Friday, March 6, 2009

Say It Ain't So, Neil

My man Neil Young dropped a bomb in Germany the other day. Music cannot change the world. He actually said this. "I think that the time when music could change the world is past," he said. "I think it would be very naïve to think that in this day and age." Geez, Neil, if you're not holding on to the dream that music has transformative power, then what does that mean for the rest of us? I'll tell you the truth, man. I don't want to stop believing that Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, or, yes, Neil Young or some other troubador of peace, love, and understanding can't bring this world to its senses. I know you can't help it. You're getting old, just like the rest of us. And you've seen what we did with our dreams. We've made an unholy mess of things, and it ain't getting better. No wonder you're discouraged. I am too.

But then you're not entirely without hope. "I think the world today is a different place," you said, "and that it's time for science and physics and spirituality to make a difference in this world and to try to save the planet." Well, I'm not sure about the science and physics part--they've got a lot of explaining to do--but I'll certainly buy the spirituality. If we had more of that, we'd all be better off. And music . . . well, it's hard for me to separate music from spirituality. So maybe we're on the same page after all.
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