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Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Message From Neil Young: "How hard should I try?"

neilyoung.com
It seems that Neil Young has begun posting messages on his official website.

The text:
Sunrise

As the sun rises today I wonder. How hard should I try? As I spread awareness of Climate change and make that my priority, am I losing sight of day to day life? Is this more important than making music?

Why should it matter so much to me?

I know what I feel. I am always seeing ways I could improve my own behavior towards preserving Planet Earth. Today I took a ride in a cool old car but I was thinking about the pollution I was causing, not care free like I once was. Then I looked ahead and saw all the other cars. They were mostly brand new but still just like mine. They ran the same way and burned the same dirty fuel as my fifty-five year old car.

Why should I blame myself?

Anyway, there is no other fuel available at gas stations. Big Oil still has the monopoly there.
No Freedom of Choice on that decision exists anywhere near here in corporate run America. That's odd, I thought to myself. Wasn't the president elected on promises of a cleaner renewable energy future?

Isn't Freedom of Choice part of Liberty?

Then I thought about my family. My daughter was just married and I may be a grandfather some day. What about those kids? What will I be doing to make sure they have a better world? The sun rose over the horizon then, blinding me when I looked at it.

How hard should I try?

Neil Young
West Coast of California
9/27/13
FWIW, we always say never stop trying to make the world a better place.

Last we checked, there's only one mother earth, so we've got a job to do.

Truth to power.

"We're The Ones We've Been Waiting For"
Gulf of Mexico Coast - Summer 2010

Maybe "Just Singing A Song Won't Change The World", But It's a Good Start .

Because, you know, You can make a difference if you really try, so just be the rain!

Additional messages are archived.

Could this be a new trend? Stay tuned.

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23 Comments:

At 9/28/2013 01:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil, Thanks for putting your heart and voice into the discussion of Climate Change, tar sands destruction, the family farm movement, and more. You rightly have deep environmental concerns and are fighting for the good of our planet's future. Our descendents will see those living today as cowards should we not stand and fight for what governments and big business lack the backbone to accomplish. While big oil plunders the earth and we drive ourselves to extinction (in cars that burn dirty fuel), a movement will arise made up of the masses. As GMOs are inserted into our food supply, the cost will become obvious, but will we act too late? Humans have sawed off the branch we were standing on but there is hope for the future if we stand and demand what is right. Thanks for doing your part, Neil! Alan in Seattle.

 
At 9/28/2013 01:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS- I was born in '68, got into Neil Young in '88 and saw him play with the Bluenotes for the first time, a hell of a good show. I have been snapping up every release since then, usually on the day it comes out. Saw the Bridge school shows while in x-ray school in that neighborhood, caught 5 Old Princeton Landing shows in '96. Nobody else is quite as interesting as time marches on. Dylan would've been better off had he not smoked cigarettes but I love him still. I was an environmental studies major at SDSU and care deeply about the same issues Neil is discussing. My musical hero, the 'Godfather of Grunge' ... has continued to excite and deliver incredible music. He has been active in humanitarian work for as long as I can remember, but he's ramping it up as the danger of climate change becomes an obvious threat to the very survival of life here on earth. The masses will suffer untold misery, most likely DURING our lifetimes, but certainly in our kids' lifetimes. Thank you Neil, for caring! I love hearing you talk and sing about it! Alan in Seattle

 
At 9/28/2013 03:07:00 PM, Anonymous The Zuma Band said...

Dear Neil,

You have accomplished incredible things with your efforts on behalf FarmAid, The Bridge School, LincVolt, and the other philanthropies that you champion.

People will only change as their hearts change, as they become more aware of and sensitive to their relationships to each other and to Mother Earth. The most important thing you can do is what you already do best- write songs and make music that opens the heart, the mind, and emotions. Sometimes, though, in your desire to get directly to the issue, your work is less effective, as when your songwriting becomes too didactic, too obvious in its message. It looses the poetry that is your best vehicle to make real and deep human connections. You are best when your words and melodies work on us in ways we can't articulate, but which are undeniable and affirming of our deep bonds to each other and to the world.

 
At 9/28/2013 05:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We must care, think global act local. Thank you Neil. You care.

