Monthly Archives: November 2010

Who’s More ‘Jersey,’ the Governor or the Boss?

How do people react when they learn that I am from New Jersey?

Back in 1978 when Bruce Springsteen released Darkness on the Edge of Town, the reaction often was: “New Jersey? That’s where Bruce Springsteen is from.”

By that time, Bruce already was well-known nationally. He was not the first rock star to come out of New Jersey, nor was he the first New Jerseyan to make it big in the entertainment field. But because his music was so closely entwined with his New Jersey roots, he came to symbolize the Garden State and its people for many of those who lived outside of the state.

This month, as Springsteen releases a box set chronicling the making of Darkness on the Edge of Town, he no longer has a monopoly on symbolizing his home state. Continue reading

A Different Way to Honor Veterans

In a classic Twilight Zone episode titled “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street,” fear of an alien invasion makes the residents of a suburban neighborhood so paranoid and suspicious that they end up turning on each other and destroying their community – much to the delight of the aliens who observe the chaos and self-destruction from afar, where they conclude that the best way to conquer earth is simply to let its inhabitants destroy themselves.

The show was broadcast during the Cold War, but its message remains strong in today’s era when partisanship, polarization and anger pit Americans against each other. To illustrate my point, take a look at this short item that circulated earlier this year on the internet, social network sites and letters to the editor pages:

“Lindsay Lohan, 24, is all over the news because she’s a celebrity drug addict. While Justin Allen, 23, Brett Linley, 29, Matthew Weikert, 29, Justus Bartett, 27, Dave Santos, 21, Chase Stanley, 21, Jesse Reed, 26, Matthew Johnson, 21, Zachary Fisher, 24, Brandon King, 23, Christopher Goeke, 23, and Sheldon Tate, 27, are all Marines that gave their lives this week, no media mention.”

The post makes a good point. In terms of importance, the exploits of the Lindsay Lohans of the world pale in comparison to the life and death issues of war, but the post also generated the same type of anger and finger pointing that spelled doom for the residents of Twilight Zone’s Maple Street. And there was no need for this to happen. Once one examines the facts, contrary to what the post says, there were plenty of news reports about these 12 individuals. Continue reading

Christie’s Road to the White House is Filled with Detours and Roadblocks

Speculation that Chris Christie will end up on the Republican Party’s national ticket in 2012 makes for interesting copy and conversation, but the odds are slim that the popular New Jersey Governor will be on the ballot as a candidate for President or Vice President.

Sure, there are plenty of reasons why a Christie candidacy sounds feasible. With no strong frontrunner for the GOP nomination, he has emerged as a rising star in the Republican Party. A year ago, he managed to attract enough independent voters and frustrated Democrats to win election in a blue state — and he still has a 51 percent approval rating. No wonder he was in high demand this fall and spent time campaigning with fellow Republicans in Iowa, California, Indiana and several other states.

However, as many others before him have discovered, the road to the White House is filled with detours, roadblocks and more. Continue reading