Monday, April 02, 2007

Off the scale

Louis Theroux's BBC2 documetary on The Most Hated Family In America last night made quite interesting viewing... there's not really much left to say about people like that. They're just off the scale as far as nutty American hate sects go.

Westboro Baptist Church, a group of only 71 members who are mostly from the same family, preaches that the death of every American is God's retribution for the sins carried out in the country's name - namely accommodating homsexuality. As a result they celebrate every American death, including picketing the funerals of dead American soldiers, on the basis that theirs is the only true and accurate reading of the Bible. I remembered seeing them when they made our news last year but didn't really know much more about them.

I bet all the right-wing Bible Belters who thought they'd sewn up the crown for Most Hateful Fundamentalist Christian Twats were left scratching their heads when they first came across this lot. They must be saying to each other "yeah, we agree with the anti-gay bit but combined with 'God Hates America'? Jesus, these people are real hateful honey." It must be extremely confusing for them, the amount of logic that's gone into that philosophy. A heroic dose of logic.

The main redeeming point about them is at least they're completely non-violent. Wholly offensive yes, but they're not going to act on their beliefs in any physically harmful way towards the outside world, and thus should probably just be left to get on with it. They're beyond help anyway, or at least the adult members especially are.

But one of the most noticeable things about the programme was the way that alot of them - particularly the younger girls in the family - smiled an inordinate amount while preaching their bile. Smiling in that really wild-eyed, false-grin way, which supports my long-held theory that people who smile too much are generally riddled with deep-seated hatred and psychologial flaws that are symptomatic of extremely low self-esteem. Hope lies in the frowners.


Anonymous Toby said...

What did you make of the way Louis tackled them. I wasn't impressed by how little he really interacted...

His well meaning innocence in the face of the strange and scary has proved effective before, but I feel he could have been a little more hard hitting. Their insanity spoke for itself which left him rather pointless. I would've liked some interviews with the people excluded from the group and some more probing questions about their beliefs.

April 02, 2007 1:34 pm  
Blogger Paddy said...

I know what you mean. But as you say, they really did speak for themselves. In the past he's created awkward situations just by being there with his subjects but that wasn't necessary for this lot - they were just happy to have the platform and spout forth without invitation.

He could maybe have gone at them a bit harder about their beliefs but really, there wasn't any chance of them 'cracking' in some way was there. They were extremely well drilled. Most other documentary makers would probably go to greater lengths to give their own analysis etc too, but that's not really his style. I think whoever makes a documentary on them will end up looking a bit pointless.

April 02, 2007 7:58 pm  
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