I have been told that I tend to drift away from objectivity when I talk about politics. I’m sure there is still the old hold over that preachers are supposed to stay out of the political realm or at least not take sides. My contention is that everything has become politicized to the point where it is impossible. Sports have been politicized, entertainment has been politicized, and it gets very difficult to not talk about politics even when discussing the faith. The stretch of time from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday if read objectively, is all about politics. It was church politics that brought Jesus to his arrest and trial in the first place. It was secular politics that brought him to his execution. To ignore the fact is to miss an important theological issue – that the good ordinances of God created in the garden of Eden are corrupted by sin. Those things that were meant to protect human beings and help them to find their God, and live quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty were corrupted to the point that they conspired to kill the Lord of life. The very God who created them in the first place is executed by his creatures. The sad fact is that today they will seek to corrupt everything that is good as well.
My high school was well taken care of by a tax base that included a rather large Mine that employed thousands of people. We never had secondhand books, we had wonderful sports facilities, and amazing music and arts department, and an auditorium and stage that I was told by traveling entertainers rivals some of the finest stages they had ever been to. The stage in our auditorium had an entire light bank that included special effects that were state of the art back in the day. We had a trap door so that people could disappear off the stage and seemingly vanish. We did “The Teahouse of the August Moon” and we had a Willy’s Jeep that I actually drew drove up on the stage. I was a part of several productions one of which was “Finnian’s Rainbow”, in which we turned a white senator black in less than 20 seconds. Knowing how important black face is in today’s culture I almost hesitate to bring it up but it was a part of the play and we did it and it was quite amazing. We did “Oliver”, and I have the part of Fagan the master thief and I sang the song “you’ve got to pick a pocket or two“, surrounded by 16 gradeschool children among whom was my brother. Of course the fact that Fagin was a Jew was considered bad form by some but that is the way the play was written and the play is an adaptation of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. All of that is history of course so a lot of people don’t pay attention or know it.
Our crowning achievement was “The Sound of Music”. Our home economics department sewed thirty Nun outfits and thirty girls from our choir sang the nun’s songs. Their rendition of Climb Every Mountain was inspiring. I played Rolf the telegram boy and I got to sing and dance. My song was “You Are 16 Going on Seventeen”, mentioned on the last blog. I wanted to be the Baron because I wanted to sing “Edelweiss”, but was told I looked to young. I was only in the 9th grade at the time but I loved that song and still do which is why I am writing these blogs in the first place. What has happened to Edelweiss in the last few weeks is tragic and it is stupid.
One of the things that we had to do was educate ourselves on the play and the story and the history. It takes place in and around Salzburg Austria which is the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Baron von Trapp was an Austrian nationalist and also a democratic monarchist and he hated the Nazis who were national socialists. It is the tension of the Nazi Ansluss or “Union” which was the entry of the German Army into Austria on the pretense of keeping the peace, invited by Nazi sympathizers, that causes the movie and the plays climax as the Trapp family flees over the Alps.
We ordered the military costumes for our play from New York and as near as I could tell the Telegraph boys uniform was the real Austrian deal as were the German SS and Brown shirt uniforms. Just wearing the German uniform made me feel belligerent. I told the director on the last night in the last act as the Von Trapps’ are going over the Alps which were quite impressive on our stage, that I should shoot at them and they should fall of a cliff. The directors response was marvelous. He said “the hills are alive with the sound of stupid”.
More on this and my outrage tomorrow.