Derivative Art, Rock 'n Roll, Teenage Angst, and God

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Music critic I am...

Meeting some Baptists in 1978 I was surprised to find one who stated she did not listen to commercial music of any type, only "Christian" music. We listened to some at her house and it was incredibly bad, sounding perhaps more like empty soft rock bands like Air Supply (and what Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show devolved into to make money in their latter incarnation) only the singer was referring to Christ instead of a lover. Once when someone called it "Jesus is my Boyfriend Music" I cracked up. "Praise Music" - also called "7-11 songs" because they consist of seven words only which you sing eleven times - are just as bad, an occasion for raised hands of the spiritually pretentious who claim a consciousness which is as empty as the inside of a balloon.

I've been just as astonished by fundamentalists who claim there will be no fiction in hebbin. Their idea of spirituality is to align yourself with whatever power structure exists, whether Pharisee or Taliban, doesn't matter much. It is no accident that Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson switched from segregationism to to culture warriors effortlessly, anticipating the zeitgeist as a marketing tool.

I am not as familiar with Corrigan and Smashing Pumpkins as many younger than my 61 years are but the article makes me want to explore them. Good writing, whether of songs or fiction, leaves people wanting more like Jesus did with his parables. That's what this writer did, and what solid musicians like Randy Newman and The Indigo Girls do. The best usage of much of the dreck called "Christian Rock" - as if Bob Dylan (born Jewish, I know, but his evangelical tracks after his much publicized conversion which was immediately forgotten surpass anything done by commercial "Christian" schmaltz of today) and and Johnny Cash were Bokononists or something - is to spray the CDs with hair spray, ignite them, and hurl them frisbee-style at cars on the interstate with "In Case of Rapture This Car Will Be Unmanned" bumperstickers.

George N. shuler, LCSW more than 6 years ago

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