The day Christians have long feared, the day that would part the Heavens and kick-start the apocalypse, is upon us. In the unsuspecting locale of Oklahoma City, a group of enterprising Satanists is working (not via hex or spell, mind you, but the legitimate channels of public policy) to place a gigantic statue of Baphomet on the Capitol grounds. Their seven-foot version -- which includes several doe-faced children in the artist’s rendition above -- looks like the cover of that awful Dimmu Borgir album In Sorte Diaboli. The saga makes us want to rewrite At War With Satan to something like At War With Tulsa: “Lawyers gather slowly round/The OK City Hall/Here comes the Satan statue/And boy is it friggin' tall.” Here’s the overview: The Associated Press reports that: “The New York-based Satanic Temple formally submitted its application to a panel that oversees the Capitol grounds, including an artist's rendering that depicts Satan as Baphomet, a goat-headed figure with horns, wings and a long beard that's often used as a symbol of the occult. In the rendering, Satan is sitting in a pentagram-adorned throne with smiling children next to him.”
Now, the chances of this happening – even with the best lawyers and most well-coiffed Satanists– are about the chances that Eyes Set to Kill will make our Top 40 one of these years. Oklahoma’s governor would sign an executive mandate to kill the project, or Christians would chain themselves to the gates of the Capitol until the proposal died. Regardless, you will soon hear more about the happy Baphomet than you will issues of global significance. This story will become the biggest talking point on Fox News in the coming weeks, and they are already referring to Satanists (i.e. metal fans) in language reserved for diseases and oddities like eight-legged toads.
How can we get this right? It’s a new year, well into a decade, and the brain trust at Decibel has thought of a few ways the Satanic Temple (who might subscribe) might increase their chances of success.
Talk economics: Do you think Baltimore wanted to be the site of the largest extreme metal fest in the country? The only reason it got started was that only about 20 people attended the first one. Now, the Baltimore mayor and every liquor store and Five Guys in town have probably written letters of thanks to the founders. Oklahoma could use some similar love. The last time I was in Oklahoma, I stopped at a steakhouse (where locals ordered Diet Cokes to accompany porterhouses and stuffed baked potatoes), stayed at a hotel and got the fuck out. My friend lived near Tulsa for a few years, and all he did was complain about heat and his poor dating prospects.
Why not give people a reason to come to Oklahoma? The tourist revenue would skyrocket with a big-ass Baphomet on the Capitol. Norwegian black metal bands could recreate the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (and leave Crowley in the photo). People would come to OKC just to visit this statue and spend money. Locals could sell Baphomet key chains and snow globes. T-shirts with Kevin Durant on Baphomet’s lap would be a best-seller. The statue might single-handedly revive the Oklahoma economy.
Find a good spokesperson: Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey, who lived in a black house in San Francisco and presided over esoteric rituals featuring cherubic naked ladies and dudes that looked like your creepy middle school teacher, is so 1960s. We need someone who can accurately represent the cause. Dani Filth wears goofy contacts, Gaahl can’t get in the country and a lot of the other black metal guys are, well, dead. Might we suggest the members of Akercocke? They dress well, are articulate and enjoy fine beverages during stump speeches.
Don’t hold a concert: This will set the cause back with the locals. Even Marilyn Manson, the milquetoast version of most of the bands covered in our Upfront section, was responsible for temporarily shuttering many concert venues in the '90s. The locals aren’t ready for Watain (pig’s blood); Mayhem (Attila Csihar and whatever botanist’s nightmare rests atop his head) or your local black metal band (members are likely on work release). Instead, wait for the statue to be built and then start the Oklahoma Deathfest -- on the Capitol grounds.
Take Baphomet on the road: People aren’t going to know how freaking cool a giant Baphomet statue is until they see it in person. Why not make a mock-up and bring it on the Decibel tour? Can't you see Steer and Walker rocking out with this thing as a backdrop? Ian Gillan-fronted Black Sabbath never succeeded with the whole Stonehenge thing, but we’re willing to bet that this could be done in 2014.
Oklahoma’s Capitol Preservation Commission has halted all monument requests until the Baphomet lawsuit is resolved. What's the best way we can get the goat on the Capitol lawn?