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DVD Talk review of 'CSNY/Deja Vu'

Old 10-06-08, 10:50 AM
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DVD Talk review of 'CSNY/Deja Vu'

I read Preston Jones's DVD review of CSNY/Deja Vu at http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=34960 and while I respect Young and Company for their willingness to be booed and sworn at, they should have charged $10.00 a ticket for this tour rather than the top notch price classic rockers of their ilk can command. If I had paid top dollar to see anyone of that stature, say Paul McCartney, and all he payed were songs about vegetarianism and animal rights; I wouldn't care that he was a Beatle! I'd have booed and felt ripped off, too!!
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Old 10-06-08, 11:11 AM
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I haven't seen the film, but read Preston's review because I'm curious to see it, and I had a question about something he mentions.

He remarks that "at the same time, watching Young buddy up with Vietnam and Iraq veterans is a bit disconcerting, as though 'Living with War' wasn't a response to President George W. Bush and his policies, so much as it was artistically expedient and exceptionally well-timed" Seeing as how Living With War isn't about the troops at all, but about the policy and actions of the administration, I don't see how Young being friendly to veterans of any war (including wars he may disagree with) has any relation to his motives behind recording the album. Perhaps Preston could clear this up?
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Old 10-06-08, 12:12 PM
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I'd disagree that Living With War doesn't incorporate the troops to some extent -- certainly during the film he's seen using imagery of men and women fighting overseas to underline his points onstage -- so I guess the question becomes, does Young view these soldiers as merely unfortunate pawns in the administration's policy decisions or is he, as I felt, trying to have his cake and eat it too (raging against the machine/comforting soldiers while trying to move copies of War and sell pricey concert tickets).

While Young doesn't say as much in the film -- and why would he -- you don't set out on a tour to make your voice heard by as many people as possible and charge what CSNY did. Throw a free concert somewhere (or a lot of somewheres), do as much press as possible and do everything in your power to at least draw people's attention to your point, regardless of whether it makes a significant dent or not. The band is seen picking and choosing its outlets in the film, as though being more selective will ultimately help them. Not taking any of these steps and simply hooking up with Live Nation for a two-month tour is called turning a profit, which again, raises the question: what, exactly, are Young's aims?

I have no doubt that his intentions in recording Living With War were noble, but somewhere along the way, he got lost in wanting to remain relevant and still make some cash off his new songs and the CSNY classics he knew everyone would cough up dough to see.
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Old 10-06-08, 01:21 PM
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...none of which actually answers the question. How does Young's "buddy(ing) up with Vietnam and Iraq veterans" call into question his motives behind recording the album Living With War?
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Old 10-06-08, 01:27 PM
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It feels disingenuous.
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Old 10-06-08, 02:56 PM
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What feels disingenuous? The album? His "buddying up?" Both? Why? You're still glibly skirting around the question. How does his "buddying up" with veterans of wars in Vietnam and Iraq call into question his motives in recording an album that criticizes the war in Iraq? Are the two necessarily mutually exclusive?
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Old 10-06-08, 03:59 PM
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I feel like I've answered this. What's more, don't you think this discussion would be better served if you'd actually seen the film in question?

I'll explain once more: Slapping war veterans on the back while touring to make a profit off of an album that unquestionably employs imagery of soldiers in the course of its 10 songs is, to me, disingenuous. In my opinion, I don't think Young can hug vets and tell them he's with 'em and pretend that his motives for doing so are altogether aboveboard. The record, again, was likely made with the best of intentions and had he stopped there and not toured, I'd probably think differently. But he did not, so, in this instance, I think the two ("buddying up" and Living With War) are mutually exclusive.

If he was just going around meeting up with people and had no other agendas (making a film, promoting a tour, selling an album), I think his befriending vets would be admirable. It's the context in which he's doing so that strikes me as disingenuous.

I think he's simply covering himself -- and the film doesn't offer up any evidence to the contrary (one of the dangers, I think, in directing a documentary about yourself).
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