Jesus Shit, yet again.

Raymond and I were walking from Nathan Phillips Sqaure towards Dundas in downtown Toronto last night, talking about things we usually talk about, rambling about a newish city—when we walked past the Marriot (owned by the richest mormon in the world), outside was a a priest in a black coat smoking and waiting for a cab–after talking to him for a few minutes, he told us that there was a catholic youth conference happening in one of the basement ballrooms, and he had just finished saying penance.

We walked into a hotel that looked like a rip off of Michael Graves in Toyko, all mirrors and bad accents, and down the escaltors, and i heard the praise band–the update, post modern spectacle of 70s folk masses, with the same songs and the same delivery as the modern music baptist services–the kind of thing the Hidden Cameras mock in there live shows–and i started singing along, i was at the edge, looking at all of these people, with hands raised, like farmers waiting for rain, and i knew the lyrics and i started singing, humming really softly.

I was seduced, it was never the power of christ that compelled me and when I was leading that shit, sorting out speakers, teaching lessons, going to board meetings and bitching about the sameness of the music, i was trying to refute its hypnotic power. Being in that place though, in the dark, with the over head lights, and having 1000 charasmatic catholics sing w. their throats like islam at mecca–but having it happen in a downtown ballroom…it seemed at least partially a betrayal of catholic history, but also a recognition that music seems to be less and less about “skill”; even (esp ?) religous music and more and more about spectacle…and if one isn’t careful, one will be pulled in.