Up@dawn 2.0

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Philosophy Behind "Welcome to Nightvale" (3/3)

My last installment pertains to religion in "Welcome to Nightvale." Further along in the podcast series, a company called StrexCorp rears its head in the rival city of Desert Bluffs. This company is first seen in a sponsor commercial during Episode 43. Strex talks about a Smiling God that can turn you into your perfect self. Isn't that what everyone wants? A perfect self would imply a perfectly lived life. This is assumed to be a metaphor for Christianity. Many believers will tell you that you reborn a new, better self once you've accepted Christ. But Strex makes it sound much more menacing than that.
"And what if I told you you could kill your imperfect self?
What if I told you you could achieve your fullest potential? StrexCorp Synernists Inc. is a proud supporter of the greater Desert Bluff and Night Vale community" (Episode 43).

"Welcome to Nightvale" Episode 43 

After a few episodes, we learn that StrexCorp has actually taken over Nightvale and the radio station. The original religious practices of Nightvale are banned and replaced with The Smiling God. Again, this coincides with the insistent spread of Christianity despite other religions existing. StrexCorp employees invaded the radio station and attempted to take over their broadcast, but Cecil refused to be submissive. Multiple times he pleads to his listeners, urging them to resist StrexCorp and stand firm in their beliefs. In Episode 49, he says,
"Today is the day. There is only one thing for today, and that is the destruction of the hated StrexCorp, and freeing our town of Night Vale. We will work no longer. We will worship a Smiling God no longer. We have failed before, we have failed so many times at so many tasks, but at this, we will not fail.
I hope.
I mean, I really, really, hope that we will not fail.
In any case, we will be devoting all of today’s broadcast to the revolution with no interruptions" (Epsiode 49). 

"Welcome to Nightvale" Episode 49 Part A

Many people of religious minorities are facing things similar to this daily. Many people are discriminated against because they hold different beliefs than those that are in power. But like in Nightvale, these people are fighting for religious freedom. Philosophically speaking, the people in Nightvale are simply trying to live their lives how they belief they should, despite others telling them it is wrong. This revolution they are beginning is the people standing strong in their beliefs, which is what everyone should do. Be educated and stand strong in your beliefs. No one should force you to change to fit their vision of utopia. 

(1/3): http://cophilosophy.blogspot.com/2015/11/the-philosophy-behind-welcome-to.html
(2/3): http://cophilosophy.blogspot.com/2015/12/welcome-to-nightvale-23.html

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a timely satire for conformist and fearful times!

    But of course, to "stand strong in your beliefs" you must allow yourself to encounter and engage with alternative beliefs. The strongest attitude of all is the willingness to change, in the face of compelling evidence not previously assimilated. Philosophical minds listen to reasonable criticism, and support their conclusions rationally. In matters where evidence is lacking, the most needed virtue is mutual toleration and respect for difference. In our version of Nightvale we've not had enough of that lately!