There’s something about Greek mythology that is so interesting to me. Oddly I didn’t find the original tales about the gods and their shenanigans very relatable, but they were fascinating nonetheless. I don’t generally seek out different interpretations of Greek mythology, but this Wednesday’s webcomic, Olympus Overdrive, took a very different turn than I was expecting and I couldn’t stop myself from reading every page. I stumbled upon it as an ad while checking Homestuck for updates, and I continue to read it to this day. From the progressive characters to the idea of Greek gods being rebooted, there’s so much to like about this comic.
As the eldest sibling in the family, I’m the caregiver when need be. Lately I’ve been helping my father take care of my younger sister. Since she’s six, I’ve had to open my horizons due to what kind of shows she likes to watch. It feels weird to admit, but some of these shows aren’t bad. As I found myself watching these shows week to week, I was rather surprised about what kind of decisions the writers and directors made for them. Sometimes these shows covered mature topics, and not always in a subtle way. They touch on racial issues, supporting female protagonists, and family issues. One day I sat down and re-watched Frozen, and I thought about its flaws and what the movie does right. The more I thought about it, the more I realized these kids’ shows are pushing past tropes better than modern Disney movies are!
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This may surprise you, dear reader, but Jesus, he’s in your house! Wait, don’t freak out. I meant, he’s on your TV and not just on EWTN or the 700 Club—I don’t think Jesus would participate in the 700 Club anyway.
Religion is everywhere. Oh, we might like to fool ourselves into thinking we have our entertainment in a separate sphere from our religion, but any author, director, or actor will tell you that they bring something of themselves and their own beliefs to the story.
Even TV shows, movies, and books that seem like they have no religion in them usually have some sort of philosophy they are trying to impart, and those philosophies often have their roots in some kind of religious tradition. Even books like the Golden Compass which supports atheistic values still says something about religion.
First, let me say something about my own social location. I have a Bachelor’s in theology, particularly Catholic theology, though I also have some background in Protestantism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Hinduism. I know some things about Islam, Shintoism, and Taoism but have never been formally educated in them. I tend to be a more progressive Catholic and even have certain views that I would not say are very Catholic at all, so I guess I’m still finding my path, but on the way I have learned quite a bit.
Why am I telling you this? Well, to make completely clear as to what I’m most knowledgeable about and where my own notions of spirituality and religion derive.
That being said, a large portion of this series will be focused on the Christian religion, not just because that’s the religion I know the most about, but because it’s the religion that the large majority of Americans follow, so that is the one that shows up the most in pop-culture. However, special consideration is going to be taken to write about other religions as well. No fair leaving anyone out, is there?
So tune in next week and find some religion!