Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I want Brad Stine's publicist.

Stine is a mediocre comic whose market niche is right-wing Christians. When he's not hanging out with Ann Coulter, Alan Keyes, and the Reverend Rod Parsley, he's getting terrific press from guilt-ridden secular journalists who want to think they aren't closed-minded about the godly. Here's a New Yorker profile from 2004, which was followed by a New York Times story from 2005 (which inspired this post from me); now Stine shows up in a Newsweek "Web exclusive" for his appearance as the house comic at a gathering of ... of ...


GodMen. I'm embarrassed to type that. GodMen wouldn't really be a bad name to have -- if you were a band of 24-year-old kids whose career highlight was opening for the Mars Volta (before you broke up and all got jobs at the Harley plant). But that's not what we're talking about.

GodMen, according to Newsweek, is "a series of testosterone-fueled Christian men's gatherings across the country." Christian men -- no women allowed -- gather together in order to be Christian men gathered together. What this means is that they sit around pumping their fists to a rock/country band playing a song called "Testosterone High":

"Forget the ying and the yang/ I'll take the boom and the bang/ Give me another dose of testosterone."

and another song with these lyrics:

"Jump up in the saddle/ Grab a sword, don't be scared/ Be a man, grow a pair!"

There are also

a number of risque panels. One forum, titled "Training the Penis," addressed struggles with masturbation and pornography. These were regarded as morally reprehensible but as weaknesses that should be addressed honestly. In another talk, Nate Larkin, a former pastor, told the crowd how he picked up his first prostitute on the way to preach at a candlelight service on Christmas Eve....

Among the new adherents is Seth Kalb, 29, from Spring Hill, Tenn.... "I wanted the real meat," he said. "They touch on real things here, like masturbation...."

Yeah, these guys clearly do spend a lot of time, er, touching on things like masturbation.

Now, I don't want to suggest that the whole point of all this is to fixate on sex in an all-male gathering and call it Christian worship. Well, actually I do. But I should note that these guys do talk about other things -- the excess of flowers on church altars, for instance. (Though they don't seem to talk about that very much.) Oh, and Stine does comic riffs on "political correctness" -- and, as you'll see if you watch Newsweek's "Christian comedy" video clip, he gets no laughs at all (except from himself).

Maybe the assembled guys wanted him to get off the stage so they could go talk about sex again. Or maybe they just thought he sucked.

But he's really good at roping in those secular journalists.

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