Blog Assignment #10

Hey North House

Here’s what I have for you. It’s an animation called “The Backwater Gospel” that is more gruesome than most, but I can tell that it offers more than just bloodshed. I was fascinated by the overarching concept that fear can drive anyone to madness. I want to know what you guys have to say about it.

Before you watch the video, you should have an understanding the background of the video. It’s just a simple explanation the creator gives that I didn’t read on my first watching.

“As long as anyone can remember, the coming of The Undertaker has meant the coming of death. Until one day the grim promise fails and tension builds as the God fearing townsfolk of Backwater wait for someone to die.”

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Prompt: Is religion the main focus in this video or is there a deeper meaning being conveyed? Pick a character from the video and explain their significance to the meaning of the video. Use quotes, scenes, or rhetorical devices to explain your reasoning.


27 thoughts on “Blog Assignment #10

  1. In response to Alexis prompt, yes. Yes, there is something deeper beyond the chaotic and sometimes epileptic religious imagery put forth in this video. While of course, the creator of this video obviously includes so many christian allusions in order to convey some message relating to religion, I think the real theme lies beyond religion. The real theme I’ve found relates to humanity’s eternal struggle for immortality.

    Yes, it may be hard to read into immortality from a video where dozens of villagers gruesomely kill each other, but immortality could not exist without death. And this is what the video is attempting to convey. Throughout the video death’s symbolism is heavy and foreboding. There is the mysterious man chalking the dead with angel like wings representing “The Angel of Death” or death himself. There is a very saturated dark hue associated throughout the animation adding to the overall macabre theme. And there is of course, lots and lots of actual physical deaths. With so much gore and cleavers, obviously the animator wants to at least communicate that the end of life is something significant.

    At least to those who notice it. You see,in the video we see a congregation of fearful and anxious people in a church- huddling like mice. What are they afraid of? Well, if we are to take the man’s testimony that ‘[death] is not for him’, we can safely assume these people are all afraid of dying. And where are they? In the only place in the world that offers solstice from death. A church. A church offers the promise of an afterlife- never ending life.

    We can support this theory by looking at the most unique character in the the video- guitar playing dude. Despite others, the man does not fear death. He does not wear the same sanctimonious dark garb others wear. He does not join into the congregation that may promise eternal life. He does not even fear the word ‘undertaker’, which he proudly proclaims through the window of the church. This man is the representative of someone who does not want to live forever. In fact, he seems rather playful about the whole prospect. He is seemingly happy and even though he dies, never falls into the frenzied paranoia to live forever as others do.

    So these people aren’t afraid of dying necessarily. They’re simply afraid of not being able to continue living. A subtle difference I’m sure, but a significant one nonetheless.

    And this all goes back to human nature. Humans have been striving for immortality since the beginning of time. First with the elixir of life, that was actually just poisonous mercury. Second, with the sacrifices, which really killed more than they saved. Then with the ‘fountain of life’, etc, etc. I may be wrong but, I believe the underlying theme of this video is simply showing the futility of attempting to live forever. The creator shows how eventually we all die, whether killed by our comrades or simply falling off a high-pole. Whatever it maybe death awaits us all, and trying to stop it is about as useful as doing nothing at all.

  2. When watching the clip, “The Backwater Gospel”, I believe religion although mentioned, was not the main focus of this video. Instead I believe the main focus was cast a light on how fear can drive someone mad.

    One character from the clip, in which I saw a clear significance to the main theme was introduced at five minutes and fifty-seven seconds. The reason I found this character to be significant was because, he created the movement that led to the death of an entire town. Pervious to the movement, the entire town had just killed a man over the fear that if he were to continue living then the whole town would be left to suffer, after murdering the man the townspeople realized they had just made a big mistake and the undertaker is still present waiting to take a life. Then this man whom I have chosen states the words “Well it ain’t gonna be me” and slices the head off of the person standing next to him. This man was so afraid of death that he would rather ensure his own safety from the undertaker and kill the person next to him. After this first act of murder the entire town begins to stab, beat, and kill one another all due to the fear that was built up within them. There was a whole two minutes dedicated to the slaughter of a town and it was all due to fear.

    Romel M states that he believes the main focus of the clip is “humanity’s eternal struggle for immortality”, in a sense his belief does tie into mine. The reason humanity struggles for immortality is because they are so fearful of death. Thus, the birth of religion. It is fearful to think there is nothing after death, therefore humans have created the concept of religion in order to free their mind of that fear. However, due to the fact that the existence of heaven and hell can not be completely confirmed humans still have the fear of death lingering in the back of their mind.

    The entire clip is just a glimpse of what people are really capable of when put into fearful situations and their own lives are on the line. Unfortunately, humans can be violent creatures when put in the state of fear and the videos incorporation of religion is to demonstrate how the human mind needs something to believe in or else fear will take over and morals are lost in chaos and madness.

