They made their bed; or, bleeped expletives ahead

It never ceases to amaze me how much people are willing to assume and take something for granted as Unchangeable Fact, when it is actually no more written in stone than the clouds of the sky. Here’s a clip from a recent sogospelnews message board thread, in which the poster is commenting on the timeless old “debate” about who should and shouldn’t sing on the mainstage of the quartet convention:

I think what JD did was totally right [not having let the Rambos, a trio, sing on the mainstage way back when]. Why have a QUARTET convention with 3 people on stage singing? It still takes 4 to make a QT. And we got Trio’s on there now?

Sure, and while we’re at it, why have a QUARTET convention and let poser groups like the Hoppers or the Perrys sing? Cause, ya know, they have WOMEN in those groups. Next thing you know we’ll be howling down the moon about long hair and spikey hair and short ties … oh wait, we already are doing that. Anyway, this is a bunch of nonsense. It’s absurd to praise someone like JD Sumner for maintaining a kind of generic purity at NQC when Sumner created, owned, and named the convention. And it’s just as ridiculous to pretend that the current NQC owners deserve any credit for prioritizing traditional male quartets over other formations. It all puts me in mind of a line from the film Cold Mountain, in which Renee Zewillger’s character, Ruby Theus, says of the Civil War and its protagonists: “They make the weather, and then they stand in the rain and say, ‘oh [crap], it’s raining.’” You can’t make the rules and then pretend your decisions are bound by a set of edicts handed down from God (nor can you pretend to be weighted down with the heavy burden of upholding timeless standards, if you’re the one determining what the standards are). The reality is, sg has become a hugely diverse industry of prismatic variety. This is a testimony to the success of sg, not some occasion for a jeremiad about how sg is all watered down. The male quartet will always be around and doesn’t need protection from trios or any other kind of “nontraditional” group. Get. Over. It.

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