Consumer tastes have changed. The once-lucrative (and unfortunately tax-free) business of peddling anti-gay hysteria from the pulpit suddenly doesn’t fill those collection plates the way it used to. So it’s been replaced with anti-vaccine hysteria. Same rancid milk, different witch’s tit. There are probably other issues at play here* which I shan’t elaborate on, but that’s the crux of it.
* Remember those preppy guys you used to know from high school who “ruled” the school? You know, the ones who had this whole attitude that they didn’t have to work hard or put any kind of effort into life because they figured they could just coast by on their looks, charm and connections? Um, yeah.
A picture I took a while back with an old-timey digital camera, of a street tribute to one of the great philosophers of the late twentieth century. Who just happened to play a mean guitar and would compose some of the most mind-blowingly complex music ever committed to vinyl.
The man’s been dead for almost three full decades, yet these words still resonate today. Perhaps even more so than they did when he first said them. I see their toxic fruits strewn everywhere (like piles of antivaxxer horseshit and that ridiculous QAnonsense), and realize everything Zappa ever said about the so-called Religious Right (or as I like to call them, Vanilla ISIS) has been spot on. Their sermons and rallies just look like this to me…
I think this Jehovah guy is nothing more than a cartoon supervillain from a poorly-written Bronze Age comic book who deserves about as much credit for creating the human race as Porky Pig deserves for inventing penicillin. My apologies to the fandom, but that’s just what I think. Such a trifle of an entity is most certainly no excuse to vilify an entire segment of the population. Especially when the whole motive for encouraging homophobia is the basest and shallowest one of all — the cha-ching*. Somebody along the way (who was probably a GOP fundraiser, although I don’t know that for sure) figured out that people put more money in the collection plates when they’re fearful and angry than they do when they’re at peace.**
* Little old ladies’ bank accounts aren’t as easy to suck dry in a Zoom meeting. Hence the repeated insistence upon in-person church services in the middle of a global pandemic.
** Frank Zappa was absolutely spot on. Tax the fuck out of ’em.
I fully get that any successful† media franchise is bound to have its fair share of colourful fans. That’s just the way things roll. But there’s such a thing as overdoing it with the colourful fandom, methinks. Every Stanley Cup riot of my lifetime has invariably resulted in a busy night for the Vancouver†† Police Department. That ought to tell you something.
† Let the record show that “successful” is not necessarily synonymous with “good”. Plenty of gawd-awful things have become successful. The average person could probably name five such things off the top of their head.
††The Vancouver Canucks organization contributes millions every year to British Columbia’s provincial coffers. It’s a no-brainer that promoting any kind of bigotry would have a negative effect on their business rather than a positive one. I’m also pretty sure they don’t have any secret graveyards hidden away somewhere, unless you count the one where they bury all their dead dreams of Stanley Cup glory. Despite the boorish behaviour of some of their fans and as much as they profoundly suck ass as a team, they’re still more respectable than any church.