Saturday, May 17, 2008

Street Preachers and shame


tonight was silly. i was making my way down to the back booth with a healthy stride full of intent when all of a sudden i heard a man speak into a microphone about how the jews killed jesus!! i couldn't help myself, i had to ask the man what he hoped to achieve by saying such a thing.....i attempted a small round of dialogue with the two gentlemen, but i was not surprised when they continued to fall back upon the status quo defense. they did not penetrate the surface of the complexity involved with christianity at all....but i wasn't surprised, nor was i completely comfortable with, my interaction. While this man was talking into my ear about repentance and the ten commandments, i glanced to my right and noticed a slew of fancy dressed club going skeptics and wise men spewing their mouth off as they crossed the street, and all of a sudden I felt drenched in the stink of my own self righteousness. Though i did not make a public display in an attempt to embarrass the street preachers, i did not have any goal in my discussion, i was just curious to see why they said what they said and if they had really thought saying such a thing would achieve their goals. although, I was not surprised when the discussion immediately became a pathetic battle of wits between, what I can only assume to be, an honest man, and myself. I used to see these types of people when I went to UCF, they would stand by the reflection pond in front of the library screaming very vitriolic things to kids passing by on their way to class.. why do I even bother? It's times like these when I create my own grief and then get all huffy and long winded, my dad would've just said "well son, what do you expect", and my friends would've been saying, "zach, quit wasting your time and let's go to the bar"...and ironically enough, being out at the bars was one of the things these street preachers were chastising me for! It's humorous. I was playing the roll of a contrary cliche. so, i stopped, took a deep breath, smiled, shook their hand and walked on. It's hard to see good intentions being employed in such a tragic context, and it is surreal when I become aware of my existence and interplay amongst all of these people, combined with all that my mind has criticized, repeatedly failed and wandered at. Once I reached the back booth, I caught one song of a genuine nature and danced my way back to a clutter of college idiots gathering at the center of town...i just rolled my eyes and bought a hot dog. lately i've been worried that i would hate myself (or at the very least, be annoyed with myself) if i ever came in direct objective contact with myself through a parallel universe. I would avoid people like myself. (i just used the word "myself" four times in very a close proximity)

I was at a table with my friend, we were discussing record collections or 3rd eye blind or something when this sweaty gentlemen came up and started boasting about the contacts his band made at the very esteemed Florida Music Festival (catch my sarcasm?) Apparently his band got approached by major labels and big fancy management firms...it was funny to listen to. Innocent enough I suppose, who wouldn't be excited about making contacts for your band, but forgive me for checking out when a dude in a loud bar starts yelling about how Sony BMG is interested in his band, and how Paramore's manager approached them, and then not even showing any interest in any other part of the conversation at hand. I noticed that he had one fingerless glove on his right hand (and in my head that immediately creates a negative association in the world of music and it's tragic marriage to fashion)...the gentlemen was polite though, and I do not know him, but the first impression was a doozy. He walked off and my friend had a funny smile on his face and we went back to talking about other things. I had fun. I feel a bit rude for saying what I just did, but I'll keep it in the post anyway. I can be really analytical, and those analysis can even be based on little information, and I realize the flaw in that...but I start on this idea about something and I can't shut up. I think people could mistake me for being very hung up on things that are quite inconsequential, and it's not that I really care so deeply about it, I just get into the idea for a minute, and then snap out of it and can easily go on to the next conversational topic with no skin off my knees.

I've had a great time in Florida, I bought some books and my dad gave me some books too. I bought some records and my dad even gave me some records too. I saw Radiohead (is it wrong to be bored with their perfection?), I ate a lot of good food. I also heard about this book called "The Greatest Thing in the World" that was written by this scientist/theologion named Henry Drummond

I acquired these books:
--My Name Is Asher Lev
--In Harms Way
--The Five People You Meet in Heaven
--On The Road
--One Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovich
--The Master and the Margarita

I acquired this music:
--Narrow Stairs--Death Cab for Cutie
--The Free Wheelin' Bob Dylan
--Elvis Costello and the Imposters--Momofuku
--Gram Parsons--GP and Grievous Angel
--Elbow-The Seldom Seen Kid

on Vinyl:
--Mitch Rider and the Detroit Wheels--Breakout
--The Beatles--Rubber Soul
--The Rolling Stones--London
--Johnny Cash--Live at San Quentin
--The Eagles--Their Greatest Hits
--Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings--Take It To The Limit
--The Beach Boys--Little Deuce Coup
--The Band--Cahoots
--The Byrds--Mr. Tambourine Man
--Waylon Jennings--Greatest Hits
--Arlo Gutherie--Running Down The Road
--Janis Joplin--Greatest Hits
--Bob Dylan--John Wesley Harding
--Elliott Smith--XO and Figure 8

Bye bye....

