Shattering Idols

I have shattered many idols out along the dusty track,

Burnt a lot of fancy verses — and I’m glad that I am back.

Henry Lawson, Up the Country

I have had a number of posts over the years discussing the ongoing destruction of many popular culture franchises beginning with some brief commentary on the all-female Ghostbusters reboot back in 2016 when I first began writing this blog. I never watched it but by all accounts that matter, it turned out to be just as bad as it looked. This destruction has most often been in reference to Star Wars though I noted in the linked Ghostbusters post that what anything you liked before can’t be ruined by new and inferior products with the same name. The same trend has also been happening with video games as I noted in my review of GEARS 5 in 2019 which I  compared to the terrible Disney Star Wars films. By chance, XYZ had published a related post on the gaming industry in general before I started writing this post.

By now it is as clear as can be that there is a conscious effort at play to subvert and wreck popular media franchises. This of course is denied every time it is noticed and it is claimed merely that these properties are just being made more “inclusive” or words to that effect. This is a lie as nobody has ever been stopped from enjoying anything nor is anybody is really left out if a major character in a story doesn’t share their race, interests or sexual proclivities perversions. And for most of my lifetime, people have been free to create almost anything they like if they found any genre wanting. Countless popular as well as niche works of fiction have been created for these very reasons. Ironically, it is only very recently that this has changed and it is because of the very people who claim to be doing the opposite.

I have also commented on the unhealthy obsession people have with media franchises. A recent example is seeing adults fantasising about Marvel characters joining the fight in Ukraine. Or the evil nasty Putin being compared to Voldemort, the main antagonist from the Harry Potter children’s stories. It is clear that whatever the merits of modern fiction that popular culture has had an infantalising effect on people and this is not healthy for society.

Yet there is more to this destruction than is generally observed. Most commentary either complains about it or defends it. I just didn’t watch it. What is a more interesting question is to ask how God’s plan is unfolding in all of this?

As hinted in the title, these media franchises can be seen as a form of idol worship. I don’t want to claim this is in the literal sense found in the Old Testament with the Golden Calf where Moses…

… came near the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, Moses’ anger burned hot, and he threw the tablets from his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. He took the calf that they had made, burned it with fire, ground it to powder, scattered it on the water, and made the Israelites drink it.

Exodus, Chapter 32: 19-20

The Ancient Israelites were literally worshipping an idol which again, I am not claiming people do with popular media. As in the poem above, this is a metaphor for what we’re observing (I know this should be obvious but I don’t want to be misunderstood). What is definitely happening is a lot of people are putting many things before God and the fantasy characters and worlds of a legion of media franchises is but one example.* Even if not God, certainly often before family and life in general. I don’t just have in mind the NPC/SJW crowd either as many otherwise good people get caught up in this sort of thing.

So maybe the wreckers are God’s instruments of destruction — though certainly not conscious ones. It wouldn’t be the first time God has allowed such things to happen — just check the Old Testament. If all of these franchises become unwatchable dreck, many people might start focusing on what really matters instead. Any good found can be salvaged and the rest will be lost. I can only see this all as an ultimate good. 

This is not to say no effort should be made to preserve as well as produce good fiction but these efforts are already underway with smaller creators and places like Castalia House and Arkhaven. People are also rediscovering older works all the time as a result of this. So let the modern idols be shattered as we get back on the right track and focus on what really matters. Fiction should serve what is true, good and beautiful first and foremost. It should inspire people to be better and not merely entertain them. 

* Another more obvious is the use of “idol” in the music industry for popular singers. This is not an accident and is best observed today in both Korean and Japanese pop music. The near-worship levels of devotion fans have are clearly encouraged by the record companies who have their talent under strict control to maintain the spell. This is deserving of a whole post of its own which I may do at some stage.

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