Chris Wheeler: smooth operator
Two cultural observations:
1) Bruce Springsteen’s new album. I downloaded it last week.
I’m a casual Boss fan– haven’t been to one of his concerts, but own most of his major albums and enjoy songs somewhere between Born in the U.S.A. and deep tracks. I was told that his new album, Wrecking Ball, was vintage Bruce and well worth a download. So that’s what I did.
Does anyone else have a problem with a guy supposedly worth $200 million banging out an entire record about the perceived plight of the American worker? Don’t get me wrong, there are some good tracks on the largely sleepy album (well, 3), but I don’t find many of them believable. After listening to the playlist for an hour or so, you’re led to think that America just stumbled out of a decade of apartheid.
Sure, corporate greed, the housing market, and the economy in general have sucked for many – myself, friends and family included, at times – but it’s as if Bruce wrote his entire album for laid-off assembly line workers in Michigan.
That’s not all of us, Holmes. America is in some turmoil, but the country isn't falling apart, either.
Jack of All Trades is a first-person narrative about man who lost his job and will do anything from mowing lawns to “hammering nails” to fight for his family as “the banker man grows fat.” Jeez, Bruce, don’t kill yourself with that social commentary. I was waiting for one hidden track to be titled We Are The 99%. Thankfully, The Boss spared us that insult.
Yes, he’s writing for his core demo, which he endeared himself to, like, 40 years ago, when he was just a kid trying to make a living playing music at the Jersey Shore. Now he’s a multimillionaire and Grammy Award winner singing songs about a closed down factory he saw from the freeway while he was driving up a mountain to his exalted existence. That’s not to begrudge a guy for being a millionaire. Not at all. Rather, to point out how ridiculous it is for someone of his stature to have the balls to write an entire album about a sad family he saw on CNN. How about one upbeat track? Just one??
All of that said, songs like We Take Care Of Our Own and the title track, Wrecking Ball, have a classic Bruce sound… even if they are just a reorganized cacophony of past classics, repackaged to grab 12 bucks from that laid-off factory worker.
2) Pinterest. As someone who uses his iPad mostly to read about the new iPad and other tech who’s its and what’s its galore, I generally like to think about I’m six months ahead on knowing of the next trendy tech or web thing. So, I was a bit surprised when, about a month ago, Ms. CB asked me if I knew how to get on Pinterest.
I had, in fact, requested an invite just days earlier. Now Ms. CB wanted one so she could browse pictures of food, cake, drinks, clothes and jewelry on the mostly female social networking site.
Both of our requests have since been granted. My request was mostly because, if the thing takes off, I want to be sure CB’s links are there (as evidenced by that “pin it” button after each post). Ms. CB’s was because she wanted to shop… which is exactly what she did this weekend when she bought $100 Fossil watch after seeing it on Pinterest.
Thanks to the site, there’s now a high-probability that when I look over at my love, she’s going to be head-down on her iPhone, oogling pictures of things that are probably going to cost me money someday. Consider this your warning, guys.
Let’s hit it.
But first, a word from our sponsors:
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– Nats manager Davey Johnson thinks his rotation is as good as the Phillies’.
– Claude Giroux didn’t perform “The Datsyuk” for the first time on Saturday night.
– Jim Thome is scheduled to play first base in a minor league game today.
– Unlike the Nationals, the Phillies welcome out-of-towners. In fact, they put together a weekend road trip package for a series in July against the Giants. See, this is OK, because the Phillies aren’t trying to sell tickets to visiting fans– they’re trying to bring homesick Phillies fans back to Philly. Plus, places like Fenway Park and Camden Yards are so revered because many of us, as baseball fans, had the opportunity to visit those stadiums when we were younger. The Phillies can create a similar culture by welcoming out-of-towners without sacrificing many sales to local fans. Win.
– Here’s what some asshole Boston fan on SI.com’s blogging platform:
However, residents of Boston are far superior individuals than the pathetic excuses for life that fanatically root for Philadelphia's sports teams.
To name only a few despicable Philly episodes, these worthless, cheese-steak-eating cretins have gunned snowballs at Santa Clause, shot a flare gun across a live playing field, and thrown D-Cell batteries at Cardinals outfielder J.D. Drew after he understandably rebuffed the Phillies' offer to play for them.
Furthermore, actions of Philadelphia Eagles fans during a 34-0 blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys in 1997 were so barbaric that the city assigned a Municipal Court Judge, Seamus McCaffrey, to Veterans Stadium to preside over the legions of trash banished from the stands.
– The Devils still have cheerleaders:
– Malik Rose hit his season high point yesterday when he commented on a horrified Spike Lee, who covered his eyes as the Knicks got squashed by the Sixers: