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Benefit Concert For OH Singer To Feature Cold Play's Chris Martin

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS news' started by Wyva, Dec 29, 2021.

  1. Wyva

    Wyva Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    More than 25 musicians from around the country will come together Friday, Jan. 7, 2022 to present "A Love Song for Hal," a live-streamed benefit concert that will raise money to support beloved Ohio musician, Hal Walker, in his battle with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).

    Among the performers will be Chicago multi-instrumentalist Eric Noden, Massachusetts guitarist and singer Tracy Grammer, and special guest Chris Martin of Coldplay.

    A portion of the funds raised will also go to support the Open Medicine Foundation in its desperately needed ME/CFS research.

    Full article: https://patch.com/ohio/cleveland/benefit-concert-oh-singer-feature-cold-plays-chris-martin

    Edit: You can read Hal's story here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/hal-walk...heet&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2021
  2. Ash

    Ash Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I find this unutterably bleak. He stands a chance his influential friends will see him right. Most disabled people who end up having to beg for support by displaying their trauma and injuries and sickness to an often abusive public, don’t get it.

    It seems so close at hand that we all might choose to value and protect life above and beyond all. Yet we don’t we let real living people die every day.

    So a tiny few unmentionables can add some digital zeros to their massive hoard of treasure gained through loss of human and planetary life.


    A few celebrities helping their mate, ok why not. We non-celebrity folk might have some crumb of largesse thrown our way by accident of this.

    This fellow has a house to sell and some of his many musical instruments. Would survive a good bit longer on own resources.* Or his church could provide. Or his rich friends could just fully support the go fund me without embroiling the average to low income people they will be expecting recruit to donate to this. Surely a good friend wouldn’t leave one asking randoms for money if they could cover this without blinking?

    Looking at you Chris Martin ex of a very well known wealthy scammer.

    Most sick people have nothing. Really. Absolutely nothing. No assets at all. Where is the demand for universal healthcare basic income housing for all?

    It’s just so shallow and self interested and inadequate.(edit: on part of the celebs doing a bit of charity, not the guy who needs help)

    Edit: I was so disgusted that I failed to properly explain. Above maybe I still can’t.

    * In the context of a fundraiser this can actually give him an advantage because he is relatable and ‘normal’ and moderately successful. Rather than as in this paradigm the other of extreme poverty. He is more likely to be considered worth saving there maybe a ‘return in investment’ he may yet work again.

    I don’t know anything about this guy but from the description here he is a very well loved person who is also well known for his talent. He has fallen on hard times. he got sick in a neoliberal era in country with ruthless unrestrained capitalism chewing up and spitting people into medical bankruptcy. That’s really heartbreaking.

    He needs the money however he can get it.

    But because of lack of safety nets in society he has to market himself as a worthy cause to the audience.

    Which in his case should go better because he has an existing one from his line of work. Also he has built community from being well enough for long enough in his early life.

    So fingers crossed it would of worked out even without the profile raising.

    My point is it’s not actually good when you’re a rich celebrity doing a bit of charity. Just ask five of your equally rich mates to chip in and don’t go out there like a ‘hero’ shouting “look at this poor fucker over here!” It’s literally not good.

    I don’t think anyone should be ashamed for having needs and requirements and asking for these to be met. But performing poverty for a public audience is not a reasonable expectation for our societies to put on to people that have only been put in such a perilous position though a long standing political and economic program of social deprivation.

    It’s the joy taken. That I can’t take. Look at us aren’t we great. Not even scratching the surface of the problem we created?

    2nd Edit: I think the church is the poor type so they probably can’t help much. Also now have seen Chris Martin is a very minor part of this and so it’s not really a celebrity thing and actually pretty much a friendship muso collaboration. Like a local benefit gig but online.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2022
  3. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    I didn't read it that way. He's not a rich man, and he needs funds to pay for 24 hour care. If his friends want to put on a free online concert to draw attention to the fundraiser, that's up to them. I doubt local churches can or are even allowed to use their funds to support 24 hour care for individual members.

    But I do think they should specify on the fundraiser what proportion is going to OMF, rather than just saying some will.
     
