. Not my topics at all. I need culture and social science along with politics. I'm not looking for political slant but for raw material.

Ann Althouse said...

If the idea is you want me to read more right wing opinion, forget about it. I'm not interested.

who-knew said...

I think our hostess is exactly right about what makes one a boomer or not. I was probably smack in the middle of the Springsteen demographic, and after seeing him live I became a real fan. But I always emulated my older brother's musical and cultural tastes and attitudes so I fit in more with Ann's perspective especially on music. She mentions, the Beatles, Dlyan, and The Dead. For me it was the Byrds. Together and separate, follow their careers and you'll hear a huge portion of my musical favorites.

I'll add my two cents that Lillyhammer is fantastic and agree with AMDG that Van Zandt's work with Southside Johnny was stellar. Although one of my favorite Southside Johnny songs was written by the much disparaged (by the commentators above me in this tread) Bruce Springsteen; Little Girl So Fine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eWHFnOuiu0

William said...

In the current issue of Smithsonian, there's an article by Alexis Coe about a dress that Martha Washington owned. Here's a quote from that article: ".....I feel frustrated by the limited descriptions of Martha that we find in letters and which focus almost exclusively on her role as wife, mother, and enslaver". The author lets it be known that Martha spent a lot of money on clothes. That's so typical of enslavers.....I would think that there were many facts about Martha that were more significant and favorable than her owning of slaves and spending a lot of money on clothes. In like way, I think there are more significant and favorable facts about Springsteen's home town than that many of its citizens were racist.

LakeLevel said...

The baby boom was 1946-1964. The baby boom GENERATION should be different. Having been born in early 1962, I can attest that I feel very little connection to the boomers. I feel like I keep arriving late to the party, just in time to help clean up a huge mess.

rcocean said...

"our typical small, provincial, redneck, racist little American nineteen-fifties town"

Speak for yourself, you celebrity freak. The guy can sing a little, so he thinks he's a genius and his shit doesn't stink. There's something wrong with a society that worships a man because he can write a simple tune and sing a song, while Doctors and others who keep our society running toil in obscurity.

I lost all respect for chris christie when I discover he CRIED when Springsteen agreed to meet with him for 15 minutes. Christie has attended over 100 Springsteen concerts. Imagine having such a clown as your State's Leader!

rcocean said...

People often criticize the 1950s. And that all could have been corrected if only they'd listened to Doris Day and Frank Sinatra on how to run society and conduct the Cold war.

rcocean said...

"If the idea is you want me to read more right wing opinion, forget about it. I'm not interested."

what's "Right wing" today, was "Left wing" 20 years ago. As you drift further and further to the left, you'll probably end up thinking opposing Gulags is "Right Wing".

LYNNDH said...

I am a Boomer, born 1946. And Damn Proud Of It.
"So they had us, and we, who knew nothing but that pleasant life, found it insipid and turned on them, mocked them, and rebelled. Most of us know now what assholes we were to treat them like that, after what they went through, but they made us what we were."

Glad you said "Most" because I never mocked or rebelled. I knew my Parents had lived a life. My Mom on a farm in Ill then off to SF to work in an ammunition plant at the age of 21 leaving my older Brother with her parents. My Father was at Pearl Harbor and fought through the war in the South Pacific.

No, I respected them. Disagreement sure but none of that crap "they" say Boomer did.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, could you perhaps do a poll for Obama the way you did for Trump? Because I’d vote “would prefer never to hear from him again.”

chickelit said...

rcocean: There's something wrong with a society that worships a man because he can write a simple tune and sing a song, while Doctors and others who keep our society running toil in obscurity.

It's related to rhhardin's soap opera theory. Women idolize these idol -- going back to bobbie soxers and probably before --help me here Altfolk. And men go along with the idolatry hoping to get some collateral action. It's really that simple. And of course media hype helps.

chickelit said...

Big Mike said...@Althouse, could you perhaps do a poll for Obama the way you did for Trump? Because I’d vote “would prefer never to hear from him again.”

She always ignores such really good suggestions or haven't you noticed?

MadisonMan said...

I've been doing that here for 17 years.
Wow. (applause)
Re: Jersey Shore. From my vantage point in PA, Jersey Shore was southern Jersey, south of, say, Surf City/Barnegat. (I know so many people who would go to Wildwood to party in the 70s).

Mary Beth said...

LakeLevel said...

