Grifters Gotta Grift


A friend of mine made me watch this; I had had too much wine, perhaps, and really couldn’t believe I was seeing what I was seeing.

If you watch the video below, I am not responsible for any WTF damage you may suffer.

Youtuber SuperDeluxe does some really interesting and creative edits, that – in my experience – don’t interfere with the content. They delicately amplify the WTF that is already there.

At 0:30 you get a glimpse of Bakker’s new grift: end-times survival food buckets. Each bucket holds 90 days worth of semi-edible sludge that you can stack in your living room and use as a coffee-table so that when everything falls apart something something uh I am not really sure what the exact idea is. But it has a 20-year shelf life. If I had 20 years of remaining shelf-life I’d buy one and store it and measure the bacterial content in 20 years. Actually, I’m kidding about that. I might, however, strap a politician to a water-board and give them a few ladles-full to see what happened to them, in the name of ‘enhanced voter feedback.’

Bakker’s got a new mannequin covered in mascara and face-lift; I guess we can all be happy for him, or something.

The whole show is horrifying at many levels (and SuperDeluxe helps bring it out) – there are some amazing bits at 1:50, “half of our kids are full-blooded Mexican kids, and you can see they like it!” as they feed a bit of unidentifiable taco-glarp to a baby. I’m not sure what bothers me more, the casual racism or the stupidity of assuming that taste in food is hereditary – does he think he’s some kind of evolutionary psychologist, or something?

At 2:30 is a bit that’ll have you laughing so hard your survival food will spew all over your keyboard: the glossy-skinned over-manicured evangelical talking head says, “One thing that is great about Donald Trump is he does not lie.”

I’m just a working class joe like you.

Joking and fun aside: his audience are some of the trumpenproletariat. They’re the authoritarian followers who believe pretty much whatever they hear, as long as it’s said with a tone of confidence and enthusiasm. How could that nice man Jim Bakker be a liar? He even went to jail for his beliefs! In another episode of Bakker (I watched a bunch of this shit, so you don’t have to) Bakker appears in a ball cap and work clothes – he’s just folks, people, just one like you – not a mega-church pastor who rakes in millions of dollars a year selling crap to ignorant religion-addled rubes.

Spoiler alert: at 2:50 we are shown how the survival food bucket can be outfitted with a toilet seat so it makes a good emergency commode. Because, I guess, when the end times come there won’t be dirt or holes left. They missed a trick, though – they should have included a peel-off sticker that says “FOOD” which you can peel away and reveal “POOP” so that people can tell them apart. They look too much alike.

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One of my blogger fantasies, before I became part of the FtB hive-mind, was to find a couple of really really good writers and set up a blog that purported to be Voltaire and Mark Twain’s blog. I’ve always thought that if those two characters could somehow be resurrected in this time, they’d have some particularly fine, dry, commentary to offer. I would not dare to write a blog under the nom de plume of one of the greatest men of letters who ever lived, I can’t play at that level, but I sure would love to read it.

I note that the difference between “FOOD” and “POOP” is a small curve and a short line. So Bakker could save on stickers by just giving us a holy magic marker or something. Praise be!

Comments

  1. says

    Oh, Bakker has been shilling that shit for years. It has gone through at least a couple of rebranding attempts that I remember, and he still can’t give it away. I vaguely remember him starting this nonsense back when the survivalist stuff was at a fever pitch, before it got rebranded as prepping. Somewhere on the ‘net, a chef bought some of it and reviewed it, just for the snark of it.

  2. johnson catman says

    Caine @1:

    Somewhere on the ‘net, a chef bought some of it and reviewed it, just for the snark of it.

    Is the chef still alive? I would think that anything purported to be food which has a shelf life of 20 years has got to be toxic.

  3. lanir says

    I’m sorry, I cannot purchase end-time foodstuffs unless I know the return policy. Is it satisfaction guaranteed? Can I pray for my money back? Does one pray to almighty gawd or the much closer almighty glarp? Because if I ingest it and it’s about what I think it is, it will shortly appear MUCH more powerful than any deity dreamt of by mortal man that is not made of porcelain.

  4. says

    John Morales@#4:
    That poor chef – his commentary is pretty understated. I wish they had given it to Gordon Ramsay. Not because I don’t like Ramsay, but because the fireworks would have been better..

  5. komarov says

    They missed a trick, though – they should have included a peel-off sticker that says “FOOD” which you can peel away and reveal “POOP” so that people can tell them apart. They look too much alike.

    Perhaps one is meant to tell them apart by the smell. But I was already suspicious and the chef seems to confirm that you can’t. For all we know it doesn’t even matter, at least not in terms of nutritional value.

  6. says

    enhanced voter feedback.

    I love this one.
    When our political leaders do some illegal stuff, they just call it in some euphemism and thus the action instantly becomes legal (for example, ‘enhanced interrogation’ is legal, while ‘torture’ isn’t). Now, when countries outlaw ‘protests’, we could just call the action ‘enhanced voter feedback’ and it should instantly become legal.

    Preparing food for the end times is silly though. Christians claim that during the rapture all believers will be transported to heaven before things start getting ugly on earth. They won’t need food reserves once they are in heaven. Only infidels are going to suffer during the seven year great tribulation.