  4. Ash

    Ash Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yes agree. I maybe aught to edit that point. As is it sounds like I don’t think he should ask for help. I think anyone can ask if they want to. But he shouldn’t have to and bet he would rather not. Still that his hugely rich friends have decided to do something for him must be a relief.

    Many Churches in US very wealthy, if it’s an evangelist church membership comes with an expectation of a certain percentage of your income in donations part of the explicit rational for these collections (they surpass roof repairs running costs) is to support members falling on hard times. I could be wrong about his particular church though. In general UK churches are a very different matter with congregations dwindling.

    I just find it nauseating that a concert to highlight his plight is the move. Because and only because of the relative wealth involved. If a normal local band were involved I would cry and find this all very moving.

    The point I meant to make is the disparity in sympathy, empathy, kindness and swift meaningful practical action for someone in a bit of need, this man who moves in wealthy circles whatever his personal circumstances and that which is (not) offered to those in desperate need.

    I think it is mistake to compare the extremely wealthy friends promoting this to ordinary people who are raising money for their friends and relatives, in the only option left to them.

    It’s just creepy for a super rich dude to ask others to open their wallets. His would cover it no sweat and because really has he not noticed all those worse off who are right now in desperate need?

    I am feeling a lot of personal bitterness. Because I am looking at wheelchairs so I can get out of bed and all the sights suggest crowd funding. Which is begging. Which no one should be made to do. It certainly shouldn’t be the only and recommend course of action.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2021
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  5. boolybooly

    boolybooly Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Sorry you are feeling bitter @Ash , hope you can make your peace and find a way to get your wheelchair.

    Pride in self reliance is definitely a thing in British culture and understandable but I think if one needs help one should not feel ashamed to ask for it and helping those who need help should not be begrudged as it causes unnecessary humiliation and I am looking at the DWP here who do this to all the many genuine claimants justified by a tiny minority of fraudsters because they try to use it to discourage claims and reduce the benefits bill, which is disgraceful imho.

    The way I see it, anyone who has ME has my sympathy and deserves support and more than this I feel it is my duty to do what I can to change the situation I found myself in when I got ME so that in future people do not fall into this abyssal elephant trap to find their condition ignored and their potential wasted and their lives essentially thrown away.

    This is why I am grateful to anyone with media abilities who is willing to share the reality of having ME and help bring awareness to a wider community.

    If their story can reach the hearts of the media savvy community then so much the better, because they will make others aware and the more people are aware of this problem and the way it drags its victims down and out of public awareness so it is not visible to the active majority, the more likely it is that people will work towards solving the problem and future generations will not be sacrificed to our collective ignorance and unconscious or underhand cruelty.
     
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  6. Ash

    Ash Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I do not begrudge this person. I feel solidarity with their suffering.
    It is the charity framework that I dislike. They because ‘not too needy’ white blonde beautiful well known would be the perfect candidate for success in this arena. But they still shouldn’t be subjected to it. They could and should receive publicly funded support instantly. They shouldn’t have to hold their breath and wait.

    It is a nice bonus if they want to share about their illness because they have a profile. But that should be a free choice to share not their only option for survival.

    It’s the very fact that making a ‘go fund me’ isn’t accessible to all that I object to.

    That it requires too much self reliance. It puts all the responsibility for survival straight on to individual shoulders.

    It places all the burden on the victim of a deeply unequal society for saving themselves from such callousness and disregard.

    Instead of manual labour to eat you must appeal to the very society that tossed you in the gutter. You must make enough people perceive you individually as the most worthy if only for a brief moment.

    Many racialised disabled people can’t get their needs met in this way because they can’t overcome a hostile audiences prejudice.

    Women are often harassed and abused and called fakers until they give up asking.

    So it is a harmful process that most engage with because there is no other option.

    It’s an expectation of self reliance and resilience in the face of all this that offends me.

    The DWP is an arm of the same system. It can provide. It doesn’t need to be conditional. But it is.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2021
  7. Ash

    Ash Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    My down turn happed after getting COVID that’s another possibility.
     
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  8. Ash

    Ash Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I’ve just realised that not only are loads more people likely to develop ME after COVID and loads of people with ME gonna get Long COVID on top of ME.

