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Author Topic: Neil Young Says Music Can't Change The World
Slumberjack
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posted 08 February 2008 01:48 PM      Profile for Slumberjack     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Can't Change The World

He was always modest about any impact he had.


From: An Intensive De-Indoctrination, But I'm Fine Now | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
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posted 08 February 2008 06:18 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I always thought it was a rather foolish question about whether music can change the world or not.

Anyone who doubts the transformative power of music should try imagining a world without music.


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Slumberjack
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posted 08 February 2008 07:30 PM      Profile for Slumberjack     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There was a time when some people thought it could, but then with so much money at stake, why change anything substantively. Some lyrics contain an interesting story, most do not.
From: An Intensive De-Indoctrination, But I'm Fine Now | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
clandestiny
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posted 09 February 2008 05:30 AM      Profile for clandestiny     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
notice they didn't murder any of the reganauts-see the 'US versus John Lennon'- and Neil's outspoken support of regan (a creepy old rapo man who would have made a Stalin laugh in disgust) sure was convenient....the lynard skynard song which mentions Young as liberal critic of southern men is an ANTHEM of the rightwing boorhogs, ferchrissake...I think Neil's probably frightened by what the easy going hippie reactionary act he played (his beer drinking buddies admired regan too)...it's politically incorrect to hold guys like Young accountable for helping making fascism work as good as it does, but fukkom...
From: the canada's | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 09 February 2008 06:33 AM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Are you sure neil young suported regan?
From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
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posted 09 February 2008 07:08 AM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Young supported both Reagan and the first Gulf war I believe or maybe it was the invasion of Afganistan.

The point I was making is that music is always an important part of any struggle both personal and political, it is a source of strength and comfort and inspiration. The way that change is generally presented is rather simplistic but makes sense in the context of the majority of the hippie generation, who thought that just mouthing platitudes and wearing your politics as an identity would somehow automatically change things and of course this change never involved giving up power or privilege. It is not surprising that many people's idealism was short lived, when one speaks of political change the word "struggle" is not accidental change involves steady hard work and can be painful in many ways. That is a bit more complex than wanting to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.


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clandestiny
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posted 09 February 2008 07:17 AM      Profile for clandestiny     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
He said he 'liked reagan' apparently for Ron's "It's morning in amerka, kick commie ass time" philosophy- and the anger regan represented over the welfare queens having babies,, drug users raping women, and stealing, other criminals being coddled in fancy club fed prisons, cops handcuffed by liberal judges, the liberal media lying and all the rest of what went wrong in our society. Neil obviously never read 'Up from Conservativism' by Michael Lind, or "Twilight of Common Dreams' By Todd Gitlin, or "Blinded by the Right' by David Brock, or else he might have known that all that reactionary stuff regan sold to him was snake oil ...the crack epidemic, for instance, was caused by the very men who created regan's career....
From: the canada's | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
B.L. Zeebub LLD
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posted 09 February 2008 07:25 AM      Profile for B.L. Zeebub LLD     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I find it interesting that in the context of this question, "the world" is always defined essentially as politics or power-politics.
From: A Devil of an Advocate | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
anchovy breather
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posted 09 February 2008 07:28 AM      Profile for anchovy breather     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The neo-Reaganite tag affixed to him during the mid-'80s, Young insists -- quite vehemently -- was taken out of context, blown out of proportion. ''The Reagan-supporting era," sighs Young. "I don't think there is one president that's come down the line that hasn't done something good somewhere." Young says a "sleazeball journalist" nailed Reagan and then forced Young to his defense.

"Some people put down all presidents no matter what," says Young, "like once you get to be president you're a . . . idiot. So if you say anything good about any of them, they think you're supporting everything they do."

As to where Young's political passions lie now, consider this obscenity- sprinkled rant, on the subject of the country's current censorship frenzy: ''All these people who are . . . talking about morality should just take a walk downtown. They don't want to go downtown because instantly they see homeless people and they don't want to because that's not important. It doesn't fit their public stand of being a moralist. These . . . people -- they're crazy."

Understand: Neil Young's America is not Ronald Reagan's.


link

Music can't change the world because music is entirely subjective. Just my opinion.

[ 09 February 2008: Message edited by: anchovy breather ]

[ 09 February 2008: Message edited by: anchovy breather ]


From: rotating, random | Registered: Jun 2007  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
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posted 09 February 2008 08:31 AM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
"I don't think there is one president that's come down the line that hasn't done something good somewhere." Young says a "sleazeball journalist" nailed Reagan and then forced Young to his defense.

Y'O.K Neil so what "good" did Reagan do or what did he do that was "not so good" are you able to articulate that rather than making a vaque and meaningless defence of your past comments?

Why do you feel the need to "defend" Ronald Reagan, Neil when he was one of the most powerful individuals on the planet with unlimited resources? Isn't criticizing those in power part of democracy?

quote:
Some people put down all presidents no matter what," says Young, "like once you get to be president you're a . . . idiot. So if you say anything good about any of them, they think you're supporting everything they do."

No Neil most presidents are idiots before they gain power. Once again more vaque and rather incoherent rambling...

quote:
Music can't change the world because music is entirely subjective

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGHHHHHHH!!!!! WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY CHANGE??? Making this statement is just repeating a vague talking point rife with unexamined assumptions. It is true that if I pick up my guitar and hit an A minor chord world peace is not going to suddenly going to break out or if I sit down and play Imagine world hunger will cease, but to say deny that music/Art is an avenue for change and radical transformation is a travesty and a tragedy.

What is being missed here is the reactinary subtext underlying the statement "music can't change the world" The message is that the artist should just shut up and sing take their place within the capitalist market writing meaningless ditties to soothe the nerves of the bloated complacent bourgeoisie and to help sell more stuff. Let's have more vacant meaningless pseudo love songs or racist characterizations promoted by corporate rap.

The reactionary subtext claims that music/art cannot be an act of transformation or subversion and in making this claim the intent is to silence and censor.

Those in power know that art is an effective method of impacting and effecting people that is why they continually censor artist and artist frequently are imprisoned and even killed. In Chile when Pinochet came to power Chile's most renowned folk singer was brutally tortured and killed within days. Conquering nations and colonialist always seek to silence the story tellers and artists of the conquered.

REVOLUTION OF HOPE

revolution of hope
insurrection of joy
redemption through resistence
justice by insistence

Joy is an act of rebellion
joy is an act of subversion
joy is the commitment
not to give into their version

rejoice
when they want to grind you down
find your voice
when they want you to drown

wake up to their endless scheming
create a space that’s safe for dreaming
release the pain from years of screaming

[ 09 February 2008: Message edited by: N.R.KISSED ]


From: Republic of Parkdale | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mercy
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posted 09 February 2008 04:32 PM      Profile for Mercy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Music clearly can be inspirational and I'd argue that any succesful movement for change has had music that moved it along and gave the people involved the sense that they were involved in something that was bigger and more important that themselves.

But the music - in and of itself - doesn't do anything. I think that was one of the more inane fallacies of the 60s and the one that Young is getting at here. The whole rock-musician-as-revolutionary schtick is so tired and, more importantly, counterproductive. Tom Frank's Conquest of Cool unpacks this very well.


From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged
clandestiny
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posted 09 February 2008 06:11 PM      Profile for clandestiny     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I betcha alan bloom's wildly succesful bestseller 'the closing of the american mind' was helped in its bestselling reputation by ....the 'guardians of our precious juices' or whoever the hell it is who makes a junyer bush a president, or Iraq a military threat to west with its 2.4 billion military budget, or those who makeup the ratfink news the people use to define the world. Bloom was a conman, a cheap trickster who blamed the rot of our culture directly on the 'hippie' or counter culture, in terms of institutions of higher education (and thus the rest of the bloody imperial rattletrap!) Bloom ignored the vast expenditures on militarism, the waste of the secretive wars, the destruction world wide of moderate progressive movements such as Allende or Lumumba or Iran's Mossedehg(?) or Indonesia's Sukarno....perhaps regan was a coup too? On America? Neil Young is a rock musician, and surely never had time to grasp the implications of the JFK murder etc beyond what's common- he certainly means well. But fascism has slowly taken root in this thing we have, and it defies logic, defies understanding, and most certainly ignores law. The hip patina of modern business/consumerism is fine/dandy, but fascism is real and a million dead people in Iraq makes gross these navel gazing exercises which explain us to us (i mean, i doubt too many babblers care if big biz co-opted the counter culture in style: what matters is that while using the features of the 60's to 'improve' their grubby little life, a deadly sickness typified by conmen like bloom and bork and coulter and limbah and so on put a criminal into highest elected office on earth (and kinda screwed up Canada too- mike stafford, cfrb hate radio loudmouth said last week that 'how can harper's conservatives make any gains in the GTA, as it's so obstinately SOLID RED! ie liberal. Yet all Toronto/South Ontario talk radio hosts are rightwing liars who are fueled by the likes of bloom and bork etc, which escaped stafford's reptilian brain) Neil Young was mistaken, but the reactionaries who hide in plain sight while empowering busharper etc are more dangerous then any 3rd world terrorist
From: the canada's | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
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posted 09 February 2008 06:13 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
But the music - in and of itself - doesn't do anything.

