Salvador Dali hosts a Surrealist party as a fund raiser for displaced European artists, at the Bali Room, Hotel Del Monte, California, in 1941. However you celebrate the arrival of the New Year, have a fabulous time, and a wonderful 2012.
And don’t just watch the video, read the utterly heartbreaking article about Mandi Shaw and her daughter, Cortney, residents of Kearns, Salt Lake County, Utah who are threatened with imminent homelessness. It took me nearly a hour of sitting in stunned silence before I could even get out of my chair after I read it.
No matter WHAT is going on in your life right now, this will put everything into perspective.
Struggle is no stranger in the life of Mandi Shaw.
The 47-year-old Kearns woman has spent her life dealing with severe, debilitating birth defects. And in recent years, heart problems have rendered her permanently disabled and unable to work. She has only 20 percent of normal cardiac capacity.
In 2010, her husband died from cancer.
Now, her only income is a small disability check.
Shaw is far behind on the mortgage payments on her small home of nearly 20 years, and she has little prospect of ever catching up.
With no family to fall back on, she and her 19-year-old daughter, Cortney, are facing the very real possibility they may soon be living in their pickup truck. Instead of Christmas cheer, they experienced a grinding anxiety.
In desperation, they are making a public appeal for help. A video on YouTube titled “Save Mandi’s House” depicts their plight, but it’s gotten only about 100 hits.
Since that article from the Deseret News, and one that appeared on the Huffington Post blog, nearly 8000 views of the video have occurred. The video was the idea of Ron Baker, a local insurance broker and Mormon outreach missionary specializing in financial counseling, who volunteered to help the Shaws. Talk about a real latter day saint.. These ladies are lucky to have Mr. Baker in their lives, as I am sure they must know.
Here’s more from the Deseret News article (although I’d really recommend clicking there directly instead):
Even before she was born in 1964, Mandi’s cards were being dealt from a deck steeply stacked against her.
She says her mother was working to put Mandi’s father through medical school, and Mandi’s conception came as an unwelcome surprise, so the couple decided to put the baby up for adoption.
Her birth defects may have contributed to their decision, Mandi says.
There were no takers. No one wanted a disabled child facing lifelong medical problems.
Born to a future doctor and his wife. Imagine that. She later met her birth parents, but they wanted little to do with their own child.
Mandi was made a ward the state of Utah after a doctor insisted that a baby like her would fare far better in Utah, than an orphanage in Chicago. Two big-hearted nurses from the hospital agreed to take turns raising the helpless little girl.
Mandi’s birth defects and handicaps were likely the result of her mother taking Thalidomide, a drug used as both a sedative and for morning sickness. Although it was never approved by the FDA, millions of Thalidomide pills were taken by pregnant American women in the early 1960s. My own mother was given Thalidomide pills by her doctor, but opted not to take the drug.
I thought about that when I read Mandi’s story and I imagined myself in her place.
“Most people can bounce back after they’ve had such difficulties,” Mr. Baker said. “But Mandi doesn’t have any bounce. I mean, how do you bounce back from what she’s gone through?”
How indeed? You don’t. You can’t. You will need other people to help you, especially someone like Mandi who can’t count on the government to do much for her. What are her options?
America is a cruel place. A woman this ill facing living in a pick-up truck… Takes your breath away, doesn’t it?
If you don’t think you could ever be in a situation like this, well, keep voting Republican, that’s all I can say…
To help Mandi and Cortney keep their home and their lives intact, contact Ron Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him on 801-553-9797
If you want to send a check, make it out to “Mandi Shaw, Help Save my Mortgage” and mail, care of Stacey, to
Granite Credit Union
3109 West 4700 South
Taylorsville, Utah 84129
Using Paypal, send to Mandishouse@gmail.com
Discover Card has a feature where money can be sent, at no charge. Go to Discovercard.com and look for the tab “Send Money”. Use Mandishouse@gmail.com to send donation.
Update 12/3, 5 p.m. central time: Dangerous Minds just spoke with Ron Baker and he’s very encouraged by the positive response his video of Mandi is receiving. Donations have been coming in from all over the world including Bangladesh, Greece, England and Canada. So far, they’ve raised about $7000. There’s still a long way to go but they’re getting there.
This could only happen in the age of the Internet. Ron, armed with a camcorder and a good heart, did something he’d never done before. He used the Internet to spread the word about an injustice that deeply bothered him and suddenly Mandi’s life is looking a little bit brighter. It’s taken him totally by surprise and he is humbled and hugely appreciative of the generosity extended to Mandi. And Mandi’s broken heart is pumping a little stronger right now. She can’t believe what’s happening.
Ron and his wife Connie are the real deal, two people who do more than talk about a problem, they do something about it. Now it’s your turn.
Image from the English riots, the defining moment of 2011 for me
So here it is, what I just know you’ve all been waiting for - a round up of 20 of my favourite tracks from the past 12 months. It’s just over 60 minutes, meaning that some of the tracks have been edited to fit, and it’s in 192kbps resolution to make the file size manageable for download.
