Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The B.C. help feature

Creationist comics explained

Johnny Hart wears both his religion and his politics on his sleeve. You'd think his humor would be as transparently obvious as his political stance. It is, however, subtle and elusive in nature. Without proper catechesis, one could be forgiven for thinking it's not funny at all.

The October 11, 2006, installment of B.C. features an encounter between apteryx, the comic strip's resident kiwi, and a burning bush. As you may recall from your Old Testament stories, the burning bush is a manifestation of the Lord God, who assumed this aspect for his chat with Moses. Moses was impressed that the bush was not reduced to ashes by the fire, so he knew it was a miraculous event. And, of course, it talked. His encounter with the flaming shrubbery persuaded Moses it was time to go free his people from Egypt, so it's not a trivial episode in the Hebrew Bible.

Johnny Hart's burning bush is making a miraculous visit to the B.C. comic strip to spread more divine revelation. (Certainly such a manifestation can't be just for yucks, you know.) In this case, it seems that the bush's purpose is to smite the evil pollsters. Perhaps the evil pollsters have enslaved the people, just as Pharaoh enslaved the Jews. There's a lot of heavy symbolism going on here.

Why does God wish to smite the evil pollsters? Because they attack his anointed one by revealing just how unpopular the anointed one has become. The reader may become confused, however, in the way that Hart identifies the bush with George W. Bush, God's anointed one (where, by the way, “anointed” means “smeared with oil”), but this is perturbing only to those who don't recognize the president as a manifestation of the living God. Obviously the pollsters don't, which is why they publish such blasphemies as a dismal 33% approval rating. God's wrath is upon them. But no matter: Hart confidently predicts that our burning Bush will remain proud, unbowed, and charcoal-free. We may all despise him, but the anointed one cares not.

No doubt Hart would recommend that the evil pollsters be slapped into restraints with their eyelids pinned back, forced to watch Jesus Camp over and over again until they, too, want to suffer the little children to come unto the cardboard cut-out of God's anointed one and touch their little hands to those of the stiffened paper Bush idol.

Cursed unbelievers!

And now you know why this B.C. comic strip is so funny and so full of ... uh ... divine goodness.


Porlock Junior said...

Did this post? Doesn't seem to have. Sorry about the possible double posting.

Catechesis? You sure you're not thinking of hermeneutics? Or exegesis?

I'd sure hate to have somebody setting me a bunch of standard questions about BC, and having to give the standard correct answers. Yuck!

OTOH I can't see that word without thinking of catachresis, and by golly that's a good enough characterization of pretty much all the material in BC.

Zeno said...

Yes, pj, I did mean catechesis. As a Catholic kid in public school, I attended weekly catechism, where I was duly "catechized"; that is, I was instructed in the tenets of the faith. Sorry for using a rather obscure word, but I'm just employing it as a synonym for brainwashing.

Bill Meisel said...

Zeno -- one of the nicest pieces of jewish mysticism i have picked up over the years is this:

if god could do anything, why did he pick the burning bush as his miracle?

answer: god was looking for a man who would NOTICE such a miracle. most people might pass the bush and not look at it long enough to notice it wasn't being consumed. Moses PAID ATTENTION.