SPRINGSTEEN RUNS UPSTAIRS AND INTO THE FIRE
by Joyce Marcel
American Reporter Correspondent
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- As America braces for the inevitable flood of sanctimony and sentimentality that will accompany the first anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Bruce Springsteen has come along to reawaken our buried feelings about that hideous day.
His new CD, "The Rising" (Columbia) has already inspired more than its share of media gobbledygook. Pundits are talking about "art's power to heal." Critics are bemoaning the music's lack of politics. The cover of Time Magazine says Springsteen "turned America's anguish into art."
All of that is a bit grandiose for a recording that seems to represent nothing more - or less - than Springsteen's deeply felt emotional and intellectual reactions to the attacks. Whether the music "heals" is entirely beside the point. If we let it, "The Rising" (Columbia) can help us with our grieving, and that alone is a great blessing.
One thing is certain: On 9/11, America was the victim of an outrageous and despicable attack - a monumental, fanatical, hate-filled temper tantrum. We responded to it in many heroic and human ways.
With awe, we recognized the bravery of our firemen, policemen and rescue workers. We volunteered. We gave buckets of (unneeded) blood. We marveled at the gritty heroism of the workers who have spent the past year at Ground Zero, sifting through the rubble for bodies -or pieces of bodies - so families can bury their loved ones.
But we also responded in ways that were typically American and far from healthy
"To read the Portraits," he said, "one would believe that work counted for next to nothing, that every hard-charging bond trader and daredevil fireman preferred - and managed - to spend more time with his family than at the office... The Times had populated Ground Zero with the citizens of Pleasantville."