The other night, Richard insisted on watching (and I insisted on not watching) Neil Young's concert documentary CSNY/Deja Vu, chronicling the band's North American "Freedom of Speech" tour.
I do not like Neil Young. It's not because of his politics; I am also anti-war and slightly left of center. It's not because of that screechy, whiny voice that reminds me somewhat of a dental drill. It's not because of his songwriting - I actually like several of his songs, when someone else sings them (ditto for Dylan). Sure, I can't figure out "Sugar Mountain" ("can't be 20" what, exactly, Mr. Young? Years old? Pounds overweight?), but "Ohio" and "Helpless" are good. I'm slightly annoyed by his seeming hatred for other men (old men, Southern men, etc.), but that's his problem, not mine.
No, I don't like Neil Young because he is really, really hard on the eyes. The first time I saw him, in his "Harvest Moon" video, I almost vomited. And since then I've been wondering why he has gone to such dramatic lengths to uglify himself. It's one thing to underdress for concerts; most rock stars do that, and I'm cool with flannel and T-shirts. But why the uneven muttonchops, the straggly hair, the Neanderthalian shuffle that makes Nixon look like a prima ballerina by comparison?
OK, pretty boys like Michael Buble and Justin Timberlake annoy me with their overgroomed, Boy Scout looks, but DAMMIT Mr. Young! Do something with yourself! You're a multi-millionaire! You can't expect people to pay top dollar for tickets just to see you looking like the result of a force-5 hurricane!
I don't consider myself a vain or shallow person. I own exactly two pairs of shoes, not including boots or sandals, and they're both practical. I rarely wear makeup or spend more than 10 minutes on my hair. I have never had a manicure in my life. But Neil Young makes even me blanch. That says a lot.
Still, I realize that my thoughts on Neil Young indicate strong shallowness on my part. If there's anything you think I can do to overcome my aversion to all things Young, please help me out. Richard would be grateful.