If this is what you believe I am afraid you know nothing of music or art of any kind. If you don't think art is transformative than tell me what is TV? Economics? Consumption, alienated labour.


quote:
think that was one of the more inane fallacies of the 60s and the one that Young is getting at here. The whole rock-musician-as-revolutionary schtick is so tired and, more importantly, counterproductive.

I haven't seen any quotes of Young that come across as anything other than vague and meaningless meanderings. This really has nothing to do with rock music or the sixties or north american self absortion or the way that the sixties has constantly been repackaged and sold in a way that each time it becomes progressively more non-threatening and vapid.

quote:
Tom Frank's Conquest of Cool unpacks this very well.

All he manages to unpack is a big heap of reactionary gibberish that spills from the mouths of Allan Bloom, Newt Gingrich and Peggy Noonan. I really don't have any concern about what any of those idiots say about anything. I certainly have no interest on their opinion on music or art.

I would much rather listen to the words of Robert Nester Marley

REDEMPTION SONG

Old pirates, yes, they rob i;
Sold I to the merchant ships,
Minutes after they took i
From the bottomless pit.
But my hand was made strong
By the and of the almighty.
We forward in this generation
Triumphantly.
Wont you help to sing
These songs of freedom? -
cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs.

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.
Have no fear for atomic energy,
cause none of them can stop the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look? ooh!
Some say its just a part of it:
Weve got to fulfil de book.

Wont you help to sing
These songs of freedom? -
cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs.
---
/guitar break/
---
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our mind.
Wo! have no fear for atomic energy,
cause none of them-a can-a stop-a the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look?
Yes, some say its just a part of it:
Weve got to fulfil de book.
Wont you help to sing
Dese songs of freedom? -
cause all I ever had:
Redemption songs -
All I ever had:
Redemption songs:
These songs of freedom,
Songs of freedom.

[ 09 February 2008: Message edited by: N.R.KISSED ]


From: Republic of Parkdale | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
laine lowe
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posted 09 February 2008 07:54 PM      Profile for laine lowe     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yay N.R.KISSED!

I always play that song when ever I feel disillusioned by what is happening in our world.

One of the most amazing experiences I ever had was sitting on the roof of a houseboat in Srinagar, listening to our host's tapes of Bob Marley while watching gunfire in the distance. It was one of many places in Asia where I found many people who felt Bob Marley spoke for them through his music.

Music, theatre, literature, visual art etc can transform people and inspire change. Unlike most politicians, true artists speak without fear of public repercussions.


From: north of 50 | Registered: Dec 2006  |  IP: Logged
Mercy
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posted 09 February 2008 08:56 PM      Profile for Mercy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by N.R.KISSED:
If this is what you believe I am afraid you know nothing of music or art of any kind. If you don't think art is transformative than tell me what is TV? Economics? Consumption, alienated labour.
I think the "Left" has a few troubling tendencies and one is the tendency to look to pop musicians for political leadership - particularly when they themselves disavow it.

Partially this is a problematic tendency to look for "leaders" and "heroes" instead of following our own leadership.

Partially this is a by-product of modern music marketing. Before the modern recording industry came along people were far more likely to take songs in-and-of-themselves and either attach their own or a collective meaning to them. Now, the modern music industry deifies "the artist" and tells us that the artist is more important than the art.

