I was all ready to write a witty, ironic post on Stephenson Billings, and his Christwire article railing against actor Bill Murray. According to Stephenson, Bill Murray is a threat to the very future of America:
Bill Murray is a fatal disease and the sad news we bring you today is that your children have been infected.
There is no denying that this grotesque and dangerous creature can be described as nothing less than one of the four horsemen of America’s impending Apocalypse.
And then I got thinking. This guy writes really well. The piece lacks the subtle hallmarks of insanity that make craziness so entertaining. Witness these selections:
When you see this man on screen, his eyes wander all over you like a caged New York City rat. They seek out your curves and muscles with eerie desire. Those are not the eyes of someone you can trust. His mischievous grin suggests rape and sex and wanting to violate any thing he comes into contact with in the dead of night….
Instead, we have boozy Bill Murray on our screens, luring young teens to jump in to his musty van of laziness.
We do not need perverts like Bill Murray lusting after our beautiful children with a reckless almost urgent need to tear them from innocence so he can insanely explore his lost, burning childhood on their soft bodies on old couches in dirty apartments in the ghettos of America.
Oh yes, it’s insane. But look at those lovely similes and metaphors, that gorgeous imagery. And where are the exclamation marks? Where is the narcissism? Where is the personal fear of persecution? Where is the author’s deity-granted mission to singularly save the world?
So, I did a little digging into Stephenson Billings. It seems Mr. Billings is a “credentialed” Christian Investigative Journalist, who is also a “Special Leader of Christian Camping Trips for Hearty Teens!” Hmmm. OK. But also:
Mr. Billings also enjoys being … a Motivational Children’s Party Entertainer (working in the Auguste method) in his hometown in Tennessee. His hobbies include antique soda bottle collecting and the piano.
According to wikipedia, an Auguste clown is a clever anarchist, a joker who goes in for exaggerated foolishness. In internet terms, a poe. And it seems I’m not the only one with suspicions. Comedy Central declared Billings as a hoaxster, and the Murray article as the piece that reveals Christwire as a satire site:
In this high speed world the line between news and not-news gets fuzzy real fast, and we were hoaxed by a satirical Christian website that looked like a real Christian website (yes, Virginia, they do exist).
Not everyone is quite so sure, however. Billings is an active poster on the Confessionwire, boards (a site affiliated with Christwire), where other posters consistently challenge his credentials, and accuse him of being a pedophile. Stephenson even goes to the trouble to post comments on a variety of forums, including this New York Times article. That’s one dedicated satirist.
So, what do you think, dear readers? Is Billings certifiable, or brilliant? Is Christwire serious, or satire? If Billings is a full-time poe, and Christwire is satire, then who pays the bills?
I’ll leave Stephenson with the final word:
“In the struggle against evil in the world, there is no shame in losing only in fighting without all your guts.” –Stephenson Billings