One (Musically Related) Reason I’m Voting For Obama Today

Dan Gibson | November 4, 2008 12:00 pm

It’s a little strange blogging about music while the rest of the country is a little focused on something else entirely, but the two worlds do cross over here and there as lawmaking gets in the way of our right to rock. One news item I received yesterday only reinforced why I’m walking away from the computer screen later today and voting for Barack Obama. I’ve mentioned the Seattle-via-Northern California act rock act The Myriad on this site before, and their full-length With Arrows, With Poise has hung on as one of my favorites this year. Although the band won an MTV2-sponsored contest for unsigned artists last year, their record hasn’t really taken off. But the bad news that hit yesterday dwarfs any sort of sales disappointment.

The Myriad, “The Accident”:

As some of you may have heard, our band mate Randy Miller had a tumor removed from his upper torso near his shoulder on Friday. Initial analysis has come back that the tumor is cancerous. The specific type is still being determined and we will keep you all informed as we know more. We ask for your support and prayers for Randy, his wife Kristyn, and children Connor and Gillian during this time.

As someone trying to make their living playing music, Randy’s health insurance is limited at best, and the band is working to raise money for his treatment. As someone trying to make a living as a parasite attached to the music industry, my health insurance would probably be just as useless in trying to cover any sort of serious illness. Which is why when John McCain was asked if health coverage was a privilege, a right, or a responsibility during one of those ridiculous events they called Presidential debates, my attention was piqued.

Sorry, Senator McCain, but if you think that Randy Miller should be forced to bankrupt his family or accept limited medical treatment because he chose to pursue a career in the arts, or that my own family is on its own for health insurance because I happened to try to make some money from sources that aren’t one of those giant corporations you seem to like so much, you’ve lost my vote right there. I like hearing new music, and I hope that young people who have some sort of talent keep deciding to take their guitar, their sampler, or whatever and give the music business a go, despite the odds or any sort of pragmatic reality. To ask people to give up on their dreams because they’re afraid of what might happen if they get sick isn’t the sort of ideal I want for America, and while Obama’s healthcare plan leaves something to be desired as well, it’s a slightly better deal than I have now and a much better deal than I’ll have if you’re in the White House. Randy may or may not agree with my vote (I don’t know), but I’ll be thinking of him as I mark the space next to Sen. Obama’s name today.

If you’re interested in helping the Miller family, information on how to do so can be found on the band’s MySpace page. If you’re a musician, the Future of Music Coalition offers help navigating your health insurance options.

HELP OUR DRUMMER BATTLE CANCER! [The Myriad’s MySpace Blog] HINT: The Health Insurance Navigation Tool [Future of Music Coalition]