Warning! This post will be a little "heavier" than my usual, but the feeling of irony was so strong tonight that I just have to share this story.
The Rockettes' Christmas Special was on PBS tonight. I guess they've been doing pretty much this same program for 77 years, but somehow I've never seen it before. Pretty impressive! Before I get to the ironic part, let me just say that the "March of the Wooden Soldiers" was even more interesting to me than their dances. It is precision marching. We used to do that for a week of each year in gym class when I was in high school. Most everyone hated it, but I liked it a lot, especially when I got the chances to call the steps. Anyway, that was fun to watch.
Whenever I see the Rockettes, I am always reminded of things from high school because there was a girl from my school who became one of the famous dancers. Now, this might not sound so remarkable, but I grew up in a very small farm town, where people just didn't escape and become famous. Shirley did. She was a senior when I was a freshman.
I also need to explain that I also grew up in a very conservative, strict church. Even though the girl who went to dance in New York City didn't go to our church, that sure didn't stop people from expressing their opinions. I suppose I should clarify here, that I am a Christian, probably even a conservative one. But the bent for criticism of others mixed with small-town gossip, that I was raised with, just makes me want to disown the whole bunch.
OK, back to Shirley. Of course, she was totally condemned by the people I spent most of my time with. She was going to enter a profession where she worked on STAGE (practically a synonym of HELL), wearing skimpy costumes, and kicking her legs high! Oh my! Now, I never really bought into that analysis. In fact, my undergraduate degree is in Speech & Drama. So, my point is that in the 1960s groups like the Rockettes were considered the epitome of everything non-Christian.
So, here we are almost 50 years later. It is now politically incorrect to refer to anything Christian at Christmas... the source of the Christmas Story, after all. Everything is "Holiday Season." I have no problem with "Season's Greetings." But I plan to have a "Merry Christmas."
And look what highly acclaimed performing group is still doing an annual tribute to the source of the Christmas story? That group, so condemned by my church, the Rockettes.