Happy All Satan Tuesday!

I want to give a shout-out to my old buddy David Seitzinger, who in the spirit of this unholiest of unholy holidays has posted his latest animation project — a talking zombie head. Very nice.

The day also got me thinking — as most of you know by now, I have nothing but contempt for those who would couch their arguments in purely religious terms. For example, I’ve got nothing against anti-abortion protesters in general — after all, only the most ardent partisan would atempt to claim that there’s not a legitimate debate there. (Along those lines, I did find a column in Sunday’s Post, “What Happens When There Is No Plan B?” a curiously compelling indictment of the FDA’s boneheaded politicizing of scientific evaluation of the morning-after pill.)

But the ones who get up and shout in the faces of poor women trying to enter a Planned Parenthood clinic, shouting nonsensically that they’re doomed to eternal damnation in the fires of hell? Pfft!

There’s definitely an argument for letting them make their protests in exactly that fashion — after all, they clearly demonstrate just what morons they actually are. But I was thinking... what could you do to make a more effective counter to those folks? I’m not talking about anything actually violent, since that would pretty much completely undermine your own argument. And just yelling back at them won’t do much good, since it’s that conflict that they thrive on (gotta keep pretending that as white Christians, they’re a persecuted minority).

And then it hit me: Satanic curses.

After all, these people honestly believe that the forces of Satan are alive and well, and working through the liberal media, Hollywood, and the Vietnamese grocer down the block to corrupt their way of life. So the way I figure it, they’re probably the most likely to believe this shit.

They wouldn’t even have to be real Satanic curses. (Well, leaving aside the fact that there are no “real” curses, there are the LaVey creations.) They’d just have to be something that sounded like Satanic curses. Just enough to convince these extremists that their souls had just been snagged by the powers of the evil one, and they (or maybe their descendants — that’s always a good one) would have a reserved spot at Lucifer’s feet. You could get some added credibility (’cause let’s be honest — even with an audience this dim, you’d have to have a reasonably convincing act) by claiming that your “cabal” had consecrated the clinic in question as a sacrificial altar. As we all know from decades of cheesy horror films, the blood of innocents is always a key ingredient in these sorts of things.

I guess that one doesn’t work so well if the protest is taking place somewhere else — say, at a soldier’s funeral — but it’s really just a little added garnish; you could probably get by without it.

Just an idle thought. Frankly, I’m too lazy to bother thinking up real-sounding curses, not to mention going to seek out lunatic protesters to curse.

Speaking of right-wing nuts (how’s that for a segue?), I do feel I have to take issue with E.J. Dionne’s latest column, “Base Assumptions.” I normally love Dionne’s work, and I do think the overall column — railing against the Bush administration for attempting to keep pandering to the “base” by pushing for anti-gay-marriage and anti-flag-burning amendments — has some merit. But I was struck by the following quote: “The Republican Party thinks its base of social conservatives is a nest of dummies who have no memories and respond like bulls whenever red flags are waved in their faces.”

It seems to me that — at least if we’re talking about the so-called “social conservatives” who support these constitutional amendments — Dionne is proceeding from a false assumption. The GOP is treating them like foaming-at-the-mouth idiots because they are foaming-at-the-mouth idiots. Complete and utter morons, every single one of them. And — as much as it irritates those of us who actually do have a brain in our heads — the Republicans know how to cater to the room-temperature IQ set.

Dionne’s certainly right when he points out the potential of a backlash from the shallow end of the gene pool once they grasp the fact that the Republican party really doesn’t give a rat’s ass about any of them, but wants to cater exclusively to the multimillionaire set (as irrefutably proven by their reprehensible efforts to permanently repeal the estate tax). But I suppose the GOP figures their strategy (“Who the hell else ya gonna vote for, stupid?”) will compensate for the strictly passive protest — i.e., not voting — that the lunatic moron set can mount.

And even that is assuming that they ever will grasp anything. To be perfectly honest, I gotta go with the Republicans on this one. E.J., you’re giving the idiots way too much credit.


At 11:56 PM, Daniel said...

Ah, well do I remember the anti-abortion folk from my time in Richmond. Now that I live in dear ol' Baltimore again, I don't see much of that, but then: this is the city whose civic motto should probably be "Who Gives A Shit?"

Most clearly, I remember two specific incidents.

The more sedate involved my front porch. The anti-abortion people had lined Monument Avenue (no small feat that; it's several miles long) and when I got home from work I had to jockey for parking. Naturally, I ensconced myself on the front porch with a stiff gin-and-tonic and the portable Victrola. I distinctly remember one anti-abortion mom telling her kids "don't look at those people, they're sinful." Yes, but I was enjoying myself immensely. Had she known that I'm Catholic, I can only hope she would have run in abject terror.

The earlier and more graphic event involved a Saturday morning walk-o'-shame back to my apartment. I'd had many, many drinks the night before and had made a somewhat indecent assignation at a bar. As I stumbled past the friendly neighborhood abortion clinic, I was surrounded by creepy people waving posters of fetae that had evidently been through a food processor. One of them got "in my face," as my students would say. I (politely, I like to think) said "Listen, bud, I'm hung over, my ass is sore and if you wave that poster at me again I'm going to puke on your shoes."

At 12:20 AM, Kori said...

I think curses could get some protesters away from the clients of abortion clinics, but probably not in the way you envision. The way I see it, anyone who is a true believer in Christ would not be frightened of satanic curses---their faith would tell them that they have nothing to fear. On the other hand, some of them could be very worried for the people saying the curses, and their attention could be focused away from one group (the clinic's clients) to the other (the cursers). So, it's a possible solution, if you're willing to become the object of the protesters' affections.

At 12:11 PM, Bill Coughlan said...

Yeah, but see, the thing is, the folks who scream the loudest really aren't "true believers" (at least not in anything more than the pejorative use of the phrase). Those who yell the loudest are usually the least secure in their faith, beliefs, opinions, whatever.

So yeah, I actually think I'd have a pretty good shot of convincing these folks that my "devil powers" can have a very real effect on 'em.

Remember, I'm not talking about all protesters, or even most of 'em. There are a lot of folks out there who have rationally developed positions on the issue -- even positions largely informed by their religious beliefs -- who aren't screaming the I am hell-bound because I don't agree with them right down the line. So in the real world, the likelihood that I would even meet any of the real wack-jobs is remote at best. Which is why I chose to simply write my idea rather than trying to go out and test it. A lot easier. ;-)


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