I’ve heard Neil Young is a complete asshole.
Years ago I was at a bar drinking with some friends when someone told a story about a rich guy they knew in California who had Neil Young as a neighbor. Apparently, Neil was not very friendly, oftentimes coming over to complain about this or that. Everyone nodded in agreement as if it was understood that we would all like him a bit less because he’s a dick.
But I felt the opposite way.
You see, I felt like he was probably just being himself and just because he’s a celebrity doesn’t mean we get to judge him on a different level. He is no way beholden to the masses, and certainly not his equally rich neighbor, to adhere to an attitude level that we expect of him. I’m surrounded by assholes, and not one of them do I feel the need to tell a story about. That’s their choice, their life, so what do I care?
But when it’s a celebrity, we like to tell the story as if it’s going to negatively impact their fame at a grassroots effort. It made me appreciate Neil even more for just being who he was. Besides, what if the neighbor was a real jerk and Neil had been trying for years to be nice and this one story was the last straw?
This is the needle and the damage done. Neil Young is the needle and his attitude is the drug. It can make you high, it can ruin your life, it can completely kill you if you don’t know how to use it.
But, this story isn’t about Neil Young.
It’s about Donald Trump because everything in America has been about him for almost 5 years and will continue to be about him for at least another few. Donald Trump is a needle and his attitude is heroin. Some people like that the president is an asshole, just as I liked to hear that about Neil. Donald Trump is the needle, piercing the skin of the population and delivering the heroin. No one is addicted to the needle, they want what it delivers.
America is going to go through withdrawal soon because whatever the needle of Donald Trump delivered, we all ate it up greedily. News stations, social media, both sides of the aisle, everyone grabbed at whatever was delivered for their own purposes. The sharp sting of the cold steel became familiar and every time the plunger was pressed, the needle spewed more intoxicant into the waters, into the airwaves, and into the country.
It can’t stop completely and suddenly, because we will find it elsewhere. It’s how addiction works. According to research completed by American Addiction Centers, only about 30% of people who go through rehab complete the process and start living healthier.
First off, we didn’t get a rehab, and second, that leaves half of the population to find their anger, deceit, annoyance, pride, guilt, hatred, fear, gloating, lying, contradiction and entertainment elsewhere.
The needle and the damage done. The damage is done. Neil Young said it best and then someone tried to drag him under for only being who he was, a rich old man in California who doesn’t like his neighbor. But that story traveled.
The real estate mogul from New York who has filled the air around him with a wrestling ring machismo traveled too, right to DC and into the Oval Office. The needle and the damage done and every junkie is like a setting sun.
This post is republished on Medium.