  3. The video, The Backwater Gospel, created by Bo Mathorne, attempts to exemplify religion, specifically Christianity, in a bad light. We can see this theme presented throughout the animation through constant motifs such as the traditional cross, pastor and the church. While these items are traditionally seen as some sort of sacred things, the author paints these images in a negative and harsh light. As a main example being the pastor. While normally a pastor is kind, gentle, even redeeming, this pastor is represented by harsh grey skin, and glossed evil eyes. In a sense, we get the feeling that the pastor is extremely afraid of death and what it means to not follow religion and wishes to imply this to his people. Clearly, the author has some disagreements with the christian church and wishes to point them out as we see when the townspeople are drawn to the church as if it was a safe haven.

    It is evident that the townspeople are all corralled like some sort of animals when they fall under the tense of religion. In fact they huddle in the christian church in the hopes of being saved. However, it is not until we see the true side of Christianity- in the creators opinion- where all the townspeople brutally kill each other because of religious motives. This is where we see past the tense of death, as people begin to enhance their fears and turn into sinners.

    While, of course, the classic master of death can be seen as the clear antagonizer of this video, the opposite is actually true. In this video, the creator attempts to show that death is seemingly just a part of life, as Romel states, “The creator shows how eventually we all die, whether killed by our comrades or simply falling off a high-pole”. As you see, the creator is showing how religion is attempting to battle against death. But obviously it is a battle lost.

    Ultimately, religion is fighting a losing war and perpetuating a negative prerogative on all humanity by forcing us to kill each other and fighting a futile fear implicated on us all by religion.

  4. In the animation of “The Backwater Gospel”, the main focus is not religion, it is power. Many people like to use different aspects to gain power. When one person is in power over many, some may become power hungry and they can get people to do what they want. For instance, the Preacher is the one in power. He uses his congregation as an advantage over the one man who is not part of their congregation. The preacher wants to have every single person in the town to be in his congregation and he fills the heads of his people that if he is not saved, they will all pay with death. When “The Undertaker” comes into town, everyone gets so paranoid that they believe it is the one man who is not part of the congregation is who The Undertaker is there for. The towns people are scared that one says, “Well I ain’t going to be me” and give him but The Undertaker is still there. The townsfolk being scared as to why he is still there, they begin to kill each other one by one. As Janina states, “The clip is a glimpse of what people are really capable of when put into fearful situations and their own lives are on the line”, it just plays out that power hungry people can be the reason for other people’s deaths. When the big guy says it is the preacher’s doing as to why this is happening, it is the truth. He filled their heads with lies from the gospel when people are accepted for who they are, not who they should be. Maybe that is why there is such corruption with the universe because someone people become power hungry and want to think themselves as the superior ones.

  5. In the video, “The Backwater Gospel” the church seems to be corrupted. I believe that there is a deeper meaning behind it, not that religion is corrupt but that leadership in general depending on the leader can be corrupt. I believe that the priest, who is seen as the town’s leader, has lead the people astray due to his speeches and messages that fill the people with fear and hate for the crippled man. This whole thing portrays a psychological idea that people join with others that are similar to themselves (the in group) and they exclude those that are different from them (the out group); just like the religious people exclude and frown upon the crippled man that does not listen to the priest’s messages.
    I agree with what Romel says, “So these people aren’t afraid of dying necessarily. They’re simply afraid of not being able to continue living.” In the end they were the cause of their own deaths; the undertaker did nothing, but only put a face to death.

  6. In the town of Backwater, whenever the Undertaker strolls into town on his bicycle a random citizen dies coincidentally on the same day. The townspeople are on edge and the minister blames the local tramp for ruining the wellness of the community. One day, the Undertaker comes to town, nothing happens, and no one dies; the people formed a meeting and unanimously decided to blame and kill the local tramp for the bringing the presence of the Undertaker into the town. After the minister’s son, Bubba, kills the Tramp nothing happens, Bubba attacks his father as the Undertaker is smiling, and the town goes awol massacring each other. After the people are on the floor bloody and dead the Undertaker goes to the person who started the massacre, examines him, and then walks away whistling.

    I do not think religion is the main focus of the film instead it is the fear of the unknown. The fear of fear is more compelling than the actual thing we fear. Fear results to irrationality which could prevent us from living. Throughout the beginning of the short it is obvious the people have a fear of death. Towards the end of the film the Undertaker whistles, “The Undertaker raises no hand but I’ll fear him just the same. His presence foretells both blood and Death but his shoulder’s not to blame.” The Undertaker does not initiate the death of the towns people instead he simply watches and looks out for upcoming chaos. Oddly enough, the downfall of the town was not a result of the Undertaker but a product of the people’s fear of the unknown. When the minister said, “Let he who is without sin throw the first stone” his son Bubba initiated the first attack without hesitation which resulted to the death of his father. Bubba’s naiveness and susceptibility to opinions made him the pawn of the Undertaker.

    I think Bubba is the representation of the average fearful person. The minister is the head of the town and the person who people look up to in their pursuit for knowledge and safety. Whenever the minister calls a meeting the whole town attends. In this regard I agree with Maryela M. statement, “I believe that the priest, who is seen as the town’s leader, has lead the people astray due to his speeches and messages that fill the people with fear and hate for the crippled man.” Since we look to a higher power with certainty it easy to let let their opinions persuade our own. The priest saw the tramp as a hindrance so he used the Undertaker as a scapegoat to get rid of him. The takeaway message is to net let fear dictate one’s life because in the long run we are attacking ourselves with our own fear.

