Saturday, December 4, 2010

Shame On You!

I'm not one of these music snobs. You know the type: their favorite bands are groups you've never heard of, they hate anyone who's mainstream, and they're always way too passionate when they talk about music. However, with only a passing interest, I can't help but to notice that almost everything on the radio is either a cover of a song that has already been a hit once, or at a minimum, the new song samples a piece of an old hit. We all came to love "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" after watching Dirty Dancing. Patrick Swayze was spinning Jennifer Grey around like a ceiling fan, and all was right with the world. Well, now The Black Eyed Peas have sampled the chorus in their song "The Time (Dirty Bit)." Between that ridiculousness and the Glee kids' cover of the original, Swayze is rolling over in his grave. And so is Jennifer Grey's old nose.

Nothing is new or original now. Willow Smith's "Whip My Hair" was originally sung by Loretta Lynn in 1994, for Christ's sake! Google it, if you don't believe me! The last truly original song that I heard was "The Bed Intruder Song." Catchy, entertaining, instructive. It's a cautionary tale. A story of bravery, courage, and taking a stand against both violence and proper grammar. But what do I know? I don't like gospel music.

While visiting my grandmother over Thanksgiving, she shamed me, not once, but twice because I'm a, well let's say, "passive" Christian. The first conversation went like this:

Granny: "You don't like gospel music, do you?"
Me: "Not really."
Granny: "Shame on you!"

The second conversation was similar:

Granny: "Do you read your Bible?"
Me: "No ma'am."
Granny: "Shame on you!"

So between Granny's issues with my lack of Christian devotion, and my parents being appalled that I support gay marriage and gay adoption, I'm pretty much the liberal heathen devil-child of my entire family. My parents think my brother is a selfish asshole, but if I continue to discuss politics and religion with them, he'll be promoted to the position of "the good son" in no time.

To an extent, I can't blame them for their small-minded beliefs. Most of the local pastors fill their heads with visions of sugarplums--no, wait, that's Santa Claus. The local pastors fill their heads with darker ideas: like the idea that all homosexuals are pedophiles who, when they aren't molesting the children of the community, are recruiting them to become the next generation of gays and lesbians. Biblical quotes from the Book of Leviticus and the mantra "God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" zoom around homophobic arguments like flies over horseshit. I don't know which disappoints me more: that my own mother quoted that phrase, or that she actually misquoted it and said "God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Adam." I hate to break it to Mom, but if she is taking up the cross against having sex with yourself, she's going to have even less supporters than the anti-gay protesters. It'll be her and that nutbag Christine O'Donnell--who's not a witch, by the way, because she only dabbled in witchcraft and that was years ago.

Not all churches are bad. I found one in Tuscaloosa when I lived there that seemed to get it. And there's at least one in Savannah that definitely gets it. But there are a lot of churches, and worse, a lot of Christians that keep spewing this hateful anti-gay rhetoric that is causing verbal bullying and physical violence and is leading the charge in creating the environment that has 14 year-old gay KIDS committing suicide left and right. And I don't know if their taking a stand against cause-and-effect like they are against evolution--and often against logic--or if they just don't care if all the gay KIDS keep killing themselves, but maybe my grandmother needs to be directing her advice of listening to more gospel music to the community in addition to me. As I recall the song goes, "Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so." It doesn't have the caveat of "unless I'm gay, then the Bible tells me I'm gonna burn in hell, but not before I suffer a lifetime of anguish by hateful people who hide behind His name." Quite frankly, that doesn't rhyme, and the melody for such a long line would be terrible.

*I know this was probably my least funny post, and I'm sorry you suffered through it. I started off with the intention of writing about my grandmother telling me "Shame on you!" twice while I was home, but then, as usually happens when I get to talking politics, I got angry and the post took a more serious tone than I intended. But when 14 year-old kids are killing themselves in droves over something so easily fixable, that's an appropriate time to get serious.

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