Val/ August 1, 2020/ updates

So, I’ve not been updating here much this year, mostly because I haven’t had much to say about my music.

I’ve had plenty to say about many other topics, but I’ve been posting on FB, Twitter, etc.

Like many of you, I was horrified by George Floyd’s needless and cruel murder by cop in May, and I’ve spent several months reading, listening and learning about how to be anti-racist, and how to be a good ally. Black lives matter, and until we address systemic racism, “equality” is just a word and not a reality for many people in our country.

Like many of you, I’ve witnessed in horror as police and Federal troops in Portland have attacked peaceful protestors, journalists and medics in the name of protecting property – a federal building that actually belongs to you and I and all taxpayers. I’ve been disgusted by the irrational justification of force against people who are protesting the use of irrational and unnecessary force. The irony is deep, and deeply disturbing.

Like many of you, I’ve watched our country fail to step up to our responsibility to limit the spread of Covid-19. My family and I have been limiting social interactions, wearing masks, and doing all of the right stuff for nearly 5 months now, and it’s disheartening, frustrating, and angering to see so many people give in to ignorance and narcissism, and reject their own personality responsibility.

Like many of you, I’ve watched how the response from the White House to everything in 2020 has been to sow division and misinformation, and to avoid taking responsibility and action to actually try to address the problems we are facing. The person in the White House is clearly not, and never has been, president for all of us.

Like many of you, hearing President Barack Obama’s voice on Thursday was a much needed respite from the hatred the current White House occupant has been spewing for almost 4 years. Mr. Obama’s eulogy for Representative John Lewis was touching and inspiring, especially his words about carrying on the struggle to ensure that voting rights are protected. We all need to be ready for some “good trouble” to protect our right to free and fair elections, and reduce the threat of fascism we are currently facing.

Like many of you, I’m tired. Tired of the shrill insanity of those who choose to believe in conspiracy theories over science. Tired of those who refuse to wear a mask to protect others, calling it a threat to their freedom, and in doing so have succeeded in denying freedom to the rest of us. Tired of seeing small businesses struggle or shut their doors. Tired of not being able to hug our dear friends, or travel to see our families. And tired of the constant barrage of bullshit emanating from the mouth of the one person whose job it was to be a guiding light, and a force for truth and justice during times of struggle. It’s never been more apparent that we elected the wrong person in 2016… just ask the families of the 150,000 Americans who have needlessly died from Covid-19 because our so-called president chose to play politics during a pandemic.

But like many of you, I need to hold on to hope. I’m hopeful that maybe we can learn something from all of this. That maybe more of us can appreciate that life is short and precious, and that spending time with our families and friends is more important than wasting our lives supporting corporations who don’t give a damn about us. Maybe we can learn that learning, and schooling, can be done anywhere, if we’re open to it. Maybe we can learn that fighting oppression is one of our highest callings as humans, and that it feels better to stand up than to sit back. Maybe we can learn that having faith is not about being part of a religion in name only, but about living the values of those we follow, and acting in ways that honor their teachings. Maybe we can learn that we only have this moment – this moment – and that we need to hold on to love so that we don’t turn to hate. And maybe we need to keep learning that lesson – I know I do – but we can do it by reminding each other of the good that does exist in most people.

This too shall pass. But letting this time, and these events pass without learning valuable lessons to guide us in the future would be the biggest tragedy of all.