  7. In the video, “The Backwater Gospel” the minister is portrayed as the villain. The people in the town blindly follow the minister and the minister takes advantage of this situation. He uses the phrase “fear the lord” to manipulate the people. In the video, the people are also afraid of the undertaker because the people are afraid of death except for the cripple. The cripple is the only character who does not follow the minister. The cripple is the only one who is not afraid of death. This is shown when he tells the townspeople through the window that the undertaker is coming.

    Everybody is afraid of the undertaker even though he is not a physical being which means he has no physical impact. As Maryela said ” the undertaker did nothing, but only put a face to death.” I believe in this statement because the undertaker is there when death occurs but is not the cause of it. Religion does play a part in this film because the minister was killed by a cross and when the cripple died, his body was set up like a cross.

  8. “The Backwater Gospel” by Bo Mathorne revolves around a shaky western town and a shady figure known as the undertaker synonyms with the Angel of Death. When word gets out that the undertaker is in town, the townspeople scatter to their homes, ignoring the commands of the pastor. After days of torment from the undertaker, the villagers are anxious to know who it is to take. The scared townspeople in the heat of the moment carry through with the pastor’s orders to kill the fearless man, before realizing they have committed an ultimate sin.
    I do believe there is a deeper message then just bloodshed. While the video does seem to give religion a bad rep, it more so has to do with people believing in something out of fear and how it ultimately isn’t really belief.
    Take the townspeople for example who can be seen as a collective character in the animation. They attend church not because they want to but, because they feel obligated to. After the bells piercing ring calls them to church, they walk like zombies to its doors, because they don’t find joy in going. Them not finding joy in church means they don’t want to be there. Later we see that the only reason they attend church is, because they fear the consequences of not believing.
    While the Pastoris giving is sermon, he tells the townspeople that one bad persons evils poisons all and the only way to eliminate the evil is to eliminate that bad person by death. This fear of being killed for being an evil person (one that does not follow god) keeps them under the control of the pastor.
    Ultimately though we see that the towns people’s belief in God and salvation is just fear of dying. When the non-believer knocks on the windows of the church announcing the arrival of the undertaker the towns people run to hide. If they were true believers then they would not have feared death, because God promises eternal life after. In contrast the crippled guitarist non believer fears no god and death. When the undertaker arrives in town he is rather amused by it. As Romel states, “This man is the representative of someone who does not want to live forever.” He sees death the way believers of Christ are supposed to. Death is not meant to be a bad thing, but these people fear it, because the Pastor makes the consequence so horrendous. The townspeople are not followers of Christ rather followers of the corrupt pastor. The fear that the pastor has put on the townspeople removed all signs of true belief.

  9. To begin with, that was the most craziest and most unexpected thing I have ever seen. But shoutout to the creators of this animated short because the design, story, and its meaning was all on point.

    (Back to the prompt…) This animated short is about how the priest is preaching to the people that they must be “fearful of God” and how there is a particular character outside the church who says that death is coming. There was one scene where the priest and the rest of the town were in mass and the man who was outside appears by the glass window and tells them all that the “undertaker is coming” meaning death. From there, the people from the town ran to their homes and hid there for several days while the “undertaker” was there doing nothing. At this point, the people would go back to church and as the priest is preaches to the people, he tells them that the man outside (who is a blasphemer) is the cause of their suffering and from there, the chaos happens. The people throw rocks at him and this large man comes with a big rock and kills him. This leads to the whole town killing each, as well as killing the priest.

    I am not sure if religion is the main focus, but I think the message in this video is that there is nothing to fear more than man itself. You see in the very last scenes that the blasphemer was not doing any harm, but the priest who was telling the people that we must fear God was the real reason why this started. I agree with Nick C. in his response when he said, “Death is not meant to be a bad thing, but these people fear it, because the Pastor makes the consequence so horrendous.” because it is absolutely true that death is not a punishment, and how there are people in this world like the priest who preaches certain things that may cause a negative influence on people. I also feel that the people are not fearing God, but death because back to what Nick C. said that these people are going to church because they want to, but because they have to, and if they do not go, then death will approach them.

    With this being said, there is nothing to fear than man itself. You see this idea with the people of the town how they are afraid to die so instead of running away they go nuts and kill each other to be the last one alive. Because of that, it creates the fear in man rather than fear coming to us. We let fear be a real thing in ourselves when it is just a feeling or mood we should or should not have. Although the priest has a significant role in this, it is the people who believe in what he says and takes in all that is happening. Even though they blame the man outside who has done nothing to them, it is the fact that they let fear come into them and turn them into evil. Lastly, do not always believe what people tell you, they will not always be right.

