Is Neil Young’s Spotify Protest Censorship?

by James Wallace Harris, 2/2/22

I’ve noticed an interesting overlap in two news stories over the past week. One was Neil Young’s demand that Spotify removes Joe Rogan’s podcast, and the other was about parents demanding books be removed from Texas schools. Since I’m against banning books should I also be against banning podcasts? Just because I love Neil Young’s music should I follow his protests?

I know next to nothing about Joe Rogan other than he said healthy young people shouldn’t need to get the Covid vaccine. That’s truly bad advice that could get some young people killed. But is censoring Joe Rogan the answer? I find controversy-driven talk show hosts to be repugnant. I just ignore them. But what if we did live in a world where we could shut up everyone we didn’t want to hear?

The problem is people on the right want to suppress certain ideas, and people on the left want to suppress other ideas. In both cases, those folks think they are doing good. I believe ideas should battle it out in the open. If a talk show host or book author says something that upsets people, should we censor them? Or should we evaluate what they have to say and decide for ourselves what we want to believe?

We do have certain kinds of censorship. We put the kibosh on false advertising, libel, slander, or any action that leads to provable damaging results.

Are there cases where young people have died, and their parents could bring a class action suit against Joe Rogan? With all the social media evidence, I suppose documentation where young people left evidence saying they didn’t get vaccinated because of Joe Rogan. But isn’t that for the courts to decide?

What Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, et al have done is assume this danger is true and are fighting against it. That seems honorable. But I’m sure the parents and supporters of banning books feel they are equally honorable. I admire people wanting to do good, but I often feel they aren’t

On the other hand, I had a completely different take on the Young-Spotify issue. I was offended by Spotify regarding Joe Rogan for an entirely different reason. I love Spotify but I’ve always felt guilty when I hear claims that it doesn’t pay music creators fairly. To pay some blowhard $100 million for a podcast when Spotify is accused of paying musicians $50 royalty checks is hard to accept. Why isn’t Neil Young protesting that? However, I have heard other musicians say they are paid well by streaming services, and those complaining performers have never been given proper royalties. Evidently, dividing the pie has always been unfair in the music business.

It’s mind-boggling to me that talking heads get more money than musicians.

If recording artists pulled their music catalogs to protest bad pay, I could understand their attack on Spotify. Is Joe Rogan getting more pay per play than hit songwriters? That would be disturbing. Does society really value the opinionated over artists who gave us songs we’ve loved an entire lifetime? To me, Carol Kaye deserves $100 million far more than Joe Rogan.

I also must wonder if Neil Young and his musician friends are only hurting their fans. Spotify now skips their songs when they come up in my playlists. I never wanted to listen to Joe Rogan, but now I can’t hear Neal Young on Spotify.

I bought all of Neil Young’s albums and CDs for decades, and I could go back to listening to them now, but streaming is how I listen to music nowadays. I hardly ever use my turntable or CD player. Luckily, I subscribe to more than one music streaming service.

My protest to Spotify is they should pay the musicians more, even the ones that originally got bad contracts. I love the idea of a universal listening library for rent. It’s too damn convenient. That’s why I subscribe. I want access to all music. I don’t care about anything but the music.


5 thoughts on “Is Neil Young’s Spotify Protest Censorship?”

  1. “We do have certain kinds of censorship. We put the kibosh on false advertising, libel, slander, or any action that leads to provable damaging results.”

    What you are suggesting is that it’s a benefit to censor science. Science is a conversation, a discussion of data and ideas–not a textbook.

    The public is restrained from accessing science due to aggressive disinformation in the form of fact checking. Rogan give the average Joe access to the science that they would otherwise be blocked from hearing.

    1. I was never even talking about science. But I assure you, people aren’t being blocked from real science or pseudo-science. Everything is out there, all easily accessible, the good and the bad. My position is against censorship. But I expect people to learn to tell shit from Shinola on their own.

      Also, you missed the intent of my piece. I’m against censoring Joe Rogan. I’m also against censoring the books they’re censoring in Texas too. If I have any beef with Spotify it’s that they pay the musicians too little and the talking heads too much.

      My mentioning of the kinds of censorship that does exist in the country was to suggest that if Joe Rogan is doing something wrong people could take him to court, instead of attacking Spotify.

      1. Rogan was enabling scientific conversation so that people could hear what McCullough and Malone had to say for themselves instead of what people said that McCullough and Rogan said. From the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

        If information is so accessible, what I’m going to discuss next should not be news to you.

