Bruce Springsteen and the Universality of Self-Loathing

One way Bruce Springsteen is becoming a lot like the American Psychological Association is how he's assumed special authority over what you and I call our bad times. The medical community does this by coming up with words like neurosis and limerence, whose lasting impact is to trivialize basic human experiences and feelings. Bruce does much the same thing, though a little more stealthily, by giving interviews to The New Yorker's own boss, David Remnick, in which Bruce discusses his life-long depression.

Here's Bruce on how self-loathing fuels artistic creativity:

“Look, you cannot underestimate the fine power of self-loathing in all of this,” Bruce says. “You think, I don't like anything I'm seeing, I don't like anything I'm doing, but I need to change myself, I need to transform myself. I do not know a single artist who does not run on that fuel. If you are extremely pleased with yourself, nobody would be fucking doing it! Brando would not have acted. Dylan wouldn't have written 'Like a Rolling Stone.' James Brown wouldn't have gone 'Unh!' He wouldn't have searched that one-beat down that was so hard. That's a motivation, that element of 'I need to remake myself, my town, my audience' — the desire for renewal.”

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