This was the very thing that some of the best political artists - like Woody Guthrie - used to chafe against. Woody Guthrie used to encourage people to steal his songs. He wasn't important. The music was. To quote him:

quote:
"This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin' it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don't give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that's all we wanted to do."

Ironially, posthumously, he became subject to the same sort of deification that likely would have bothered him in life. I'd say he saw the musician as being no more important than anyone else.

I guess that's my point: music is part of a movement - but we shouldn't mistake it with a movement itself. And we shouldn't look to pop stars for direction - even when they write songs that inspire us.


From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
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posted 09 February 2008 09:39 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I think the "Left" has a few troubling tendencies and one is the tendency to look to pop musicians for political leadership - particularly when they themselves disavow it.
Partially this is a problematic tendency to look for "leaders" and "heroes" instead of following our own leadership

I think you're too enamoured with your own(or perhaps someone elses) thesis to listen to what I am talking about.

I am not talking about pop stars or rock musicians be it John Lennon or Neil Young.

I am not talking about some version of the left or of history of the struggle for justice or the mythical sixties that has been constructed and reconstructed and fed back to us through the media.

I am talking about the genuine expression for change and struggle that can be expressed through art forms.

I am talking about people like Victor Jara

quote:
Amongst the first to be slaughtered by the military dictatorship which seized power in Chile in September 1973 was the very popular folk singer and Communist Party member, Victor Jara. He was married to an English woman, Joan, and dedicated his musical talents to the struggle of the working class and the poor. His songs were about the Chilean working people and their struggles.

Following the coup, Jara was taken, along with thousands of others, to the National Stadium to be tortured and killed. Victor Jara's body was found on 16 September, 1973 near the Cemeterio Metropolitano, riddled with 34 bullet wounds.


I am talking about Marley or the poet Lorca phil Oaks and thousands of others who are nameless but have inspired people through song or verse, much that never really makes the mainstream.

as the poet said

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

You will not be able to stay home, brother.
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip,
Skip out for beer during commercials,
Because the revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John
Mitchell, General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat
hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be brought to you by the
Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie
Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia.
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs.
The revolution will not make you look five pounds
thinner, because the revolution will not be televised, Brother.

There will be no pictures of you and Willie May
pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run,
or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance.
NBC will not be able predict the winner at 8:32
or report from 29 districts.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of Whitney Young being
run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process.
There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy
Wilkens strolling through Watts in a Red, Black and
Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
For just the proper occasion.

Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville
Junction will no longer be so damned relevant, and
women will not care if Dick finally gets down with
Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people
will be in the street looking for a brighter day.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no highlights on the eleven o'clock
news and no pictures of hairy armed women
liberationists and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose.
The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb,
Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom
Jones, Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be right back after a message
bbout a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.
You will not have to worry about a dove in your
bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.
The revolution will not go better with Coke.
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.
The revolution will put you in the driver's seat.

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,
will not be televised, will not be televised.
The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
The revolution will be live.

Gil Scott Heron

The revolution will not be filtered through Alan bloom, Newt gingrich or Peggy noonan eiter.


From: Republic of Parkdale | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mercy
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posted 10 February 2008 01:44 AM      Profile for Mercy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The song you're quoting was used in an ad to sell Nike shoes.

That's quite the "revolution" you got. I'm sure the ruling classes will be terrified.


From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged
clandestiny
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posted 10 February 2008 06:17 AM      Profile for clandestiny     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
they may not be terrified of us, but we are what they think about 24/7......and bloom, noonan, striecher, goebbels, john daringer (Q107) limbah, woof blitzer, lady rice and the plague of host others who speak for the pig attest to the issue by their very prevalance. The herd can be steered anyway its herders steers it, and it's a fluid mass with vast margins where me and you live- and if we really REALLY wanna, we can cause panic and stamped parts of the herd, though the pig reserves those rights for itself and his hate for us therefor isn't just academic. And to say it plainly, music is something that affects the herd so much that...well i think radio playlists are doctored, polls are fixed, that public funds are used in their billions to make movies like 'forrest gump' a moneymaker, or the 'guess who' the most heard rock group on Canadian classic rock radio, or talkradio itself a rightwing hatefest that uses vocal terror to excite the rightwing minority into fearing and hating anyone not as stupid as they are; all this in DEFIANCE OF the very market forces they supposedly champion! Iow, Neil's helped to get us in a real nasty jam, which no one is ever gonna get out of (imo)
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N.R.KISSED
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posted 10 February 2008 12:37 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The song you're quoting was used in an ad to sell Nike shoes.

