Saturday, June 17, 2006

BCM Movement

I can’t ask God for anything anymore.

I can’t ask God for anything anymore, because whenever I complete a silent petition voices in the back of my mind screech “Let us pray to the LOOOORRRD HEAR OUR PRAYYYYYYER!”

Have you heard this during the intercessions at a Mass near you? Have you realized how stupid it is? We interrupt ourselves, for God’s sake. I bet God takes special pains NOT to hear our prayer. I bet He flips on the Packers game.

Yet the overly-efficient “Let us pray to the LOOOORRRD HEAR OUR PRAYYYYYYER!” is less than a drop in the great sea of Bad Church Music. I first noticed BCM creeping into the Church in my Catholic grade school, when I was introduced to such gems as “Walk With Me,Talk With Me” which includes the following deeply reflective lyrics: “I was I child once, I know it/ My mother has pictures to show it / But she always knew I’d outgrow it/ I guess that’s what pictures are for.”

In high school, I was forcibly enlightened by the PC-Jesus version of “Let There Be Peace on Earth”, which substitutes “Neighbors all are we/Let us walk with each other/ In perfect harmony” for the traditional “Brothers all are we/Let me walk with my brother/ In perfect harmony”. Look, I went to a women’s school. Brothers were hard to come by. I wanted to walk with as many of them as POSSIBLE.

It was also about this time that I was delighted by “Song of Gathering”, the refrain of which contains the line “... the Father of all, let it be.” The last time the refrain is sung, however, the words are changed to-- surprise, children!-- “... the Mother of all, let it be.” I’m sorry, but if God is a woman, menstrual cramps and pantyhose would not exist.

What is the origin of this celestial crap? I have heard arguments that such music befits the spirit of Vatican II and serves to make The People to feel better about ourselves as Catholics.

The main problem with this, of course, is that we’re Catholics. We’re not SUPPOSED to feel better. About ANYTHING.

The other problem is that-- and please don’t misunderstand me, for I don’t wish to offend anyone-- this music sucks. My friends and family are under strict orders that, should I have some sort of tragic reaction to E coli Night over at the Ponderosa, they are under no condition to use any piece of music from Glory and Praise Volume III at the Requiem Mass.

For Bad Church Music can strike anywhere, at any time. No one is safe, not even the Pope, who, I imagine, has been unable to escape a few renditions of “Yahweh, I Know You Are Near” in his time. BCM exists in the following categories, each of which contains actual songs found in your local Gather hymnal:


I Am the Light of the World”

My Peace I Leave You”

I Will Be With You”

The Water I Give”

I Am the Resurrection”

Turn to Me”


Jesus Still Lives”

God is One, Unique, and Holy”

Love One Another”



Come to Us, Creative Spirit”

The River Will Rise”

Great Things Happen When God Mixes With Us”

Run Deer Run”

I Saw Water Flowing From the Right Side of the Temple

Many Are the Light Beams”




You'd think Jesus would want to rock out better than this.

whole note at:

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Blue Plate Special

You guys hear about Meat Loaf? (I never know if it's one word or two; I seem to have misplaced his embossed business card.) He sang "It's All Coming Back to Me Now"with KathElectra McBoobs on the American Idol finale, and looked like a human Swiffer, post-mop.

Apparently Monsieur Loaf suffers from horrible stage fright, and he also has some sort of heart ailment, which sucks and all, and he's not supposed to perform for more than a couple of hours at a stretch. Which, if you're Meat Loaf, gives you time for maybe a song and a half.

So the whole American Idol thing did not go well, between Meat Loaf's droopiness and McBoobs' idea of expressing "it's all coming back to me now" as two fingers occasionally pressed to the forehead. Meat Loaf says after the smoke and entrails were all cleaned up, he went backstage and blanked out and cried because the whole thing was so awful. I hear you, Loaf.

He should have checked with my grandma. Towards the end of her remarkable life, when she began insisting that various visiting grandchildren must eat butter pecan ice cream or she would go to hell, Grandma and Grandpa sat before the World Series or some such thing, and there to sing the National Anthem... Meat Loaf. My grandmother perked right up and joined in--every word-- and the world heard The Star Spangled Banner according to Florence and The Loaf.

Well, when you go about with a cow product as a first name, perhaps you should expect such an effect on the populace. Sail on, Sir Loaf.

we were barely seventeen and we were barely dressed at:

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Ryan the Rocket Scientist, through some miracle of technology and extortion, has managed to open some of my document files of college writing. This is not entirely a good thing. I sucked then. (I suck now, of course, but at that point I often sucked while hung over, thereby increasing the suckage factor by one thousand percent.)

