Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Going Too Far?

Atheists and fundamentalist Christians hold opposing views on many subjects, but occasionally an issue comes up that unites people all along the spectrum. Monday's "GOD IS SO GOOD!!!" video from "TamTamPamela" is an example of how to get on almost everybody's wrong side. A few people think the video was funny, but in my opinion, if the majority of your audience is left wondering "Is she serious or is she joking?" then the attempt at humor failed. According to the "coming clean" video that "Pamela" released after the furor reached a crescendo but before she shut down her YouTube channel, her intent with this and her earlier videos was to "piss people off." She succeeded, but I don't think she was hoping for the death threats she got. I don't know what she hoped to accomplish.

Annoying people can be an unwanted but unavoidable side effect of honesty and openness. I can understand a willingness to piss people off if the alternative is deception or evasion, but by her own admission, Pamela wasn't sharing her honest opinions. She was posing as something/someone she's not and deliberately trying to get a rise out of people. Was she doing it to make people aware of wacky Christian fundamentalists? If so, I think she wasted her time. Real-life examples like Westboro Baptist Church and Pat Robertson are already on the job, and they're far more visible than she was.

While acknowledging that Pamela had the right to create and post her videos, I hope that her experience will deter others from attempting similar parodies. If the actors are going to mingle with the audience to the point that one can't be distinguished from the other, the audience should at least be aware that they're attending a play.

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