MCMXCV

I simply had to make a formal post about this album.  I have listened to it no less that 40 times in the last two weeks.  It is an album that I helped to crowdfund by one of my favorite bands. I have listened to it on somewhere around 5 stereo systems and I finally had a chance tonight to listen to it on my Audio Technica M50x headphones, which I have for when I mix sound.   This album is nothing short of amazing.  It is the album equivalent of a Hattori Hanzo sword.

If you know who Stavesacre is, my explanation is simple:  This may be the greatest Stavesacre album ever made.  If you don’t know who Stavesacre is, then you can look them up on Wikipedia.  If you love good hard music, give it a shot.  If you love Stavesacre, buy it.  It will be your favorite thing for quite some time.

https://www.stavesacre.com/

 

Oh, and while we are on the subject of Nazis…

Just to be clear, this is eugenics:  https://www.cbsnews.com/news/down-syndrome-iceland/

Nazis, you know the ones everyone hates, they also loved eugenics.  Killing the unfit for the betterment of the species is applied Darwinism at its finest.

What has mankind become?

Squad Five-O Was Right

Squad Five-O is a band from Savannah, Georgia that came out of the 1990’s Christian alternative music scene.  The were Ska-Punk, then they were Glam-Punk, then they were Glam, and finally, they just ended up being Rock and Roll.  Now that I’ve gotten the introduction out of the way, I would simply like to say that they were right.  They had a song that they wrote about the Georgia State Flag of that day and it was entitled: “Our State Flag Sucks.”  That, good people, pretty much sums it up.

This article is mostly for my Christian friends, but if you are not a Christian and inclined to read along, you are welcome to join us for this one.  I’m not going to make any apologies for being a somewhat conservative Christian who grew up Southern Baptist but really found Jesus in the 90’s Christian Alternative music scene.  I was there and along with most of my cohorts, I have got the tattoos and the theology to prove it.  The reason that this is important is that I feel like a lot of the bands from that scene had and still have a prophetic voice, calling a challenge to the American Christianity of their day and echoing against whatever we are calling this mainstream, comfortable, prepackaged, and marketed Evangelical Christianity that allows folks like Joel Osteen, Stephen Furtick, and all the other members of the cult of personality to lead us over the cliff of actual relevance and into the abyss of navel-gazing, self-righteousness.

Here’s the thing:  We Christians who grew up in the Southern United States have got to quit defending our Southern Heritage for two very important reasons.  The first reason is that it has become an idol.  The second reason is that it has allowed the rise of White National Socialism and a resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan.  These are two things which we simply can’t abide.

Let me tackle the first point with a simple question.  Do any of the Confederate memorials, flags, or markers have anything to do with furthering the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  I want you to really think that one through and if you somehow think that the Gospel and these things have something in common, you might be a member for the Christian Identity Movement.  I’ll wait right here, you can go look that one up.  Simply put, all of these monuments and statues are just a part of our modern southern history because they have always been there in our lifetimes.  However, if you really dig into the history of some of these statues and monuments, you will find some really shady goings-on in relation to how they ever got there in the first place.

Now, on to the second point and this one is so easy to illustrate that I’ll cut-to-the-chase and make it quick and concise.  WE HAVE GOT WHITE NATIONAL SOCIALISTS AND OTHER WHITE SUPREMACIST GROUPS MARCHING IN THE STREETS WITH TORCHES!  That is not okay!  I don’t care how much you disagree with the Antifa or Black Lives Matter movements and their tactics, when we have got Nazis marching in the streets, we have jumped the shark with our Southern Heritage.

If taking down every Confederate flag, monument, and marker is what it takes to keep white supremacists out of the streets and by extension causes one less incident like we had in Charlottesville, then let’s get to it.  It seems to me that for those of us who are Christians and Southerners, that we need to apply some of the instruction of the Apostle Paul.  Clearly, these monuments and such are stumbling blocks for so very many people, from so very many walks of life.  They are clearly things that cause people to sin, as proven by last weekend’s actions.

Apparently, Georgia’s state flag isn’t the only thing that sucks.

Bank Error In Your Favor

I know that most of us feel like this is a completely untrue premise…that this never actually happens in real life.  This week, however, either some of the old Ernest Greene luck or divine providence kicked-in.

Since I was a youth minister for so long, I worked for a very long time in positions that paid well below market rates for people with $124,000 educations.  Couple that with some genuinely bone-headed financial decisions between 1998 and 2003 and I ended up with a student loan that stayed in deferral for far too long.  Now, I’m forty-six and still paying off a student loan where the balance is actually greater than the original principle from twenty years ago.

Thankfully, and to my great surprise, I got a notification from my lender this week.  Apparently they had made a serious error on their end some years ago.  Although I have been faithfully paying for well over fifteen years, they had not been billing me properly or in accordance with our loan agreement.  As a result of their error, they credited my student loan balance to the tune of about $6,600 and adjusted my payment terms.

As a result of their error and subsequent adjustment in my payment terms, I should be shed of this burden in about five years.  At that point, Master will have given Dobby a suit of clothes and he will be a free elf.  Dobby will finally be freeeee!

