Always a conundrum — what to do with something good created by someone bad.
I mean, take HP Lovecraft for instance. Are horrors authors and readers still praising him so for his early contributions to the genre? Fortunately for me, having read his work long before learning he was such a virulent racist, I find his writing flat and uninteresting and way, way overrated so shunning him to the dustbin of the disgraced is no problemo.
But there are a lot of other types of situations and scenarios out there that can put one in such an unpleasant conundrum…
I mean, apparently surgeons are still referring to the Pernkopf Topographic Anatomy of Man to assist them with their procedures. This out-of-print and highly valued book mostly know as Pernkopf’s Atlas is filled with some of the most detailed anatomical drawings ever published, to assist them.
I guess these doctors — whom one has to assume are good-intentioned since they’re, well… doctors… — can square the fact that the book was made possible from the dissected bodies of Jewish prisoners murdered by Nazis with their good-intentioned hope and purpose of saving lives?
I’m no surgeon so that is not a wavering bridge of morality I would ever have to cross.
Yeah… no conundrum there for yours truly.
However, when it comes to music, I do have a conundrum regarding a song which was created by a horrible being, one proved many times over to be a disgusting creep without doubt.
With him, I have a conundrum.
Not because I am or ever was a fan of his…
But because of a situation an old navy buddy of mine put me in over one of the creep’s songs.
A little back story:
Before this navy buddy of mine became a friend, I only knew him through other friends but what I could tell of him was that he was a rather serious, squared away, no-nonsense, straight-shooter of a guy.
But, because we both had two sons and the four of them became best friends, and because we both had Japanese wives who became good friends through our sons, it was inevitable that this navy buddy and I began hanging out together and would eventually become friends.
And as a friend I discovered that he was in fact a rather serious, squared away, no-nonsense, straight-shooter of a guy.
It wasn’t until there was a big gathering at a house of whom I can’t remember to celebrate a holiday that I also can’t remember that I learned this rather serious, squared away, no-nonsense, straight-shooter navy buddy of mine was also secretly very hilarious and highly creative.
While at this gathering the adults were gathered in their adult-like revelries and all the many children were gathered in their playful childish revelries, the loud music stopped suddenly and all at once this navy buddy now friend of mine gathered everyone together for a performance with the children that he somehow had choreographed with them unbeknownst to any of the other adults.
With the adults gathered closely on one side of the room, he and the other children took their places on the other – he in front as the lead and the children in formation behind him like a choir.
He nodded to an accomplice I remember not who, and over the stereo R. Kelly’s hit “I Believe I Can Fly” began to play.
And this navy buddy of mine sang along loudly with it. And the children sang along loudly as his backup. And their dance movements with arms spread wide like birds soaring high in the sky were amazingly well coordinated.
And their singly was… terrible, especially this navy buddy of mine’s. So far off tune it was like he was in a different time zone.
It was all so completely hilarious…
Especially because we all knew this navy buddy of mine to be such a serious, squared away, no-nonsense, straight-shooter of a guy and what we were seeing was so completely out of character.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many adults laughing so hard at once.
It was one of the most funniest moments of my life…
And one of the most beautiful.
Who knows if all those tears in the corners of all those adults’ eyes were from laughter or from how beautiful that powerful moment was.
So much happiness shared.
Unfortunately, this occasion occurred before the onslaught of smartphones so it will only ever be replayed in the happy memories corners of our minds.
But because of what I now know of the creep R. Kelly, that beautiful, happy memory is forever tainted.
I will now and forever recall the memory with mixed emotions.
And while I would love to share the song with you as today’s Sunday Song…
I can’t because I would fear for what it would do to all those who suffer from such abusive and horrendous acts as those inflicted by R. Kelly and other creeps like him.
So, instead I will share a song similar in nature; a song that is also held strong in my memories but for a different reason: it is a song from a movie that my wife surely must have watched hundreds times (a possible exaggeration but you know what I mean) when it first was released…
Which of course means it’s a movie that I also watched (or at least was in the presence of) and a song I have heard hundreds (and hundreds) of times…
But still, happy memories with no regrets nonetheless.
A Sunday Song to Spark the Spirit and Summon the Moves of the Dance