Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The Big Picture: "Nerd Gods"

21 comments:

Ben said...

Did you just refer to all of Greek and Roman mythology and legend as 'bad fanfic'? Oh, it is ON.

Another great episode. This show is really picking up the pace and getting more interesting as time goes on.

Adam said...

Interesting premise, althought I honestly wouldn't peg Spider-Man as a guy worthy of worship. The "With great power etc..." is a great value to have, but Spidey could still be a massive douche at times. In that biblical cannon perhaps he'd be better served being portrayed as anologus to David (re: David and Goliath) or something.

Rarer Monsters said...

Fun fact: "Xmas" is often considered to be a secular gutting of religious content in the word Christmas, but actually it derives from the Greek word for Christ, Χριστός, which began with the letter "chi" (written as X)
So, fun fact.

As fun as this idea is, I could only see it leading to more conflict. I mean, look how much religions fight, could you imagine if they were fighting over comic canon? If Reform Gamerism went up against Orthodox Godzillatology? If Post-Crisis Supermania went up against Golden Age Supermania? I mean, how could we expect Godzilla worshipers to respond to conflict? And yeah the lord sayeth GROOOOOOWL and destroyed Tokyo. I'm not sure the world could handle a religion whose only principle was "Destroy Tokyo"

Meanwhile I'll continue to maintain a devout following of MSTicysm following the precepts of the Creator Joel, his prophet Mike, and the one commandment: Make fun of movies.

KevinCV said...

Is it bad that I actually laughed in recognition of Cthulu? Just wondering, cos that's exactly what happened when I watched this... XD

M said...

Please tell me you've read American Gods by Neil Gaiman, Bob.

your cousin

TheDVDGrouch said...

I could see myself getting into Jedism just look at all the great tenants I could live.

"Size matters not"

"Do or do not, there is no try"

"Named must your fear be before banish it you can"

And of course my personal favorite.“Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force. Mourn them do not. Miss them do not. Attachment leads to jealously. The shadow of greed, that is".

The Karligarchy said...

The fact that you used the Goku vs. Superman pic to describe fanfic means we are on the same page about that...

The Karligarchy said...

If we are really going to discuss religions and religious characters in this way lets just get right down to it and understand that it will be an issue of franchise management just. On a franchise level religious stories work because they exist in a fixed continuity. Greco-Roman gods exist in a finite number of stories. We know who they are what they did and it is highly unlikely the stories are going to change. Spiderman and Godzilla cannot fit this role because they are still ongoing and their continuities can change. Like good, horror icons, many religious icons reach mythic proportions because we are limited in how much of them we see in the story. The bible doesnt follow the story of God of Jesus but rather the story of those who encountered them.

The Karligarchy said...

We have back story on the Greco-Roman gods but the stories that are relevant are the ones where ordinary people encounter the gods. In the bible the story of God in the old testament is told through the characters who act as middle men between him and the chosen people. In the new testament the stories of Jesus are all variant versions, each told by a different apostle. Jesus himself never wrote a book of the bible. All we know about him is what is relayed through middle men.

Spiderman and Superman do not fit the bill because the majority of their stories are told through their own perspective. In franchise perspective this eliminates all of the mystery of these characters. The allure created by limited facts is what makes religious characters successful in a franchise sense. Would a comparison between the gnostic and noncanonical books of the bible and the Star wars prequels be useful in this regards?

The Karligarchy said...

Perhaps a useful indicator of potential religiosity of certain characters is their ability to be ret-conned. Superman and Spiderman for example have their continuities rewritten all the time in their on-going titles. In the realm of religious franchises there exists a very potent word for retcon - heresy. The retconning of religious characters often evokes violence, wars and all the things people point to to illustrate the evils of religion yadda yadda. The contemporary works that illicit then most virulent forms of nerd-rage at the hints of retconning (heresy) would in fact be the most likely candidates for attaining religious status. Instead of more ongoing, fluid titles I would actually point to more self-contained works that would illicit ultimate nerd rage if any alterations to their continuities were suspected. Examples would be Star Wars (The prequels invoked the most nerd wrath I have ever seen), the more famous works of Alan Moore, Other M pissed people off something fierce, Zelda etc etc. The franchises that retconning seems the most ridiculous and would spark the most back lash are the most likely to become religious content. The stories that people most wish to retell while actual changes to the content in these retellings would illicit violence are what will make a religious franchise.

The Karligarchy said...

Did any of that make sense?

sniffits said...

Nerdy religion rant: I prefer the fan theory of Kyon having invented Haruhi out of boredom and thus being a very disconnected and unknowing god. I could go for a religion where god is a snarky jerk well aware of established harem tropes.


Listen to M, Bob. Read American Gods.

Dave Kraft said...

I list my religion as "Optimus Prime died for my sins" XP

Also, anyone else think Grant Morrison = Lex Luthor? He killed Batman, wrote a story about the end of Superman's life, and seems to be destroying the DCU as we know it. And he apparently has a thing for pin-striped suits, brightly-colored neckties and shaving his head. Ten bucks says he's got a suit of green and purple battle armor in his armoire.

I mean, he looks JUST LIKE him, too:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_JAI1GFOj2JM/TEoGkQlLTsI/AAAAAAAAB1c/aEhTcrj_Pnk/s1600/grant-morrison_jpg_595x325_crop_upscale_q85.jpg

I also hypothesize that his marijuana is laced with Kryptonite. Theories, anyone?

RocMegamanX said...

Speaking of Alan Moore, you were referring to Dr. Manhattan, weren't you?

I suppose he could be a good idea for an omniscient or omnipotent god. He could take apart and recreate matter, he could walk on the surface of the sun, he can breathe in space, he can teleport wherever he needs to, he can change his height, and he can blow people up with his hand...he's nigh immortal already.

But...um...about Hitchens...the minute I saw the title of his book "God is Not Great", that turned me away. I believe there's a God.

sniffits said...

@RocMegamanX

I believe he was referring to Glychon, the snake god that Alan Moore openly worships. I can't remember the name of the video but Alan explains that considering humanities differences, spiritual beliefs should also be as vibrant and different as our hair color or personality. He advises choosing your own god and worshiping in your own way. I like Glychon. He's a snake with long hair :)

H said...

Proud follower of the Church of the Spiral, with my main man St Simon.

vlademir1 said...

ROFLMAO

That was the best video yet in this series.

tyra menendez said...

To be fair, Hubbard was a BAD science fiction writer. I'm sure he was also schizotypal (not to be confused with schizophrenia), which gave rise to his mistrust and eventual defamation of psychiatry.

keethroolz said...

Church of Haruhi seems like a cutesy enough idea, but thinking about it a bit... wouldn't it also be the ideology responsible for the largest number of pathological sociopaths since objectivism?

CraftyAndy said...

and that's why I'm a atheists, admit to what you don't know and never fill in the holes with anything else until solid measurable evidence is collected and seen.

Drew said...

Santa Claus was not invented by Coca-Cola.
http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/santa/cocacola.asp

Xmas is just a shortening of Christmas. It retains the same meaning and connotations. The X has always meant "Christ"