Does NJ really need a Bruce Springsteen Day? (Opinion)
If Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle has her way, every September 23rd will be Bruce Springsteen Day, an official holiday. Not one likely to ever close state offices but one officially recognized in New Jersey by proclamation.
As she told it to NJ.com, “I and most people think he’s nothing short of a New Jersey icon. In addition to being a talented musician he’s a hero of the working class.”
Is he though? Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Springsteen fan. I’ve seen him live more than I’ve seen any other artist. But even his Broadway show began with him bluntly telling the audience he was a fraud. That he cultivated this working man image yet he never actually worked a real job a day in his life. Should Huttle speak for the working class? Her father owned his own business and was on the North Bergen Board of Commissioners and also served in the Assembly. Not exactly a factory or warehouse worker type family.
Nonetheless she wants his birthday, September 23, designated as Bruce Springsteen Day. Huttle says she was inspired to push for this ‘holiday’ after seeing that Springsteen on Broadway performance.
She told NJ.com, “It highlighted his work as a passionate storyteller of the American Dream. Every song tells a story of the struggles and dreams of the people of New Jersey.”
EVERY song? I don’t think so. "Tougher Than The Rest" is just a love song about hope, and "Brilliant Disguise" just a love song about the death of it. Not every utterance of Bruce Springsteen is about New Jersey or the American Dream or the working class. Would you really want it to be?
Now is a Bruce a Springsteen Day harmful? No. It’s not even unprecedented. When Christie was governor he declared a Clarence Clemons day. Phil Murphy declared a Danny Devito Day. And few remember either.
Such declarations may say more about the politicians who want them than the stars they honor. Spending any amount of time on such legislation does only one thing in the end; spends time. If lawmakers truly want to honor the working class then fix property taxes.
It’s not that a Bruce Springsteen Day would do anything all that bad. It’s just that it wouldn’t do anything. Those of us who truly appreciate Springsteen don’t need a day. We have his music, his words, his stories. To Valerie Vainieri Huttle I would suggest sometimes it’s best to let the poets stand back and let it all be.