  10. I don’t think the main focus on this was religion. Religion did have a play in this video but I personally think it was about humanity and how selfish we can be. I remember an old blog post about a man killing all animals and trees and it somewhat reminded me of that. In the video Alexis has showed us, they talk about the Undertaker and how he is coming. The town’s people all go into a panic and hide. They try and decide who would be the sacrifice and they see that the Undertaker isn’t leaving. One character says, “Well, it ain’t gonna be me.” He starts a chain reaction. He kills the person next to him and then everyone starts killing each other because they don’t want the Undertaker to take them. They don’t see past what is happening and it’s too late. No one survives other than the Undertaker. Its kind of ironic since his job is to take people to the underworld and all he had to do was sit and watch until the town’s people did his job for him. I think it shows a lot selfishness because no one was willing to sacrifice themselves to save the rest of the town. No one was willing to ask the Undertaker what he wanted or who he wanted to take or if he even wanted to take anyone. I think it was a test and they all failed. I think the pastor was a very important character because in the video he says, “All it takes is one bad apple and the whole barrel spoils.” I thought that was very important because he foreshadowed everything that what was going to happen later on in the video. He was also trying to tell the people to calm down and to stay with him but they didn’t listen, all they did was run out of the church. Then they blame him for being the cause of everything that happened.
    I agree with Joshua when he says, “Even though they blame the man outside who has done nothing to them, it is the fact that they let fear come into them and turn them into evil. ” It was all just fear. They did nothing to try and stop things, they assumed, and they payed the consequences.

  11. The concept of fear is the focus of this video. It is shown being associated with religion and how it progresses into a concept that is used to manipulate the citizens of Backwater. There is definitely a deeper meaning being conveyed in the video, but it is introduced through its association with religion.

    First we need to break down what it means to be a God-fearing man/woman. The word fear is often associated with being afraid of, feeling anxiety towards, or avoiding something. It’s a word that incites negative connotations. However, the phrase “God-fearing” or a person who fears the Lord does not mean they are afraid of, avoiding, or feel anxious about God. It means that they are in awe, stunned, and overwhelmed by the authority, power, love, and grace of God. By this logic, God-fearing people keep His commands.

    This is where the priest comes into play. The priest is the medium between the people and God. He teaches and preaches the words of God. But the priest uses this to his advantage and refers to different analogies to instill fear into the congregation. First he says that if there is one bad apple then the whole barrel will be spoiled and all of them would have to take blame for it unless they destroyed the bad apple to save the entire barrel. The way that the priest says this analogy makes the people think that the only choices they have are either kill the man playing the guitar or death, which is not the case in reality. The priest makes them think that they don’t want to feel blamed by God for spoiling the barrel so they have to kill the bad apple. He makes them think it is God’s command to kill the man or receive the punishment of death.

    The priest in the video symbolizes manipulation and deception. When the people listened to a man that sends the message of death, they became fearful and did not listen to God’s word. I agree with Joshua when he says, “.. it is the fact that they let fear come into them and turn them evil.” The people of Backwater are so focused on the fear that the priest is bringing upon them and the fear of death that they confuse it with fearing the Lord and keeping his commands.

  12. At first glance, this video is about religion, but in actuality, it is more about death and the fear of death. In the video, the main antagonist is the very enigmatic “Undertaker” who comes and takes those that are ready to die. Understandably, the town flocks to the church in fear of this grim reaper. However, the guitar-playing blasphemer seems very out of place in this very thantophobic town. The guitarist has a lot to tell the town, and he doesn’t seem to care in the slightest that his words are causing much discomfort to the other townsfolk. With his cheeky grin and his carefree attitude, the street-preacher’s “memento mori” is more like a giant middle-finger directed at the simple-minded, god-fearing people. The blasphemer’s beef with the town is not that they fear god, but that they respond with such a knee-jerk reaction upon seeing the shadow of death.

    One fact that makes many people way too uncomfortable, is the fact that they are going to die. You are going to die. I am going to die. You may bring beautiful children into this world, and then they are going to die. Kings and peasants alike, all will fall into death’s cold (yet awfully comfortable) embrace. As Romel stated, “The creator shows how eventually we all die, whether killed by our comrades or simply falling off a high-pole.” However, what many people fail to realize, is that death is truly a privilege. Death is not the opposite of life, that would be birth. Death is simply the conclusion to life, one that is necessary for a new beginning. In one of my favorite books, written by my all-time favorite movie director and occultist, The Way of the Tarot, by Alejandro Jodorowsky, Jodorowsky writes a section about what Arcanum XIII (often unfairly referred to as Death) can teach us. According to Jodorowsky, the Nameless Arcanum, says, “If you push yourself to go faster, you will catch me. If you slow down, I shall catch you. If you walk peacefully, I shall accompany you. If you start to turn around, I shall dance with you. Since our meeting is inevitable, face me at once! I am your inner shadow, the one laughing behind the illusion you call reality. So rejoice! It is only when you grasp me that life becomes meaningful. The demented who do not recognize me cling to things without seeing I own them all. There is nothing that does not bear my seal. Permanent impermanence, I am the secret of the sages: they know they can only advance on my path.” What Alejandro Jodorowsky is saying is that death, like a best friend and a soulmate, will always be there for you. It is only the wisest, the strongest, and the most courageous that can accept this. Too many people meet with death in much too soon, by way of famine, war, suicide, etc. Even more spend their lives fleeing from it, too busy fearing death to live in the first place. It is only those who look forward to dying meaningful deaths that live meaningful lives. To me, death is one of the most important, and most fulfilling ceremonies that one can experience, next only to birth. Upon seeing “The Backwater Gospel”, it’s clear to me that the guitar-playing bum is the wisest one in that town, and that the Undertaker is not that bad of a guy.

