Warning: This post was published more than 12 years ago.
I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!
But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:
- My views might have changed in the 12 years since I wrote this post.
- This post might use language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate or offensive.
- Factual information might be outdated.
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Many thanks for your understanding.
If anyone was offended by Jerry Spinger: The Opera, then they are over-sensitive. It did not, as the Christians claim, mock anybody’s religious beliefs. Yes, it featured Jesus in a nappy singing that he might be a little bit gay, and out of context that does sound terribly offensive. And yes, it did contain an awful lot of swearing. But it was clearly not mocking religion, it was mocking the absurdity of Jerry Springer, and similar TV shows, and mocking the elitism of opera.
It did this through hyperbole. What more ridiculous situation could there be than a TV argument between Jesus and the Devil, moderated by Jerry Springer? That isn’t insulting to religion, it’s insulting to the over-grand self-importance of American talk shows. A provacative talk show host cannot reunite heaven and hell any more than an eleison can be based on the name of a talk show host. Both are hilariously absurd – and anybody who doesn’t respect Christian teachings simply wouldn’t get the joke.
The whole thing is a bit excessive and extreme, but that’s the point. The church should be embracing cultural formats that poke fun at quick-fix TV solutions to life’s problems, not shunning them. Unless, of course, their apparent faith is so weak that they believe that their religion is one of those quick-fix solutions. In which case, they deserve mocking.
It was an excellent opera, both musically and ideologically, and I heartily congratulate the Beeb for being brave enough to go ahead with it.