6:20 PM, Sunday, April 5th, 2015:
What a chapter...
This took up far more headspace than I let-on in the video, basically because I didn't want the video to be 20 minutes long. So that's what the entries are for...
I have a personal, profound and overwhelming issue with "Mega-Churches". Joel Olsteen and the like are absolutely con-artists to me. I don't doubt they started out with integrity but somewhere the money level just got too high and they actually think it's reasonable to live like kings because they're doing "God's work". They're not simply reaching a bigger audience, they're buying private jets.
So when I googled the location of this church after I booked it, seeing an ARENA actually made my jaw drop. They have 10,000+ parishoners. They're paying a, well, pun intended - ungodly amount for the Delorean andit felt wrong to me. It sat with me for awhile. Back and forth. I could afford to let this go... but I probably wouldn't because it's my biggest gig and they haven't really done anything wrong except spend a lot of money....
...and then the Indiana Pizzeria said they would refuse to cater a gay wedding (good luck finding a gay wedding that wants a pizza place to cater it) and although I believe that was a publicity stunt it kinda hit me in the head: if I find it repulsive that they will refuse service to people their religion tells them are "sinners" - would I be any different because of how I feel about these churches? My issue with the money is certainly indirect. Tithing is something you choose to do and the only pain it causes is of your own doing. I hate that they're funding WASTE when there's just so many other things that money could go to (and don't even get me started on the tax-exempt status) but really? They're not hurting anyone. I didn't see anyone with flashy cars and although the complex was MASSIVE (there's also a school on the grounds) it didn't seem particularly wasteful. Their camera equipment was ridiculously expensive considering their skill levels (sorry guys) but the truth is? They're a successful church, they have the money and they probably have a certain budget for their Easter Services and Christmas Services and they put on one helluva show. Three 90-minute performances, full band, tap dancer, guy painting incredible pictures live on-stage - a DELOREAN TIME MACHINE dropping off 2 of their youth ministers... did I wince when they said the bible was the most historically accurate book ever written? Of course. But there was no hate, no exclusionary stuff... and can I say this? New paragraph for this:
They were the nicest, most gracious people I've ever met. Only time I've ever been booked in a hotel where they INCLUDED incidentals (I only had 2 meals and internet - couldn't bring myself to buy a bunch of porn just for the laughs in my head later), gave me a healthy per diem for food outside of the hotel and during the rehearsals, etc. and HANDED ME THE KEYS to one of their church's SUVs to use. Plus 3 full day-rates. I mean, not to be blasphemous (alright, totally to be blasphemous), but godDDDDDDAAAAAAAAAAAAMN. They were remarkable. They didn't try to convert me, the kids I worked with on the video were hilarious... I just cannot say enough nice things about everyone involved. Yes I think the money could be better spent helping the community... but their over-the-top services bring more people and they do actually help their community. Kinda like how I use the Delorean Time Machine to raise money for charities on GolfKon. It seems extravagant, but in the end? It contributes to the ability to be able to raise that money in ways that wouldn't be possible without it.
And also? I've never done an event where I thought: "Yeah, I would've spent this much on this rental if I didn't own the car..." Because in the end? I'm not really that fan. Maybe the drop-offs for $199.95 plus miles if I had a premiere to go to... I mean, I was willing to give Paul Nigh $300 for gas money for the Memorial Event (before I knew my car would actually be complete) but it would've simply come out of the donations... I'm just not sure I could justify renting a car for my birthday party for $500. But real fans? It's the best day of their lives. They're beside themselves. And you know what? I've never had disposable income. Ever. Isn't that crazy? Like, 95% of what I buy is to create more content. Not exactly disposable when you're buying a camera or a computer... it's my life line. There's never been a "aw fuck it! Let's go to a really expensive restaurant and spend $300" in me. I don't enjoy it. Money means free-time to me. The more I save, the more time I can spend with my family. That is how I look at it. So disposable income feels like throwing away time to me. My brain just can't compute it.
But not everyone is like that, and I respect that. And I'm not going to refuse a rental based on my idea about how life should be. As long as you're not doing anything illegal, you can rent from me.
Kind of an eye-opening weekend,