  13. In the video, “The Backwater Gospel” there seems to be a deeper meaning being conveyed than religion. I believe the deeper meaning is fear. Throughout the video, a common theme is fear. In the video, the church people seem to fear God’s power, and later in the video when the man mentions that the “undertaker is coming” everyone runs and hides. The townspeople are so fearful of the “undertaker” because he represents death and they ae so fearful of death.

    I agree with Joshua when he said, “there is nothing to fear than man itself.” In the last scene one man said, “Well it ain’t gonna be me” and after he says this he kills someone and a brawl brakes out. This scene shows that these people fear death so much that they would do anything to make sure they do not die.

  14. “Backwater Gospel”, a short animation by Bo Mathorne, depicts a town controlled by a “priest” who seemingly tries to instill the fear of God into the town’s people. A man known as the Tramp is looked down upon because he does not conform to the priest, instead he sings about the Undertaker, whose job is solely to prepare dead bodies for burial. As the Undertaker comes to visit the town, all hell breaks loose and death is inevitable.

    From the beginning of the video you can see that religion is one primary focus of the animation. In the first scene a man is seen scaling a pole in the form of a cross, as the story moves to the town you can see the influence the priest has on the people, the lyrics the Tramp sings can be related to the bible, etc. But once the Undertaker comes to town you can really see how religion is not the main focus but instead it is the idea of backward ideology and fear of man.

    The word backwater is defined as “an isolated or backward place or condition.” Combined with the word gospel, which means “the teachings of the Christian religion”, you can see how the meaning of the title can relate to the story and its main focus. In the story, the priest portrayed his teachings to the town’s people as the correct way to live their lives, which was to live in the fear of God. While to viewers it was evident that he had other intentions to rid the town of the Tramp, which completely goes against his ideologies. In the scene where the town is chasing after the Tramp and he falls in front of the Undertaker, the priest says, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” In this quote he is basically justifying the killing of a man because of religion, which again can be seen as a backward ideology. In one of the last scenes, everyone ended up dying because of the actions of the priest and it switched from the fear of the undertaker to the fear of the actions of man as everyone turned against each other. In the end the fear everyone had of the Undertaker was irrelevant because he did not do anything, instead it was themselves that caused destruction and death. As Maryela described in her post, “The Undertaker did nothing, but only put a face to death” and I completely agree. The actions and intentions of man were what they really feared not the face of death.

  15. To the prompt regarding the purpose of the short video, “The Backwater Gospel,” I do consider religion does play a major role, however, I assume there is a considerably deeper underlying message conveyed to the audience, much how Rommel had written, “I think the real theme lies beyond religion.” Overall, there is a repulsive theme embedded but it is not a symbolism for blood and gore, but for an importance or idea to represent the whole degeneracy and immorality of the human mind commanded by factors such as manipulation.
    At the very start of the film, religion plays a key factor in the townspeople’s lives, after all, it is a Western backdrop. Religion was an old tool to control the aspect of life. This is not a thing of the past as there are many variations as people can use for manipulation and corruption, such as media. Anyhow, the residents are all followers of a god-fearing priest in the far outreach of the town. Biblical allusions are present, for instance, the crippled guitar-player person is left dead in a stance much like the crucifixion of Jesus as if he died for the townspeople’s’ sins. The Undertaker, from my opinion, is portrayed as Death or The Grim Reaper or simply just a coroner measuring individuals’ body length for their own customized coffin.
    The priest from what I can infer as his stance is that he uses religion as a tool of brainwashing the residents of Backwater. As events unfold after the killing of the guitar-playing person, the priest quickly discards the Bible and hidden inside, lays a six-chamber revolver, further proving he just used religion as the vehicle to acquire whatever he desires. On the other hand, the townspeople in many ways are like blind sheep. Sheep often follow the crowd or leader to wherever the destination, even death if so. They listen intently to the priest’s judgmental values and never create thoughts of their own, similar to shambling zombies with no direction in life. The physical appearance of the townspeople is drawn as filthy, rugged, and crude with a suggested depiction of the human mind as weak and feeble. Furthermore, the quote adopted by the priest, “Every man was punished for the sins of one man, and the punishment was death,” was first thought to be directed to the guitar-playing person but as the story progressed, it was in fact, the priest who himself the one who sinned and caused the deaths of others. The guitar-playing person had no part whatsoever except for being the scapegoat of the priest to lay blame on the hardship of the town.
    The reason why religion is the focus of the video is not the condemnation of said religion, but that of a universal language, that anyone can understand. Not everyone can comprehend the corruption of politics, so the creators took religion to play the part of manipulation that the whole audience can follow through, not just a certain group. A weak mind is susceptible to corruption and it only takes “one bad apple and the whole barrel is spoiled” to create a downfall of events.

  16. While watching the video “The Backwater Gospel” at no point did I believe religion itself is the main focus of this video. Rather i believe the main point of this video is how society as a whole can be blinded follow an idea or individual and or fear that which we don’t understand.
    Personally I am not religious at all. I could care less if there is a god watching me or even if there is a heaven or hell or where i’ll end up. Ill live life how I want and do what I think is right, I won’t blindly follow others because a majority of people do. I guess you can call me the “bad apple”.
    In the short clip “The Backwater Gospel” I believe a big idea was not to blindly follow a crowd. “Submit to the lord!!” yelled the father to the bad apple. The towns people blindly follow the Father and his interpretation of religion because of fear. Fear in the unknown as well as fear in the “Undertaker”. Because the “bad apple” doesn’t follow all the the rest of town in their faith he is demonized and killed because the people blame him for the Undertakers arrival. Being an individual got him killed.
    The townspeople fear in the Undertaker lead them to kill an innocent man and eventually turn on eachother. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” is what’s said to justify the killing of an innocent man. In the end the undertaker didn’t have to do anything because the people caused their own death and demise. I believe the undertaker is supposed to represent the one truth of the world, death. As colline said “One fact that makes many people way too uncomfortable, is the fact that they are going to die. You are going to die. I am going to die. You may bring beautiful children into this world, and then they are going to die.” I am not trying to say he is satan or even the grim reaper or any supernatural being. My interpretation of the undertaker is that he is just a man who makes caskets for the dead. Which is why he was measuring the bodies after death and why at the end of the video all the dead towns people were in caskets.

  17. In the animation,” The Backwater Gospel” there is a meaning that is deeper than just religion. It shows the inner madness that almost everyone has and how it can be triggered, by fear. The entire village is scared of one man and they are taught to fear the lord so they may be saved from the hands of death. This can easily be seen the moment that the bloodshed begins. The fact that one person can influence the spark of madness by attempting to overcome a fear is terrifying. The meaning that I took from this short video is that humans will all cause chaos when fear is present.

    I agree with Joshua when he says, ” There is nothing to fear but man itself” because its true. Human beings can cause their own misfortune by destroying themselves and anything around them. One push of a button and the world as we know it can be destroyed by ourselves. The actions that Man does can haunt us forever and can cause us an eternity of pain which I believe is worth fearing.

  18. In this video provided by Alexis “The Blackwater Gospel” The surprisingly powerful combination of corruption, naivety, and fear is quite extravagantly exhibited. The main focus of this animation is composed of both religion and society, these two lovebirds have been in relation for as long as we can remember. Everyone reading this post is somewhat enlightened on the systems of humanity and its processes. But before we were equipped with the knowledge and logic to battle our self demise, religion was the way to go. Those with influence in religion are extremely powerful in terms of controlling the people without much challenge.

    During the first moments of the animation the assumption can be made that the man was fleeing from the undertaker and his crows. Only to climb to the top of an unstable power line tower and fuck himself over by falling to his death. Throughout the entire video the shady undertaker only spectates and takes measurements for the deceased. These people are so afraid of the coincidences that occur around this man that they end up creating the death that they were trying so hard to avoid, only the fact is the undertaker took no action in making it so. Additionally the influence of the priest pushed them to violence against a scapegoat, he gave them a clear path to take in their cloudy thoughts and they ran along this path with their weapons ready. When Romel says, “He does not even fear the word ‘undertaker’, which he proudly proclaims through the window of the church.” he is referring to the scapegoat, due to this man’s realization of the lack in threat that the undertaker poses, he teases the foolish people and eventually he pays the price for his “ignorance”.

  19. I believe that religion had some part in this video. It shows that if the people in Backwater must fear god or their punishment will be death. That is the way I portrayed it because at first it was people putting all of their faith to the priest, but it all backfired in the end.

    As I saw more of the small film, I felt like the priest was implying fear of death and the undertaker into the people’s mind. So when the man outside of the church said that the undertaker was almost there, the people started freaking out. The town’s people locked themselves at home and saw the undertaker sitting down and not moving, less likely leaving. As the people saw that the undertaker kept on sitting there, the people started to lose their minds. So they decided to save themselves, but they ended up killing each other, which was not the way to solve things.

    Like Joshua said, “You see this idea with the people of the town how they are afraid to die so instead of running away they go nuts and kill each other to be the last one alive.” The way the priest said it made it look so fearful. That is the significance of the priest, the object, person or belief that implies a certain way of thinking about something or someone. Especially the scene where everyone is killing each other and from the bible the priest got a gun. He seemed like a sophisticated man, but by taking that gun, it shows that he was also afraid of what he said. That not only will affect the people, but also the one who says them. So the priest is a major factor and responsible of what ended up happening in the town.

