So a couple weeks ago Blogger sent me, for the first time ever, a newsletter about all the great new features they are putting into place. One of those features is a statistics tracker. Now this is cool! It has tabs for real-time, daily, weekly, and "all time". From this I learned my most popular post ever is, "All hail Nero, Emperor of Decline!" with a grand total (so far) of 51 views!
Pathetic. I don't know whether to laugh or cry, which means, of course, I will do neither. But then I noticed, down at the bottom of the stats page, a map labeled, "Audience". My main audience is, to my own surprise, China!
Hmm. Now that is a bit worrisome, especially since my second most popular post is, "The end of the world as we know it", and my third most popular, "The final unholy alliance". While it is true that my "end of the world" post starts out as a movie review, it concludes this way,
"What many people in the modern world fail to understand is that atheism is the faith of those who live in luxury. In a dystopian world, everyone would believe in something. It might be that the only thing they would believe in is their own two hands and they would spend their every waking hour cursing god, heaven, or fate, but that is a far cry from sitting around denying the existence of the supernatural altogether. In order to deny the working of fate and fortune, you must have the luxury of not depending on them."
Like everything else in life, for me, watching a movie always has a moral, ethical, spiritual, and political dimension. After all, my life is dedicated to fighting a spiritual war that takes no prisoners and knows no quarter. As a result, even the most insignificant experiences are filtered through a complex theological framework that I have spent my entire life developing and am still working on. My life is focused on advancing the forces of righteousness and driving back the forces of darkness. This war is fought in the imagination and subconscious of every person living on earth. Every artistic production is an artillery volley of immense power because art penetrates directly into the subconscious of the viewer and subtly modifies the framework they use to define their world, often without them even realizing it. If we do not consciously take control of this process and examine the impact then we become more easily manipulated.
Free-thinking and open-mindedness are wholly dependent upon a conscious organization and control over the impact of every experience, every dream, every fantasy, and every longing. So when I see the nihilistic and narcissistic being glorified and/or condemned through the actions and attitudes of a fictional character, I also see an artist attempting to control how their viewer responds to the real world in their daily life. Art does create life, and life creates art. It is an endless circle with each driving the other in ways that are sometimes surprising, sometimes horrifying, and always intriguing.
And then there is, "The final unholy alliance", which as time goes on I am beginning to believe has a lot more in common with, "Who is funding the approaching civil war?" than I first realized.
I do not believe there is some vast, evil conspiracy to destroy the world. I do understand the relationship between culture and the individual and I am a firm believer that given a chance, every individual is an opportunist. Our species has been growing and developing for a very long time. It does not matter if God put us here fully formed or if we evolved from scavenger primates in the African savannah. This is the point everyone in the creationism vs. evolution debate misses. The simple fact of the matter is that both sides of that debate are completely irrelevant because both sides are wholly dependent on an imaginative interpretation of the existing evidence. Did the Elohim build us from dust and a rib? Did australopithecus shift from scavenging to hunting? It doesn't matter. Both sides are irrelevant. Both sides do an adequate job of explaining our origins. Here, as in so many other cases, right and wrong are null terms that define nothing. The important thing is, how did we go from a handful of scattered cities in ancient Iraq to a global civilization of infinite complexity? Even more importantly, where do we go from here?
There are very rich, very powerful forces working to shape our world. Some of them are countries, some of them are religious groups, some of them are individuals. Their ability to realize their dreams is wholly dependent on the choices made by you and I in our daily lives. They need us. They cannot succeed without our cooperation.
They have found me and they are watching me...
...which is a really big waste of their time because I average about five page views per post. Not even per day, per post! And yes, that also means my eccentric appropriation of Emperor Nero is ten times more popular than my average post. (There's a really good PR lesson in there somewhere. If I can figure out what it is and how to apply it!)
So be my guest, rich powerful global emperor wannabes! Please, read all you like! While you're here, buy a couple books, okay? You can certainly afford it and I need the money!