One of my absolute favorite theist parody sites is ChristWire. They are, for all intents and purposes, a proving ground for Poe’s Law. There, the most ridiculous parodies of fundamentalist or evangelical Chrsitian reactions to everyday occurrences or aspects of pop culture are mimicked to such a high degree that, all too often, real Christians believe the parody and act according to their consciences.
In this case, ChristWire took aim at the recent Bethesda game Skyrim.
Right off the bat, the gay supporting software company Blizzard, shows the player images of decapitations and after the third of forth head chopping, a necromatic dragon appears and sets the player free from righteous punishment. Now that the player is free, they will spend the next 400 hours robbing people, killing villagers, crafting sexual items, fornicate with elves and other Harry Potter style animals and also learn how to conjure up black magic.
Skyrim Jobs – Skyrimming is a street term the gays use when talking about applying their tongues to the outer rim part of another man’s sewer spout, while that man is being hung upside down. See the gays have weird fetishes and are close to Satan. Satan speaks to them and tells them news ways on how to experience demonic orgasmic sin. Satan has recently taught our fecal fisting bandits that if you hang each other upside down and let the blood rush to the head, the anal dumpster becomes more sensitive to touch and we all know gays wake up and fall asleep just day dreaming about sticking something up their own or someone else’s sewer hole.
If you notice your son has become more light headed around the house, this is a definite warning that he has been Skyrim jobbing.
One of the commenters on the comments thread, Stephenson Billings, posted in support of the article’s “thorough journalism”. Shortly thereafter, a petition appeared on the White House’s We The People site by B. Stephenson:
“We petition the Obama administration to: Immediately Ban the Deadly Videogame Known as ‘SkyRim’ for The Safety of America’s Youths.
“Whereas videogaming has proven to cause social, ethical and health problems in people of all ages,
“Whereas sexual perversion and homosexuality are threatening to destroy the Christian foundations on which this nation was built,
“Whereas a new video game has just been created that far exceeds any others in the psychological and spiritual damage it does to teens,
“We, the American people, today ask you,
1. To enact an immediate ban on the videogame known as ‘SkyRim’ produced by Blizzard Entertainment.
2. To seize and destroy all copies already in public hands and erase its presence on the internet.
3. To prosecute the players of ‘SkyRim’ to the fullest extent of the law.
4. To create a national database of videogame avatars and ‘screen names’ so that teenagers can be better monitored.”
Never mind that Skyrim is a single-player game and doesn’t connect to the internet at all, the fact that this petition expects to be able to erase its “presence on the internet” is hilarious. As though any successful petition could ever do that.
When I first stumbled across this article on StrategyInformer, I was taken in. I didn’t notice the link to the original ChristWire article and I was going to rush right off to my blog to post about it, staunch defender of atheism, video games, gay rights and reality-based policy that I am. But the “Blizzard” mistake reminded me of the Skyrim article I’d seen on ChristWire a few months before, and I doubled back to find it, and found Stephenson on the comments.
I honestly could not tell the difference between this initiative and any of the, say, American Family Association initiatives against gays, or the One Million Moms fight against Ellen DeGeneres being the spokesperson for J C Penney, or the constant moral panics about video games. And I almost posted something ragey and ranty about yet another overzealous Christian freakout over something innocuous and harmless. I almost embarassed myself over a Poe that I missed completely. When I realized my error, I breathed something of a sigh of relief.
Then someone posted this link on an old thread about Christians and Pokemon.
The Pokemon mania supports a financial conglomerate that knows how to feed the frenzy. The television series is free, but it drives the multi-billion dollar business. It also inspires the obsessive new games that disrupt schools and families by giving the children —
a seductive vision: to become Pokemon masters
a tempting promise: supernatural power
a new objective: keep collecting Pokemon
an urgent command: “gotta catch them all”
These enticements are drilled into young minds through clever ads, snappy slogans, and the “Pokeman rap” at the end of each TV episode:
“I will travel across the land
Searching far and wide
Each Pokeman to understand
The power that’s inside.
Gotta catch them all!”
The last line, the Pokemon mantra, fuels the craving for more occult cards, games, toys, gadgets, and comic books. There’s no end to the supply, for where the Pokemon world ends, there beckons an ever-growing empire of new, more thrilling, occult, and violent products. Each can transport the child into a fantasy world that eventually seems far more normal and exciting than the real world. Here, evil looks good and good is dismissed as boring. Family, relationships, and responsibilities diminish in the wake of the social and media pressures to master the powers unleashed by the massive global entertainment industry.
I’m convinced that this one’s serious. I’ve seen enough anti-Pokemon theist whargarbl in the past few years to know when theists have chosen a legitimate pop-culture target for their Five Minutes Hate that this one is almost certainly not a Poe. Most of them have moved on to Harry Potter, but some still think Pokemon is the be-all and end-all harbinger of the End Times.
And that just makes me sad. There is so much irrationality out there. In a way, I wish there were no Poes to have to deal with, to sort out who’s legitimately deluded, because it’s literally impossible to tell the difference between a Christian fundamentalist going on a hate crusade against some aspect of popular culture, and a parody of such. There’s enough complete nonsense in what they really believe that there’s no shortage of whargarbl on the internet.
And yet, I still like ChristWire.