The baby boom was 1946-1964. The baby boom GENERATION should be different. Having been born in early 1962, I can attest that I feel very little connection to the boomers. I feel like I keep arriving late to the party, just in time to help clean up a huge mess.


That sums it up perfectly. I was born in 1959 and the only times I've felt like lying about my age is if the discussion is about who's a boomer. I never cared if people knew my age, I just didn't want to be associated with the boomers. I've never felt a part of them but do relate to feeling like I'm on clean-up detail.

chickelit said...

rcocean wrote: I lost all respect for chris christie when I discover he CRIED when Springsteen agreed to meet with him for 15 minutes. Christie has attended over 100 Springsteen concerts. Imagine having such a clown as your State's Leader!

Obama hugged and chalked Christie. Imagine Christie joining that Spotify spoof. Of course he'd never be accepted because Christie is a bit of a RINO.

Gunner said...

Bidens bloviating about Delaware's "proud" Confederate past was only done because white racists were his most important voting bloc back then.

Lurker21 said...

The shore of North Jersey is the Hudson River. You could count Asbury Park and Monmouth County as part of North Jersey. Monmouth is Springsteen country, and Jersey Shore country, though the cast members of the MTV show come from Long Island, Staten Island and other places as well as New Jersey.

Monmouth, together with Ocean and Atlantic counties further south constitute the Jersey Shore. Ocean and Atlantic have more people from Philadelphia and are, Atlantic City aside, less showy. Cape May county in the far south is another world entirely.

Springsteen, I guess, was woke before woke was woke. He had people telling him that he was the new Woody Guthrie and it went to his head. John Mellencamp learned the hard way that if you want to go on living where you grew up, you don't put the place down once you become famous. Bruce apparently hasn't learned.

chuck said...

I don't recall ever listening to a Springsteen song. Guess I'm not a Boomer.

stevew said...

Born in 1957 I am considered a Boomer but I've always resisted self-identifying in that category for many of the reasons our host has identified for saying Obama isn't a Boomer. I did not have the defining Boomer experience as a child, and came into adulthood in the mid-70s. All the iconic cultural markers for the Boomers had passed on by the time I was 18. Springsteen's "Born to Run" was huge my freshman year in college - hated it by the way. Nixon was gone, SNL was just getting started, Jimmy Carter was elected president; none of that stuff is even remotely associated with the Boomers.

Ice Nine said...

Looks like their podcast is going to be vomiting "all Negro, all the time" at us (well, maybe at *you*). Who would have guessed... The tool Springsteen is merely a Caucasian set decoration for this, and a Greek chorus to Obama's all too predictable one-sided pontifications on this tedious subject of race.

Gordon Scott said...

Springsteen's latest album is "Western Skies" in which he writes and sings a bunch of country tunes. It's not bad. They did a movie of it, where he is shown walking and driving around the desert someplace out west. But then all of the songs are performed in the loft of Springsteen/Patty Scalfia's barn in New Jersey.

It's an effective stunt, the loft performances. He's got a 25 or so piece orchestra backing him, and the whole thing is really well filmed. The desert sequences take place in between the songs. When you realize that the whole desert schtick is just that, a bit of the shine disappears.

The best part is the very last song in the movie, one which Bruce did not write. Whoever decided to include that was a genius.

Achilles said...

Ann Althouse said...

"Substack."

How do you just go looking for stuff on Substack? It's like telling me to read Blogger, isn't it? You have to have particular individuals to look at, I think. So you'd need to be more specific.

https://greenwald.substack.com/
https://astralcodexten.substack.com/

I will just start there. Substack is not curated or linear so I can't just plop a list. Those are the ones I read today.

If you just added Greenwald as a counterpoint to the Oligarch output line it would expand the scope of the blog and infinitely increase the intellectual level compared to the NYT's or WAPO.

It is really hard to express my disgust at how the NYT's has used it's market reach to turn it's readers into drooling idiots. The entire organization is just despicable and it can't be driven out of business fast enough. It is important to monitor them but the ultimate goal of their destruction as a societal force should be clear.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Born in 1963, two days before JFK was assassinated. I never considered myself a Boomer, even though I qualify by having WWII generation parents. Boomers got Jimi Hendrix, psychedelics and free love in college. By the time I got there it was all turning into cocaine nightmares and AIDS. At least we had a few good years of music, until the Boomers in the entertainment industry ruined it.

