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“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ~ Edmund Burke

I became an adult in the age of Joni Mitchell and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

Last week, Mitchell and Young pulled their music from Spotify.

Others are joining them, most recently E Street Band and Crazy Horse guitarist Nils Lofgren.

All to protest the most popular podcaster in the world, Joe Rogan, whose policy of allowing “all sides” to be heard on his show has promulgated COVID misinformation.

Neil Young, who has been named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, for heaven’s sake, issued Spotify an ultimatum:  “it’s Joe or me.”

Spotify chose Joe.

Spotify reportedly paid Joe 100 million dollars for an exclusive contract. Profit over principle, right? I mean, how much revenue does Young generate?

However, it seems consumers are choosing Neil and his principles, sparking an exodus of paid subscribers.

Spotify has lost over 4 billion in value, its stock down 25%, in one week, one person at a time.

I don’t have a Spotify account. If did, I would have cancelled it, too.

Sometimes, people need to declare their principles with their purchases.

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Two days ago, I listened to someone tell me the story of the new bed she had recently ordered from My Pillow, whose owner, Mike Lindell, is a rabid Trump fan; he is still out there proselytizing his belief that the 2020 Presidential election was illegitimate.

I wondered out loud if she knew that by purchasing from that company she was filling Lindell’s coffers, and supporting his ability to propagandize.

She waved it away with “Oh, I don’t care about the politics. It’s a good product.”

Blind eyes and bland values.

Convenience over conviction.

I shut up—it’s her right to buy whatever she wants—but filed her response away with a certain sadness. I know her to be a caring individual and her casual dismissal seemed out of character.

Because, at least for me, the two are intertwined: the choices we make with our pocketbook, which reflect our inner world, are most effective and satisfying when aligned with our principles.

And the thing is, principles are only principles when stood by in the face of inconvenience or discomfort.

Which, I believe, is why so many sacrifice them or rationalize them away with a wave of their hand and a roll of their eyes.

Because it’s easier.

But so, so sad.

And potentially so, so harmful.

But then, it was only a bed, and she’s only one person, so… what does it matter?

I mean, it’s only music, and an old guy at that. Who cares?

Apparently, many millions of former Spotify subscribers.

“Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead

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