The 2008 edition of Notable Quotables is here, and I've released a list of quotes I've made in various e-mails, comments, and other places. I hope some of these will make you think of what we can say!
"The first time I had heard the term '7-Eleven' music in regards to modern worship came many years ago at my former church (which no longer exists). The term is a colloquialism for the fact many of the songs are simply 'seven words sung eleven times'. In other cases, they have been compared to New Age (especially Buddhism, which is the modern version of Baal worship, with these extravagant Buddhas reminiscent of the classic Baals of the past) mantras because they are consistently repeated."-- On the popularity of "worship music" that lacks theology.
"Somehow that snarling bear has decided to drill me and I had to react to Mad Dow Disease that struck when those two parts of my ING IRA went crashing down on me today as I was thinking of singing!"
'O cessate di piagarmi, O la scia te mi morir . . . O la scia te mi morir . . .'
"I almost wanted to do the Old School (Jim) Cramer tactic of throwing that chair across the room (Are you ready, ski daddy?) to start the TD Ameritrade Lightning Round!"-- To my voice teacher. Two stocks had dropped badly one day in January, and I went a bit satirical, considering the song I was learning.
"Consider eighteen years ago in high school, I met a certain 'America's Sweetheart' from 1984 -- and Thursday I can show why I say age is an issue . . . Guess who turns 40? Call for a partial knee replacement! (Saw her mug on a billboard for that on New Year's Day whilst travelling.)"-- on Mary Lou Retton-Kelley's birthday on her birthday. I met Retton in 1990.
"One night on a drive home, the station (that carried Dr. Laura Schlessinger's show) had a song which I enjoyed as bumper music ('My Life Is in Your Hands,' Kathy Troccoli and Bill Montvilo). Dr. Laura commented following the break, 'Someday, I'll master these notes'. I chuckled and on a dare with a friend (the one whom I went to Nashville last spring for her wedding), wanted to sing that very song at a BCM Coffeehouse! A few months later, Holly Gatling and I worked to get Special K to speak at the March for Life because of a promotion of the then-39-year old Long Islander. "--About an old Dr. Laura joke. Kathy turned 50 June 24.
"To modern liberalism, keeping self-esteem means more, and losing is acceptable. That is unacceptable when we are at war."-- On the “Just lose, baby” attitude of liberals.
“. . . probably would say something about it if the setting was changed from operas where the setting was not originally from Egypt (i e a Gianni Schicchi performance in Nouvelle-Orléans last year set there., not in Fiernze)“-- I asked my voice teacher if performances called “Opera on the Nile” were based on either familiar operas or l'opéra nouveau.
"The first two times (going eastbound on 29th Street) around it seemed flat, but the final time around (westbound to the finish) it was a climb -- I was dehydrated and weak, and headed towards the finish."-- To my voice teacher. At the performance, Nicholas Smith discussed the da capo style of singing. The ornamentation reminded me of my thoughts as I ran 29th Street during the Bi-Lo Marathon. I am training for the 12th renewal of the Myrtle Beach classic February 14.
"To (youth), dancing to 'Saviour Song' or 'Call Him Up,' was more fit for church than singing 'Crown Him with Many Crowns,' singing an unadulterated Isaac Watts or Charles Wesley hymn, or reading the Bible. What does it say about children in church when they are fed the poison of the postmodern philosophy that even bashes the Bible and God's Word?"-- on the Emergent Church
"She cannot sing, and I say that because it has to be amplified and brought down by the beat that there is no message to any of the songs. I have a garnet-and-black soprano friend (Ainsley, I think you'd know what that means) who can outsing this prostitute, and understands technique of what it means to sing -- not yelp, wheeze, or whine, which is the 'music' of this Ashley Dupré. This prostitute cannot sing and is using this story to cash in on her lack of talent on 'singing'. What if she went to college and was a cellist for an orchestra?-- on the Spitzer call-girl scandal, and the offender herself. This was written to a Fox and Friends Weekend host (now assigned to Hannity) and I graduated from the same university, around the same time, so the reference is intentional.
