For the past two nights I’ve awakened around 3:00 AM to find the television left on but two vastly different programs about religion and wealth streaming into my room.
For Friday night’s (tele)vision, I was off to Great Britain. Although a fan of the comedy series Absolutely Fabulous, I had never seen the 2002 Christmas Special “Gay.” How did I miss it? Here’s the scene to which I awoke in the wee hours of Saturday morning: occasional character Bo Turtle (Mo Gaffney) in another incarnation of religious hucksterism (previous ventures include Catholicism, Judaism, and Scientology) is running Epiphany, a Pentecostal-style Christian television ministry. In an interview segment, Bo asks the hapless Lola (Jane Horrocks): “How did Jesus come to you?” and proceeds with questioning until Bo feels compelled to cast out Lola’s demon.
A rude awakening? … to be sure, but also comedy gold! And here’s another scene with Bo, Lola and Marshall Turtle (Christopher Ryan) that’s every bit as funny. And remember, “God sees your disease.”
In case you’re an AbFab fan, Edina and Patsy will be back making three more episodes in the fall of this year. Cheers, sweetie darling.
Those amusing portrayals of God and money provided an interesting prelude to my next night’s (tele)vision: the Greed episode of The Seven Deadly Sins series (History Channel). I was amazed that the segment criticized America’s out-of-control capitalism, going so far as to evoke mammon and criticize the Gordon Gekko ethos that came to fashion with Reaganism in the 1980s, until I read this description at clicker.com:
Seven Deadly Sins is a historical TV series developed by the History Channel that delves into the darkly satiating history of the Seven Deadly Sins. Anger, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, sloth, and pride were not exactly mentioned in the Bible, but those seven markers of a hell-bound life were originally developed by the church as a way to guide its followers to heaven. For centuries since their creation and indoctrination into the church, the impact of those seven is examined in each episode of this series. Believed to be a checklist of the Apocalypse, learn of how history has treated these tantalizing categories…. History Channel’s Seven Deadly Sins is an interesting look at just how those concepts promised eternal damnation and the end of society as we know it.
The program includes Robert Reich criticizing “super capitalism,” covers the Guilded Age’s “malefactors of great wealth,” and President Theodore Roosevelt’s championing legislation to curtail the abuses of capitalism. Though garish in parts, I found the program interesting and plan to check out the other six sins. I’m curious to see if Gluttony features a gaggle of fat, diabetic, heart-diseased Americans watching television not watching CSPAN and eating fried butter while Wall Street and the Banks continue to behave like Little Shop(s) of Horrors. If Pride doesn’t talk about American Exceptionalism, I’ll eat my hat.
Regent University had an ad at History’s “apocalypse” search page. VISA had one at the “rats” search page. (At least they did when I visited today. I do not have screen capture software and the “Save Page” function in my browser doesn’t capture ads.) I think the Prosperity Gospel folks should consider advertising on the “greed” page.
If I awake again tonight to a third (tele)vision, this one a terrifying portrayal of religion and wealth — a documentary on the Crusades, or Jim and Tammy Faye Baker, or Pat Robertson, or Dominionism, you’ll find me springing from bed and sending a young lad off to the butcher’s shop to buy the prize goose for the Cratchett family, or some such action … but only if there are bells … and snow. Maybe I’ll just make sure to turn the infernal box off tonight.