TenÃ‚Â words: Metal-folk protest music from a guy in his 60’s.
Oh come on, stop cringing. It could be fun. I own several of Neil’s albums, some on vinyl, and some have been replaced with cassettes, and then CD’s (Rust Never Sleeps still plays often here), so I feel I’ve paid for the right to comment… at least a little.
It has been written that Young was a big backer of the President shortly after 9/11, and was a former supporter of Presidents George HW Bush and Ronald Reagan.
Now, since Young says that the war has gone bad and Bush’s poll numbers are down, Young is anti-Bush. Honest coincidence, or is Neil Young simply riding on waves of public sentiment, no matter where they are or what they’re for or against? Duh! He’s an entertainer. It’s what they do.
That said, the value of this activism in achieving whatever it is said celebrity is trying to accomplish is usually minimal at best, completely counterproductive at worse.
How effective are celebrity protests and anti-war songs?
Remember John Lennon’s “Give peace a chance”, “Imagine”, and Yoko Ono’s… whatever that is she’s squawking about. Since then, we had a continuation of hostilities in Vietnam, the tragedy at the Olympic games in Munich, the hostage crisis in Iran, embassy bombings, hijackings, continuous violence in the Middle East and constant terrorist attacks around the world. We might want to give peace a chance, but it would appear others don’t. Maybe the problem is that despots and terrorists don’t listen to enough FM radio.
For the last couple of decades, many celebrities have petitioned presidents and others to release from prison, or at least get a new trial for, Leonard Peltier, who was convicted in 1975 of killing two FBI agents. Peltier is still using soap-on-a-rope and padlocked briefs to this day.
In 1998, celebrities from around the world signed a petition calling Kenneth Starr’s investigation into Bill Clinton’s perjury an “inquisitorial harassment by a fanatical prosecutor.” Clinton was impeached soon after.
In 2002, many of these sameÃ‚Â entertainers signed a petition asking U.S. senators to vote against a plan to bury the nation’s nuclear power waste at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain. The petition so impressed Congress that they immediately started dumping nuclear waste in the Yucca Mountain (now known as “Enrico Fermi’s Port-A-Potty”).
Last year, Hollywood heavyweights, musicians, and others, turned out big time to protest the death penalty for Crip founder Stanley “Tookie” Williams. What happened? To use Hollywood vernacular, “Tookie” was canceled.
The protests don’t seem to work, and often, the opposite of what is soughtÃ‚Â is the result. Maybe a change in strategy is in order.
TheÃ‚Â limo-liberal leftÃ‚Â should realize that, if they’re truly interested in getting us out of Iraq and avoiding confrontation with Iran, they should form a group called “Actors For A Radioactive Teheran.” The general public would turn pacifist virtually overnight. Nobody in their right mind would want to start a war if Mia Farrow and REM thought it was a good idea, right?
Hollywood and Neil Young would have theirÃ‚Â anti-war objectives achieved with one final phone call from President Bush:
“General, Dubya here. Got some entertainers who think we should stay in Iraq, and invade Iran andÃ‚Â North KoreaÃ‚Â after that’s done. I just wanted to let you know, because as soon as I get ‘thumbs up to attack’ votes from Conrad Bain, Reese Witherspoon and that guy who played ‘Screech’ on ‘Saved By The Bell’, we’re standing down. Time for a re-think.”
So, if Neil Young’s “Living with War” album, and it’s song “Impeach the President”Ã‚Â doesn’t get us out of our global troubles and get rid of Bush, I’d suggest that his next CD be entitled “Nuke Iran and Don’t Impeach Bush!”
That combined with backing vocals from George Clooney, Rob Reiner, The Dixie Chicks, Alec Baldwin and Martin Sheen on the song “Vote RepublicanÃ‚Â in ’08″Ã‚Â should help ensure that the public will assist them inÃ‚Â seeing to itÃ‚Â that absolutely none of that ever happens.
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