"Oh, by the way: I was surprised that Jason (Castro) wasn't tossed from Idol after his performance Tuesday. He sang Grizabella's aria from Cats, and Paula (Abdul) defended it as a 'pop ballad'. That aria is Grizabella's lament at her old age, and is the signature aria of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. But the one who was ejected was tossed for not interpreting the song properly!"-- A commentary to a friend on the April 23 Idols. One contestant on Andrew Lloyd Webber night (a male) sang “Memory” from Cats. Knowing the song's content, it was not appropriate for him to sing it.
"The reason the '4' is not used in parts of Asia comes from the fact when said (in Chinese especially), '4' sounds similar to the word for 'death'. 'F' is the first letter of 'FOUR' in English and obviously, hospitals in Taiwan do not have a Floor #4 for that reason.
At Florence's Darlington Raceway, the home of a Grand Slam event for NASCAR until a lawsuit was filed to replace it with a race in Fort Worth, TX, the pit stall #13 was never marked. The thirteenth Southern 500 in 1962 was called the 'Twelfth Renewal of the Southern 500' (there would be 55 before it was sued out of existence) for that reason."-- Ken Jennings asked why the number 4 was not used on elevators in Asia, especially in hospitals.
"With some of the lyrics in 'modern worship' being nothing more than sappy secular pop love songs, and aimed at anyone (not God), the concern has grown to a boiling point for me. Maybe it's because I've aged and have had the experience of knowing young aspiring pastors through friends in college, but one thing I can assure you is much of today's 'contemporary Christian' is actually 'positive hits' -- code for secular pop tunes. Positive hits is the direction the record label bosses want considering that it sells the most."
"Some of the 'garbage' that goes for 'modern worship' is devoid of theology and doctrine, and the worst part is we have a generation that does not know sacred song. They won't stand for Händel's 'Hallelujah' from Messiah, but they will stand for Chris Tomlin or the next big megarock artist (as shown at a friend's wedding in Nashville I attended). When you've sung Händel for a friend's church production of selections of Messiah, and attended a few sing-alongs, and seen that Laurel, MS soprano for another with the South Carolina Philharmonic, what happens? When you've sung 'O Rest in the Lord,' 'Crucifix,' and 'Panis angelicus,' what does it say about your vocal resume when you look at the songs that go for 'modern worship' and see no theological content?"-- To a friend on “modern worship” songs.
“If (kids dancing to 'Every Move I Make') is what the kids want in church, and do not want a Hill or Cuttino solo from Haydn's The Creation, Händel's Messiah, or even an old-fashioned sacred song in the hymnal, we're in trouble. Years ago the kids wanted to dance to this song and nothing else. They still want only to dance in church. What gives?"-- on a video found of kids dancing to the said “worship” song. I had seen a performance of The Creation in June with my voice teacher as soprano soloist.
“The hot dog eating contest was disgusting that I had no inkling of even wanting to watch it. Fortunately, I was on my way home after running as one of 55,000 in the XXXIX Peachtree Road Race yesterday, having checked out, I had a sit-down lunch with no worries about watching anything insane.
It's better to be one of 55,000 runners at the Peachtree Road Race climbing hills, going 10,000 meters, instead of watching twenty eaters eat too many hot dogs. “-- to a Fox News reporter on the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating contest. As for the Peachtree, I clocked a 1:17:19.
“Rush Limbaugh has influenced the growth of modern talk radio and conservatism that liberals, fresh off regaining control of Congress and itching to snatch back the Presidency, want to knock off talk radio and to push radio to offering only bad rap and rock music, and remove not just talk radio, but news and weather. Mr. Limbaugh's influence is huge, but it will drop out when federal laws outlaw news/talk radio to appease the 'Just lose, baby' crowd of liberals.”-- on the plans of the Fairness Doctrine.
“Somebody at a church downtown, just a mile from work, didn't heed instruction during Seven Last Words of Christ, performed for Maundy Thursday. At times the microphones conked with the annoying sounds during the solos and during the performances. Poor Tina Milhorn Stallard was confused. (I've seen Mrs. Stallard more than my fair share of times, including Washington Street UMC Messiah Sing-along 2006.) The bonking amplification just made it impossible to hear 'O Sacred Head, Now Wounded' (the second verse was the soprano's solo) and even parts of the main piece.
