Human After All


It’s time for Friday Fictioneers, and our hostess Rochelle has given us a retread prompt from the days before I played along. If you are new to this concept, you can learn more here and play along here.

The photo prompt this week came from Madison Woods, and my 100-word story follows.

Copyright Madison Woods

Copyright Madison Woods

Human After All

The soundtrack of my youth included heavy metal ballads, songs that took heaven and my heart by storm. The first time I saw musicians performing on stage, those larger-than-life performers grew into role models. “When I grow up I want to . . .”

By some stroke of luck, I didn’t recognize celebrities the first time I met them or that famous producer’s name during our online encounters.

The moon raged, but no stars clouded my vision. By the time I achieved name recognition, the famous had become friends, colleagues, nemeses, alter egos. We learned together how heroes fall.

Author’s Note: After spending high school and college listening and performing to contemporary Christian music, I found myself in the company of several notable celebrities without intention. Although this story isn’t autobiographical, it deals with some of the issues common among religious performers. It turns out you can’t keep up a charade forever. It turns out that we are all human. That doesn’t make the art we humans produce less meaningful, but it can cause a huge wad of problems for anyone who puts another human on a pedestal.

Anyway, here are a couple of YouTube links for any of you who might enjoy some of the music I loved back in the day:

First, “The Raging of the Moon,” with lyrics inspired by the fall of Communism. Remember when we thought the fall of the Berlin Wall was the end of all our problems?

Next, “Hero” by Steve Taylor, with lyrics that say what I meant to say, maybe better than I did.

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27 thoughts on “Human After All

  1. Illsa Gorrey says:

    I’ve met a few musicians. Most of them were very nice people. I enjoy all sorts of music, so your piece struck a chord with me. Seriously, it was an enjoyable read. I will now duck the flying objects coming my way after my dreadful pun.

    • storydivamg says:

      I love a good pun, and if I threw objects of any sort at those who use them, I wouldn’t have time to do much more than throw things at our dear hostess, Rochelle. In other words, you’re hanging with the right crowd.

      I’m glad my story resonated with you. 😉

  2. An interesting POV, one i hadn’t thought of before.

  3. My favourite quote about the Christian subculture came from a Christian band named Breakfast With Amy — they said there was nothing more evil than the Christian subculture. I tend to agree. People are people and art is art, no matter who the artist prays to or doesn’t.

    • storydivamg says:

      Personally, I try not to begin any statement with “There is nothing more evil than . . . ” because I am thoroughly convinced a super villian will take that as a challenge. And also–hyperbole. However, there is a lot of evil in Christian subculture. A LOT. People are people. We get into trouble anytime we begin to consider ourselves above the madding crowd.

  4. A wonderful last line.

    • storydivamg says:

      Thanks, Alicia. I feel I am rather in a slump these days with my stories. This one was a struggle for me. But an occasionally line or two sings, and my kind readers take the time to say pleasant things and reassure me not all is lost. I really appreciate it.

  5. Miles Rost says:

    Very timely of a story, especially with the things I am going through.

    You hit a chord. That’s a sign of a good story. Well done!

    • storydivamg says:

      Dear Miles,
      While happy that you enjoyed my story, I am truly sorry that this “hit you where you live” (to quote another 1980s CCM song). I’ll be praying for you, brother. While I miss the glory days sometimes, I don’t miss the travail at all.

      Peace (and chicken grease),
      MG

  6. micklively says:

    Christian drivers, Christian businessmen and women, Christian parents, Christian sportspeople, Christian gardeners: are they really distinguishable from their non-Christian counterparts, and if not, what’s the point?

    • storydivamg says:

      My thoughts exactly, Mick. And in my experience there isn’t much of a difference when you look past the surface. Some of the kindest people I know are atheists.

      • micklively says:

        Folk are strange. I don’t have any problem with Christians whose faith prompts them to do as they would be done by, have respect for non-Christians and nature. But there are so many arseholes who think Christianity gives them carte-blanche to preach, invade other folk’s countries, kill with impunity, and generally treat the world as their fiefdom.

  7. Dear Marie Gail,

    A few years back I had an experience with a singer that was less than Kosher and certainly not ministry. Ask me about it sometime.

    Your story hit the mark. Ministers and singers (and mimes) are human after all and have all fallen short…

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

  8. draliman says:

    Great last line.
    I doubt I’d recognise celebrities “out on the street”.

    • storydivamg says:

      That bit is the part of my story that is autobiographical, Ali. I have regularly failed to recognize celebrities in the flesh, and online it is almost impossible. The cool thing is that I have gotten to know some really awesome famous folks, and the fact that I didn’t get starry-eyed when I learned who they were has helped me build and maintain some pretty incredible friendships. They are all human, after all.

      All my best,
      MG

  9. gahlearner says:

    Good story, and very true with putting people on a pedestal. I never got close to any entertainment people, but my *stars* were always scientists. We all are human, some more so than others. 😉

    • storydivamg says:

      It never pays to put someone up too high–regardless of their credentials.

      As to some being more human than others–I would say we are all equally human, but the truth is that some are far more flawed than others. It’s never pretty when you see one of your idols acting “as ugly as homemade sin.”

      All my best,
      MG

  10. rgayer55 says:

    I’ve met a couple celebrities. To me, it seems a terrible burden to bear. Many aspire to greatness, and when they achieve it find it isn’t so great after all.

    • storydivamg says:

      Greatness is what one makes of it, I believe. I think the most fitting description of celebrity-ness comes from my favorite musician, Paul Kelly: “They say there is no failure like success, and no success like failure too, I guess.”

      While the money that generally accompanies fame might be nice, I’m content to live out my days in relative anonymity.

      Cheers!

      MG

  11. That’s so true about putting people on a pedestal. I think we are all stars in our own right and fame is just an illusion.

  12. Margaret says:

    Fascinating ideas. It is easy, it seems, to get carried away by fame and success. We are, as you say, all just human.

  13. And we are sinners all. Well done.

  14. Fabulous! Just wonderful.:)

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