For years, during and away from STUCK IN THE 80s, I’ve been raving about and enjoying the music from Manchester and Greater Manchester, England, including but not limited to New Order, Joy Division, The Smiths, The Stone Roses, The Buzzcocks, Happy Mondays, James, The Chameleons, The Fall, When In Rome, as well as Lisa Stansfield, Swing Out Sister, The Bee Gees, The Hollies and Simply Red. Even this past weekend, Hope and I were taking about New Order’s incredible 1983 hit, “Blue Monday,” and how amazing it must have been to have heard this in the club at the time of its release!
Well, this past Monday, May 22, 2017, was indeed a Blue Monday, but not the cool, danceable New Order-kind of Monday. By now, I’m sure everyone has heard about the tragic bombing in Manchester immediately following a concert by American Pop star, Ariana Grande. The bombing happened at Manchester’s largest venue, the Manchester Arena (which has a capacity of 21,000 people).
As people were filing out of the venue, many of whom were stopping at the merch table on their way out, a 22-year-old man and British citizen (and of Libyan descent) took his own life and the lives of 22 others by detonating a bomb inside the venue. At least 120 others were injured from the blast (with nearly half of those folks having to be hospitalized).
Among those 22 people who died that night were Georgiana Callander, an 18-year-old superfan of Ariana Grande; Kelly Brewster, a 32-year-old fan who covered her niece from the explosion; Alison Howe and Lisa Lees, two friends (and moms) who weren’t even at the concert and were just waiting for their daughters to come out after the show; and Saffie Rose Roussos, an eight-year-old girl who was prolly attending her first concert ever and had her whole life ahead of her and then some. Students and teachers at the school she attended (about 40 miles north of Manchester), held a moment of silence for Saffie, and then sang Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” (the popular GLEE version) in her honor.
Many nations around the globe expressed their sorrow regarding the Manchester attack, and their solidarity and their prayers. Donald Trump called ISIS (who made an unconfirmed claim of responsibility for the attack) “evil losers.”
While my response might have been a bit more eloquent than Mr. Trump, I will agree that ISIS is evil, and yes, they are losers. All over the globe, ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) has caused much havoc and taken far too many lives under a mask of religious violence, but when it’s all said and done, they really just don’t give a shit about anything except maybe their beloved Prophet Muhammad. As a lifelong Catholic (practicing, non-practicing and recovering), I can’t imagine the Apostle of God would be down with all this. Just sayin’.
Please know what you just read was not said to demean Muslims or Muhammad; my beef is with ISIS.
Here’s another reason why the collective of ISIS are a bunch of losers, or in my book, rank somewhere next to ticks and cockroaches as having no meaning or need for existence on this Earth: ISIS thinks that, with every venue they blow up, it’s going to stop people from returning to see concerts. They are so fucking mistaken. I’m in mourning for the loss of people I didn’t even know from this Manchester attack, and the one in Paris in late 2015. Many folks around the globe are in mourning too. But, you can’t let ISIS win.
It’s alright to fear. It’s alright to be scared. I’m scared more often than I’d like to admit for whatever reason, but for the sake of it being alright to be scared, I’m admitting it here. Of course, I’d never want something to happen to anyone I love (family, friends, radio listeners, kind blog readers) because of ISIS. Moreover, though, I’d never want anyone I love to give up something they love or love doing because these misguided, coward ISIS motherfuckers have their own agenda and don’t want you to do anything you love. It’s alright to be scared. It’s alright to fear. But, just because they don’t give a shit about their own lives or the lives of others in this world, you can’t let it stop you from doing something you love, with someone you love. So, don’t let it…
Sending many thoughts and prayers, and peace and love, to everyone in Manchester, England, and beyond, after a very Blue Monday…
#ManchesterUnited #ManchesterAttack #WeStandWithManchester