Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Monday, October 23, 2006

British cop shows

I watch some Brit crap along with my regular American crap, and in the last couple of months I've now seen two shows in which some fundamentalist Christian sect gets out of control and starts committing murder and mayhem. A) I think it's damn obvious no such episode could ever be aired in the U.S., and B) to our British readers, is there a particular reason why British popular culture these days should be more paranoid about Christian nuts than usual? Or am I reading too much into two episodes of TV?


  • At 11:42 AM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Well, as a former resident of London, I'd say Brits in general are a pretty secular people, or at least private about their religious beliefs, and they tend to think America has been hijacked by some looney tunes right wing fundamentalists in the past 10 years.

    Which, of course, it has.

  • At 12:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


  • At 2:52 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    That's a fascinating article. Thanks, anon.

    The real test of tolerance is the percentage who affirm that "my god is the only true god" and people who would die for their religious beliefs. The UK, South Korea, Russia, and the US all tolerant of other religions, but a shocking 70% of Americans would "die for my Gods/beliefs."

    I had no idea South Korea was so secular. Most Korean-Americans I know are evangelical Christians. Strange... Maybe they left Korea because it was too secular (I know almost nothing about Korean politics).

  • At 1:33 AM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    Sure sure sure. But is there an uptick in looney-tunesianism over there that's being reflected in pop culture? Is the pop culture paranoia reflecting anything? Or is it just meaningless coincidence?

  • At 2:32 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Basically, Brits over the past five years have come to think that every single person living in America 1) Owns and regular fires a gun, 2) Is really fake and smiles too much, and 3)Is a fundamentalist freak on par with Al Qaeda suicide bombers, but for Christianity.

    It's difficult to exaggerate how insane they find the American religious right.

  • At 2:43 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Don't forget, we fled Britain because we were religious fundamentalists.

    I think Brits think of us as "that crazy fundamentalist ex-colony with all the fat people with guns."

    (heh I'm imagining my British friends reading this like "what the hell is he talking about?")

  • At 3:12 PM, Blogger Eustacia Vye said…

    The Britspouse reports no recent upticks in looney-tunesianism, at least not pertaining to Christian sects. There has certainly been a lot of debate about the presence of Islamic extremism in Britain, so you could hypothesize that Antid's TV shows may embody a paranoia about religious fundamentalism that has been displaced onto a "safe" (that is to say, irrelevant) target like an American-style Christofascist cult. But Britspouse was not impressed with this conjecture. I think it's probably a coincidence.

  • At 2:39 AM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    Yeah, Britspouse is probably right. One of the shows was "Spooks," so your conjecture isn't really flying with me either.

  • At 12:32 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Also, last night I tried to go to a Judith Butler talk at NYU (sold out, unfortunately) about "Torture, Photography, and the Sexular."

    The what? I said. Apparently someone is sexular if their "disdain for religion and religious authority makes him/her particularly attractive."

    This blog is so sexular.

  • At 12:38 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Oh and I would guess that the paranoia is not a reflection of a particular uptick in British hysteria about fundamentalism or something. More like a slow and steady change of opinion about heartland Americans. There are loads of "these people are so fucking crazy" Americana documentaries on British tv all the time.

    Although maybe it has to do with the rumble to get rid of Tony Blair ASAP (Bush's lapdog, etc.).

  • At 1:35 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    I should probably also note that Spooks has had two episodes this season in which Mossad was a main villain, one a two-parter and the other the same episode with the Christianists. The writers could just be running out of new ways to do the "scary Muslim fundamentalist" story.

  • At 11:51 PM, Blogger Eustacia Vye said…

    I'm not even sure that many Brits quite differentiate between heartland Americans and Americans in general. They get the whole red/blue state thing, but I always got the sneaking impression when I lived over there that "American" was shorthand for "dumb, scary yokel." Which is accurate. I never minded the dumb stigma, but I did get steamed whenever anyone would impugn my sexularity.


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