Ralph L said...

"Born to Run" was huge my freshman year in college
And in mine, 3 years later.

Achilles said...

Ann Althouse said...

If the idea is you want me to read more right wing opinion, forget about it. I'm not interested.

Is that honestly what you get out of theepochtimes.com? Or those substacks?

... boggling...

In here the world does revolve around you.

But it is a terrible trap to live in a world that revolves around you.

My interest was in the fact that the conversations would start from a more intelligent place and have a wider scope if you sampled from those particular sources.

MartyH said...

Our hostess' statement bothers me: "Most of us know now what assholes we were to treat them like that, after what they went through, but they made us what we were."

"We were ungrateful bastards but that's their fault, not ours." That's how it read to me.

hat interpretation is an abnegation of responsibility. If a generation can't take responsibility for the harm it did to its parents and institutions, then it should take less credit for the good it did as well-civil rights movement, individual expression, etc.

I hope our hostess means it another way than my initial interpretation-that their parents shaped the Boomers, both good and bad.

Iman said...

IIRC, Time magazine called Bruce this generation's Dylan on it's cover, which announced his Born To Run album.

1975... back when Jon Landau and rolling stone magazine were pimping Springsteen as “the Next Big Thing”.

Li’l Steven Van Zandt always struck me as a lesser talented guy who favors black music and wearing weird sashes on his melon. The real talent in that band is Nils Lofgren.

Big Mike said...

I am a Boomer, born 1946. And Damn Proud Of It.

Me too!

Lewis Wetzel said...

I am a Boomer, born 1946. And Damn Proud Of It.

In 3.5 years you and your pride will be 6 feet below.

Francisco D said...

Ann Althouse said...
As a core Boomer, born in 1951, I don't see Obama as a Boomer, but he was born in 1961, and the standard cut off that you see is 1964. Seems to me, if you were 2 when JFK was shot, 3 when The Beatles came to America and 8 when they broke up, and 6 in the Summer of Love, you did not have the Boomer experience.

I agree completely. I was born in 1953 and watched Jack Ruby kill Lee Harvey Oswald in real time. I was involved in Civil Rights and anti-war protests and attended a Gene McCarthy rally. I remember the Beatles hysteria from my Jr. HS female classmates. I was madly in love with Grace Slick .I listened to" Louie Louie" with friends to hear the dirty lyrics. I remember the smell of tear gas from the 1968 Democrat Convention.

Now that's a Boomer.

Kai Akker said...

---Bigger circulation is for business coverage. [AA]

Read it for a few months and you will see that your characterization is incomplete. It is a full-service newspaper with great cultural sections. It left NYT in the dust a long time ago. Get into the 21st century, Ann!

tcrosse said...

Born in late 1944, as few of us were, I was absorbed into the great numbers of Boomers who came after.

chickelit said...

Mortuary business is booming!

Lincolntf said...

The Wall Street Journal is far superior to the NYT, and even more so the WaPo. The writing is of higher quality, the features are about far more interesting topics and people. Only a fear of moderation could drive someone away from the WSJ.

chickelit said...

My dad ran a small scuba diving business in the Madison area in the 1960's and 70's. He had business cards that read "My Business Is Going Under." I imagine a mortician could sardonically muse "My Business Is Booming."

Mark said...

I mainly read elite mainstream liberal media and I've been doing that here for 17 years.

You might start by recognizing that as a vice, not a virtue.

Viewing the world only through such a distorted lens -- even leaving the politics out -- is out of touch with reality and not a good thing.

Kai Akker said...

AA: More thoughts on potential sources of reading material. The Federalist and PowerLine are both superior sources to Politico. The Washington Post, whose circulation is dinky, is not merely minor league, like the NYTimes, but down around class A minor league. Instapundit is a pretty good aggregator. The Claremont Review of Books has big-league essays. The New Criterion is more interesting than The NYer or The Atlantic.

These are neither elite nor mainstream liberal; they are not liberal except in the classical-liberal sense. But the long phase shift in American culture has carried The New Yorker out from fairly liberal to far-left. It takes an active step to bring one's reading back into mainstream, centrist, classical-liberal thoughtfulness.

Big Mike said...

If the idea is you want me to read more right wing opinion, forget about it. I'm not interested.

