Freedom in a New Year
Freedom (1989) by Neil Young -
"The rock and roll coda of the Cold War"
Neil Young's album Freedom -- which was released in 1989 just as the Berlin Wall fell -- has been called "the rock and roll coda of the Cold War".
The album contains the song "Rockin' In The Free World" and is one of Young's most popular, important and prophetic songs of his vast catalog.
The song has become an iconic anthem and it's status continues to rise as more and more artists cover the song. Young's lyrics are considered to be an indictment of the politics of the 1980's. In today's post-9/11 world, the lyrics seem prophetic and even more meaningful than when originally written on the eve of the '90's as the Berlin Wall fell.
Twenty years on, the song "Rockin' In The Free World" has become a set closer for bands,as well as, a coda for an era.
"There's colors on the street
Red, white and blue"
Pearl Jam covers "Rockin' in the Free World"
Final Philadelphia Spectrum Concert - 10/31/2009
In 2009, Pearl Jam concluded their tour at the Philadelphia Spectrum with "Rockin' in the Free World" amidst an avalanche of balloons and confetti to commemorate the final concert at the historic venue before it's demolition.
"We got a thousand points of light
For the homeless man"
Freedom: Berlin Wall, Germany - 1989
There are those who have argued that "Rockin' in the Free World" espouses anti-freedom ideals, to which we have taken serious issue with in the past.
"We got a kinder, gentler,
Machine gun hand"
Freedom: Tiananmen Square, China - 1989
Yet the song is often misunderstood and attacked on false interpretations and misplaced understandings. Witness some of the near violent comments that have been left on this blog over the years in reaction to some of our previous postings on the song's lyrical analysis (see comments here and here.)
"But there's a warnin' sign on the road ahead
There's a lot of people sayin' we'd be better off dead
Don't feel like Satan, but I am to them
So I try to forget it, any way I can."
Freedom: Kent State University, Ohio - 1970
As always, we live in dangerous times where those who stand for freedom are often accused of treason and worse. Such times are now and the struggle for freedom -- even among those who feel they are actually free -- is more paramount than ever. The right to live and speak freely is an inalienably human right that can never be assumed nor taken for granted.
So, for what it's worth...
The President and the Press:
Address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association
New York City, April 27, 1961
Addressing the American Newspaper Publishers Association at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City on April 27, 1961, U.S. President John F. Kennedy said at the peak of the Cold War's Cuban Missile Crisis:
"The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it.
Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.
[We have an] obligation to inform and alert the American people -- to make certain that they possess all the facts that they need, and understand them as well -- the perils, the prospects, the purposes of our program and the choices that we face.
Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed -- and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment-- the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution -- not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply "give the public what it wants" -- but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.
And so it is to the printing press -- to the recorder of man's deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news -- that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent."
Never get to fall in love, never get to be cool."
freedom. not just another word.
happy new year.
More on finding the cost of freedom.
UPDATE: Comment of the Moment: Freedom in a New Year
... it will be blogged, streamed,
tweeted, shared and liked
Cairo, Egypt - February 12, 2011
30,000 Protesters in Madison, Wisconsin Capitol - Feb 17, 2011
The whole world is morphing. The whole world is morphing. The whole world is morphing.
"The Earth is talking to me
I hear a rumblin' in her ground
Don't you feel that new wind blowing?
Don't you recognize that sound?"
1,000,000 Strong Against Offshore Drilling | Facebook
"Walk with Us"
be the rain, rumble, rock. now.