Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ceci n'est pas un pope

Let's guess Brian Tamaki's occupation!

Tamaki has been voted New Zealand's least-trusted person in two consecutive polls. He's a homophobic douchebag who used to credit an American professional homophobe as his inspiration and role-model until the latter's closet door fell open. He is much-run-after by our scuzzier politicians who stand in line to shake his hand, and has received nearly $1 million from the Gubblement. Don't everyone put up their hand at once... Whaddaya, teachers' pets? Quite right, Calenture; Brian Tamaki is a megachurch evangelist, of the 'prosperity gospel' doctrine, i.e. "Give your money to me and God will some day pay you back."

17th-century graphic novels: not clear
on the concept of dramatic tension

I have no idea if there is a trade journal for evangelism but if it exists, Tamaki would be the inspirational cover boy. He's risen from humble beginnings as a door-to-door carpet salesman,* through a series of self-assigned titles, until most recently he decided to call himself Bishop. We all know how this story traditionally progresses but obviously Tamaki knows too, which is why he has so far held off from promoting himself to be Pope.

Looking for a power base, the Destiny Church launched a takeover bid for the Māori Womens' Welfare League, a well-respected and previously secular social-service group. This came after Tamaki crashed and burned with an attempt to enter New Zealand politics directly. He has learned the lesson that when one puts out a platform and voters emphatically reject it, one resorts to deceit and infiltration.**

In a few years time Tamaki will be a fugitive from charges of fraud and general ratbaggery. A police press-statement will alert the public to the activities of an individual dressed in the costume of an itinerant septic-tank cleaner, going door-to-door offering benedictions in exchange for food or cash.*** Or he'll be Pry Minister. It depends whether his wife's requests from the magic fish stay within reason.

* Not intended as factually correct; I just wanted to make a joke about "Rugs to riches".

** Case in point: Don Brash.

*** "Police described this as a blessing in disguise".


vacuumslayer said...

In a few years time Tamaki will be a fugitive from charges of fraud and general ratbaggery

I was thinking of another word with the letters "b ggery" in it.

vacuumslayer said...

BTW, can one just declare herself stuff now? Cuz I want to be Pope. And not just for the obscene wealth and access to all those sexy prepubescent altar boys.

I want it for the robes, people. The ROBES.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Now that Sarah has abandoned her door-to-door tour, it appears President Hopey is taking up the task.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Tamaki has been voted New Zealand's least-trusted person in two consecutive polls.

That's only because Ray Comfort scarpered off to Fundimerica to garner a bigger collection of loons to fleece.

Smut Clyde said...

Cuz I want to be Pope.
I recommend "Pope John Twentieth" as there is a vacancy for this title (owing to an error in the reckoning).

mikey said...

Sorry. Been all through this this thing a couple times, and the only anomalous event I can come up with is in the "Etoupes" frame where they seem to have set the pope's dad on fire.

But c'mon - who am I to question the rituals of the past?

ckc (not kc) said...

I declare myself Black Rod (not much to do, cool name)

Another Kiwi said...

It is an understandable mistake that Mikey makes due to him being a non orthodox Pagan and all. The caption refers to the Cardinales making the popal brulee and it looks like someone got a bit carried away with caramelising the sugar.
The good Bishop Brian is a shyster of the highest water. One has to give him that and it would be no problem if he kept it to him and his family but, ah, he doesn't so I think he should be in jail.
I would be most interested to hear from his brothers about him Two of Tamaki's brothers, Doug and Mike, are well-known tourism venture operators in Rotorua(Wikipedia) but they do not mention him.

Smut Clyde said...

Well there's nothing novel about noticing that when fraudsters and grifters are looking for an outlet for their talents where they can rip people off in complete immunity from legal retribution, they turn to religion. So Tamaki is recognised as a scamster by the vast majority of the population but politicians are still cozying up to him in the hope that he might send a few votes their way.

But it occurs to me now that this is actually a useful operational definition of religion, which is something that the religious-studies people have previously been lacking... "Any field of human activity where practitioners can commit the most egregious frauds and impostures in the knowledge that they will never be sued."

Substance McGravitas said...

But that covers psychics too which is a claim to a practical-but-nonexistent skill, and you don't even need an ethical code for it.

mikey said...

Within those parameters, it's also a perfect description of my entire career:

"...a claim to a practical but non-existent skill..."

Smut Clyde said...

No-one has laughed at the "Blessing in disguise" joke.

mikey said...

Well, if it's any consolation, it has caused me to resolve to redouble my efforts to come up with a better use of the "Blessing in Disguise" punch line...

tigris said...

I laughed, you didn't hear me?