I guess it's that kind of week. Honey Diana don't care!
I have a lot of deep feelings about music. Not deep in the "totally philosophical shit, brah!" way, just in the deep-rooted way. I was listening to Boys for Pele in a traffic jam on the way to work this morning and vaguely thinking about Tori Amos and how I like her and she has red hair and she is friends with Neil Gaiman and sometimes sings about him and she's a tree in his book Stardust and apparently her new record is really great and her daughter does some guest vocals on it and so on etc., and then I remembered that the first time I ever heard of Tori Amos was from a Mormon woman.
Not entirely expected.
This woman--I feel bad that I can't remember her name, because she was one of the better Young Women leaders I had--was talking to us in YW about music and how music affects the Spirit. LDS culture-dogma basically subscribes to the "rock'n'roll/rap/heavy metal/edgy country/odd female vocalists/everything non-MOTAB is Satan's music and he will use it to drag you to Outer Darkness!" brand of music appreciation. Easy listening radio stations are usually safe; LDS dances are horribly boring and non-danceable; me asking the guy with the guitar at a youth conference to play a Nirvana song was extremely daring indeed (I only did it to be a dick, since he was wearing a Nirvana shirt).
Anyway, this woman was talking about how she had basically forced herself to stop listening to Tori Amos, because she knew that Amos' music didn't bring in the Spirit. And even though I was very distracted at the time, because I was mentally going through my Kazaa playlists and noting all the punk and industrial and metal stuff on them and knowing that I was a Bad Person for ever listening to them in the first place and an even Worse Person because I probably wasn't going to stop listening to them, I noticed that this woman was pretty fucken sad about giving up Tori Amos. Clearly Tori Amos had brought her a lot of joy and fulfillment and deep feelings, and she disliked having to pretend to enjoy Sandi Patti's Christmas CD instead of being able to play Midwinter Graces.
I wish this story ended with "and so I went home and listened to Strange Little Girls and had a spiritual awakening and left the church and have never been happier" but it doesn't, and I actually only started listening to Amos a couple of years ago. But I can say that she brings me a lot of joy and fulfillment and deep feelings now, and so do Big Black and the Mars Volta and Foo Fighters and Kamelot and Evergrey and M.I.A. and Nine Inch Nails and many, many, many other devil's-music artists. I cannot, cannot, and will never again get behind any kind of movement--political, spiritual, religious, social, whatever--that pressures people to throw away things that they love, things that are meaningful to them, and yes, things that bring personal revelation. Our souls are too important to allow their forms to be dictated to us.