@Althouse, my idea is that you develop an open mind and confront your biases. I read your last sentence to mean that you have no interest in examining whether the biases you developed as a hippy chick and reinforced by being a professor in an extremely liberal university (not to mention living in Madison) are still valid in the 21st century. No question that you have a good brain; what stops you from using it more regularly?

JAORE said...

"The good news is that Black History Month ends at midnight.

And google calendar has informed me that Women's History Month begins when Black History Month ends."

WHAT? African Americans only get 28 days, the absolute minimum, with the 29th as a bone thrown in every four years.

And Women get 31, the MAXIMUM, every stinking year?

Vaginal privilege.

FWIW:
Don't want to hear Springsteen on politics. What he does is sing. I sometimes listen to that.
Don't want to hear Obama. I've seen his results.
Don't want to hear Trump. I've seen, and applaud his results.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Boomers identify with the frat boys of Animal House, but act like Dean Wormer. Crazy bunch.

Big Mike said...

@chicklet (9:35) the grass grows whether I mow it or not, and the azaleas bloom whether I weed the flower bed or not. Doesn’t stop me from mowing or weeding.

@Lewis Wetzel (10:30), we shall see. I’m a pretty tough old bird.

donald said...

Little Steven has two or three of the damndest albums you could ever hear. “And the river opens for the righteous...” what a song. His boss has never written anything even close to that.

Iman said...

I agree completely. I was born in 1953 and watched Jack Ruby kill Lee Harvey Oswald in real time. I was involved in Civil Rights and anti-war protests and attended a Gene McCarthy rally. I remember the Beatles hysteria from my Jr. HS female classmates. I was madly in love with Grace Slick. I listened to" Louie Louie" with friends to hear the dirty lyrics. I remember the smell of tear gas from the 1968 Democrat Convention.

Yeah, well I was born in ‘52, grew up behind the Orange Curtain in Orange County, Ca. and watched Ruby kill Oswald in real time, while eating pancakes with my father, wrote LBJ a letter protesting the war and asking why my cousin who was 5 years my senior and had lived just a few doors down the street was now crawling around in Vietnamese mud while watching his best friend get his head blown off, watched the Beatles on Sullivan, fell in love with Anita Pallenberg, saw Cream (Spirit opened) at the Anaheim Convention Center in ‘68, watched all the ‘68 Democrat Convention fun on TV and cheered for the police in ‘68.

And I remember smelling the rose in her hair...

Jack Klompus said...

Everyone in my blue collar Philly neighborhood growing up idolized Springsteen as some sort of "every man" rock star. I always found his songwriting mediocre to middlebrow at best and not particularly sincere. Nebraska is a decent album but most of his other stuff is overwrought and desperate to be taken seriously.

Iman said...

^^ + 5, Jack^^

That phony wino voice, coupled with mediocre songwriting... deal killer. Clarence on sax was aces, but I still preferred Bobby Keys.

ColoComment said...

Why on earth would anyone take a couple of celebrities (one a musician, the other an empty suit politician) as representative of an entire generation, ...any generation?

Big Mike said...

I was born in 1953 and watched Jack Ruby kill Lee Harvey Oswald in real time. I was involved in Civil Rights and anti-war protests and attended a Gene McCarthy rally.

If you were born in 1953 you were 11 when the Civil Rights Act was passed, and only 15 when "Clean Gene" ran in the Democrat primaries and when Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated. The big Civil Rights protests were pretty much over before you were 17. Did you ever really face the draft? Did you have to try to get a job while you were class 1-A?

Darrell said...

I expect Obama and all the Democrats and SJWs to disappear in the coming Crapture. Chuck, too.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

"I dare you to name something more archetypally boomer than these two cherished idols...."

How if we cannot conceive an intersect between "idol" and any fellow human being. The whole thing smacks of emotionalism and cult worship; un-SCIENTIFIC.

Joe Smith said...

Not since Linda Lovelace and Marilyn Chambers co-starred in a movie have two bigger cocksuckers been in the same room together...

walter said...

Will they do shots?
Can Joe Zoom in?

wendybar said...

Joe Smith at 12:37!!! Good one!!!

daskol said...

If anything ever called for SMOD, it's this podcast.

I'm Not Sure said...

"So they had us, and we, who knew nothing but that pleasant life, found it insipid and turned on them, mocked them, and rebelled. Most of us know now what assholes we were to treat them like that, after what they went through, but they made us what we were."

