Tuesday, February 22, 2005

There's such a fine line between "bordering on cruelty" and "pathological sadism"

Ian Frasier quotes from right-wing favorite Jerry Falwell's autobiography in the new issue of The New Yorker:

There were times that Dad's pranks bordered on cruelty. One of his oil-company workers, a one-legged man he nicknamed "Crip" Smith, complained about everything. Dad and Crip's co-workers got tired of the old man's bellyaching and decided to take revenge. One morning Crip called in sick and Dad volunteered to send by lunch to his grateful but suspicious employee. Dad and his chums caught Crip's old black tomcat, killed it, skinned it, and cooked it in the kitchen of one of Dad’s little restaurants. They called it squirrel meat and delivered it to Crip on a linen-covered tray. When Crip returned to work the next morning, Dad and his co-conspirators asked him how he liked his meal. They knew he would complain even about a free home-cooked lunch, and when Crip called it "the toughest squirrel meat" he had ever eaten, they were glad to tell him why. --The Reverend Jerry Falwell, in "Strength for the Journey: An Autobiography."

This anecdote explains a thing or two, no?

It's mind-boggling how Falwell has turned into the go-to guy for talking-heads pundit shows. There are religious leaders who aren't total nutjobs. But I guess they don't give good TV.


PS: I've been getting a lot of search hits because of this post, for some reason. To read the whole Ian Frasier column, a spoof of Falwell's writing, go here.


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