I said back home at church, we need to redo the entire church leadership, and I recommended a real pipe organ, stating, 'An organ designed for a (classically)-trained voice is much better than a karaoke machine designed to be disc jockey for dancing kids, or 'singers' who are so weak they need the crutch of faking it to 'sound' good based only on the beat.'”-- on bad amplification on a Maundy Thursday service. The original comment had a few sensitive names which I removed. Mrs. Stallard was the soprano in question (NOT Bobby's voice teacher!)
“The infamous bond between (my voice teacher) and (her friend) broke when (her friend's) beloved Cheeseheads traded a player near and dear to her heart (and from my teacher's backyard) to East Rutherford . . ."-- This reference was made about my voice teacher and one of her friends, who had taught me voice for a year. The friend is from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and told me of her family of Cheeseheads. My voice teacher is from Mississippi, and naturally, the football player we're discussing is none other than . . . (see if you can answer that one!)
“I quit the choir at church when they started to go karaoke exclusively. For 'back to school' the production was the choir singing exclusively karaoke to these songs including 'Our Love is Loud.' When you're paying (amount has been removed for security reasons) to work with an opera soprano to take lessons, and the church music leaders are turning back on singing and taking the focus towards kids who dance to pop tunes with no theology, what gives?"-- Someone wanted responses to a commentary on church music.
“This type of (age) fraud (at the Olympics) is an old Communist game. It wasn't just here in China. Kids do this with fake ID's to purchase alcohol and tobacco. Communists do this to show "superiority". Now we see there's more fraud, and when the most celebrated victim of this lives in Atlanta and has to show her real birth certificate publicly to show her real age at events, what do you expect?"-- On the Chinese gymnastics age fraud scandals. Romanian gymnast Daniela Silivas admitted age fraud was taking place by the Communist government in Romania when the domicile of Cobb County (near Atlanta) applied for her marriage licence.
“Dippy junk . . . I can't stand it anymore. Choral books from Integrity actually had 'On Eagle's Wings' and it now appears in the hymnal I mentioned.”
“Good question on the dippy junk. I told a friend at church Sunday I have been away to others to avoid the 'dippy junk,' or as others call it, material lacking doctrine and theology. Somehow I think Bono (Kevin Manion, not the U2 singer) is in the Oval Office awaiting to enforce discipline on anyone called to the Oval Office for violations such as the 'dippy junk'.-- to Cathy of Alex, on what she called “dippy junk” music in church.
“Furthermore, feelings is the dominant trend in the country because feelings is the only thing that counts regarding society today. Feelings is the only 'logic' behind the (current energy policy) that is forcing automakers into microcars with Japanese-style laws to prohibit family sedans and mandating 2-seat microcars, as is the ban on regular light bulbs, and other inefficient laws. Feelings is the logic behind the 1973 decision by the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from the list of disorders -- I still refer to it as one, and am attacked for saying such."-- On the controversy of a “gospel” singer admitting (and being proud) of being a sexual deviant. Feelings dominate today, and that showed in the election of 2008.
“Imagine the #1 news-talk station changing from news-talk into an unpopular gangster-rap music format ordered by federal authorities in order to appease the new policy. It has all the workings of an RCTV (Venezuelan television station seized by Chávez because it ran anti-Communist policies). No wonder they are saying Obama has Chávez type aspirations. Could we see Obama rewrite laws with 60 in the Senate to eliminate the 22nd Amendment and create new rules that supress speech in order to mandate only the government can speak their propaganda?”-- On a potential Fairness Doctrine.
“With all of the Emergent Church's idea of pop culture themes, I wonder why not all pop culture references are OK . . . I wonder if a church will attempt a Match Game themed sermon. Unfortunately, it might run aground of Saddleback. Match Game 90 host Ross Shafer and wife Leah are Saddleback members, and Leah has been on the "worship team" at the church.”-- On the Emergent Church themes.
