This Is My Shocked And Appalled Face…

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NecRoSarX Chronicles Header
Hey, everyone! Stryper is set to release a new album this April! Here’s the album title and artwork!

stryper - god damn evil

It’s the follow-up to 2015’s excellent Fallen, and is the first to feature their new bass player, former Firehouse member Perry Richardson (that hair, man).

Yeah…nobody cares about that part. What seems to have everyone talking is that title they went with. Lots and lots of people within the various Christian rock and metal pages on Facebook are up in arms, loosing their minds over this album title. They’ve gone too far! seems to be the rallying cry.

Seriously, you are all acting like Stryper’s never courted controversy before.

Now, let’s just say, for sake of argument, all of these people flipping out over the album title (that’s some rather awesome artwork, I want to point out) have just came into being Stryper fans in the last decade or so, and aren’t familiar with their work from the first decade of Stryper’s existence. You know, pulling the ol’ “It was from before I was born” excuse. So, let’s review, shall we? History lesson time, kiddos…

Let’s start with their very first release, The Yellow And Black Attack

yellow and black attack 86

No no no, not that one. That’s the 1986 re-released version Enigma put out after realizing Stryper could make them money. No, I’m talking about the original 1984 release…

yellow and black attack

You see that? A mysterious, glowing blue hand guiding a bunch of ballistic missiles toward a shiny blue, yellow and black Earth. Presumably, that’s the hand of God, pointing thataway, with the warheads bearing the band members’ initials. As controversy goes, this isn’t really that big, but I’m sure it raised its share of eyebrows once it hit the record shops.

But, that’s merely peanuts compared to the big controversy surrounding this album…

to hell with the devil 2

That’s actually the censored version of the album, as the original artwork caused conservative Christians everywhere to loose their collective heads and demand the cover be changed to a black finish with just the band logo and title. Do you know what that original artwork was? Brace yourself, for the offensive original cover art was this…

to hell with the devil

Yep. Four ripped and swole angels, presumably modeled after the band members, tossing the Devil into the abyss of Hell. Yeah, I don’t get what the problem was, either. And frankly, even as I wasn’t a Christian when this came out, I was a bit more dubious about an alleged Christian band using that kind of album title to begin with.

But, then again, nothing could prepare anyone for what was to come a few years later…

against the law

Hoo, boy, was this the one that kicked the proverbial hornet nest. Where to begin? Well, there’s the title, Against The Law, which made everyone assume they were in rebellion now; then there was the modified band logo, which did away with the Bible reference, that seemed to reinforce the assumption that the band was now GOING SECULAR and TURNING AWAY FROM THE FAITH! As if that wasn’t enough, the band photos showed them wearing more black and — *gasp* — growing facial hair and toning down the big hair! They were just one step away from joining the Church of Satan by now.

In the end, these were all merely knee-jerk reactions to superficial surface-level judgments. Personally, my only question to Stryper about their new release is this:

Will it come with a vinyl edition?

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Remembering the Great Junk Food Wars of 2012…

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Remembering the Great Junk Food Wars of 2012...It’s been a few years now, I believe, since this amusing set of circumstances started. I can’t recall whether it was the Oreo cookie that fired the first shot, or the Chick-Fil-A chain of fast food chicken sammiches, but the Great Cold War of the Early 21st Century is still going pretty…strong? Is that the correct word to use? Maybe it’s my lack of actually caring either way, but I don’t know if people are still being polarized about whatever stigma they assign to what. And up to now, I’ve been successful in maintaining my distance, my neutrality if you will, and take all these goings on in with the same and equal amount of critical satire this whole farce is leading up to.

And quite frankly, I don’t feel the need to weigh in. To take sides as explicitly as everyone seems to think we all should. I’m usually weary of anything that the media decides is what they’re going to saturate all of us with, and this whole thing is no different.

You might be saying to yourself there, “Hey, aren’t you a Christian, Uncle NecRo? Shouldn’t you be siding with the Chick-Fil-A crowd?” And if you’re saying that out loud, chances are you look rather ridiculous, so please stop. Yes, I am a Christian. Gave my life to Christ Jesus in 1989, came out of the closet as a Christian in 1992 (to borrow a phrase from the gay community, there…you can have our rainbows, if we can at least use some of your stuff, okay?), and have been unashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ ever since. I’m not perfect by any means, but that’s another blog post for another day. Just wanted to make sure we’re very very clear on this point before I continue on with the ramblings.

Also…must resist urge to quote from Animaniacs…harder than it looks…

Quite frankly, I don’t care. I don’t care if you’re boycotting Chick-Fil-A, and giving all of your time and money to either KFC, Popeye’s, or whatever else chicken chain is out there. Is El Pollo Loco still a thing? Anyway, I also don’t care if you’ve sworn off of Oreo cookies, opting instead to waste your money on those nasty Oreo knock-off brands that aren’t even close to being an Oreo, but apparently are good enough to feed your children in every Vacation Bible School in America, along with copious amounts of watered-down “orange drink”. And I’m sure I just triggered a bunch of childhood acid flashbacks there. You’re welcome.

This isn’t my first rodeo, peeps. I recall waaaaaaay back to my childhood, when my church was passing around a petition to keep The Last Temptation Of Christ from being played at the Fremont cinemas. That’s Fremont, Nebraska to those of you who’ve never stepped foot outside of California, there (I hear it’s nice). And yes, I admit I got caught up in that whole “Boycott Disney” thing in the 1990s. Par for the course. Time and temperament has given me more of a stay back and watch how this all plays out mentality about these things. And why is that?

Because I really have better things to do than give in to guilt and manipulation into causes that I really don’t think are that effective to begin with. Look at the image I decided to use up there. You can clicky-click on it to make it larger and read. See that? I think it’s way too easy for us American Christians, and Americans in general, to be caught up in caught up in causes that, while noble in origin, the execution of which leaves something to be desired. That’s why we have idiotic things like “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day” (you can thank Mike Huckabee for that; fortunately, I didn’t get the memo), and the much more amusing-sounding “Suck Face With The Same Gender In Front Of A Chick-Fil-A Day” (I totally made the name up, but it actually was a thing, I swear).

I’ve decided a long while back that trying to be a good influence and positive male role model for my nephews was far more important. I find myself concerned more for serving others, which grows year by year, as imperfect a servant I am. I’m far more concerned with my own sinful wretch of a self, which is the result of the Holy Spirit growing closer, and clinging to the Grace that GOD gave us all through Christ Jesus. I am definitely far more concerned about letting my friends, associates and family members (and enemies, though I have no idea who they are) who are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender and whatever else I’m forgetting on account of the caffeine finally beginning to wear off, know that, not only is it possible for us to disagree entirely with each other concerning this and still respect and love each other, but even if you curse me, seek to destroy me, beat me down and never ever give your own life to Christ Jesus yourself, I will still serve you unconditionally, because the Holy Spirit within me compels me to do so. I have no choice in the matter. Believe me, I’ve tried to find ways out of it.

So, believe me when I say, I probably will never eat at a Chick-Fil-A again any time soon. Not because of some shallow political posturing, but because KFC is way more METAL than any chicken shop out there.

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