Comments of the Moment: Micah Nelson Responds To Neil Young's New Song "Neighborhood"
Lots of excellent discussion on Micah Nelson Responds To Neil Young's New Song "Neighborhood".
Just to recap. Neil Young's new song "Neighborhood" (The Drone Song) (watch/listen) has begun to stir up a bit of controversy after only a few public performances. On the YouTube page comments, there is now posted an "Open Letter to Neil Young" on the song's lyrics by Rabih Hamzeh to which Promise Of The Real's Micah Nelson provided a well measured response.
And likewise, TW readers also responded with carefully considered comments. The Comment of the Moment is from everyone's friend Greg M.:
I'd also be interested to know the veracity of this letter, and its elements. Did the crowd really cheer at the lyric? If so, how many cheered thinking as Rabih did, that the lyric was in fact Neil's real sentiment, and not a satirical view of fear mongering? I agree that Rabih must be relatively new to Neil and his music, to not automatically err on the side of Neil adopting a lyrical persona, as most of us do, but I also hope I can empathize with someone who faces prejudice on a daily basis being a little over sensitive. You know, walk a mile in my shoes, and you might feel differently about some things.Really, really good points Greg/AFOY. And we're glad we're having this conversation. Once again, another demonstration that Neil fans are some of the most knowledgeable and astute music fans out there.
This takes me back to my freshman year of college, watching the movie "The Godfather", with a predominately white, privileged group of kids like myself, who knew next to nothing about what it meant to grow up as a black person in America- this was 1976. In the scene where the family heads are discussing the relative merits of getting into the drug business, when one of the characters made the statement "In my city, we would keep the traffic in the dark people- the colored. They're animals anyway, so let them lose their souls", when most of the audience laughed I looked up to see a couple of black students leaving in disgust. Although I didn't laugh, neither did the scorn and heartlessness of the statement register with me. To say the least, it took me a few minutes to direct my attention back to the screen, after getting such a disturbing view of myself. My antennae wasn't up, and therefore I didn't see it coming. Likewise, it isn't hard for me to consider that the antennae of the concert audience, or of the posters on this blog, is not up in a way that it must be up for Rabih. Don't get me wrong, I'm not pointing a finger, or discounting the good points being made, just saying maybe look at it a little more from the perspective of the Rabih's among us.
A Friend Of Yours
Yes, undoubtedly, anyone unfamiliar with Neil's music may have had Rabih's reaction. And it is a legitimate reaction to a "perceived: slur.
But at the same time when you write an Open Letter to Neil, write 7 well-constructed paragraph's and post it on one the web's largest sites, you need to really think these things through. Maybe familairize yourself with the artists work, how about?
And that is is what is suspect here.
You bring up The Godfather scene from the past. Another analogy is the whole "Sweet Home Alabama" business. Exactly the same. A bunch of folks getting all stirred up about mis-interpreting lyrics.
Fair criticism is always fair. Lies, distortion, manipulation, hidden agendas are an entirely different matter.
Be sure to check all of the comments on Neil Young's new song "Neighborhood" (The Drone Song).
you -- masters of war -- give peace a chance