Killer and Candy

Killer and Candy (why, yes, I did give them aliases) are former Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW for short) who walked away from that cruel, isolating, and world-hating religion not too long thence. Now that they’re out, they need a little help becoming properly corrupted, although, in the JW view, they already committed a sin greater than murder and pedophilia combined simply by having the integrity to renounce that which they couldn’t in good conscience accept. Killer got his master’s when he was twenty, and will no doubt go down in JW history as yet another good boy who was lost to Satan by an education. Candy followed Killer into atheism just as Peggy followed me into all kinds of eccentric views and behaviors, yet being disowned by her family doesn’t appear to have tempted her to return to the fold.

The two of them are around thirty, which is half my age, yet their JW upbringing has left them as ignorant of decades of pop culture as I am. Still, as I said, I’m doing what I can, and they’re doing what they can, so we’re all doing what we can together; but you must not hold us to too high a standard since I’m so old that I should be dead, and they grew up thinking that a birthday party for a three year old was the work of Satan. Killer did get drunk once, but barfing while clutching a spinning toilet didn’t appeal to him. At least, he can still add it to his resume, which was kind of the point, I think. As for Candy, she emptied a bottle of wine all by herself in this very house (she purported herself admirably, I must say), so I, for one, feel that things are going as well as can be expected. After all, there is the risk of going too far too fast in which case they might be found glued, screwed, and tattooed, while shooting-up heroin in the driveway of the Kingdom Hall just as everyone is arriving for services.

I got Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan for them today, and I would have also gotten Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic if I hadn’t been in a hurry. As you can see, I’m doing everything I can here to help these poor people become as lowdown and evil as my Lord Satan has made me, and I’m hoping you can help. What I want you to do is to tell me what you love about what might be called pop culture over your lifetime—or a little before. What books are unforgettable; what music is worth playing hundreds of times; and what movies stand out as the very best? Give me your genius here. Give me things that are so good that you can scarcely bear them. This isn’t to be a list of what you think you should think is cool, but of things that you love way down deep. Here are a few of my own.

Roger McGuinn Ballad of Easy Rider
John Denver Sunshine on My Shoulders
Debbie Reynolds Tammy

Inspirational People:
Tom Smothers
Medgar Evers
Malcolm X

Easy Rider
The Sterile Cuckoo

The Tammy series

Edward Abbey: Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness. Also, The Brave Cowboy
Loren Eiseley: All The Strange Hours: The Excavation of a Life. Also, The Night Country: Reflections of a Bone-Hunting Man
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: The Little Prince

Berkeley Breathed: anything with Bill the Cat
Gilbert Shelton: The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers
Gary Larson: The Far Side

Sacha Baron Cohen
John Cleese
Rowan Atkinson

Well, I see that most of my suggestions are older than Killer and Candy themselves, so maybe I’m not the best person to acquaint them with modern culture. Oh, well. I would like to end this post with a witticism, but what is in my heart to say is that I'm trying to believe that we all do the best we can, and that would include the Jehovah's Witnesses who have treated my two friends so abominably.


ellen abbott said...

Such is the way of cults, to demonize those who are no longer blinded.

good luck with their education.

Rubye Jack said...

Gene Autry - Tumbling Tummleweeds
Woody Guthrie - This is Your Land
The Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin

Alice's Restaurant
Bagdad Cafe
Annie Hall

Inspirational People
John Lennon
Harvey Milk
Doris Lessing

Annie Dillard - Tinker Creek
Loren Eiseley - The Immense Journey
Carlos Castaneda - The Teachings of Don Juan

Magazine - 1970s
Mother Earth News

Since I'm a 70's product, I don't know if this will help Killer and Candy much, but it is definitely a time worth knowing. I think? :)

Snowbrush said...

You made a really good point, Ellen.

Linda, Casteneda?! I'm mildly surprised since, as far as I could tell, every book he wrote was (a) about enlightenment through peyote and other drugs (which I didn't know you were into), and (b) was so mythic in tone that I never could tell how much was reality-based and how much was imaginative. All that said, they were interesting books that impressed the hell out of a lot of people. I owned the entire set at one time. Thanks for reminding me of them.

Linda said: "Since I'm a 70's product, I don't know if this will help Killer and Candy much, but it is definitely a time worth knowing."

Agreed. This was why I made little effort to date my list to a given timeframe.

Rubye Jack said...

Yelp, Casteneda. Considering the times, he was pretty awesome. Don't all of us from the 60s-70s have a past?

kylie said...

i was born in 71 so my biggest pop culture references are from i guess the mid 80s to mid 90's.

the things i think everyone should know about, not neccessarily that i love them are:
when harry met sally
michael buble
brokeback mountain

reality tv as an entire genre

just tell em to do lots and lots of things! watch dvds, go to museums and concerts and theatre and read newspapers until they know themselves

the other thing is: dont throw the baby out with the bath water

Bubba said...

Great post, Snow, as usual. I have a friend whose family are JW's. And, of course, since she denounced their beliefs, she no longer exists to them. Sad.

I'll be back later with some recommendations after I've had a chance to think about some.

Strayer said...

Simon and Garfunk: The Boxer!!! Oh, and Mrs. Robinson.

Stones: Can't Always Get What you Want

Jack London: White Fang
William Faulkner: While I Lay Dying (It's hysterical)
Sand County Almanac (drunk so I can't recall who wrote it, it will come to me)

Movies: Ikiru (it's so good)
Ghost and the Darkness
Rabbit Proof Fence
The UnForgiven
Cowboys and Aliens
Children of Huang Shu
My memory is brain dead right now

So you're polluting the poor ex religious people now, Snow, are you? What is it, like a five step program or something.