Seriously, modern student loans feel so much like indentured servitude and all it takes is the mistake of taking out a consolidation load to remove most of your rights and stick you with a ridiculous interest rate.  This is such a huge blessing.

Via con Dios, 12 Bones!

I was about to kill this whole website.  Frankly, I’ve just not had the energy or the time to do much of this sort of thing since my dad died.  Between raising kids, taking care of my mom, and working full-time, there just isn’t a lot of breathing room.  However, I feel like I need a little outlet for my writing or my skills will all start to atrophy.  What issue, you may ask, is pressing enough to make me start writing again?  Barbecue in Asheville.

I have had a long-standing gastronomic relationship with 12 Bones, here in Asheville.  Our relationship began long before it was cool to eat there and years before President Obama made it chic.  I loved the food and it was close to work.  Never mind that they weren’t open for dinner.  Ignore that they didn’t have enough seating.  Their food was excellent and the waiting line and atmosphere were well in line with what one can expect from a good barbecue restaurant.

Over the past several years, our relationship has begun to suffer.

First, Jake, their best customer service providing cashier moved away from Asheville.  Jake was awesome.  He had good tattoos and a great disposition.  His not being there makes me sad.

Second, their corn pudding recipe changed when a member of the kitchen staff left.  If you think that it has always been the same, you are wrong…it used to be better…much better.

Third, the original owners (who used to really get in there and work their business) sold out and went to start a BMW motorcycle business.  My dad sold his auto parts business in Asheville to another guy once, now there is no AAA Auto Parts of Asheville anymore.  Correlation?  Probably not, but it makes my point that the original owners of successful businesses are best.  Maybe that’s hyperbolic or an overstatement, but that is my opinion.

Finally, and most importantly, there is the most vile and pervasive problem that has risen in my relationship with 12 Bones: All of the stinkin’ tourists.  The rudeness and sheer number of these people is not to be believed.  They line up like cattle, happy to be in line for as long as it takes because they are on vacation and this is a destination for them.  Me?  I just want some barbecue for lunch; lovely, familiar, and well-smoked pork, chicken, or beef.  Did I mention that I work for a living and that I only have about an hour for lunch?

I went there a couple of weeks ago with my friend who moved up here from Atlanta and I thought Genene was going to kill at least three tourists…maybe four.  Apparently, tourists can’t read the sign on the door that says to keep it closed because of the air conditioning.  As an aside, they have the same problem at White Duck Taco, so that apparently is a wide-spread issue.  However, I digress.  I should get back to my main point.

I have finally realized that it is time to end my relationship with 12 Bones.  It is not that any one big, huge issue is driving a wedge between us.  The simple fact is that we just have a lot of little problems that are adding up to a breakup conversation.

12 Bones, it’s not me…it’s you.  I would like to be able to stop in and get lunch, but you need your resources to better serve the tourists.  Me?  Oh, I’ll be fine.

I’ve found another barbecue place.  It’s on Patton Avenue, the blue-collar part and it is also less than five minutes from my house and work.  It’s even open for dinner and they even had the good sense to hire my buddy, Wes, so that their bar side would have someone with some actual music and bar experience.  I dropped-in for lunch today and had a wonderful chicken sandwich, with wonderful house-made sauces and sides.  All this came with air-conditioning…and not one single tourist.

For All My Friends In Louisiana

reload-1I’m going to keep this short because I’m preparing for a trip to do disaster relief in Louisiana.  Simply put; the folks in Livingston Parish need a lot of help.  They had massive flooding and the vast majority of their homes are unlivable.  Unfortunately, the media continues to follow the motto of “if it bleeds, it leads” and so with the election and the massive social chaos of the summer, the media has largely ignored the need of these folks.

Caleb Johnson and I have known each other for well over a decade.  He’s a great guy and was trying to go on this trip with me to help those folks rebuild.  Unfortunately, he has some obligations which are preventing him from going but he does want to help.  So here is the deal:  Have you ever wanted to hang out with Caleb and the people that he really hangs out with and perhaps have dinner?  Well, now is your chance because whoever donates the most (whether it be the items listed or money) to our relief effort by noon on Friday will get to go eat dinner and hang out with me, Caleb, and most likely another of our friends at one of our favorite restaurants, Asheville Pizza.  You just have to donate the most and then find your way to lovely Asheville on your own dime (if you don’t already live here) and we’ll take you out to dinner, treat you like an actual person, eat lots of pizza and make all of your friends and associates jealous.  Anyone can get a selfy or an autograph.  How many people get to hang our and have dinner with a cool rockstar?

So, get cracking on this.  Here’s the info on how you can donate to the church that is sponsoring the trip.  Here’s the link to donate. All of the proceeds and items will go to Louisiana for flood victims.  Lake Hills has been real cool about sponsoring the trip and this is their website.  You can also contact me at greenestuart@gmail.com if you have any questions.  Thanks for all of your support.  Just be sure to put a note about referencing Caleb on your donations.