CNN Censorship and the Saga of Ren Gill

So many people struggle in the dark with illness. Ren Gill, who has battled Lyme Disease for 15 years, sings several songs of the struggles people endure as they wrestle with both a crippling and mysterious illness, and a medical system that seems hell bent on milking your money leaving you broke and sick. His latest hit, Hi Ren, is a portrayal of the internal struggles of a young artist battling for his art, his sanity, and his life.

This will be the third and last piece on the topic of Big News and the way it screws people over. The first one dealt with the dismissal of Tucker Carlson from Fox, the second dealt with Lemon getting fired from CNN. And now I’m going to discuss how CNN is trying to destroy Ren Gill, a more recent musician from Britain who has risen to a level of notoriety on the internet for his talent playing an acoustic guitar, his powerful singing voice, and music that mixes many genres into a blend that is, in my opinion, truly unique. He blends rap, classical guitar, a fifties vibe and a seventies grove with just a dash of punk.

I’ve already shared my thoughts on CNN, I will share that link here:

Sadly, Ren Gill will likely NOT be invited here. Damn shame.

These are the articles I’m going to site:

Let’s dig in:

What You Could Learn Without Reading Tired Blogging

The Redditt article tells you very little. “CNN did a hit piece about TikTok that happened to include a brief clip from “Hi Ren” (Shadow Ren saying “you’ve gotta kill you if you wanna kill me”) and taking it as a reference to suicide with no other context.”

They then leave the link to the Ren’s comments on YouTube, and THEN they leave the link to the actual video, sharing this comment: “But Ren fans are blowing up the comments on the CNN video. Don’t bother watching the video, but at least 90% of the comments are people taking CNN to task for misrepresenting Ren:”

I disagree personally. While the video WOULD BE a waste of time but for the attempted hatchet job on Ren, I think it is worth watching once or twice just to get some idea of how journalism works these days.

Is his song anywhere CLOSE to being a top forty hit? If you go simply by YouTube numbers, likely not. The number 40 song this week has 158 million views, Hi Ren has a mere 11 million. Having said that…the number one song “Shinedown” has 4 reaction videos I can find, “Hi Ren” has well over a hundred. I quit trying to count at a hundred, I have no IDEA how many people reacted to his video. Which one do you think is honestly the most impactful? Comments welcome.

Who is Ren and Why Does He Matter?

The Daily Mail shares this about him, well over a year ago: “A young musician who was recently signed by Sony has been forced to give up his dream career after his body was ravaged with Lyme disease.

“Ren Gill was healthy and active, spending six days a week in the gym, until one morning in 2009 he woke up thinking he had the worst hangover he’d ever experienced.

“He has spent the last seven years trying to find out what was behind his devastating symptoms which leave him bedbound for up to 23 hours a day.”

One reason that I’m so interested in him (besides the possibility that he is related, albeit very distantly to me) is that his experience is so similar to my own. Young talented person, on the cusp of true success, is struck down by a mysterious illness that is misdiagnosed for years. Fortunately for Gill, he was finally correctly diagnosed. I don’t think I have the SAME malady, but the similarities are, to me, uncanny.

Ren Gill was fit and active until he was struck down by Lyme disease, which leads to him spending up to 23 hours a day in bed. This honestly could be an image of me (without hair, and far less good looking) when the ME hits. All you want is sleep.

The Daily Mail continues: “He said: ‘My life changed overnight, I woke up one morning feeling like I’d been spiked – my personality disappeared, I was having muscle spasms and I kept having panic attacks. 

‘I thought it was just the flu but the feeling didn’t fade.”

‘I used to go to the gym six days a week and was generally quite active but now my leg muscles constantly ache and I’m always so drained.

‘I stay in bed for around 23 hours of the day, some days are better than others but a lot of the time even when I’ve woken up from a long sleep I can feel like I haven’t slept in months.’ On a side note, I am ALL too familiar with this feeling.

“Mr Gill, from Brighton, had dreamed of a career in music all of his life and was approached by a record label after being scouted when he was busking in Brighton in 2009 – just as his illness started.”

Ren Gill before his illness. Young, maybe a bit cocky, good looking, with the world by the tail.

Daily Mail continues: “But despite being left with next to no energy he said recording music from his bedside is what has kept him sane and he shares his self-penned songs with thousands of fans on YouTube and Facebook.

“Music has always been my life, I’d always dreamed of having a career in it and I feel like it’s really kept me going through all of this – even now I try to make music from my bed when I can

‘I’d always had a gut feeling that there was something physically wrong with me, I knew I wasn’t depressed and the antidepressants I was prescribed were just giving me insomnia.

