Seventy-nine-year-old singer-songwriter and oracle of our time David Crosby returned for another installment of Rolling Stone‘s video advice column, Ask Croz. In the series, fans submit anonymous questions to the musician who offers the benefit of his years of experience—with no topic too outlandish or taboo.
In this latest episode of Ask Croz, Crosby fields a number of different questions that touch on his experience with drugs, parenting, politics, and as a man of a certain age. The first question came from a mother who homeschooled her children their entire lives but was now preparing to send a child off to college. Crosby, a father of four himself, offered up his own ruminations on the paradoxical nature of parenting, saying, “You have to resign yourself to the fact that our job is to put ourselves out of a job. We’re supposed to help them grow up then we’re supposed to be able to cope with it when they go away… I think you need to have confidence in your kid and hope that they’re going to be okay.”
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Next came a topic near and dear to Crosby’s heart, the environment. A viewer asked whether we, as a human race, have gone too far and it is too late to fix what damage we have done to the environment. Croz philosophized at length on the topic, saying,
A lot of us have that fear. A lot of us are afraid that we’ve been unable to address climate change yet… We may have crossed a line and we may not be able to do it. If that’s the case, then when it gets to our great-grandchildren, they probably won’t have a place to live and the human race will die out. I think we can do better than that… In order to live here, we’re going to have to treat it better. We’re going to have to do something really monumental, we’re going to have to get the whole human race to stop using coal and oil. We can do it, we just have to have the courage to do it and the will to do it, and we can’t have our country run by people that don’t understand that’s what we need to do.
The topic of politics continued with the next question from a liberal who asked whether things would really be different under President Joe Biden. In this viewer’s eyes, Biden seems like just another politician controlled by corporate interest. Crosby, shooting straight as always, retorted with, “All politicians are, to some degree or another, compromised.”
While Crosby was against Biden as a candidate, as he preferred Pete Buttigieg for his perceived intelligence, Crosby still finds hope in the promise of a Biden presidency. At the core of his respect for Biden, Crosby said, is the pain that the President has been forced to endure through the death of his son, Beau. Crosby himself lost his biological son, Beckett Sypher who was raised by Melissa Etheridge and her partner Julie Cypher after David donated sperm for artificial insemination, to drug addiction last year at the age of 21.
But here’s the story about Biden: Biden is a decent guy and he’s paid a lot of really serious dues. He’s had death dues, there isn’t any harder stuff. He’s lost family members, close family members. In his case, it turned him into a better human being. Yes, he’s a politician, yes he says politician things. But this is a guy who’s been to the wall and I like him for that. I like him that he has humanity, that he has compassion for other human beings because he has seen a lot of rough stuff himself. I don’t generally trust most politicians but I do trust him to be who he is and I think he’s gonna do a good job.
The next question from a 16-year-old hit close to Crosby and his worldly experience. This child said that he is smoking marijuana every day and experimenting with other drugs, spending hundreds of dollars on illicit substances, and worried that he is heading in the wrong direction. While Crosby said that he doesn’t think that smoking weed every day is necessarily a bad thing (“You need to have a life and not just smoke weed”), the rest of his advice was grave and simple: “Other drugs, man, don’t do it. Don’t do any of the other ones. Coke, heroin, speed particularly, don’t go anywhere near them. They’re killers, they’ll kill you. That’s my advice.”
The last question came from another person near Crosby’s age. As a fellow old-timer, this person wondered how Crosby manages to stay so positive even as the end of life draws undeniably closer. As for this query, Crosby’s advice was once again simple but wise. Rather than obsessing over how much time one has left, one should be focused on what to do with that time.
“It seems to me that if you spend that time agonizing over the fact that you’re going to die, you’re wasting your time,” Crosby said. “If you spend that time doing everything you can to be happy, to help other people, to create, to make new things, to make anything better for anybody, if you spend your time doing positive stuff like that then the time that you have left, whatever amount it is, will be well spent.”
Watch the latest installment of Ask Croz, featuring Rolling Stone advice columnist David Crosby.
[H/T Rolling Stone]