The Year in Review
As 2018 winds to a close, I wanted to reflect back upon a very significant year for me personally and professionally.
It was a bittersweet year. I was interviewed on television by Jesse Ventura, and later by another person I greatly admire, Naomi Wolf. I signed contracts with two different publishers for books which will be released in 2019: Crimes and Cover-Ups in American Politics: 1776-1963 and Bullyocracy: How the Social Hierarchy Enables Bullies to Rule Schools, Work Places, and Society at Large. The first book will come out in May, published again by Skyhorse, and will have an audio version from the get-go. The second will be released in the Fall by Trine Day.
I was also tremendously honored to be asked by show business legend and important JFK assassination researcher John Barbour to write the Foreword to his fantastic memoir, Your Mother’s Not a Virgin: The Bumpy Life and Times of the Canadian Dropout who Changed the Face of American TV. That was heady stuff, especially considering that his first two choices were his good friends Neil Simon, who unfortunately just passed away, and Tim Conway, who was unable to do it due to his own health issues. The book will be released in April by Trine Day.
I also met and bonded with the wonderful Ella Felder, daughter-in-law of the Eagles’ Don Felder, and host of an important radio show that lauds whistleblowers of all types. We hit it off immediately, and I became her regular co-host every Friday. We interviewed fascinating people, and some big names like former Trump campaign chair Corey Lewandowski. This led to me being offered my own show on the Truth Frequency Network, which is part of the IHeartRadio network. “I Protest” now airs every Friday from 5-7 pm est.
However, juxtaposed against this gratifying professional success was the unfathomable loss, in March of 2018, of my full-time job. I was fired by Inova Health System, the largest health care organization on the east-coast, after working for them my entire adult life, over 44 years. I’ve gone over the details before, but I’ve been unable thus far to get any kind of restitution from a system I long suspected was absolutely corrupt, but now am experiencing first-hand. Being fired unfairly is like a blow to the gut, and being unable to get this rigged system to recognize that is perhaps even worse than the firing itself.
They say that you realize who your real friends are when you go through a life- altering event. I have had to face the unpleasant fact that apparently I had almost no real friends. Those I worked with for decades are now just as disassociated from me as the kids I went to elementary school with. Ironically, the ones who’ve been most supportive, and most concerned about my situation, are my steadily growing group of cyber friends, which include the aforementioned John Barbour and Ella Felder, talk show hosts S.T. Patrick, Richard Syrett, and Billy Ray Valentine, and a small group of Facebook friends.
Fortunately, I have some financial assets to fall back upon. I don’t like having to start draining them far earlier than I’d planned, but at least I’m lucky enough to have them, and I won’t be starving or going homeless. But I do have very little income now. My meager royalties from my books have brought home to me the lesson I’ve learned from many older entertainers, especially those in successful bands who earned very little even from million-selling records. The artist, the one who creates something, often is paid far less than those who select, publish and promote that something to the world.
I’ve had to hold my figurative hat in my hand and beg people to contribute to my radio show. So far, almost no one has contributed, and thus I’ve earned very little from being a radio host. I guess this shouldn’t surprise me, since I’ve had such great difficulty in getting people to review my books, give them a quick rating (not even a review) on Goodreads, follow me on Twitter, subscribe to my You Tube channel, recommend my books to their library systems, or even simply “like” my posts on Facebook.
I’ve given up trying to figure out why people contact me, tell me how great my books and other writings are, and specifically ask how they can support me further, and then ignore the requests I listed above. I’ve even had people offer me money, once they learned about my unjust job termination, which I politely declined. But these same people haven’t been willing or able to cough up a few bucks to support my radio program.
So while I relish each new book that’s published, and each new cyber acquaintance with those I’ve long admired, I also feel increasingly isolated. In my world of premature, involuntary retirement, I’m usually alone. Much of my time is taken up writing, of course, but I’d still love to have some real people- people I know personally- give me a call or ask to get together for lunch. That never happens, so I have to be content with delightful phone conversations with John Barbour, Ella Felder, Billy Ray Valentine, JFK researcher William Law and others. As I’ve told them, we are living in a brave new world, where at least for me, I feel closer to people I’ve usually never met, rather than to my “real” friends.
I’ll ask again; so many of you who’ve read my blog posts here have told me how much you appreciate them. Most of you have also read my books, and have listened to my interviews. Please consider clicking on the “Sign up” link below my image and the “I Protest” logo for my radio show here: https://tfrlive.com/iprotest/
No one likes to beg, but I have few other alternatives at this point. I’ve applied for several other jobs, but this job market is abysmal, especially for 62 year olds, despite Donald Trump’s boasting about figures he once accurately criticized for their overt dishonesty. All I need to know about the official unemployment rate is that I am not considered unemployed. My income is very limited, and even a modest number of contributing supporters for “I Protest” would mean a lot to me financially. It would also be very gratifying personally.