Yesterday it was announced that Bruce Springsteen would sell a new (another) Greatest Hits CD exclusively through Wal-Mart. He already has a Greatest Hits collection, and this one is certainly geared toward very new/casual fans who don't own any of his CD's. I don't have a problem with that part of it. Nor do I mind that recently he's been more than willing to appear on the Today Show, Good Morning America, and the upcoming Super Bowl.
What I do have a problem with is Bruce Springsteen getting in bed with a notorious corporation like Wal-Mart. I try to keep the art/music separate from the artist and his personal life and politics. But since Bruce has always been one to speak out on the socio-economical injustices in America and the world, he's opened himself up to some sort of scrutiny. While I don't begrudge him trying to make an extra buck or million, even through repacking old products and making mainstream TV appearances to maximize his exposure, I'm still a bit shocked that he would allow himself to be associated with Wal-Mart.
As many of you may already know, Wal-Mart has a notorious reputation as a company with serious blemishes on it's record relating to worker's rights and compensation, discrimination against women and minorities, the environment, and health care.
If you know me, you know that I've been a big Bruce fan since I was about 13 years old. I love his music, his legendary concerts always live up to the hype, and his willingness to speak out on social and political issues was almost always a little icing on the musical cake for those of us who agreed with him. But now this. Is it possible that Bruce's record company cut this deal and Bruce had no choice or control to stop it? Maybe. But I doubt it.
Shame on you Bruce. Yea, there's bigger fish to fry in this world... if you can still afford seafood in the present economy. And sure, I'm a hypocrite cuz there's several things in my house made in China and I've inadvertently given money to companies with sketchy labor practices. But unlike myself, Bruce Springsteen is one of the few people in the world who has the money, power, and platform to not only say no to corporations like Wal-Mart, but could speak out against them.
Please visit the following sites for more information about Wal-Mart:
Wake Up WalMart
Facts from the documentary Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices