21 May 2012

Psalty's Funtastic Praise Party

Psalty's Funtastic Praise Party
United States - 1983
Director - Gerald Cain
Word Incorporated, 1998, VHS
Run Time -58 minutes

Psalty's Funtastic Praise Party is a variety show for Christian children, or rather it's a Christian singalong for children who are too young to know any better. That's the best time to get 'em!
The best part are the three giant boxes on the stage in the first segment. They're supposed to be "praise boxes" into which the children are admonished to pour their praise or some such nonsense, but their physical dimensions and hinged lids make them look remarkably like dumpsters. When all the multicolored confetti and pom-poms pop out and shake around like wind-blown litter, it really reinforces the concept.

But the kicker, the real coup-de-grace is when all the puppets pop out and start dancing around and singing. Even if they didn't look exactly like muppets, the Oscar the Grouch/homeless scavenger effect would be unmistakable. They even have shaggy hair and one is wearing a lampshade.
I can't help but think that what we're getting here is a rehash of the happy-pauper Oliver Twist concept.

 The love of Christ and the promise of a better afterlife has long been a traditional salve to the oppressed and Christianity has always paid lip service to charity, so it should come as no surprise that part of childhood indoctrination is the notion that poor people like it that way, they're happy. It's as necessary to making oneself feel superior as it is to 'doing good works.' The very notion of charity as a practice requires that the giver has while the recipient has not. It necessitates, requires, even feeds on inequality and hierarchy which it subsequently becomes necessary to maintain.

To make equal, to really end deprivation and need would rob the benefactor of their sense of righteousness, deprive them of the psychological bandage that enables us to avoid more difficult questions. Therefore poverty (i.e. economic injustice) in this adulterated sense is a good thing.


dylan said...

It's a rip-roarin' great time of praise and worship!

The Goodkind said...

And Groupthink!

Barry P. said...

Jim Jones would be proud. Bring out the Kool Aid!