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Trailer Park Concerts
Trailer Trash Concerts
I moved into Sebring Gardens in 1989 because the rent was $60 a month: if I committed to a year of residence. The park had been built by a guy, Jerry, who did most of the work himself. lived here himself, moved his parents in … but he sold to a young guy, Todd, who just wanted to gouge. Todd sold to a guy who did just gouge, with a vengeance. Ah, but you see, Harry, the new owner, wasn’t just a conscienceless gaoger but an outloud Christian: a born again Baptist. My guru, the great saint, Ivan Illich (a catholic priest), said, back in the 1960s, that if the Roman Catholic Church wished to become Christian, it would have to
- Give up its property
- Deprofessionalize its priesthood.
I said, by my actions, not just with words, that if Protestants, Americans, for example, wished to become Christian, they would have to
- Give up their property
- Deprofessionalize their leadership.
Step one: get rid of compulsory schooling.
(Instead, support my Free Learning Exchange: I mean in 1970. (Though I suspect that by 1968 it was already too late.)
Nevermind, fill that all in: back to Harry, the gouger:
Harry was visibly active in his Baptist church. Whatever he gouged from his tenants, holding hands with the get-the-damn-Yankees-to-pay-the-lions’-hoard-of-the-taxes. Harry was aggressively active with his church choir, upon helpless-whom he impossed his tin ear and his inept sense of meter.
Fine, all fine, except for this: Harry put up notices around the park that there would be free concerts, weekly, say Thursday afternoons. Lots of people, park residents, showed up. And there was Harry’s Baptist church choir. And what did they sing? Hymns!
No, not reverend songs, not gospel folk music: hymns. Sectarian hymns, hymns that were more and more didactic and dogmatic, inflexible, the further they went.
I got to this and that meeting, there’s regularly a few minutes of compulsory patriotism: we salute the flag, we sing the anthem; but then it’s over and we can dance, and hug and break bread together. I wouldn’t return to a luncheon dance that saluted the flag, then sang the national anthem, then sang The Battle Hymn of the Republic, then say God Bless America …
If Harry is going to shove a hot poker up our ass he should show his muscle at the door before we go in, he should leave us an escape route.
I bet Harry would have loved to be a bishop at an auto da fe in Inquisition Spain.
Harry told everyone he had been a judge. Oh, not the member of the bar kind, not the elected kind eiither: the appointed kind, the kind who got to detain boat owners as drug runners, then seize, and keep! their vessels!
The Nazi took the Jew’s piano; Harry takes the pot head’s yacht.
And never mind if the guy is really a pot head; just take the yacht.