‘When I was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease everything just seemed to make sense, it answered a lot of questions I’d had about my health.

‘Music has always been my life, I’d always dreamed of having a career in it and I feel like it’s really kept me going through all of this – even now I try to make music from my bed when I can.

‘My one hope is to raise awareness of Lyme disease, I hope it becomes more widely known so people won’t have to go through what I have – I’m so lucky to have had such amazing support from my mum and my girlfriend.’

Ren Gill during a period of recovery. Between bouts of illness, he has found the will to make some amazing music. And no…no top ten hits, no grammy, no interview with Oprah (she needs to…yeah…I said it….it isn’t that Ren needs an interview with Oprah, Oprah needs to interview Ren).

You can read the rest of the article if you want, it is about his struggle from about five years ago. I will, however, share the link to Ren’s GoFundMe page, in case anyone would like to send anything to help him with his medical bills. I’m kinda hoping the upward trend of his music continues and he won’t need it much longer, but I would have wanted someone to help me when it was my time, I feel I should do what I’m able to do for him now:

The Price of Success

In the last five years, the man has struggled, made amazing music, amazing videos that I knew nothing about until about two months ago. As you know if you are either a close friend or a reader of my stuff, I’ve been trying to form a team of people to start a business. I hate the thought of dying without having done anything to make the world a better place. And yeah, I could lean on my excuses, and I’m often tempted to, and honestly I likely succumb all too often. Just lie down. The sleep will be sweet. The world hates you anyway, sleep and dream about things that are sweet.

One of these folks who I am attempting to persuade has been kind enough to share some things, and one of them was the video “Hi Ren.” I’d actually seen some of Ren’s stuff pop up in my YouTube feed before, but I never clicked on it. I’m about to share part of the darker side of Curtis. I would always skip because he looked too young, too handsome. I thought in my arrogance that this was some punk kid, probably never suffered a day in his life. He is labeled a rap artist. I thought he was probably spoiled and was ranting about crap that he had no real experience with. What did he know?

I doubt he ever does, but Ren, if you ever read this, please consider this my formal and heart felt apology. I listened to “Hi Ren” and broke down in tears like a child who, separated from a loving parent, is finally restored to them. This man knew the pain in my heart. This man knew my struggles. This man had wrestled with demons even worse than mine, and while the struggles had in fact stolen so much from him, he had still done so much more than I have to make the world a better place.

At the end of the song he gives a poetic relation of his struggles. He doesn’t vomit bitterness on us. He just tells us what it was like. He shares that in some ways he has found no solution, but what solution he has found he shares. And the pain, the suffering, but also the love that I see in his eyes (you may see something different, and if you haven’t watched his video, you can be forgiven. Maybe…) melted the resistance of my prejudice. We need more things like this, more things that bring us together instead of dividing us.

A month or two went by. I struggled myself with depression. Honestly, I’m scared to death that my own bout with ME may be coming down the pike soon. It’s been four years, and five years is about as long as I can usually hope for. I have medications that help, but the tiredness that I just can’t explain to someone who has never felt it…I felt it this weekend. I’m fighting hard, but as his song says, the harder you fight, the worse it goes. And I’ve immersed myself in his music. I don’t doubt some of the loa types will say (and for all I know they are right) that since I am focusing on the illness the illness is coming back. So I blogged and wrote and fumbled and stumbled and read and listened to Ren and went on two dates (one went well, one went not well at all), and one day, the Sunday before last, I woke up to this video playing on YouTube (I sleep to YouTube….success through more YouTube programming):

This, to me, is some of the best criticism of our modern journalism I’ve ever seen

The movement online in support of Ren is INSANE. The very next video (and it was only a few hours old and had thousands of views already) was somebody reacting to THIS video. And the very next one was a newer video with many thousand MORE views where a pastor does a reaction video to this one, supporting Ren and agreeing that CNN should not be throwing someone under the bus who is actually trying to be part of the solution.

I woke up instantly after that. The fog that usually envelopes me after my coma/sleep was nowhere. I shared the videos on Facebook. I made notes about what I wanted to say here. And then other big news stories happened, and right or wrong, I’ve wanted to tie them together. Because to me…this is the issue. Big corporations vs us.

The grass roots effort to support Ren

If you look at the original CNN video, the VAST majority of comments (including a few I left) was in support of Ren against the megalith CNN. The criticisms?

The story purports to be scientific, but all it is is a reporter agreed to take over a TikTok account of a volunteer family who had a 14 year old…heck, just watch the video. Or at least the first minute or so. If you don’t understand how shoddy this story is, even ignoring the jab at Ren, I really don’t know what to tell you.

