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I’m back

I’m back. different game maybe? let go of trying to ‘heal the world’ on a political level and stick to the personal.  I am energized by my involvement in a CD project called ‘in my room’  The web site is  www.inmyroomontheweb.com    I realized that, although multiple sclerosis affects my family, I have done little, outside of one MS Walk by way of being a part of the solution.  I thought about what it is that I enjoy doing and feel I do well – and decided to contact friends and favorites in the Folk/Acoustic/American fields with the idea of creating a CD recording of Singer/Songwriters performing ‘cover’ songs as if they were in their own room.  Twenty remarkable artists responded ‘YES!’ – visit the web site and you’ll see what has me so excited.

The release date is Tuesday, April 13 – but we’ll do a few promotional events (both in NYC and on the same day – Wednesday March 24) prior to the release!

more soon.

D.C.

I give up

sad – feel as if my last shred of innocence regarding progress (health care, equality, care for the environment) is dead. politics, greed, fear, ignorance and just plain lack of the ability to see beyond the end of one’s nose overpowering compassion, empathy and intelligence – we can’t hold up the insurance industry (and keep politicians bank accounts full) and also cure the sick. we can’t continue to cave to head-in-the-sand religious zealouts (and it’s truly surprising how few of those ever RECOGNIZE themselves – seeing themselves as regular church goin’ folks) and have equality, we can’t cave to industries that would destroy our environment and also secure a future for this planet (so odd that those who would fight environmental protection the strongest would also claim to love their children so much that they’d do ANYTHING for them – how about spend some time/energy ensuring the SURVIVAL of the ground beneath their feet instead of negatively characterizing those with love and concern for the planet and putting off its’ rescue??) but here we are – protecting the insurance industry, being ever-so-careful not to step on the toes of those who tell us that ‘God’ is on their side, and the environment? drill baby drill. I can only hope I’ll get over this ‘I give up’ phase and get back in the game.

heartfelt conversations?

I received an email today from a civil rights organization suggesting we not shy away from ‘heartfelt conversations’ with relatives/friends/co-workers who oppose gay marriage. It was suggested that we do all we can to educate those who have not yet accepted us, their gay friend, son, brother, co-worker, sister as equals insomuch as they would vote to ‘allow’ us to marry the person of our choice. One by one is the suggestion – the ol’ ‘get them to know us and love us and then maybe then they’ll acquiesce to awarding us our civil rights’ . I sent this in reply:
Too often in these heartfelt conversations we shy away from discussing what is, quite often, at the root of opposition to marriage equality – and that’s a feeling of inadequacy by the oppressor creating a need for her/him to oppress another in order to feel ‘special’. As children – we’re encouraged to search for the way that we can be ‘special’ in this world. We’re encouraged to excel – not by our own standards but by those set by others. So we become ever-increasingly interested in the validation of others.-over our own. We are actually taught to distrust our own – especially if it’s positive. We are told – ‘who do you think you are?’ and ‘Don’t get too big for your britches!’ There’s a price for this – It’s impossible not to feel accomplishment, not to ‘enjoy’ ourselves for who we are – so we begin to feel badly about ourselves FOR feeling good about ourselves. But we have accepted that we are not to be referenced from within but from without. So we have a constant need to rebuild that which we have allowed to be torn down. How do we do this? By finding fault with others, passing judgement, and, whenever possible, denying others as we have come to deny ourselves.
How have we learned, as a society, to treat those who we judge as failing to measure up? punish them. deny them. deprive them of our love – mirroring what was done to us when we failed to live up to expectation – we do this to ourselves…  Some church leaders tell us (and for the above reasons – we are eager to believe) that the devil is out there – we have only to identify him – find his human face… someone of a another race, someone with a differing spiritual belief system, someone with a sexual identity that differs from our own…
So, somewhere deep down in your mother-in-law, in your grandfather, in your co-worker, your neighbor, in your brother or sister or in anyone telling you that they oppose gay marriage …. is a feeling of inadequacy that is only lifted when another’s inadequacy is identified and punished. Your feeling good about your sexuality and your choice of a partner is no match for another’s need to deprive you in order to feel better about him or herself. As long as the majority is allowed to create laws which make it legal for others to build themselves up on the backs of others, we will have inequality.
What this means is this – we need to see past the individual battles and fight the big one. Make it illegal for a majority to vote on the civil rights of a minority. Remove from the law of the land this avenue for those who feel the need to rebuild their sense of self ….
In your heartfelt conversations – delve beneath the desire to deny gay citizens the right to marry. Talk about (expose) their feelings of inadequacy. Talk about the desire/habit to build oneself up by denying another. Talk about our habit of withholding love (in this case in the form of a civil right) in an attempt to coerce another to do our will and/or to be mirrors of ourselves. It’s easy to say, ‘Grandma, you’re just prejudiced against gays’. Harder is ‘Grandma, you feel inadequate so you’re punishing me. Stop it old lady!’
That, my friends in courage, is the heartfelt conversation that’s missing….