    Loads and loads of people with one or both are gonna get it much more severe than they would have due to no medical care. This is so awful I have to keep forgetting about it but every time I remember I feel terrible.
     
  9. Ariel

    Ariel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I think it's really positive that someone as famous as Chris Martin is going to be involved with anything to do with ME/CFS. That is huge.
    Many people will hear of the illness who did not know about it, and the fanbase is very broad.
     
  10. TiredSam

    TiredSam Moderator Staff Member

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    Wow I know Eric. I must write and say thanks.
     
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  11. TiredSam

    TiredSam Moderator Staff Member

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    Which hugely rich friends are you talking about exactly? Apart from Chris Martin, who is dedicating his time, I don't know if there are any hugely rich people on that list of performers. I am familiar with a few names on the list from the American blues roots folk scene, which isn't known for leading to fame and fortune. Many musicians play that kind of music out of a passion for it, getting by with day jobs, teaching, gigging, youtubing or whatever works and brings a living wage in. Many of them have spouses who are the main breadwinner.

    I'd bet most of the people playing are not hugely rich, and are playing for the best of motives - friendship, respect and a shared passion. Most of them will never have heard of ME, and certainly not know anything about ME politics or the pros and cons of supporting OMF. As far as I'm concerned the raised publicity and awareness of ME makes it worth supporting. I for one will be able to say to a few people "I've got what Hal Walker's got", which simplifies my life considerably. Apparently he's managed to play music with ME since 1992 and has finally gone severe, so his friends are rallying round and helping out.

    Being a member of a church congregation doesn't make you rich, I think if anyone's making large amounts of money it's not the faithful. And even if you have rich friends, it doesn't mean they owe you anything or they should stump up before you're allowed to ask anyone else. I know a few very rich people, none of them have stumped up a penny and I haven't asked them.

    It looks to me like his musician friends will be donating their time for free or a minimal amount to produce an event which will be well worth paying for for those who like this kind of music, so nobody will be out of pocket except the poor musicians.
     
  12. TiredSam

    TiredSam Moderator Staff Member

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  13. shak8

    shak8 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Thank you for that...memory of returning in the dead of winter to a northern mid-western city wearing an ancient pair of leather lace up boots from the Salvation Army in California (where I was living). The damn salt on the sidewalk ate holes in those boots the first day I was back. Not to mention the skin-biting sub-zero wind--and they said last year that northern MN was a place to escape climate change, but I digress x2.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2022
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  14. TiredSam

    TiredSam Moderator Staff Member

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    Just had a reply from Eric, which begins
    So there you go. Awareness raised.
     
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  15. Ash

    Ash Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yeah. I overall wasn’t as clear as I would of liked to of been, definitely not as concise. As I mentioned I find it emotional when people have a benefit concert (or any organised event) for their friends or people they don’t know, it’s a really kind hearted thing to do.

    What I do find gross is very rich people like Chris Martin (donating his time) to ask normal people without a few million of their own to donate money.

    What I meant by rich friend(s) is that I am ok if he (CM) wants to raid the money Hal needs by hitting up some of his (CM not Hal’s) many wealthy friends.

    I meant Churches most evangelical (prosperity gospel) are rich and they heavily tax their parishioners for the privilege of participating. They absolutely should provide for the earnest workers of many decades amongst their flock. I was not suggesting that individual members without means should pay. I mentioned as church work was heavily promoted here as sign of his being a person very supportive to his church and it doesn’t necessarily appear that this support is meaningfully returned. But it may be. He may not have made this far without material support from such an institution.

    We have to raise money for charity for our illnesses/disabilities because so many governments are ideologically opposed to looking after impoverished and lower income people and allowing them funds or services to meet basic needs. Don’t tax rich individuals (including celebrities) or corporations enough to for services for everyone, not who ever gets to be noticed for a moment or two. So yeah maybe (probably?) this will be a happy ending for one. I can’t forget about the rest though. What of the millions losing their homes to medical bankruptcy or dying early due to lack of care or one after the other?

    On awareness raising through
    association that is bound to help at least in the short term I agree. But I only heard about all this because a very rich country was making a beloved musician beg for the money to pay for essential health and social care. This I don’t feel good about.

