Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Shift Happens

Did you see that Tammy Faye Bakker Messner died? Wow, that brings back memories. I remember watching the last half hour of their televangelist show every day after I got off the school bus. It came on right before my favorite show, Kidd Video. Watching Kidd Video was the only way for me to hear the devil inspired rock music I was banned from hearing. At the end of each episode, they would play almost an entire rock song, which usually meant something by Genesis.

The only other time I heard rock music was when I'd sneak the radio into the bathroom and scan for every Michael Jackson song I could find. Being the product of Christian conservative parents, rock music was thought to be the demise of moral mankind. Proof of this is when Satan himself left messages in the music, backwards. So if you played the record backwards, you could hear a voice say, "OOOWWWWWWWWOUDRINKBEEROOURAAGH." Of course, promising to only listen to music in the forward position was not enough to grant me musical freedom. Forget the public school, television or my naughty neighbor, access to subliminally immoral messages would be quashed. That highway to hell was closed. Did anyone really listen to music backwards???

Anyway, I digress. Tammy Faye. I was enamored with her eyelashes, even though my mother wrought my admiration with doubt with her logical ripostes, insisting they were fake. I refused to believe it. Anyway, I always caught the end of the show where Tammy Faye was usually crying and singing at the same time and Jim was announcing how much money was needed for Prayerland or Bibleworld, or whatever the name of his amusement park was going to be. Why does God need a roller coaster, I'd wonder.

It is pretty sad, when you consider that she was only 65 years old. What started out as a great life took some pretty sinister turns for her. I'm sure she never thought she'd end up the butt of late night jokes or her makeup application would spawn t-shirt logos.

Weird how life shifts, both imperceptibly and tragically. She probably lived the life of an upstanding citizen, wife and mother, completely unsuspecting of her tumultuous future. Then again, maybe she listened to rock music.

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