People can worship anything, don't they?
Recently, I started to notice a lot of similarities between the Polytheistic Idol Worshippers of the past and Fandoms.
Fans of idols™ and fans of fictional works™ take things too far sometimes. I mean Often. I never thought of the dedication we have as fans as worship, but the older I get, the more I realize how similar fandoms are to religious cults.
The Arabic word for Religion "Deen" (دين) technically means "Way of Life" among other meanings. Since I always thought of religion in this way, I never fully connected with the English definition: "A Relationship with a Diety."
Even under that definition, you can't help but feel it. Fans, or at least the dedicated ones of them, are treating their Idols like deities. Don't you think?
* 1: an object of extreme devotion.
* 2: a representation or symbol of an object of worship.
* 3: a false conception : Fallacy.
It's interesting to me that it's there in the name. The word Idol is used to refer to "false gods" as well as "celebrities." English isn't my first language so I realized it late: The Entertainment Industry is the modern Idolatry.
I don't even need to cite examples. Just one look at any fandom you'll find people doing crazy things out of love. They spend an unhealthy amount of time and money on cosplaying as their favorite characters. Creating art and replicas of objects from their favorite show. Some declare wars over different interpretations of the work or a creator's statement.
Fans of celebrities can get as crazy about their idols. Being noticed by the object of their admiration is euphoric. The mere thought of your loved one being insulted can fuel you with instant rage! Celebrity news that manages to reach me is always sad...
Some are dedicated enough to stalk an idol or create figures of fictional characters. If possible they'll animate them with technology so they feel alive. Many fans spend hours per day for weeks analyzing every detail. Priding themselves on knowing the difference between the canons of their loved show. I know because I've been the last one.
Fans are basically worshippers. After all, we can't help ourselves. We don't "worship" that on purpose. To us, it's not worship, just a great, uncontrollable love. The entertainment industry feeds on this basic human need. The whole thing isn't healthy for the fans nor the actual idols/creators being admired.
Where I stand...
As a believer in the monotheism of Islam, this realization struck me like lightning! The more similarities I notice, the more I understand the emphasis in Islam on Loving God and loving God's teachings.
Love is powerful when used right!
The more I learn, the less confident I feel about myself saying I love God. I wish I loved Him as much as I claim I do. My actions speak louder than words, and I spend more time on fandoms than remembering Allah and praying. ...Maybe it's time to fix that.
I don't think I'll stop being part of fandoms anytime soon. Still, I'm glad I started noticing these similarities between our actions as fans and the acts of worship in religious cults.
It makes me able to tune down my dedication (if a little bit.) Or at least admit the craziness of being a fan of something.
What do you think
These are my random thoughts I'm having recently. I tried to articulate them in an article. Do you agree? Disagree? Did I make you notice something like I did? Or am I somewhat crazy for having these thoughts?
I await your response in the comments!
For now, I recommend you check my "Where to Start?" article, and I leave you until we meet in another article.
Have a nice day, and Salam (Peace.)
* Images in this post are made using Clip Studio Paint.