Sunday, November 17, 2013

i don't like to be yelled at

I have been watching, or have had in the background, WJW-TV8 news broadcasts. Of the local television, they have the most hours of broadcast. They, as do others, want as many viewers to watch as many minutes/hours as possible. They make money on commercials. I have typed these essays, or looked at my fotos, or surfed the web with it on in the background. Now, from time to time, a faceless contemptible jerk begins a commercial for some s****y furniture warehouse by yelling frenetically screaming very rapidly (i thought a law was FINALLY passed over the objections of the shyster business interests to moderate the volume of commercials); i reach for the remote and shut down the television, and it is never fast enough, the screaming begins at delta zero of the commercial. After a while i may remember to turn on the television, i thereby 'miss' other commercials, and some programming. F**d runs many, many commercials for trucks with an edgy Boston Irish loudmouth (Cleveland has suffered greatly from a particular current Boston Irish self anointed know-it-all), the teevee often goes off with him. Do these geniuses not realise that i can not be the only one who has this response?

Well, i was reading about a 'confrontational evangelist' on a college campus. I was reminded of Jed Smock, he has a wiki page [and see this], and two short (18 and 4 minutes) films about him. I was surprised. He is still in business, and it has grown. I saw him at two of our Ohio colleges in the late '70s.

Again, i do not like being yelled at. I don't deal well with bosses, and cops, and any tyrannical jerk who barks like a rabid dog at me.

Well, being a good Catholic boy, and never being in any Protestant service whatsoever, i was surprised and jolted by aggressive 'evangelisation'. I was familiar with the television, and i could turn channels (Oral Roberts -- nuts, Billy Graham -- boring, Swaggart -- disgusting, Robert Schuller -- pablum, Rex Humbard -- i forget), and the on/off knob; and the gabby porch hoppers with apocalyptic scripts of fantasy. The teevee preachers i found as bad entertainment; Art Linklater, and Ed Sullivan were far more entertaining. Well, what i encountered on campus were inquisitorial episodes of great discomfort, and occasionally deception. No, this was not the way of Christ, this was the way of psychotics, and yet people defended them (and some agreed with their method) for their sincerity, devotion, and goal.
Back to Jed, for some reason i thought his name was Judd Smock. I was always corrected. At the time, he was already in a routine of college touring; so people that were there at school before me, were familiar with his act. I thought the name was made up, apparently it was not. I thought Smock was a play on 'Schmuck', and 'Jed' and 'Judd' were not normal names (to my ear).  Well his patter, he repeated on each arrival, sort like vaudeville—you have a five minute act, and therefore a career. Five minutes was about as much as one could take, but many people knew his back story. He used to do a bad Mick Jagger, where he sank down on a knee (if i remember) and sang (ok, maybe not sang, vocalised) "i can't get no satisfaction". He had Sr. Cindy, whom i just now read became his wife. She was not the headliner.

I never did see such a large crowd about him. He used to set himself in a spot that had much intersecting foot traffic, and you would come upon him not realising he was in performance. Some people were just walking from point A to point B, and he would intercept and accost them. If it was not obvious that he was in performance, it would have been an assault, for it was very similar to being challenged to a street fight. If one had a shirt with the name of another college, he would provoke. He had special venom for someone with a Catholic school jersey. At the time, there were foreign students from southwest Asia on campus and he would attack them about being Moslem. I did not see him with, although i could guarantee the same tactic (ambush) directed at, an east or south Asian student. He would see a non-european ethnic physicality to a person, and assume their religion and belief system. Welcome to America.

Catholics in confession would tell their sins, their transgressions, privately to a priest. This bobo would publicly accuse people at first sight that were unknown to him as having committed a particular sin, or series. How would he have foreknowledge? As a Catholic, the term 'presumption' comes up. Apparently, the rationale is to rebuke the 'sinner' to belief. Under the worst of communism, and other totalitarian dictatorships, some petty commissar or other functionary would accuse one of something, and one would be forced to confess. No, this is NOT of Jesus. And Jed, and the others have converts. Oh, to be 'born again' of such parents in the faith.

Early christianity, converted the pagan roman empire; certainly this was not the method used. There was a love, and much real suffering of the christian. I have heard, and read, Jack Chick-like views of constantinian christianity. I followed that rubbish back to a XIXth century preacher/professor at Bucknell college. No, that method is more akin to the US hydra-headed lunatic fringe of calvinistic protestantism. It is a mean narcissism of willful spite. Throughout history christianity has made compromises with society, but this is a ruthlessness against humanity—a psychotic puritanism, that would not be able to recruit unless there was a frame of reference already in existence.

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