Sunday, April 15, 2012

I Worship Nothing . . . .except maybe kids

In the kindergarten classes where I often teach, no technique is more effective at generating energy and enthusiasm than spinning one of the inane number or alphabet song CDs scattered about any well-stocked classroom and saying "let's dance!"  Watching kids cut crazy is goofy joyful fun, and if you time things right, you can channel their energy into other things.   Some children age 4 or 5 are natural dancers with an innate sense of rhythm.  Others are rubbery enthusiasts who bonk heads and slap each other and fall into unruly piles on the safety mats.   Kids need this kind of thing and they're not expressing anything but sheer joy and pleasure in their bodies.   None of this "trailing clouds of glory" shit.

I also enjoy watching kids fall from significant heights off outdoor play structures onto the surprisingly springy layers of wood chips provided by the playground planners.  You can actually see them bounce, and if you don't meet their eyes after they fall, they rarely cry.   It's all physics, but kids bodies really behave as if made of some strange elastic spongy stuff.   It's spooky and very funny.

I often think a fiend of a particularly sinister sort designed the ritual that opens most chapel sessions at the Fresno Rescue Mission.  It also involves dancing--but of a creepily infantile sort.  It's important to distinguish "infantile" from "childlike" or "innocent."   Usually the chapel M.C--a disciple reasonably advanced in social skills and poised enough to stand in front of a crowd--announces the evening's pastor or deeply cruddy Christian rock group then starts us off with some "I-worship."  A group of guests and disciples can usually be persuaded to gather in front of the big projector screen which displays sappy "spiritual" images of rivers, daffodils, galaxies, vacuous worshipers with hands raised toward clouds and sunsets, and silhouettes of long-haired robed figures.   The music accompanying these images is inane beyond belief . . . let's be frank: it's slack-jawed drooling cretinous offal about worship and glory, all sung by people who sound as if they're doing their best to avoid being tortured.   While this stuff plays and flashes at you, the guests and disciples bounce around and try to sing along like cows pretending they're not being slaughtered.   No description can convey the retarded shittiness and degraded nature of the proceedings.   This happens almost every night.  Then the evening's pastor rants about the Middle East or emphasizes the importance of avoiding roaring city buses and the Lake of Fire.    Kindergarten babies, heads in the gravy.  

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