This weekend, I returned to one of my guilty pleasures, the glamorous, cliched, convoluted and opaque BBC series Hex [2005-2007]. This gorgeous trash heap of magic + soft-core porn features fallen angels, lesbian ghosts, witch burning, time traveling, demons in the guise of priests, kinky nurse fairies, blah blah blah, all taking place on the isolated grounds of Medenham Hall, a boarding school populated by 6 sexy students, 2 or 3 teachers and gallons of moody mist.
Anyway, one of the tired plot devices trotted out by Hex is that of the fast-forward Jesus baby. As the result of a Divine Screw between a supernatural male and an ordinary female, the fast-forward Jesus baby develops alarmingly fast from conception to birth. Once it’s born, the fast-forward Jesus baby demonstrates its ominous, yet irresistibly compelling, powers by growing up really fast. The FFJB often skips over its entire childhood in order to pop up as a sullen, rebellious, sex-crazed teenager who seduces its enemies and/or parental figures. In the case of Hex, the FFJB is Malachi, a human-fallen angel hybrid, who jumps ahead to 17 so he can screw Ella, the time-traveling witch who’s supposed to kill him. [Ah, young love…] Other FFJBs I have encountered include Conor from Angel [son of vampire Angel and now-human Darla, who grows up speedily in an alternate dimension, comes back to kill his dad and has sex with Cordy, his mother figure] and Renesmee from the Twilight Saga [daughter of human Bella and vampire Edward, fully mature at the age of 7, who charms everyone merely by looking at them]. I’m sure that there are many more, but those are all that I can think of right now.
I really hate FFJBs. They’re such a transparent use of authorial bullshittery, contravening the laws of time and space to satisfy narrative functions. Whenever they appear, I can be sure that the creator of an FFJB does not care about the parents’ relationships with their child, the child’s development into a fully three-dimensional being and the child’s relations with its parents. The creator of an FFJB only wants a further agent of chaos, another monkey wrench to throw in the works, and the creator is so desperate and mentally impoverished that he/she resorts to treating the product of the Divine Screw NOT as a character, but as a walking plot device. Man, doesn’t any author care about the actual chance to investigate what it’s like being a product of the Divine Screw? I’ve had a similar remark before about the mothers of FFJBs, namely, that literature doesn’t care about their subjectivity. Likewise, literature ain’t really interested in the crucible in which children of the Divine Screw forge their identity. In fact, the whole canonical Bible leaves out Jesus’ life from about 12 to 33, so what can we expect? We don’t have very good models for exploring the peculiarities of being a product of the Divine Screw.