Lesson Seven: Cultivate Boredom

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.

There's no business like show business! That's our theme today, flukes. You there Glimwort, stop your infernal moaning. So you have a few aches and pains. It's nothing compared to the torture of your future if you don't pull yourself together. Let comrade Glimwort be an example to you flukes. Ask him how he likes the training sessions Snort and I have been giving him.

Yes, today we want to talk about show business. Lights! Action! Music maestro! Let's go on with the show! It's comedy tonight! Send in the clowns . . . A little bit of the old soft-shoe shuffle there for you my dear slugs.

Remember, the hairless bipeds go all goggle-eyed with a little bit of razzle-dazzle—a dash of smoke and mirrors here, a flash of sequins and feathers there. That's entertainment, and it's entertainment we want to use to entrance them and cast a spell. We keep them titillated and tickled and diverted with entertainment—so much so that anything the enemy presents will seem hopelessly boring.

This is the end product of our endless entertainment: that anything that requires concentration or hard work will be boring. They think that the worst thing in the world is to be bored. Keep this before them and before long they will only associate with people who entertain them and will only want to engage in activities that entertain. They will soon despise anything boring, never realizing the obvious fact that it is only boring people who get bored.

So through popular culture we raise the entertainment dosage. There is a dark side however, my dear slugs. We must admit it. Despite our best research and development, entertainment in itself is not really one of our basic tools. In fact, when you look in the toolbox we have nothing of our own devising. Everything belongs to the enemy and all we can do is use our best cunning to re-formulate and re-shape what he has devised. The maddening thing is that the enemy actually wants the brutes to enjoy themselves. He is inconsistent. One the one hand he expects them to work for their bread. Then he turns around and commands them to stop working and enjoy what he calls 'the Sabbath'. This is a day off. He actually expects them to rest, play, have fun with one another, and be diverted from their normal drudgery. 

The enemy has devised this horrible concept of leisure. Furthermore, he has planted in their minds and hearts the longing for eternal leisure. We are uncertain why this is, but our intelligence from the enemy's territory leads us to believe that his realm is one of 'the eternal Sabbath'. I can't think of anything worse to tell you the honest truth. What, are they to sit around all day long doing nothing at all? Are they to sip tea and chat with one another while endless ages run? Do they play volleyball or pinochle? Do they frolic in the sea or sit on rocking chairs on the porch and play checkers world without end Amen? It's disgusting. The land above makes me want to vomit. Let me tell you flukes. Compared to that nauseating place with those unbearable creatures of light flitting about with their smug, self-righteous grins, their cackling laughter, and their ridiculous singing you'll find the Father's training chambers below to be bliss. Ahh! the wails and grinding of teeth that never end . . . where the smoke rises, the sulfur simmers and the worm does not die . . .

I'm getting off track. Here is my point slugs: what we have done is take this revolting concept called leisure and turned it into something far more pleasing, which we call entertainment. The idea is that the slugs simply sit down in front of their stage or screen to be entertained, to have their imaginations tickled while their minds are anesthetized. 

This in itself is rather boring I'm afraid. You'll have to sit with your patient while he channel hops until he is so bored that he will even watch reruns of Gilligan's Island or programs about home makeovers. Nevertheless, the end result for the entire sub species is to be expecting to be entertained all the time.

The most delightful consequence of cultivating their addiction to entertainment is that they have now turned the worship in their churches into entertainment. We have what they call 'mega churches' with huge screens, rock music, dry ice, dancers, and 'relevant' preachers who hypnotize their audience with inspiring stories, captivating methods of communication, and a reassuringly entertaining message of self-help, sentimentality, and improved self esteem. Happily there is little mention of that grubby little loser, Jesus of Nazareth, nor a mention of redemption, sin, guilt, or a reminder of our Father's house below. The exciting truth is that the infantile brutes now expect their churches to be as entertaining as a Las Vegas floor show.