The setting: I’m in my car this morning driving along Palm Avenue toward work. With my brain firmly ensconced in my current book on CD, I reach the end of the disk and pop it out, and the radio comes on. It’s B95 with the Morning Juice Crew. It isn’t my usual commute fare, but as I prepare to pop in my next CD, my attention is riveted.
The topic: Are homosexuals inhabited by evil spirits?
The back story: One of the DJs is explaining that he got into hot water with some listeners earlier in the morning for coming out firmly against the evil-spirits hypothesis. (Which is reassuring, though another DJ’s less than scholarly opinions on the city of Sodom don’t exactly set the bar for insightful discourse.) That, in turn, sparked a discussion rounding up all the usual conversational suspects in today’s culture wars on the subject: interpretation of Scripture, separation of church and state, generational attitudes, etc. Yes, I know that gay rights is a hot-button topic these days. But evil spirits? Not your usual morning-drive topic.
A possible explanation: When I arrive at work, I learn that B95 sponsored a screening of the movie “Evil Dead” the night before, which includes a scene in which one of the female characters gets possessed — don’t you hate it when that happens? — and begins making sexual moves on another woman. As I talk with my colleagues, we’re not sure if there’s a direct link between the movie and the big B95 brouhaha, but it seems like a pretty good explanation.
Just plain weird: Thinking back, I have to laugh on two separate counts. As the DJs and listeners sparred on the subject, it occurred to me that the year could be 1013, not a thousand years later. People in the Middle Ages were certainly big on evil spirits, after all. (It’s hard to imagine what they’d think about hip-hop, though.) And the second count is this: Why were those upset folks listening to B95, which wouldn’t exactly qualify as the godliest station in town, in the first place? Have they heard some of those lyrics?