Downmarket Derangement Syndrome
First, they’re all at best second- (or third- or fourth- or shoe-) string presences in gospel music. And second, as topics of posts here, they generated by far the site’s most acrimonious discussion threads, full of invective and acrimony that burn with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns.
So what’s up with that? Why do marginal or “boutique” acts in southern gospel seem to have cult-of-personality followings that engender such partisan viciousness? Even the Joseph Habedank thread, which got pretty nasty, was a birthday party at Chuck-E-Cheese compared to the comments that these downmarket groups and personalities give rise to.
Just to use the most recent example: commenters to the Segos thread, a cartoonish festival of idiocy that mainly attracts, as far as I can tell, drama queens and hysterics, have made threats of physical violence against one another and the principles involved (deleted), alleged Class A felonies (deleted), and imputed all kinds of other libelous things about whoever is deemed to be the enemy (delete, delete, delete). It’s not that these things are offensive to me, and anyway, I’m not easily offended. But it’s just that the general quality of these discussions is soooo childish and tedious.
Is there some law of the sg universe that says fanatic obsessions intensify in inverse proportion to the performer’s market share? If there isn’t, there should be. Call it Downmarket Derangement Syndrome or something like that.
All of which puts me in mind of Mark Noll’s comment about the level of discourse in evangelical culture: “The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind.”Email this Post