Humour Web Freakage

Phile under what? Is it right to laugh at this man?

Man-child or maniac in waiting

He may be the next internet phenomenon; he may be the next crime sensation. Jesusophile defies any real classification.

He looks like a fresh-faced twentysomething. There’s a touch of the Justin Timberlake about him, or perhaps Orlando Bloom.

You’ll find his videos on YouTube and they are perhaps particularly apt on Easter Sunday because he appears to be a supreme God-botherer.

His monologues about Why Swearing is Wrong or Why atheists arguments don’t work are so thin and so naive that they invite ridicule. In fact, there are reply videos which include large portions of people doing just that.

The naivete has led some to suggest that Jesusophile is a satirist in the style of Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat poking fun at the evangelicals and the born-agains. But view the movies in a more chronological order and it is possible to see a pattern evolving.

Jesusophile is probably an US-educated mainland European; the view from the ever-present window behind him seems more Poland than Poughkeepsie, more Amsterdam than Harlem. But despite the accent, the words and phrases are more English-inspired than American.

Back Story

By the time you get to Why the world isn’t fair you start to get a picture of a young, angry man who has suffered bullying and taunting at the hands of schoolmates and even present day workmates. He is racist, homophobic (perhaps a closet-bound homosexual himself), vastly ill-informed — nay ignorant — and childlike in his reasoning (see his “scientific proof” of why condoms don’t stop AIDS).

You might be pleased to hear he’s been praying a lot recently. He often prays for more friends (quite a few of his films mention his lack of friends) ; these haven’t been answered yet.

In fact, Jesus has now told him He’s going to take friends away!

This particular revelation comes with the story of proposed meeting in a park where nobody turned up. Instead they photographed him as he broke down in tears and then circulated the pictures.

By this point his delivery is less light-hearted, more cutting. The Boxing Day Tsunami or Hurricane Katrina are God’s way of saying: “I don’t like you very much”. The reason for suffering and death is because “these people have done something wrong”.

It begins to sound like justification. Why is there AIDS? Why is there cancer? Why is there leprosy? “Shut up! It’s a mystery! God works in mysterious ways!”

Bad News

So when I heard yesterday that a gunman had opened fire at a crowded cafe in Rotterdam, killing one person and injuring three others I wondered if Jesusophile had finally opted to go mete out some of God’s mysterious justice on the ranks of the wrongdoers.

Thankfully, it seems not. Today, Jesusophile is back with Why we celebrate Easter and the crucifixion was unheard of, itself a most apt posting for Easter Day.

He seems much happier — if “somewhat”, shall we say, anti-semitic. “I don’t want to be offensive toward the Jews [although he has a bloody good go], but they did kill Jesus!”

He is initially reluctant to name Jesus’s “murderers” and uses crude sign language and mouthed insults to do so (actually, Jesus’s “murderers” were the Romans, who borrowed crucifixion from the Persians). One good thing about crucifixion though, he tells us, it gave Christians a good logo!

Again, by the end of the movie, he is in more sombre mood.

Perhaps I’ve watched too many serial killer thrillers, or episodes of Numb3rs, but I’m seriously concerned that Jesusphile will end up harming himself or others.

Perhaps the next Rotterdam incident will be Jesusphile’s attempt to do God’s work.

I hope I’m wrong.