Thursday, April 05, 2007

Where evil lurks

A friend of mine does a lot of work in China and Korea. One of the things he talks about is how difficult it is to understand the fundamental logic system adopted in these countries. About how much harder it is to work out how action a. lead to action b. His British schooling and logic system sometimes appears completely incompatible with that of South East Asia.

I saw him last night and he had more stories of derring-do in the region; when I got back I turned on the TV; there was a repeat of the Louis Theroux weird weekend "The most hated family in America". I saw the programme on Sunday, but found myself compelled to watch it again.

The Westboro Baptist Church believe, I think, that "God hates fags", "America loves fags", American troops represent America, they are therefore defending fags, therefore God tricked George Bush into invading Iraq so that he could pick off the troops with his wrath. Ergo; troop deaths are to be celebrated; so amongst other things, they picket troop funerals.

The logic is not nearly as simple as that, the whole belief system is encased in a shell which says; if you hate this logic, you're doomed to hell. Naturally, everyone hates the logic, therefore the Westboro Baptist Church are the only people who are going to heaven. In short America is doomed. Hate (or at least anger), which they receive in spades, makes them more righteous and good. Like a boa constrictor, the more you struggle the tighter the system is.

And then, on top of this, being friends with people is a slippery slope to hell. In part because you become tainted by the evil that America does. Also, friendship leads to fornication (if only, eh fellas?) The Pastor, Fred Phelps a confused old man who develops this amorphous philosophy, has sired thirteen children. None of which through fornication, one assumes.

Nor do they actually want to convert anyone to their way of thinking because everyone is doomed to hell already. Which, presumably makes the whole activity of picketing US troop funerals, Swedish vacuum cleaner factories and 'Jew' churches with signs that say 'God Hates Fags' and 'Fag Troops' completely pointless. They go out into the community to shout things without any reason or desired outcome.

At which point the logic unravels into a heap on the floor. It's not so much extremism, which, at least has a political logic to it. It just doesn't have a logic system; it doesn't want to grow, it doesn't want to change things, it doesn't want to explain anything. Theroux's other programmes attempt to get to the nucleus of the issue, an element which is causing the bizarre behaviour. But, partly due to the impenetrable belief system and partly because Phelps was barely articulate (at one point, Theroux sweetly wraps him up in knots with a question to which all Phelps can do is drop into his "I know all about you, you're evil and doomed to hell" rhetoric), he could only conclude that there was some kind of anger at the core of the whole thing. What kind of anger, he couldn't say. In which circumstances you have to just smile sweetly and move along. Which is what he did. Due to his 'fag' fixation, one may assume that Phelps himself has had a serious buggering at some point in his past. But that's mere speculation on my part.

Oh God, to compound it all; Ben Shepherd on GMTV (who's favourite band is Jesus and Mary Chain) has just introduced G4's last ever live performance. All this and G4 splitting up? What is the world coming to?


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