Friday, April 2, 2021

Just in Time for Good Friday, a New Satanic Panic

 Today being Good Friday, I figured I'd spend some time on the lastest evangelical Christian persecution 'scandal'.  The craw-thumpers have decided to play their greatest hits, and have revived the old Satanic Panic that was all the rage (literally) in the 1980s.  Being a Northeasterner, I was insulated from this nonsense, which adversely effected nerds in the Heartland, so my laughter at this bullshit is untinged with bitterness.  The Satanic Panic had real victims, though, as smalltown weirdos were singled out, and in one instance, convicted of capital crimes by fundamentalist Christian zealots.  It was a bad time, a stupid time, and people who should have known better got involved in spreading the nonsense.

The Satanic Panic, if it ever really went away, came back in the form of rhe QAnon conspiracy theory complex, complete with the tropes of devil worship, ritual human sacrifice, and cannibalism.  Recently, the Satanic Panic revival has gone into overdrive with the right-wing backlash against music artist Lil Nas X, whose new single, a standard 'sex and drugs' song, features a video in which the singer visits heaven, then plummets to hell via stripper pole for a lap dance with Satan, who he then kills.  This video being insufficient provocation, Mr X paired it with a marketing campaign featuring devil-themed sneakers (eventually blocked by a lawsuit from Nike) featuring a drop of blood encased in the sole (another callback to the original Satanic Panic).  Lil Nas X, had an improbable smash country hit a few years back with Old Town Road, originally written as a spoof of country music, but experienced a backlash from the established country music industry.  It's important to note that he is a proudly out gay black man, so he has no love for racist, homophobic fundamentalists... they already believed that he is damned, so he embraced it in order to troll them.  Truly, he doesn't give a damn what they think.

The controversy over Lil Nas X' video is destined to increase sales, as no publicity is bad publicity.  Again, it's funny that the song isn't about Satan, but then again, a lot of the bands caught up in the old Satanic Panic weren't singing about Satan, either.  It's just another skirmish in the ongoing culture war being waged by right-wingers who can't run on actual policy successes... it's the evergreen bullshit they always use to rile up the rubes.  As I've said before, the greatest trick the authoritarians ever played was convincing the world that the devil exists.

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