So a corporation appropriates a song in an effort to both utilize and miniumize it's power, that only matters if you are already consigned yourself to a capitulation.

quote:
I'm sure the ruling classes will be terrified.

Naturally the oppressor is terrified of the oppressed otherwise why would they put so much effort into the acts of oppression, the irony is the greater the oppression the greater the fear. The oppressor especially fears story tellers and artists that is why dictators tend to censor, torture and murder those whose work challenges them


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Slumberjack
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posted 10 February 2008 02:11 PM      Profile for Slumberjack     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If progress and change is examined in relation to tectonic advance, it would seem for music at least, that the past 50 years or so is a narrow window in which to judge the overall effect. It's been said that the plethora of ideals that appeared in the lyrics generated during the 60s never amounted to anything beyond the era. To drape some responsibility onto artists from one generation or another is a futile shirking of society's problems, which explains why many of them chafe and tire of the expectation that they alone should carry the burden in everything they do. Music, in conjunction with many other variables, can play a it's own part in the longer term, aside from the fixation on amusing and stimulating flavours of the week. Various genres have an influence on respective listeners, yet exposure to the ideas contained in each variety is an unavoidable constant, because the distribution has evolved beyond profit driven motives. During the days of 8 track and 33s, it could not have been imagined that music could be instantly and globally available via internet. Likewise, when Young sang Alabama, it was not possible to contemplate a person called Barack Hussein Obama as President of the US. While waiting for water to boil or watching flowers grow, it's our own impatience that causes us to ultimately ignore the gradual process, being as we're often more affected by immediate results.
From: An Intensive De-Indoctrination, But I'm Fine Now | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Boarsbreath
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posted 10 February 2008 03:06 PM      Profile for Boarsbreath   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Neil Young is a hugely successful rockstar who has never lent his music or his image to a commercial purpose. That is his political legacy, not anything about saving the world or reversing imperialism or any other -- face it -- nonsense.

People who change politics are politicians. Musicians change the world by changing "music", and Neil, bless him, has done that. (Not as much as Saint Bob, quoted above, but then He is in a class by himself!)


From: South Seas, ex Montreal | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Slumberjack
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posted 10 February 2008 04:58 PM      Profile for Slumberjack     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Boarsbreath:
Neil Young is a hugely successful rockstar who has never lent his music or his image to a commercial purpose.

I always thought his style as a more of a folkish bent. Lending his music toward the 'farmaid' movement was a little unconvincing.


From: An Intensive De-Indoctrination, But I'm Fine Now | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mercy
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posted 10 February 2008 11:20 PM      Profile for Mercy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by N.R.KISSED:

Naturally the oppressor is terrified of the oppressed otherwise why would they put so much effort into the acts of oppression, the irony is the greater the oppression the greater the fear. The oppressor especially fears story tellers and artists that is why dictators tend to censor, torture and murder those whose work challenges them


Right.

That's why Bob Marley records are banned. And that poster of Bob Marley smoking a joint that's on the wall of every frat house in North America is a sign of simmering revolution about to leap forth.


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Boarsbreath
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posted 11 February 2008 02:42 PM      Profile for Boarsbreath   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You bet. Heck, even NRA's records aren't banned, and the image of Che is thriving, let alone Bob. The revolution won't be strummed or wa-wa'd either.

But you never heard Bob being insincere for money, and you never hear Neil being insincere for money, and that's why they're great in a way even beyond the beauty of their music. And that is as "political" as it gets.


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wwSwimming
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posted 11 February 2008 04:49 PM      Profile for wwSwimming     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't know. I think the Dixie Chicks' comments about Bush rang a chord.

Every actor & actress & musician, every public figure, has a chance to speak out and tell the truth.

