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Rush: Neil Peart = plagiarist

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Peter Squire, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. Hey

    In my long term love of Rush, I have read some reports about Neil Peart being accused of plagiarism. Namely, he plagiarised Ayn Rand in 2112, and has been connected to many other instances of using other peoples words as his lyrics.

    My question is this - does anyone know whether he actually plagiarised the said texts, or is it a normal use of words that are heard by people everyday (the defense).

    I'm not interested in exhonorating him, just would like to piece together the story.

    Your news?
  2. cut/paste

    Modern rock pioneers Rush not only produce some of the hardest rocking tunes ever recorded, they also are pioneers when it comes to infusing rock music with deep insight into the natures of human behavior. The band consists of guitarist Alex Lifeson, deeply crooning singer/bass & keyboard player Geddy Lee, and drummer/lyricist Neil Peart. Peart is mostly known for his wildly improvisational, jazz-inspired drumming technique, but he plays an even greater role as the person who has single handedly brought the power of Ayn Rand's Objectivism to a level that can be understood by even the most stereotypically ignorant, drug-addled teen.

    Ayn Rand's highly influential Objectivism is a deep topic, and her purely philosophical writings on it are quite dense. Realizing this, she took on the task of translating her thoughts into the realm of fiction in order to make it more accessible to the general public. Unfortunately, the task still proved formidable, and two of her resulting books totaled over 1,000 pages each. The complex nature of what she advocates even dictated that she spend the final 50 some-odd pages of Atlas Shrugged reiterating everything she had spent the previous 1,000 pages explaining. Thankfully, Neil Pert was up to the task of reinterpreting her work for her in layman's language.

    Live for yourself, there's no one else
    More worth living for
    Begging hands and bleeding hearts will
    Only cry out for more
    Rush - Anthem

    With that one verse Peart has reached deep into the very core of what is important in Objectivism. Utilizing the power and reach of rock music, he and his bandmates have taught us much of what being an Objectivist is really all about. But how is it that a humble drummer was capable of such a feat? Quite simply, it was due to his environment. You see, Rush is a Canadian band, and as such they know first hand how the forces of socialism can destroy all that is important in man. Why this skill developed solely in Peart and not Lifeson or Lee is due to Peart's journey to England when he was eighteen. It was there that he first came to truly understand how important Objectivism is, utilizing the excessive governmental involvement in daily life prevalent in England as a catalyst for his enlightenment.

    There is unrest in the forest,
    There is trouble with the trees,
    For the maples want more sunlight
    And the oaks ignore their pleas.

    The trouble with the maples,
    (And they're quite convinced they're right)
    They say the oaks are just too lofty
    And they grab up all the light.
    But the oaks can't help their feelings
    If they like the way they're made.
    And they wonder why the maples
    Can't be happy in their shade?

    There is trouble in the Forest
    And the creatures all have fled
    As the Maples scream 'Oppression!'
    And the Oaks, just shake their heads

    So the maples formed a union
    And demanded equal rights.
    'These oaks are just too greedy;
    We will make them give us light.'
    Now there's no more oak oppression,
    For they passed a noble law,
    And the trees are all kept equal
    By hatchet,
    And saw.
    Rush - The Trees

    Indeed, we are kept down with hatchet, ax and saw. This parable clearly underscores how the small people continue to force those graced with power and influence to bend to the will of those who are not worthy, resorting to violence rather than reason to have their way. The music of Rush asks: Which are you? A noble oak, rising towards the sun, or a weak maple, whining about the unfairness of it all rather than bettering yourself through improved photosynthesis and nutrient gathering? The implied inferiority of the maple, national tree of Canada, is clearly intentional and represents Peart's dissatisfaction his socialist homeland.

    You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice.
    If you choose not to decide, you still haven't made a choice.
    You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill;
    I will choose a path that's clear-
    I will choose Free Will.
    Rush - Free Will

    Lyrics such as these are the basic essence of Objectivism. Free will. The power to change your destiny should you so choose. Total rejection of the idea that some people are born into situations from which they cannot rise out of without help. Another line from the above song goes, "Blame is better to give than receive". No greater sarcastic truism has ever been uttered. The simple truth of the world is that absolutely each and every person who finds themselves in difficult circumstances is there as a result of their own actions. This is what Objectivism teaches us, that those who have problems deserve no help because it is all their fault anyway.