Some of this stuff is a decade old (Shut. Up.) and was stored on three and a half inch Mac-formatted floppy disks, so finding a way to unlock it was like trying to translate the Rosetta Stone. I tired every computer store in town and a printing service, and they all sounded upbeat and interested at first and then I held up my floppies and then they laughed at me.

But Ryan got it open, and I remembered some of it word for word. Others were more along the lines of "Huh. I... wrote that." I found a love letter to an ex that makes me want to die and a class schedule from 1997 has me starting my educational day at 9:15 and ending it at 7:30, back when when I had energy and actually gave a crap.

O, Tink The Scholar! I was the same age of some of my current students when I wrote this stuff, and you know what... I sounded kind of like them. I believe there is some sort of cosmic machine out there spitting out essays from twenty-one year olds that start with the sentence "All members of humankind agree that..."

Mostly, I heard them screaming after me when I discovered a term paper file titled "I don't want to write this paper."

It also functioned as a technological time capsule. This was before profs caught wise to Acts of Font Expansion, see, and more than a few papers were written in enormous Courier, bolded Helvetica. I had never seen a paper margin I could not widen.

There were Observer columns and internship resumes and a political science paper on the womens' movement in Iran entitled: "Women As a Windsock." Man. I can't believe nobody hired me to professorize right out of school.

wondering how we're going to open all these Word documents in 2016 at:

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Four Cheers for Benjamin The Reader

I would make it three, but, you know. The OCD. So he gets an extra.

My ailing computer and I thank you profusely, Benjamin.

The Lamest Generation

Josh the Pilot is going to be 25 in two weeks (shut up.) He thinks we are both Generation X; I told him that I'm GenX but he's GenY. His definition of what a generation is depends on who the parents are: If your parents were baby boomers, you are a GenXer. If your parents are the children of baby boomers, you are GenY. That sounded overly broad at first, but once I ate a few fries and thought about it, this makes sense to me. He and I are only four years apart, and while that seems like a big deal now in in our 20's, it's exceedingly lame to ascribe to totally different generations people born so close together in the broad frame of time.

Then again, my parents (vintage 1941) aren't really baby boomers, so I suppose I should schedule an identity crisis for myself sometime next week.

I minored in history (because, that's why) and therefore take a longer view of this. How can we charactarize a generation that hasn't made its mark yet (GenY)? We're called GenX solely because people didn't know how we're going to shape the world. Well... no crap, we were on our Sit 'n' Spins at the time.

Others have called us "the MTV generation," which I hereby greet with a hearty BOOOOOOOOOO. I refuse to live out my days associated with Pat Bennetar's hair and a cable station now desperately grasping for relevance ("Here... it's another episode of The Real World! Aren't we cool, kids? Huh? Huh? Hey... get back here!")

I think our society is eager to bust out its plastic labelmaker on everything and analyze it practically as it happens as a product of the 24-hour news cycle. For instance, we have no business declaring Presidential administrations that just ended (or are still going on) as a "success" or "failure" because the effects simply haven't had time to unfold yet. I would say we can only just now start to unpack everything that went on with, for instance, LBJ. It will be decades more before we fully understand the impact of the Smurfs.

It appears that Jim The Small Child Nephew already has a generation assigned to him: The New Silent Generation. Which... no. The child is a portable sonic boom in Cookie Monster sneakers. Can we wait until he understands that the kittycat does not like to go in the dryer before burdening him with generational expectations, please?

smurfette had a wicked wardrobe at:

Monday, June 12, 2006


You guys, you guys! I found my wedding dress!

Can I afford it? No. Am I getting married? No! But lookit! It's my wedding dress! Princessy sleeves! Long twirly skirt! No tags! Or collars! I've refused jobs because the uniform was a polo shirt! My priorities are completely and totally in order!

I am what you might charitably call "un-tall," and finding the proper dress is vital. Too much froo-froo and I will appear as a tulle-encrusted Rose Bowl float as I make my way down the aisle. This was the problem with Charles and Di; by the time she hauled her Kansas-sized train up to the altar, she was exhausted and there was nothing left to fight off Camilla. The woman simply didn't think. How was she going to bustle all that mess? How was she supposed to dance to "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" at the reception hall in that thing?

See, wedding dress selection is very, very important for single women. We may not have a fiance, or a boyfriend, or a male-named topical storm in the area, even. But we do have a tiara on backorder. I also have the table themes, color of the bridesmaids dresses, location of registries, and first-song choice done. Still undecided on the bouquets; they will have to match the boutonniere, so perhaps the groom will have say in that. Whoever he is. Not really important.

what about the d.j. at:

Monica: Hall Of Famer The Reader

This post, and many, many posts to come will have been partially brought to you through the generosity of Monica The Reader, whose very kind Amazon donation came just as I took my computer to the data doctor. A toast to you, Monica!

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