Suicide is the issue. They tell you that Ren is glorifying suicide. I’ll be honest, there is some of his music that I think could be mistaken for that (if you did the right mental gymnastics). But in “Hi Ren” you basically have “good Ren” having a discussion with “Bad Ren.” And Bad Ren is just saying that the two of them are one person.

Conspiracy Theory? Don’t Mind if I Do!

I’m hoping you watched at least those two videos, or will when you finish this post. Why did I tie this with the other two stories? While the other two made the most waves in the world, I think this is head and shoulders the most important story of the three. As Ren points out in “Sick boi,” “Money Game,” and other songs, our medical industry is a JOKE. Money is all that matters, and the patient is irrelevant. Whether we get better or not doesn’t matter, what matters is we keep buying, the stock prices keep increasing, and the profit margins remain obscene.

Likely the reporter wasn’t thinking, “this Ren guy criticizes Pfizer, so I’m going to crucify him.” But I think there is a strange irony here. Who pays the most in advertising to CNN? Anyone care to take a guess? Ok…I honestly don’t KNOW that it is Pfizer, but take a gander at this stuff and you be the judge:

I don’t expect you to have the patience to watch the whole thing. I tried to make a clip, but it won’t let me because YouTube won’t allow you to make a clip of a video that has a corona-19 strike against it. Please humor me though, skip ahead to 11:15 and the next minute will make my point perfectly.

Thou shalt not criticize Pfizer. But Ren DOES criticize that whole industry. And the big corporate juggernaut comes out guns blazing.

Fine Curtis! Life Sucks and Then you Die! Then What in Sam Hill is the Solution?

As Ren points out in his videos and his comments, WE are the solution. Don’t imitate me in my anger and hatred of the forces that helped destroy me. Be like Ren. Do what you can, where you can. Make music and put it out there. Write a blog and put it out there. Bake a cake and give it to your neighbor or sell it somewhere. Become a part of your community. Shut OFF CNN, and FOX, maybe for just a day or two, and watch something that actually edifies your life. Better yet, walk your dog, or take a walk with your wife and tell her you love her and you wouldn’t know what to do without her.

I’m being a bit simplistic, and yes, there needs to be more, but that is the start. Start where you are now. Do what you can now. Stop being complacent. Quit being a lemming. Stand up from the wheel chair the pig butcher corporations want you shackled to and sing your song. It may not seem like much alone. And no, alone, it isn’t. But even the corporations are mortal. Their day is coming. And if millions or billions of us rise up as one, not in hate, not in mindless rage, but in the righteous anger of God’s sword of justice, we can make change. Don’t wait for someone else to lead. Lead yourself. Lead you household. Take an evening alone or with your spouse or with your whole family or with some trusted friends and talk it out. What is the most important thing you could do now, with what you have, that could make a difference?

Then do it.

Don’t stay in the bed and die. At least I have ME as a bad excuse, what the hell is yours? If that makes you angry, good! I don’t apologize. Be angry. But have the anger of love, and not the anger of hate. Have the anger of justice, and not the anger of revenge. Have the anger that propels to a better tomorrow, and not the anger that brings down twin towers and destroys innocent people.

How it all ended

Ren posted this on his YouTube channel two days ago:

“After pushing back on the misrepresentation by CNN they updated their video to include more of my song & included a quote at the end of their video. The fact we’ve been able to pull up a major network and positively create a more balanced narrative says a lot about the power of this community The force is strong. Thankyou 🙏”

Major victory? Maybe not. Has justice truly been served? Maybe not. But the masses responded in waves to the pain of this man. It may only be a small thing, but if we continue, maybe we will yet live to see a world where human beings heal human beings, instead of corporations feeding at the pig troughs and devouring our hopes.

That is what your Tired Blogger thinks. What do you think? Is Ren all that and a bag of chips or am I full of it? Is Phizer a villain or a provider of hope and healing that should be respected? Do drug companies rip us off, or are 1000% markups legitimate when the costs of research are considered? Please leave comments.

In the next issue, I intend to do another Tired Blogger deep dive into Oklahoma education. Please feel free to share any information you think would be helpful or any constructive criticism about how I could have given a better experience on this blog.