 
At 9/28/2013 08:49:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know. Neil has just pumped yet more tons of CO2 into the delicate upper atmosphere to linger for decades with all his recent jet travel. He doesn't talk about that. He does far more damage flying than however he drives. His lifestyle is not sustainable, as much as he may try. I'm fed up hearing him rant, frankly. We all know it's a problem, many of us are making conscious choices for sustainability. But I'm sick of being bludgeoned by the self-righteous rants of one of earth's worst offenders. An honest opinion.

 
At 9/28/2013 09:27:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

Yes anon @ 8:49:00. You're so sick of being bludgeoned by the self-righteous rants of one of earth's worst offenders that you come here every chance you get to make exactly this same point. Over & over.

Truly a glutton for punishment, no doubt, for it is you who makes the self-righteous rants.

Over & over.

Maybe if you find this all so offensive, please stop visiting and spare us. We truly can not comprehend your hypocrisy.

Be the change you want to see.

Unconditional love is the answer.

peace

 
At 9/28/2013 09:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thrasher. If i'm not mistaken, i think you just bitch-slapped one of your most annoying regular commentators. Well done!! I will stick to more benign topics, like how much i hate landing on water, and how i don't understand why over and over isn't the closer at every show... Thanks for allowing freedom of speech!

 
At 9/28/2013 10:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a week ago at this time I was at Farm Aid..really wishing to hear Neil rock and roll...he had other things on his mind....and now I do also...when the man speaks.....listen, it's always heartfelt and honest.

mitch from brooklyn

 
At 9/28/2013 10:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Zuma Band...
I couldn't agree more with your take on the situation. And I also couldn't agree more with Neil's own assessment of his current situation regarding the music...Neil, please use the talents you have been given to make your points regarding Big Oil! This, I believe, will be the most effective way of pointing out the deficiencies of the current system. i.e. Ohio, Vampire Blues, et al.
Using the 'podium' to try to explain your version of the facts to so many different factions of the population, and asking them to change, is very noble, but, in your case, this course of action deflects away from reality because of who you are. The real message can get lost due to so many disparate interpretations that the bad fog of misunderstanding creeps into the entire 'conversation'.
Neil, buddy....use the most effective 'podium' you have....the music we all want to hear and the message you have been sending us for over 45 years. This will be your legacy, my friend...honour it!
Billie

 
At 9/29/2013 05:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The single best thing most of us can do to help the environment at this point in time: cut out meat from our meals, eat vegetarian food. The meat industry is a bigger cause of global warming than anything else. And obviously family farms are good for other reasons, but based purely on their influence on climate change they can (unintentionally) be just as damaging as factory farms are.

For this reason, most serious environmentalists become vegetarians, because it's the best way for them to live up to their values day to day. How can you be an environmentalist whilst contributing each day to the industry that is causing the most environmental damage? It's something to consider.

Personally I'm very glad Neil cares so much about this issue.

 
At 9/29/2013 07:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meme si pour moi , neil young reste l artiste le plus doué qu ilm est été donné d entendre et de voir depuis que j ai 15 ans, il est avant tout un etre d exeption impressionnant tant sur scene que dans sa vie de tout les jours , un artiste engagé militant pour la sauvegarde de notre planète, s investissant sans compter pour autrui farm aid , bridge school,,,sa vie a souvent été un rude combat , et malgré cela il n a jamais baissé les bras ,, Neil young est un exemple pour tous suivons lavoiequ ilnous ouvre! Merci neil , espere te revoir bientot en france,

 
At 9/29/2013 08:47:00 AM, Blogger SONY said...

Dear Neil -

Take my advice
Don't listen to me.

SONY

 
At 9/29/2013 11:23:00 AM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

SONY - definitely solid advice there.

More commentary and reaction @ ThrashersWheatNeverSleeps | Facebook.

ps -folks, it's not exactly every day that Neil asks "How hard should I try?"

namaste

 
At 9/30/2013 01:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil has wonderful intentions in his pursuit of sustainable energy. I truly believe he does everything he does with a good heart. But like most leftists, he lets his emotions overtake sound critical thinking.

