Sunday, December 23, 2007

It's a Waffle House Christmas

Left: From Daveweb's Waffle House Web Cards

It would appear that I have survived this year's auditory assault, complete with millions of chestnuts roasting on millions of open fires, the weather outside being frightful, etc. At my place of business, we went musically trad over this past week, switching from the usual "Shake your ass for Christmas" and "Go to Rehab for Christmas," to old Christmas carols such as "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and "O Holy Night." Interspersed with the usual Christmas pop songs.

And so, I've been listening to some of the older singers, trying to identify Andy Williams and Tony Bennett (who sound alike to me), early Dean Martin and Perry Como (ditto). I've noticed how Judy Garland always sounded so sad, even when singing happy songs. I've noticed that Ray Charles sounded extremely stoned in the middle of his career. I've noticed how forced Karen Carpenter sounded, after the fifth or sixth album. (I remember the cheesy marketing of Merry Christmas, Darling and it's sudden popularity with high school choirs.) I've noticed that Rosemary Clooney sings so beautifully and perfectly, she could not help but have become an addict. Frank Sinatra and Elvis, of course, are utterly confident even when singing very difficult music; making me wonder if their approach to religion was similar? Frank croons "It Came Upon Midnight Clear" in a definitive fashion that leaves you no doubt that he believes the story he is singing about. Elvis, similarly, sings "Silent Night" with utter conviction. Both sing sweet choirboy versions of "O Little Town of Bethlehem," obviously familiar with the hymn.

And so, my first spiritual lesson the weekend after my tattoo: stop seeing events negatively (i.e. as an auditory assault) and start seeing events positively (i.e. an interesting opportunity for education about popular culture and music history). Not a bad attitude to take with you on possibly the rowdiest retail week (and weekend) of the year.

My positive attitude has recently been buffeted by the construction of a WalMart on the edge of my neighborhood--an old-style apartment complex that has remained pretty quiet and mellow as the Greenville Metro Area has grown up around it. This was once at the edge of "country"--two miles east was completely rural. And now, we have Michelin North American Headquarters, BMW, Hitachi, countless grocery stores, Jack In The Box, Waffle House, Walgreen's, Starbucks, Radio Shack, Lowe's, and at long last, the coup de grâce for the entire zip code...WalMart. The epitome of evil itself.

I park my car and gaze at acreage my daughter walked through, as it is pillaged, paved and tunneled by Sam Walton's minions... and again, I try to remember to be positive. Next year, I know what will be here. I try to remember the land as it is, before it is dug up and transformed daily, for the purpose of profit.

And I remember that everything changes and is impermanent.

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. -- Matthew 24:35


Bryce said...

the construction site is fugly. i'm sorry this is happening 2U, D.

Haddock said...

Luckily for us Walmart bailed out of Germany after a few years. Sorry to hear you are getting one.

Have a merry Christmas and have a very happy new year! :)

antiprincess said...

aw, Daisy, so sorry about the Walmart.

rotten news. what a christmas buzzkill.