Okay, I either whip through this now, fragmented and all, or it never gets done because I am once again swamped. Lotsa pics, so I'm loading them small. Click to get a full-size popup. Far too many of the entire set turned out blurry, which I can only partially blame on the lighting in that space. grr.
The Church of Stop Shopping launched its West coast tour at the Echo Park United Methodist Church last week. It was a two-fer! The first part a service and induction ceremony, the second part a screening of What Would Jesus Buy, followed by a q/a with the participants. I had time to hit up only the first part, alas, but that's okay because I have seen the movie.
The church, est. 1906, is located in one of the many lands of no parking here in The Silver City. I parked on the street where I shouldn't have along with bunches of other people. None of us got ticketed or towed.
In the "parking lot" behind the church was an itty bitty car with a giant dog inside. I, of course, thought it was a prop. It's not! It's made by Mercedes and was owned by another attendee at the night's service. I enjoyed looking at it, but there's no way on earth I ride LA streets, let alone SoCal highways in that thing. The dog seemed to like it, though.
The event was also a fundraiser for the Working People's Law Center, which has been part of the city for a long time doing just what its name says. Founder Art Goldberg was one of the leaders of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement. He was also the lawyer for Rev. Billy back when he was thrown in jail during an attempted Starbucks exorcism down out in the Valley. If I had typed this up right after the event, I would be able to share the hilarious line Savitri D, director of the choir, told about what it's like trying to seat a jury where all in the pool were probably at Starbucks that morning.
Thus, part of the night involved inducting Goldberg as a saint in the Church of Stop Shopping. (Geek Alert! Samuel R. Delany is also a saint in the church. I don't know why, though. Probably just on the basis of general awesomeness.)
From the laying on of hands, Goldberg's the one in the Obama shirt, The Rev. is the one in the polyester suit, Savitri is on the left:
This is the pastor of the ECUMC. He accidentally hit himself in the head with a chair when adding more seating . Continuing with the random data bits, an attendee told me he remembered coming to the church as a child for coin shows held in the space, and another said something about coming for general gatherings because at that time there was no place else for stuff like that. The "parking lot" was just as teeny back then, too!
The whole choir didn't fly in for this part of the tour, just some of them, and they were great. The choir performed several songs, the Rev. preached, they had much interaction, it was very much like an actual old-school Pentacostal service in many ways. It was both thought-provoking and hilarious. A few shots from the sermon:
It's actually kinda hard to frame the Rev. in close-up with others because his hair is a good 4 to 5 inches above his head. Though I deliberately sat where I could watch Savitri D. to see how she directs the group, I did not catch whatever it was she did (or perhaps the Rev. did) to signal the choir that he was about to pitch himself to the floor and possibly die or break something if they didn't leap off the stage and catch him. They had to jump, run, catch because he did a full-body lunge of himself at the floor. Seeing it from this side, I now kinda get why people sometimes freak out over the physical things we do in Electus. A few shots from this incident, which was the conclusion of the Temptation By Hair Products section of the sermon:
I am Extremely Dissatisfied with every single shot I took of the choir actually singing, so here are big head shots of the choir members after the service. (As you know, I love big head shots.) Again the full choir was not in attendance, just some of them, and they flew in that day from NYC. I think most of them flew back after the show and another set flew in for other parts of the tour. They were fabulous singers. I was especially pleased to get to hear the First Amendment Song soloist. I love that song! When I walked into the church and saw her there, inside I was all !!yaaaaay i hope she sings the song!! She sang it to Goldberg during his induction. yay! Turns out she also was involved in one of the zombie walks in NYC. Around here, we like zombies. We like them a lot. Soooo very much. No, really YOU HAVE NO IDEA. She's the one on the right, in blue:
After the service there was mingling, photos, book signings. They took up an offering for the center, which Goldberg immediately re-gifted to two good causes. A few random shots from that part. First one is the group from Occidental College, then big head shot of the director (who said the film has garnered much positive response from traditional church groups), book signing, and with another attendee. The room was quite crowded by the way, even though it was a work night:
There's more, but those are the best pics so we'll stop here. The tour continues with stops in Santa Cruz, Sacramento and San Francisco, so if you live in any of those spots check it out, and/or pass the word.
Other info gleaned from the night ... those Big Head video sermons that have been appearing at random on the internet(s) are episodes planned for an upcoming series on Free Speech TV. Because my tv lives in the closet unless I want to watch dvds and I don't have cable, let alone a dish, I'll be keeping an eye out on the internet(s) outlet to follow along. There are going to be more videos! I, of course, want a dvd down the road.
So it was a fun, meaty evening and only fueled my desire to one day go to NYC and see the full choir and service. I hope that when Spike Lee gets his Stalag-17 revival into reality on Broadway - the only thing on the planet that will actually get me to visit NYC - fingers are crossed the show it hits around the time when the CoSS is doing service at their home base.
Still haven't found an internet(s) version of the really good old article I have on paper (mentioned somewhere around here quite a while ago), but hope springs eternal so here is its link placeholder.
What else? I'm still working on the Obama SoCal office opening picts entry. And the Cthulhu movie review. And a couple of other things certain people are waiting for. Apologies for any inconvenience this continued delay may cause.
Finally .... Light to non-existent entries around here for a bit due to being swamped. Among other things I've got to figure out how to disguise a Yamaha enough to pass for a 1930s-era KG14 without hurting it. And I don't have a lot of time to figure out how to pull this off. Yet I must figure this out *very carefully* because when the Yamaha was handed to me as loaner, the words If You Hurt It I Will Kill You were said with absolute gravity. *gulp*