01 September 2009

Jack T. Chick sends me email.

I don't know if you have ever heard of Jack Chick, but he is a special brand of moron. Good with pencils (no one would say great), practices a pretty literal theology (no one would say smart), and enjoys making the bad guys in his little comic books look like stereotypical jews, or (and slightly more recently) stereotypical Muslims of Middle Eastern decent (no one would say tolerant). And there is the just plain weird (one would not know what to say). I ought not leave out the plain stupid either (surrounded by a cloud of anti-smart particles). Go on read a few, or at least some. I'll be here when you are ready to continue.

Okay, drink a glass of water, shake the bone-jarring stupid off and lets get on with this introduction, and inevitable farewell to Jack T. Chick.

Now I wouldn't fault anyone for independently producing comics but his material is pretty lousy, and worse it is terribly predictable. Some people might fold predictablity into lousy but I am going to seperate them. The stories could be lousy, but unpredictable like say Jesus Christ: Vampire Hunter. Instead though Jack Chick opts for the two-fer and reduces even novelty readership. But I am getting a bit ahead of myself.

If you don't know Jack T. Chick his claim to fame is authorship, and often pencil work of many of the dubious, and poorly researched Christian gospel comic book tracts you have found littering, sometimes surrepticiously, churches of every variety, coffee house community event tables, public restrooms (who picks up anything in a public restroom), and any where else Christian witnesses can think to put them. Fundamentalist Christians can buy by the bundle and at 25 tracts/$3.75 you can see how it is possible to inundate a small unsuspecting populace with these things. So now that you know who Jack T. Chick is, and what has made him famous, or maybe infamous I can move on with the point of this.

You may think the point will be to critique his theology which is terrible. But no, you would be wrong. While Jack certainly misrepresents much in the bible to suit his own particular religious and political needs it is pointless really to go there. Because almost everyone who adopts a good book goes there in some way. It all seems to become, from the very best theology, to the most simple minded and mean, cherry picking verses that appeal to the person doing the picking. So while I think Chick is simple minded, I also think he shares a simple problem with all believers. Besides Chick has no arguments and thus nothing really to analyze. The bible is true because Chick believes it is true. It is also unnecessary review his theological arguments and evidence because I think Jack also knows he has none to offer.
On some level. The bible is true and that, for he and his ilk is really, really, literally, no I mean literally, true, and that is all there is to it.

I suspect this because his method isn't really about converting through the power of arguments, and evidence but about using fear, and self interest to drive people to his point of view. Chick tracts glory in often graphic depictions of violence (particularly gleeful are the hosts of angels who happily pitch the unsuspecting into hell). What his tracts almost universally do is demonstrate torture and violence either on earth or in hell in the most graphic ways, and then offer up salvation at the very end. The violence is offered up in such detail, along with intimations of homosexual sex that I suspect a psychologist might have a field day with Mr. Chick. So violence, repressed sexuality are always front and center and always they function as the lever to scare the mark (that is the reader) into imagining their own eternal torture in hell. And all the tracks end with a few magic words, to recite that allow you, I guess, to be forever saved. In addition to all these manipulative tricks the man and his tireless staff are conspiracy nuts. Islam? Catholic conspiracy. Evolution? Catholic, or Jewish, and or Cathojewlic conspiracy. Of course this would be the case because Satan clearly leads all faiths except the one to which Jack T. Chick belongs.

Kooky conspiracies, subtle racism and a somewhat strange fascination with things he claims to hate comprise the Chickoverse. I got an email from someone who said I should examine the Chickoverse, which prompted me to get on his website, and sign up for updates. I used to examine the strangeness, I even debated via email one of Chick's website personalities, though I cannot now remember who the hell that might have been. I got acquainted with the depth of his conspiracy jones through the crazy newletter that goes up once a month. I've continued to get email updates for years, and today, I followed the links provided therein and found that none of it was really very funny anymore. I used to be amused by Chick's comics. But as looked at what amounted to forty years or so of his life's work I marveled at what an incredible, destructive and mean spirited waste it was. Unlike the guys who masterfully parody Chick's work, Chick and his equally brain dead acolytes actually believe in all the hateful, anti-intellectual nonsense they spew. The Chickoverse is a place that doesn't support honest argument, evidence, reason or principled disagreement. It favors fear, simple-mindedness and naked self-interest. It is a deeply unethical place, that can no longer even pull off the so bad-its-funny manuever.

Jack is one sick Chick....and his other writers are too. I happily hit unsubscribe!
Take that gospel tract man!

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At 1:05 AM , Blogger Laurie said...

Excellent, Max!

At 7:24 AM , Blogger Max II said...

Thanks Laurie! Unsubscribe is a wonderful thing I think.


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