Music: B No choir. A piano, an organ, and a violin (wtf?). Some real pipes in the audience tho, that was cool. At one point, (and this was fucking crazy churched-up kitch, too funny) the violin player played a solo song, no vocal accompaniment, but accompanied by a kooky fuckin instrumental track played thru a goddam BOOMBOX. It was obscenely long, had like at least two key changes, so much “dramatic tension”, and when it ended everyone clapped. That was during the tithing aka giving money to the church. Also worthy of note is one song sung from the “New Church Hymnal” (published 1976) with the amazing lines “I want to live above the world, tho Satan’s darts at me are hurled”.
people who will die in the next 20 years: easily ¾ of the people there
pastor charisma: B- he had me going for a while. I’ve been to this church for the food bank where he gives out bible shit and talks jesus claptrap and anyway I sorta thought he was charismatic. But after a while I got tired of his schtick of the soft, breathy, empathetic voice.
décor iconography: B wow there was a lot going on in my head regarding this one. There was a window-type thing (?) to the right of the stage that was like a weird lit-up landscape painting (photo? It was far away). It looked so weird and like it should be so out of place… and I guess it was to a degree, but it was so enamoring that it more than made up for that. Also, I guess I appreciate that visual dissonance, it kinda augments the already existing sense of fucked-upness that obviously exists for me in that environment. Plus, when did they get that thing? It looks right out of the 90’s, which begs many more questions than it answers, really. Anyway, that obviously stole the show, there were some huge posters of people with their arms in the air, in the wilderness probably, with god shit written here and there. They, combined with the weird thing described above, made me think about the relationship between nature, landscape, and modern religion. More on that later.
food/drink: they had coffee, with those crappy old-people cookies, and they had a box of green tomatoes that we were offered to take a bag from.
scare quotient: These guys went hard on Satan as a type of real person I guess. But it wasn’t really like scary “satan will eat your babies, or get you to eat your babies”, as much as some really lame “satan will make you distracted from fulfilling god’s wishes”. So it wasn’t that scary eh?
number of people: maybe 80? I guess 80 tops?
The real story:
This time jess had gone to grippin grain the night before and totally tapped out in advance. I got wasted at the porch crawl and made drunken plans with B-May and Jaymie (who were both probably sober) to come along. Actually Jaymie had plans to leave town that sunday, and when the date changed to monday, they thought right away of church, which proves just how rad and fun-loving they are. Anyway, jess wasn’t that mad when she found out I had gone without her – quote “Fewf! I was worried u went to tha jumbotron”…
Shit was already underway when we got there. Before walking in B-May nearly broke their coffee machine, perhaps in a panic. Then we browsed their lobby literature; I picked up a newsletter from the crisis pregnancy center, which by the way jives 100% with the notion that all those pro-life people should kill themselves for the simple reason that they are so fucking stupid. Anyway, we went in. There were a few songs. We sat right at the back. There was, as previously mentioned, a violin. Once they started actually talking it seemed really interesting. Like listing off the names of people in the hospital that needed “prayer” (of all things, but, okay, fine, it’s cool). But check this. It actually worked for this one woman who was maybe going to have to cancel the cooking class she was gonna teach cuz her arm hurt too much. But then when she went to see her physiotherapist (prayer, while chill n shit, is not always enough), and it turns out she’s probs good to go! Wow, but it’s not over. Armando, a local church-goer, came up to testify to the fact that “We have an awesome god! Amen!”. His back pain went away with the help of some professional help and some prayer. He told this story from the bible about Paul who asked god: “take the pain away!” to which god was like “no, just be happy I love you”. Which is … wow. So, it was cute.
Next up was another cool thing which i’ve never seen before which was they opened up the floor for people to make up their own prayers. I dont know if they were called prayers proper, cuz they were more like “glory to god” type shit. But yeah, some people had shit written down, others didn’t. One thing is none of the old white people said shit, it was only younger people of colour or anyway people who didn’t have a anglo-canadian accent (I couldn’t always see the person talking). It was kinda kewl I thought. Sorta democratic in a way lol.
