Friends and Enemies
First of all, I hope you are safe and healthy. Last year, I thought by now the healthy wish would be on more solid ground. I thought the world would be so grateful for the medical and scientific miracle the vaccine is that everyone would gladly take it. I thought it might be a source of common ground to begin the dialogue of finding out that way more people agree with each other than disagree on important things. I thought that our shared concerns would force the out-of-touch politicians to either leave or get in touch. I had no idea that they would cling to power so viciously that they would disenfranchise voters, redistrict more fiercely, inflame prejudice more and deny the results of the foundation of our country, an election and the peaceful transfer of power. The 2020 presidential election was verified multiple times in multiple states after lawsuit after lawsuit, and STILL there are people who don't believe the results because it isn't what they think. I can't tell you how many times I've fallen on my knees over this and prayed for sanity to come back to our country AND the world, which has succumbed to the Eve-in-the-Garden-of-Eden seductiveness of tyrants seeking more power and more money. Cancel culture, youth blaming elders, the need to blame instead of solve, anti-social media, the vicious creating and spreading of lies and bat-shit crazy things (Jewish Space Lasers????), and inflexible politicians who do nothing. Phew! How long will this be my daily sorrow? How much more can I find a way to be kind to all while doing my best to change this? And the amazing topper of toppers: trying to re-create the January 6th, 2021 treasonous acts as "legitimate political discourse?" Since when has dialogue involved murdering police, injuring countless others, destroying the Capitol building and offices, defecating in the corridors and demanding the hanging of elected officials? Have we regressed to the Dark Ages? Violence and destruction of property is not "free speech." The courts have ruled for years that speech that incites violence or causes insurrection is not protected under the first amendment. (You can't yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater when there is no fire for example.) Now to examine what I have found to help me not crawl into bed in the fetal position and put the covers over my head until I stop breathing: 1) My beautiful wife. She is an inspiration to me every single day, but you can't have her. Hopefully, you have a "significant other" that you can see as soon as you wake up in the morning (or whenever you do) and feel your heart soar. 2) Good friends you can talk with to vent, calm down and laugh with. I have them and I talk with them as they talk with me for the same reasons. 3) Look around and see the beauty and mystery of our world. There are times when my spirit soars looking at the sky, the mountains and the stars. Even when it snows for the 8th time over the last month, there is beauty in it. 4) I remember how lucky I am and that creates gratitude, which is immensely healing to my soul. Whatever thing I am upset about, if I replace those thoughts with those of what a wonderful life I've had and am having, a sense of calm settles over me. 5) I haven't lost faith that we still can find people who will run for office that care enough about the overwhelming majority of our country and will fight for us. It's rarer now than ever, but I still have faith we, as a people, can change that. Sometimes, it's on such a small scale where I have talks with checkout people about why I always refuse a plastic bag. It's when I ask my friends questions to attempt to get them to reconsider why they respond to people in a certain way that is harmful to our children. 6) MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC. It is my salvation. It is my passion. It is my career. It is my lifeblood. It soothes the savage beast in me. My latest podcast, Dan-o's Delights - Episode 148 will give you four hours of what has helped me lately and through last year, which was a sicker version of the year before it. 7) Finally, and this has taken me so long to realize: I WILL NOT LET SOMEONE ELSE DEFINE WHO I AM. Because I take a position on a particular issue, there are many who will call me names as if they know what's in my heart and mind. THEY DO NOT AND NEVER WILL. The only person who has any possibility of that is my wife of 38 years, and even she sometimes doesn't understand what I am thinking. I am a complicated person like most. I won't try to define you. I will talk to you about things I disagree with you about, but in a respectful way and I won't argue with you angrily if you don't see things my way. I REJECT fear. So much of it drives the insanity we currently witness every day.'' Once again, I want to say thank you to workers of all kinds who show up and keep us able to live more comfortably than most of the world. And a very special thanks and massive amounts of love to the medical professionals exhausted and trying to develop calluses over their hearts when they watch those in hospitals die because they believed getting vaccinated would let Bill Gates or Jeff Besos or Jewish Space Lasers or Satan himself control them if they did. I try like hell to fight the worst in me that wants me to think the unvaccinated "deserve to die," just like the exhausted health workers do on a daily basis as they are unable to keep an unvaccinated