I have a major issue with how badly Christians do PR, or public relations.
Christians, of all people, should not need another role model. And I think, if those people ever did come out as believers, or become outspoken Christians, it may not end the way Christians want. Look at what hypocrisy Bono represents to most of the world. And remember the band Creed? It’s the reason they invented the word ‘god-awful’.
But there is something much funnier about people coming out who even Christians don’t really want waving the Jesus flag.
Especially if you once considered them to be doing Satan’s work.
Today I found this story, in the UK’s Guardian, which appears horrifying, amusing and sincere all at once.
Insane Clown Posse: And God created controversy
America’s nastiest rappers in shocking revelation – they’ve been evangelical Christians all along.
I haven’t ever followed ICP – certainly not enough to be abbreviating their name – but as someone who was a music journo for a few years for teen magazines (Juice, Recovery, Blunt) and later Channel [V], I interviewed metal bands like Slipknot, Coal Chamber, Queens of the Stone Age and others, giving me good evidence that the men making spine-shattering noise on stage are usually reasonable and thoughtful guys backstage and if you met them in the street, they’d be dedicated dads who love their mum. It made me sick. It was the reason I got out of the music industry. No band had anything to say, they couldn’t back up their lyrics and they were hopeless reflections of the powerful presence they became on stage.
Is this good because it proves they are human? No. Is Insane Clown Posse exposing their heart and faith a good thing for music? No. Is it good for the truth to get out, sure, but if Christianity calls for love above all things, what were these band members thinking? Not a lot, I reckon.
Finding out that all rock stars were normal people did my head in. I had bought into it heavily as a teen and all it did was multiply my cynicism about the music business. It proved to me the often sensational onstage antics are just that, theatre.
Slipknot (pictured with non-fan) drew heavily on ICP’s look when they appeared on the volcanic rap-metal-horrorcore scene. They upped the ante, flinging themselves around the stage, attacking instruments, often literally, all while wearing masks that, no joke, they sewed themselves.
When I met the band, I had come into a Kings Cross hotel expecting to meet crazed clowns who talked like diesel engines but here I was getting lectured to on performance art by a 40ish man who would otherwise be a school bus driver. He went by the name “6” but he was actually Shawn Crahan is one of the founding members of Slipknot.
The group – who recently lost one of their masked members to drugs – readily admitted to me that the personas they took on was all bluster. It was all an act to sell tickets. That was news to me. I didn’t think they were murderers but I at least wanted them to be expressing some righteous anger at the world, the rock’n’roll ethos that says things aren’t right but we can fix it.
It was news but I couldn’t print it. Nor could I print the fact that they nearly all had kids they were missing back home as they sat in a hotel lobby sipping tea and speaking to the press.
I had to play my part and so I hid the truth in an article that made the most of their swearing and full-on performances.
But I am getting off track.
What the hell is going on with ICP declaring themselves Christian? Until now, they’ve incited violence, debased women and done as much for promoting a healthy idea of sex as Hitler did for racial harmony.
But now, it seems, “They’ve only been pretending to be brutal and sadistic to trick their fans into believing in God.”
Trick? You can be tricked into joining Scientology when they call it Dianetics but tricking the kids into following Jesus through angry and misogynist lyrics proves the only thing heavy about them is their makeup and it appears to have seeped into their small brains.
(Plus, it does so many weird things to the concept of predestination I dare not try to understand it.)
But then, much in the story suggests they don’t really know what’s going on.
“A giraffe is af—ing miracle. It has a dinosaur-like neck. It’s yellow. Yeah, technically an elephant is not a miracle. Technically.”
They have proved themselves to be insane, and clowns and we know they’re not a posse because THEY ARE WHITE.
Technically, this can’t be good for Christianity.