"Most of us"? How do you know that? Obviously, nobody's ever added those numbers up. After being an asshole to your parents, does it help make you feel better to think you're in the majority here?

ALP said...

"...mercifully, neither host is made to read it."

WHAT??? Well then neither man can claim to be a real podcaster. A REAL podcaster spends the first 5 minutes reading ads. Does Obama think he can't do as good a job as Joe Rogan? I have no interest in this podcast but might have tuned in at least once to hear Obama hawk the Dollar Shave Club.

walter said...

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/07/30/we-are-alive
"The place where Springsteen went looking for his future was just a short drive east of Freehold—the Asbury Park music scene. In the sixties and seventies, there were dozens of bands that played in the bars along the boardwalk. Asbury Park became Springsteen’s Liverpool, his Tupelo, his Hibbing.
“O.K., I know it’s a long shot, but if we can each convert lion . . .”

On a spring afternoon, I stood out in front of the best-known club in Asbury Park, the Stone Pony, and waited for an aging drummer named Vini (Mad Dog) Lopez, the unluckiest man in the E Street saga. Lopez was thrown out of the Springsteen band just before they hit it big. Springsteen’s bandmates may be employees, but they have been handsomely paid and are worth many millions of dollars each. The drummer who made it for the long haul, Max Weinberg, owns houses in the New Jersey countryside and Tuscany. Lopez works as a caddy. On weekends, he plays in a band called License to Chill. The band’s mascot is Tippy the Banana. “We’re at the bottom of the food chain,” Lopez told me. “We like to say that we’re exclusive but inexpensive.”

Lopez pulled up to the Pony in a beat-up Saturn. He climbed out of the car creakily, as if out of a space capsule after an interplanetary voyage. He squinted in the ocean light and limped toward me. He’d been in a car wreck on the way home from a memorial concert for Clarence Clemons. His knee was shot, and so was his back. Also, someone had dropped an amplifier on his foot at a gig a couple of nights before. “That didn’t help,” he said.

We walked along the boardwalk for a while and settled on a place to eat. On the way, and throughout lunch, people stopped him to say hello, to get an autograph.

In 1969, Lopez invited Springsteen to jam at an after-hours loft, called the Upstage, above a Thom McAn shoe store in Asbury Park. Eventually, Springsteen and Lopez formed a band called Child, which they soon renamed Steel Mill. It featured Lopez on drums, Danny Federici on organ and accordion, and Steve Van Zandt on bass. The boys lived for a while in a surfboard factory run by their manager. “Bruce lived in the front office, and Danny and I had daybeds in the bathrooms,” Lopez said. They made around fifty dollars a week. Some of the band members held manual jobs to make ends meet: Van Zandt worked construction, Lopez put in time at a boatyard and on commercial fishing boats. Springsteen declined. The future working-class clarion never really worked."

walter said...

Tippy the Banana

Francisco D said...

Big Mike said...
If you were born in 1953 you were 11 when the Civil Rights Act was passed, and only 15 when "Clean Gene" ran in the Democrat primaries and when Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated. The big Civil Rights protests were pretty much over before you were 17. Did you ever really face the draft? Did you have to try to get a job while you were class 1-A?


Yes to all of the above.

I was 1-A in 1971 when they instituted the draft lottery. I worked as a stockboy at Marshal Fields and sat in the employee cafeteria listening to the numbers. I was #175 when they were taking up to 150 (If I recall correctly).There was one more year of the draft lottery but the Selective Service was only taking up to # 50.

I was a precocious kid very much aware of national and local politics.

Francisco D said...


Blogger Iman said...... watched all the ‘68 Democrat Convention fun on TV and cheered for the police in ‘68.

I was a wannabe hippie then and hated the Establishment. However, it seemed to me that the protesters got what they were looking for. I went to a progressive school that was a short walk from Grant Park. It was a really intense time.

I'm Full of Soup said...

If you don't like what Althouse reads, do what I do. I almost never read her liberal new links but I like to read the comments here.

Night Owl said...

Obama and Springsteen, two men united in their contempt and resentment for the country that made them rich and famous. Have they talked about that yet?

chickelit said...

I'm Full of Soup said...If you don't like what Althouse reads, do what I do. I almost never read her liberal new links but I like to read the comments here.

