Select Page

Offbeat – 05 October 2012

http://pierremare.blogspot.com

 

 

Jedis are one thing. Gods with tentacles hanging off their faces are another. But no. Someone had to ‘reconstruct’ the fictional Necronomicon, and the next step would predictably be development of a set of rituals and rites, complete with a bunch of wide-eyed people quite willing to believe.

I wrote a guest post on a blog a few days ago, on the topic of world horror. For those who are in the dark, it means horror from countries around the world, and usually it isn’t vampires, werewolves and zombies. I centered the piece on the idea of the tokoloshe. (That’s ‘tokolosie’ to everyone in Namibia.)
When I was at university, I shared space with a guy who had his bed on bricks. There wasn’t any fuss about it. That is the way it was, and nobody argued or made dumb comments. We incorporated his beliefs into our reality, and sat carefully when we sat on his bed because it was a bit wobbly.
This led me to thinking about the way people come to believe. If you are one of those people who has a God that is bigger than another God, and you believe that everyone who doesn’t believe in your God is damned to spend eternity ankle deep in lukewarm vomit, now is a good time to stop reading, because I’m about to talk about post-modernism, Jedi knights and HP Lovecraft.
Still here? Good.
There is a classic Facebook image which appears about every two weeks now. It’s a photo of an ad which mentions all the things you shouldn’t do, including listening to rock, watching horror movies, having sex with animals and all the usual stuff. The only thing missing is the postal address where you can buy the Chick comics with the lakes of fire and ‘Buddy Jesus’.
One of the more interesting items on the list, a thing that will send you straight to Hell, is post-modernism. For those of you still in the dark, the simple explanation for post-modernism is the stuff that everyone does on Facebook. Here’s how it works: you look at a picture on someone’s page, share it to your timeline and believe in it. Other people do the same thing with the picture they find on your page.
Facebook is not the only place where large scale post-modernism happens. Simple, quick communication has been around for a long time and not just in the form of e-mails and websites. For a long time now, anyone with a bit of determination has been able to find out about almost anything. This has had a very interesting impact on belief.
Star wars came out in the Seventies. Today, the fictional idea of the Jedi is becoming a fully fledged religion, and is recognised as such in many different places. I’m not sure how it works in real life, but someone out there is probably industriously researching a light sabre. No doubt optometrists are benefiting marginally from squints acquired by wannabe Jedis trying to get round paying for drinks.
HP Lovecraft is even more interesting. HP Lovecraft is the father of modern horror. Amongst his works, he imagined a set of cruel beings with somewhat godlike powers. Many of his stories involved people coming into contact with these beings and getting stepped on like ants beneath the shoes of sadistic children. One of the facets of his writing was the ‘Necronomicon’ of the ‘mad Arab, Abdul Alhazred’ which was used from time to time to call up these fictional gods.
Jedis are one thing. Gods with tentacles hanging off their faces are another. But no. Someone had to ‘reconstruct’ the fictional Necronomicon, and the next step would predictably be development of a set of rituals and rites, complete with a bunch of wide-eyed people quite willing to believe.
Then there are the atheists who are quite happy to put their faith in, and proselytize for, science, as long as it doesn’t involve nuclear reactors, genetically modified crops, interesting pharmaceuticals or any of the non-homeopathic things that science loves so much.
The point is, that much the same way a bunch of guys accepted a bed on bricks to make way for the tokoloshe, a lot of people are accepting whatever comes along. As far as the Judaeo-based religions are concerned beliefs are about as mutable above the layer of the God of Abraham.
There’s a lot of talk about the cultural melting pot. There is a melting pot of beliefs as well. There is no clear direction yet, but it is worth watching.

About The Author

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!