Just because you’re an artist does not mean your opinions are worth hearing. You might be that rare item like George Orwell, Henry Miller, Irving Layton, Shelley… but likely not.
Your philosophy may be greatly intentioned and originate from a source you feel deeply. Doesn’t mean your brain works that way.
I admire Neil and Bob and John very much. I believe what they have to say artistically merits true listening without comparisons. I think anyone who can write, and compose original material that is worthy of that classification – which leaves out most rap, bubble-gum songs, etc. – bears a hearing.
I think that what those guys say, and Van the Man in all his works such as TB Sheets and others more well known, in their works says more than anything they can ever write in prose or extemporize. It’s disappointing to think they want to offer up their opinions knowingly aware of the weight they carry with those who’d wish to believe. I always thought one of the stipulations of creativity was a suspension of disbelief, a willingness to carve out that wilderness, and see what’s in the block of clay, as Michelangelo said. To see what is revealed.
And doing so as a famous and respected creative person meant to weigh those things, and probably more so than allowed from touring and writing. To realize that you’re bending the wave of thoughts and opinions of the uniformed, not contributing to the process of self-knowledge and not providing the impetus to do so – in fact you’re doing the opposite.
You’re going against the grain of creativity, against the joy of writing and composing, and simply siding with an issue or person who represents some uninformed attachment you have yet to understand as you brilliantly do when involved in the creative process.
In fact, an uninformed creative person attempting to sway public opinion without establishing a wide basis for facts that can be presented in a creative way comes off as nothing so much as a pimp for whatever side they’ve heeled their boots to.
We expect more, and we deserve more. Your intuitive genius in regards to insights and passions of people revealed in a truly unique manner is always welcome – your brush with the stilts of common acclaim is a lie, it’s a betrayal of that genius, especially when lacking in the realities.
The same year Bob Dylan was touring to support his most recent CD at the time, Slow Train Coming, with it’s hit You Gotta Serve Somebody, John Lennon did a mean – but well intentioned likely – semi-cover called You Gotta Serve Your Mother, likely never meant to be heard publicly since it hasn’t been.
But then the last thing I ever thought I’d see was Bob Dylan championing The Prez. That’s a far stretch from deliberately getting your picture taken at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem to throw off the hounds strait-jacketing him into ‘protest’ singer, or leader.
Or, Bruce Springsteen doing the same, in regards to The Prez.
Now we see Neil Young, on stage with David Suzuki, and various tribal leaders, saying get rid of the Tar Sands. First of off, it’s bad enough that Neil would associate with the gaspipe Suzuki, speaking of tar sands. And second, Neil, nothing you can say will ever equal whatever song you might be writing right at this very moment.
Third, you guys can’t really believe that you want people to swallow your sway in regards to politics, and any of its offshoots, when your entire artistic lives have been in regards to people finding their own way without muddy, debilitating fudge-packet gifts of opinion from those whose authority speaks for itself in dissuading others from that very same manner of thought, and the process of arriving at their own understandings.
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