That's exactly what I do. The NYT always has their hand out begging for money so I never get access anyways. I know there are ways to get around paywalls but why bother? I used to subscribe on Sundays, but the NYT hasn't published impartial news for years now. Under Trump, they were self-admittedly bias against him and half the nation; now under Biden, they've become sickeningly sycophantic. I honestly at look news sources like the NYT much like Americans must have looked at Deep South newspapers during Jim Crow -- hopelessly bigoted and proud of it. Why support that at all? And while I'm at it, why support people who do? That's why I stopped donating to Althouse, BTW.

eddie willers said...

To qualify as a Boomer you must: 1) Remember where you were when you heard the news that JFK had been shot and 2) Remember watching The Beatles when they came on Ed Sullivan.

Succinct and accurate, IMO.

And musically, the 60's started in 1964 and ended in 1974.

Lurker21 said...

Obama comes across as a very privileged guy. Privilege doesn't always come with White skin or inherited wealth. That smugness is off-putting, but familiar. He's not so different from other suburban college kids of his generation. We had high expectations and didn't think that we were privileged ones. We could look down on a lot of people and not be aware that we were doing so.

I haven't heard the podcast, but it sounds like it's more Robert Redford stuff, rich, fortunate guys trying to pretend that they aren't -- their social concern and their awareness makes them different and better -- and simply confirming to the audience that they are rich and fortunate.

Springsteen is a jerk, but his music wasn't bad. If you think it was, what are you comparing it to? A lot of 70s rock and pop was horrible. Ditto for the music of today. 90% of everything is junk, and I'd have to say he was in the 10%. Even Billy Joel, bless his heart, was in the 10%.

wildswan said...

You can't get away from the fact that there is a central narrative in this country and it appears in the NYT/ New Yorker, etc. The main-slime media. Other sites (Althouse commenters, Epoch Times, NewsMax, Instapundit, Rush which I read) are covering the same stories while adding in suppressed facts or correcting distortions or whatever. It's no use pretending that no significant person believes the NYT or the mainslimers. They do believe and so mainslime matters. So we can just ignore mainslime lies and whispers and rumors but we can't follow or participate in politics or mainstream culture if we do. Granted, at this point, we're like the Irish under the English - it mostly isn't about us and when it is, it's mostly lies and ridicule. So what. We have to answer the arguments and to do that we have to hear them. Rush commented on the mainstream all the time. His goal was to educate people, his audience first but then the country at large, to see the bias so that then there'd be people able to propose solutions or to understand solution when they hear them.

PS I've always wanted to know more about Tasmania so if Althouse does turn to side stream stories, perhaps she could comment more on their issues.

PPS A great Boomer-Parent novel is Neither Five Nor Three by Helen MacInnes It was written in the very early Fifties and many issues we are facing in 2020 are the exact issues the novel's characters face - propaganda leading toward a takeover of an unsuspecting nation being the main theme. Thanks to the magic of our TechOverlords it's easily available through the Althouse portal at
Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Neither-Five-Three-Helen-Macinnes/dp/0449203999

The title refers to Housman's lines:
"To think that two and two are four
And neither five nor three
The heart of man has long been sore
And long is like to be."

Skippy Tisdale said...

"I dare you to name something more archetypally boomer than these two cherished idols—the Boss and the Chief—dubbing themselves rebellious in a Spotify-exclusive podcast..."

I'll take Any Bob Dylan Album for $2,000, Alex.

Iman said...

Tweeter and the MomJeansMan

Lurker21 said...

Because I don't read the Times or the Post. I'm glad that somebody out there is willing to do that for me. There's a lot of good conservative media out there, but reading that and reading the bloggers on that and the commenters on the bloggers on that can make it all kind of stale. And the same goes for media on the other side of the political divide. It's good to hear stuff that comes from outside your bubble. Plus, your mind actually works on it -- analyzes it, even if only to attack it -- rather than just agree with it and accept it and repeat it.

Joe Smith said...

"Succinct and accurate, IMO."

False.

Boomers are defined as born from '46 to '64.

I am definitely a Boomer, but was 3 when Kennedy was shot and when the Beatles performed...

Don't remember much.

chickelit said...

@I'm Full of Soup: I'll give the NYT and their loyal readers this much: they are true to their core readers, but they don't realize that they've lost so many readers nationwide and they don't seem care. It's not that I want the NYT and their ilk to die off-- I just don't think they deserve the "newspaper of record" title BS. They are, at this late stage, just a parochial news outlet serving the shrinking population of a dying city. If I want NYC news, I'd much rather read the NY Post. At least they seem to have greater editorial freedom.

