My original title was ‘Is Religion Dying Out’, but I thought that was really too inflammatory, and not the reason I was writing. I believe that our ‘regular’ religions continue strong, although I think some of the same problems I detail below haunt the major religions.
It also depends on what you call ‘religion’. I kind of covered my thoughts on mainstream religion in my blog around Easter. (https://electrikink.com/are-bunnies-the-answer/)
But I’m thinking more in terms of the ‘lesser’ religions, like Star Wars, Star Trek, and ‘big V8 muscle cars’. Maybe toss computers in there too.
I have a feeling though, honestly, that these are fading because they’re losing relevance since the people that cared about them are passing through the system and not really ‘attending church’ anymore.
Let’s start back in the dim and distant past. I owned a Radio Shack TRS-80 Model I computer when I was young. A few years later, IBM came on the scene with the new fancy IBM computer. A myriad of other manufacturers were on the scene at the point, including Apple. For that matter, Apple actually beat out Radio Shack for being first on the scene.
So, there were massive religious wars over which computer was better. They are still there to this day, although the two factions have reduced to pretty much the Mac users and the PC users. And there are still hundreds of PC makers, although a lot of that has shaken out as well.
What about Star Wars? It does have the advantage that it’s pretty much been in front of us for the entire life of the product, which is something like 45 years now.
Star Trek? Technically, Trek has been with us for even longer than Wars, having been born in maybe 1968? Maybe 1966?
The big V8 muscle cars are still really popular with the people who liked them and belonged to that group in the 60’s and early 70’s. By the middle to the end of the 70’s, the handwriting was on the wall and the power had been reduced to a shadow of its former self. I don’t think the ‘84 Corvette topped 200hp. The good news from that corner is that big power is back, although it’s not necessarily only from the big V8 engines. Amazing things can happen with lots of tuning and turbos. My Saturn Sky has a tiny 2 liter engine and puts out an astounding (practically from the factory) 325hp. So it weighs 600lb less than my ‘94 Corvette and puts out 25 more hp. You do the math.
Ok. As per usual, I wander along and finally get to my point. 🙂 I hope.
I don’t think it’s these ‘religions’ that are dying out. I think it’s the social spirit that actually started the whole thing that’s dying out. It’s the community spirit that somehow ‘seems’ to be missing. As an example, in the mid 80’s we were consumed by the PC/Mac war. We had local ‘bulletin boards’ where you could log in (with your 300bps modem) and leave messages for other people to read. Some people would even check their messages several times a day! Imagine that. We had pizza parties and we’d actually meet those faces behind those bulletin board messages. See who it is that advocates for the PC and for the Mac. Heck, I ran one of the major local bulletin boards (BBSs) on a TRS-80 with floppy disks for storage. We all knew each other.
And then the internet came along with its amazing social promise, and you could get to know people all over the world. The people you got to know were sadly faceless, though. I mean, yeah, you could post pictures but you never knew if they were real, and you’d never sit across from them and eat pizza. And the local bulletin boards went away. As did the local community.
So, what I’m wondering is, are all those people still out there? And I mean the social demographic. Does the Toyota or the Subaru have that kind of following? Does every generation have their big V8 and Star Wars equivalent?
Star Wars basically founded a religion. Where do you go to church now?