7 Comments:

Blogger MJ said...

The Five People You Meet in Heaven is a short but good read. I read it on a flight home from Costa Rica because I had forgotten to charge my ipod. Though it is short there are some interesting points and connections made. Hope you enjoy it. :-)

12:31 PM

 
Blogger Melanie said...

Wow... perhaps the gentlemen had a point, but they totally missed it if they didn't see that it took the Jews and Gentiles together to crucify Christ. How sad. :( I really don't understand that sort of thing. I'm afraid I might have let myself get into that one as well. I might have had the same curiousity as you and probably with similar results.

Although I've never thought of it in the context of a parallel universe I have wondered what I would think of me, if I was someone else meeting me, especially the first time. I could relate to that thought, anyway.

I recognize the name of Henry Drummond, but I couldn't tell you why. Is the book worth reading? I have heard of the book "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" and have to admit it has piqued my curiousity.

I am hoping to pick up the Death Cab cd this week. I am supposed to see them a week from Monday.

I didn't realize you were into vinyl records. We probably have a closet full, though I doubt they are in mint condition. LOL I think Rubber Soul is my favorite on the list. :)

4:12 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just be glad you didn't go to BackBooth on Monday. That is their 'Crush' night, and its just about the biggest conglomeration of "scene" kids you can think of. That is until you get to Thursday night at Firestone.

5:15 PM

 
Blogger billy said...

I never could understand the people who seemingly want to tell people about Jesus, yet all they do is spew crap from a sidewalk. Whatever happened to living love and building relationships with people?

8:20 PM

 
Blogger chris zak said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:41 PM

 
Blogger chris zak said...

Hey, if you're in Philly with Jacob next week (he mentioned recording...), stop by Repo Records near 4th and South St. The two girls who work there are friends and a great help! That store has a piece of my soul, as much as music does.

Music recommendations for the road:

Four Tet - Ringer EP (you think you have him pinned down, but this record...hard to believe I was impressed. Great for writing.)

The Black Angels - Directions to See A Ghost (Continues the same churning, heavy psych rock from their first record. I normally get bored with "psych rock" but I saw them open for The Black Keys, and man, do they got a sound. A 30 second sample on iTunes will tell if you dig em or not)

Oh, side thought -

I'd like to know what you think of the new Death Cab record. I've only been able to give it a background music kind of listen, but I think it's an interesting return to form. Kind of like We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes. Even though I haven't listened to it much, if that train of thought is correct, I love the move! A little more low-fi feeling. And for everyone who caught onto this band because of "I Will Follow You Into the Dark," they're going to wonder where this all came from (if I may generalize).

I'm probably off-track, but I think it's so cool that they can be like "Yeah, we do have a past, and a bunch of albums." It's kind of like good character development in a TV or book series (or kind of like life). People progress and learn and change a little bit over time, but in the end, they don't get that far from who they were when you really got a feel for who they were.

Still, I've yet to decide if this (pre-maturely labeled?) return to form is something I like. As it stands, if it ever gets that way, I think it'll be a grower.

Chris

10:43 PM

 
Anonymous Kelsey said...

being a college student, i encounter a lot of outside christian groups who come to our campus to save our lost generation i guess. it always used to get to me because i am a christian, and one day when i didn't take literature from a woman speaking out against abortion, she yelled after me that i was a baby killer or something. i was so angry because my personal beliefs are against abortion so i had to go back and almost present an argument to her..."what are you trying to accomplish?", etc. and yeah i got nowhere. so now when people are yelling that i'm going to hell on campus, i just walk by and try to keep my mouth shut. don't really know what else i can do.

9:56 PM

 

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