by Scoobie Davis
The Ethics and Fun of Mocking Street Proselytizers
I have the attitude that anyone who approaches me on the street and wants to convert me to their religion or their political views is fair game for whatever mockery and derision I believe is appropriate for the occasion. It's always fun to mess with the minds of the hapless followers of fringe presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche. One thing I like to do to proselytizers is whenever they talk to me is to only respond with the words "Dude, where's my car?" ("Kenneth, what is the frequency" is so 1980's). And I can't wait for the Green Party people to be out there handing out flyers for the 2004 campaign (In 2000, I deliberately gave up a prime chance to get laid in order to mock a Greenie). I regret that I haven't been approached by charity-scamming Moonies recently (by the way, John Gorenfeld has some good recent posts about Moon and the Unification Church).
I know some of you out there think I'm callous. Quite the opposite--when a person wasting his or her life on a futile or ridiculous cause (e.g., the Green Party, the LaRouchie movement, or the Unification Church), then when these deluded souls meet a proper adult and are ridiculed, then it's one step in the direction of reassessing their lives and then getting real lives. The last thing these people need is an enabler who humors them--they need reality.
My latest tack is to use these people to help practice my Spanish. Last weekend, some Spanish-speaking Jehovah’s Witnesses approached me. I tried telling them in Spanish that I used to live near Jehovah’s Witnesses founder Charles Taze Russell’s hometown Pittsburgh and that Pittsburgh is a party town and that I'm a party animal ("uno fiestero"). It got to the point where the Witnesses used an excuse to get away from me.