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Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Secret is Now Out: We've Got A Job To Do


It has now become clear what the problem is and it's solution.

For some of our longtime regular readers, you know that Neil Young's album Greendale was responsible for awakening this blog from it's post-9/11 dormancy. In fact, Greendale hit us like a sledgehammer to the anvil of truth.

Echoing themes that we have long held dearly since discovering the true meaning of "After the Goldrush"'s lyrics, Greendale crystallized Young's career into a single spell-binding album. But, the inconvenient truth of Greendale is that it was "the most important album of 2003 -- the musical equivalent of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring".

Greendale called out such obvious problems as "corruption on the highest floor" (Enron scandal), "Hey Mr Clean, you're dirty now too" (environmental movement's cave-in to corporate sponsorship), "Trying to stop the media" (mainstream media manipulation), "Powerco is workin' with the white house to paralyze our state with fear" (California's manufactured blackouts), "Corporate greed and chemicals are killin' the land" (mindless raping and pillaging of the earth's resources), and so on.

It was the message of hope in "Be The Rain's" line "you can make a difference if you really try" which precipitated the resuscitation of Thrasher's Wheat. And then came Living With War and the "Restless Consumer"'s screed against mindless consumption and a "piece of crap" culture.

And soon we'll have "Fork In the Road" -- an album based on trying to solve a problem.

Which brings us to why we're covering the LincVolt story so closely.

And just in case anyone wonders where this is all going, one only needs to take a look at yesterday's New York Times Op-Ed by Thomas Friedman "The Inflection Is Near?" to understand why if one hasn't already figured this all out.

There it is. In black and white. In the New York Times. On a Sunday. On the Op-Ed page. Rip in the matrix style.
"The global economy is a Ponzi scheme".

There you have it. The secret is out now. You can read the full details on this startling obvious conclusion on the blog Climate Progress by Joseph Romm, another of our favorite bloggers.
“We created a way of raising standards of living that we can’t possibly pass on to our children. We have been getting rich by depleting all our natural stocks — water, hydrocarbons, forests, rivers, fish and arable land — and not by generating renewable flows.

You can get this burst of wealth that we have created from this rapacious behavior. But it has to collapse, unless adults stand up and say, ‘This is a Ponzi scheme. We have not generated real wealth, and we are destroying a livable climate …’ Real wealth is something you can pass on in a way that others can enjoy.”
A big, giant rigged casino. The grand illusion.


From report, "The Economic Elite vs. People of the USA by David DeGraw:
"It has now become evident to a critical mass that the Republican and Democratic parties, along with all three branches of our government, have been bought off by a well-organized Economic Elite who are tactically destroying our way of life.

The harsh truth is that 99% of the US population no longer has political representation. The US economy, government and tax system is now blatantly rigged against us.

Current statistical societal indicators clearly demonstrate that a strategic attack has been launched and an analysis of current governmental policies prove that conditions for 99% of Americans will continue to deteriorate. The Economic Elite have engineered a financial coup and have brought war to our doorstep. . . and make no mistake, they have launched a war to eliminate the US middle class.

So what to do? Well, obviously, it has to be more than singing a song or writing a blog.


At the 2008 Berlin Film Festival, Neil Young's comments provoked a world wide reaction to which he responded:
"Somewhere on Earth a scientist is alone working. No one knows what he or she is thinking. The secret is just within reach. If I knew that answer I would be singing the song.

This is the age of innovation. Hope matters. But not hope alone. In the age of innovation, the people's fuel must be found. That is the biggest challenge. Who is up to the challenge? Who is searching today? All day. All night. Every hour that goes by. I know I am."

LincVolt is only a single candle. We need more candles before its too late.

From We Stand on the Cusp of one of Humanity's Most Dangerous Moments by Chris Hedges:
"Aleksandr Herzen, speaking a century ago to a group of anarchists about how to overthrow the czar, reminded his listeners that it was not their job to save a dying system but to replace it: “We think we are the doctors. We are the disease.” All resistance must recognize that the body politic and global capitalism are dead. We should stop wasting energy trying to reform or appeal to it."

Neil Young has been performing "Mother Earth" at each of his concerts over the past year or so.


