Friday, April 28, 2006

Neil Young's New Song, "Let's Impeach the President"

Neil Young, the greatest Canadian writer of American protest music, is realeasing Living with War a whole album of anti-war music, with the feature track "Let's Impeach the President." Hot damn. But there's a problem.

Neil Young, the most pretentious artiste of the baby boom, is going all control freak over his audience. Neil, as he explains in this interview insists that you listen to the album as a whole, rather than just skipping to "Let's Impeach the President." To force this mode of appreciation on you, he has set up his web site to only stream the album from the beginning. If you click on the link above, you will start hearing the first track of the album, "After the Garden," but not be provided with links to any other part of the album. Clicking on the living with war link just gives you the lyrics. Worse, his servers are overloaded. My browser crashed after "After the Garden."

Well, the audience always subverts the artist's intentions. I'm determined to find a way to just listen to "Let's Impeach the President," if only because I don't have time to listen to the whole album. I'm behind on my grading, my writing, and my whole life. More importantly, its just absurd for Neil to demand complete audience passivity here. Art is a process of communication between artist and audience (and don't let any damn contemporary aesthetician tell you otherwise) and the communication requires both partners to be active.

But enough about art. Let's impeach the president.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I urge you and your readers to take a few minutes to examine:

It's a list of the 25 most recent comments made by real Americans participating in an online poll/letter-writing campaign concerning the impeachment charges recently filed against Vice President Cheney, which are now being evaluated by the House Judiciary Committee. Comments can be sent to elected representatives and local newspapers at your option. The participation page is at:

Since this campaign began, three members of Congress have signed on as co-sponsors, in part due to hearing from their constituents. Make your voice heard, and let others know!