Human beings did not create themselves, the Earth, or anything we see in nature. We were created by something or someone else. I personally believe in both God & evolution but that's another discussion.

Yet for several reasons, a false narrative has been introduced into our culture. That narrative has taken root to the point where no one questions its premise. The premise is that human beings are ABLE to alter the climate.

We cannot add one second to our lives, yet somehow the notion of controlling the weather seems logical. Really?

"I know what I feel. I am always seeing ways I could improve my own behavior towards preserving Planet Earth."

wow.

If Neil really believes what he says he believes, then he certainly wouldn't be flying to New Zealand and Australia carrying an entourage of crew members, etc. for a tour. He would put his core convictions above all else and refuse to tour via jet fuelled airplanes.

Also, his capitalization of "Planet Earth" says to me that Neil is in essence worshipping the Earth as others worship a Deity.

There again is a tragic blunder in my opinion.

Perhaps Neil is asking 'how hard should I try?' because he sees the futility of it all. No amount of activism will ever overtake the freight train of human history that is still barreling down the tracks of time. This world is doomed. Turn to God for comfort and peace. People will always disappoint and will always bring you down.

Dylan had it right with "Gates of Eden"...

 
At 9/30/2013 05:12:00 PM, Blogger Mr Henry said...

I ask myself the same question every day. Hope we continue to help each other on the path. May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back.

Always ask questions....


"I only know," the Anarch said dreamily, "that I've had a priceless opportunity. God has provided me--and others, too--with more than he allowed Paul to witness. I must get it all down."
--Philip K. Dick from Counter-Clock World


"To do something new, of course we must know our past, and that is all right. But we should not keep holding onto anything we have done; we should only reflect on it. And we must have some idea of what we should do in the future. But the future is the future, the past is the past; now we should work on something new. This is our attitude, and how we should live in this world."
--Shunryu Suzuki


from "Perspectives On Information Systems"
--Charles Wiseman

What we see is largely determined by what we believe. For centuries, Chinese astronomers identified stars, planets, and comets undetected by their Western counterparts. Neither the availability of powerful optical instruments nor the location, anatomy, or physiology of the scientists accounts for these instances of celestial vision and blindness. Rather, the explanation resides in the radically different perspectives from which these two groups viewed the universe.

When Western astronomers scanned the sky, they expected to see nothing new. They were religious men who believed the bodies in God's heaven to be fixed and immutable. The Chinese, on the other hand, adhered to cosmological ideas that did not preclude celestial change and novelty.... Fitted with a different pair of conceptual glasses, they saw objects previously invisible to them.

The ability to see requires more than eyes. Identifying information systems--like discovering stars, planets and comets--depends on our conceptual perspective. From one vantage point, we see some information system varieties and miss others. Change that point, and we perceive a radically different system space.

 
At 9/30/2013 07:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But Thrasher, what about the sub stance of my argument. He is so deluded about this whole environment thing. and just can't see the extent of his massive hypocrisy. I come here cause I'm a big fan and really appreciate your site but I don't appreciate how you attempt to slay all challengers. Thanks for at least letting my comment p[ost. I often post positive things, but I can't let this continually slide. If you really care about the environment, then you'll speak out where you see abuse. And I see massive environmental abuse coming from Neil's jetset lifestyle. And he might give up music?! for this? He'll get shredded, and rightly so. the guy's lost. I live a very environmentally conscious lifestyle and I call hypocrisy where I see it. Again, thanks for allowing the discussion. Really.

 
At 9/30/2013 09:47:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

Thanks Mr H.!

@Anon 07:54:00 - OK. seriously, we're not trying to slay dragons here.

We just don't think you really read what Neil wrote. If you did, and you cared about Neil and his music, you would have never written that.

It's like you completely missed the point. So that's why it's hard for us to address your point b/c you're not listening.

Sincerely, if you cared, rather than make ad hominem attacks, you would provide specific, helpful suggestions.

That's just what people do who love one another.

 
At 9/30/2013 10:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thrasher, I would argue that yours was the ad hominem attack. I most certainly did read what he wrote. Loving someone includes challenging them when they're screwed up. I don't believe in your sort of unconditional love. Neil doesn't need my suggestions on how to be sustainable. He could have figured it out ages ago if he'd cared to. and I certainly do care about his music. I'd hate to see him give it up. But that's all for me on this topic for now. So have at me. Appreciate your site.