November 2009

Did you see the video of the news story about the 10 year old who refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance and won’t do so until there is, indeed, ‘liberty and justice for all’. His plan is to be a lawyer when he grows up – He got to thinking about the Pledge in light of the votes to deny civil rights to gay and lesbian citizens of the US and realized that ‘liberty and justice for all’ was not being respected by majorities in many states… I applaud him and am in awe of his patriotism and wish him every success!
His action reminded me of the film ‘Amazing Grace and Chuck’ – a Little League team decides not to play ball until nuclear weapons are no more – the press reports it and professional ball teams follow suit – all sports teams stop playing – the powers that be meet and decide to disarm…it’s a touching film..
The new CD is out there – I have not done much to support its release – I am very proud of it and friends who got one have said some nice things.
I am now working on a CD to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society featuring 20 singer/songwriters in the folk/americana/acoustic genres singing a song by a writer other than themselves as if ‘in my room’ with their instrument of choice. The recording has been done and mastering is happening as I write this – The CD will be released on Tuesday, March 23 2010 – not that far away!! I would like for as much of the money brought in by CD sales as possible go to the NMSS (www.nmss.org) so I’m currently raising money to pay for those things that have to be paid for – please email me at camsond@aol.com if you can help – five bucks would be celebrated!!. The singers donated their contribution, the designer, the Public Relations campaign, the recording engineers, the mastering engineer..all donated! But there are costs that can’t be avoided – postage to send media copies, printed material to publicise the CD, packaging to send media copies, royalty payments to the writers of the songs chosen, and the manufacturing cost (although the manufacturer is charging ‘at cost’ only – a huge discount)… Please help – email me and I’ll tell you where to send your contribution.
The holidays are upon us!! I love the holiday season!!
more soon! Have a good week!
xo D.C.

October 22

Lots to be thankful for – the warm weather – the vivid fall colors – I’m 8 floors up and the view of Forest Park in St. Louis is BREATHTAKING – the Senate passed the Matthew Shepard/James Byrd Jr Hate Crimes Bill – the public option appears to be gaining momentum (won’t it be great when those who need this the most, and who are also fighting it out of unfounded fear, actually get to experience a time when their entire family is covered without great financial hardship?)
the new CD is ‘climbing the charts’ at Amazon – reaching number 47,636!!! (Out of over 500,000 CD’s available -that’s no small feat!!).
not much else to say today. have a good one!

October 2009

Tonight’s the CD release concert at St. Louis’ Kranzberg Art Center’s Studio Theater! David Robison at the piano and Carol Schmidt on acoustic guitar are my musical partners!
Songs from CLOSE COMPANIONS – the new CD – get it at iTunes, Amazon.com and LMLMusic.com – as well as some favorites from past CD’s!
I hope you like the new website design. Pics by Brian Moore, design by Paul Rodriguez. We have some additional work to do on some of the pages but it’s almost done!
I continue to support our President. What does he want for us? Affordable ACCESSIBLE Health Care. Education for our children. Equal Rights for all citizens. Clean Air. Clean Water.
He recognizes that there is profit to be made by those who would deny us those things. I don’t think anyone sets out to deny health, education, equality and a healthy environment – BUT – the profit motive is strong – how often have I denied myself good nutrition because a 99 cent meal is available down the street – not taking into account that the 99 cent meal may fill me up but there is little nutritional value. President Obama knows this and is doing everything he can to inspire us to refuse to cater to the insensitivity of profit motive and he is also diplomatically proceeding with an awareness that there are a great many US citizens simply not smart enough to know what’s good for ’em. There, I said it! I truly believe that, as a species, we may not be intelligent enough to survive. I imagine a time, in the distant future, when a new species develops and they study us the way we study the dinosaurs – searching for clues as to why humans didn’t survive…here’s hoping they stumble upon youtube videos of those with obvious current need for attention to their health screaming at those who are there to help provide the very help they need….
I enjoy listening to MSNBC’s Keith O and Rachael Maddow – Keith’s commentary on health care was brilliant. A Republican friend of mine pooh poohed it – was not going to watch it – but thought it had to be garbage….This same guy thinks Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin are brilliant…. see what I mean about the survival thing???

The June Letter

Finishing our run in Minneapolis – what a great time I have had here!! Friends from high school days converged and we went to dinner and to a cabaret performance by the cast of the SENSATIONAL musical CAROLINE OR CHANGE – now at the Guthrie Theater. First off – the new Guthrie is amazing – AMAZING! Such a testament to the citizens of Minneapolis that they raised the money to build this glorious facility as well as to the artists that make the Guthrie their home. Secondly, I loved both the cabaret by the cast and their Guthrie Theater performance of CAROLINE OR CHANGE! I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.
While here in Minneapolis I have been putting the finishing touches on the new CD CLOSE COMPANIONS due to hit stores on October 13. 11 new original songs and 2 covers.

Politically, I don’t know what to say: California’s Proposition H8 !, The political party here in Minnesota who are keeping Senator elect Al Franken from being able to do his job …Those who are deliberately blocking the success of the current administration – obstructionists – people who lie for their own political gain.. makes me sick.

I got an email praising a kid from Ohio who wrote a new school prayer bemoaning the fact that he isn’t given school time to pray – calling on the carpet those who would separate church and state. The email’s target audience? – the same folks who booed Obama when he mentioned non-believers in his Inauguration Speech…. I wrote my own prayer and sent it along – in which I prayed that school could be school – readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmetic – and that if someone wants to pray at any time of day or night – he/she can go right ahead – just doesn’t make sense to make a group activity out of something that isn’t supported by the beliefs of everyone in the group – also hoping the class might discuss how dangerous pandering to the will of the majority/disenfranchising the minority can be to a nation such as ours… Don’t know if I made any new friends … but I sent it along anyway…

Loved the film UP. Love the new Vienna Teng CD! also Cheryl Wheeler’s new CD!!
Have a great month!!
D.C.