Mother Earth by Neil Young

Oh, Mother Earth,
With your fields of green
Once more laid down
by the hungry hand
How long can you
give and not receive
And feed this world
ruled by greed
And feed this world
ruled by greed.

Oh, ball of fire
In the summer sky
Your healing light,
your parade of days
Are they betrayed
by the men of power
Who hold this world
in their changing hands
They hold the world
in their changing hands.

Oh, freedom land
Can you let this go
Down to the streets
where the numbers grow
Respect Mother Earth
and her giving ways
Or trade away
our children's days
Or trade away
our children's days.

Respect Mother Earth
and her giving ways
Or trade away
our children's days.

We see the phrase Bright Green: The New Environmental Spectrum emerging:
In its simplest form, bright green environmentalism is a belief that sustainable innovation is the best path to lasting prosperity, and that any vision of sustainability which does not offer prosperity and well-being will not succeed. In short, it's the belief that for the future to be green, it must also be bright. Bright green environmentalism is a call to use innovation, design, urban revitalization and entrepreneurial zeal to transform the systems that support our lives.

So, if you never really figured out what 2003's Greendale was all about -- or if you missed the stageplay concert -- then take a few moments and watch this video of "Be The Rain".

Be the Rain. Be the Change. Be the Wheat.
“Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents; it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”
-- Ancient Indian Proverb.
"Be the change you want to see in the world and the world will change." -Gandhi
A major link back from Climate Progress » Blog Archive » Neil Young sings of the Ponzi scheme: “There’s a bailout coming, but it’s not for you” and “Keep on blogging". The Climate Progress blog is a major player in the GW debate and it's an honor to be linked. Thanks Joe!
Are Sun Green and Earth Brown eco-socialists?. Discuss.


At 3/12/2009 03:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great article
But how many classic cars does neil young own ?

how many cars will have to be used for transport to see him in concert in each city ?

what about his private jet ?

At 3/12/2009 08:52:00 AM, Blogger Pinto (or Flounder) said...

Well, wouldn't it just figure that one of the best-written and most important posts you've written would be followed by one of the dumbest comments. What would this guy prefer - that Neil walk to his concerts carrying his acoustic instruments?
Thanks for this post, Thrasher. It incorporates Neil's current music into the great overriding theme. I think you should repost this every week for the next year rather than letting it slip away into the archive.

At 3/12/2009 08:58:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The point isn't what Neil Young is or isn't doing. The point is, be aware of how your decisions and habits are affecting things, then take responsibility for those actions. If you are looking toward Washington, D.C., or anyone else to solve these problems, things will only get worse. President Obama did not get elected without the knowledge of how politics operate. Now our political system is running one way, toward taking the power out of the hands of the people and giving it to Washington, D.C. If you think or believe they have your, or the earths best interest in mind, then you get the government you deserve.

At 3/12/2009 09:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) said yesterday that deferring global actions to combat climate change because of the economy amounted to “a mutual suicide pact.”

“Climate change is not governed by a recession, it’s governed by scientific facts about what’s happening to Earth. And you either accept the realities of the science or you don’t,” he said.

At 3/12/2009 10:03:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you think about it, Neil's always been ahead of the times.

Maybe that's why fans & critics have such a tough time with his music.

Most music is focused on the here & now. Neil's always been about the future.

- it's easy to get buried in the past

At 3/12/2009 10:07:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My opinion: it's up to each of us to own this issue of taking better care of our world. Simplify living, drive less, use public transportation more, etc. Kudos to Thrasher's Wheat for extending the reach of Neil Young's message.

Expecting To Fly

At 3/12/2009 10:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

March 12 10:05 hrs Ontario. Shakey, shakey is that you? Your Lincvolt site is off the net. Is big oil hunt'n you? I know you haven't sold out. Where's the Lincvolt? L.A. Johnson won't return my calls, Motorhead Messiah is not available, Johny Magic is invisible where have you and the volt gone?

Seeking Shakey

At 3/12/2009 10:22:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

Lord Byron Wikipedia entry:

"Byron's fame rests not only on his writings but also on his life, which featured extravagant living, numerous love affairs, debts, separation, and marital exploits. He was famously described by Lady Caroline Lamb as "mad, bad, and dangerous to know".[1]

Nice handle. We'll be sure to take your input seriously.

