What's Your Beef? Tell It Time

Wednesday Sep. 1st, 2021

My 2 cents in regards to vaccinate or not to vaccinate...might get kinda long...I work two jobs. I work two very ridiculously American jobs. By day I manage a summer grazing operation. I am a ranch manager and a working cowboy. No shit. Doesn’t get much more American than that. Eat beef! I am also a working musician. I play American Roots Music: Blues, Rhythm & Blues, Jazz, Country & Western, Latin AMERICAN music. All these styles of music were created in America. North America, Central America, South America, it’s ALL America. I mainly play the drum set, which was created in America. Drums of one kind or another evolved in pretty much every known culture the world over, but the drum set, as we know it today, was created right here in America, making it an original American instrument. These two occupations place me pretty much squarely under the category of American, I’d say. I love America, it is the land of my birth. I would die to help protect it. (Now here’s where it can get dicey). I do not love everything about America. I read. A lot. I am familiar with history, and not just white man’s perspective. I’ve seeked out, what you could call, “the rest of the story”, and I started doing this at a very young age. It’s not new to me. I absolutely despise the treatment of people of color by mainstream white America, namely the founding fathers and those in control, on down the line, as well as, sad to say, a large portion of the general citizenry. Even though I love my country, I am ashamed of the history of how it came to be. In that sense, no, I am not a “patriot”. I stand for what is right, and that shit wasn’t, nor will anyone ever convince me that it was, or is, right. It’s an abomination of basic human decency...

Now, to get to the point. A worldwide pandemic, that is affecting EVERYONE in one way or another, somehow got turned into a political situation here in America. I’m not going to point fingers, cause that just opens up a whole ‘nother can of worms. But here’s the deal: does the Coronavirus only affect Liberals? Does it only affect Conservatives? Does it only affect Black people? Does it only affect White people? Or any other group in particular? No, it does not. It affects EVERYBODY. You know what that makes it? NOT POLITICAL!

In one of my jobs, I’m pretty safe in saying there’s not much chance of me becoming infected. In my other job, it could definitely happen. I am 64 years old and in pretty decent shape, and in good health, so consider myself low risk, according to the studies. I am not afraid of the virus. I AM fully vaccinated, not so much out of concern for myself, but I feel a responsibility to my fellow citizens to do what I can to help contain the spread of the virus. I already had a forced year and a half off of music as a direct result of the virus. That meant half my income instantly gone, BAM! like turning off a light switch. We made it through thanks to the ranch gig. Now we have the distinct possibility of getting shut down again because some of you out there refuse to vaccinate. Why? If you’re not afraid of the virus, why are you so afraid of the vaccination? Cause you don’t know what the long term effects are? Doesn’t that constitute fear? The long term effects of the virus look to be pretty terrible, so you’re willing to risk that, but you won’t take the shot? You touting “Put Americans to work” and “save American jobs”, yeah? Well, you are threatening THIS American’s work with your selfish, short sighted attitude concerning vaccination. Get off yourselves and realize there’s others out there that could really use YOUR help. Other Americans! Fuck all that political shit and realize what really matters.

That is all, have a good day.

Michael Gillan has been making music in the Gallatin Valley and beyond since 1976. Since retiring from an 18 year stint as a professional Farrier, he has been managing a grazing operation outside of Bozeman since 2001.