I was fortunate enough to attend a Neil Young concert last night. More than a few things got me pondering……
The first thing to strike me was the audience. Unlike so many shows I’ve attended by performers of Neil’s era, the audience was not what I expected. Rather than ageing hippies, lawyers, and accountants I was met by fresh young faces. A new generation of followers every bit as expectant as I was.
A young girl beside me exclaimed “oh my God, Grandpa hands” when a close up of Neil’s hands playing the piano was shown. A few minutes later she was weeping as he sang Needle and the Damage Done. Quite remarkable.
Neil Young turned 67 yesterday. In my opinion the greatest artist Canada has ever produced. Those “Grandpa hands” were exquisite, they spoke to the heart in ways no words could define.. It was beautiful. He appeared to be enjoying himself. Rather than churning out an old hit list Neil simply kicked ass. He played what he wanted, how he wanted, and for as long as he wanted. His guitar still rings in my ears.
So here I am pondering – what is that one quality that separates musical legends from the pack? I don’t even care about the answer – it doesn’t matter. In many ways that is the answer. The only thing I can say for certain is that Neil Young still has it. At 67 he filled a stadium with generations of fans. Not too shabby for an old man.
A few short months into my blog, well meaning conviction to keep politics and religion out of the mix met its match today. Please forgive my weakness – Ann Coulter appearing on CNN with Piers Morgan tore resolve into a thousand piece. My head exploded and I need help.
Grumpy to begin with, driving home from work I heard that Meatloaf endorsed Romney. Asking myself what I cared about Meatloaf didn’t help, purely on principle I felt my mood darken.Walked in the door, flicked the television on, unprepared for Ann Coulter’s caustic jibber-jabber. She was defending her use of the word “retard”. Blood pressure rising, attempts to calm myself with thoughts of the upcoming Neil Young concert failed miserably. A brief solitary debate questioned the logic of my rage – not as a Canadian (despite the fact such nonsense would never air in Canada), but as a person grounded in inclusion, sensitivity and common sense, I screamed “you stupid bitch” at the TV screen.
Ann’s use of the “R” word comes from a tweet she made.” I highly approve of Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard ”
For starters Ann – you couldn’t have been more ignorant or abusive if you tried. In case you didn’t receive the bulletin – in 2010 the U.S. Congress made it law – the words “retard” and “retardation” to be replaced with “intellectual disability” in all health, labour, and education laws. Federal law aside, I ponder what kind of person would defend their position as venomously as you do over simple human decency and compassion. My goodness, what point are you trying to make?
Once upon a time I was able to take all this with a grain of salt. Now a creeping dread invades my world. I may be crazy but have to laugh knowing it was Ann Coulter who broke the camels back.