Listening to killer mike right now as i’m writing this and he just said: “I’ve never really had a religious experience, in a religious place. Closest I’ve ever come to seeing or feeling God is listening to rap music. Rap music is my religion. Amen”. Moving on…
There was this funny thing where I noticed that there was a carpeted bottom in the book holder thing on the back of the pew in front of me (they were all like that to be clear), I guess it’s there to muffle the sound of the books getting dropped into there. Anyway, it was all moldy looking in there, like whoa moldy. At least it looked like mold so I wanted to check so I scraped it with my finger and smelled it and then B-May looked at me and laughed. I sorta shrugged cuz it didn’t really smell like much, but probably I don’t really notice the smell of mold, plus my sense of smell sucks.
So here’s the meat tho, the longest fucking sermon i’ve ever seen maybe. And shit did it ever have a promising start! Fuckin woah! Dude it was september 22nd, which clearly isn’t too late for a SEPTEMBER 11TH METAPHOR! Yay! But wait, he admitted that it wasn’t the first time lately he’s dropped that bomb, so to speak. So he casually started off with some like, “cool” facts about the world trade center! Cool right? Neat-o pastor breh. Like that it was the largest commercial center in the world or something lol. How about that it cost 1 billion dollars to build? Hm! I don’t really know it’s too easy to take shots at this shit but let’s keep at it – the thing about the church is, like the building of the WTC, is it, oh pardon me, GOD, works from the inside out! As god with the church, so too with workers and the world’s biggest commercial center. HA HA HA HA HA. shit. This was wild and I just was taking a lot of notes. “Satan steps into that mess… I mean, steps in and makes a mess” talking about the WTC – FREUDIAN SLIP MUCH? HAHAHAHAHA.
There’s a lot of good stuff left to make fun of so let’s move on. Apparently JC said “The gates of Hell itself cannot defeat this church”. But the pastor did warn us that “Satan can slow it down”. And I was all “Man, at this point you’re gonna have to slow the shit outta the ageing process for your parish not to perish the shit outta this place and til then we’ll see who’s defeating who!”
And now: “They listened to the noise and they stepped away from everything that God planned for them”. Which is a pretty bomb endorsement of noise music. Basically I think he might have said that Satan was noise. “But they listened to the noise”. He talked about some historical bible thing about people being more into building their homes than the temple cuz they were scared of the temple being destroyed and all this work having gone into a pile of rubble. Which I guess is an interesting dilemma to think about. I do think about how instant gratification does distract people from engaging in projects that are more likely to fail than the more likely to succeed project of being on the internet or something.
At this point B-May was pretty much bent over double, maybe partly becuz not enough coffee, but I think mostly cuz same point being made for like way too long. So to finish he pulled out these choice lines: “Crucifixion is painful” (yeah, torture is painful, DUDE) “if youre nailed to a cross, even if you’re tied to a cross, there’s no comfortable position” (huh? FOR REAL?) “Take all my stuff and nail it to a cross” “Help me to recognize that your cross is not comfortable”. Anyway, that was hilarious? Wtf is that? Okay. Somehow this led to the exhortation not to give into the fear of our enemies’ attacks, like bringing it back to september 11, FINALLY. Jesus.
As we were leaving, Jaymie got two handshakes and welcomes and introductions. Apparently, people were stoked to see new, not nearly dead people coming into their church for a service. I guess we didn’t stick around for that shit, oh well, probably it would’ve been kinda cool.
We had some water and cigarettes in my front yard cuz I live like very close to that church. B-May talked about how obvious the appeal of that type of thing (church) is. How they seem to care for eachother in times of need, although they don’t seem to stray too far in this regard from the socially acceptable kind, basically physical health and age. And singing together. And talking about being a better person together, etc.etc.etc. We also talked about how simply impossible it seems to be that we could fall in with that shit. Me and jess talked last week about how weird that would be. But yeah, their aesthetic is too cheesy, and they believe the most insane sci-fi shit is real, and that’s sorta the basis for that whole undertaking. Haha, that’s crazy. Maybe that’s mostly what I remember talking about with them.