  20. In the animation called “The Backwater Gospel” the basis of religion seems to be main focus. The Undertaker in the animation would be seen as the antagonist, spurring fear among the towns people who regularly attend church services. When news breaks out that the Undertaker is coming to the town, immediately the townspeople begin to display a strong fear of death. Essentially, the character of the Undertaker could be inspired by Lucifer, the fallen angel symbolizing death.

    The priests then manipulates his authority over the people and uses their fear of the Undertaker as a justification for killing each other. Motivated by by the fear of getting killed, the townspeople then go on a killing spree, depicted in the violent scene in the animation. As Kenneth mentioned in his blog post, the townspeople “listen intently to the priest’s judgmental values and never create thoughts of their own, similar to shambling zombies with no direction in life.”

    The underlying message about religion that the story is trying to portray is that the church is corrupt. It may even be interpreted from this story that a religious belief is motivated by nothing else other than fear in eternal damnation. I can infer from the content of the video that the writer of the story is most likely an atheist, or opposed to a Christian form of religion.

  21. In the animation entitled “The Backwater Gospel”, by Bo Mathorne, has a deeper meaning that just religion.The deeper meaning being conveyed in this animation was manipulation, and the fear of death. The animation starts off with a crippled man who refuses to submit to the lord, and pokes fun of the feared “Undertaker”. The crippled man quickly became a threat to the priest’s power because, the priest had control on everyone in the town.

    Kenneth states, “They listen intently to the priest’s judgmental values and never create thoughts of their own, similar to shambling zombies with no direction in life”. Kenneth perfectly states my opinion of the people in the town. The people of the town believed that the priest had all the answers in regards to the afterlife, when in reality the priest was just manipulating them for power. The people did not stop question the priest’s preaching, which made them more susceptible to the his manipulation. The priest promoted fear within the town by making everyone live in angst of the Undertaker, which prompted everyone to not live their life to the fullest. The priest used the power of manipulation to convince the people that the crippled man was a threat to their salvation when in actuality, the crippled man was just a threat to his power.

    Those who feared the Undertaker failed to realize that death was inevitable, and the Undertaker does not kill anyone. Chanel supports my claim by stating, “In the end the fear everyone had of the Undertaker was irrelevant because he did not do anything, instead it was themselves that caused destruction and death”. The Undertaker was only present when there was death, and did not take part in any of the killings. What set crippled man apart from the rest of the town was that he did not allow fear take over his life, or submit to the power of the manipulative priest.

  22. What I took from The Backwater Gospel was not really targeting anyone specific religion but was a representation of how society could be corrupted. The biggest criticism I took away from the video was that the people will blindly follow whatever the most dominating person says. When the minister fist calls the townspeople you see the people slow walking like zombies towards the church, saying they’re mindless following what they are told. The second criticism is fear itself the people are afraid of God, death, and even the minister himself. This is depicted when the minister is speaking and yelling you see the people anxious and afraid like they do not want to be there. The author makes it ironic that the people fear God and death when God should be saving their lives and they should have nothing to fear. Then you have the crippled man who does not seem to care at all by death or have any fear, he even happily states that “the undertakers coming.” The one person without fear is the one who’s blamed for undertaker appearing and causing all the panic but in reality, it was all the ministers’ fault for putting all that fear in the people. Kenneth said, “Not everyone can comprehend the corruption of politics, so the creators took religion to play the part of manipulation that the whole audience can follow through, not just a certain group.” I feel the same way religion was a simple enough subject for people to see that society is easily corrupted.

  23. While watching “The Backwater Gospel”, I saw religion only as one possible example of a theme in use. In my opinion, the underlying idea was that creating fear where none was necessary would lead to more violence and hopelessness than was intended to be prevented. But in today’s society, a good deal of churches use fearmongering as a tactic for a political agenda, hence the use of the church as the focus of this video.

    One part stood out a bit to me. When the various townsfolk are about to attack the man with the guitar (Guitar Bro?), the priest says the old biblical phrase, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” And, all at once, all the townspeople throw stones. But, when GuitarBro is ignored by the Undertaker, the fighting takes on a horribly brutal turn, and not a stone is thrown. By committing this horrific act, the townspeople all lost their pureness, their lack of sin. They murder, and murder again.

    The rain pours down as flesh is mutilated in rather disgustingly graphic detail. Blood oozes and pours from the victims of fear as water cascades down onto the dry, cracked earth. But when the sun shines again, the blood lays still, undisturbed by the torrential deluge. No matter how hard it rains, no sins of such magnitude can be washed away. As Romel said, the people fear dying more than they fear being unable to keep living. This is clearly apparent, as the fear turns to horrific violence against friends, neighbors, and family, all for a selfish desire to continue walking along this dusty little world.

