When McCain’s ad people aren’t taking metaphorical dumps on the high profile daughters of top level campaign contributors, they apparently found the time to release this weird and almost humorous attack ad portraying Obama as messianic at best and self delusional at worst. This isn’t anything unexpected – it’s a desperate tactic taken directly from the Book of Republican Dirty Campaign Tricks. I, like a lot of people, may have misunderstood what was really going on. It appears that Time.com has an article on the true nature of this advertisement and it’s much more sinister than it appears after a quick viewing.
I like to read. Mind you, I normally read some pretty trashy fluff including graphic novels, sci-fi & fantasy novels and the occasional Mad magazine. That’s not to say I haven’t squeezed the ole’ eyeballs between the covers of some more ‘literate’ literature or that I would turn down a gift membership to New Scientist magazine *hint hint*. I’ve even read the bible on occasion to point out inconsistencies to a fundamentalist and, my seedy and filth covered soul cringes to admit, earlier in my life when I was forced to read and listen to sections of it by the sadistic day staff at my local International House of Indoctrination (aka Catholic school). But I have never, nor will I ever, read the Left Behind series; a group of books which appears to be nothing more than fear mongering and religious indoctrination disguised as pop-fiction and targeted at the kind of small minded people who choose to watch ‘Untalented Idol’ and ‘Waltzing with the Has-beens’ over something slightly enriching like an episode of Nova or just something with at least one paid writer who isn’t a shaved ape with a lobotomy and a $700 suit. You’ve seen the type, I’m sure, the kind of stereotypical fundamentalist who queues up at the last remaining Christian Science Reading Room in the tri-state area, their limited edition, purple tasseled, Pale-Blonde-New-Jersey-Jesus bookmark grasped tightly in their sweaty hands, eagerly begging for someone in a clerical collar and gold threaded robe to tell them what to do with their money and genitalia.
But indoctrinating young people by using pop culture isn’t new. For example, consider Christian Rock. Ok, after you’re done rinsing the sick out of your mouth, go put on a Led Zeppelin album and I’ll continue. The problem with Christian Rock is that Christian Rock is about as listenable as the shrieking chorus of a thousand Haitian orphans being slowly pecked to death by a parliament of snow owls who are themselves being beaten to death with the burning corpses of hundreds of baby seals. Actually, that would probably sound much better than your average Christian Rock album. The reason? The ‘rock’ in CR (as it’s known to its fan) is not really the same rock you get from even the most awful, spandex wearing, matching-lipsticked Glam-rock band’s worst album. I won’t go into what real rock happens to entail (or, when speaking of Rock, entrail), but when people try to Jesus-ify rock and roll it sounds like the bands have never actually heard the real thing; instead it was described to them by a slightly deaf, elderly Wal-Mart greeter who accidentally walked into a Neil Diamond concert in 73′ and is still nursing the emotional wounds.
To the best of my knowledge, Left Behind is a series of fear inducing, fundamental Christian themed books which describe ‘the Rapture’, a fairy tale horror story that describes the ascension into heaven, a glowing land of clouds populated with winged, harp playing, genderless immortals, by god’s good little boys and girls, the shining examples of which include child raping priests; lying, sexually deviant yet devout politicians; and ministers who cheat the elderly out of their pensions. The bad people are Left Behind (get it?) to suffer some kind of hell on earth. The bad boys and girls in this example seem to be anyone who hasn’t wholeheartedly accepted Jesus as their savior and given their money and complete emotional and mental control to the church. So, basically, you can be a law breaking sexual predator as long as you believe and do what you’re told.
I can probably name thousands of things I would rather read than this series including, but not limited to, the dietary information pamphlets at Taco Bell and the 1865 Farmer’s Almanac.
Anyway, back to pointing out the desperation and vileness of the McCain campaign.
I would have never seen any correlation between the ad and the books if it hadn’t been pointed out to me, mainly because I’m not familiar with the Left Behind canon. The only people, actually, who would see the similarity would be the people who have read the books, the people, of course, to whom the ads were targeted. These people are most likely biased because they are already indoctrinated into Christian Fundamentalism and would be easy to sway because the wording and imagery used would immediately associate Barak Obama with Nicolae Carpathia, who Wikipedia tells me is the Antichrist in the books. Indeed, according to the article, there are several hundred thousand results for a search for ‘Obama’ and ‘Nicolae Carpathia’. What this boils down to is that the McCain people are using a select group of people’s fear and ignorance to smear his opposition rather than using facts and the truth to smear the opposing candidate. Nothing new for a politician, especially old tactic for a Republican.
What strikes me as dirty and immoral about this is that it would be like taking an armload of cans of whipped cream to a Huffer’s Anonymous meeting. To the people on the outside, you just look like you may be, innocently, a bit weird about whipped cream. To the people at the meeting, though, who are there because they are addicted to inhaling vapors and gases like the nitrous oxide that whipped cream cans use as a propellant, you are peddling a drug which, as innocent as it can be in the hands of most of the general population, can be misused and abused by someone who is weak or who may not know any better. I think this ad preys on people who are already indoctrinated and therefor entertain a certain mindset which makes them afraid to challenge the legitimacy of this brand of fear mongering, which is a low, dirty and manipulative thing to do.
The saddest part?
I am absolutely not surprised by this. This kind of shit has become our status quo.