River said...

Book and Movie: to Kill A Mockingbird.
Music? make them a compilation featuring a selection of styles and eras, don't forget to include some country songs.


You know I'm from the 60's but not a product of the 60's since I didn't drink, smoke pot, or do "love ins".

What I love are things that affect me in some way. Going to the opera would affect me with violent laughter accompanied by jumping over chairs in my attempt to get the hell out of there, so that is not what I'm referring to when I say "affect me".

Things that remind me of another time and another place.

This is where you are going to have a problem. JWs, while professing avoidance of all things enjoyable, actually have no time in their past where anything could possibly remind them of happier times.

I know of no songs without music or books without words.

So sad they are just now experiencing their "senses".

SEA OF LOVE is such a tranquil song.

Being a Willie Nelson type of guitar player myself,and interested in artistic endeavors, I think that introducing them to all the things THEY could create themselves would be a solid move.

and I'm not talking about creating a drunken love fest...sorry snow. lol

Marion said...

Neil Young - My, My, Hey, Hey
Stevie Nicks - Rhiannon/Sara
Lady Gaga - Bad Romance

Easy Rider
Every Clint Eastwood movie
Every Quentin Tarantino movie

Inspirational People:
My 2 daughters
My black cat, Gir
Mary Magdalene & Jesus & Buddha Lao Tzu

Bruno Schulz - The Street of Crocodiles
Margaret Mitchell - Gone With the Wind
James Salter - Light Years
The Tao - The Bible

Edna St. Vincent Millay
Thomas Stearns Eliot
Anne Carson
Gjertrud Schnackenberg's poem, Sublimaze

Graphic Novelists:
Neil Gaiman - The Sandman series
Alan Oswald Moore - Watchmen series

Vanity Fair
The Sun

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...


Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird
Judy Blume's Forever

Music: George Michael's Faith album
Savage Garden / Savage Garden
Lynryd Skynryd / Lynryd Skynryd
Elvis - complete catalog including the gospel songs
U2 - Best of 1980 - 1990
The Bacon Brothers - Forosoco
Don Henley - The End of the Innocence
Pink - Missundaztood
Elton John - Greatest hits 1976 - 1986 or Two Rooms

The Fischer King
Dead Again
The Commitments
Kill Bill (Vol 1)
The Killer (Chinese version)
The Wizard of Oz
Pulp Fiction
Con Air
It's a Wonderful Life

Bonanza (Hoss and the Leprechauns is a must!)
Gilligan's Island
I Love Lucy
Law & Order (the early years)
Andy Griffith Show
Charlies Angels
Rescue Me

rhymeswithplague said...

Please tell Mr. Strayer that William Faulkner did not write While I Lay Dying. William Faulkner wrote As I Lay Dying.

I'm just saying'...

A Plain Observer said...

movies? not a one.

Kerry said...

Neil Gaiman's novel: American Gods, but that might be a bit much, maybe first just read a Harry Potter book, which was likely banned.

Movies: Documentary; Sons of Perdition. This was directed by a local. It's about the sons of an LDS polygamist's cult.

Music: Tom Waites?

You've asked a big question; now I'll have to think some more.

Stafford Ray said...

Ref JW's and their ilk.
I guess you have read this before, but why should you be spared!
"Good people do good things. Bad people do bad things. But for good people to do bad things, they need religion!"
Stay painless, my friend.

julie said...

I love, love, love, music, books, movies and my taste is all over the curious to limit

Psy Trance - for the fun of it..all on youtube
Cosmosis - Shankadelic
Cosmosis - Weird, sick and Twisted
Astrix & Coolio - live remix (…the bald guy makes me laugh, he does so little but seems to be worshiped and loving it )

Pink Floyd - Pulse you tube…the light show
Bob Dylan - Nashville Skyline
Anything john Mayer
Ditto Adele
Kristen Chenoweth - For Good
Sara Mac Lachlan - I love you

Books and Movies

East of Eden - john Steinbeck
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
Anything Rumi
Anything Paulo Coelho
Anything Alice Hoffman

The English Patient
Avatar IMAX
The Conversation
The House of Games
Across the Universe
The Color Purple

on link and fstv
The Thom Hartmann Show
Democracy Now

and for this dance lover...So You Think You Can Dance on Fox

Seems your new friends are embarking on an amazing journey...come to think of it so are you...enjoy

Robert the Skeptic said...

Damn all of the above are remarkable selections, not much I could add to that!

But careful with the drugs and alcohol... those sorts of experiences often drive people back into the arms of their beloved and caring deity... even the ones who weren't religious to begin with!

Teresa Evangeline said...

The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers! I have three comics on my shelf right now, all reprints, but I have a friend with most, if not all, of the originals. Love Freddy's cat.

Gary Larson, too.

Now I have to become a follower.

P.S. Edward Abby and Malcolm X are just bonuses.

nollyposh said...

Some good Aussy movies:

Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert*
Don's Party (Rem. it was made in the 70's)
Mad Max*
Man From Snowy River
Mary and Max*
Harvey Crumpet*
Monkey Grip
Muriel's Wedding*
My Brilliant career
Ned Kelly
The Odd Angry Shot
Storm Boy
Dead Calm
Strictly Ballroom
Ten Canoes
Rabbit-Proof Fence
The Dish*
Breaker Morant
Looking For Alibrandi
The Piano*
The Castle*
Crocodile Dundee (1st one)

(i *star-ed* the ones i particularly liked)

nollyposh said...

Oh and "Beneath Hill 60" *

Snowbrush said...

Nollyposh, thanks for much for the list.