Although so often, it is not good for their official career. Cynthia McKinney's honest questioning of the official 9-11 investigation cost her some credibility at Fox News, which I think she can take as a compliment.

I believe Neil Young, he's a professional musician, I am an infrequent musician. But I think what he says applies to him. He doesn't speak for all musicians. As public figures, they all have that choice, to do what Rachel Corrie did, and stand in front of a Palestinian bulldozer. Or to take a less risky path, and to speak out like the Dixie Chicks did.

I just wish more of them did it. How many songs about broken hearts does the world need ?

[ 14 February 2008: Message edited by: wwSwimming ]


From: LASIKdecision.com ~ Website By & For Injured LASIK Patients | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 11 February 2008 06:14 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mercy:
That's why Bob Marley records are banned.

Where are they banned? They're all available online at amazon.ca. I play his greatest hits album often.


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
remind
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posted 11 February 2008 06:41 PM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Boom Boom:
Where are they banned? They're all available online at amazon.ca. I play his greatest hits album often.

I don't know, think it was sarcastic we play ours all the time too.

From: "watching the tide roll away" | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
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posted 11 February 2008 06:47 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Right.
That's why Bob Marley records are banned. And that poster of Bob Marley smoking a joint that's on the wall of every frat house in North America is a sign of simmering revolution about to leap forth.

Who really gives a flying fuck what stupid white kids do, white people have been trying to appropriate black culture for centuries, this hardly makes black culture less authentic and yes whites are still terrified of black people, you wouldn't find those frat boys hanging out in the yards of Kingston. (It'also worth noting that Marley in was nearly assasinated by Edward Seaga's CIA funded thugs, due to his political influence in Jamaica)

THe point you seem to be missing is that I am not interested what is filtered through corporate media,nor am I interested in the corporate manufactured cynicism that you seem enamoured with. You will never spot a revolution before you are in it's crosshairs anyway.

The reality is music that has inspired people throughout history and has always been a sound track to struggle both personal and political. The even bigger point is that the world would be a souless place without music so unless you believe that a souless place is where you want to live than it ridiculous to say that music does not change the world.

[ 11 February 2008: Message edited by: N.R.KISSED ]


From: Republic of Parkdale | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
laine lowe
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posted 11 February 2008 09:52 PM      Profile for laine lowe     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well said N.R.KISSED.

And it's not just music that has helped move people towards fighting for a just world. All art that makes you question the status quo and aspires for change is relevant.

Picasso's painting Guernica inspired many who fought fascism beyond the Spanish Civil War. It still is a perfect testament to the horror of bombing civilians. Iraq and Afghanistan are our current Guernicas.

And what of the effect of such novels as Catch 22 and Slaughterhouse Five on inspiring the anti-Vietnam war movement?

Brecht and Weil were definitely voices decrying the coming fascism of their day.

The list is long. Why do you think right wing governments actively oppose or limit the expression of art that is critical and transformative? It scares them because people do respond. (Look at the McCarthy witch hunt of creative people to see that it does happen in so-called free democracies.)

We are in a new age where exposure has never been greater. As such, it is easy for corporate interests to drown out the true creative voices with pop crap. Bread and roses, that's all that amounts to and to conflate that with real revolutionary artistic voices is an insult.

[ 11 February 2008: Message edited by: laine lowe ]


From: north of 50 | Registered: Dec 2006  |  IP: Logged
B.L. Zeebub LLD
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posted 12 February 2008 01:04 AM      Profile for B.L. Zeebub LLD     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Mercy:

quote:
Music clearly can be inspirational and I'd argue that any succesful movement for change has had music that moved it along and gave the people involved the sense that they were involved in something that was bigger and more important that themselves.

But the music - in and of itself - doesn't do anything.


What thing is "in and of itself"? There is nothing that exists in a vacuum. You are contradicting yourself, because if music has a place/power in the hearts and minds of people as you allege then it is "doing something".

The power of music as social mastic is no mystery. Religious and faith movements have long used music/singing as a mechanism to open up certain states of consciousness and express certain, definite messages. Clubs, countries and political movements (check the U.S. nomination campaigns) ultilise music to enforce feelings of belonging and modes of behaviour (militaries play music that make you want to march....)

