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Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Some Good News and Not So Good News for Thrasher's Wheat in 2014

Winter Solstice 2013
Antietam Civil War Battlefield, Maryland

Photo by thrashette
(Click photo to enlarge)

Here's to hoping that everyone has had a nice 2013 holiday as we look ahead into the year 2014.

So notice anything different?

Look up. No silly, not the ceiling but the blog header at top of screen. ;) That's right -- no advertisements on Thrasher's Wheat anymore!

So that's actually the good news... sort of.

You see, it's not exactly like we took a big stand and decided to reject corporate advertising on our blog. No, it would seem that our advertising partner has decided to no longer provide ad displays and terminated our account. We're still trying to get to the bottom of why this decision was made but it would seem to involve a violation of the standard Terms of Service. Clearly, we didn't violate any of the major clauses like pornography, illegal products sales, etc.

It is unlikely that we'll ever learn exactly what brought the end of the relationship but could it have been something we said?

So now the not so good news.

Obviously, this means no advertising revenue going forward for TW -- a not too insignificant portion of how we cover our expenses of running this blog. Our plan is to continue forward and keep on bloggin' until the power goes out and our battery's dead. Thanks to all of you who support what we do here at Thrasher's Wheat. Thank you all for your contributions, support, and helpful efforts throughout the year. We can’t begin to tell you how much we appreciate every single one of you as you manage to keep us refreshed, stimulated, and stepping through your constant sharing of ideas that nudge us onward. We couldn't do it without you.

Again, we don't want to sound paranoid that forces are at work to shutdown our advertising, deprive us of revenue, and thwart our freedom of communication. But at the same time, we can't brush all this off in a blase fashion. On the bright side, we consider this to be another validation of a sort of what we do here at TW. In the past, the attacks on this site have reinforced our belief that we have taken the less traveled fork in the road on our journeys.

"First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up, because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me."

---- Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945

It is curious that a music blog on Neil Young would be this much of an annoyance to some folks that this is what it has come to. Is this all part of the coming "Clampdown"?

More evidence that The Big Shift is well underway?

The pulling back the curtain on the Illusion of the Matrix?

So where do we go from here?

Well, we're very interested in hearing from you -- our dear readers -- where do we go from here. We are expecting to be making some adjustments in 2014, so stay tuned.  In the meantime, drop us a comment below or send us an email to .

As 2014 begins, we can only suggest to try to recharge as much as you can, enjoy your family and friends, and prepare yourselves for the changes that will be coming in the New Year. Remain calm, open and engaged.

On occasion, folks wonder where this all comes from or where to start in answering The Really Big Questions. Reading both 1984 by George Orwell and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley are essential to understanding Today's Reality.

Orwell (and Grandpa) Was Right

So will it be the Red pill or the Blue pill today? Or the "Psychedelic Pill"?

A Psychedelic Pill

We mean, how far down the rabbit hole do you really want to go?  How much truth can you handle? Simply being aware of one's own free will and exercising it is an act of liberation and self realization.

For us, we try to be wise enough not to “feed the chaos” further with our own fear, anger, or hate. For our own sake, we try to turn our backs and head towards what is true and pure and loving. We try as best we can to devote our lives to that which makes us happy, healthy, and complete. We are all made to enjoy music, nature, beauty, and the company of our loved ones.

We try to live the life we believe is right, no matter the consequences. Without fear and with unconditional love.

One of the greatest speeches in a film ever, from the 1940 Charlie Chaplin film "The Great Dictator".

So believe in what we both together are doing. Knowing we can succeed. Our time is coming. Nothing will stop this now so we begin this year of 2014 with love in our hearts. Make peace our goal, and vow to be true to ourselves. Working to create a world that we can be proud of, and that which we helped to create. May the beautiful energy of music and love surround you and yours, and let it be your traveling muse and guiding light. That is our wish for our world in 2014. Look at everything with the eyes of love and we will create harmony and peace.