    Of course those who are the little people among us are not content taking responsibility for their own failings, choosing instead to blame their problems on "phantom fears" like global economics, abuse of power, and the inherent inequality of capitalism due to its rewarding of greed above all else. This would be fine if there weren't so many of them, but that is not the case. Those who are accepting of their inherent inferiority outnumber us in such great numbers that they actually are able to influence world events. As a result, our politicians are forced to enact destructive socialist programs like retirement benefits, public transportation and health care for the indigent. However, we now have hope. In addition to Ayn Rand's scholarly and deeply thoughtful writings, we also have a means of making the truth understood to the masses. The music of Rush can be a highly effective tool for spreading the word of Rand. By combining high level philosophy with the power of primitive rhythm and repetitious melody, we finally have an effective tool for convincing the less perceptive among us that our cause is right and that getting in our way is extremely counterproductive. By further simplifying our message we will finally succeed in teaching the meek that the earth is not theirs to inherit, but should either be seized with force or surrendered to those who are stronger.

  3. Yeah, but no source, no opinion Baba?
  4. No opinion unfortunately...I need more coffee before I digest any philosophy. Just Googled it and found some info I thought I'd throw into the thread to help get it started.
  5. The Nanny

    The Nanny

    Dec 23, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Ayn Rand is to deep philosophy as Readers Digest is to investigative journalism. Its a heartbeat away from social Darwinism. Her books have an almost cult like following. So did Jim Jones.


    there are thousands of lyric writers who quote/borrow from authors and philosophers. Its more alusion and allegory than it is plagarism. I would consider it plagarism if he ripped off someone else's lyrics and didn't pay royalities. But what he is doing is OK (if not misguided in terms of his subject, imho).
  6. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    More importantly

    Neil Peart = overplayer

  7. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    The Warrant message board called. They want you back.
  8. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    thanks... now my coworkers are asking "what's so funny" ... My LOL was truely LOL :p
  9. No thats not plagiarism, go listen to Dream Theater lyrics and then read a Chicken Soup for the Soul book..........Now THAT is plagiarism! :D
  10. The Nanny

    The Nanny

    Dec 23, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    ROFLMFAO!!!! zingggggggggg!
  11. I know that at least on my CD liner notes for 2112 Peart credits Ayn Rand. And since it seems to matter, I am a huge Ayn Rand fan.
  12. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    Plagiarist, no. That's harsh. He quotes a line here and there (and will often acknowledge such quotes in interviews or tourbooks), but outright plagiarism? No.
  13. DaftCat


    Jul 26, 2004
    Medicine Hat
    I've nothing to add but thanks. This thread gave me a new look at rush lyrics.

  14. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    It's not plagarism, it's homage/fair use/transformative use.
  15. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    These days, Neil Peart would tell you to ignore everything he's written before 1980. ;)
  16. cgworkman


    May 14, 2004
    Not true. Obviously you've not really read her.

    Saying she's Darwinism is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard - and I've only read a few of her books!
  17. cgworkman


    May 14, 2004
    Does it matter? Many songwriters use various lines from books, movies, etc. in their songs. IMO, you can't really go wrong when writing song lyrics. It's not like you're writing a book!

    When it comes to using quotes in a song it's a quote, not plagiarism. Providing it's not word for word the entire song. ;)
  18. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Warrant has a message board? :p
  19. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    Glen Cove, NY
    That was a very interesting article there. I would love to know the source, though. Some of it did have that cult feel, like the part about Neil Peart's "enlightenment" and that any viewpoint disagreeing with Objectivism is wrong and counterproductive. Obviously, to get anything out of this one needs to take a grain of salt the size of my computer monitor. But very interesting, nontheless. I have read some Rand, and some elements of her philosophy seem very practical, whereas others do sound socially Darwinian in nature.
  20. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