Jim at said...

As I said before, Obama's never hit a single person in his life. Because he would've gotten his ass kicked.

Iman said...

h/t teh Traveling Wilburys...

Tweeter and the MomJeansMan weren’t hard up for cash
So for reasons that were all too plain they grabbed a pod and cast
They ponced and sparred like icons
For those that gave a shit
MomJeansMan said “America’s not great. It’s not worth warm spit”

Tweeter was fond of dresses and avoided Vietnam
MomJeansMan a Commie
Fine tuning his scam
Their chemistry was obvious
Like two peas in a pod
Tweeter looking old and tired
MomJeansMan just looked odd

And it all went down
All the way to hell
Never cared to even watch them
Hear the bullshit that they sell

FullMoon said...

Iman, you good at dat.

Joe Smith said...

"As I said before, Obama's never hit a single person in his life. Because he would've gotten his ass kicked."

But the press assured us he was a superior athlete with the body of Adonis...

Were they lying?

I'm Full of Soup said...

CL:

I am still amazed the major media decided it was a wise financial move to go full-on far left which turned off 1/2 of its potential customers.

Maybe one day Harvard's Business School will examine the financial sanity of that strategy.

Iman said...

Thank you, Full Moon!

chickelit said...

I'm Full of Soup said..I am still amazed the major media decided it was a wise financial move to go full-on far left which turned off 1/2 of its potential customers.

I think their business model relies on them shutting down competition.

walter said...

Since when has Obama been nicknamed The Chief?
Is he 1/16th Native American?

Big Mike said...

@Francisco D., well, more power to you.

Iman said...

I think their business model relies on them shutting down competition.

It’s an amazingly despicable approach, but hard to argue that isn’t the case, chickelit.

ScottM said...

This is like asking Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin being asked who he’s rebelling against. “Why, the Rebels, of course”

Bunkypotatohead said...

"Suggest something that would actually appeal to me."

We're not gonna do the work for you. :)

bubarooni said...

I was born in '61.

My Dad was born in '36 and told me stories about going house to house collecting aluminum for the war effort.

I did grow up watching Combat and Rat Patrol and idolized that generation as a result. I remember being annoyed having my regular morning programming interrupted by Watergate hearings. Even more annoying, I remember disco showing up. I knew of Presley, the Beatles and Dylan but they seemed before 'my time'.

Technically a boomer, I'm not sure I shared the experiences of most of 'em. Someone mentioned 'Breaking Away' up above and for me that was relatable. I think they made the point that those who do were in betwixt Booomers and Gen x'ers. I'd concur with that.

I live right outside of Blooomington and have swam in Sanders Quarry where some of the action in that movie occurred. Maybe that's why I can identify with it.

btw, I was to chicksh*t to ever jump from Rooftop.

http://www.bloomingpedia.org/wiki/Rooftop_Quarry

Big Mike said...

i'll take Any Bob Dylan Album for $2,000, Alex.

If Alex responds, I suggest RUN!

Jesse said...

Obama is a Boomer. When he first came to light, he was two years older than I. Then (maybe because the territory of Hawaii didn't become a state until 1959), he was younger than I. I personally think the whole birth certificate thing was used as a distraction (in his favour). But he's a Boomer (whatever that actually means).

East Texan said...

I think Obama’s age is irrelevant. I read his first bio: he was a lost soul and at heart is not an American. His really formative years were spent in Indonesia and his mother pulled him away from his stepfather who was trying to actually help him grow up in that culture. His grandparents were basically Commies who didn’t like America. He doesn’t have any of the cultural connections to make him a part of any particular American generation.

East Texan said...

I think Obama’s age is irrelevant. I read his first bio: he was a lost soul and at heart is not an American. His really formative years were spent in Indonesia and his mother pulled him away from his stepfather who was trying to actually help him grow up in that culture. His grandparents were basically Commies who didn’t like America. He doesn’t have any of the cultural connections to make him a part of any particular American generation.

mtb said...

Born 1946. Not sure who the people are. Boss? Chief? Help, anyone?

bubarooni said...

you ain't missing that much mtb.

The Boss is Bruce Springsteen. An American rock and roll musician. I think he started out as a local New Jersey guy in the late '60's and early '70's. I remember him from the '80's when he put together a string of quite likable 'common man' songs.