    I feel the same about the Long- COVID awareness boost. Short term it has worked sort of, longer term there are massive drawbacks. Either way I cannot be pleased about something that has come from such a mass of human suffering and death.

    I do understand that this is the system now. But this is the same system that has brought us ‘knighted for services to insurance companies’ and I am just not reassured even on the occasion a few crumbs are tossed our way, that we are getting any closer to safety.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2022
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  16. Marky

    Marky Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I dont understand how one can look at this negatively, and I dont personally see the relevance of your points either Ash. Its a friggin charity concert for ME/CFS, with Chris Martin. That's awesome, end of story.
     
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  17. Ash

    Ash Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I agree. It is an event full of potential. I am sure that it will help Hal. It is likely to have some significant wider impacts too.

    I would disagree that the story ends there.

    I guess I personally didn’t and don’t yet feel able to contemplate this stage of the tale alone.

    The set up for this is an example of excellent communication.

    This is pretty rare for ME related stuff. It struck with raw emotion. It was also consistent with the general existing values of the intended audience.

    I am not part of this intend audience. The raw emotion is something that I and many of us will have connected with.

    For many it was or will be a purely positive evocation. I am hopeful still but it is the hope that reminds me of the tragedy more starkly.

    I am not surprised you didn’t understand my perspective. I didn’t/couldn’t outline it clearly.

    Nothing I find difficult about this is unique to this project. It is all related to possibilities to address care, lack of care politically.

    They are relevant to the history and context of this event but not particular to it in anyway.
    I didn’t make this clear.

    I was insufficiently mindful of potential to cause distress here. My apologies.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2022
  18. Wyva

    Wyva Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    If anyone's interested, here is how the idea of the concert came up and Chris Martin got involved, according to Hal:

    Walker’s three close friends from college at Northwestern University came from out of state to visit him when they heard he was getting sick.

    “They stayed with me for weeks and helped around the house and then had this idea to put on this fundraiser,” Walker said.


    The fundraiser, “A Love Song for Hal,” will stream at 7 p.m. Friday. Viewers can register for free here.

    Walker is well-connected in the music world, especially after hosting a show called This Moment in Music for the last year.

    “They just went to my list of musicians for This Moment in Music and started asking and pulled together an amazing lineup of artists for Friday night,” Walker said.

    That includes Chris Martin of Coldplay, who discovered Walker’s music on Instagram (@halwalkermusic) and reached out to him.

    “We had a couple of phone conversations, and when I texted him, letting him know what was going on with my health, he said, ‘How can I help?’ And I said, ‘Well, you could play at this fundraiser we're having on [January 7], he said, ‘I’d love to do that,’” Walker said.​

    Article: https://www.news5cleveland.com/news...ill-northeast-ohio-musician-to-be-held-friday
     
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  19. Ash

    Ash Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I am very confident this will go well funding and enjoyment wise, with all the factors & actors involved. Incidents of individual good outcome do happen. I feel optimistic.

    The occasional good public coverage around this disease always seems to bring out the swift backlash. So I am feeling super nervous. Prayers for a smooth ride.
     
  20. Ariel

    Ariel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I don't know. I think if celebrities of the fame and calibre of Chris Martin all got behind the cause of ME/CFS a lot of our troubles would basically go away or become significantly alleviated over quite a short space of time. The lack of awareness and public perception problem fuels the way we are treated and the lack of research etc.

    The only way it could backfire is if someone like Gwyneth Paltrow took up the cause and it became associated with scam and pseudoscientific treatments and "wellness culture". However I think this could be overcome as someone like that who is already problematic could be easily seen to be taking advantage of sick people. What would be toxic is the "debate" over the illness - but this is something that already occurs. Generally I think huge general public exposure to this would be really good.

    Sadly I think even when famous people get ill with ME-like illnesses, they aren't told they have ME and don't really know about it and don't advocate for it, or say unhelpful things about quack cures, as we have seen. If they had someone in their social circle however with ME/CFS it may be a bit different as there hasn't been an incentive for people with agendas to reach out to the patient to push nonsense, which is what sadly seems to have happened in some cases. So the celebrity may get a clearer idea of what life really is for people with ME.
     
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