Friday, October 29, 2010

The Band

Remember my marching band? They're back.

But, Cher is gone. Instead, we have music I feel is entirely more appropriate for a marching band...the Star Wars Medley. Yes. Oh yes. There's nothing like running down the street with your dog to the "baaaaah-baaaaah-BA-ba-BA-BAAAAAAAA-bah" of the intro theme. From another direction, I can hear people belting out some kind of chant at some other sporting event.

I am delighted.

I recently realized that a few of the things I like about Big Southern State U are these moments of collective effervescence. That's MY marching band! Playing Star Wars! Hurrah for my school! I've seen one football game the whole time I've been here but somehow I am no longer an isolated academic toiling away in my solitary study, no, I am a Fighting Cotton Weevil! Go Weevils! Chew Weevils Chew!

Er...yeah. One of my least favorite things about my discipline is its tendency to eschew any kind of enthusiasm about anything in the name of "objectivity." That's useful from an intellectual perspective, perhaps, but it does suck the fun out of life. So, I'm enjoying my collective effervescence in secret...


  1. It's not a real marching band if they don't play "Tanz mit Laibach."

    ...And because Halloween is less than two days away, here are some more Xtian School Horror Stories!

    One of my teachers at Loony Christian Grade School had a grown son who decided to crash on her couch. This teacher, Mrs. X, had converted to the school's brand of fundamentalism* long after Sonny Jim had left home. She began needling him about converting to her faith, and after a while he broke down and converted. After being baptised one Sunday night they took all his rock albums (I'm sure it was a bunch of bland crap like Genesis) and burned them in the playground. One of the witnesses claimed the hissing tapes and vinyl sounded "like the demons of Hell screaming."

    I remember that the Fundies were really big on the Devil in the mid-1980s; at Defunct Gigantic Xtian Mr. V read us the discredited 1970's Satanism "expose" "The Satan Seller", though he had to skip over the lurid scenes of virgin sacrifice and grotesque spell-casting rituals (Mike Warnke, the con-man author, seemed to be doing his best to channel H.P. Lovecraft.) The real horror of that year was after we returned from a Christian wilderness retreat; one of the instructors was sobbing her eyes out - a relative had died and nobody had the brains or guts to call the retreat and tell her.

    When I switched from Defunct Gigantic Xtian to Loony Christian the Satanism fascination followed....we sat through a taped copy of the Geraldo special where he asked Ozzy Osbourne if he was a Satanist, a two-hour tape by this Cajun lunatic "Dr." David Benoit where he analyzed rock album covers (never played the music or read the lyrics) for "Satanic" symbols or imagery. As the `80s morphed into the `90s abortion became a big thing for the nutters, so I was dared into sitting through a nauseating abortion video which was little more than a fundy version of "Faces of Death", sans any voiceover to make sense of what we were seeing. That was at a tiny, now defunct, high school.
    In fact, most of the Fundamentalist schools I attended are gone. That's the only good thing about them.

    * To understand this post, check out the stuff I wrote under "Dumdum Delivery!"....Loony Christian Grade School was the "school ministry" of Loony Baptist Church, with which it shared property. It was what I call a "church-school" where a church runs a private school on their property. In the case of LCGS, the large dirt playground would become a parking lot for Sunday revivals, our classrooms converted into Sunday schools while we used the church building for Christmas pageants, graduations, or all-school assemblies. It was a claustrophobic world full of cliques, power trips, pointless gossip, student theft of school food, fear, and rambling three-hour sermons.

  2. Star Wars is cool, but if I saw The Band and they didn't do Don't Do It or Ophelia, I'd feel gypped.

  3. I threw up during a showing of "Faces of Death"...

  4. That's why I called the tape nauseating....and this is why I'm against charter schools - the possibility of this sort of craziness being government subsidized. And I'm sorry I somewhat stole your thunder, but some of this crap was too crazy to not write, and it fits the holiday.

  5. @Strelnikov: So did the folks at Loony Christian ever do one of those Halloween "Horror Houses" where they do the rooms up to look like crack dens or abortion clinics or what-have-you?

  6. @ Electric Maenad
    Nope....they handed out anti-Halloween pamphlets! We did Halloween on the side, did not come to school in costume, while the chickenshit church did a "Fall Festival" for the under second grade set. A lot of the students led double lives over petty things like clothes and pop music; it was like being a teenager in the USSR*, but without the black market in Levis and bootleg rock albums.

    * Soviet teens had apartment rock concerts, would jack into the national shortwave radio network to transmit Western rock music at 3am, and drank themselves stupid every chance they could get. We had the "illicit" pleasures of Nintendo, R-rated movies, and scrambled cable tv porn. I think the Soviets did better.

    BTW this double living also extended to the adults; I would occasionally overhear girls talking about how they babysat a churchmember's children only to find hidden caches of porn.


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