(and again I say…)
I just came back from camping with the youth group to Creation Fest 2008! A four day, three night camping experience on the Agape Farms near Mt. Union, Pennsylvania. Suffice it to say, that was not necessarily my cup of tea. However, I must say that I’ve grown from that experience. I really wish I had had the opportunity to blog every night because I really do have a lot to say about it.
Mainly, I intend to do some blogs (hopefully right now while I have some time and energy) about this idea of missions overseas and sponsoring a child and open a dialogue for those who are interested about the insulation of the church: us versus them, a particular vibe that I picked up from one of the speakers. I also want to share with the blog reading community about this whole “I’m the boss” thing I’m dealing with from my 28 year old supervisor. But for right now, I just need the space to vent.
As you can tell from my blog name, I’m well, black. A black male to be exact. A black male who grew up IN the city to be even more exact. There wasn’t ANYTHING in my cultural encyclopedia that even remotely prepared me for Creation. This isn’t to say that black folks don’t do camping, but as a rule of thumb, none of my friends have ever gone camping, let alone drive out to good ole Hillary Clinton country of Pennsylvania and go camping with 70,000 other people.
Then having to listen rock, I can deal with: people like Hawk Nelson, Switchfoot or mayyyybe Pillar were tolerable at best. However, having to listen to a band like Flyleaf was an absolute NO-NO. I had a commenter go off on me as to how complicated and intricate heavy metal music was, to which I replied that it’s not more complicated than that of hip-hop, R&B and rap and to think that I’m degrading it as music is a gross misunderstanding. It’s just that I simply don’t like it–moreover, I don’t understand it. Even amongst the youth that I was with, many of them didn’t understand the lyrics either.
Now as somewhat of a linguist (that being one which I can tell the differences between some languages, not necessarily what they are saying, but how they are saying it) I understand that it takes an ear to begin to decipher lyrics, much the same way an untrained ear wouldn’t be able to decipher the rap lyrics to certain songs. But seeing as how I was not attracted to the music of it all, and not having the ability to fall back on the lyrics as a last result, I was just ultimately out of contention for even remotely liking heavy metal.
And I’m okay with that.
So aside from the merciless sun, we dealt with rain. Not droplets to cool you off momentarily, but downpours that rendered EVERYthing in the campsite wet. Our food would have been ruined if it weren’t for coolers and putting everything in big plastic totes. It also rendered every road a vitual mudslide.
Now, I want you to imagine upwards of 50,000 middle schoolers and high schoolers, wet and muddy–can you imagine the smell?!?!?!
All day Thursday my stomach was hurting from something I ate (and yes, my only relief was a Port-A-Potty) and Friday and Saturday I’m convinced that my dull to moderate headache I suffered from was a result from the heat, and just sitting out in the sun watching concerts I was none too impressed with.
On Saturday, however, the clouds lifted slightly. There was this speaker, Reggie Dabbs, who was the only black speaker there I believe. And they had this brother and sister group who did this hip hop/neo-soul thing which I was diggin’ named The Washington Projects and that was it for the groups that I liked. There was this other chick named Ayeshia Woods who was alright in my opinion, nothing that really took me out. The last group, some guy with the last name of Mike Farris had these two black women doing some gospel runs with him, but it was the countriest gospel I’d heard since I been in Nashville–and then he said he was in Nashville earlier that morning, hence him being late.
There was also a sista girl who I wanted to snatch when I saw what she had in her hair: heat and a bad weave don’t mix.
There was a Hammond B3 sitting on the stage, Chris Tomlin and his band used it, and I guess one of the later acts after we left on Saturday had planned to use it because they had brought it from the back to the front, but nothing at all like I’m used to using it. My host mother (yes, the one who said that “hip-hop comes from the prison culture”) informed me, yet again, that no one really uses the Hammond anymore.
Ha! Step in your average black church on Sunday and count the number of Hammonds you have, or at least the number of churches that are trying to buy one.
So, thankfully we made it back on Saturday night, and that’s that. Look forward to my other posts following this one, I have a lot to say about this.
Keep it uppity and keep it radically truthful, JLL