Over the years, there have been, as far as I can tell, some pretty ridiculous stories circulating out there about me. I’ve heard the one about my sanity having been addled by brain cancer, and then the one about my sanity having been addled by AIDS. There’s the one about my having moved to Florida to get better AIDS treatments (in one version, for myself, in another version for my partner), the one about how I was abused as a child (I guess the same kind of person who assumes that insanity is the best way to explain the way I write also believes child abuse causes homosexuality, bitterness, and a life of angry isolation), and the one about how I sleep in a coffin during the day.
I only made up one of those, but they’re all so outrageously lame as responses to a blog about southern gospel music as to be kind of funny in their lameness, and honestly I have sort of come to look forward to just how much more preposterous the next fevered tale will be than the last (new ones usually spring up in the aftermath of particularly unwanted criticisms and flourish in the sandy soil of the uninspired imagination that puts more energy into trying to discredit who they imagine me to be than just engaging the with the substance of the criticism). At any rate, I’ve never found any of them worth dignifying with a response, and still feel that way. Comes with the territory, I figure.
However, since L’Affaire Harold Reed broke out, the old chestnut about my having tried out for the Nelons and been rejected has reared its head and started surfacing repeatedly in the comments section. This is the kind of pedestrian lie whose banality could lend the fiction a certain plausibility even to reasonable but uninformed people.
So let’s put this one to rest, shall we? I have never, not once, ever tried out for any professional gigs in southern gospel or any other form of music. None.
I think I get why this idea might be so appealing … for some people, it’s a lot easier to tell yourself that there can’t possibly be anything worth taking seriously from a reject sodomite pianist etc. than it is to have some of your closely held ideas challenged or your settled positions interrogated or disrupted or whatever by someone who outside conventional industry roles. And yet, while the purpose of this fantasy seems to be to try to discredit me personally by demonstrating my lack of musical skills, it actually attributes to me far more musical ability than I really have in fact, because to try out for the Nelons, even in their current pale-imitation phase, you’d have to be a lot better than I ever have been.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to my coffin.Email this Post