Brian Dykstra uses outrage and humor like a blowtorch and kindling to ignite the slow fuse that burns for 90 mesmerizing minutes in his equally frightening and enlightening comic monologue, The Jesus Factor.
Part comedian, beat poet, preacher and history teacher, Dykstra starts out this new DVD from Uproar Entertainment bashing and bitching about the, uh, Three Stooges (aka Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld) — easy prey for his fusillade of potshots, he admits. Like the court clerk at an arraignment, Dykstra recites from what sounds like a long list of charges to indict Bush and all the president’s henchmen for gross misconduct in office.
He presses all the thermonuclear (or nu-key-er, in Bushspeak) hot buttons: the fraudulent war in Iraq, the torture at Abu Ghraib, the apparently interminable and possibly unlawful detention of terrorists (maybe…kind of… sort of) at Gitmo, the insanity of the 56,881-word Patriot Act superseding and crushing the spirit of the 4,730-word U.S. Constitution and the 482-word Bill of Rights.
What’s scary about Dykstra’s revelatory, reasoned performance is the implication of Congress’ blind acquiescence in the president’s belligerence abroad and the public’s and the media’s acceptance of the administration’s imperiousness at home.
Throughout, Dykstra passionately and unabashedly preaches the Gospel of Liberalism, decrying the ignorance and apathy that seem to form the foundation of our conservative political structure these days. The body politic will need massive reconstructive surgery to recover from Dykstra’s pounding, but he aims his hardest punches, his sharpest barbs, at another universally divisive target: religion.
He wields words and facts like a scalpel, dissecting the Bible, then smiting pro-war, pro-gun, pro-death penalty (but, oh, pro-life) fundamentalist hypocrites with their own contradictions.
Most and best of all, Dykstra resurrects loud, fearless dissent, another casualty of 9/11.