Back from hiatus…kind of

Hi, everybody! I haven’t abandoned my “one post a week” guideline, just forgot to mention I was on vacation. Actually, I planned to blog while I was away, but it was just way too exhausting (in the best way). Spending time with my family obviously was the top priority, and spending any time online just didn’t seem important in comparison. Hey, did I just take my first tech sabbath? I think I did! I’ll definitely be talking about that soon. Not today, though. Today is a filler post because I still feel like I’m on vacation.

A couple of things happened to make me rethink my priorities. An upsetting sight on the trip made me start switching to a vegetarian diet, conversations and news have reinforced the need to speak up about oppression and violence, being immersed in a tourism-based area made me uncomfortably aware of consumerism and makes me feel like I’m on a conveyor belt being constantly led around and told what to do and buy and think next.

Generally just disgusted with the level of disconnect we have between our daily lives and the systems that make them happen. It makes it too easy to ignore harm done on our behalf and too hard to start conversations about minimizing that harm. And even harder to opt out and start growing your own food, making your own clothes, etc. I know it can be done and I’m working on it, but it’s definitely a steep uphill road.

On the lighter side, my dad encouraged me to hurry up and start recording my vlogs/video reviews/whatever. Everything’s ready to do it and I’m excited for it, lots of episodes ready in my mind. It’s just hard to take that first step and carve out a weekly time where I commit to recording and editing them. I told myself I didn’t want to start until after vacation because it wouldn’t make sense to start a weekly project and then immediately go away, but I think I was also scared to make that leap.

After an offhand comment I made about recording podcasts with a friend, my dad asked all sorts of questions about it, asked if he could hear them, and said I should work at it if it’s something I really want to do. And I do want that. I’m scared to put myself out there, but it’s something I need and I’ve had it in mind for awhile, so while I know it’s going to be bumpy at first it’s important to me to commit to it and give it a try. Probably every other week at first while I get used to it. Assigning myself a deadline now for added motivation…I want the first video to be up by August 9th. That should be plenty of time to play around with it but still push me to work quickly.

I’m sure I’ve talked about it before, but the idea behind the videos is analyzing religious aspects of fiction and fandom. The way our ethics and values influence the works we consume and the way those works influence us, why heroes and myths are so important to us, how fandom and its associated communities allow us to engage with the text on a deeper level, what more traditional religion can learn from that, etc. Basically everything I already talk about here, just more focused on specific examples and definitely more focused on the works themselves than on the navel-gazing that happens here.

There will be lots of reviews and discussion about comics and other media I enjoy (and at least some that I don’t), ideas for using fiction in education (particularly religious education), and occasionally lecture-type posts about the ideas in general. The big question right now is whether the first post should be an introduction or just jump right in. Leaning towards the latter, especially since a comic I’ve enjoyed was just released as a graphic novel and this seems like a good time to talk about it.

So that’s where I am right now. How are things with you?

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