We Don’t Need Stone to Build Idols

We have Instagram, Keto-evangelists,

marketers building Peloton cults.

LinkedInfluencers posting hustle culture cannon.

We don’t worship golden calves, but start-up unicorns.

Social media celebrities like prophets

till that tweet that proves them racist.

Just like our ancestors,

only now, we use tablets, not stone.

Photo by fauxels from Pexels

***

Written for dVerse.

Hat tip to Exileinfrieville and Nicole Livelong for the Peloton/LinkedInfluencer inspiration.

54 comments

  1. And so many are stoned by their tablets. We have many things to worship instead of the Lord. My blog is my only social media. I’m listening to a course on the Old Testaments as we Christians call it. The lectures are by Amy-Jill Levine. She has exceptionally good insight. To me anyway.

    Liked by 2 people

      • In these times when people try to deny religion and the existence of G-d. Politics, political parties, political movements, science, etc. have become religions with their own cults, faiths, dogmas, crusades, inquisitions, infallible sacred texts, and infallible oracles.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yep. And I feel like some followers of non-religions-turned-religions manage to emulate the absolute worst qualities of religious extremists. Like, it’s wonderful if you’re vegan and passionate, but vegan evangelism drives me just as crazy as regular evangelism

          Liked by 1 person

        • I think they are worse. Vegans can be vicious. I’ll argue with Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Evangelicals, Catholics, other Protestants, but not vegans. Most Christians have some sense of reasonableness, and when I shake their faith, they usually don’t want to talk to me anymore. I’ve run into some radical vegans who never let it go until you say, “Uncle”. We have several vegans in the office. At least they don’t proselytize and we can tease each other.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. AMAZING wordplay in the end, with “tablets.” Perfection.
    I love this line, so iconic of our current age: “We don’t worship golden calves, but start-up unicorns.”
    Sigh. I feel this, deeply.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Clever! With the play on the idea of ‘stone tablets’ – I like this a lot. I do wonder about how much ‘influence’ of real value on human society most ‘influencers’ have. But that might be the grumpy old woman in me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I question the value, both monetary (although there are plenty of people who’ve made considerable money, so good for them, I guess) and societal, of influencer culture too.
      I don’t think you’re so much older than me, so either you’re not such a grumpy old woman, or I’m a grumpy old woman too!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved this – so well-expressed. I always find criticizing social media and digital culture can feel like toeing the line between much-needed commentary and “technology bad, grrr” – my personal struggle with this – and you managed to hit the nail right on the head.

    Also: hard to pick a favorite part, but “We don’t worship golden calves, but start-up unicorns.” is fantastic imagery.

    (And thank you so much for the mention!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loved the golden calves / start-up unicorns line myself – both mythic beings raised to god status.
      And thank you so much for that LinkedInfluencer inspiration! I needed something about the inspiration gospel that gets passed around LinkedIn and that was it!

      Like

  5. We definitely have idols in our society — things that we turn to in lieu of God, that are poor replacements for God. The picture of all those people in line absorbed in their smartphones (rather than paying attention to the world around them) is telling.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. @JYP “cult-like” says it. I sometimes wonder if that’s exactly what the “powers that be” are after — to keep us all so fixed on our devices & our social media that we don’t notice what’s being done all around us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it’s more that same techniques of marketing and advertising are extremely effective for getting people to buy stuff, consume social media, and join cults. It’s not an accident that there are brands and products with cult-like followings. But yes, the effect is that people get absorbed and lose touch with the rest of the world, and yes, that is very distressing.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. My thought was probably more “conspiratorial” in nature (now that I consider it further). It does seem more likely that over-absorption in devices that excludes awareness of surroundings is an unfortunate side effect of good marketing. After all, smartphones are designed for us to stare at and toy with. In the process, one naturally becomes less circumspect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting. I see the “conspiratorial” angle in the sense that the same techniques are just as easily employed by politicians, political parties, specific activist platforms, etc., and I definitely think this does happen in politics as much as in product advertising.

      But I don’t believe that there’s a government conspiracy going on. Not because I have so much faith and trust in our government (I really don’t have much faith or trust at all, to be honest) but because I think the government is too inept to pull off a conspiracy.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love your poem and its images. It is one of the things I like about poetry, it allows the author (poet) to say several things in a stripped-down, stream-lined fashion. Stoned by their tablets–a wonderful turn of phrase.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.