A Sweet Story
Once upon a time a great group of kids came down to the San Diego Zoo because of winning a contest of ours. They were super-talented and very nice and we enjoyed their company.
Then they handed us a bible and started prodding David and I about our religious beliefs. We kindly refused to answer stating the job was no place to discuss such matters.
And believe me…I really wanted to smack them for being so rude to us…but you get that feeling a lot for various reasons when performing to the public and they fart on your parade…and plus you’re working. You’re showing all sorts of restraint professionally and then someone walks over and lets out a giant fart and cups their hands and waves it into your face. “Yeeeeeeah, y’like that don’tcha?”
So you just smile and take it and nod in agreement. I’m there to entertain you- I’ve been pelted with food, kicked, insulted from Balboa Park to the Zoo…that’s the life of an entertainer.
After a long day of performing and generally being cool to them only to have it end with a misinformed gesture, it really upset us. But we got that it was suppose to be nice. We understood the intent. And we didn’t let them see how greatly they had offended us.
You can be a super-nice person…but pulling out a bible really cramps the style. That’s not like pulling out Catcher in The Rye and saying “This book is awesome. You should give it a read!” You’re forcing your religion on people you don’t even know. What if I already had a religion that wasn’t Christianity? You couldn’t have known- that would have been an even bigger insult perhaps.
Rewinding to our Balboa Park days, there have been plenty of bible-thumpers. And I mean that in the extreme sense. We had your usual Balboa Park megaphone screaming man pointing at us and saying “THERE THEY ARE! THE DEMONS ARE AMONG US! THEY’RE WALKING AWAY NOW STRAIGHT TO HELL!” and we’ve had some nice teenagers come up to us wanting to do an interview…only to onslaught us with religious interrogation. Quoting from the bible and telling us of the proof that we were sinning without God and that we would burn. WHY DO NICE KIDS TURN OUT TO HAVE CREEPY MUSIC START TO PLAY BEHIND THEM AND GROW HORNS WITH CHILDREN OF THE CORN SHIT.
I’m not sure this counts as a religious bias- but take it for what you will. I know not every religious person is a nutbar. Jon Sprague is an awesome dude and he’s very religious. WE NEVER FOUGHT ON IT. He kept it to himself. He even shared his spirituality with me and I was able to learn a lot because he was so passive about it.
The bad experiences do outweigh the good ones…even if not in numbers. Always. It gets under your skin. And It happened multiple times to us as a group- and these are people who didn’t know who we are. Granted…Balboa Park can be crazy- but these were just kids…innocent normal looking kids quoting this fire and brimstone and judging us when all we were doing was trying to entertain.
Look, SPG is a very progressive act. There’s robots. The Cavalcadium backstory (which you haven’t seen yet) even centers around two lesbians. We get into themes like the existence of souls in our songs. There’s alternate dimensions and scientists who created entire worlds.
But religion is never a primary focus. We just put a scientific spin on everything including magic and myth. Its fun. Its sci-fi. But…did the people who make this act take for granted what a robot is? No. We’re fully aware that a lot of people do though, and while its a fun and amusing act, its also trying to make you think differently. From seeing the invisible objects the robots interact with, to getting a shock when they malfunction and break down and you start questioning: where do their personalities begin and where does their programming end?
I don’t think you’re going to see the official SPG anything start spouting cold-cut beliefs. We’ve crossed that line with LBGT rights, but that was a decision made for an issue we feel strongly about. And c’mon…that’s silly. Lets all be gay. It’s 2013.
Religion and politics -are- best left to yourself. But people spout them anyway. And if you’re going to come into the personal tags or threads or what-have-you, we’re not going to sit idly by and take it.
I don’t make an effort to start speaking about my religious beliefs (and you still don’t know what they are) so don’t drag us down that road. It doesn’t even matter.
You are following our personal blogs. If you don’t like our views…don’t follow us. I’m not following you. I don’t have to read your essay. Just like you don’t have to read mine. You can enjoy the act without digging deeper into the a-holes that make it happen. And if you like having a slice of our lives, you can’t pick and choose. There’s gonna be stuff that pisses you off in addition to stuff that you love. But we’re sure as hell tired of walking on eggshells trying not to offend just because we have opinions that may differ from yours.
We like that you enjoy our music. We’re happy to make it for you. But that doesn’t mean we’re going to sit with you and pray to your bottle of buffalo wing sauce or agree that Once Upon A Time is a ground-breaking show.
You have opinions. We have opinions. You don’t just get to say whatever you like and expect us to just smile and nod and respect it. You’ll get that at the shows. You can throw bibles, pelt us with food, and kick our shins to your hearts content„,because that’s our job.
But not on my tumblr.
And to anyone foaming at the mouth wanting to let Steve, Bunny, and David have it and is planning on writing an equally long-winded response to give us a piece of your mind…don’t you have something better to do than frequent a piss-ass celebrity’s sad excuse for a social stream?
So while this is a personal topic and really isn’t anyone’s business, we thought we still needed to let all the fans know so you are all aware…it only seemed right. Enough time has gone by and we thought we’d share it with you now.
Brianna and I are no longer together. To make things easier for the two of us, her and I thought it best for her not to work for Steam Powered Giraffe anymore. You will not be seeing her as a regular Walter Girl anymore. Hopefully that makes sense to all of you and that you respect our choices in those regards.
We’d prefer to keep it at that, so please do not fill our inboxes and such with your condolences, questions, and opinions. Neither of us want to dwell on it and you can imagine how crummy thousands of messages about it would feel to both of us.
It didn’t end bad and we still care about each other, but it’s a sore subject for both of us and we hope you can understand and respect that.
Cooking with David
for those out there who tragically missed the david michael bennett cooks pasta stream that just happened, here is a few gems i recorded.
god, i love this man.