November 9, 2004

About "Jesusland."

I don't know who started the "Jesusland" map, but it seems to have zipped through the email-o-sphere very soon after the results of the election became apparent. I Googled "Jesusland," and this tirade from Ken Layne came up first. It's timestamped 1:30 on November 3rd. It's quite virulent:
While there is no headquarters for Jesusland, all of its subjects do march at the command of the RNC and Karl Rove.

Rove's re-election strategy was elegantly simple: Scare the bejesus out of Jesusland. Faggots are headed your way! Satanic Muslims are hiding everywhere! That's all it took to get Jesusland to do the job. Intellectual conservatives like the National Review staff are flattering themselves if they honestly believe Jesusland cares about conservative thought. The "reality-based" folks are learning that Jesusland doesn't even care about jobs or the economy. In Jesusland, it's all the will of Jesus. ... Keep praying and always keep your eye out for homosexuals and terrorists, and you will eventually be rewarded ... all you have to do is die, and then it's SuperJesusLand, where you will be a ghost floating in a magic cloud with all the other ghosts from Jesusland, with Jesus Himself presiding over an Eternal Church Service.

I've never had a problem with actual conservatives ... But I've got a big problem with Jesusland. If you want to worship the ghost of a jew from the Roman Empire, that's cool. Enjoy it! But when you people and your bizarre mystery cult claim the goddamned president as your prime convert who rules by the voices in his head, I call bullshit.
Layne includes a second, crueler, map, representing the world view of Jesuslanders. It is drawn children's drawing style, complete with misspellings. (By the way, the linked page shows Google Ads at its most obtuse, displaying: "Free Jesus Christ Video/A beautiful account of the Savior's miraculous life and ministry," "Ave Maria Singles/Real Community, Serious Catholics Marriage, Friendship & Faith," "Passion of Christ - Free/The Passion of the Christ Movie," "Searching For Christ?/We'll Pay You $300 Right Now For A Jesus Christ Survey," and "Jesus T-Shirts And More/Feel Good About What You Wear/Quality Christian Apparel For All.")

I ran "Jesusland" through a Technorati search and got 687 hits. So there's no way I can trace the life and times of the Jesusland meme through the blogs. I'll just say that I ran into a colleague in the faculty library today and asked him how he was doing. He told me that he could not get over his feelings of bitterness and horror at the outcome of the election. Like Layne, he focused on Karl Rove and accused him of carrying out a brilliant and cynical plot to con millions of religious naifs into voting for a party that in fact has nothing to offer them. Read the Newsweek article! It's all there, I'm told. It's all about Karl Rove and religious simple folk who don't understand politics. Okay, I'll read it. We did both agree that it wasn't going to do the Democrats much good to express contempt for the very people they need to find a way to win over.

Unfortunately, the massive "Jesusland" blurt was a spontaneous expression that everybody heard. It will be hard for Democrats to find a way into a place where they can believably say, no, really, we think you are the real working people that make this country great, you are the heart and soul of America, and other such cornball campaign-isms.

3 comments:

Hockey Bum said...

The Langoliers seem to have consumed the original post, but it's still in the Google cache.

The Hairy Beast said...

Your link to Mr. Layne's rant is either bad or he's taken it down. One suspects the former over the latter. The left routinely sprays these frothy blobs of unbridled hatred and contempt at all and sundry and then later they wonder why their objects of ire reject them at the voting booth.

But what's really interesting from a writer's point of view is the uniformity of tone and style in these pieces. The entire left-o-sphere adopts the same "voice", a mashup of manic contempt and faux rationality, wherein they posit themselves as the voice of reason whilst hysterically projecting the most extreme emotions at their foes. The same foes they accuse of being driven by emotion instead of reason.

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