This herbert (see http://www.isleofman.com/News/article.aspx?article=45109 ) has been one of the oddest things happening over here this week.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s…CROSSMA-A-AN!! Oh, and possibly compulsory workwear if the Christian Institute and Christian Legal Centre ever had their way.
Having first come across the story when a visibly bemused Paul Moulton had to interview him last weekend for Manxnet TV (see http://www.manx.net/tv/mt-tv/watch/5363/cross-the-nations ) - which we can be sure had absolutely nothing to do with several Manxnet staff and a key local advertiser being involved in a bizarre evangelical cult - I was beginning to wonder if it was all hype. Sure, he got coverage in all the local media, but nobody could recall seeing him - and a saddo dragging a 12 foot cross up Manx hills is the kind of thing one tends to notice.
The lunatic fringe of Manx Christianity getting extensive media coverage for something that never actually happened would be nothing new. If you need reasons for this, consider, for example, that the ‘national radio station’ has more ‘religious broadcasting’ than news-gathering staff (though only one godbotherer gets paid to my knowledge) and the news desk only works 8-4 weekdays, and that, since openly moving control, management and production off-island, the ‘national press’ is now interviewing their own staff as nobody else can (or wants to) talk to them.
But he was finally sighted in Ramsey yesterday. To be accurate, he was spotted ‘resting’ at the unused picnic area in the middle of the main street (thanks to the infamous ‘mural’, nobody eats there for fear of throwing up and trade at adjacent sandwich shops has been decimated), though nobody saw him actually walk in or out of the town.
If you were to believe one gushing press interview, he has been happily received by locals all around the island, getting stopped by passing Mercedes drivers, asked to pray for ailing relatives and other such rot. Even if a few lonely nutters did recognize a fellow headcase and ‘inter-acted’, his reception in Ramsey was not warm. To my certain knowledge he was asked only two questions by locals.
Firstly “Isn’t it time you got a job” and secondly “Why don’t you just carry a Kalashnikov? It would still make you look insecure about your manhood, but at least Kalashnikovs haven’t been responsible for as many innocent people dying as that thing.”
If you were wondering who on earth pays for such nonsense, it may help to know that, having started the week off with Onchan’s creationist lobby, he is due to end it at one of Ramsey’s one-man-and-a-dog evangelical outlets tomorrow. There were five at my last count and they do not even talk to each other. The truth is, at the rate they fall out and form new splinter cults there could well be six or seven by the morning, so it is impossible to say where ‘Crossman’ will be preaching, or if anyone will be there to hear him.