Well what can one say but life is such a mix. The year 2010 was another amazing one for me personally and a transition for many folks I know and care about. It was great to be out and touring again at a few stops with Celtic Woman. Nineteen shows in all for me on the spring, summer, and Oz tours. Along the way I met some great people for the first time and renewed meetings with others. Some lovely forum moments occurred at various places thanks to the wonderful people in the Máiréad Nesbitt fan forum. Too many to name but without some of them 2010 would have been not much of a year for me.
So why do I go to so many shows? It is for one person only and that is Máiréad who is muse, inspiration, and the brightest star in my life. She and her friends on stage are lovely people and not much at all like others in their business. Let's hope the closer ties to New York City and the attitude of the industry doesn't change that. A community was created in Máiréad's name with her forum that is a wonderful place of giving and positives. Certainly she inspires that in others and it translates to charitable giving which will continue in 2011. The year that passed saw great transitions within the group. Alex Sharpe left at the end of the spring tour but in 2011 she may very well bring us her first solo CD. She is now tweeting away happily on Twitter. A lovely fan site was created for her and we'll see what else pops up in 2011. Lynn Hilary left Celtic Woman at the end of the Oz tour to spend more time in Ireland. Again another big blow to many in the base of support. Yet she too may produce some nice things in 2011. Nick Bailey, Des Moore, and now all of the female choir members have also left the group. That is a 50% loss rate in one year and really very troubling. any business with a turnover rate like that has some issues no matter how much of a pretty face they paint on it. So, 2011 will bring a lot of new faces to the stage with that ensemble including latest front line addition, Lisa Lambe. She has already stuck her toes in the water with a performance in Germany and seems to be a good fit vocally and in personality. February will be my first chance to experience that. Celtic Woman made their first appearance in Australia in 2010 and was very well received. In 2011 we'll see them in Germany and who knows where else along with perhaps yet another new show recording. We'll see. It will be a very busy year for them and one that once again keeps them away from home much of the year. It does not have to be that way but the money people call the shots. What happens with EMI remains to be seen but many of us are hoping for a takeover by Sony as that label treats its artists better and does not demand long exhausting tours. A good way to bring in 2011 would be a goodbye to some of the old like EMI and Madstone and their elitist NYC industry attitude about artists and about fans. I won't hold my breath. Either way support for Máiréad will continue from myself and certainly from the ever growing membership in her fan forum. The ever present fiddler crossing signs will be there culminating on her birthday in Springfield. There are a great many wonderful fans out there outside the OFG empire. Mike Brown comes to mind as he has attended 80 shows and helped many others attend as well. Folks like Tony Picallo have spent hundreds of thousands in support of these artists and and saw to it a great many others could attend when they otherwise could not. Both are inspired by the music and the kindness of the artists and the changes in their lives and not by kissing the backside of management and vice versa. Certainly two different sorts of men but it goes to show the diverse spectrum this ensemble and their music touch. Not the best thing to put all your eggs in one basket when a fox is in charge of the hen house. Anyway, enough of that, happy new year to him too. Love thy enemy ya know. Forgive is the message of Christmas.
Christmas for me was spent quietly as it always is. One new tradition began in 2007 and that is watching the Celtic Woman Christmas DVD. Another new tradition is watching the movie Australia on New years day as I did down under with the Grittens in 2009. More great people and great moments. Throughout this experience since 2007 I've met the most wonderful people from the CW artists to many of their fans to the connections made through all of that with Liv Gritten and her family. I've come to know some of the finest people on the planet.
Yet 2011 looms with its dark side and one incident in particular near the end of 2010 showed humanity for what it has become and that is infested by feral humans. Wild animals simply born and not raised. A forum friend, John, lost his 22 year old daughter to a murderer in Philadelphia. It left behind a sweet little granddaughter without her mommy. It may be a serial killer loose in that city is responsible for the death.
What I have seen this past few decades is an ever more coarse, vulgar, crude, selfish, spoiled, and dumbed down nation. It began in earnest in the 1960's and has gotten progressively worse. Our government is corrupt at best and has helped undermine the foundations that make a nation great and strong. Both parties are responsible and their global viewpoint is not of benefit to citizens but only ruling elite. That too is happening in most western nations. Undermining faith and family is what has happened and one only has to read the Communist Manifesto to see clearly what is being done and why. Creating false enemies and then laws to "protect" us from them is another. Through this process our "education" system has been dumbed down to the lowest common denominator and people have become sheep. It has become politically incorrect to discipline your own offspring and it has been turned over to government schools. So many now are in broken homes and begin life in day care. How can they bond and connect to anyone when they aren't even able to do that with their own mothers? Say what you will about single parent and "blended" families but in large part they do not work. At least not to the benefit of children. When you can change partners like you change socks it is not the foundation and security needed for a child. When relationships revolve strictly around money, sex, and looks, you have a foundation made of sand. God created family and both boys and girls need a mom and a dad to be good role models. It is how it was designed and anything else will not work well.
Feral humans now roam the streets and are wild animals without a proper upbringing and with little or no conscience. They are dark, selfish beasts catering to only their own base instincts and desires. We have allowed them to go too far in the name of overcrowding in prisons. We have catered to them in schools by not wanting to bruise their precious self esteem. So they enter the world and do not understand sometimes the answer is no or that they are wrong. Government allows it and even encourages it to further undermine the foundations and then create what they desire and that is a stratified society with the bulk of the populace dependent, dumb, and poor. Easy to control and manipulate. So, what I ask each of you who read this to do is surround yourselves with positives and with what you know deep inside to be good, right, and proper. Eschew the vulgar, crude, and harsh things and people. Pray for them but cast them aside. Now maybe you know another reason why I attend so many shows and cherish the experiences and people I've come to love so much. They and what they do and those inspired by them are the best parts of life. I'm not at all hopeful for the future of our nation or that of western nations. I'm not hopeful for the economy. Those in DC and in other capitals like in Dublin are self serving and care nothing about their people or their nation. Might as well scream "Let them eat cake!" Oh and on Ireland, did those who fought and died for independence there in the nineteen teens and early twenties do so only to have a government later on sign away that independence to a yet even bigger monster in the EU? They are spinning in their graves and the Irish should reject what has been done to them. Cast off the EU, go it your own, rekindle your faith, and establish your own currency backed by precious metals and watch Ireland take off. Tighten your immigration and once again let Ireland be dominated by Irish. We in the states have allowed it to get too far here and it may be too late. In any case make the best of what presents itself in 2011.
So, there is my opening statement for the new year. Out with the old and.......in with the old? Let's hope not. Be a blessing to others in this new year but you can't do that surrounded by garbage. Put the quality back in your life and settle for nothing less than things and people that uplift. Walk away from feral humans and work to regain the power if the people in our nation and world. It isn't about stuff but about relationships and experiences. Finally, don't trust blindly what you are fed by media, government, or any other sources you cannot verify for yourself. See you all later in the spring.
All the best, Scott