Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen discuss their dads, their unlikely friendship

Bruce Springsteen and Barack Obama in The Guardian:

Springsteen From when I was a young man, I lived with a man who suffered a loss of status and I saw it every single day. It was all tied to lack of work, and I just watched the low self-esteem. That was a part of my daily life living with my father. It taught me one thing: work is essential. That’s why if we can’t get people working in this country, we’re going to have an awful hard time.

Obama It is. It is central to how people define themselves in the sense of self-worth. For all the changes that have happened in America, when it comes to “What does it mean to be a man?”, I still see that same confusion, and the same limited measures of manliness today, as I had back then. And that’s true, whether you’re talking about African American boys or white boys. They don’t have rituals, road maps and initiation rites into a clear sense of a male strength and energy that is positive as opposed to just dominating.

I talk to my daughters’ friends about boys growing up, and so much of popular culture tells them that the only clear, defining thing about being a man, about being masculine, is excelling in sports and sexual conquest …

Springsteen And violence.

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