“Put an SUV (not a crossover) and a federally mandated microcar into Turn 1 at Texas Motor Speedway the way Michael McDowell did in his Toyota Camry recently at 100 MPH and see which is more survivable."-- On the government's plans to force us into microcars and out of sport-utility vehicles.
“(Michael Buffer voice): The three judges ringside scoring on the ten-point must system tonight are F. Marc Rattray, Tina Stallard, and Walter Cuttino."-- Someone commented Idols was a popularity contest, and not based on singing. I struck back with this parody. The prophetic irony was the person who introduced Cook and Archuleta for the finals on Idol.
"The Spartanburg Philharmonic is promoting a concert (sold out one of two nights) called 'Mother Earth'. The theme sounds very much to be of the 'worship of the planet' mentality of modern liberalism, if you ask me, and is the mentality of Al Gore, the Nobel Peace Prize organisers, and those dictators who wrote the Pelosi Energy Act of 2007."
-- on a concert promoted as "Mother Earth".
"So indeed, the 'fat lady sings' for Dan Cook, the man who gave us a Wagnerian approach to sports."-- on the death of Dan Cook, who let us know in sports, it wasn't over until "the fat lady sings". I don't know if my voice teacher and I could say something about it.
"Some liberals now have the belief that the alteration of the song without the songstress' permission is a must, and it should stay politically correct. Now if you're singing the song with the politically correct lyrics, are you changing the entire message of the song? It has to, considering the way she wrote it."
-- on A Different Road (from June). The same could be said about "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," as I recently mentioned.
"The network of the bulls gets ready to fuel some alcohol-fueled beats."-- on Versus with the IRL contract.
"I thought if I had attended a South Carolina Philharmonic concert 10 seconds late, I'd be locked out for 35 minutes. If I attended an opera 10 seconds late, I would be locked out for 40 minutes. When Darrell (Waltrip) did the gig for (the Nashville Ballet's) Nutcracker a few years ago (until last year, a male celebrity would play Mother Ginger in that production; in recent years it had been Tennessee Titan players who played the role!), if I was 10 seconds late, I would be locked out for 35 minutes."
"A few years ago, I went to a recital with my (voice teacher) in concert (she had a duet with the feature artist); I was late a few seconds and locked out for 25 minutes."-- to a sportscaster. During the Subway Fresh Fit 500k in April at Avondale, AZ, Fox had overrun with the Yankees-Red Sox game, and the start of the eighth round of the NSCS event did not reach but the part of the crowd that did not get the NYY-BOS game. When the broadcast started, they were on the dogleg on Lap 1. Seven months later, ESPN cut the last 35 laps of the fall race at Avondale (see ESPN: Chase the Heidi Game II) to show prerecorded programming, which was Round 9 of the playoffs. Ironically, the sportscaster in question called the TB-MIN game that sent TB into the playoffs.
"A visit to the county fair, which usually is held in late September-early October, was a good time for me to help out and see friends, but not play the games this year. But churches were prevalent, and it showed how churches have declined in what is now offered.
All four churches that offered their services at the fair featured teen dance teams jiggling to all sorts of pop-rock music. If that is the only team that matters, what is that teaching us? God's Word is now eliminated in favour of the latest and greatest pop tune on the radio for girls to jiggle. Now this isn't Southern Strutt. This is supposed to be a church music ministry, and instead we offer teen girls to dance to pop tunes?
"I talked to a friend Monday at the fair (she has been on my side and sympathised after I told her that I had been virtually tossed for fighting the Emergent attitudes) and it's just sad what happened to churches. Teens dancing to pop tunes is more important than a choir singing masterpieces of sound doctrine and solid theology. The MTV effect has been successful in the move to teen dancers. Oh dear . . . "-- on the County Fair with church performances.
"Ashley Force is now a member of the Powerade Drag Queen Club with her victory today in the Summit Racing Southern Nationals in Commerce, GA, and the first Drag Queen in a Flopper."-- on Ashley Force's win. Current active members of the Full Throttle Drag Queen Club are Melanie Troxel, Ashley Force, and Hillary Will among the car group. There are plenty of bikers in that club too. To be a member, you must be a real woman who whips guys on the Christmas Tree down 1,320 foot (or 1,000 foot in nitro classes).