    This reminds me a Russian documentary, where the filmmakers got some old food from one of the USSR giant underground refrigerators (they had several of those in different places, the best known and most photographed is Самарский хладокомбинат №2). USSR kept a huge (thousands of tons of food) underground stockpile of food so that politicians and all the important people would have something to eat after the nuclear destruction wiped out everybody who was not important. Ok, that’s not how they called it, it was officially called an emergency food supply in case of a war or natural disaster. And it was supposed to be for all USSR citizens. But let’s be realistic, it’s plainly obvious who would get to eat first in a time of disaster. In that documentary filmmakers got some decades old dried fruits and had a chef cook some deserts from them. And everybody who tasted it loved the result. It sure was a lot better than that stuff sold by Jim Bakker. Of course all the important people needed tasty food. In USSR they kept the food frozen, so they could have a wider variety of foods compared to what Bakker sells. Shelf life differed by product, it was up to 40 years for some foods.

  7. Dunc says

    Christians claim that during the rapture all believers will be transported to heaven before things start getting ugly on earth.

    Actually, I believe this is a matter of some disagreement. Of those who believe in the Rapture and the Tribulation (which is only a minority of Christians to begin with), some believe the Rapture comes before the Tribulation, whereas others think it comes after.

  8. says

    Dunc@#10:
    the Rapture comes before the Tribulation

    The Rapture is the part where you have to eat the preserved food. The Tribulation is sort of like dessert? Or perhaps it’s one’s just desserts?
    Or maybe the Tribulation is the shits you get after eating that glarp. It looks like library paste, for a library out of Dante’s Inferno.

  9. says

    Ieva Skrebele@#9:
    the best known and most photographed is Самарский хладокомбинат №2). USSR kept a huge (thousands of tons of food) underground stockpile of food so that politicians and all the important people would have something to eat after the nuclear destruction wiped out everybody who was not important.

    From a bit of googling for pictures, it looks like eating that food would be some kind of punishment for failure. That place looks really unsanitary.

    I am a huge fan of “Kitchens of India” reheat-and-eat curry. It’s really good and it appears pretty near indestructible. If I were trying to survive a nuclear war that and rice and sriracha would probably do nicely for a few months..

  10. says

    To Dunc@#10

    some believe the Rapture comes before the Tribulation, whereas others think it comes after.

    Ouch. Wasn’t God supposed to be sadistic only towards infidels? Torturing his loyal followers for multiple years before the rapture is so sick that I can’t help but wonder how people can worship a God who is being nasty even towards his believers.

    Still, if God first creates a hell on earth for several years and then, once the mess is over, he revives all the dead believers, isn’t it better to die quickly at the beginning of the bad days, skip all the suffering by being conveniently dead, and then get revived once the bad times are over? In that case you don’t need any survival food. If you know that you will be revived once the ugly days are over, why bother surviving?

  11. says

    Yeah, don’t think about it too hard, it’s fractally wrong. The more you think about it the more wrong it gets.

    But shouldn’t there be some logical explanation why Christians would be motivated to buy emergency food buckets? I can understand some other reasons why people may get paranoid and want to stockpile food (paranoid fear of wars, economic crises). But why Christians? Or is there no reasonable explanation and they just do whatever the pastor tells them to?

    That place looks really unsanitary.

    Well, yes, there’s certainly no way I would like to touch let alone eat something that looks like this –
    https://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/9502/67700761.255/0_11cc5d_38fe47f2_orig.jpg

    I suspect the place didn’t look so bad several decades ago though. I also suspect the food didn’t taste that bad. Canned fish done with USSR recipes can be very tasty. They also stored plenty of butter and dried fruits, which I like.

    Although some of the images, for example this picture https://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/5500/67700761.255/0_11cc54_cb29dd6f_orig.jpg looks almost normal for me. I’m just used to very shabby looking soviet era buildings. Most soviet remnants look like this, so I don’t freak out from such sights. Nowadays they are either demolished or converted into museums.
    In Latvia there’s a former prison, which is now turned into a museum and a hotel. http://karostascietums.lv/en/excursions-around-karosta-prison/ The shabbiness and feeling of doom and gloom is always the same in such places. I just don’t expect anything different from soviet buildings (unless they are completely renovated). By the way, there they even offer a genuine experience of emotional torture for their guests. As told by a traveler who actually spent a night there – https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2006/jun/25/latvia.hotels.observerescape

    If I were trying to survive a nuclear war that and rice and sriracha would probably do nicely for a few months..

    My choices for a few month survival would be very different. I’d definitely have some canned fish. My favorite choice would be smoked sprats in oil. That’s how they look here –
    https://i2.wp.com/www.bonappetit.lv/lat/images/stories/melu-detektors/sprotes/p1012427.jpg Still made with mostly the same old recipe from USSR times. And it’s very tasty.
    I’d add some of my mom’s canned tomatoes too (unlike me she’s actually good with cooking). I’d also pick dried fruits, nuts. Vegetables, if there was a cold underground root cellar to store them (yes, I actually like vegetables). Otherwise I’d have to go for grains, like buckwheat, oat-flakes, semolina, rice, stuff like that.

  12. John Morales says

    Ieva Skrebele:

    But shouldn’t there be some logical explanation why Christians would be motivated to buy emergency food buckets?

    But it’s not “Christians”, it’s a very small subset of evangelicals.

    (Or: it’s not a Christian thing)

    If I were trying to survive a nuclear war that and rice and sriracha would probably do nicely for a few months..
    My choices for a few month survival would be very different. I’d definitely have some canned fish. My favorite choice would be smoked sprats in oil.

    Calories are calories, the hungry are not picky.

    (Canned fish?! Wow)

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