Sunday, June 18, 2006

Ships, Seas, and Salvation

Hello, Dear Friends! A few snips & snails from me to you at the end of today, a better-than-most Sunday. You may be pleased to hear (or you may not give a toss) that in sharp contrast to last week, I'm not agitated. Not irritated. Not discombobulated. There is still much roiling of seas around me, but my wee craft seems to be bobbing along and taking on only minimal water. Nothing the bilge pump can't handle.

Given the day of the week it is, I thought it might be apposite to relate to you the only concrete thing I remember from several years of Sunday School: how to mug an old lady using a walker (Brit translation: Zimmer frame).

I must have been around thirteen or so, and was preparing (or rather, being prepared) for Confirmation. The lessons themselves were dull and dry, and I recall feeling extremely uneasy; I wasn't sure at all if I believed in all of this Bible stuff, but I sure as heck was petrified at what might happen if I didn't (cue: hellfire, damnation, wrath of God etc ad nauseam). I was an impressionable lad with an active imagination...

Helping out with the teaching were some older, ideologically sound teenagers. They were supposed to go through various exercises with us ("Describe your favourite saint" and things like that), but as soon as the Fathers and Sisters were out of the room, the japery started.

One Sunday our Sweet and Tender Hooligan Shepherd of the week asked for a volunteer. He wanted to show us how to mug an old lady. I don't know why, but I raised my hand. He told me to stand at the front of the class with my hands on a chair in front of me. I was to be the hapless granny, the chair my walker. As I shuffled slowly, Hooligan Shepherd grabbed my ankles, flipped them over my head, rotated me over the chair, and lowered me gently (remember, he was also Sweet and Tender) onto the floor such that I was lying on my back. He then finished by saying one was supposed to grab the handbag from prostrate, winded (paralysed?) granny and flee. Charming.

So there you have it - the sum total of what I remember from Sunday School, and one of the reasons I am leery of churches and organized religions. Thanks to Mentok for drawing this memory out of me through our comment exchange last week. I thought about posting Public image Ltd's 'Religion' as an accompaniment, but I'm simply not feeling aggressive or uncharitable enough. Instead I give you the fluffier:

Culture Club - Church of the Poison Mind (buy here)

In other news, for some time I've been studiously ignoring Sufjan Stevens. Too much hipster hype, methought, best stay away. But witnessing the conversion of Colin, now on a ship sailing to Sufjan City with Ash, and the retreat of Coxon and LovelyBelle to a Sufjan-free island redoubt, I thought it was time to stop treading water. So I listened to one track. Then another. I read up on the man, pinching my nose to shut out the stench of arch hipness. Then more tracks. And then this one:

Sufjan Stevens - Casimir Pulaski Day (buy here)

And that did it. Colin, wham bam thank you man, chuck me a life ring and pull me aboard. I've been in this cold, cold water for so long that I look like a prune. I am now baptized, Hallelujah (even if it's not a hard rock one)! Shuffleboard with Sufjan, it is.

And now, a riddle. Quite by chance I caught an episode of an old telly programme that made me laugh like a drain. But rather than tell you what it was, let's see if you can guess it. To guide you, I offer two songs and a strip of dialogue. And the winner gets... oh, I don't know. I'm sure we can come to some agreement. At very least my unyielding admiration.

The Associates - Party Fears Two (och aye, buy here)

"Angus Podgorny, what do y'mean??" "He wasnae so much a man as a ..."

Blancmange - That's Love, That It Is (buy here)

Oh, dash it, I'm just feeling so compassionate and generous right now. And no, I'm not being sarcastic. 'I want to give peace, love and kisses out to this whole stinking world. The gypsies, the travellers and the thieves. The good, the bad, the average and unique. The grebos the crusties and the goths...' So here you go, a final few gifts on what is fast becoming Monday morning.

Carter USM - The Only Living Boy In New Cross (buy here)

dINbot - Beastie Bop (Ramones vs Beastie Boys) (onetwothreefour ch-ch-check it out here)

Bjork - Fool On The Hill. Sung in Icelandic and recorded when she was all of 11 years old. Appears on the eponymous 'Bjork Gudmunsdottir,' which I understand is only on vinyl & I have no idea where it can be found (EDIT: Many thanks to Buffer Low from Oz for sending this jpeg of the fantastically exotic album cover). A lovely song, perfect to wind down to...


go to sleep...

dreaming happy dreams...