04 November 2013

If I can't smoke and swear, I'm fucked

"The Shit-Apple doesn't fall far from the Shit-Tree."-Jim Lahey, Trailer Park Supervisor.
We're sailing into a shit typhoon, Randy.
When I taught music at a music store, I met a lot of people.  Mostly teenagers and young adults.  Some didn't give a shit about playing music as much as they did getting rid of their parents and talking to someone they can relate to.  Others really enjoyed playing music, and a few of those really liked heavy metal.  I always enjoyed teaching those students because a lot of them reminded me of myself at that age.

One young man, about 16, was not like me at all, aside from the guitar and interest in heavy metal music. This guy grew up as a devout Catholic, wasn't allowed to listen to heavy metal, had live-in siblings, a father in Iraq, and an overbearing mother.

I was baptized as a Catholic at age seven, I fell from Grace at age eight, listened to everything from Michael Jackson to Burzum at a very young age, and was raised by my father, who had custody of me after he and my mom split when I was two.  My mother only became slightly overbearing after she got off the drugs and started making more frequent appearances in my life.

It wasn't until later I found out that this guy was into murder.
Needless to say, I didn't give a flying fuck that this kid wasn't allowed to listen to heavy metal and over the course of time I taught him the whole Master of Puppets album.  It was an enjoyable time for both of us because I liked teaching music and him because he had someone who wouldn't judge his music choices, since his mother and his school mates often did (he went to a Catholic school).

To top all of the restrictions previously mentioned, this young man was also a homosexual.  And his parents were strict interpreters of the Bible.  He would go on to tell me that his parents hate him because of it, and as a result, he hate himself because of it.

I guess he wound up telling me because I wouldn't think differently of him.

Looking back, it reminds of a quote I heard from Frankie:

"If you don't listen to your body, you'll break your body."
Clearly, the young guitarist was breaking himself if he was having that much hate directed right back towards him.

I really didn't know how to help.  I went through my usual line of thinking:

  1. Leave the Church
  2. Go to a different school
  3. Tough it out til you're 18
I really don't think I could offer much more now, as it were.  On the positive side, he played guitar and they didn't have to hear it all the time, so he could play all the metal he wanted (and he wrote his own too).

I think that we can recall what Rabbi Hillel said to some gentile who was trying to stump him.  Here is my paraphrasing of how I imagine the conversation going:

Gentile: I'll believe you if you can recite this book of yours on one foot.
Rabbi Hillel: Don't be an asshole if you don't want people to be assholes to you.  The rest is commentary. Learn it.

I think a good start to reconcile faith in God and individuality would be to hear that parable often.  I think it would have helped my young student out.

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*Title is a quote from the Trailer Park Boys

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