...But of these sophisms and elenchs of merchandise I skill not...
Milton, Areopagitica

Except he had found the
standing sea-rock that even this last
Temptation breaks on; quieter than death but lovelier; peace
that quiets the desire even of praising it.

Jeffers, Meditation On Saviors



Neil Young is getting heat for things that aren't central to what he's saying.
So that the controversy slides into being about how much fuel he uses, and whether or not there's beauty in Ft McMurray. And of course there is. I could get some photographers together and we could go anywhere on this planet, anywhere, Somalia, the scene of a cartel massacre in Mexico, the strip malls outside USmilitary bases on Okinawa, sewer-dwellings of the homeless in NYC, any place the default reaction of normal decent folks is "That's ugly!" There's beauty everywhere.
His Hiroshima comment was specifically about the industrial presence of tar-sands extraction in treaty-protected Alberta. All the lovely nature that's viewable around that ruinous landscape doesn't change a thing. It actually makes his point.
The snark about consumption - "Al Gore has 3000 light bulbs! And they're always on!" - isn't heartfelt. It's adolescent bitterness. The immune system of the power that's causing the havoc.
Someone steps up, in the midst of a lemming-rush toward oblivion, and if they aren't Jesus or Ghandi, they're crucified for hypocrisy.
But no one else is capable of figure-heading an opposition. You have to be a figurehead to do that. You can't be a figurehead in the modern world without having an exceptional lifestyle.
No profile for the saints. A little cave in the desert, the hermit fed by birds and selfless nuns. No voice though, because no media presence.
So any figurehead who isn't a champion of raw greedy selfishness is a hypocrite, because any normal life will not be saintly, but normal, even the abnormal lifestyle of someone like Young is normal that way.
Long time ago conversation about petrochemical/gasoline consumption:
If you don't use it you won't be able to vocally oppose it, unless you huddle in some urban hive.
But that will mean a collective urban lifestyle.
So anarchy and anonymous and OWC and yeah.
But that won't work for northern Alberta.
It's either Neil Young talking about it, giving a voice where voice has been denied for a long time, or some media event, usually destructive, and the consequent reactive war against destructive actions and actors.
He's the nice part of the resistance, peace-loving, relatively sane, with a sensible presentation. And his main point is the illegal dishonoring of legal treaties with the First Nations people.
If you want hypocrisy in this matter, look to the p.r. campaign of "energy independence" by greedy little shitheads who intend to sell that oil to China. Or anyone else with the big $$ to spend.

Blog Archive