Posts Tagged ‘bruce springsteen’


what’s in the water?

New Jersey. There’s got to be more to it than being a commuter state to New York City. How else can you explain this level of talent erupting from its loins?

Patrick McDonnell, cartoonist extraordinare. Creator of the transcendental comic strip Mutts. On the Board of Directors of the Humane Society. Writer of several children’s books (unlike many celebrities who write kids’ books, McDonnell’s do not suck). Unconfirmed reincarnation of the Japanese poet Basho Matsuo.patrick_mcdonnell

Bruce Springsteen. Player of rock music. All-time classic albums: Born to Run, Nebraska, The Rising. Best member of the E Street Band, by a longshot. Has written no children’s books that I know of, but if he did you can bet every kid in town would be itching to get on the open road and ride, ride, ride. Direct descendant of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan (though not by blood).brucespringsteenbandana
What is it about the Garden State that creates huge mega-stars? They’ve got talent and ambition, and nobody’s gonna stand in their way. Maybe it’s growing up near (but not in) one of the biggest cities in the world. Maybe Jersey girls (as sung by Tom Waits) inspire these guys to go that extra mile. Maybe there really is something in the water.


yup, we did

We now live in a country where a white guy can sing the blues and a black guy can lead the Free World. Not too shabby.springsteen and obama

Congratulations, America. You passed.


obama’s good year

obama+head+shot_01It used to be that kings and queens were considered at least part deity. The Americans did one good thing right away by establishing that the President was fully human, acknowledging the fallibility inherent in each of us.

At times the President would become a part of our national mythology. Washington and the cherry tree, Lincoln holding the country together with nothing but his beard, Teddy Roosevelt punching Spain right in the face. These stories are part of who we are as Americans, but we never make the mistake of saying (as much as we wanted to) that George Washington had descended from Zeus.

Then Nixon came along and made it okay to view the President as someone out to get you, kind of like a Boogeyman. The President was not only fallible but potentially worse than the average citizen. This is a perception that successive Presidential candidates fail to alter every four years.

I’ve championed Barack Obama since before he even announced he was running for President. I saw in him some of that mythology that has been missing from the White House since, I don’t know, FDR. I was sick of the run of Presidents who, at best, could be called place-holders, and at worst gave us two wars, the worst financial disaster in 70 years, and ignored global warming and those pesky “anti-torture” agreements.

I couldn’t say I was proud of any President who served in my lifetime* until now.

President Obama is doing exactly what I elected him to do. Hope? Change? Yes, on both counts. In March he signed wide-ranging conservation legislation called the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act, adding new national parks, increasing the size of existing parks, and increasing protection of wilderness areas around the country. In May, he nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. She is the first Hispanic justice and the third woman to serve on that court. Oh, and let’s not forget the nation’s first national health care package, which Obama is currently pushing through Congress.

Besides those accomplishments, Obama spends his time putting out the fires from the bad old days of his predecessor. Acknowledging that global warming is not some liberal fever dream, he’s actually putting money into programs that will help us curb our greenhouse emissions. Funding stem cell research that may one day allow us to cure some of those “incurable” diseases. Appointing people to his cabinet that don’t actively hate this country.

It is the combination of big and small acts that has made Barack Obama’s administration a success. Not yet a year into his Presidency, Obama is proving that he will be there for us like Bruce Springsteen is there for Mary.

Before I go, I want to comment on the unfortunate news that President Obama will be sending more troops to Afghanistan. I’m never for war. There have only been three wars in our country’s history that have been completely necessary.** But if it’s between leaving Afghanistan to the warlords and the triumphant return of the Taliban, or finishing what we started lo those years ago, I say we stay and try to clean up some of the mess we made.

“Cleaning up the mess we made” probably should have been Obama’s campaign motto, because that’s what he’s doing and what he will continue to do for the next seven years. In spite of this handicap, Obama has been quietly bringing about the positive change he promised, moving us forward while rectifying past errors. And if that’s not totally awesome, I don’t know what “totally awesome” means.

 

*Except Jimmy Carter, who was in office for three months after I was born.
**The War of 1812, The Spanish-American War, and the War on Drugs. Duh.


michael kors has got to go

michaelkors_05   Every weekend my lovely wife Isis and I sit down to watch Project Runway. We make our own decisions as to who made the best and worst design that week. Well, Isis critiques; I provide “color commentary” a la Fred Willard’s character in Best in Show. Non sequiturs, inappropriate jokes, completely bogus questions. Really, it’s amazing my wife puts up with me.

Anyway, the one thing we’ve both come to agree upon is that Michael Kors has got to go. Unlike Tim Gunn, who makes positive suggestions to the contestants, and Nina Garcia, who at least attempts to highlight both positive and negative aspects of each design, Kors acts as the resident curmudgeon, doling out insults with the verve of a man who is belatedly lashing out at his high school tormentors.

The question is, who can replace Michael Kors? Who can possibly replace the great Michael Kors? We at Falling Rock have compiled a list of names for the producers of Project Runway to consider.

Bruce Springsteen.brucespringsteenbandana
Seen here in 1986, “The Boss” obviously knows fashion. He lives fashion every day of his awesome, awesome life. He’ll give bonus points to designers who include, in their descriptions of their pieces, the phrase “this dress will allow the wearer to bust out of this nowhere town, go down that hard road, and find the light.” Right on.

Mickey Rourke.mickey-rourke_06
Rourke, in The Wrestler, bought his college-age daughter a bright green windbreaker with a “S” on the front. (Her name was Stephanie.) This alone puts him in the top echelons of fashion.

Sambora the cat.sambora-toaster-water-heater
Though our cat has never worn a stitch of clothing in her life, Sambora has a highly developed fashion sense. If by “fashion sense” you mean “thick coat of fur.” She did design a successful line of ripped-leg pants, of which me and my wife are the sole owners. She is not declawed.

So there you go, Project Runway. Take this blogger’s suggestions and run with them. I can’t speak for Mssrs Springsteen and Rourke, but Sambora’s schedule is wide open. You would, however, have to work around the 23 hours per day that she is asleep.