Total Depravity: The Hidden Life of Jim West

It is well known that our friend Jim West is something of a fixture at professional academic meetings the world over. Whether at SOTS in the winter, CBA in the summer, or SBL in the fall, attendees old and new can often catch glimpses of Jim having his picture taken with every scholar, rock, and tree within a 15 mile radius, as well as snapping thousands of other pictures for the edification of those who, bound by the grievous constraints of work and family, are regrettably unable to attend such gatherings. Perhaps not as well known is the fact that, in spite of his incessant jeremiads against gluttony, deviancy, and intemperance, Jim is no stranger to the hidden allure of these vices, in which he indulges with reckless abandon during the months between his preferred academic meetings.

Until recently, Jim’s forays into unfettered depravity have gone largely unnoticed on account of his herculean efforts over the years to hide every last bit of evidence. It appears, however, that the histrionic proclivities for which he is justly (in)famous have at long last been his undoing. The advent of YouTube ultimately proved to be an irresistible temptation, and Jim evidently felt compelled to record covers of various songs for the sake of crass exhibitionism. So it was that the world first caught a glimpse of the obese, drunk, and cross-dressing Jim West that emerges between academic gatherings. Eventually Jim ventured to record a piece of his own composition, to wit, a delirious ode to a mixed alcoholic drink that he stumbled upon quite by accident. The video is below, and while I warn my sensible readership that the visuals are crude in the extreme, I feel it necessary to display the footage here as a cautionary tale to the biblioblogging community at large.

I note that, among other things, this video explains why no known picture of Jim West features him smiling broadly. Also, while a dog may be seen roaming in the background, I believe this alternative scenario more accurately represents Jim’s real preferences.

Thanks to the wonders of the internet, more than 2.5 million people have now watched what Jim surely intended to be a nearly anonymous outlet for his depravity. While this has led him to delete all of his videos, we must remain grateful to The Gregory Brothers, who produced the above auto-tuned remix (shawtayee!). These heroes have at once exposed Jim’s darkest secret and preserved the evidence for posterity. For this, good sirs (and madam), we thank you.

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