Lastly, we’d again like to thank all of you out there for your amazing support. Thank you for taking the time to read our posts and comment; send heart-warming notes, photos, and links; and thanks for spreading the word and taking us to Europe this past summer. Dreams can come true... if you want to work hard to make them happen. We are all making a difference together and feel the world is taking notice.

Having said this, let’s all prepare for what is to come in what we believe will be a New Year full of positive, lasting change.

be the wheat.
peace and love,
thrasher & thrashette

"We're The Ones We've Been Waiting For"
Gulf Oil Gusher Rally, Florida, June 2010
1,000,000 Strong Against Offshore Drilling | Facebook
"Walk with Us"

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At 1/01/2014 08:40:00 AM, Blogger Joe said...

Drop me a line, thrashers... interested in figuring out how maybe your costs can be lowered.

Joe aka 'the loner'

At 1/01/2014 08:43:00 AM, Anonymous SandCowgirl said... sorry to hear...Hopefully this is a blessing in disguise...sending good thoughts your way for a speedy resolution...Speaking of resolutions, Happy New Year (Don't's the Year of the Horse)!

At 1/01/2014 10:35:00 AM, Blogger rustedbugs said...

there are other sponsors out there. I know you'll find them, or they you

"....someday you'll find everything you're looking for..."

happy 2014 all you good Neil-heads!

At 1/01/2014 10:50:00 AM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

Thanks folks for all the comments and support.

We'll all get through 2014 and see you on the other side in '15!

Have a great one.

At 1/01/2014 10:52:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't stop. Please keep going. I will donate a bit of cash. You are my favorite internet site. Neil Young's amazing journey continues, but for how much longer? Ominous references by Poncho to his feelings of this being the last Crazy Horse tour. Bold environmental stands by the Godfather of Grunge lead us forward in a climate shift unprecedented in the history of the world. Changes, are taking place so fast, that Neil may ultimately be judged as one of the first voices to stand up and voice the concerns.... of the generations which will see vast paradigm shift in status quo Carbon damage to our devoted but delicate Mother Earth. Walk On... Alan in Seattle

At 1/01/2014 11:24:00 AM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

Thanks Alan.

We'll carry on if the creek don't rise. We try and walk that fine line of not being alarmist and remaining positive. At the same time, many forecast '14 to be a rocky ride. so buckle up, keep your gravity centered and steer into the skid.


At 1/01/2014 01:23:00 PM, Anonymous Sandy Horne said...

Ohhh.... you are always there. I can always count on that. For information, for sharing, for friendship. So, I will be sad to lose that Thrashers, if that is what happens. Your site has documented and celebrated some of the best moments of my life. It always feels good to be understood. And to have a community. Yet nothing stays the same, such is life with all its mystery. Sigh.....

At 1/01/2014 02:43:00 PM, Blogger Greg Mantho said...

I can't be of any help on the advertising/monetizing side, I'm clueless as far as that goes, and not of much help on the donation side either, although if the only way to keep this site afloat is to receive donations from us readers, I will contribute what I can.

I know that content (especially "non Neil” content) is sometimes an issue on this site, but I personally would like to think that the issues raised here potentially contributed to whatever behind the scenes machinations that resulted in your advertising being dropped. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but I always keep in mind the popular poster from when I was much younger: "Just because your paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to get you".

Whether or not this is the case is irrelevant to me, tho. The point is that we have already passed a point of no return in terms of paradigm shift(s), and the puppet masters know that they are losing their hold on things. This is both positive and negative, because they are in the midst of losing what little grip they ever had on their minds in the attempt to hold on. But even if their day is almost done, it will be left to the rest of us to clean up the mess. This runs the gamut from Fukushima, societal and governmental constructs, to every other thing the controllers have gotten their destructive hands on. Having said this, it is we the people who have enabled it all to a great extent, by preferring “bread and circuses” to active involvement in positive social change, if only to turn off TV fueled propaganda, and main stream media that have brought us to this point of our senses being dulled like frogs in a pot of water where gradual heat increases result in a sudden boil from which escape is impossible. And don’t forget the ever present attempts to divide and conquer us by defining us as liberal or conservative, red and blue, rich and poor, etc. We’re human beings looking to punch our way out of the paper bag, that’s all. It’s all good to me- you know, the crisis and opportunity thing.

