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Fit for Life: A Divided Nation

Saturday, May 10, 2014


We are a divided nation.

Half conservative, half liberal. Or, half for gun-control, half against it. We are divided by different faiths and religions, which dictates many different views on issues such as abortion, contraception and same sex marriage. We also have different views on issues like who gets taxed and who doesn't and which group is entitled to certain social programs, and which ones aren't. It is common when a person is on one side of any of these issues, they are usually on the same side across the board. Kind of like a “master lever” of opinions held.

However, there is one issue that has no political or religious team, and that's concern about ones health. There is no discrimination, political party, race, sex or religion that separates the two sides. This division is the healthy and the unhealthy people of this nation. And the numbers aren't even close.

Those who are unfit and in poor health are outnumbering the fit and healthy by a landslide. Rather than approach health in a preventive frame of mind, people would rather get sick, then react. There are issues and debates that can be seen from both sides, but I can't comprehend the choice to be unhealthy. I am not talking about the misinformed, or the people that think they are trying, only to be fooled by big marketing of commercial foods and weight loss gimmicks. Or the people who are on low salt and low fat garbage because their doctor told them that their blood pressure or cholesterol was too high. I am talking about the people that deliberately use drive-thru windows as their primary food source. Most often, these are the same people who would protest the mayor of NY for banning big gulp sodas. They do not want the government or anybody else telling them how to live, even if it is in everyone's best interest. These are the people who are making a conscious choice to be ignorant of the evidence – they are literally choosing to be or become unhealthy, going down the road of killing themselves slowly, with no consideration for loved ones, much less healthcare costs for themselves or the country. This puts a burden on all of us in many ways, and I will give you a quick example of how this ignorance and choice impacts all of us.

When you let yourself go, eat processed garbage, don't exercise, it’s not a question of IF you will get sick, but WHEN you will get sick. When you do, you clog up the medical system with what are most usually preventable ailments. Once you get into the system, and get on prescription drugs, you basically become a prisoner for life. When this happens, hospitals become a revolving door, and we all get hit in the pocketbook because insurance is based on averages.

So the people that care about their health and wellbeing and choose healthy lifestyles get to pay unnecessary high premiums so insurance and medical companies can recoup the payouts from the other side. I know I can't reach everyone, and it is impossible for everyone to think on the same level, but it is extremely frustrating to watch people do deliberate harm to themselves. I can't seem to get the rationale behind killing yourself slowly. I understand that there are addictions, and the lure of sugar and carbohydrates and fat is real - and that it is hard to adhere to a strict program, and I try to not chastising anyone in this category; my issue is with those who know - and do not care. They lobby against everything that could help put a strain on fake food manufacturers, prevent dangerous drugs from the shelves, or try to clean up the school lunch programs. These people are standing in the way of making changes for the better. They represent the demand for harmful products, and keep these unscrupulous companies rich and powerful.

So if you care about your health, but are stuck in a rut, let’s talk. If you just do not care, love feeling lethargic with aches and pains, or overweight and out of shape, by all means keep killing yourself, but please stop trying to interfere with those efforts that will help those of us who do care. I’m talking about those who want bans on soft drinks, high taxes on sugar, cigarettes, and alcohol. We want the schools to intervene, and remove soda machines, processed nugget-food, and fake cheese from the building. I would love to see big food, and big pharma take big hits in the pockets, but it will never happen as long as WE are so greatly outnumbered. If you are with me, gather some allies and fight the resistance. If not, enjoy your supersize fries and soda, but don't get in the way of those of us who want to look and feel great. Those of us who care about those who love us and want us to be around for a long time – healthy and strong.


Related Slideshow: Spring and Summer Music Festivals

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Boston Calling Music Festival


May 23-25

City Hall Plaza

Boston, MA

Boston Calling Music Festival is a three-day, two-stage festival featuring some of the biggest and best acts in live music. The event will be one big party with easy access to both stages, food, services and more. All ages are welcome and children under 10 are free.

Lineup Features:

Jack Johnson

Modest Mouse

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

The Decembrists


Death Cab for Cutie

Tegan & Sara

Brand New

The Neighborhood

Built to Spill

Magic Man

Maximo Park

Walk Off The Earth

The Districts


Kurt Vile and the Violators

Jenny Lewis

Plus More...

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Strange Creek Campout


May 23-26

Camp Kee-Wanee

Greenfield, MA

Presented by the Wormtown Trading Company, the Strange Creek Campout features live music, on-site camping, disc golf, yoga, a holistic village, and the Strangers Helping Strangers Food Drive.

Lineup Features:

Rusted Root

Max Creek (2 Shows)

Zach Deputy (2 Shows)

Donna the Buffalo

Ryan Montbleau



Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band

Fungus Amungus

Consider the Source

Plus more…

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Roots on the River


June 5-8

Bellows Falls, VT

Roots on the River is an annual roots music festival featuring 23 sets, 7 shows, 6 venues over 4 days.

Lineup Features:

James McMurtry

Curtis McMurtry

Mary Gauthier

Carolyn Wonderland

JD McPherson

Sean Rowe

Poor Old Shine

Heather Maloney Band

Caitlyn Canty

Hayley Reardon

The Meadows Brothers

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Leominster Starburst Festival


June 14 (Rain Date June 15)

Various Locations

Leominster, MA

For a free music festival in Central Massachusetts, check out Leominster’s Starburst, hosted by the Leominster Cultural Council. Everyone in your family will enjoy this day of music and fun, topped off with a firework show in the evening.

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Paulie's New Orleans Jazz & Blues Festival 


June 20-22

Canal District

Worcester, MA

Now entering its seventh year, the mission of Paulie's New Orleans Jazz & Blues Festival is to provide quality New Orleans & Louisiana jazz, blues, country, funk & zydeco music & food within an urban setting.

Lineup Features:

Roomful of Blues

Honey Island Swamp Band

Marcia Ball

Little Freddie King

Mem Shannon & The Membership

Bobby Patlauf Band

Big Al Carson & The Blues Masters

Eric Lindell & The Sunliners

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Prev Next

New Bedford Folk Festival


July 5-6

New Bedford Whaling National Park

New Bedford, MA

The New Bedford Folk Festival brings together over 70 renowned and emerging folk performers and 90 juried arts and crafts vendors in New Bedford's authentic historic district during the first weekend in July.

Lineup Features:

Chris Smither

Christine Lavin with Don White

John Gorka

Poor Old Shine

Jonathan Edwards


Vance Gilbert

Bill Harley

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Green River Festival


July 12-13

Greenfield Community College

Greenfield, MA

The Green River Festival is a premier Pioneer Valley Music event that takes place every July. The event attracts national talent, the great local food and fine crafts, and even hot air balloons.

Lineup Features:

Puss'N'Boots Featuring Norah Jones

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

Hurray for the Riff Raff

Trampled by Turtles


Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin & The Guilty Ones

The Lone Bellow

Ana Tijoux

James Hunter Six

The Iguanas

Poor Old Shine


The Dirty Dozen Brass Band

Plus More...

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North Atlantic Blues Festival


July 12-13

Public Landing

Rockland, ME

The North Atlantic Blues Festival is an annual two-day blues music festival featuring national blues performers and considered one of the most prestigious on the East Coast.

Lineup Features:

Mr. Sipp

Joe Louis Walker

Jarkeus Singleton

Teeny Tucker

Joanna Connor

Victor Wainwright

Melvin Taylor

C.J. Chener

Jimmy Thackery

In Layman Terms

The Mannish Boys

The Golden State lone Star Review

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Lowell Folk Festival


July 25-27

Various Locations

Lowell, MA

One of the largest free folk festivals in the country, the Lowell Folk Festival attracts thousands of people over three days. The event features traditional music, food, crafts and good vibes.

The Pine Leaf Boys – Cajun

Bud Hundenski & the Corsairs – Polka

James Kelly, Donna Long, & Sean Keane – Irish

Kevin Doyle – Irish Step Dance

Marquise Knox – Blues

Seichi Tanaka & the San Francisco Taiko Dojo – Taiko Dojo Drums

Nikki D & the Browns – Sacred Steel Gospel

Sonny Burgess & the Legendary Pacers – Rockabilly

Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers – Bluegrass

Samba Mapangala & Orchestre Virunga – East African Rumba

E.U. – Go Go

Hassan Hakmoun – Moroccan Gnawa

Seizmos Band – Greek

Thomas Maupin, Daniel Rothwell, & Overall Creek with Kory Posey – Appalchian Buck

Plus More...

Prev Next

Gathering of the Vibes


July 31 - August 3

Seaside Park

Bridgeport, CT

Gathering of the Vibes is an annual music, arts and camping festival now in its 19th year. Vibes has grown into a four-day festival that has featured such world-class talent as Crosby, Stills and Nash; all original members of the Grateful Dead; the Allman Brothers Band; Jane's Addiction; James Brown; the Black Crowes; Buddy Guy; Elvis Costello; George Clinton and P-Funk; Bruce Hornsby; Les Claypool; and many, many more big names, while continuing to showcase extraordinarily talented, young, up-and-coming bands to the 20 thousand people who attend each year.


Lineup Features:

John Fogerty

Rodrigo y Gabriela

Rusted Root

Widespread Panic

Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros


Slightly Stoopid

Maceo Parker

Deep Banana Blackout

Plus more…

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Newport Folk Festival


July 25- 27

Fort Adams State Park

Newport, RI

Folk music has been a presence in Newport since 1959, when the Newport Folk Festival was founded by George Wein. Backed by board members Pete Seeger, Theodore Bikel, Oscar Brand, and Albert Grossman, the Festival became renowned for introducing a number of performers who went on to become major stars, most notably Joan Baez (who appeared as an unannounced guest of Bob Gibson in 1959), and Bob Dylan, whose first Newport appearance, as a guest of Joan Baez in 1963, is generally regarded as his premiere national performance.

Lineup Features:

Deer Tick

Ryan Adams

Nickel Creek

Rodrigo y Gabriela

Jimmy Cliff

Mavis Staples

Band of Horses

Jeff Tweedy

Kurt Vile and the Violators

Conor Oberst

Sun Kill Moon

The Devil Makes Three

Puss N Boots

Plus more...

Prev Next

Newport Jazz Festival


August 1-3

Fort Adams State Park

Newport, RI

Established in 1954, the Newport Jazz Festival begins its 60th year this August, one week after its sister event, the Newport Folk Festival, takes place. The first event was originally billed as "First Annual American Jazz Festival" and featured many notable jazz musicians, including Billie Holiday.

Lineup Features:

Bobby McFerrin

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

David Sanborn & Joey DeFrancesco

George Wein & Newport All-Stars

Dee Dee Bridgewater - To Billie With Love

Dave Holland

Dr. John

Gregory Porter

Gary Burton

Robert Glasper

Vijay Iyer

SFJAZZ Collective

Danilo Pérez

Ravi Coltrane

Plus more...

Prev Next

Peacham Acoustic Music Festival


August 15-16

Various Locations

Peacham, VT

The Peacham Acoustic Music Festival is also a blend of the old and the new - roots music from the Celtic traditions, old time fiddle tunes, and a touch of blues and bluegrass - not to mention The Dance. Smoke and alcohol free.

Lineup Features:

Jonathan Edwards

Bob Amos & Catamount Crossing

Carl Jones

Alan Greenleaf & The Doctor

The Bayley-Hazen Boys

Plus many more to be announced…

Prev Next

The White Mountain Boogie & Blues Festival


August 15-17

Sugar Shack Campground

Thornton, NH

Entering it's 18th year, the Boogie and Blues Festival features award-winning blues artists, food vendors, craft vendors, a climbing wall, and many fun activities for children --including Saturday night fireworks.

Lineup Features:

Brandon Santini

Moreland & Arbuckle

Southern Hospitality

Samantha Fish

Jeremiah Johnson

Gracie Curran

Plus many more to be announced…

Prev Next

Rhythm&Roots Festival


August 29-31

Ninigret Park

Charlestown, RI

The 17th Annual Rythym&Roots Festival features award-winning roots music artists on the Main Stage and at two big tented dance floors, plus intimate one-of-a-kind workshops and kids activities.

Featuring The Duhks as the featured host band

2014 Artist Lineup Announcements Coming Soon


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