Well, its not exactly related to the land of Shum, except insofar as my sojourn there made me even more irreverent than I was to begin with, but I just posted a video of me singing my mock version of God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen to Facebook and YouTube and I can’t figure out how to get the lyrics printed out near the video. I have directed people to this blog. At least I won’t get scolded for length as I did when I tried to put it in the comment box on Facebook. Alas, poor old low tech Jentri. So, anyway, here’s the lyrics. A hint on timing, on the words “tidings of” and “discomfort”, eliminate the two-beat slur in the traditional version and give each syllable one beat, until the end.
When the people I think of as refugees arrived in Shum, they were not coming from a historical vacuum. Some were coming to something, artists and veterans thinking to build their own homes and live a quiet rural life. Others were going away from something, the many things all coming under the heading of modern civilization, and they simply landed in Shum following the grapevine or omens or Fate.
Before the Land of Shum, there was Berkeley. Although I spent eight years in the very center of the political events people associate with Berkeley, and I was, indeed, busted, threatened, divorced and unfairly maneuvered out of grad school because of that participation, I never saw myself as a political person. The issues to me were never political, but moral, and what my intense religiosity turned into when my religion turned on me was morality. I am not speaking of morality in the way the preachers use it, revolving largely around issues of sex and the proper place of women, but morality in the wider sense of what we are obliged to do as compassionate human beings–morality in the sense that Christ would have meant it had he ever used that word.