This mix is pretty eclectic and features a ton of acts I have covered over the last year on Dangerous Minds. I’m sure there’s tracks on this mixtape that the other DM writers will hate, but that’s part of the fun. One of the points of Dangerous Minds is that we have not set out to push some unified, all-encompassing, easily-packaged view of the world. We’re all different, and at the end of the day debating stuff is healthy.
As for the music itself, well I’m with Andrew Dubber on this - the past 12 months have seen some fantastic music, and some very interesting trends in both the artform and music consumption. I mean that stands to reason right? As the amount of music that becomes available increases, the amount of good music increases. It might not come to us through the traditional channels, but it is out there. So here’s twenty of mine (and before you say it, yeah, some of these tunes came out in previous years, but those tracks are also featured on albums released this year):
Fucked Up - The Other Shoe
SIlverclub - The Goldener Reiter
Atari Teenage Riot - Black Flags
SSION - Feel Good (4 Ever)
Den Haan - Metamorphosis
Black Devil Disco Club ft Farris Rotter - Distrust
Ali Renault - Dignitas Machine
John Maus - Keep Pushing On
Neon indian - Halogen (I Could Be A Shadow)
MEN - Who Am I To Feel So Free?
Azari & III - Into The Night
Midnight Magic - Beam Me Up
Dam Funk - Forever
Destroyer - Chinatown
Grace Jones - Devil Dub
Mungo’s Hi Fi - Super Sharp Roller
Beyonce - Who Runs The World (intro version edit)
Ben Butler & Mousepad ft The Niallist - Infinite Capacity
Arthur’s Landing - Bobby
Andrew WK - Vagabond
I originally uploaded my Best of 2011 mixtape to Soundcloud as it’s my music sharing site of choice, but oddly it was blocked because of the inclusion of Fucked Up’s track “The Other Shoe”. That’s not very punk rock, now is it? But hey, I don’t blame the band, rather their label Matador. What’s even funnier is “The Other Shoe” is widely available freely, and legitimately, from the label itself. I considered taking it off the mix, but as it’s my single of the year I decided to upload the whole thing to Mixcloud, intact, with a separate download option .
So just for you dear readers, here’s a link to the free download of my single of the year:
Sorting through the massive amounts of musical goodness that flowed through my home wirelessly at 130 mbps in 2011, I would be remiss in not pulling The Death Set from the digitized stream to hold up like a glistening electronic baby in all its punkish glory for DM readers to behold.
Brief bio: founded by lead singer Johnny Siera and guitarist Beau Velasco (Black Panda) in the town of Gold Coast, Australia in 2005, The Death Set eventually ended up in Brooklyn after a period of time spent in Philadelphia and Baltimore. Their debut album Worldwide was released in 2008. The U.K. music magazine NME proclaimed them “the #1 biggest hope of the future.” But the future got heavy. The band’s name became sadly prophetic when Velasco died of a drug overdose in 2009.
Resurrection: Velasco’s death crushed Siera, but instead of throwing in the towel, Siera soldiered on and created one of 2011’s best records, Michel Poiccard (named after Belmondo’s character in Godard’s Breathless) - seventeen seering tracks in 36 minutes. Produced by XXXchange (Spank Rock, Kele, The Kills), the album is an onslaught of fast, thrashy, exhilarating mini-anthems that recall The Beastie Boys at their hardest-core, Buzzcocks, Minor Threat, Sigue Sigue Sputnik, The Skids and The Clash on Ritalin. Good solid punk rock with a dose of synthesizers, rhythm machines and hip hop samples.
The Death Set currently are Siera on vocals and Jahphet Landis playing drums and Daniel Walker on guitar and vocals.
Here’s “Chew It like a Gun Gum” from Michel Poiccard.
Joni Mitchell and Mary Travers appear on The Mama Cass Television Show recorded on Jan. 18, 1969. This was a pilot for a weekly series. It was produced by Chuck Barris of Gong Show fame.
Joni and Mama Cass radiate the last glow of the flower child era. Both will move on in different ways. Travers does Laura Nyro’s “And When I Die,” which Nyro sold to Traver’s group Peter, Paul and Mary for $5000. As much as I appreciate Travers as a vocalist, her folky take on the song just can’t touch the gospel feel of Nyro’s version.
Joni Mitchell: ‘Both Sides Now”
Mary Travers: “And When I Die”
Cass, Joni and Mary: “I Shall Be Released”
Laura Nyro 1966 demo of “And When I Die” and short interview after the jump…
From 2004, Johnny Cash: The Last Great American was the first major TV retrospective of the singer’s life and times. Featuring contributions from his daughter Rosanne Cash and son John Carter Cash, longtime manager Lou Robin, and fellow musicians, Little Richard, Cowboy Jack Clement, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard and Elvis Costello. This documentary contains incredible archive and some superb performances, and is a fine testament to The Man in Black.