A queer music artist did a dance performance in a devil Hallowe'en costume and right-wingers decided Hollyweird was shoving Satanism down their throats.
There's a long history of regarding Satan and music, especially popular music, as connected and it's certainly been written about before, so I don't need to hash out the secular and profane aspects of modern music. But this isn't really about that, or not quite.
In a climate that has tried to start a "satanic panic" over Drag Time Story Hour that has since boiled its way down to getting books banned and even removed from schools--it isn't Satan that's the problem. Sam Smith isn't a satanist, they are queer. And it isn't Devil's Advocacy on my part to point out what I think is the real problem folks like Matt Walsh or Ali Alexander have: The real problem is they are homophobic, transphobic grifters--the hate dollar keeps them going.
It's the funniest part of the culture war--on our side, we talk about Poe's Law, where outrage among the religious right is so daft you can't tell parody from their actual genuine product. But I always suspect it's because the genuine product itself is so adulterated with self-conscious schtick.
On their end, they think we are feeding babies to Satan (allegedly) when most of us cultural left folks really don't believe literally in the biblical bogeyman. The saying that the greatest trick the devil pulled was convincing people he didn't exist isn't quite right. The greatest trick ever pulled was telling people there was supernaturalism behind their actions, and therefore they had to listen to priests and other jumped-up demagogues instead of thinking for themselves.
Our sin is scoffing at their "deeply held beliefs"--which is their only basis for anyone going along with them. And I also scoff at them for getting all exercised over a singer in a shiny little top-hat with horns.
Give me a break!
I just wanted to drop this off. Totally fits in with what you've stated...
Thanks and exactly right. The Religious right needs a devil so they can make whatever they don't like the devil. Exactly "demonizing" everything they see as unfit. But real life can't be determined by the imaginary friends or enemies of zealots. We just have to deal in facts, and the fact is, OMG, what if people understood that musical theater wasn't real life but a pantomime?
Yikes on bikes. What if right wingers understood that art was subjective, and people could take or leave it as they found it? What if criticism didn't have to be demonization? We could actually move forward a bit by agreeing to disagree--(see also, Nazis and the concept of degenerate art).
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