The love and support of my wife and four year-old daughter notwithstanding, I'm not sure I would have made it through that summer, or that year, had it not been for Born in the USA, the new album from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.
Little ol' me decided to head on over to that liberal conference in Rhode Island, Netroots Nation. I can't say too much about their politics but I have to admit they were nice. Deep down they're just confused, I'm sure of it.
Like Dylan, Springsteen masterfully channels negativity and despair into a grand series of musical vignettes, demonstrating his mastery of crafting desolation into an opportunity of musical and emotional enlightenment.
Wrecking Ball stands as Springsteen's best album release in almost thirty years. It's both wrenching and jubilant; looking back and looking forward; steeped in sorrow as well as celebratory and undaunted.
The guy whose band, Dire Straits, sold 120 million records has made a CD that will be appreciated mostly by the smallest cohort of music lovers: smart, literate grownups who can read without moving their lips.