A Sorry and Pathetic Business

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The critical reviews are starting to roll in. Over at New West, Joan Opyr gives her readers a jaundiced view of the recent doings at our Trinity Fest. The thing that seemed to irritate her the most was the concept of conservative Calvinists playing rock music and the blues. But this is what we have come to expect from our volunteer church ladies, about which more later.

Demonstrating what a minefield the canons of political correctness have created for us all, Ms. Opyr was unable to get through her article without perpetrating one or two ethnic gaffes of her own, even while chastising a former congressman from Idaho for her faux pas. According to the patronizing Ms. Opyr, black folks are really good at dancing, although she thankfully left out all references to watermelon and banjos. After she engaged in her racial stereotyping (all the while denouncing it in others!), I fully expect that her next article will (with no sense of ironic self-awareness) confuse “We Will Overcome” with “Hambone am sweet, chicken am good, possum meat am very, very fine . . .” Joan needs to recognize that people who live in stereotypical cliches should not throw stones, or something like that.

Joan also makes a point of adding her voice to the libel perpetrated by Nick Gier and the Idaho Statesman last week. “The Palouse cannot afford to become Hayden Lake South, but that is exactly the danger we face, as this article by Nick Gier, ‘Neo-Nazi Christians make presence felt again in Northern Idaho,’ in the Idaho Statesman makes clear.” Thus far Joan. This over-the-top neo-Nazifiying of evangelical Presbyterians by the intoleristas reminds me of the old joke that goes like this: “What is the difference between an elephant and a mail box?” “I don’t know, what is it?” “Well, I am sure not going to send you to mail any letters!” In short, if there were a plot (on the part of someone) to make the Palouse into a “Hayden Lake South” the last people we should turn to in order to protect us all from the threat would be these folks. They obviously have no idea what a neo-Nazi actually is. Or, as is more likely, they know quite well, but are desperate and running out of ammo, and they therefore are self-consciously saying things that they know are not true. Either way, it is a sorry and pathetic business.

Joan also trots out the laughable accusation by Barbara Richardson Crouch that she is moving away from our town because she doesn’t feel safe anymore raising her bi-racial family here. She probably feels this way because she didn’t spend enough time with people from Christ Church, for if she had, she would have found herself among a number of other bi-racial families. Spending all that time among her liberal friends probably misled her, for they like nothing more than to try to make people think that Moscow is turning into a haven for neo-Nazis. All that, plus the fact that Barbara Crouch’s husband lost his job as our sheriff. Maybe that had something to do with the move.

Then there was the music thing. At one point, Joan took umbrage at our “celebration of our white Anglo-Celtic roots,” though where she got the idea we were doing that, I surely don’t know. Our music was as catholic and eclectic as it gets. Perhaps Joan needs to get out more. On Saturday night, we did have a ball with lots of folk dancing and Celtic music. Okay, we admit that. But then on Sunday night we had a performance of Israel in Egypt which was an oratorio without an ounce of Celtic Twilight in it. Then on Monday night at St. Brigid’s feast, we had a bunch of up-beat jazz, done just right, I might add, just like the barbecued chicken was. Then on Tuesday night, we had a block party downtown, and we did play (I admit it), Sweet Home Alabama, a song which Joan describes as a “rockin, racist, rebel anthem.” Nicely done on the three R’s, Joan. The only problem with this thesis is that right next to this song (and deliberately placed in the interests of regional harmony), we played Sweet Home Chicago, written by one of the fathers of the blues, Robert Johnson, a black man. Further, we introduced that song by Lynyrd Skynyrd by noting that Neil Young’s exhortation to “listen to what your Good Book says” was an exhortation that could have been heard by the gentlemen of Lynyrd Skynyrd with no small profit. I hereby extend the application of this observation to Joan as well. Then Wednesday, we did go back to Celtic music again, in the Cherish the Ladies concert, but this was Celtic music of the NPR-certified variety. All in all, I think we did a credible job of spreading the love.

The whole thing presents a fascinating sociological study. Joan says that this “is not the Moscow I know and love.” Ah, for the old days. Notice what our intoleristas have been reduced to. They long for the old Moscow, when little children wouldn’t take the Lord’s Supper at all, or, if they did, they were limited to grape juice. In the old Moscow, there was far less dancing, and music, and street parties, and joie de vivre. You can almost hear their progressive throat clearing, finger-wagging, humphing, tsking, aheming, and fussing. Our local “liberals” (who are liberal with regard to nothing) are doing their dead-level best to try to make themselves as much like the principal in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off as possible. We know this because they are all stuck in the junipers, and are making their observations from there.

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