Thursday, July 09, 2015

Thursday Three-fer: My Sister's Bedroom

My middle sister, Shirley, is about six years older than me.  Having an older sister helped me to be much cooler than I otherwise might have been, at least in my musical tastes.  Shirley had a record player in her bedroom and a few albums, but a rockin' collection of 45s.  I spent many hours in her bedroom while she was at work or out and about, listening to her records.  Luckily, she had a window in her bedroom which allowed me to watch the driveway to make sure she wasn't coming home, because she would kill me if she caught me in her room listening to her records.  Here are the songs that bring me back to Shirley's room every time I hear them. 

1. Joy to the World - Three Dog Night
Jeremiah was a bullfrog.  The heck?  Back in the day, no one seemed to question this lyric - we all just sang it with such feeling and conviction that it was assumed we all understood exactly what they were talking about.  But looking back on it, curiosity (and having the world of information at my fingertips) got the best of me and I looked it up.  Apparently, it was one of those nonsense placeholder lyrics that songwriters use and intend to replace it with something that makes more sense later.  But that part never happened and now we have a lyric we can't imagine being without.

2.  Ballroom Blitz - Sweet
This song was edgy enough to make me feel like I was living life on the fringes when I listened to it.  Yeah, it made an appearance in the movie "Wayne's World" (which is very cool) but it's coolest incarnation is when I listened to it in my sister's bedroom on the forbidden record player.

3.  One Tin Soldier - Coven
The theme song from the movie "Billy Jack."  Never saw it.  A Vietnam war protest song?  Not sure I get it.  But a parable about greed and destruction, I totally get.  *SPOILER* The valley people killed the people of the mountain for their treasure, which turned out to be a rock with the message "Peace on Earth" engraved on it.  Irony.  That's some deep stuff when you're not even in junior high yet.

Honorable mentions for this list were:  Half-Breed by Cher (?)
Smokin' in the Boy's Room by Brownsville Station
Stuck in the Middle by Stealers Wheel

Thursday, July 02, 2015

But the World is Supposed to Hate Us!

"Right there, in Matthew AND John, Jesus said it.  He said that the world would hate us.  That's how I know we're right on track.  When the world disparages us, that's just proof that we're doing what we're called to do."

But the world is supposed to hate us because we refuse to keep the marginalized on the margins. Our standards are not only low, they don't exist. We not only allow everyone into the fold, but we seek them out and welcome them in, and that's why the world will hate us. . . not because of our righteous indignation.

The world is supposed to hate us because we don't sit back and do nothing when the powerful oppress the weak.  We fight the power on their behalf, with no regard for ourselves, and that's why the powerful will hate us. 

The world is supposed to hate us because we feed the poor with no concern for their moral standing first.  We don't require any kind of test to make sure they are worthy, we feed them because they are hungry and because Jesus told us to.  No political or war powers will stand in our way.   That's why the world will hate us.

The world is supposed to hate us because we don't succumb to the materialism that drives us to work harder so we can buy more.  Our time and money are used to bring glory to God instead of polishing our stuff.  Servanthood is more important to us than capitalism, and that's why they will hate us.

The world is supposed to hate us because we fight injustice, wherever it may be.  We are bold in our defense of the mistreated rather than in defense of ourselves.  We will root out wrong, even if it's taking place in our own backyard.   They will hate us because we want justice for others . . not because our only concern is justice for ourselves. 

The world is supposed to hate us because we are like Jesus, not because we are jerks.

Thursday Three-fer: Bitch, I'm Madonna

Madonna.  The year I ventured out on my own was the year Madonna was making a name for herself.  She changed the music and fashion world and had a big influence on me.  Actually, she was like a troubled big sister (that I never met) and it's been interesting that as we've grown older together I've gone through many phases in my relationship with Madonna.  I've alternately loved her, admired her, been embarrassed by her, dismissed her, pitied her, forgotten about her, been defensive of her, and appreciated her.  During my phase of rebellion from the church, I loved the way she would be like, "Watch me make the Christians freak out."  Boom!  Sure enough, right on cue, freaking out ensued.  What power she had.  I think the title of her new song so encapsulates who Madonna is for me.  All the cameo appearances in the video are fun, although the song leaves a lot to be desired.  To find the Madonna songs that I love, I had to go way back.  And choosing three was hard, but here are the ones I'm going with.

1.  Borderline

With Madonna, It's hard to differentiate between the song and the video.  Her videos are really what endeared me to her.  This video came before the boob cones, carved arm muscles, and sex books.  I have no delusions that she was a sweet little girl at this time in her life, but this video shows such a sweet time in her career.  You watch this video and there's no denying it - this girl is cool.

2. Dress You Up
Such a fun song.  The original video was pretty lame, so I went in search of another live performance and found this one.  This was a live performance from 2009 when she would have been 51, my age.  I watched this and had a huge appreciation moment for this woman.  What a rush that would be to be her age and still killing it on stage.

3.   Vogue
A piece of art.  Great song.  Beautiful video.  And boob cones.  Yes!