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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Blaspheming AOL

An interesting article: New AOL IM slogan marketing blasphemy?"

The charge against AOL is that they have rearranged their "AIM" logo to say, "I am..."
Traditionally, "I am" is the English translation, though limited, of the Hebrew Yahweh. It is also Jesus' claim upon himself.

So is this blasphemy? If it is, then it is actually an indictment against the contemporary atttitude, because "I am..." is not only AOL's motto but also the culture's individualistic motto. Upon futher reflection, I wonder if it is blasphemous not because I have subsumed God's title for myself, but because I have isolated myself from others and from God.

When I claim an individualistic perspective, like the attitude "I am okay, you are okay," which removes the ability to challenge, encourage and question another's perspective, I have isolated myself from any communal responsibility. All that matters anymore is my discovery of myself, my empowerment of myself, the protection/security of myself. I am important. The life I work for is all that matters because "I am" the end goal. [I may include my family, but that is really still just an extension of my individual desires.]

Therefore, I do not find AOL's motto blasphemous, but sad, because if I limit my understanding of myself to a list of "I am..."s then in the end I discover how absurdly weak my self pursuits are.

God created us to go much further, to be much more than just "I am instant messaging," "I am video chat," He created us to be made in the image of "I am..." It is that discovery, that we no longer live, but "I am" lives in us, which gives us a deeper hope that there is more to life than video chatting and instant messaging.

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