He is now rich, no longer a common man and looks with disdain with those who didn't make it out with him.

I think 'the Chief' is Obama based upon comments up north? Never heard it before though so don't bank on it.

Both frauds, so w've already likely spent to much time thinking about it...

Yang Wei said...

Boomer: Where were you when you found out JFK was shot?

Gen Xer: I was in a movie theater watching 'JFK'.

Greetings from Lavallette Park

Christopher B said...

For what it's worth by Strauss and Howe, who literally wrote a book on it.

Silent 1925-1942 (Biden)
Boomer 1943-1960 (Clinton, W, Trump)
GenX/13th 1961-1981 (Obama)

Until 2019 it looked possible that the Silent Generation might not include a President.

Steve said...

I just cancelled my Dollar Shave Club membership. Not going to support a company that panders to Un-American commies like those two.

Kev said...

For what it's worth by Strauss and Howe, who literally wrote a book on it.

Silent 1925-1942 (Biden)
Boomer 1943-1960 (Clinton, W, Trump)
GenX/13th 1961-1981 (Obama)


You just beat me to it. IIRC, Douglas Coupland, the author of the novel Generation X also starts that cohort in 1961.

Biff said...

Provincial? No more so than Georgetown or the Upper West Side, in their own ways.

hstad said...

Blogger John henry said...
Boomer is born 46 to 64 per the book of knowledge. Obama was born in 61.
John Henry 2/28/21, 7:24 AM

Now, John Henry you're trying to be to technical. Anyone born in the '60s may be technically within some arbitrary cut-off line as a boomer. But, quite frankly, they are not boomers! Hell "Obama" didn't become 'Woke' until the mid - 70s. So there! Nevertheless, you have a right to your opinion whatever that's worth in this discussion of 'Obama' being a "boomer" - LOL!

Rusty said...

What I resent is two people, who are demonstratively less intelligent than I am, telling me what to think.

Unknown said...

"Obama, if you really listen to him, is conflicted. He knows the BLM stuff is destructive, he knows the race merchants have ruined countless black lives."

I have the impression Obama is concerned about Obama, that he might somehow be tarred as being associated with the race hucksters and violence that he encouraged

TruthIsBest said...

Very interesting blog, Ann. As far as Obama's generation, it's accurate to say that there is now more-or-less a consensus among generational scholars that Obama is a part of Generation Jones (born 1954-1965, between the Boomers and Xers). Here's a few relevant links...

Jonathan Alter in Newsweek: https://www.newsweek.com/alter-twilight-baby-boom-93951

Jonathan Pontell in USA Today: https://www.pressreader.com/usa/usa-today-us-edition/20090127/281822869684634

And here's a video with dozens of prominent politicos talking about Obama being a member of Generation Jones: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ta_Du5K0jk

Hercules, not that one though said...



Ann: I lived in New Jersey from 1964 to 1969, and nobody I knew called New Jersey "Jersey." I also think the expression "Jersey Shore" refers to northern New Jersey. Southern New Jersey, where Bruce lived..."

I lived in New Jersey from 1953 to 1983. Did the college thing at Rutgers, and got the hell out of there. Everybody calls New Jersey "Jersey". The Jersey Shore refers to all of it. Philadelphians say, hey, let's go to the Shore this weekend. BTW, don't even try to be a poll-watcher in Philly. If you try, you get a choice. Leave now, or get the snot beat out of you and be carried out. It is what it is.

The bennies from NYC say, hey let's go to the Shore this weekend. Friday night, bumper to bumper on the NJ Parkway. It's the Shore, all the way down.

Bruce lived in Freehold. That ain't Southern Jersey. My brother-in-law ran a Trotter at Freehold raceway. If he was in a good mood, he would tell me when it was his turn to win. Mobbed up. Not trying to excuse it. $100 gets $200. Nobody's trying to break the bank.
Hate the game, don't hate the player. Heh.

As a Boy Scout, my ScoutMaster, Eugene Hampton, Sr (a black man who could not possibly exist because we were all racissss) dragged us down to the Pine Barrens to camp out in the Winter.

That's South Jersey. Pine f'n Barrens, and Cherry Hill.

A little more...saw Springsteen at the Upstage in Asbury Park in 1970 before he got an album out. Clarence Clemmons stole the show. What is it about a saxaphone? Pierces the soul.

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