Blah, blah, blah, I know. What’s to be done about it? It starts with getting behind those individuals and those dynamics that are already a part of the solution. In the confines of this web site, this means Neil, Thrasher, and the vast majority of the readership here, all of whom resonate with each other in the simple awareness that “something is seriously wrong”, and that it is not enough to just grouse about it and lower ourselves to “eating, drinking, and being merry”, trolling the site with all too transparent negativity, or lamenting that now and then Thrasher brings up uncomfortable “non Neil” related issues, as if anyone versed in Neil’s music and personal stances could ever pretend that any of these issues have not already been covered by the man himself, or that the thrust of much of the music is a call to action. If anyone doubts this, I repeat my past calls to take Fork In The Road seriously, and listen to it closely without the simple need to relive Expecting To Fly moments.

At 1/01/2014 02:44:00 PM, Blogger Greg Mantho said...

We need this site, for both Neil and non Neil reasons, and don’t ever pretend that the puppet masters don’t fear it, even if that is not what is going on with this latest development. Any time spent paying attention to just who the man is behind the curtain- in the face of all calls not to, even at this level of discourse, is a “victory for the heart”, and action taken in avoiding the “meat hooks”(yes, I know I’m stretching the metaphor). Neil’s activities, musical and non musical, and our reaction to it, both positively and negatively, are important. It means we’re thinking, and that is a dangerous thing to the people in this world who don’t want positive change.

Keep up the good work Thrasher, and also keep us apprised as to how we can help. Necessity really is the mother of invention, and this seeming obstacle just has to be thrown into the mix with the rest of the obstacles out there keeping this world from being what it was created to be. One thing we can all do is pray, and acknowledge that reliance on our Creator is not just a nice thought, it is real power. The Creator is inside us- all around us- and make no mistake, this is the number one thing the puppet masters want to keep hidden away from us. So let’s not be defined too closely as “depressed angels, falling from above”. Let’s keep the Divine close, and “keep on rockin’ in the free world”.

We’re all behind you Thrasher, and know that you will find a way to keep up the good work.

A Friend Of Yours

At 1/01/2014 04:30:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

@Sandy - No thank you for always being there, keeping the flame burning bright with your sister. Couldn't do it without you guys.

@AFOY - you know, sometimes after we write something we wonder if only just person connects with the message, then maybe its worth the effort.

Two words will be in operation in '14 on TW: resonate and resilient. Glad this one resonated with you. Good to know there are those out there who see the illusion. That's always the first big step, then comes "Now what?"

We always say just do what needs to be done. It really does start internally with ourselves. Until each of our heart's desires and actions are in alignment, we lack the moral compass to go and start providing a lot of advice to others.

We're going to get through this bump in the road. While its easy to say it's only $, it doesn't make the bills go away. Not that being beholden to advertisers ever caused us to pull punches, we certainly have nothing to prevent us from saying what we believe. For us, that fundamental freedom is paramount. And allowing our readers, such as your self, the same opportunity is what we cherish most about what we do here.

We've been is similar situations in the past, as we're sure you'll recall, and we've always come out ahead of the game.

"That which does not kill us makes us stronger."
~~Friedrich Nietzsche

At 1/01/2014 06:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crumbs have I missed something here? Is Neil the new Messiah now? What a load of twaddle - let's get back to the basics here.

