Tag Archives: religion

One needed a handle, a lever, a means of inspiring fear

Letter from a Region in My Mind by James Baldwin for The New Yorker, 1962:

It was a summer of dreadful speculations and discoveries, of which these were not the worst. Crime became real, for example—for the first time—not as a possibility but as the possibility. One would never defeat one’s circumstances by working and saving one’s pennies; one would never, by working, acquire that many pennies, and, besides, the social treatment accorded even the most successful Negroes proved that one needed, in order to be free, something more than a bank account. One needed a handle, a lever, a means of inspiring fear. It was absolutely clear that the police would whip you and take you in as long as they could get away with it, and that everyone else—housewives, taxi-drivers, elevator boys, dishwashers, bartenders, lawyers, judges, doctors, and grocers—would never, by the operation of any generous human feeling, cease to use you as an outlet for his frustrations and hostilities. Neither civilized reason nor Christian love would cause any of those people to treat you as they presumably wanted to be treated; only the fear of your power to retaliate would cause them to do that, or to seem to do it, which was (and is) good enough.

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If God cannot do this…

Letter from a Region in My Mind by James Baldwin for The New Yorker, 1962:

If the concept of God has any validity or any use, it can only be to make us larger, freer, and more loving. If God cannot do this, then it is time we got rid of Him.

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IGN: ‘Final Fantasy X’s war on organized religion’

Toby McCasker writing for IGN:

The only thing keeping people together, curiously, is the church of Yevon. ‘Church’ is a misnomer seeing as Yevon is Spira. Spira is a theocracy, and despite how colourful and carefree its archipelagos and cities might seem, it is also a fascist theocracy. That kind of dualism is intentional, and represents FFX’s broader Buddhist subtext. Hey what? We’ll get to that. In the meantime, if you go against Yevon, you’re gonna have a bad time.

I played Final Fantasy X in high school. I was searching for an identity and was cynical of everything. The game’s opinions on organized religion, technology, and the afterlife had a profound effect on me. Every new motif locked in my attention as if Billy Madison was trying to express how I’m important it was.

Needless to say, FFX was the first video game that showed me the medium had a substantial voice and was about more than just fun.

A terrific read.

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