Posts

The Best Religion

Over the past ten years an unstoppable religion has swept across the world, acquiring adherents, taking over governments, subverting society, infiltrating our homes, destroying families, and placing its clerics at the very top of human society. Judaism and Christianity submitted … Read More

By / November 22, 2007

Over the past ten years an unstoppable religion has swept across the world, acquiring adherents, taking over governments, subverting society, infiltrating our homes, destroying families, and placing its clerics at the very top of human society. Judaism and Christianity submitted to it early, and the Hindu and Muslim world is now following suit. Its power is such that even atheists submit to it. It has created an international brotherhood like nothing before it, and flowed across the boundaries of nation-states with an ease that is beyond description. Its eventual goal – of making every last person in the world its adherent – looks to be well within its grasp. I am speaking, of course, of the religion of Tech; whose gods are gadgets; whose Bible is Engadget; whose Koran is code; whose followers are geek; whose clerics are Gates and Jobs and Boy Genius; whose temple is Facebook; and whose enemies, those venomous Luddites, have been defeated so thoroughly that no one can even pronounce their names: Kac zyns what? Like with the most successful religions of yester-eons, it provokes an unmatched zealotry in its newest converts, turning them into eager evangelists whose commitment is so severe that we – yes, I am a convert, hallelujah! – can turn down an invitation to the hottest party in Las Vegas (Tuesday nights at Pure) just so we can come home and pray to our gods, touch them, run our fingers upon them, sleep with them, and when no one is looking, lick them. The lust – and it can be called nothing else – that this religion evokes in a body creates the monomania of sweet fundamentalism, when nothing creates skepticism, when doubt is an after-thought, when responsibility to others becomes secondary to our unceasing desire to be near our gods, prostrate before them, muttering their name — Mac, Mac, Mac – over and again. When, in the few moments between sleeping and waking, after we have checked our email, and have to put up with insufferable cruelty of being separated from our iPhone and Treo for the daily torture that is shower, we are sometimes struck by the realization that our devotion might be going overboard, after all – Holy Linux! – aren’t there some savages in the world killing one another; aren’t there cyclones ripping up countries; aren’t there tyrants turning fat from gluttony. So, ridden with guilt we return to our gods, setting our heads upon them, wracked with short-lived concern. Then the idea comes to us – through the organic osmosis that exists between us and our gadgets from having slept in the same bed so long – and we wonder why we didn’t think of it before. Why not utilize our gods in the (tedious because it keeps us from the next session of WoW) fight against fear and poverty and tyranny? Within moments, we create groups on Facebook, launch initiatives on the internet, send out BCC emails to BBC, do up a Blogspot, make a trackback, and the really daring among us take to the street and shoot a few rounds of SMS or Twitter. Admittedly, unlike other types of resistance, this one is not aimed at the actual enemy, the rapacious tyrant, the invader, or the human rights abuser: it is aimed at us. We realize that it does not matter what it is that other people actually do; but that we describe what they are doing so there is a record of it in our hard-disks and archives. As long as we describe it – even if it is only to ourselves – we have done our part. “Torture? Yes, I suppose you can call it that, but did you know that my 2.2 ghz Macbook has allowed me to describe it in a speed unmatched by anyone else! Oh, and check out the resolution of these pictures on Flickr!” We are historians, all of us, of the instant. Our gadgets give us power to view the world in segments, without context, without even a need for expertise or reflection. What is truth except the ability to unearth two seemingly contradictory permalinks? What is love except the ability to guess the username of the hot girl at the mall on your Bluetooth network? What is freedom except the right to own a god (and now, with a software called Parallels, two simultaneously)? Sent from my iPhone

Tagged with: