I hope you are doing well. It has been a couple of years since I last wrote to you so I’m glad to take this opportunity to write again after listening to your recent podcast episode with Dwayne Bryant.
I retired [number] years ago from the Chicago Police Department after 30 years of service. I think I did a good job coping with the stresses that came with the wide variety of experiences I dealt with over that length of time, although it has taken a mental toll on me to some degree. I consistently make a conscious effort to avoid things that raise my stress levels. That’s why, when I saw your podcast episode with Dwayne Bryant, I considered just skipping and deleting it in order to avoid what seemed likely to be a discussion that would elevate my stress. After doing some rudimentary research on Mr. Bryant my needle moved even further in the direction of just moving on to the Tom Basso interview.
But because I’ve studied your work and followed you since I began trading 12 years ago, I’ve come to know you as someone I can count on to be objective, so I chose to listen. I was not disappointed. I detected the points in the conversation you obviously had in mind when you referenced propaganda and appreciated your push-back when, like you, I thought it was justified, however taken as a whole I thought you and Mr. Bryant both had a good, open-minded conversation. Most topics I agreed with, some not so much, but it was a mutually respectful and civil conversation not conducted in an echo chamber. I felt as if I happened to be at a gathering sitting next to both of you hearing you talk I could join in and contribute my unique perspective without diminishing the respect or civility of the discussion from any of us. For me, considering my professional background, I think that’s a testament to your talent and ability to do what you do so well.
Your podcast has evolved into so much more than what it started out being, and I’m thankful for that. I derive a great deal of value from the content you produce because it’s consistently entertaining and always makes me think. Thank you, sir!
My offer still stands if you’re ever in [name] or [name] it would be my pleasure to join up with you for dinner. The stories I could tell you, brother.
I’ll leave you with one off the top of my head since I was just reminded of it. You may find it amusing.
I was working a side job as security for a Marilyn Manson show at the Riviera Theatre in Chicago in [date] or [date]. I was outside of the theatre by the entrance with my partner ahead of the show when [name], Manson’s lead guitarist at the time, walked out and stood next to us. He had a cap on, no makeup, and was wearing ordinary street clothes. Small, skinny person. No one in the crowd recognized him. He stood there blankly surveying the crowd of every goth-looking freak and weirdo you might imagine showing up for a Marilyn Manson concert, covered in leather, spikes, chains, tattoos, garish makeup, etc. After a good, long look, [name] said to us, “I wear makeup and a costume to play on stage for a few hours because I get paid. These people…..they actually LIVE like this 24 hours a day for free. My God.”
It was a unique look at image vs reality. Made me wonder just how many larger-than-life personas out there are really just paycheck players.
Thanks again, Michael. Please keep this confidential, or at least anonymous, if you would.
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