At 3/12/2009 10:27:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Throw capitalism into the dustbin of history. The Reagan/Thatcher model of unregulated markets now looks "as outdated as revolutionary socialism" declares the Financial Times' Martin Wolf.

At 3/12/2009 10:30:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thanks Pinto & e2F!

But we gotta be on the lookout for the Lord Byron's of the world.

At 3/12/2009 10:49:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Throw capitalism into the dustbin of history. The Reagan/Thatcher model of unregulated markets now looks "as outdated as revolutionary socialism"

Is this the same system that produced the industrial revolution of the 1800's and early 1900's, brought banquet feasts to the american masses, resulted in the mechanical and subsequent technical world revolutionary expansion?

"Nothing is perfect in God's perfect plan" or man's. Not now, after the fall.

I'm not moved or impressed by generalities and revisionist blame for anything. Learn from thy mistakes is great medicine no doubt. But let's not throw out the baby with the bath water. Let's get some true accountability going and throw out the corruption and overwelming greed that's been allowed to fester and pop.

At 3/12/2009 10:53:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the efforts of the Lincvolt are most important- the technology and the inspirational music that followed in Fork in the road. I don't know blogs and learn as I go. Reading Neil Youngs comments that he now believes technology can save the world not singing a song has captured my attention. Does his thoughtful fans know where he has gone? The volt is art as much as his music. As a father in his 40s I refer the young techno science geeks I know to the volt web site and slip in Youngs music following. My hope is to inspire my sons to think a bit like people who believe wars don't need to be necessary. I haven't been able to follow this inspiring story presently. Point me to sources of info if any out there know.

Seeking Shakey

At 3/12/2009 10:54:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't need no more lies

At 3/12/2009 11:21:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

man, if you needed neil or 'greendale" to realize these problems then you haven't been paying attention.


At 3/12/2009 12:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Building a hybrid car will be useless unless we deal with population growth.

With 6 billion people on mother earth, we're breeding ourselves to extinction.

At 3/12/2009 12:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My momma told me when I was a kid that overpopulation would be the main problem in the future. That was only 40 years ago. It's the ripple effect. The fallout. Supply-demand. Good point.

At 3/12/2009 01:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good lord thrasher, you're a friggin' socialist. Go back to canada with neal.

At 3/12/2009 02:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


1. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.

2. procedure or practice in accordance with this theory.

3. (in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.


Don't believe it man, Thrasher ain't one of them. There may be some principles of socialist efforts to help the people, but the complete takeover, I don't see it. It's media mongoring to some degree. Sensationalism. I could never think the American populus could accept that as the 'new road'. It may be the Goverment mentality with their ego sticking straight out of thier collective ass. But if that's the case, and 'we' are supposed to be the goverment, then it's the wake up call of eternity needed. Revolution Blues.

At 3/12/2009 02:39:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

The point is, be aware of how your decisions and habits are affecting things, then take responsibility for those actions.

You get a big hug from Mother Nature because it is all about taking personal responsibility for your actions. We just can't get rid of our problems in the way we rid ourselves of garbage by sending them to the landfill.

It only makes the problem more pronounced, doesn't it? Neil is just a messenger, that's all.

At 3/12/2009 03:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 3/12/2009 03:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To wit,

As Neil is a Wobbly, hence a democratic socialist/anarchist, he shouldn't be redbaited.

At 3/12/2009 06:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

re global warming:

"The worst-case IPCC scenario trajectories (or even worse) are being realized," a team of scientists wrote in a concluding statement today. "There is a significant risk that many of the trends will accelerate, leading to an increasing risk of abrupt or irreversible climatic shifts."

At 3/12/2009 07:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're already seeing signs of Global Warming and climate change. The glaciers are nearly gone and the arctic air that general stays up in the north is shifting downward creating unstable weather patterns in the midwest. The calm before the storm.

I laugh when people say "so much for global warming" when they see snowstorms.

They just don't get it.

