I recently had a “for God’s sake, the Minister’s coming up the walk, put some pants on” moment.
First, some background.
I have a good friend, Dr. Scott [Let's just call him Dr. Scott. His actual name is complicated.]. He’s a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina. Scott writes songs – mostly spiritually-themed songs. He accompanies himself on the piano. The songs are very good and he sings them very well.
Scott and I go to the same church, Sunset United, in scenic South Regina [http://www.sunsetunited.ca/.] A couple of years ago, our Minister, Kathy, suggested that Scott perform some of his songs on an evening during Lent. Kathy likes to do evening “events” during Lent. Scott loves to perform, but didn’t want to do something that looked too much like a concert. No problem, said the Reverend Kathy, Ross will speak. He’ll write up some reflections on Lent, on your songs, whatever.
I was happy to be asked. It was fun. As much fun as a Lenten Event can appropriately be.
Since then, we’ve done a few of these “Scott Sings – Ross Reads – Kathy Presides Reverently” things, earning ourselves effusive praise from the near dozen people who turn up.
Professor Scott is on sabbatical right now and has used some of his time to record a CD, entitled “Faith is a Bicycle”. It’s not out yet. The CD launch will be at Eastside United Church on April 20th, at 7:00 with an unofficial relaunch at Sunset United on the 26th.
Scott has planned a bit of a prairie tour to promote his CD. He’s invited me to tag along and do some “Ross Reads” bits. I’m in the process of writing those bits. Really. I am. It’s not the sort of thing you can rush, probably. You just have to be ready to write when the bit wants to be written. And I am.
Kathy, sadly, cannot join us for the tour, because she has a job. Very inconvenient. Yet practical. So, we’ll be taking off with only our Google maps and without adequate spiritual direction. Kathy will keep her phone on, in case we lose our way.
We’ll be all over the place - Maple Creek, East End, maybe Saskatoon. Calgary. Medicine Hat. Edmonton. Selkirk. Winnipeg.
Scott has created a website: http://scottanthonyandrews.com/ . You can keep up with the news there. His website is much flashier than this one. Most websites are flashier than this one. I’m all about “essence”.
If you would like a preview of what you might hear when you buy the CD or attend one of the “events”, listen to this: http://music.cbc.ca/#/artists/Scott-Anthony-Andrews. It is the song “I Say Amen to That”, which will be on the CD. Unless you have an ear of tin or a heart of stone, you will like this song.
So. Anyway. I was out for coffee with Scott the other day. He’d been exchanging emails with my Sister, Heather, who lives near Maple Creek. Among other things, Heather is the Cultural Soul of the South West. That is an unofficial title and, like “blogger” does not have any financial consequences. She and Scott have been busy organizing the concert at the Maple Creek United Church – May 4th, 7:30. I have tried to stay out of the “organizing” part of this, because I am a “big picture” guy and details simply don’t matter to me, insofar as I am even aware of them. Scott and Heather had been discussing the poster that would advertize the Maple Creek concert. My only contribution to the poster project was to suggest that my two blog sites appear on the poster – next to my name, preferably.
Yes, I have two sites; this one that you’re on right now, and the Huffington Post one: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/ross-macnab/. Having two blogs has doubled my blogging income.
Scott had put my HuffPost site on the poster, but he and Heather worried that, if we put up the web address of this site [www.mcmacman.com] people might actually go to it and read what’s there. “We’re playing to a church audience,” Scott explained, “Your sister mentioned to me that the mcmacman blog has quite a bit of bad language.”
“What the …,” I began, then thought better of it.
“And another thing,” Scott said, somewhat uncomfortably, “I looked at the mcmacman site the other day. The most recent post is from December.”
“Yeah, well not having written anything lately is a characteristic I share with Charles Dickens,” I [ought to have] said.
So. I’m profane. Worse, I am “yesterday’s” profanity.
I think Scott and Heather worry needlessly. My Mom is a United Church Lady and she reads my stuff. Of course, she has a natural affection for me, having given birth to me and raised me to be the foul-mouthed fellow that I am. Others might not be so tolerant of my bad wordiness. Recall, however, this is the United Church. We’re pretty relaxed about many of the things that get other religioes agitated. Just as an example, it’s fair to say, in UCC circles, that denial of the divinity of Jesus is less controversial than the denial of global warming. Premarital sex is probably okay, so long as it is “scent free” and you go outdoors to smoke afterwards. These, of course, are not serious examples, but you know what I mean. Let’s just say I have always been comfortable in the United Church.
As for my neglect of this site, I confess that my efforts have been expended elsewhere and nowhere. I try to put something on HuffPost as often as I can, just because, well, come on, it’s the HuffPost – people might read my posts there. People I don’t know, I mean. People I have not individually contacted and said “hey, read this.”
Not only that – the HuffPo people take care of the site. I’m not good with technical details. You might notice that I have no interesting graphics or any other bells and whistles on this site. Every time I try to do something to make the site appear more interesting, I get confused and frustrated and I give up. As a result, this thing is like a great long Word document. Not so with the HuffPo – they know what they’re doing.
Also, you might have noticed that I no longer invite comments. Why doesn’t Ross want to hear what people think? Can’t he handle a little constructive criticism? Well one might ask. No. The answer is that I am inundated with things purporting to be comments on my blog posts but are actually just attempts by businesses to get their websites on my website. I have seventeen thousand pending comments. Seventeen thousand. I can’t sift through them to figure out what’s a real comment and what’s just spammity spam. I can’t even delete them all, there are so many. So, I’ve just turned off the comment invitation. If you really want to reach me – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not offer to sell me any product to enhance my manhood.
I’ve looked this over. Over eleven hundred words, not a single bad one. And, as soon as I click “publish” I will be have cleared up the troubling perception that Ross Knows has died. I’m clean. I’m current. Put me on that poster dammit.