After Magritte

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We sold our souls for $300.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Oh Dear

U2 at church. Ugh.

My favorite U2 story is how they always played some horrible U2 song when the hockey team came out after the intermission between 1st and 2nd period (I think 1st and 2nd). I mean this song was horrible. Whiny, too quiet, no beat or base line. It was a bad parody of a bad U2 song. The kind of song that made you want to sit down and do something else, quietly. It sucked the life out of you. Simply the worst pump it up song ever. And they played this every game. Mind you, we never got off to great starts after hearing the song. They would have been better served playing "Surry with the Fringe on Top"


Blogger Vanilla Bullshit said...

Still in the top 5 list of most surreal events of my life:

I was 16, involved with my church. Each summer we'd take a week-long trip to someplace, typically a Native American reservation where they needed some construction and physical labor needed performed on a church. My church was good at this, and had been doing it for long enough that we were a well-oiled machine. Bookended (yes, there is a story about U2 coming) by 30-hour busrides, a week of tough labor in 100+ July Arizona heat was still something the church high school kids looked forward to each year.

Roofing, digging, pouring concrete, painting - it was real construction work and a genuine donation of energy and effort. That was our annual Mission Trip.

Well, one year we went east instead of west. There was this homeless shelter in the Chesapeake region of Maryland that basically needed a whole new building. When we got there, only the foundation and basic frame was up. In one week, the twenty of us kids built the rest of this big shelter - roofing, siding, sanding, painting, installing windows, etc.

But since it was a church thing, you'd work your ass off all day and then have dinner and church-oriented meetings before collapsing into sleep at night. [We were Presbyterians, so it was fairly laid back on the Christiness.] But there would still be prayer and sharing and all that stuff.

So one night during the week, there was this other church group there. They were about 3/4 of our number, maybe 16 in all. However, they weren't there to do any physical labor or anything like that. Their mission project was of a more straightforward spiritual nature that they wanted to share with the homeless people living and working there.

One night, they treated us to the centerpiece of their mission work.

Amid unencapsulatably poor skits, their big presentation was playing U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," breaking it down line by line (with overhead projections and their own pictures integrated into the presentation) to demonstrate that the song was really about finding Christ.

Now, this whole thing was a slow-dawner for me. I remember being bored out of my skull and trying to be respectful in the audience. I kept thinking, ok, already, what the fuck are you people doing here in Maryland, when are you going to get around to showing us what your mission work is... and then about halfway in it hitting me, huge, that THIS WAS IT. Deconstructing a U2 song was the centerpiece. They went on and on and on and on about it. Imagine a scientific symposium dedicated to some new procedure in classifying amino acid molecular structure. You'd have speaker after speaker breaking the minutae down until everyone in the audience wanted to hang themselves by the neck until dead. This was that.

As you can imagine, I went from 0 to 60 fairly fast. 0 being oblivious, 60 being "holy shit, is this really taking place?"

Of course, my trip-mates were coming to the same conclusion around the same time as me. When you've just spent 8 hours on a roof in 100-degree heat and humidity, and you get treated to this... well let's just say it was one of those epic battles between the social demand for decorum and respect and hysterical gibbering laughter among myself and a couple friends. Hands over mouths, eyes closed and squirting tears of hysteria, eye contact initiating spasms of suppressed giggles, you get the picture.

The next day, finished with their grand finale, that group was gone, back to wherever they'd journeyed from to save homeless souls with hip pop culture connections.

Thankfully, this U2 article has brought them back into my heart, if only for a day.

10:06 AM  

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