Afraid Of The Dark
The album Darkness on the Edge of Town was released 1978. Along with the title track and Racing In The Streets, Candy's Room was that one song that pushed me over the edge into a lifelong love affair with Mr. Springsteen's work.
His voice was - and still is - the essence of heartbreak, and the album always throws me back to a time when sadness was more or less seen as a romantic feature. A sadness hidden in a pretty face pushed like a mystic force through all of us heartbroken poets.
That was then. Today it's not even a possibility. In our age of spiritual bypass, sadness needs to be eliminated in both thought and practice. How could you even consider to claim just a tiny bit of success if you insist in being so miserable all the time?
So we've pushed it down to the dungeons, alongside melancholy, insecurity, self-pity, being poor, boredom, and silence. The seven great sins of our time. The Peccata Mortalias of the 21st century and the front row of our most forbidden behaviors, exclusively reserved for the none-adaptable, the others, the ones that get what they deserve.
But the comparison stops there because we offer no absolution. There's no forgiveness and no pardon. Feeling sad or sorry - even for yourself - is simply inexcusable.
It's the result of us living in a you-have-to-improve-yourself-culture, constantly feeding us with the idea that we're not good enough. Every day and every minute - on every poster, in every magazine and on every channel - we are told that our joint concept of success is well within reach if we only worked harder.
If you want to get rich, look better, eat healthily, exercise more, you have to start with positive thinking. You need to live life to the fullest because every second count. You need to travel the four corners of the world and save the planet while you're doing it. You need to reach that peak, dive that cave, find that one special street and feel that white sand beneath your feet.
And you need to smile. Always. And remember to take that filtered selfie while you're doing it.
It's the age of the elite, the multitasks, the 24-hour party people shining their way through life like plastic stars. In this world, sadness is just an obstacle we have to remove. There's no room for misery, no time to stop. There's only forward. Take no passengers and never look back.
It's humanity on methamphetamine, embracing the return of the Golden Calf, losing all empathy while loudly claiming their right to be happy. At any cost and by any means.
It's humans, afraid of the dark.