Michael Jackson's Off The Wall is underappreciated.

June 28, 2009 — by joe biel

Today was notable for everyone that I talked to because it represented the passing of an era; marked by the celebrity deaths of Farah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. But it can, and arguably, should point to the larger truth: people that are important to our lives are sick all around us, all the time. Most of the last two years is memorable to me because of the unbelievably number of deaths in people that were close to me; people I grew up with, people I met on tour and kept in touch with, people that I respected mutually, my friends' kids, my dad, former roommates, plenty of friends' parents, people who I had toured with, people I wished I had toured with, people I would have loved to have known better. There are plenty of situations I don't even want to think about.

It seems that I can't go for a week without the news of another friend passing away. Most recently it was Samantha Dorsett, who Chris wrote about raising money for a month or so ago. I didn't know Sam as well as many but the sheer number of communications going through me about this huge loss have triggered something new in me. And I'm trying to think of a way to commemorate Sam and the importance of supporting friends in the releasing of the Plan It X DVD.

With SICK coming out last week, the stars were aligned in a rare moment of clarity.

Even the internet hoax of Jeff Goldblum's death overshadowed the public consciousness and stole more of the spotlight that could have gone to basic community support.


We all have innumerable friends suffering from crippling physical, mental, or emotional health problems. And we are all busy. But I've heard far too many times about the situations of neglect that people fall into when they are disabled in some fashion. They aren't as fun to hang out with so they get ignored.

I'd like to hear about someone receiving more support than they expected or hoped for. I'd like to hear the success story of those whose will and spirit improved so much through support from their community.

I'm tired of hearing denial of the suffering of our peers ("She's making it up to get attention"). It's time to take it seriously; even and especially from people that ARE trying to get our attention.

Now is the time to visit your troubled, in pain, or sick friend.

That, to me, is what punk was always about.

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avatar Katie Thirkill 6/30/2009

Last year a number of people commited suicide (unrelated), I knew them, but not as well as some of my friends did. It affected me, though indirectly. It was an extremely sad time. I ended up needing counselling and feel these times contributed to the way I was feeling inside. This was around a year ago now and back in March I had the idea to raise money for PAPYRUS, a UK charity which focuses on suicide prevention predomiantly in children, teenagers and young adults. I decided a skate jam and a gig was how I wanted to fundraise. I roped in the help of friends, colleagues and bands. I secured prizes and freebies from companies such as Vans. My plans were received well and from the start I've had so much support and advice. The event was on 27th June and it went brilliantly. The skate jam was so much fun, the sun was shining and the turn out was great. The gig venue reached maximum capacity and I had kids thanking me for putting the show on. We raised around £750 for the charity, it's not millions but that money will go towards literature distribution and helping PAPYRUS run their hepline. Which in turn, can effectively save a life.

I just wanted to share this upon reading your post. There is always somebody in need of help. Maybe they hide it well. Maybe they don't. Be there for your family and friends. Remember we can't take anything or anyone for granted!