Neil Young ended his Blame Canada tour in a bizarre way. At his last anti-oilsands concert in Calgary, he left his five diesel tour buses idling outside throughout the entire concert.
They kept burning fuel. “Bio-diesel,” we’re assured, trucked in from the U.S.A., so I guess that’s OK.
Inside the concert, Young did something even weirder. All week, he had been comparing the oilsands to Hiroshima, claiming it caused cancer, that there was no reclamation of the land afterwards, that it caused pollution in faraway China, etc.. But then on Sunday, he said he was fine with all of it — he could actually support the expansion of the oilsands — if “the First Nations treaties (are) honoured.”
Huh? So all that Hiroshima talk was just a bargaining chip to get some legal tinkering?
It’s uncertain what Young means by “honouring the treaties,” which happened to be the name of his concert tour. Actually, “Honor the Treaties” was the title of his tour. It was designed in California, and they don’t spell honour with a u down there.
They don’t do a lot of treaty honouring or honoring in California. It’s a state that didn’t sign any treaties with its Indians. They pretty much just wiped them out, including the Tongva tribe that used to live near Young’s massive 1,500-acre estate. Juana Maria was the last of the Tongva, and she died in 1853. Which is why Neil Young has to come up to Canada to lecture people about Indians.
Unlike California, Alberta signed a treaty with all of its Indians.
Young’s inability — over an entire week — to come up with a single example of how we’re not honouring them is easy to explain: “As far as me not knowing what I’m talking about, everybody knows that, that couldn’t be more obvious, I’m a musician.”
That aw-shucks routine gets Young out of situations where he embarrasses himself. But it’s just an act. You don’t amass a fortune of
For the rest of this column, click here: http://www.torontosun.com/2014/01/20/young-changes-his-tune-at-last-canuck-concert