by Art Chantry ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
i think i’m on a crazy lunatic insane christian hubris phase right now. must be the political season warming up – raising up the stink and all…
i found this in a rummage sale in a church. it’s a prime example of the huge, ENORMOUS and extremely profitable christian publishing industry. this is not a particularly notable effort – you have to only watch tv to see the ‘A’ list stuff. but, this sort of material is out there in such mindless volume that the very idea that anybody actually makes money on this stuff seems impossible. but, it’s true – this is a fucking HUGE business. i have half a mind to go into it myself. it’s guaranteed to make you rich. you simply write up some drivel about jesus and and you’ll be able to warp minds and create an army of consumers for your product. it makes pop culture look lame. but, is there a distinction between them? i dunno.
the thing that sort of galls me is how well made and how well designed much of this stuff is. are all these designers and illustrators insane christians as well? or are they just people like you and me trying to make a living, just doing work for whomever dangles some money in front of their faces? that book i showed yesterday “the super deceiver on the world horizon” was also extremely nice to look at and had some really edgy graphic thought worked into it (especially for the time). much of this ‘vampire christianity” material has a look of professionalism and mainstream appearances that masks the completely mad blitherings of the contents. it’s like, by simply doing this design work for a buck, us designers have managed to deliver it into the mainstream where it really should not be. we’re the folks who give it ‘cred.’
take this little booklet for instance. it’s part of an obvious study course (the ‘child evangelism fellowship’. snappy logo, too!) and were likely distributed free to sunday schools who would accept them. it’s intent is to create a small army of indoctrinated child evangelicals to grow into the power elite of tomorrow – and grab as many souls as they can along the way. this book tells the ‘tale’ of a doughy white boy who gamely ventured into ‘devil-king and cannibal’ jungle and didn’t get his head shrunk. instead somehow snookered these poor innocents into becoming part of his personal army of god. nice trick. of course, his real methodology isn’t what’s depicted inside. what we are shown are lots of images of the white guy introducing modesty and clothing and lots of prayer and deep thoughts to the heathen devils. suddenly, the cannibals turn to jesus and toss all their shrunken heads into a bonfire and then kneel in christian prayer. must be how it really happened, eh?
each page is a full beautifully made full page full-bleed one-color 13″x10″ illustration. when you open this thing across your lap, it’s truly a marvelous spread. the text is virtually zero (i assume there was a recording or dialog that was presented alongside this in a human voice – read along with the kiddies and teach them well! frankly, this booklet is so disturbing to glance through that i have to keep closing it and putting away until i can work up the nerve to check it out some more. it’s very very twisted stuff. i show it to other sicko perverts who enjoy seeing this weirdness and they are often floored buy it. it’s really that fucked up.
but, with this mainstream presentation (in all fairness, this should be drawn in crude stick figures my a sub-moron) it comes across as a thing of beauty and wholesome goodness and caring. and ALL of it is due to the talent who actually drew and designed it. we are the vehicle through which madness like this can freely enter our group thought. as guardians of the visual language, we are the catalysts for this illness to infect the unaware. we make this crap look like it’s good and wholesome. and we do it for a few dollars to survive.
i dunno. this sort of stuff is everywhere you look. the design profession has become so amoral and shallow that we designers have zero control over our own destinies any more. we HAVE to do this kind of work, because we HAVE to stay alive. it’s a primal thing. and we easily wear the blinders required. it reduces us to intellectual and political indentured servitude at best. at worst it makes us the lowest of whores.
over the decades i’ve tried to take a personal position against “working for assholes just for the money.” in fact, it’s part of my efforts at getting clean and sober. it actually worked out pretty well and i was able to have a great career in spite of
ually turning down major big-money assignments that most designers would have killed their mothers for. over the years, i’ve told other designer friends about clients i turned down on “moral’ grounds and they all – to a man – think i’m utterly crazy and stupid. but, i’m sober. and i sleep really well.
AC:i would like to point out that this booklet is not a JH tract/effort. it’s a n EVANGELICAL effort. it’s like the ‘vampire’ theory of homosexuality – that they gays are out ‘recruiting’ our young and turning them into queers. except this is a reality that is inversed – the xtians are doing exactly the same thing to the gays – and our young and the cannibals and everybody else. it’s always worth noting that whatever somebody spewing doctrine is accusing you of – they are usually far more guilty of the that action and thought than you are. it’s always a tale of the pot calling the kettle black. so, this isn’t a rank on JH’s in particular. i’m much more equal opportunity than that and condemn all people who try to trick/sucker/connive/pressure/or otherwise coerce others into their bizarre viewpoint. it’s evil.