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Neil Young Cancels his Spotify Account

Cancel culture must be shifting gears: While radical leftists who engage in censorship practices typically use their voices to cancel their opponents, Neil Young used his to cancel himself.

Neil Young and his music haven’t really been all that relevant for quite some time. Recently, Young’s name has been trending on social media platforms after he gave Spotify an unusual ultimatum: Remove Joe Rogan, or remove Neil Young. Unsurprisingly, Spotify removed Young’s catalog of songs at his request.


Spotify signed a $100,000 contract with the Joe Rogan Experience. It was a wise financial move to not break that contract. Young’s ultimatum must have been a publicity stunt that backfired. Perhaps he thought he could inspire other woke, more popular musicians and celebrities to demand that Spotify also remove their content. Unfortunately for Young, popular musicians these days prioritize their bottom dollar over the social justice movements they pretend to embrace.


One thing must be made clear: Rogan is not promoting misinformation regarding COVID-19. Asking questions that challenge the national narrative does not equate to disseminating misinformation. In fact, he’s actually engaging in the scientific process. “The Science” should always be questioned; that’s how we learn and grow as a society. Science is never absolute. We should always make adjustments in light of new information.


This movement against COVID misinformation demands that people do not question science. In fact, a recent Rasmussen poll of likely Democratic voters found that 48% support imposing fines or prison sentences on anyone who publicly questions vaccine efficacy. Rogan is guilty of questioning vaccine efficacy… as most of us with critical thinking skills and access to the data are.


We, as a society, are straying far away from the principles of free speech. When washed-up conservative commentator Geraldo Rivera takes Young’s side over a podcaster interested in learning more about how the world works, it says a lot about the corrupt political elites running this country.


Young’s ultimatum wasn’t against COVID misinformation. He was attempting to entice Spotify to pull a show that questions the federal government. Celebrities have gone into hyperdrive in their mission to force faith in the federal government. Young once wrote some of the greatest protest songs of my lifetime. Now, he has positioned himself as the person a young Young would protest.


Censorship is far more dangerous than the spread of misinformation. Censoring content or people who deviate from the dictated script only makes more people question the national narrative. As a free country, we should have the right to question the national narrative. Our Constitution was amended to include the First Amendment because our founders knew the potential corruption election leaders fall victim to. Elected leaders have since turned the censorship practices to private, publicly-known celebrities.


Censorship is also a form of oppression. The ability to express freely is part of the human experience. Stripping people of this right forced even pacifists to turn to violence. We have a system that allows us to peacefully address our grievances with our oppressors. Once the oppressors start ignoring that system, so do the people that currently adhere to it.


I don’t think we should “cancel” Neil Young, however. Young is entitled to his own opinions and, frankly, he’s quite capable of canceling himself. Young’s views, regardless of how wrong he is, should be considered in the national conversation. By canceling him, we’re as guilty as the radical leftists who actively engage in cancel culture.


Lastly, Spotify shouldn’t be celebrated for “choosing” Rogan over Young. Rogan never presented the company with an ultimatum; Young did. Young made it very clear that he isn’t willing to share the same platform with someone who promotes “COVID misinformation.” Spotify made the decision to respect Young’s request and remove him from their platform.


These public attempts at censoring well-respected artists are becoming extremely concerning. Art is valuable in society when it can question what’s normal. Artists use their mediums to express different ways of seeing the world. They do not declare themselves experts on the subject matter; they simply add to the conversation with their works of art. We should not be engaged in a war on art or a war on artists. Let others live the way they wish to live. Live your life the way you wish to live. Stop trying to force your views on free people.


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