While we wait nervously for the election call, ask yourself this: Does Dave Cournoyer, author of the Daveberta.ca blog, have a secret evangelical agenda?
I know readers of Alberta Diary will be as shocked as I was to see the advertising flyer illustrated above, which was produced by Shine FM, a local radio station that specializes in a sub-genre of music known as Christian rock.
Now, I have to tell you as someone raised in just the sort of circles that nowadays encourage their children to listen to this type of music (that is, if they aren’t too worried it’s a case of the Devil being really tricky), I’ve always felt the concept of a Christian rock concert is, right on its bearded face, oxymoronic.
What’s more, Christian rock ought not to be confused with rock music that happens to be produced by a Christian or Christians. It is, as John Jeremiah Sullivan pointed out in an entertaining essay called Upon This Rock, the only musical genre “that has excellence-proofed itself.”
His explanation: “Christian rock is a genre that exists to edify and make money off evangelical Christians. It’s message music for listeners who know the message cold and, what’s more, operates under a perceived responsibility – one the artists embrace – to ‘reach people.’”
As a result: “Every successful crappy secular group has its Christian off brand, and that’s proper, because culturally speaking, it’s supposed to serve as a stand-in for, not an alternative to or an improvement on, those very groups.” Ergo: Christian rock can never be truly creative or edgy.
But never mind that, surely that can’t be Daveberta.ca author Dave Cournoyer pictured on the Shine FM advertising handout?
What’s more, Shine advises Alberta politicians – presumably mostly pretty conservative ones – that it offers a way to reach voters, like the guy illustrated there, “who will vote for you.”
So does that mean Daveberta has secret conservative leanings?
Because you can take it from me on very good authority, and this may be Alberta Diary’s biggest scoop of the year, that this is in fact Mr. Cournoyer.
An even more startling thought, as noted above, springs to mind: does this mean Daveberta has a secret evangelical agenda?
And if so, how the heck can an agenda be a secret and evangelical at the same time?
All I can say is, I hope profoundly that I have this wrong!