 
At 10/01/2013 07:39:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know Neil believes in God. 'When God Made Me' from Prairie Wind - 'The Way' from CDII, etc.

I think Neil would have true peace if he stopped fighting against the tide of humanity & instead focused on God. Imagine the songs he could write...

 
At 10/02/2013 09:33:00 AM, Blogger Dan1 said...

When I read between the lines I fear A BREAK from touring ... The way I look at it, Neil is a package ... he's got 10 balls in the air all the time and somehow all these projects, whether they be in entertainment, or activism, hobbies, charity ... they all work together to keep him balanced and his creative forces maximized ... i believe thats one of the secrets to his amazing longevity as a performing artist and his prolificness (if thats a word) as a recording artist ... I've always admired his activism and how he's carried that torch 50 years after the 60s, not that I always agree ... for example I'm skeptical of ethanol (at least corn based) as a true solution to our fossil fuel addiction ... all that said, disagreeing on some issues doesn't change my incredible admiration for Neil as a person and as an artist ... BUT where I selfishly get nervous is where I fear he'll get too involved in these causes and pull back from musical output and especially touring ... as he ages and his choice of musical companions dwindles the prospect of less touring becomes more likely ... selfishly (and helplessly) hoping thats a long way off and that he doesn't get too into these other endeavors ... here's hoping Neil's golden age continues unabated

 
At 10/02/2013 04:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As others have said, the greatest impact Neil can have on our culture is through his music. He has a unique gift that can open people's hearts and minds more than any speech he can give or article he can write.

Neil, if you want to WALK LIKE A GIANT ON THE (musical) LANDscape again, I hope you haven't forgotten how to write a 3 or 4 minute song that resonates with a lot of people. It doesn't have to be topical, it just has to have the right combination of melody, sound, and lyrics (no easy task!). Put out an album of 10 songs like that and you will have a *LOT* of people paying attention to what you say.

Ray

 
At 10/02/2013 08:26:00 PM, Anonymous Toni said...

I read the many comments and yes, Neil is flying around in a jet and yes, Neil is trying to get others to notice the issue with our addiction to oil.
I have no problem with someone trying to change the world.

I am surely not going to say something negative about him, he has done more to help than anyone else I personally know.

I personally always have cared about our earth and what we are doing to it...

I have a problem with our government being sold out to the highest bidder and therein selling out the common people..

I have a problem with the common people not doing anything

There is always some thing that can be done.

I see most of my high school friends not doing anything (we are in our 50's) except having a good time...

Don't get me wrong, I love a good time, but I see more good times taking over than trying....

I see a lot of nonsense about both parties and that is annoying...

I see no difference...

I see labels continually meant to divide and conquer and while most are having a good time, falling prey to these tactics, often without the bat of an eye...

There are so many issues from Tar Sand
To GMO's taking over our foods and Monsanto running our government agencies

Then there is the Fukashima which is still spewing radioactive waste into our ocean....

So, yes, I thank Neil for taking his time and HIS money to
try and change the world...

Might I suggest running for an office?

I think we need to conquer from within the belly of the beast...

And if we could get more people who are honest and really have integrity into our government... people who can;t be bought off

And Neil has shown he can't be bought off or stopped...

He started a great school for his son

He tries to help with farm aid

Neil has a car which runs on alternative fuel....

WHAT do YOU do to change the world?

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!

"We Can Change the World, rearrange the world"

Toni

 
At 10/07/2013 10:08:00 PM, Blogger Soapy Suds said...

The man-made global warming issue is a vexing one. Those who believe it's real see it as threat to life on the planet. Those who think it is not real but a man-made hysteria are annoyed at the chicken-littles (and vice versa). I don't blame rich guys like Neil and Al Gore for getting on a jet tho - their activism and warnings make up for that (if they are right). Neil gets overzealous though in claiming Ft. MacMurray is turning into Hiroshima (from its former lush status as scrub brush) or that natives are being harmed by the oilsands development.

 

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