In these few days I’ve read many hateful comments on Bruce’s page, and on Twitter, vile insults and real hatred on him and on Nils and Little Steven. There was so much hurtful rage that I had to stop reading them, also because there’s no way to reason with people who only want to insult and drop some F bombs just to pour somewhere -anywhere- all the hatred they have inside, it really doesn’t matter if it’s Bruce or the government or whatever. We live in hard and scary times.
One of the most awful topics is the infamous: “Yes but it was not you who had the show canceled, it’s easy to agree with Bruce because you are not directly involved with him supporting “those” people”. You know, that’s true. I was not directly involved in this cancellation, and I will not deny that if that were the case, I would probably be crying a lot, lots of bad language would be dragged in, and maybe a little margarita to numb the pain. But I will never, ever, attack Bruce because he chose to stand for something he truly believes important to fight for, especially for a human rights process. There’s only one thing I can think of that will set me off violently against him, and that is if he would someday support something that really offends me and my beliefs. That’s the point: haters have insulted Bruce and the Band because they HATE the topic, the subject, the problem: the civil rights of a minority of people. “Those” people.
And then, of course, there’s the rest: he is a singer, he has not to be involved in politics, I want the beat and the drums from him, not the political activism. Well, if you have paid any attention to his music from American skin to his Human Rights Now! attending, from Roulette to The Ghost of Tom Joad, from Death to my hometown to Born in the USA lyrics you should have understood, by now, that Bruce is more than a three-minute’s record hit. Most of his songs are about people who are marginalized and oppressed, and this happens regardless of which party is in power. And it will really be debasing for all the values he has put in his music during his life to reduce him to a mere juke-box who sings what you want.
I bid you a good night with a cover Bruce chose to perform when he played in Santiago del Cile in 2013, his first ever performance in the country; it was 40 years and one day after Pinochet’s golpe (that, on a note not be forgotten, was fully supported and consolidated by the USA).Bruce decided to open the encore section with Manifiesto, a son from great artist Victor Jara, a Chilean teacher, poet, songwriter, and political activist. Shortly after the Chilean coup of 11 September 1973, Jara was arrested, tortured under interrogation and ultimately shot dead, his body thrown out into the streets. The contrast between the themes of his songs, on love, peace and social justice and the brutal way in which he was murdered transformed Jara into a symbol of struggle for human rights and justice for all the victims of the Pinochet regime.
I don’t think there are that many american artists who go and play in Chile and take time to pay homage to the atrocities suffered from the people during those horrible years, let alone inform themselves on this subject.
But I was not actually surprised that Bruce did it, that’s who he is, that’s why we spend our lives with him, that’s why I am proud to be his fan.