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Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Comment of the Moment: "How hard should Neil Young try?"

Neil Young
Farm Aid 2013 Press Conference

Photo Gallery by Brooklyn Vegan
(Click photo to enlarge)

Neil Young's recent website message asking "How hard should I try?" certainly was thought provoking.

Naturally, most would like Neil to get back to the music -- an obviously valid suggestion.

We're of two minds on the question, but we'll come back to that later.

First, the Comment of the Moment by Dan1:
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
Thanks Dan1! When push comes to shove, it seems like Neil was put on this planet to make music.

FWIW, we'd love to hear another Greendale or Living With War meditation on our state of affairs. But there's probably a lot of been there, done that.

It seems -- as if there's ever any discernible pattern -- that going away from the music thru his various side projects (as Dan1 above suggests), always brings him back into ever sharper focus. His Farm Aid 2013 setlist was certainly inspired and inspiring.

As the editor of Broken Arrow magazine wrote: "Neil Young continues to humble me."

In the end, the Muse will prevail.

IOW, what would Pete & Willie do?



At 10/02/2013 07:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could 2013 be the first year since 1998 we won't see a Neil Young release, archive or otherwise. Into October now and no sign of an imminent announcement of anything for the christmas season. What do you guys think? Was hoping for an archive release from Volume 2 or Live Alchemy but maybe next year.

At 10/02/2013 09:15:00 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"


At 10/03/2013 02:18:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is afterthought of my recent post encouraging Neil to stand and fight for what he believes in, environmentally and otherwise. Neil, If you are called to speak up about Climate Change/ Environmental reality, could you not also make an album on the topic? Thats just one more record I can't wait to hear! Thanks Neil! Alan in Seattle

At 10/03/2013 02:19:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Archives Vol 2, please! Remind me why I bought this blu ray player, Neil! Ear candy! I need. I need.

-Alan in Seattle

At 10/03/2013 10:34:00 AM, Anonymous Bmosully said...

Keep on chooglin' Neil! If you keep seeing the equivalent of a street mugging, and you continue to yell/hit the perp, you are only doing what you should 100 out of 100, etc, times. Someome's gotta be Neil! Because really, what that f are Mötley Crew doing par example?

At 10/03/2013 12:47:00 PM, Anonymous jack said...

Neil for President? Ha. I can see him and the horse rockin in the oval office. "LETS IMPEACH THE PRESIDENT".

At 10/03/2013 07:29:00 PM, Anonymous zumafan said...

Funny how things change over the years! And I quote Neil...

"There's something shakey about entertainers involved in causes. It's an uneasy
marriage. They (celebs) have rights, but why are they doing it? It's a
question I have to ask myself: Am I trying to make myself a hero or am I really
concerned? I'm considering not doing benefits for at least a year, except for
Farm Aid, which is an ongoing commitment.
It's funny. The conscientious things you do to help people and be a good
citizen gets in the way of creativity. Playing a benefit is not an artistic
statement. It's a greatest hits entertainment. It's a distraction. I'm
closing the door on that for a while. I need to spend more time with my music." 1989

"I refuse to involve my art in a good cause. I don't want to use it to rake
money in for an old cause. It'd be different, for example, with film but I
couldn't show myself off for this type of thing (re No Nukes) because I respect
what I do. I couldn't sell myself to the world for nothing." 1983

At 10/03/2013 08:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The climate changes by definition...the whole thing is such a scam and it's all just so stupid...

At 10/03/2013 10:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i like neil the musician. everything else he says is white noise. his comments on the enviornment have become as sensationalized as an msnbc falsity.
there is only one way for usa to go. energy independent. we as a nation, including canada, could be energy independent if our president would let us. if he doesn't want to do it, and he doesn't, the next president will and go down in history, as the president who turned the tide on usa taking total control of it's enegy. when that happens, we, as a nation can control the enegy effeciantsy much more effectively.
there is no magic potion. it's physics, engineering and common sense. for now we have to take control of our enegy and then set our parameters fot our country, not the world. we cannot control the rest of the worlds needs and wants.
one more thing. enviornmentaly, usa is better now than it was in the 1970's.

At 10/03/2013 11:40:00 PM, Blogger SONY said...

"I couldn't sell myself to the world for nothing."

Cant' blame ya for that. No one knows the cost of his journey more than Neil.

As long ya don't give in you probably won't give out. Keep traveling that twisted road, you're mapping the way. We're just riding along.

At 10/04/2013 05:42:00 AM, Blogger David Lowe said...

As Neil said at Farm Aid "I work for me"; what will be, will be. Enjoy what he does as he does it!

At 10/04/2013 08:28:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, moron, the climate changes by itself. But now mankind has pushed the gas pedal to the floor... The PACE of climate change is unprecedented. By releasing all of the carbon, methane, & diesel soot (which melts snow and ice much faster after black deposits absorb more sunlight), we are pushing ourselves to extinction. "Then the weather changed and the white got stained, and it fell apart. And it breaks my heart." -Neil, Walk Like A Giant. You will live to eat your words. Yes, its so STUPID that people still deny what is so obviously a catastrophic change in climate. How many 100 or 1000 year storms do you need to witness to finally open your stupid eyes? If there is a hell, clowns like you belong there.

At 10/04/2013 10:12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@anonymous - nice to see you have tolerance for others' opinions and are classy at the same time. It sounds like you've bought the lie hook, line, and sinker. The sky is falling ! We're all doomed!

Here's a few thoughts if you have the capacity to grasp them : this planet has been around for billions of years. Human beings have been around for an infinitesimally small amount of time compared to the Earth.

