Behind the Scenes of Fanaticism

Raph al Guul

Since I skipped out on one week during this semester, I’m now trying to make up for that with this “easter special”. Just a quick little disclaimer: the following story draws heavily from particularly Christian narratives. If you fear you might be offended by this, do not read it. I will not apologize. Have I scared you away, yet? Yes? Good. Let’s get on with the story, then:

So, as you may know, I have been working on this book for a while. It’s actually based on true stories and an actual guy I know, an artist who truly inspires all who let him. Needless to say, I am fictionalizing everything a little bit, which is why some of the stuff sounds rather ridiculous and far-fetched. But of course, my story isn’t supposed to be taken seriously. But just in case, here’s a less sensationalist account of some of the more recent events that inspired one of the stories in my book.

As I mentioned before: most of what I am writing about is based on a guy I know. We call him Jimmy; but I call the character in my book Jesus, because in my language, there is some very cool symbolic meaning to that name. Jimmy is a pretty impressive person. He’s very good at making speeches and he’s a great entertainer; he even knows a couple of magic tricks. However, what is really astounding about Jimmy is his ability to move and inspire crowds. He is a master of words and when he talks, you can’t help but feel like he is revealing a deep truth. We admire him for his deep insight in the ways of the world and men – and even though he may sometimes come across as a bit hot-headed and self-important, it’s Jimmy’s skillful and insightful way of self-expression that secured him a large fan base.

Recently, though, things didn’t go so well for him. It all started last weekend. Jimmy has always had a bit of a god-complex. Most of the people he usually hangs out with, such as myself, are cool with that. But last Friday, he decided to display that attitude a bit more openly, I guess. It wasn’t such a good Friday. People got very angry and offended. Unless you can fly and control the forces of nature with your mind, you don’t call yourself a god. It’s as simple as that. Plus there were lots of haters who seemed to simply have showed up to troll Jimmy.

He got completely destroyed. People booed him, and even threw things at him. It was a disaster. Jimmy got really angry, too. He didn’t quite like it when people questioned the things he said. So, around three o’clock, we suddenly didn’t know where he was anymore. We were pretty concerned. Apparently he had stormed off the stage and then just vanished. As I said; he was a bit of a magician and he was good at making mysterious exits – something that will definitely play an important part in my book.

Only much later, we found out what happened. Apparently Jimmy was so frustrated; he left civilization altogether to cool off for a while. With all the money he got from working in show business, he had bought this pretty expensive and luxurious cavern to which he sometimes retreated. It was equipped with everything a man needs to survive a couple of days on his own. That’s where Jimmy went.

Of course, he had us worried sick. What can I say? We were not only friends, but hardcore fans of Jimmy’s. The mere thought of not knowing where he was tortured our minds. Soon, we started coming up with theories that he might have died, that he might have killed himself in the rage of that awful Friday. I am not quite sure how many of us actually believed those rumors, but it was definitely disturbing that they existed. Fandom is a curious thing. You commit your life to an idea, to something that you like, and before you know it, you couldn’t live without it anymore. It’s not a coincidence that fanaticism and fandom basically mean the same thing.

Tom, the one who probably started all those rumors, was indeed very convinced that Jimmy must have died. He explained it by pointing out to us that Jimmy liked to be in the spotlight at all times. For him to just completely disappear was a rather surprising move. Tom had a point. There was something fishy about not knowing where Jimmy was. But this only lasted for three days. On Sunday there was a huge festival called “Passover”. It was originally a religious thing, but you know how it is: if you get the chance to go to a big-ass party, the reasons behind it don’t matter much.

Understandably, Jimmy didn’t want to miss Passover. Thus, early on Sunday morning, he left his cavern and basically reappeared out of thin air. Suddenly, all kinds of people reported having seen him somewhere in the vicinity of our town. And it didn’t take long until he showed up at our usual meeting place, as well. Ironically, Tom wasn’t around at that time, and he was pretty damn disappointed when we later told him. Either way, since we all had been worried quite a bit, this glorious return was a pretty cool thing, and it was definitely the greatest Passover we ever had.

So yes, that is what really happened with our idol Jimmy. Since I have such fond memories of that particular Passover, I think I will make this part the culmination of the story. Of course, as I said, I fictionalize a lot of this stuff in the actual book. You know, to make it more epic. Make it a story about life and death, about fate and faith. Make it captivating. Also, what would be kind of cool is if I could somehow incorporate bunnies, eggs, and chocolate into the narrative. But I’m not yet sure about that.


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