The Epistle of Captain America – The Pop Cult is Truly a Cult

If you needed more proof that the obsession with fictional corporate franchises has a religious overtone to it, here is a major filmmaker advertising just that.

When my viewers were upset about the corporate destruction of Star Wars, calling the franchise a cultural institution, I thought it a bit hyperbolic – after all, these are just stories, and you can’t uncreate what George Lucas did. I see things better now. Star Wars is part of the religious reverence for popular franchises. When Disney makes a Star Wars movie that undoes the stories of the Lucas era, it really is like a religious reformation – or an iconoclasm.

Smith’s tweet also highlights something very real about the pop cult. Besides trying to replace real religions (especially Christianity), they don’t really understand what religion is to begin with. The Bible is not just a collection of stories that “inspire you,” it is a host of instructions on how to live your life and how to understand the one, true, living God and your purpose as part of His creation.

Being divorced from true faith, pop cultists equate the stories that fill comic book pages and movie screens with those of Classical and Norse mythology, again not understanding that the mythological stories of the Romans were not their religion. Their religion was a thing full of active rites, laws, and traditions that were bound up in their culture. Pagans made literal sacrifices just like the Hebrews, though for different purposes.

The Romans lived their religion, it wasn’t merely superstition.

People all over the globe live their religions today.

Only a people stripped of their culture and religion are capable of viewing a superhero story as something worthy of religious reverence. There is no real “canon” to Marvel or DC because there is no law, the literal meaning of “canon.” There are merely stories, each one more deconstructive than the last.

This leads me to my last point – how can you have reverence for a mythology that is actively being destroyed? That is what is happening to “cultural institutions” like Star Wars. The future will not find meaning in the adventures of Captain America because all that he stands for, all the meaning that was part of the original stories, will have been stripped from the franchise or inverted.

You can support me by choosing to read the new, interesting stories (full of meaning) that I put out regularly. Here are a few fan favorites:

5 Comments

  1. Maybe “canon” is the wrong term. If we take Star Wars, the OT established how things in the universe worked, the EU built on it and expanded it. Then Disney went ahead and threw it all out and replaced it with nonsense.

    The same holds true in Trek. TOS established how Vulcans are. All the other shows and movies built onto this. Then JJ and Kurtzman threw it all out, because they’re imbeciles and now we have Spock, yes Spock, smiling and laughing like a human.

    The in-universe laws are thrown out the window. So yes, maybe “canon” is the wrong word. It’s more about coherence.

    Just like Zeus was throwing lightening and not pizza pie in Greek mythology, Spock isn’t a grinning idiot in Trek’s mythology that was established over the year.

    However, you hit the nail on the head already in your video about fans and fandom.

    I’ve realized I’m not a fan. Take music. There are many songs from Queen that I really like, but I can’t name any band members apart from Freddie from the top of my head. Same with pretty much every other band that I like.

    And that make me realize, it’s time to step back from the fandoms. Though, to be perfectly honest, I haven’t done fandom in years. It’s generally crazy in these groups, crazy enough to call them cliques, because that’s all it usually is. Just take Trek and Wars. The hardcore fandom feuding over which is better and which could kick the butt of the other. There are websites dedicated to the tactical and strategical analysis of hypothetical fleet engagements Trek vs Wars.

    For me the turning point was with Harry Potter and Dr Who. I realized people were making their own labels for themselves. Potterhead, Whovian. You are now part of a group, you must now think like we do or be branded heretic. Oh…

    Looking at it from a distance makes it appear rather silly. So I bailed from the fandoms.

    Modern Trek, or better said Kurtzman Dreck, I mostly went after for bad storytelling, bad characters, bad writing. Wars was a bit more personal, but even there I’ve realized… Let them sink, it’s not worth getting involved in these things anymore.

    • Yes, coherence. How can you have a religion if the source lacks all sense of coherence?

      But it is definitely about group identity. Cultures need a religion. If your culture is “Star Wars” you have to have a religion that supports that culture. And, of course, you must decide which part of the record is “canon” and what is apocryphal. Star Wars is particularly hilarious because a mega-corporation that created nothing declared itself the Holy See of Star Wars, relegating large parts of the literature to Apocrypha. It’s bizarre.

      • Absolutely bizarre. And it spawns cultists. That’s what the Reylos and similar are. Cultists. Embrace the greatest love story of our time, that of two character that have absolutely no chemistry, a relationship that started with kidnapping and torture, and if you dare speak against it, you are a heretic!

        Or the whole Yoda Baby hype. Embrace the Yoda Baby! That thing is literally the manifestation of the lords and saviors of Star Wars, Filoni and Favreau. At least, that’s how a lot of people behave like.

        This world is getting weirder by the day.

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