The sad case of Neil Young v. Spotify

Photo © Sergey Klopotov |

So the guy who wrote “Keep on rocking in the free world” generated a kerfuffle the other day when he decided freedom is a dangerous thing.

Neil Young didn’t agree with what Joe Rogan was doing on the Spotify platform, so he demanded that his music be removed from the platform: “You can have Rogan or Young, not both.”

I don’t know much about Joe Rogan other than Young is apparently unhappy that Rogan gives a voice to “misinformation” about the experimental medications that are generally called COVID-19 vaccines. This is exactly what I was talking about the other day when I said we’ve reached the point where it’s risky to say 2 + 2 = 4.

If a doctor tries using a generic drug that has worked against other viruses, and announces success, then Big Pharma and its allies with a stake in costly new medicines declare the doctor unfit to be heard or perhaps even unfit to practice medicine.

If unusual numbers of people start dying of non-COVID maladies, and the surge in deaths coincides with mass distribution of the above-mentioned experimental medication, you point out the “coincidence” at the risk of your own reputation as a sane and credible source.

In a free world ideas get aired, the sound ideas survive, and the unsound ideas report to the dustbin of history. In an unfree world ideas get muzzled or throttled, and a central power decides what is a proper idea. The rest is proclaimed misinformation or disinformation, even if it’s 2 + 2 = 4.

I’m going to keep rocking in the free world, because it’s clear Mr. Young had a better idea 30 years ago.

UPDATE: And now Joni Mitchell, too. This also reminds me of another fact of life: It’s better to own your music, whether via CD or vinyl or download. A stream can be edited or removed, as these incidents show. I can still listen to Neil or Joni anytime on my turntable or digital players.

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