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She comes home from church, she takes off her pants

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By special request — an essay ranting about Christian Rock!

I first encountered Christian Rock when I was 12 years old, right in the middle of a very chaotic thirteenth year. (Yes, I just now realized that the year you are twelve is your thirteenth year. Oooooooooo! Superstitiousness!)

My thirteenth year went kinda like this: junior high; menstruation; zits; hair turning into some kind of extruded strawlike substance about which nothing could be done and which my fellow seventh graders seemed to find the most hilarious and mockable thing they had ever seen; moving a thousand miles away; a different junior high; living with friends of the family and being subjected to an inconsistent patchwork of rules and expectations from two sets of parents right when my adolescent brain was starting to chafe under the notion of adult authority of any kind; a third junior high; my mother’s father diagnosed with lung cancer.

All that, and I was twelve. So, you know, I didn’t really know how to deal with any of it.

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Stairway to Heaven: a literary analysis

I first listened closely to this staple of classic rock radio when, as a teenager, I was informed that it had BACKWARD MASKING EVIL MESSAGES TALKING ABOUT SATAN. (Listen here!) I was pretty sure it wasn’t about Satan, but I thought it might be about Lord of the Rings (“all that glitters is gold”, “There’s a feeling I get when I look to the west”) and maybe English folklore and mythology (references to the piper and the May queen). But yesterday, when Paul and I listened to it in the car, because we are cheesy old farts who like classic…

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