Jesus Ween

Nothing says “Turn your back on heathen practices” like “Our Lord and Savior’s Penis.” There’s no on affiliated with that group who knows a 13 year old boy they could have tried that name out on?

But ignoring that “ween” means “penis,” let’s talk about Jesus Ween as a concept. When I first moved to Donelson, there was a church that performed a “Christian Version of A Christmas Carol.” Yes, Dickens’ story. This made me laugh so hard I almost drove off the road. I mean, A Christmas Carol¬† already is the Christian version of A Christmas Carol. Just back in Dickens’ time, you didn’t have to have Jesus show up and be called by name for everyone to recognize who was behind all the good woo.

So, yes, isn’t this the same thing? Halloween is already Jesus Ween, so to speak. It’s the evening before All Hallows Day. Hallow Evening, if you will. Yes, it’s stuck on a pagan holiday, but, let’s be real. Probably not really. No, no, I know. Samhain. Or as they say on True Blood Sam hai ain. But let’s mark time without a calendar. You can tell the solstices and the equinoxes by using the sun. You can mark off months by using the moon. And days, of course, with the turning of the earth.

If Samhain was a set day for the pagans who celebrated it–if it occurred on the last day of the 10th lunar month–it would move around some (depending on how the Celts dealt with the the fact that a lunar month is just over 28 days) like Jewish holidays move for the same reasons. Therefore, it wouldn’t always been halfway between the equinox and solstice. And it would move around on our calendar. It wouldn’t always be October 31st. The two calendars wouldn’t line up.

Now, it’s possible that they just said, “It’s the 40th day after the equinox.” And that was the majority of the time October 31st. But it wouldn’t always be. Even the equinox moves around a little.

All this is to say that, yes, Samhain was a fall festival the pagans expected to celebrate roughly when we celebrate Halloween. But Halloween is and was a holiday invented by Christians for Christians to fill a need on their liturgical calendar (and, yes, to make conversion easier for folks).

Halloween is already Jesus Ween.


1. Went to Ashland City, which is my favorite place to go to in Tennessee. I can’t really explain it. I don’t particularly care to be in Ashland City, especially now that they tore down the restaurant with the awesome fries. But mark my words, people, someday I will write a book called Going to Ashland City and it will be amazing. Or not. I like to be on my way to Ashland City, whether you like my hypothetical book or not.

2. I found my good clippers! I had put them away somewhere they’d be easy to find and… yeah, they were not. But I found them and the privet in the rose is gone. Bunch of weeding done. Bunch of weeding still to do. Such is the story of my yard.

3. Finished The Sisters Brothers. Out there is a person who loves that book. I would like to meet that person and force them, at gunpoint, to explain what the fuck. The writing is beautiful, though, and I am a little in love with Eli Sisters and his toothbrush.

4. Went to the Confederate Cemetery Tour at Mt. Olivet. Yes, I behaved myself. I met a guy who is new in town, who was supposed to be meeting other Christian singles. Instead, he and I started chatting and his group never showed up so I walked through the cemetery with him, making my slightly snide comments about how smoothly they glossed over Hood to focus on the awesomeness of Forrest to him. But, in general, yes, I behaved myself. Perhaps that’s unfair and I should instead just punch all vulnerable Christian men who step into my sphere, as a warning. I felt bad, because, you know, I go do shit by myself if it’s something I want to do–and I did, for the purposes of the Sue Allen project, want to spend some time observing Confederate reinactors. I went practically straight from the yard to the tour. Chicken shit all smeared on my arm, weed seeds stuck in my hair, which was sticking straight up from where I got tangled in the ungrateful rose bush (next time, I’ll just let the privet take over!), smelling like… well… not pretty.

Sorry, dude, whoever you are. Most Nashville women smell nice and are not all full of organic matter. Hell, I’m not normally covered in seeds and shit, but it’s fall.

6. Someone killed a chipmunk and left it by the back steps. I threw it into the grass. I started weeding the hollyhocks and turned to find Mrs. Wigglebottom munching on the dead chipmunk. I stupidly had put it right in her path. I hope that doesn’t give her some weird chipmunk disease.

“A Fan of the Ghost”

Man, this sentence: “ I was a fan of the ghost more than the band.” Lord almighty that’s brilliant. Perfect.

And her larger point is one that I think is important. Ruth Hill in her book on Bourbon Spanish America says that our biggest problem in understanding race in that era is that we look back through the lens of history. To Kathy’s point, this Nirvana nostalgia that remembers them as ubiquitous and us all as fans from the beginning (or if not the beginning, at least we were hip to it by Nevermind) remembers through an era of iTunes and Foo Fighters and YouTube and instant wide sharing of cool stuff. I think we’re remembering wrong.

My best friend at the time saw Nirvana when they opened for REM when we were sophomores in high school. She thought they were good. Bought their t-shirt. Remember, she was my best friend. I was at her house at least once a week. I never heard a Nirvana song until my senior year of high school. I don’t know if she didn’t also buy a tape at the show (the very first CDs that came into our house were the Led Zeppelin box set, which the Butcher got for Christmas, also my senior year, which meant that, before that, no Phillips had a CD player. For sure, no minor I knew had a CD player when I was 15. If I had to guess, without asking him, I’d guess he got some kind of CD player for his birthday (at the end of October) and then may have had to wait until Christmas for anything to play on it.) or if she did but she didn’t like it that much or what.

But now, if someone says “I heard this cool band,” It takes me five seconds to find them on the internet and hear them.

I’m not saying that some people weren’t big fans from the second the album hit, but I think we forget how long it took for things to catch on. I mean, just as a thought experiment, recall Thriller. There was an album with a bunch of hits on it, that sold incredibly well (to put it mildly), but remember–it sold well for a long time. Because it kept finding new audiences. Everyone in the world, or hell, just the United States, who was going to buy that album and like it didn’t know about that album when it came out, or even when it hit number one.

Things used to be able to build buzz on the back end, after release. Take on lives of their own.

That we remember it like someone flipped a switch and we all loved Nirvana says more about how we love music now than how we did then.