Friday, December 2, 2011

Media, the Gutter, and the Bible

The Bible actually may have been written in the wrong medium. I'm saying this as a media theorist - a guy who has written books and novels, taught university classes, and made documentaries about the impact of new technology on the way we relate to stories. And particularly those stories we happen to really believe in.
If anything, working in what is still the rather new space of networked computers has taught me that our relationship to narratives is stuck in a dangerous place. Sure, we watch TV and imagine ourselves as characters, but we have lost access to the gaps in stories, the places where temporality, interpretation and sequence are up for grabs. We just get lost in the seamless reality and get taken along for a ride.
Business people, religious people, educators, and publishers are all equally threatened and confounded by the idea that real stuff is actually occurring in the gaps between the moments that pass for history.
And that's when I discovered the prefect place to tell what I've come to believe is the real story of the Bible: comics.
For by insisting that we "believe" the Bible happened at some moment in distant history, the keepers of religion prevent us from realizing that the Bible is happening right now, in every moment. The narrative and its power transcend time...
- Douglas Rushkoff in Testament #1

Does this make sense? For any member of the AFB that's been following from the beginning, suffering through my musing on meta-narrative, the gutter, and even sacramental time, I hope it makes sense. Even if you think it's all hogwash and don't agree with any of it, I hope you can at least see why someone would say this and why I would use it as a Daily Quote.

Maybe that's some measure of success for this blog. If someone compares the Bible to a comic book and you can go, "Yeah, I can see that," then maybe I'm on the right track.

Wednesday Theology might be a narrow field, but I'm not alone in it. Other people, far more respected people, are thinking the same things I am. So you can rest assured that I'm not crazy. Or, at least, there are a couple others out there as crazy as I am.

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