Back in the day . . . a phrase dear to us lovers of music from the time when a song was defined as a combination of harmonious melody and lyrical poetry . . . there was a song that said in part:
now all is gone
gone is the rapture that filled my heart
gone with the wind
As best I can learn from a brief search, the haunting words are credited to Billie Holiday, But that kind of attribution is highly suspect. It was not uncommon, back in the day, that an obscure, talented song writer would sell the entire copyright of a song to an established performing artist. The artist would then copyright it under their own name.
My interest is not on that process. Like a few hundred thousand (million??) bloggers I am writing about The-Rapture-That-Never-Happened and the song is just a convenient quote of no special significance . . . maybe.
I am wondering, why are we all so fascinated by this slow-moving train wreck of religious fanaticism? OK, maybe YOU are not as fascinated as I am.
(oh, come on. admit it you are too. why else are you reading this now?)
My excuse is petty but satisfying. The predictable failure of the Rapture and the eventual exposure of the stupidity and vanity of its acolytes is payback that goes beyond SchadenFreude.
It is payback for all the moments of arrogance that I have put up with, in the name of free speech and the right to religion belief and promotion of ones faith, no matter how ridiculous or venal or insane.
I am referring to the arrogance of believers who get in my face with Salvation or Truth and all that fear-driven crap. They infest the streets, bus and train terminals.
They litter windshields and mailboxes with leaflets of gloom and doom. They infest online commentaries with convoluted theories and finger-wagging. They claim the right to control the morals and lives of those they abhor. They start wars in the name of a God they have never seen and never will see.
I cannot deny the pleasure I take in their current embarrassment and confusion. My pleasure is made more intense by the sad awareness that their confusion is temporary. They will bury it all beneath a new layer of nonsense.
I may as well enjoy it while I can because by tomorrow morning, everyone of them will have found a new, even more compelling faith, the flower that springs from the dung pile.
Yes, I have seen the psychologists commentaries as to the resilience of the True Believers. It was not a shock to see the puzzled but still committed responses of those who gave up all their hard-earned possessions, broke with “non-believing” friends and family, walked away from good careers, etc – but still remain stuck to the core “truth” even though their own palpable existence in our skeptical and mocking present is absolute refutation.
So, I will close with the words of yet another song from back in the day. I used to think it was simply a mysterious and haunting “love song.” Then, one day, I stopped and took a whole new look, an “ah-ha” moment of Gestalt insight that would have done Fritz Perls proud.
Think carefully about the words to this waltz. Is is about a common love affair? Or is it about life?
Dancing In the Dark
Music and Lyrics by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz
Dancing in the dark,
Till the tune ends
Were dancing in the dark,
And it soon ends.
We are waltzing in the wonder
Ofwhy we’re here;Time hurries by,
We’re here, then gone.
Looking for the light
Of a new love
To brighten up the night.
I have you, love,
And we can face the music together;
Dancing in the dark.