At 1/01/2014 07:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh, you always claimed that you hardly made a dime, literally, off of your advertising. Now you sound like Jerry Lewis singing Walk On at the end of the marathon. Crocodile tears? Hurt feelings? I've sent you money before and will again if it'll help. But I'm confused. I'd really be curious as to exactly why you were dropped like that? Anyone have any insight? Has anyone asked?

And like someone else said, there are other options. Good luck. Hang tight. This place is too much fun to lose. Manassas.

Negative Man

At 1/01/2014 09:09:00 PM, Blogger timothy fontenot said...

TW I have been following this NY site religiously since the late nineties and I've seen a steady shift toward the political(see Rolling Stone mag also) as NY has steadily ventured more and more in that direction also. Maybe your advertising sponsor believed this was a music site about Neil Young and saw the direction you were going with it and bucked. Just a thought.

At 1/02/2014 08:45:00 AM, Blogger TOM said...

who knew focusing on Neil and avoiding all the non-Neil topics would be an effective ,successful business strategy.
go figure......

At 1/02/2014 09:30:00 AM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

@Negative Man - thanks for the support. No, we don't have any more info as to why this happened other than what we posted. We may never know.

Maybe you mis-read what we said, but we're going to be OK here.

@timothy - yes, the possibility did occur to us that it could be as simple as you suggest. We just don't know.

But if that were the case -- that a music blog ran into the ditch now & then -- that would seem to be rather restrictive and something which we would never agree to. Prior restraint is pretty insidious which is kinda the point here.

There is a myth of the free press. We little bloggers like to think that the rights of a free press apply to us. But economics is a reality for bloggers just as ink and newsprint paper was in the old days.

@Tom - touche. well played.

But here's the deal. Maybe TW was a never a business model to begin? We didn't start off with ads and have never suggested we were ever trying to do more than cover the expenses of bandwidth, storage, etc.

At 1/02/2014 09:49:00 AM, Blogger Matthew L. said...

Yeah, perhaps your advertiser was driven off by the eh... environmentalist, socio-political, or should I say GIVING A DAMN ABOUT THE PLANET posts that go up now and again... which is perfectly in line with Neil Young's own activities. Perhaps they got butt hurt about Neil making a stink about the Keystone pipeline. Corporations don't operate on ethical grounds - they are driven by pure corporate logic, which dictates that having an opinion about something, you know, being a human being who cares about things, narrows your customer base and thus throttles your revenue.

But you know what? If these corporate "persons" don't want to behave like people... which, you know, involves application of Logic, ETHICS and emotion, then they need to be supportive of people expressing themselves. Otherwise they're fooling themselves, and providing a disservice to humanity.

So I say, screw 'em. Who needs sponsors like that?

At 1/02/2014 09:52:00 AM, Blogger Matthew L. said...

And politics, environmentalism and giving a damn about the planet are NOT NON-Neil topics. They are fully Neil topics, and anyone who says otherwise must not be more than a casual fan, because anyone who follows Neil consistently knows that these topics are inherently tied into what he does. They are part of him, his music, and everything he works toward.

At 1/02/2014 10:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My guess is that they got tired of seeing far-left kookville content overtaking what used to be a Neil Young blog. I love ya Thrasher, but really? The matrix stuff and the endless platitudes ("we're the ones we've been waiting for" lol...)have been piling up over the last four years or so. The pro-union stuff (lies), the relentless "climate-change" nonsense, etc. There's a huge difference in right vs. left btw despite your claims to the contrary.

Oh well it's your blog - I come here for Neil Young information and choose to brush off the left wing/pagan portion of your site which is now about 50% of the total content.

At 1/02/2014 02:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well put. Anon.

At 1/02/2014 03:35:00 PM, Blogger Old Black said...

This is an important site for me. I don't always agree with every point of view (which, to me, means this is a great site) but I value all points of view espoused.

It has been widely acknowledged that Thrashers Wheat is the best "fan site" there is. Period. Of course, it is so much more.

