September 6th, 2020

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#Magic#Harry#Fandom

Sunday, September 6th, 2020

I’m continuing my series on Strange Rites by Tara Isabella Burton. I’m wading into territory I have very little clue about with this one. I have never been one to indulge in Harry Potter (HP) or gaming.  But I’m also not one who will jump on the bandwagon and say reading HP or playing a game will make your susceptible to witchcraft or violence.  Not that it isn’t possible but I’m no expert in it so I don’t spend much time dealing or talking about it. Definitely not preaching about it.

I used to read a lot more fantasy than I do now.  The Chronicles of Narnia. Lewis’ space chronicles. I liked to read other types of fantasy by Steve Lawhead. But I was never able to get into HP. One of the families here in the church really like it and they asked me to watch a movie to see what I thought. I was bored and after about 20 minutes said, “Enough of that waste of time.” I know I’m standing alone according to stats but that’s me. As for gaming, it never turned my crank. I remember the early Nintendo games. They seem to be like child’s play these days (probably because they are). But I know there are some who spend hours upon hours playing Fortnite and World of Warcraft. I have other things I’d rather do than sit and play on my TV.  But I know some use that as relaxation the same way I use cycling.

J.K.Rowling’s books blew away publication records as did the movies. {Note: she isn’t so popular anymore since she took a side against transgenderism}.  All in all though it doesn’t seem to take much to have something go viral due to social media.  In fact, much has changed since X-Files and Xena: Warrior Princess took center stage on TV. It all comes down to computers and the internet.

But within this craze is an insidious reptile.  Geekdom, bullying, role-playing games with the infiltration of fan communities like Tumblr, FB, and Instagram have blown it all sky high.  It is incredible the “weight” these sites have on pop culture. One pop culture site is HP, and interestingly enough,  after the publication of the last HP novel J.K. has become a lot less relevant. Some of that is because she dared to mess with being “woke.”  The other significant pop culture site is Gamergate.  This phenomena became increasingly more daring in its acceptance of “like” people and its disassociation with “others.” It also became more femininely hostile. I cannot even begin to capsulize its pull.

One of the things I gleaned is understanding authority is undergoing a colossal shift. I think, IMHO, we are seeing that come to fruition in the nightly news of the cities burning because of a lack of respect for authority and other peoples’ things. I agree with a Christian rock band, Lovewar, who had a song titled Keep Your Hands off My Stuff.

I’ll close with the closing illustration from the book. In 1820, Thomas Jefferson, a committed Deist who preferred the teachings of Jesus Christ to the idea of him being a metaphysical savior, created a bespoke Bible. Cutting and pasting the lines from the Gospels that he thought best reflected his vision of Christ, excising those passages (like the miracles) that didn’t quite fit, Jefferson created what might be considered the first fan fiction: The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth.  Now, we’re all doing the same thing. (p.90).  {My note: it is happening in culture and it is happening in the church}.

Next up: SoulCycle, the wellness culture and the rebirth of New Thought.  This you gotta read!! And here is the book I am reviewing:

Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World