Dinner with Jason tonight, in the communal coffee area outside of Green Beans. While I support others’ rights to practice their religion, there was a gaggle of people, Americans, singing the most g-dforsakenly dull and off- pitch Christian rock songs the entire time. Loud, raucous, and so badly out of key that if this weren’t a dry base and they weren’t singing about their personal devotion to Jesus Christ etc, I’d have mistaken them for a bunch of rowdy drunks. I highly doubt any Divine Being is going to appreciate what was happening there; I can’t imagine the G-d that inspired spirituals, the Avinu Malkenu, or Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring getting into music so inoffensively bland that it actually manages to swing right back to being downright offensive in its very blandness.
I can’t help thinking that there must have been a better venue for that impromptu twenty- man, one- guitar concert, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan. (I know it’s a wiki link, but it’s a decent one.) Especially in a public space- the chapel, or some open space with a little more privacy would have seemed more appropriate. There are at least 3 chapels on base, near them, and at least two open, public meeting spaces that aren’t where everyone eats, actually. Where does someone’s personal right to practice/ profess their faith and my personal right to not have it imposed upon me meet?
Honestly, the truth is, it’s not as though I felt oppressed by the religious aspects, and although I did find it wildly inappropriate, that may be a cultural thing. We (Jews) aren’t a recruiting people, and Christians are, and that’s always struck me as strange. We also don’t have many public displays of our faith, either, or at least, not in my experience, so that strikes me as odd, too. What I felt oppressed by was the quality of the music, as written and as performed- more, the dismal lack of it, and its utter inescapability. I’d have been almost as offended had they been singing anything else that badly, and loudly, in a public space. I would have actually taken a Lee Greenwood recording over what was going on at that point, and for me, that’s saying a lot.
In other news, it’s still crazy out here, but given the choice between being in a constant state of panic or accepting it as it is and hoping for the best, I wind up pretty relaxed about the whole thing. I do the best I can, and that’s all I can do- I don’t let off of always trying to do better than the day before, but 100% is all I have. Besides, after the days I have I don’t have the energy for a constant state of panic. Hell, I’m lucky if I remember to take my socks off before getting into bed.
(Secret side note: I’ve started taking Chantix again. That’s mainly for another post, but I wanted it out there for accountability. Today is day two.)
(Also: don’t know what I was on about with the Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring bit? It’s an adaptation of a Bach chorale piece, and actually, you probably do, but you might not have realised it. Everyone has heard this one, but no one seems to know its name; it was also significant inspiration for Procul Harem’s A Whiter Shade Of Pale. This is a gorgeous, if abbreviated verision, played on classical guitar. The video itself is a bit hokey, but the arrangement and performance is tops. Hit it at about 40 seconds if you just want to hear the Procul Harem tie.)