The Concept Art Gallery

My name is #

You may not have realized that the title above is meant to be a quote from the Bible. You may furthermore be under the impression that anyone who quotes the Bible must therefore be a believer—however, that’s not the case; when it comes to analyzing the allegories of the gospel there isn’t necessarily any difference between the religious and the irreligious. To me, any part of religious scripture that meets the criteria for quality fiction deserves acknowledgement on that basis.

The dialogue between Jesus and a demon in Mark where the former demands to know the name of the latter is thus skillfully crafted, with the demon suggestively responding: “My name is Legion,” though the subtlety of the sentence is then forsaken with the more heavy-handed second part: “for we are many.” The implication is that the demon’s identity (or even its entire existence) is defined not only by its opposition to Jesus, but also its allegiance with a multitude of other like-minded adversaries of the messiah; the demon’s name is pure intimidation.

The demon could even be seen as a pioneer of political social media, considering how hashtags often have their own legions behind them and serve the express purpose of conveying strength by numbers. Individual identity becomes irrelevant in a call for boycott, or whichever political cause and however obscure the call to action behind it; each instance is meant to serve as a fiber in the flexing of a proverbial muscle, through the new-speak of words being crammed together to fit into hashtags. Hashtags have become something of modern-day runes, complete with real-life curses for the targets.

Though Twitter was used to coordinate protests in the Egypt revolution of 2011, the revolutions we hear about that involve hashtags typically have less to do with overthrowing political systems and more with the psyche and the perception of the participants and especially their sense of self-importance. As hashtag culture progresses their usage and the usefulness is likely to take on new forms. However, for the time being it seems to be gravitating towards primarily being useful for installing fear—not of God, but of Legion.

 

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