Monday, June 15, 2009

Faking Fundamentalism

Religious extremism and parody -- I've previously commented how I can't tell the two apart. Between Pterosaur Hunting, funny museums and video game protests, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. At work here is a little known law called Poe's Law, and it suggests the following: is hard to tell fake fundamentalism from the real thing, since they may both espouse equally extreme beliefs. Poe's law also works in reverse: real fundamentalism can also be indistinguishable from parody fundamentalism. For example, some conservatives consider noted homophobe Fred Phelps to be so over-the-top that they think he's a "deep cover liberal" trying to discredit more mainstream homophobes.
If you want additional evidence just look at the Ohio study that found that conservatives believe that Stephen Colbert dislikes liberalism. The study raises legitimate questions about the influence of shows that parody and satirize politics and belief systems. The conclusion is that political satire may not affect people in the way that it has historically been assumed.

So while I understand the satire of Colbert and other late night shows, I still struggle to identify religious parody... probably because all religious views are a little bit nutty. However, I'm still positive that Pat Robertson hasn't entered the world of comedy.

1 comment:

fabutastic said...

Don't forget the queen of the fake fundie sites, Landover Baptist.