It makes you appreciate the tremendous power of particularity. If your identity is formed by hard boundaries, if you come from a specific place, if you embody a distinct musical tradition, if your concerns are expressed through a specific paracosm, you are going to have more depth and definition than you are if you grew up in the far-flung networks of pluralism and eclecticism, surfing from one spot to the next, sampling one style then the next, your identity formed by soft boundaries, or none at all.
The whole experience makes me want to pull aside politicians and business leaders and maybe everyone else and offer some pious advice: Don’t try to be everyman. Don’t pretend you’re a member of every community you visit. Don’t try to be citizens of some artificial globalized community. Go deeper into your own tradition. Call more upon the geography of your own past. Be distinct and credible. People will come.
Brooks, David. "The Power of the Particular". New York Times 25 June 2012. Emphasis added, and quote taken rather out of context.
Update 28 June 2012: Unbeknownst to me yesterday, another blog of an Anglican persuasion had already picked this up. A more liturgical take on this can be found at Sed Angli: Springsteen vs. the Church
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