Friday, April 28, 2006

Living with War

Neil Young, you might remember, wrote a protest song called "Ohio" after four student protesters were killed by police at Kent State University. More recently, he wrote a song called "Let's Roll" about 9/11.

Living with War is another protest album. I think I read that the session singers (about 100) finished in one twelve-hour day. It sounds like it too, rough around the edges and urgent.

Living with War is about the direction our country has been rolling since 9/11. Neil Young thinks, and I agree, that we had been galvanized as a country, for better or worse, by 9/11. It was up to our leaders to take us further, to create a new vision for our democracy. Our national tragedy created a war for the soul of our country. At the moment, we're losing.

Instead of turning outward and embracing the world, we have become more insular and belligerent. We have debated in public whether the most powerful man in the world can spy on whoever he wants to, jail whoever he wants to, torture whoever he wants to, and make war on whoever he wants to. Shouldn't these debates have been over before they started? Now we are living with the consequences.

What should we do? How should we feel? What can we say? Neil Young really tapped in here. I'm glad he made this album, which I know not everyone will listen to or approve of.

You can listen to the whole thing here.

Update: An Anonymous Coward informs me that the choir was made up of 100 people, not 300 as I misremembered. So thanks, AC, for correcting my statement, which was obviously made in too much haste to be posted on the Internet.

AC takes me to task for being another non-fact-checking blogger. "I know it's a pain to fact-check, but c'mon, guy!" I am not offended by AC's correction. I welcome it. However, pace Comic Book Guy, "Ooh, your powers of fact-checking are exceptional. I can't allow you to waste them here when there are so many crimes going unsolved at this very moment. Go, go, for the good of the city."

Here's the New York Times article on the album; lovers of pesky facts can read it instead of, or in addition to, this humble blog entry, which after all, may not be as full of facts as it seems to be.

Seriously, though, you can nitpick about easily corrected, non-germane details, or you can engage with discourse at the height of its power. It's a choice that occurs in Christian apologetics, in politics, in all walks of life. Smart it up or dumb it down. Meet it where it is or reach to where it's coming from.

AC's personal response to Living with War is not available. I invite them to respond to the other 400 plus words in this increasingly lengthy and annoying blog post.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The choir was 100 voices (and as Neil and other have mentioned 100 UNION singers).... which is mentioned on Neil's site and in nearly every news story about the album.

I know it's a pain to fact-check, but c'mon, guy!