Friday, March 10, 2006

There Could be a Major Problem Here

I’ve become pretty interested in those church fires in Alabama. I’m always interested in the public reacts to a church torching. Church burnings are disturbing.

After a heinous church burning, there are always wild accusations being thrown around. Usually it’s the Satanists that receive the majority of the suspicion. There’s always somebody who suggests early on that the local devil worshippers may have had a hand in it. But, really, when was the last time you remember a church being burned down by Satanists? And where are the local Satanists anyway? I defy you to walk around your neighborhood and point out the devil worshippers. Most of the time we don’t even think about devil worshippers. Not until there’s a church fire or a brutal pointless killing. Then some police official comes on the local news and talks about the friendly neighborhood Satanists. Most of the time, it’s to rule them out. They have to. Otherwise, the Christians in town might form a pitchfork posse to go looking for the minions of Beelzebub. And since the posse will probably never actually find a Satanist, city officials feel like they have to be very clear in calming people’s fears about devil worshipers. You can’t have bands of Christians with torches roaming the streets of town looking for devil worshippers that more than likely didn’t exist in the first place.

But nowadays we blame the Muslims (incidentally, I failed to capitalize both the words “Satanist” and “Muslim” but Microsoft Word only automatically corrected the word “Satanist.” Hmmmm.). Muslims had to be behind the church burnings, right? I mean only Muslims or Satanists are fiendishly clever enough to burn a church, right?

Wrong. Of course, as you know, the arson was committed by three college students out looking for a “good time.” But not just college students – College Theatre Majors.

See, I was a theatre major in college. I feel like I understand other theatre majors. I don’t know why, I mean we’re all just people. I shouldn’t have any more insight into theatre majors than anyone else really. But I feel like I do. It’s easy for me to put myself in their position. I know what their schedule was probably like. I know what they probably did in their spare time. Theatre majors are pretty much the same everywhere you go. They spend too much time at rehearsals and building crappy sets and their down time is spent drinking and sleeping with everyone in the department that they can get their hands on.

Why did they do it? Well, they say that it was just a prank that got out of hand. People are finding that hard to believe. Personally, I don’t. I think that’s exactly what happened. Obviously, these kids have some deep-seeded emotional problems, I mean what the hell kind of rational human being burns even one church as a prank? Let alone nine! But this was an out-of-control prank nonetheless.

And it’s creepy to me. I would never burn down a church, or any other building for that matter, but it’s creepy to me that I can kind of understand where these dumbshit kids are coming from. They went to a small college in Birmingham, Alabama after all. I imagine that there’s not too much excitement around there. I went to a small college too, I know what it’s like. I never wanted to burn anything. But I know what it’s like.

Usually when somebody goes and burns 9 churches, they’re pretty evil. But I don’t think that these kids are evil. Incredibly stupid, but not evil. I can’t usually identify with people who would do something so horrible. But I find myself doing just that. I’m not too worried about it. I just think it’s weird. I mean, when a mother drowns her children, it’s horrific, it’s sad, it’s one of the worst things ever, but I’m not a mom, I can’t relate at all to the person who would do that. Ditto for the father who mutilates his family, the religious fanatic who blows himself up at a crowded café or the deranged creep who drags women into the back of his van.

But these firebugs were just some stupid theatre geeks.

I was a stupid theatre geek. We all spell theatre with an “r-e” on the end. And then I found these pictures of two of the arsons on the internet and it really hit me, I have a lot in common with some dumbass kids who burned down 9 churches.

Horrible theatre publicity pictures for one.

This is Ben Moseley. He was involved in all of the fires. It’s a publicity photo for a play called Extremities. It’s billed as an extremely tense, white knuckle thriller. Ben plays a rapist. Judging from the photograph, I’m going to go ahead and assume that this particular production…really sucked. The girl there in the picture plays a woman who turns the tables on her attacker by…chaining him to a bicycle! Noooo!

This is a picture of Russ DeBusk. He’s building a prop for the play All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. My guess is…he didn’t. But in Russ’s defense, I don’t remember being specifically told not to burn churches in kindergarten. I think it was more an understanding than a rule.

Fun Fact: Russ DeBusk actually claimed to be a Satanist once to a friend. He even invited that friend to go “demon hunting” with him. They ended up drinking in the woods and playing a guitar.

But this goes to show you that you should never claim to be a Satanist. You never know when you may go on a church-burning jag someday and your claims, no matter how untrue or made as a joke, will come back to haunt you.

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