I would really like to see Neil, in some fashion or other, provide you with some no-strings-attached support for all you do. For most of us, we have to make daily decisions about giving to worthy causes or eating (me, anyway). Neil - not so much.

At 1/03/2014 12:44:00 AM, Blogger Dan1 said...

In this world of click through advertising and big (brother) data I'm guessing it might be as simple as the fact that few people on the site ever clicked through the ads and bought anything ... these days I'm guessing the powers that be can measure this ... if Obama's staff are able to log all of our call data and track all of our internet usage and save it in a database for all of time, then the ad people I'm sure are watching (and measuring) our click through behavior ... my guess is the average site visitor here is over 40+ and perhaps like me never bothered to focus on the ads ... I'm not sure i can remember even one of them ... that said one of my resolutions is try to click through TW to Amazon if/when I buy anything there and will try to reactive my paypal account to make a 2014 donation. Kudos to you for all that you do, for putting up with the trolls who have the nerve to show up uninvited and spew vitriol, while maintaining such a cheerful and peaceful demeanor. Your patience and grace are impressive!

When faceless and anonymous
Come to beat down your door
And say you're all washed up and done
You can just say they have nothing in store

To touch this soul
Because they just don't know
They just don't know
The way

At 1/03/2014 02:01:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

@Matthew - yes, it's hard when one cares. Such a curse. They say ignorance is bliss and it would seem there's a lot of bliss out there.

As far as we're concerned, just about everything is fair game. Wouldn't have it any other way. Isn't that what freedom is all about?

@Old Black - thanks for the support. As for Neil's support, probably the best we can hope for is that he continues to maintain his distance as do we. Clearly, if we ever had direct support, this would be a different animal. It might even be what his official news page looks like now. So we'll press on here doing what we do.

@Dan - yes, our patience and grace is tested quite often but wee think it's made us better in the long run. Still have a ways to go tho. Thanks for being there for us.

Best to all in '14!

At 1/04/2014 01:39:00 AM, Blogger (D.) Ian Kertis said...

Hey, Thrasher, Thrashette, and all,

D. I. Kertis here. I'm still around. Sorry to hear of your troubles. I'd guess there's a a mundane financial reason behind this latest development. So often in life, it comes down to money. That's why advertising exists in the first place. And maybe that's one of the root problems in our society. Or maybe your former advertising partner does feel that you're too "controversial" or "radical" to be safely associated with, in which case I still think it's a business-based decision rather than anything to do with any individual's views or broader politics. The bottom line is that no matter what you say, there will always be people who don't like it and some of them will want to silence you.

On another subject, I've just gotten around to devouring Live at the Cellar Door in the last couple of days. I especially like the piano tracks, with Cinnamon Girl and Expecting to Fly standing out. In fact, I've made a new mix using iTunes of Neil Young's piano performances, using mainly the Cellar Door and Massey Hall albums, also incorporating a couple of tracks from Dreamin' Man Live '92, Unplugged, and only one non-concert number. It's all just Neil and a keyboard. The current track list:

1. Journey Through the Past (Massey)
2. Cinnamon Girl (Cellar Door)
3. After the Goldrush (Cellar Door)
4. Flying on the Ground is Wrong (Cellar Door)
5. Love in Mind (Massey)
6. A Man Needs a Maid/Heart of Gold
7. Stringman (Unplugged)
8.See the Sky About to Rain (Cellar Door)
9. There's a World (Massey)
10. Such a Woman (Dreamin' Man Live '92)
11. Expecting to Fly (Cellar Door)
12. Soldier (Archives Vol 1. remastered mix, not edited Decade version)
13. Birds (Cellar Door)
14. Bonus: Like a Hurricane (Unplugged)

What's remarkable to me is how easy it is encompass many (admittedly not all) of Neil's biggest hits and greatest songs using these piano tracks. That's mainly because so many of the recordings release focus on After the Gold Rush- and Harvest-period material. I also strongly considered adding When God Made Me, but with the piano-and-vocal-only rule (which I know I promptly roke by including Like a Hurriance via pump organ), along with my general feeling that the song just didn't fit, kept me from doing so. (Philadelphia is not there for the same reasons and because I just honestly have never tracked down the soundtrack.)

