You know you YouTube is: You watch one suggested video, and then another, and soon you’re stuck in some kind of pseudo-absurdist labyrinth of banned commercials, foreign language soap operas, and video blogs that might as well be broadcasting from the dark side of the moon. That’s where I discovered Lennart Boecken, a spotty-faced, flag-loving Christian fundamentalist teen whose rants against atheism, Islam and education are delivered in an obsessive, single-minded tone that only a virginal teen boy can produce.
Boecken’s “I’ve just about run out of patience with you simple-minded heathens” tone is, I imagine, supposed to frighten his viewers into adopting the boy’s apocalyptic strain of Christianity, but one gets the feeling that he could just as easily be an overzealous Playstation fan railing against XBOX gamers. In essence, it’s sexual repression channeled into a convenient source. It’ll last only as long as he doesn’t find a girlfriend willing to expand his horizons. (To quote Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, “You ain’t seen nothin’ til you’re down on a muffin, then you’re sure to be a-changin’ your ways.”)
For now, though, Boecken is here to frighten the masses into steering clear of the evils of atheism, Islam and…surprise…education. In one video, Boecken points out the futility of becoming a doctor when the Kingdom of God needs building. I hope he reconsiders this the next time he has a bone that needs setting or an appendix to be removed.
There is the possibility that Boecken is a troll, and a damned good one at that. Googling his name produces some solid Fundamentalist bona fides (a Scribd account with uploads of Anti-Islamic literature, an “Islam is Death” Twitter account, and several comments on Atheist forums), but it also produces something else: a New Orleans Times-Picayune feature from 2007 on a local school hoping to host Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. Among those quoted in the piece is sixth-grader Lennart Boecken:
“I’ve read one through six twice, ” said sixth-grader Lennart with the authority of a devoted fan. “The sixth one has a missing cover, though.”
This might be a different Lennart Boecken. I have no way of knowing for sure. If it is, he could be a brilliant troll, a 4CHAN Andy Kaufman who can’t cover this one track. If he is, then I say well played. Good work. My gut feeling, though, is that he is sincere in his beliefs, or at least as sincere as a repressed, angry teen boy can be. He (or more likely his family) may have “repented” against the evils of Harry Potter and the secular world. Fast forward five years later and you’ve got a pissed off sixteen year-old with not a whole lot to do besides read the Bible and shout at the (clearly more fun) world just beyond the computer screen.