Tuesday, October 23, 2007

You've Got Questions. He's Got Answers.

Ever wonder why Christians live so much better than anyone else? Look no further than the bottom on their pockets...where you'll no doubt discover a "WWJD?" key chain. When faced with a moment of moral quandary, a simple trinket to remind "What Would Jesus Do?" would suffice. "Well, Jesus would return the wallet." See..."WWJD?"
But the adage could become a beacon in so many of life's difficult moments. I refer to the following:

-You bought an oak dresser from Roomful Express and have begun assembly when you realize that page three is missing from the instruction manual. Ask yourself "WWJD?" Where Would Jesus Drill?

-You are sitting front row at a Houston Rockets basketball game, and Jesus has just been yanked from the bench to replace an injured Yao Ming. The ball is in the Rockets' possession with only ten seconds on the shot clock in a one point game. Ask yourself "WWJD?" When Will Jesus Dunk?

-Jesus is at the local bar, The Stable, and is halfway through another Banana Cocktail when He's told to leave by the bartender because He's causing a fuss. You're short on cash and eying up His floater. Ask yourself "WWJD?" Why Waste Jesus' Daiquiri?

-You're at the nearby Goodwill store and you're shuffling through the pants rack. You stumble upon a pair of jeans with "JC" written on the tag. You're considering the purchase. Ask yourself "WWJD?" Why Wear Jesus' Dungarees?

-You've just bought a house in Jesus' neighborhood and happen to be living next to His oral practitioner. The guy is a jerk though, and won't trim his overhanging hedges that partially obstruct your driveway. He physically threatens you when you suggest trimming them yourself. Ask yourself "WWJD?" Why Wrestle Jesus' Dentist?

-A fellow club patron drags you to the dance floor during a Kanye West song. You hate dancing, and rhythm is lost on you. However, in an attempt to prove smooth, you begin to gesticulate with the beat. Confidence builds when you suddenly realize you need a new move; the running man only can sustain for so long. Ask yourself "WWJD?" When Would Jesus Dip?

-You are skipping down Main Street, a work week behind you. You begin to hum aimlessly, a scrabbled mess of awkward melodies. But you need more structure to skip to. You liked Amazing Grace in Sunday School. Is it a skippable tune? Ask yourself "WWJD?" Why Whistle Jesus' Ditty?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Letter to Oldies Radio

Dear oldies radio,

We go back a long way, you and I. You've always been there, from my parents' format of choice in my infancy to the ever ready stalwart through adolescence. Whenever i wanted to here great pop from yesteryear, you were there. You were there with Elvis, The Beatles, the Beach Boys, Sam Cooke, Otis Reading, Buddy Holly, and the rest. You were not always cool. Actually, for much of my adolescence you were terribly uncool. No one wanted to listen to an older generations music. But I always stood by you Oldies Radio. I always kept you on a preset button. I could count on you. You were the old reliable.

Now, things are different. I don't know how to tell you this. So, I'm just going to say it. You've changed man. You used to be cool in your own square, retro sort of way, but now you are simply not the adorable reliable Oldies Radio I have become accustomed to. Just today I turned you on only to hear "Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker Jr. Ghostbusters! I was shocked. Surely, I reasoned this must be some sort of mistake. I must have flipped over to the shuffle station by accident. Yet, after checking and rechecking, there was no doubt that you were playing this song. I was confused. I was lost. Most of all, I was hurt, hurt and betrayed.

Now, I have nothing against "Ghostbusters." It was a very important part of my childhood. That song has led to so many terrible 'Who you gonna call?' jokes that I cannot hate it. I like 'Ghostbusters'. But not for you Oldies Radio. That song is from the 80's. This song is from my lifetime. I know that I am getting older. Eventually songs from my childhood and adolescence are going to be nostalgia pieces. It's inescapable. It's already started. The 80's are central to pop culture remembrance. It's just a matter of time until the grunge reunion tours dominate the summer ribfest circuit. Within ten years - as much as it would make me want to vomit - Limp Bizkit could be making a mint off all the retards I graduated from high school with looking back on how awesomely retarded they were in 1999. What then Oldies Radio. Will Limp Bizkit be let into the fold as an Oldie. Does music only have to reach a certain age to become an oldie. I say no.

Like it or not Oldies Radio, oldies is genre. In my mind, and - I would hope - in the minds of millions of Americans oldies refers to a particular genre of music, music produced over a particular period of time and of a particular type. You see, I don't expect or want songs from the 80's. I don't want disco. When I turn my dial to you, Oldies Radio, I expect old platters. I expect girl groups. I expect Motown. I expect Rockabilly. I expect music made from the 50's through to the early 70's at the latest. Once the lumbering behemoth classic rock came into town and then disco became pop, you're done. I'm tired of hearing great old platters being given over to Disco and 80's new wave pop. Look, I like Thomas Dolby as much as the next guy, but he's not for you Oldies radio.

Now, don't feel bad. You have so much incredible music to offer. You have The Beatles - although you have to share their later output with the Classic Rock Radio. You have the Beach Boys. You have 50's teen idols. You have great girl groups singing songs about how their boyfriends can beat people up. You have Carl Perkins and buddy Holly. You have the entire Motown catalogue to work with. That's great stuff. You are the only place to go for these. When I need to hear 'Earth Angel'. I come to you. No other format has me covered. This is who you are. Embrace it. You don't need to sex yourself up with new - well, new to you - songs from the 80's. You're Oldies Radio. You're a stalwart. You give me the great pop from the 50's and 60's. That's a beautiful things. Leave the hits of the 70's, 80's, 90's and today to those Bob and Frank assholes.