patient alive. The statistics don't lie, but there are those who will try to tell you they do. And here's the last piece of news. I call this "Final Thoughts My Friends" because I have decided to stop my mass e-mails to folks. Those who know me know how to get in touch. For now, I will maintain my facebook/twitter stuff, but that will be going soon too. For now, I will still do podcasts, but my wife was finally able to retire with much hoopla and tears from her fellow workers and I intend to spend more time with her and travel if the world allows us. There are so many things we long to see and experience that being parents and hard workers have prevented us from doing. We want to do that while we both are still relatively healthy, so this year we will begin. I thank you for taking time to read such long-winded missives. I do hope sometimes, I made you laugh or think. I hope I didn't aggravate you and make it worse. I hope we can learn to be kind to each other again and respect one another and be kind to our neighbors. That we can find ways to help the poor and educate the uneducated. Create opportunities for all. That's the America I have believed in for all of my life and I believe it's in your heart too. Below, I'll tell you all about Dan-o's Delights - Episode 148 is available right now on https://www.danneer.net. This will also help. *******NOTE******* Most of this communique was written just before Putin invaded Ukraine. Unfortunately, the world has evil despots who have no regard for human life. The only silver lining in seeing the suffering of over a million women & children separated from their husbands/fathers is it is serving to unite people. We have donated to Caritas to help Ukranians. We have family who made it out of Ukraine just before the shit hit the fan and were received by our family in Poland, who has offered to put up as many refugees as they can. We have to pay attention and realize how petty our complaints are compared to what the brave Ukranians are facing and how they are resisting. Pray for them. Give what you can, please. Dan-o's Delights - Episode 148
DAN-O'S DELIGHTS - EPISODE 148:
This week's Dan-o's Delights made me grateful for the music that was released in 2021. With all of the crap I and you were dealing with, that fact was lost on me until I started doing my homework for this episode. Phew! Just a small sample of the artists who released incredible music last year include Yola, Carly Pearce, The War on Drugs, Halsey, St. Vincent Olivia Rodrigo, Robert Plant and Allison Krause, Valerie June, The Bleachers, Jon Batiste, Kasey Musgraves, Eric Clapton, Mdou Moctar, DION! and Brandi Carlile, JUST TO NAME A FEW! I urge you to listen to this podcast so you will hear how wonderful these talented musicians are. It will lift your spirits and and if you like them and can afford it, buy some of their music. The pandemic has been hard on them because they couldn't tour, which is the main way they can make a living. Streaming their music on any of the music "services" earns them a tiny fraction of a penny, so that no matter how many millions of times a song is streamed, it earns the artist approximately $42.28. If you buy an album, they get paid better. I strove to include as much of them as I could fit in.
How would you be doing if you couldn't work for a year? Many of us suffered like that, but at the moment, it was just announced we have reached the level of unemployment we were at before the piece-of-crap pandemic started. I am hoping you are benefiting from the rewards of working a good job right now. Episode 148 has a tribute to the fantastic vocalist, keyboardist, songwriter Gary Brooker who passed away on February 19 after a battle with cancer. I included interview with Gary as well. There are a couple of sets of music that are done with Ukrainian president Volodomyr Zelensky, his wife and son and, of course, the brave citizens who are putting up such a valiant resistance to the huge weaponry and army that the scum Putin has dispatched to do his evil bidding. God bless the brave Russian citizens who protested in Russia and told the a-hole that he's an a-hole and don't want any part of this war. They have been arrested en masse and lord knows if they are still alive because that's what that insane dictator does...murders, poisons and then steals. But I digress in anger. Sorry. 2022 has seen the release of a cornucopia of stupendous music like David Bowie's Toy, Eddie Vedder's Earthling, Spoon's Lucifer on the Sofa, Wilderado's Wilderado, Outside Child from Allison Russell, John Mellencamp's Strictly a One-Eyed Jack, 1221 by Ryan Hamilton, Sharecropper's Son from Robert Finley and It Won't Always be this Way from Inhaler, The Illuminati Hotties Let Me Do One More and a delicious single from my goddess, Bonnie Raitt with her album Just Like That coming in April. Put your ears on these and you can thank me later.
So fire up episode 149 on your phone, computer and throw it to your speakers at home. It's over 4 hours, so you can make it last over many days or simply come back to it when you have more time. I put Dan-o's Delights - Episode 149 together with love and I intend it as a healing balm for the toxic pus that continued to ooze out constantly in 2021 like it did in 2020. As usual, if you love it, please pass it onto fellow music lovers. Do not fear. Together we will get through this and thrive. Stay healthy. Stay safe. And stay informed. Love, Dan-o