When I was a kid, there was Star Wars. Actually, while I remember getting my first two Star Wars dolls (which I am now refusing to term “action figures”), one of which was R2D2, and the other being a rebel soldier with the goofy salad bowl helmet, I was not quite 3 in May of 1977, I do not actually remember seeing Star Wars.
Empire is a completely different story. I was about to turn 6 in 1980.
And I knew a lot about Star Wars. I knew all of the names of all of the characters, even the minor ones. Lobot. IG-88. Zuckuss.
I never got into sports as a child or an adult, but I’ve seen them do the same sort of thing with players and their statistics. It really is no different than becoming a Star Wars, Star Trek, Comic Book, Anime nerd. Wrestling, NASCAR, Football, etc. Memorizing a bunch of useless facts about stuff that doesn’t really matter, in any of the cases.
In the case of comics or other things like them, eventually there becomes established a “canon” of the literature, when the entire concept of a continuity within a fictional universe is at best silly. Football has a continuity because it exists in the real world. Expecting something that isn’t real to follow the rules of real life is goofy. But it is invariably demanded by the people who read the comics or watch whatever show.
This speaks of a basic human need for the things that they care about to be continuous in this manner. Things need to make sense. People have a need to have things that make sense. They require having the answers as to why thing are the way they are.
I became a Christian several years ago, which caused a severe paradigm shift from my old belief structure. I basically needed to change all of my perspectives on how the world made sense. Some of these changes were easier than others. Now I bridge two worlds, or at least that is what it feels like. I often find myself in the minority view when talking to other technical people, who have a tendency towards humanism, atheism, and other secular ideas. I know of plenty of tech people who do have a variety of faiths, but most of them are hindu, and a small minority of folks are Christian (and they turned out more numerous than I originally anticipated).
In the technical world, my beliefs are considered nonsense by many. I get asked lots of questions. Some I have the answer to. Some I do not, or at least not yet. I do not get into apologetic stuff, as I know that if a non-believer comes up to me with a stack of questions bent on tearing apart my position, he is not coming to have an open minded discussion on faith, to get me on the defensive as quickly as he can so that he can feel good about how much smarter he is than me. I know this because I used to do this. In these sorts of discussions, my tactic is to ask seemingly simple questions that have a much greater scope than what is originally asked. For an example: “What happens to a leaf if you pluck it from a tree and throw it over your shoulder onto the ground?” My aim is not to convert people who are obviously dead set against my position. I might as well be shouting at a stone. If my questions and discussion can cause little cracks in the assumptions that the person has, then he will start to come to his own answers by himself.
In the church world, there is a complete lack of understanding as to how a person could not believe in God. Actually, even in those who are atheists that I personally have known, I have seen evidence in each person that betrays the fact that they do, indeed, believe in something and have their own ideas on how things “really” work. Many church folks I know will ask the question “How can you not believe in God?” of a non-believer in the same tone in which a football fan asks me “How can you not like football?” The fact of the matter is that the non-believer has bought in to the secular continuity of the universe, whereas the believer has bought in to the biblical continuity.
People need a continuity in life, apparently. Take great care in picking yours.