Even if one said that it's marching that made the music, it's also the other way around. Once the act/feeling/being of marching is written in the form of music, each of us then reads and reacts to the message contained therein. So music acts as a repository of states of being and of knowledge about subjective and objective experiences.


TV, radio and film utilise music because of its unique power to create moods and states of mind in the observer, either passively or actively. Gil Scott Heron being used in an advertisement is a TESTAMENT to the power of music as means, however misguided the ends. Music cannot only bring envoke feelings of joy and reverence, or excite our physical bodies to dance, it can sell toilet-bowl cleaner and Coca-Cola. Vibration, pitch, tone and rhythm are all deeply programmed into our psyches, probably beginning with the sounds of our mothers' voices while we're in the womb.

Put on some James Brown, or put on some Beethoven. Better yet, sing your favorite song out loud, without reservation. If your inner world isn't changed, then you should call a doctor.

[ 12 February 2008: Message edited by: B.L. Zeebub LLD ]


From: A Devil of an Advocate | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mercy
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posted 12 February 2008 05:24 AM      Profile for Mercy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think this may be semantics.

When Neil Young says, "Music can't change the world" I hear him acknowledging that social change can't be achieved just by slapping on guitars and singing about it.

Others heards Neil Young saying "Music can't change the world" and heard him saying, in effect, "music doesn't make any difference at all."

Because I agree with the former - people seem to be assuming I agree with the latter. I don't.


From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
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posted 12 February 2008 06:30 AM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I think this may be semantics.
When Neil Young says, "Music can't change the world" I hear him acknowledging that social change can't be achieved just by slapping on guitars and singing about it.

Others heards Neil Young saying "Music can't change the world" and heard him saying, in effect, "music doesn't make any difference at all."


I think I made this point way back I'll quote myself

quote:
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY CHANGE??? Making this statement is just repeating a vague talking point rife with unexamined assumptions. It is true that if I pick up my guitar and hit an A minor chord world peace is not going to suddenly going to break out or if I sit down and play Imagine world hunger will cease, but to say deny that music/Art is an avenue for change and radical transformation is a travesty and a tragedy.

What is being missed here is the reactinary subtext underlying the statement "music can't change the world" The message is that the artist should just shut up and sing take their place within the capitalist market writing meaningless ditties to soothe the nerves of the bloated complacent bourgeoisie and to help sell more stuff. Let's have more vacant meaningless pseudo love songs or racist characterizations promoted by corporate rap.

The reactionary subtext claims that music/art cannot be an act of transformation or subversion and in making this claim the intent is to silence and censor.

Those in power know that art is an effective method of impacting and effecting people that is why they continually censor artist and artist frequently are imprisoned and even killed. In Chile when Pinochet came to power Chile's most renowned folk singer was brutally tortured and killed within days. Conquering nations and colonialist always seek to silence the story tellers and artists of the conquered.


Basically I don't think Neil Young really knows himself when he says this, to be honest he's not a particularly deep thinker and he kind of has a history of saying things that aren't particularly well thought out. THis statement in itself is nothing new and nothing that has not been repeated endlessly and the main message is in the subtext, that attempts to dismiss the transformative power of music. To make this statement is to reiterate the subtext.

On another note this is a quote concering the transmission of African spirituality amongst those who were enslaved, another testament to the power of music in the context of struggle.

quote:
...the orishas were able to cross the waters from Africa in the songs of their devotees. Slavemasters deprived [the Africans] of nearly everything, but they could not take... the keys they possessed to gain access to the divine. These keys were held in the melodies produced in their throats and in the complex rhythms of their hands...[they]...hold the secret ability to create a confluence of sounds and rhythms that bridges the seen and unseen, the material and spiritual, God and humankind

What we mean by "change" is also crucial and explains why to a large extent hippies and people like young didn't get it and signed up with the Reagan agenda. Fundamental social Change is not something that happens instantaneously, it is a long and painful process, those with experience of oppression understand that. The spoiled western bourgeoise cannot, they also recoil from the fact that embracing change entails giving up power and privilege.

[ 12 February 2008: Message edited by: N.R.KISSED ]


From: Republic of Parkdale | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged

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