We have no records of weather patterns for most of the Earth's history. Yes we can take ice core samples and ocean floor sediment core samples and analyze them in a laboratory to determine - as best we can - what the climate was like tens of thousands of years ago, for example.

But we have no way at all of knowing what natural forces may be causing the so-called climate change compared to alleged human causes. By the way, what happened to the term 'global warming'?

Oh yea - the left ditched that term when they realized no one was buying it (except the whackos like Al Gore the Huckster Fraud) since the Earth has actually cooled over the past 15 years or so.

To address your final point - I do believe there is a hell for those that have experienced the revelation of God's existence and yet do not turn to Him for salvation and eternal life. Wishing me an eternity of damnation because I don't believe the hype and lies from the likes of your ilk seems a bit harsh, no?

But I guess you belong to the group who worships the Earth and not the God who created it, huh?


At 10/04/2013 10:15:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@paul - thanks for comment.

Have to disagree with statement "enviornmentaly, usa is better now than it was in the 1970's".

Please provide specifics to support statement.

At 10/04/2013 11:19:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@Anon @ 10:12:00 AM:

How is that sad?

Loving the earth, loving god, loving each other -- it's all the same love.

one love,

At 10/04/2013 01:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Thrasher, thanks for the site.
Don't have lots of time to quote studies on pollution from 60's and 70's compared to today. That said, I didn't think it was debatable that air quality is much improved since the 70's. If for no other reason than the clean air act. There are many other reasons though..industrial scrubbers, unleaded fuel EPA standards that actually work..
Water is better, but unfortunately the heavy metals put into the water in the 40's through??80's aint gonna go away anytime soon. There are always going to be consumer advisories on fish we catch or buy to eat. Agricultural run off is still a problem and yes there is still pollution, still too much.
That said, things are looking up in my small corner of the world. More of almost every kind of animal..deer, turkey, beaver, coyote, otter..all fur bearing mamals.More Golden and Bald eagles, more Red Tail hawks. Still not enough Quail and Pheasent for me for the most part is better now than ever. The Great Lakes are the premier smallmouth and walleye fisheries for anywhere. Places like Lake Erie that people almost gave up on in the 70's are thriving in sport fishing today. Deer harvest records are being set every year in many states. Hunting seasons for wild Turkey in every county in my home state. That was unheard of in the 70's
Rambling on now...we still have pollution problems..of course.. and there are always exceptions to the examples. There is plenty to be hopeful and positive about though. We all are gonna be around a long time to come.

At 10/04/2013 02:24:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Paul - thanks for follow-up. Likewise, we don't have a lot of time to pull up data. On a side note, we went looking for a NASA study of global environmental trends, but the site is down due to the latest DC fiasco.

Anyways, yes, here & here in the USA there are anecdotal improvements as you suggest. Somewhat ironically, one of the reasons we see regional air & water quality improvements is because we have outsourced dirty industries to countries without environmental regs.

Ask China if things have improved since '70s.

But seriously, look at the trends of biodiversity. Between 10,000 and 100,000 species are becoming extinct each year. (
The trend is accelerating. This is often referred to as the 6th extinction crisis, after the 5 known extinction waves in geological history.

We may all be around a long time to come, as you say. But we might all be very lonely.

At 10/05/2013 09:16:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree completely with Thrasher, and I must disagree with Paul. The evidence for it being better now than the 70s is poor. Furthermore, I'm not so much worried about the last 40 or so's where we are now (and where we are going) that matters most.

You don't even need much data, in this instance; the data is overwhelming!

Sure, there are more animals......a lot more......98% of which are now farmed in unethical, environmentally damaging factory farms! Billions of animals; not a handful of wild turkeys or bald eagles. Fish populations, too, are either being annihilated or crammed into fish farms.

Scientists are 95% sure global warming is caused by the human race. And the biggest contributor to that is animal farming, in all it's forms. If you can't see how bad things are, pollution-wise. then "you're in denial" (to quote Neil at Farm Aid last month).

And great, sport fishing and hunting on the rise...just what we need. That's evolution for you. That's the 21st century. We'll probably be back to clonking (factory farmed) mammoths on the head with boulders in a few years.

Aren't we meant to becoming more peaceful, more civilised? Isn't that progress?

As for Neil, he should do what is in his heart to do. Nobody else can tell him. It's his life. We don't particularly need new half-hearted music whilst his mind is elsewhere. If he can still commit to his music then that's great. Or perhaps a break from music will be the inspiration for his best work yet.

Focus, intensity...those are Neil's strong points, it would be foolish for him to ignore them, wherever he may find them.

Thank you, Thrasher, for commenting on this subject...

The Flying Scotsman.

At 10/06/2013 12:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

flying scotsman,
I'm not gonna argue about air quality in the us. It's better now, in your life than it has ever been. I don't care how old you of the EPA monitored levels/emissions of air pollution are lower now than at anytime in your life.A simple google search of the EPA air quality is all thats needed to see that. Although you can go to a multitude of other sites and come up with the same conclusion.
Also, I take it that you are vegan?? Thats fine, but the other 5.9 billion people probably aren't, so they/we will be eating some type of meat.Harvesting your own organic/free range meat through hunting/fishing is the ultimate in local, sustainable, healthy food
On a side note though, Bob Geldof said all humans will be dead by 2030. That should make you happy...jk

At 10/07/2013 04:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh looks as if Neil posted yet another mini-rant of sorts about the Keystone pipeline and the Canadian Prime Minister on his website.


If pipelines are so dangerous, where is the call to excavate and remove all of the existing pipelines currently buried beneath the Earth?

Why is Neil capitalizing the word 'climate'?

Pseudo-environmentalism = the latest religion of the political left...


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