Sunday, July 16, 2017

My hope is built on nothing less than Queen's Bohemic Rhapsodness.

When you're raised in the beating right ventricle of American evangelical Christianity, you're trained that hope comes from one place and one place alone: JesusGodHolySpirittheBible. As an ongoing fan of JesusGodHolySpirittheBible, I'm attuned to the mystical power of this idea and have personally experienced the ways in which it can blow past all rational objections to heal gaping, impossible wounds.

But, but, but...

But now we live in a world where the gurgling right ventricle of American evangelical Christianity seems to exist only to gush putrescent cancer-bile into the body politic, and hope (at least for this country) feels in extra-short supply. It's more an unveiling than anything, but it's an unveiling that hurts because, goshdarnit, it takes something important from me, y'know? It used to feel so GOOD to throw myself into the unthinking togetherness of an ideological mosh-pit and just BE. At some point, though, that got icky.

So now I tend to publicly take a more Kurt Vonneguttian view (in part just to disassociate from my groupthink past), and look elsewhere for my unthinking togetherness.

Where better to find it than in art?

Mayhaps that's why I found this video of sixty-five thousand Londoners singing Queen's song "Bohemian Rhapsody" so moving. It's not just that a piece of art brought together a whack-load of disparate individuals (a nigh-on religious experience!), it's also the song itself. The words and music of "Bohemian Rhapsody" ache with existential painsorrow over the ugliness in the world and my own wicked part in it. Surrounded as I feel these days by the evil that runs straight through all human hearts and into our politics, waterways, and the Good Earth we're breakneck-abusing, I tearfully rejoiced as I watched this reminder that my pain is a widely shared experience.

It's a biblical, psalmic thing: crying out together against injustice, implicitly yearning (hoping!) for a better tomorrow. We're hurting, yes... but we're doing it together.

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