Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hard As Nails

It is quite evident from watching HBO's Hard As Nails that Justin Fatica is a man with a mission, a larger than life sense of purpose and evangelizing style that some would find impossible to relate to. To the outsider watching the interactions between Fatica and his constituents (primarily troubled teenagers), he can easily come across as a bully bent on imposing his world view upon those who lack the will, courage or confidence to voice their own.

The fact that they lack one or more of those traits critical to becoming a well adjusted person, is the reason their teen insecurities take an extreme turn - making them the kind of kid Fatica is out to rescue. They are drowned and possibly drained out by the sheer intensity of their minister's rhetoric - there is little if any room for contemplation and inward growth in how the religious message is delivered. The goal of the ministry is laudable but the means are somewhat suspect.

Surely, there are better ways to bring about a sense of spiritual centeredness among disturbed youth without browbeating them into submission - even it is to their religious faith. Fatica would likely not garner much support from the strong-willed, free spirited teens who refuse to be told what is wrong with them. They are not any less troubled than those who would submit themselves to Fatica's preaching only that his style would render his message inaccessible to them.

His own family appears to have an uneasy relationship with his claim to fame and that makes the viewer wonder if Justin Fatica is just an overage teen working through issues of parental approval and has taken the messianic turn in the process.

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