An opinion article last week warned students to audit their on-screen heroes and be wary of one’s attachment to TV shows. I challenge you to do the opposite, celebrate your passion without filter.
TV, movies and video games are the future’s religion.
This may seem extreme and perhaps offensive to some. However, it is a thought that needs to be entertained during a time where faith in organized religions is at an all-time low.
Take Christianity as an example; the spread of it throughout the Roman Empire allowed subjugated slaves and peoples a sense of greater worth and – more importantly – involvement.
The spread of Jesus’ word and its associated teachings provided a sense of community to those who felt lost, and media does the exact same today.
When friends meet up or strangers attempt to find common ground, one of the first topics is what medium of media they enjoy and the various subsections within it that they prefer, and conversation and connection ensues.
Individuals will become a community in person and online, and they feel acceptance as they share in the experience of their favourite TV hero overcoming adversity or their movie sweetheart charming his or her way out of situations.
They will even engage in pilgrimage to events such as FanExpo and ComicCon – sometimes even traveling significant distances to attend these temporary points of mass congregation.
As with historical religions, wars are also fought over the future’s pseudo religions – albeit with words and ridicule as the weapon of choice.
The internet is a hive of anger and disagreeance that showcases the profound belief and devotion individuals have for what they follow.
However, religion is not all about intolerance, and today’s media also has the cathartic and charitable impact on the world that many religions celebrate.
The Bible, Quran, Torah, Tao Te Ching, and other religious texts do not literally help raise money for causes though, and the same goes for churches.
Instead, it is the congregation – fueled by their passion for their worshiped ideology – that takes up initiatives, interprets stories for meaning and preaches it to the world.
In the case of Supernatural, a long standing TV series featuring two brothers fighting threats to Earth, the actors and fans of the series have raised thousands of dollars toward charities across the globe and have promoted mental-health awareness.
I dare you to look into your favourite shows, movies, games, songs, broadcasted sports or any other medium of entertainment and decide whether you could enrich your life through further dedication to it.
In today’s age where finding belonging and stimulation in society can seem daunting or impossible, it is nice to have an outlet that has others with similar interests and beliefs – even if your involvement is not devout in nature.
But should you decide to revere the characters and actors portraying them as deities, that is your choice that you have every right to.
In fact, I admire you for it.