Dr. Gene Scott's gentle fund-raising style, and his Sermon on Sin
I have been designing a new typographical punctuation mark, in the spirit of the Interrobang, a punctuation mark I sincerely think is badly needed: The Ill-Remembered (but nonetheless Authentic) Quotation Mark. I am too lazy to actually research many authentic quotes to get them right, but I have near-remembered a lot of stuff that actual people actually said, and I think I should have a way to slightly misquote them without outraging the world's Perfectionists and Picky-Pickyists.
Here are two examples, and until I design my new dingbat, we'll use " but colored red.
There I was pretty sober watching The Dr. Gene Scott Show -- officially "Dr. Gene Scott on Hebrews" -- on early Ur-Cable (or UHF channel 788) in the middle of the night, circa 1980, when I got off work, and he Said These Things, and I heard him Say These Things, and so okay, I didn't videotape or Tivo them, but I will stake $100 that if Gene wasn't finished being alive, and read this, he would say, "Yup, that's pretty goddam close to what I said, close enough for gummint work, have a Cuban seegar, son."
First of all, we need to reference, as a comparison baseline, the fund-raising solicitation styles of other famous, infamous, notorious televangelists. As the 1-900- number pops up on the screen, can you see those Smiles? Can you see them Praying For You? Can you Feel the Love? Can you hear the Cheesy Holy Choir Music? Bless your soul.
Here was Gene Scott soliciting funds:
"Goddam it, if you are a son-of-a-bitch who is WATCHING these programs, and hearing these Scripture lessons, and you are NOT tithing -- if you are NOT sending me one goddam tenth of everything you own -- then you are a THIEF! And you are stealing from GOD! And you will BURN IN HELL forever!"
Jeez, I heard that and was reaching for my checkbook and trembling before I caught myself. This was one scary telethon solicitor, the Anti-Jim-&-Tammy-Faye-Bakker.
And thus endeth the comparison to the Bakkers. The IRS and the FCC and various state and federal law-enforcement agencies and grand juries snooped around and chased and harrassed Dr. Gene Scott all over the map for decades, and never even slapped him with a parking ticket that stuck. He died screaming over the airwaves with his 300 Tennessee Walking Horses and his gaudy crucifix on, no jail or handcuffs ever stuck to Gene.
And then there's Gene's Sermon on Sin I'll never forget:
"The preachers all say, 'Don't sin, it'll make you so unhappy, sin makes you feel so bad, sin's just awful.' Well, that's just a big Load of Crap and everybody knows it! Sin is FUN! Liquor! Drugs! Fornication! Those things are just nothin' but lots of FUN! That's why everybody's been doing all that stuff since time began! You think people drink and fornicate and do drugs 'cause it makes 'em feel bad?"