Social Leverage: Sound values

Social Leverage: Sound values

By Carla Lever

Dear Council of SA Churches,

Hail Mary, Hallelujah and Hello! I know we don’t talk much, me being an atheist and all, but I thought I’d hop on the bandwagon of open letters and break our stand off.
You see, I want to thank you. Here I’ve been, blithely munching my Woolies mince pies and you’ve been fighting the forces of evil on my behalf. Well, that just doesn’t sound like a fair division of labour to me, so I wanted to weigh in (not something I’d generally encourage after said pastry diet) and send my heartiest thanks.

What fresh hellfire have you averted recently? Well, it’s your leading the charge against revoking that demonic diva Lady Gaga’s visa that I particularly want to commend you for. You’ve organised pickets with very cunning slogans that reveal both your mastery of rhetoric (“Lady Gaga: Destroyer of Sound Values” being my particular favourite) and your distress over our earthly experience.

Your very own Reverend Sonti has shared his deep concern that Gaga’s visit could lead to “an exponential growth of Satanism,” while in the same holy breath expressing outrage at the high prices of her show “during current economic times.” Ag Revered, haters gonna hate, but I think it’s admirable that you care about our wallets as well as our souls.

I have to admit, you have a fair point with Gaga. I mean, there was that one song about being in love with Judas and everything. We all know he was a bad egg a couple of millennia back. Clincher! Those are the sort of timeless intertextual terrors that we must guard against at all costs. Besides, kids these days, they pay such close attention to the lyrics.
As for her anthem ‘Born This Way’ – what a disgraceful plea for LGBTI equality. And who are these LGBTI people anyway? They throw letters at us to confuse our righteous spelling out of scripture – they must know there’s an I in ‘sin’ but only a Go in ‘God’. Go she must and, thankfully by now, has.

Now, in the wake of the Government’s disgraceful lack of action on your pleas, I admit to attending the Cape Town show. This was onlyafter dousing myself in eau de holy and eating enough garlic bread to ward off even the most tenacious teenybopper. I must say, for the bride of Satan, she was pretty darn disappointing. I mean, recession hell obviously ain’t what it used to be. For at least half of the show, I was a bit chilly. In this tough economic climate, even the furnace heating’s obviously on an energy saving plan.

Again, there were absolutely no animal sacrifices. If Ozzy can decapitate a bat and even Britney can swing a snake (we’re not sold on your racy reference to eating from the tree of knowledge, Britters), surely Gaga should at least bring on a bit of blood sports? Evidently not so much. She did enter on a magnificent mechanical horse-puppet, but it seemed rather more Handspring than Hellmobile.

Also, no children were harmed. Frankly Reverends, I was pretty unhappy about this. Some poor misguided mother, no doubt one of Satan’s happy helpers, did bring her pre-teen who was hauled onto stage. I was waiting for the fangs or at the least for its head to spin backwards, but all she did was hold onto her hand and tell her to wave. Poor show, I say.

Frankly we all got a bit cringey when she had long heart-to-hearts. There was this schmaltz about ‘believe in yourself’. Well I say no! Believe in God – self is only one step from selfish.
Look, credit where credit’s due: maybe word got out that you’d picketed Big Concerts’ HQ and she toned it down, fearing the awesome arm of the Righteous Right. Good on ya! Now, I know what everyone’s saying. Why make such a fuss about a pop singer when there have been four reported rapes in the time it took me just to write this paragraph? But I say, no! We can’t let our guard down for a second! I mean, first it’s women in big hats and bacon, next it’s full-blown zombie apocalypse. We all know they’re attracted to rotting offal. And you’re providing quite a lot of that.

There is a war and we’re going to win. Let’s fight the real scourge of society! Chris Brown’s also coming to tour, you say? You know, the one who beat Rihanna to a bloody pulp and still suggests doing charming things involving inserting his bodily fluids into the mouths of commentators who confront him about it? Yeah, he gets a family value pass because we’re too busy concentrating on the scum of the earth, that damn pop philanthropist.
It’s up to us to keep the ‘fun’ out of ‘dysfunctional’ this holiday season. I know you’re up to the task, boys. Thanks in advance.

Follow Carla Lever on Twitter
(@carlalever) Email your thoughts to