At 3/12/2009 08:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thrashers getting desperate the truth hurts buddy !
hypocrisy is everywhere 10 thousand cars driving to a neil young concert is not helping the environment,

At 3/12/2009 11:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets be realistic here... people drive...people fly...people have places to go...right now. Work, Shopping, Neil Young Concerts. Our economy was built and sustained for so long because people need to get around. Here in America we have it bad as it may seem right now; don't kid yourself we still have it great and I believe things will improve once again.
The question is not about throwing away capitalism and our cars and going Socialist but a question of how can we fix this mess (CAUSED ONLY BY THE GREED BY A GREAT MANY) and sustain our wonderful way of life without killing our planet...because with no planet there's no cars, no work, no economy, no greed, no wife, no Daddy, no bitchy fans, no Blog, no Neil Young, no sex, no food, no baby, and no gettin' blasted on a Saturday night. The planet MUST come first! Then our economy...but if we can work on fixing BOTH? At the same time?!
No one is really saying lets become communists so lets stop worrying about that and lets start worrying about how we can carry on...the RIGHT WAY.
What Neil Young is doing with LincVolt is more important then many of us, I think, realize. Neil (OF ALL PEOPLE) is looking forward and trying to find a way to keep our country, our Planet, our society going strong and without giving up all the things that we love (ie Big Cars) and in that can come a way of keeping cars being built, bought, driven and repaired....all of which is great for our economy but also, if this is done in Neil's vision, cuts the huge amount of carbon emissions that is dumped into our delicate atmosphere. Cuts the amount of oil bought over seas and keeps us safer and stronger!
Neil Young along with the Lincvolt team have stepped up to the plate in a big way. Their work is important for all of us. So I, and You, shouldn't blame the guy for being excited about this exciting and important project...Excited enough to write an entire album worth of songs on the project and topic.
I was in New York city last weekend and looking out of my hotel window at all the sky scrappers I was struck at the enormity of them all and got to thinking how amazing it is; what mankind is capable of accomplishing. These things are started and finished by people with balls...not those sitting and waiting for things to change, to get built, to get better, for the OTHER GUY to do it. Man is capable of much; screwing up a planet, building the greatest city on earth, curing and killing, and Yes I believe fixing a screwed up Planet.
Have no doubt, climate change is REAL and if we all don't do something soon...well, we wont have to worry about much more...nor will our kids. I thank God for people like Neil Young because he's doing something, he's starting something. Lincvolt may not fix all the worlds problems but it's a start and it can be learned from. I think God for Neil Young and many others like him; he's got boulders for balls...we should all grow a pair.

At 3/13/2009 01:03:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shitty, I love readin' your posts..You always nail it!....even the bit about 'sky scrappers'...
I get it... scrap'm!.... or was that just a keyboard error?
Anyways, its works both ways!

Luv dip (affectionately speaking)

At 3/13/2009 04:34:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil's the man, he'll save our planet. He'll be able to control the sun and the world's weather patterns. He'll know how to stop tornados and tidal waves. He'll stop earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. I dare say that if Neil was a 'climate change / global warming' skeptic, so would half the people here.

What I don't get in this whole 'global warming' hysteria is why the skeptics, which include thousands of scientists and experts (you haven't heard about them? Funny thing that..)are always shot down, and the 'sky is falling' scenario is the one everyone wants to hear. Why is that? If there is a valid, alternate view on the causes of global warming, or evidence put forward that the planet has seen all of these changes before, why don't we want to listen? Why is any potential good news dismissed out of hand? Why do want the doom and gloom merchants to be the ones that are right? I don't...

At 3/13/2009 10:18:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Becasue reality is reality.

At 3/13/2009 11:35:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone ever wonder about the Mayberry connection to Greendale?

"Shows with love and affection',
like mama used to say.
A little Mayberry living
could go a long way."

In the second season of the Andy Griffith show, Barney Fife is approached by the town elders of the nearby town of Greendale to become their sheriff. Coincidence?

At 3/13/2009 12:28:00 PM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

You mean rock stars watch television re-runs when they're not twinkling?

At 3/13/2009 03:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why Mother! ...didn't ya know?"....
Neil's favourite show is...... "Car '59 where are you?"

At 3/16/2009 05:24:00 AM, Blogger Jay Alt said...

Great post. The "Be the Rain" stageplay deserves wide viewing. Don't lose it that one!

A suggestion for something which can be lost - using the word 'debate' together with global warming. That plays right into the delayers hands.


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