Father Dwight Longenecker
Lesson Five: The Hypnotic Screens
The demon Slubgrip's previous adventures were gathered and recorded in Fr. Longenecker's Lent book, The Gargoyle Code. Written in Screwtapian style, Slubgrip instructs his protégé Dogwart, while trying to keep tabs on his own 'patient'—all while the tempters tumble through Lent to Easter Day.
You will have to stretch yourselves this morning, worms. We're going to have a spot of philosophy again. I know you would much rather discuss pornography, slasher movies, and films about psychopaths and child killers, but we must leave these entertaining subjects for another day.
Glimwort, go down to the common room and fetch me a cup of lava will you? I want it steaming, you intestinal worm, and make it snappy. Spill one drop and I'll see that you're transferred back to the maggots.
Now then, you may remember how important it is for us to dominate what the miserable bipeds see. "Seeing is believing" is the sweet little pill we want them to swallow. The aim, my dear annelids, is to produce entertaining fictions for them to watch and marvel at. For centuries all we had at our disposal was the theatrical stage. What a chore it all was with pulleys and props and prima donnas, curtains, costumes and candlelight, all that trooping about and posturing! Of course, there was plenty of opportunity to produce 'stars' and cultivate and nice crop of envy, vainglory, and jealousy amongst the actors and actresses, but that is a different matter.
The main point is that through the dramatic arts we were able to give the mongrels something to entertain and amuse them. They identified with what they saw (remember, "seeing is believing"), and by tempting the playwrights and producers to cater to the lowest taste of the audience in order to boost profits we were able to sway the minds of multitudes simply by spinning a good yarn in an entertaining way. There is, of course, a risk to this strategy. The enemy is cunning and cheap. He really doesn't mind stealing our best ideas and using them for his purposes. No sooner did we produce a nicely treacherous, atheistic, sodomite playwright like Christopher Marlowe and he comes up with a William Shakespeare. Despite this, I believe our Father below is out front on this one.
Ah, there you are Glimwort. What took you so long, you miserable slug? I expect the lava is already cold. Sit there in the back will you, and you needn't cower like that. There's nothing worse than a fawning worm of a demon. Snort, be a good chap will you, and sit back there next to Glimwort. If he emits one of his foul odors again or falls asleep you know what to do. You weren't given fangs merely for decoration.
Now, where was I? Yes, "seeing is believing." I'm happy to report that progress on this particular front has moved forward at an amazing rate over the last century of the human years. What they have done is invented first photography, then motion pictures, and then the computer screen. Now we are at the point where the humans are entering what will be called 'the age of the screen.'
The screen is everywhere my dear worms. Simply everywhere! The potential for our 'seeing is believing' manifesto is now almost limitless. The chimps with souls now spend huge amounts of their time staring at a screen. Television screens, movie screens, iPads, smart phones, animated billboards, smart boards in schools . . . the list goes on. They play games on the screen, talk with each other on the screen, watch movies on the screen, do homework on the screen, do office work on the screen, watch news on the screen. Screen. Screen! Screen! It is all so delicious and delightful my dear worms. Too wonderful for words!
Fr. Dwight Longenecker is the Parish Priest of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenville, South Carolina. His latest book is Catholicism Pure and Simple. Visit his blog and sign up for Faith Works! his free, weekly newsletter on the practical practice of the Catholic faith here.