Thursday, January 19, 2012

This is our new video for the song "Henny Penny" from Carpe Carp. It's directed by Jack Sheridan from Laneway Pictures who also did our video for "DQYDJB" and is hard at work on a video for "Vespa" as well. It's basically a snapshot of a strange thing that's been happening down in Adelaide lately, where there's a conflict between these street preachers and... everyone else in Adelaide. We went down on two nights, handed out 100 kazoos, acted like a pack of dickheads and Jack was there to capture all the chaos. Like to thank all of our friends that came out on the night and made cameo appearances, I won't name names lest ye become undesirably googleable. But thank you.

For those of you outside of Adelaide, my two cents and a little background: These street preachers (they're going to take this in more flattering tone than it is intended) are the "God-hates-Fags" Phelps family of Adelaide. They preach in our main shopping mall every Friday, now to much protesting. Businesses in their proximity have suffered from their presence and the council has tried to remove them on several occasions. Being sufferers of a very sizeable messianic complex (though technically, I feel we are the sufferers of their messianic complex) and and an ironically sizeable Napoleonic complex too (would explain the standing on a box) they have turned this into some martyrdom fantasy whereby they are the poor, vilified Christ-like figures, and Adelaide City Council are the Romans, ever lashing at them for spreading the good word.

This fantasy is pathetic and overly flattering and on two counts. Firstly, Adelaide is commonly known as "The City of Churches" - while I've always felt the name was unwarranted as demographically we aren't particularly more Christian than the other capital cities (I suppose all the good nicknames were taken), we do have an overwhelming Christian majority here and the idea of a persecuted Christian in Adelaide is laughable, bordering on cute. Secondly, there is an old man who has been handing out bibles unmolested by the council, or anyone, in the very same mall, for as long as I can remember. He seems like a nice man and I've even taken one from him just to make his day (one day I want to give it back, all highlighted and doggy-eared and say "YOU CHANGED MY LIFE MAN"). Even he came out on television denouncing the methods of these street preachers. So, it isn't the case that Adelaide City Council, or the people of Adelaide have a problem with religion in the mall, it's just that we don't like dickheads in the mall.

To put it more simply: These guys comparing themselves to Jesus is a little like us saying our music is as good as The Beatles' because we have similar haircuts. They're not the messiah, they're just very naughty boys. I doubt they've converted a single person to Christianity, I doubt they even intend to, their whole preaching routine is just a circle-jerk of self-gratification and attention seeking (I'm in a band, so I'd know). And for me personally, their insistence on portraying themselves as champions of freedom of speech and religion (which I'm a big fan of- freedom I mean) lost it's weight after I encountered them threatening to have a heckler "arrested for blasphemy".

My personal suggestion in this situation is that they be allowed to preach (take away their amplification though, let them compete at the same level as dissenters) - but that we legalise some non-harmful version of assault, like hitting people over the had with pool noodles. As I see it, everyone wins: Those that dislike the preachers will be able to vent their frustration and reciprocate their annoyance, by (hopefully in large numbers) whacking the preachers over the head with something too soft to actually do them any further damage. The preachers could of course have pool noodles of their own and we could all just bop each other over the head. Couldn't be any less productive than yelling at each other en masse. It'd certainly be quieter. Stores could recoup lost business by selling the pool noodles. And the street preachers will love it because it feeds into their adorable "persecuted soldier of Christ" narrative. That, or make the mall private property - so you wouldn't have to allow preaching in the mall any more than you have to allow the Harris Scarfe spruiker to interrupt church services to let people know about the sale on women's underwear on level 2. It'd get the preachers out of the mall pretty quickly, but I don't see the Adelaide City Council getting behind the idea.

Ah, whoever said Adelaide was boring?

(Oh yeah, and come see us at the Big Day Out. Get there early and watch Gold Bloom beforehand.)