Anyhow, not to ramble, but I felt like getting back to Neil and the music a bit what with all the other stuff flying around fast and loose in this thread. Yeah, Neil is a sociopolitical beast, but not exclusively and only occasionally has politics overridden his music in a really obvious and unsubtle way. You don't usually get more than one or two topical songs an album, if that. And I must say, though I'm an openly liberal-leaning guy, I'm very happy with that. Don't get me wrong, Neil has the right to sing anything of his choosing and I guarantee I'll give it a listen and probably juice something good out of it, but I'm of the school that prefers not to have everything constantly center on politics. There's a place for topical material and it's an artist's right to do that, but I'm just as glad that Neil writes many songs about many things and usually doesn't focus with tunnel vision on politics.

Suffice it to say that I'm happy to talk about Neil in all his facets, which is why I'm creating this post, and that I wish the best to everyone.

At 1/04/2014 10:34:00 PM, Anonymous Phil said...

Thrasher, thank you for all you do. While this is a labor of love for you, there are certainly bills to pay, servers, bandwidth, time not spent on a paying job, etc. Whether you made a dime off of advertising or not is completely your own business and bless you if you did, we should all be so lucky to get paid doing what we love. What does matter (to me at least) is that you carry on. I rely on you. Please don't hesitate to ask for donations from your readers if that's what you need to do to keep carrying on. I am sure many of use would kick in $5, $10, $20, $100 or more. You could also consider a Kickstarter campaign: Keep Thrashers Wheat Alive. I volunteer on a nonprofit board and I see many nonprofits doing things just like this to survive. There is no shame in asking, but what would be an incredible shame is if I tried to log-on 6 months from and got 404 because you were too proud to ask for help. You're there for us, we will be there for you.

At 1/05/2014 10:44:00 AM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

Thanks Phil. Appreciated.

Thus far TW readers have very supportive and kept us going thru the ups and downs. We're still digging out from the Europe tour expenses but readers were generous this holiday so were good going into '14.

We should be OK until another fundraiser in the Fall. No, we don't want to just disappear. We've always tried to be pretty straightforward with what we're doing. As distasteful as it is to fundraise, it just seems to be a fact of life until something better comes along.

We kind of considered the Kickstarter thing for Europe tour last summer but decided to do the t-shirts instead. That was fun.

Never really sure how much folks are into t-shirts, buttons, etc? Seems like it sort of works. But merchandising is logistical labor intensive for sure.

Again, thanks for the comments and keep those suggestions coming. :) You just never know....

At 1/06/2014 07:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More like poetic justice you delusional hysterical stupid douche bag. Here's hoping your pathetic suck up bitch site dies a quick and painful death.

At 1/06/2014 07:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More like poetic justice you delusional hysterical stupid douche bag. Here's hoping your pathetic suck up bitch site dies a quick and painful death!


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Propaganda = Mind Control
Guess what?
"Symbols Rule the World, not Words or Laws."
Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge
Be The Rain, Be The Change

the truth will set you free
This Machine Kills Fascists

war is not the answer
yet we are
Still Living With War

"greed is NOT good"
Occupy the Music

Hey Big Brother!
Stop Spying On Us!
Civic Duty Is Not Terrorism

The Achilles Heel
Orwell (and Grandpa) Was Right
“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”
~~ Bob Marley

The Essence of "The Doubters"

Yes, There's Definitely A Hole in The Sky

Wake up!
"consciousness is near"
What's So Funny About
Peace, Love, & Understanding & Music?




(Between the lines of age)

And in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make

~~ John & Paul