What’s all the fuss about?
“Losing patience with the process.” “I’ve been feeling like I’m drowning with my feet upon the ground.” “It isn’t just me, it’s the world that’s sick. We have everything we need and we commodotize it. We consume, we destroy, science tells us this is suicide yet we still commit. I’m not sick, we are sick. We are standing on a cliff.’
He has another version, and it is pretty powerful too, but I think this one is my favorite version. Listen to your peril. If nothing else, the guy is a kindred spirit across the pond. God bless you Ren Gill


  1. I am the eldest of 7, raised by sharecropping, Arkansas hillrod parents poor is not something many Americans truly understand – but hey, I didn’t miss too many meals and was only molested by a church father for a short time (6-10/1 or so) barely physically abused, only a few scars from that-

    In 1988/9, I was diagnosed with grade IV spondolysthesis, I was 10

    After 3 major surgeries and months of traction, (if you haven’t you don’t know pain) and body casts – I had to learn to walk again.

    Fast forward through a life filled with daily, acute most times pain and working full time my spine fusion collapsed and I went back in under the knife, now at grade V (google it- yeah I really am over most humans these days because even when I explain it they ignore it) I’m on the tail end of 21/2 major surgeries and turn 47 this year.

    I pursue facts and evidence.

    Your saintly Obama and his medical care bills have caused the current issues

    Politicians have caused these issues, politicians backed by INSURANCE companies – NOT DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Curtiswselby says:

      Thanks for sharing. My friends (likely correctly) have been telling me I’m too sensitive, so I hope I don’t make the same mistake with you I sometimes feel they make toward me. So I will say to you what I wish my friends had said to me.
      You are my brother. I understand why you are not following the vapid Kardashians. I don’t think your inferior because you don’t have (maybe you actually do, but either way)the latest iphone with the flashiest gizmos. I don’t look down on you because you suffered more than I did. I honor your courage and tenacity, it hurts my soul that a good man suffers and all a Christian God can say is that you deserve it, when you and I both know you don’t. You had your youth robbed from you, and nobody can ever understand that unless they have also had their innocence taken away. You are stronger than I am, so maybe this won’t resonate, but often I feel like I belong dead, or on the island of misfit toys. Even just my paltry suffering- beatings and neglect as a child, cruel poverty that likely rivaled, if it didn’t equal, your own. I was lucky to keep most of my health till I was 20. I did though have an asthma so bad, it would have been debilitating, but I was lucky and my school helped me get medicine. Dad couldn’t be bothered with that, he needed booze. And then the ME (or whatever it is) hit. And praise Odin it wasn’t as bas as what you struggled with, but it still basically took away my shot for real success. For what it’s worth I count you as stronger than even Ren. You’ve dealt with stuff that would have broken me, and still, just like him, you have contributed more to society than I have. I don’t deserve the respect of someone who has suffered so much and yet with such grace. But if you will accept me, I feel I am your brother in pain. I love you (as best as a man can when we only know each other through our blogs). And I totally agree. Doctors and hospitals may have their flaws, but the root cause of the terrible state of our medicine is, as you say, politicians (including Obama, in spite of his likability he is part of the problem) and the insurance companies that fund them. Thanks for the comment. It took courage to be that open, and I appreciate it. And it took trust to believe I would hear that the way (I think) you meant it. I don’t know if I deserve that trust, but I will honor that trust with respect.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Amen! And also, hail odin!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Curtiswselby says:

      Thank you! Hail Odin and may Balder bless you. It sounds trite to ask in the context, but how are you doing🤔😱😳

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to believe that the only thing that has kept me from completely losing myself in the depths of evil are my children and wife.

    I now am a Court Appointed Special Advocate, I teach, coach and raise dogs and so on.

    Life is worth living and we can break the evil surrounding us that is a result in most cases of generational trauma and more (seems you understand this very well)

    But breaking it, is not even remotely easy. As you know.

    I love your articles and read them all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Curtiswselby says:

      Thank you brother. I also love yours. I hope I haven’t missed any, the bad part of ME (is anything about it good?) is that everything becomes many times harder to do, and other than fellow sufferers, nobody gets it. If I’ve missed any of yours please let me know. If you’ve stopped writing I respectfully ask you please do write again when you are able. Sometimes it is painfully difficult to believe life is worth it, but it is. I’ve held on to my morality for two decades for the sake of my son. I don’t wish to go into details, and honestly, I’ve been unintentionally lashing out at people who rub the scar to raw. But….on one hand my son IS still alive. On the other hand, I don’t expect to ever see him again. So…yeah I’m kinda in a bad place (but physical pain at the level you deal with is worse, and just the tiny taste of pain I’ve had I know it). But the sun shines. I have friends who love me. And I have a sweet dog.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Drop me an email at

    I’ll exchange numbers if you want- I enjoy meeting and or at least knowing good people in their own habitat and I have a great shoulder

    Liked by 1 person

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