Boring in Oh-Hi-Oh: Neil Young Hurls Old Hippie Anthem at NRA

November 1st, 2018 1:18 PM

Neil Young once sang, “It’s better to burn out than to fade away.” Happily, he didn’t burn out, but it would be nice if he’d get on with the fading away. It would save us the embarrassment of watching him try to be relevant.

Ed Mazza of Huffington Post reported on Nov. 1 that the folk rock icon knocked some of the rust off his old protest song “Ohio” in a new concert video and aimed it at the NRA.



Young originally wrote “Ohio” and recorded it Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young in response to in the 1970 Kent State massacre, where the Ohio National Guard killed four students who were protesting the Vietnam War. In the new concert video Young features images of the anti-NRA March for Our Lives demonstration projected behind him as he croons.

This is both yawn-inducing and silly. Why would Young use a song meant to criticize Richard Nixon, the Ohio National Guard and authoritarian government to censure a gun rights organization? Has the God of Intersectionality, who decrees that all “oppression” stems from the same source (read: evil conservatives) reared his ugly head again?

Young accompanies the video with a statement in his archives which praised students involved in the March for Our Lives. It read: “With no real laws protecting us from guns, and with politicians supporting the NRA because the NRA supports them ...Today’s students are brave, demanding change in violent times” (emphasis added). So no current gun laws, including those dealing with background checks, count according to Young. What is “real” by his standards?