Tenth Avenue Freeze Out
“Blinded By The Light”
OOH …Here’s One Thing
by Jim Johnsen,
Managing Director, Johnsen, Fretty & Company
Tenth Avenue Freeze Out
“The night is dark, but the sidewalk’s bright…and lined with the light of the living…” The Boss
I really scratched my head this weekend trying to figure out what the fudge I was going to riff about to you this Monday. The world is in a funk. There is no denying it. There is no sugar coating it. We are living in what will be called the “Great Shutdown” at some point. JJ, tell us there is a light at the end of the tunnel right? Yes…or it might be the single headlight from a freight train. It somewhat depends on how those canaries come out of the bowling alley in Georgia.
So as I sit here and lament into my home brew (aeropress and Verona…as close to the Starbucks americano real thing as you can get) the lightbulb went off. As much as it sucks for us, it sucks for the working man (and woman) ten times more. And that’s when it struck me. It’s time to roll out Bruce.
Don’t get me wrong. I am a Long Island boy born and raised. We liked Bruce but we didn’t bleed for him like the Jersey boys. I mean, some Jerseyites worship Bruce like he walks on water. Over the years the more people I met like that, the more I turned from Springsteen.
This past weekend I stumbled on a movie called “Blinded By The Light”. It’s about a Pakistani kid growing up in a working class neighborhood in England in the mid 80s. Unemployment is way up and so is racism. Some interesting parallels to what we are struggling with right now. (And a reference to Reaganomics that we should dust off as we make our way out of this mess).
Long, short, somebody turns this teenager on to Bruce Springsteen and the film, and more importantly, the soundtrack rolls from there. Rather than Bruce’s music sounding like one more national anthem to New Jersey, it lands perfectly on its pure message. The working man is the hero.
Okay Johnsen, thanks for the film tip, but what’s the point? The point is, perhaps we have lost our way a little bit. The working man used to be cool. Now he is just an input to be outsourced.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it is fantastic that we are honoring all our health care workers right now. They are saints under fire. So are the grocery workers. But once we get ourselves out of this mishegas (Alec Baldwin’s use of this term in “Along Came Polly” is magical btw…link here…https://youtu.be/JnBh7KBjgwM), shouldn’t we be doing the same thing for the men and women keeping our internet on, making sure our roads are safe, keeping our products flowing and yes, building signs, hanging vinyl and fixing digitals too?
The working man is cool. Let’s give him a hand (and maybe some bread until this thing passes).
“Sprung from cages out on Highway 9…baby we were born to run”
P.S. “Blinded By the Light” was not Manfred Mann’s Earth Band first. It was Bruce Springteen on the original album “Greetings from Ashbury Park, N.J.
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