  24. I think religion is the main focus in the video “The Backwater Gospel.” It shows how blind faith in religion can lead people to do horrible things. In this case, the instigator would be the priest because he blames the “bad apple”. The man that does not go to church is scapegoated by the priest. He tells them that they will all be damned if they do not purge him. The priest gets the people to do what he wants by using their fear of God. I believe this to be a recurring theme in religion, most religions set out a way to achieve salvation through their dogma. People will do whatever to be granted salvation because they fear death and what comes after it. During the Crusades, the Crusaders committed many atrocities against the Muslims. They did so in the knowledge that no matter what they did, they had already achieved salvation because it was granted to them by the pope. They did not fear God, so the absence of that fear and the presence of that fear can cause people to commit extreme acts of violence. I the end the people of Backwater feared their own demise so much they all perished.

    I agree with Kevin when he says that one of the themes is the inner madness that everyone has. He also states that it is triggered by fear. It reminds me of the Salem witch trials where women were tried as witches just for being different. This fear of the unknown can make people unleash their “inner madness.”

  25. Religion seems to be one of the themes in “Backwater Gospel”, but what I got from this short film was how society can be easily manipulated into believing an idea or concept. The god fearing priest instilled fear into the townsfolk corrupting their heads, turning them into mindless sheep. He taught the townsfolk to fear god, anyone who opposed (guitar player) deserved death. When the guitar player warned the townsfolk of the “Undertaker”, they panicked and did something rash, the killed the guitar player. This was the point of no return; the townsfolk began to turn on each other. As this scene progresses, it reveals the priest as someone else. The gun hiding in the bible showed the priest was not religious after all; he is someone who is using religion as a tool, to use townsfolk to do his bidding. As Kenneth stated,” The priest from what I can infer as his stance is that he uses religion as a tool of brainwashing the residents of Backwater.”

  26. In the video titled “The Backwater Gospel” by Bo Mathorne there are three main characters. The Priest, the Cripple, and the Undertaker. The Priest being a form of leader whom the townspeople seem to be forced to follow. The Cripple being a man who is shown to disobey the Priest, not be religious, and not fear the Undertaker. Finally, the Undertaker being a character who symbolizes death. I believe that the main focus in this video is not just religion, but of what fear causes people to do. This is why I completely agree with what Chanel said when she stated “The concept of fear is the focus of this video.” The Priest has been an outlet for people to come to seeking religion as a way of escaping death or avoiding death. The Priest is the the villain in this scenario giving people false hope and filling their heads with devious thoughts. While some may argue that the Undertaker is the villain I say they are wrong because the Undertaker was no harm, was not the cause of anyone’s death, and he was only there to clean up the mess. Some things I felt were ironic was that the Priest had a gun within his bible, and in the end was killed with a cross, or can be interpreted as he was killed by his own religion. After viewing this video I was unsure about how I felt about it. I was ultimately confused so I conducted further research. After viewing a video on YouTube titled “The Backwater: EXPLAINED” by Vincent Kav he stated that he believes the moral of the video is “Believe in something because you believe it is right not because you fear the consequences.” While this video at first glance may seem utterly gory and confusing, there is, I believe, the underlying message of the only thing people have to fear is fear itself.

  27. The gruesome and gory video “The Backwater Gospel” by Bo Matterhorn, shows the story of a small town’s demise. The town is filled with people who fear death, which is why they turn to religion. But in that small town, there is an outlier. The renegade of the town is known as the Tramp. He wears a yellow suit and often sings about death. The Tramp and the Minister of the town do not get along because of their different views. The video is clearly talking about religion, but it is not putting down the concept of religion. Rather, the video is critiquing blindly following a religion for the wrong reasons.
    The people of Backwater are scared and empty. They move slothlike, almost like zombies. The townspeople are afraid of death, so they turn to religion to help soothe their worries about the great unknown. While they do not have much life to cling on to, they fight to keep the little life they have left. When the people go to church, they do not go because it is relaxing. They go to church in hopes that their fear of the Lord will protect them from the Undertaker. But when the Tramp comes and informs the people that the Undertaker has arrived, they are quick to abandon their God. They disperse quickly from their church and lock themselves in their homes in order to protect themselves from the Undertaker. The townspeople cowardly stay in their homes for a whole week. It is not until the Minister rings the bell to commence service that the people find the strength to leave their homes to go to church. The townsfolk are not strong, and represent the people who follow religion because they are afraid of the unknown.
    When the townsfolk leave the church to kill the Tramp, they become desperate and are quick to blame others for their situation. They blindly follow the Minister’s order to kill the Tramp, because they believe once the Tramp is dead, the Undertaker will leave. Contrary to the Minister’s belief, the Undertaker did not leave once the Tramp died. The people then became confused, and were determined to find who the Undertaker was looking for. The town went on a killing rampage, turning on one another to save their own life while taking another’s. In the end, the townspeople had all killed each other, giving the Undertaker what he was looking for.The video’s portrayal of the frail townspeople show how ignorance can be dangerous.
    For someone to blindly follow a religion because they are simply scared, is not a substantial reason to believe. The people’s weak relationship with their religion proved to be their greatest weakness. Like Althaea said, “The fear of fear is more compelling than the actual thing we fear”. The people’s fear of death lead them to abandon their religion just to survive. That is why the townsfolk represent the danger of an ignorant follower. Ignorance may be bliss, but it can also lead to dire consequences.

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