        Are you aware that data shows that there is no all-cause mortality benefit from both the Pfizer and the Moderna covid vaccines? This is all contained in a FDA report and in a scientific article published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

        For Moderna, there were 18 deaths in the placebo arm and 18 deaths in the vaccine arm.

        For Pfizer, there were 17 deaths in the placebo arm and 21 deaths in the vaccine arm.

        The Pfizer data comes from a FDA report about the Pfizer covid vaccine data that was produced after a court order stemming from a FOIA request.

        The Moderna data comes from Figure S-2 in the Supplemental Appendix of the paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine and linked at…

        You won’t find any mention of all-cause mortality data in the paper’s conclusion or in any of the mainstream media news articles. Only if you look at the data for yourself (with an addition step to get the combined total for both jabs) will you be able to see the all-cause mortality data. How many people actually look at the data themselves? How accessible is the science really?

        Rogan brings people on his show both from the vaccine boosters and from the vaccine skeptics so that the average Joe can hear about evidence that isn’t transparently available. I have spoken with doctors about this data that I just shared with you and they are all totally unaware of it. It’s a scandal in medicine.

        1. I don’t see your point here. I assumed people were dying in all forms of drug/vaccine testing and use. I’ve had to take prescription medicines that warn that they may cause death in rare circumstances. Everything we do in life kills somebody sometimes. 36,000 people died in car crashes in 2019, yet how many anti-car users are there?

          Currently, 2600 anti-vaxxers a day are dying from Covid. Why doesn’t that statistic scare them more than the handful of people who die in testing trials?

          Sure, some people die from modern medicines, but millions are saved every year.

          1. If there’s no all-cause mortality benefit, the vaccines are snake oil.

            “Currently, 2600 anti-vaxxers a day are dying from Covid.” Because we don’t believe it. And we know doctors who practice in hospitals who tell us this is just nonsense propaganda. Many of the “unvaccinated” were vaccinated less than two weeks before they got covid. So they are counted in the two-week waiting period as “unvaccinated” per CDC rules.

            But in the US, 137,500 more working age people died in 2021 than in 2020, but very few of them from covid. That’s a 17% increase over 2020. I have a post up about this.

            Got a link?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Where one line can make a difference.

Engaging With Aging

As long as we're green, we're growing

A Deep Look by Dave Hook

Thoughts, ramblings and ruminations


A story a day keeps the boredom away: SF and Fantasy story reviews


Pluralism and Individuation in a World of Becoming

the sinister science

sf & critical theory join forces to destroy the present

Short Story Magic Tricks

breaking down why great fiction is great

Xeno Swarm

Multiple Estrangements in Philosophy and Science Fiction

fiction review

(mostly) short reviews of (mostly) short fiction

A Just Recompense

I'm Writing and I Can't Shut Up

Universes of the Mind

A celebration of stories that, while they may have been invented, are still true

Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

Make Lists, Not War

The Meta-Lists Website

From Earth to the Stars

The Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine Author & Editor Blog

SFF Reviews

Short Reviews of Short SFF

Featured Futures

classic science fiction and more

Sable Aradia, Priestess & Witch

Witchcraft, Magick, Paganism & Metaphysical Matters

Pulp and old Magazines

Pulp and old Magazines

Matthew Wright

Science, writing, reason and stuff

My Colourful Life

Because Life is Colourful

The Astounding Analog Companion

The official Analog Science Fiction and Fact blog.

What's Nonfiction?

Where is your nonfiction section please.

A Commonplace for the Uncommon

Books I want to remember - and why

a rambling collective

Short Fiction by Nicola Humphreys

The Real SciBlog

Articles about riveting topics in science

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

The Subway Test

Joe Pitkin's stories, queries, and quibbles regarding the human, the inhuman, the humanesque.

SuchFriends Blog

'...and say my glory was I had such friends.' --- WB Yeats

Neither Kings nor Americans

Reading the American tradition from an anarchist perspective


Speculations on the Future: Science, Technology and Society

I can't believe it!

Problems of today, Ideas for tomorrow


Peter Webscott's travel and photography blog

The Wonderful World of Cinema

Where classic films are very much alive! It's Wonderful!

The Case for Global Film

'in the picture': Films from everywhere and every era

A Sky of Books and Movies

Books & movies, art and thoughts.

Emily Munro

Spinning Tales in the Big Apple


hold a mirror up to life.....are there layers you can see?

%d bloggers like this: