[image description: An ugly puckered old coot scowls from an old TV screen that’s been turned 90 degrees to the right. He is bright yellow against an orange backdrop, and badly pixilated. Text reads, “143, Premeditated Murdoch ~ Small God: Yellow Journalism”]
He’s aiming for the big time. He always has been. And he’ll tell you, if you ask, that he’s an All-American God, as patriotic as sunshine and apple pie and the fourth of July—all things, that if you stop and think about them, aren’t patriotic at all. They’re just things. Eating apple pie doesn’t make you a good person. Everyone gets sunshine, and the fourth of July happens all over the world, whether there are people there or not. Patriotism is an illusion, and illusions are his true stock in trade.
Murdoch claims to be a god of truth. He is, and has always been, a god of lies. He tells you what he wants you to hear, what he wants you to think, what he wants you to believe, and he tells you that anyone who tells you different is lying. He has managed to find several loopholes in human thought, weaknesses we are all born to bear, and he weaponizes them against his audience. Conservatism bias, for example: the first thing a person hears on a given subject is the thing most likely to be believed, no matter how untrue it is. All Murdoch has to do is make sure he’s the first voice on any subject, and he’ll be the most trusted source of information.
And he wants that. Oh, how he wants that. He wants you to believe his lies, because believing his lies is believing in him, and he’s aiming for the big time. He wants to be the only god anyone believes about anything, and that would be fine, if he wasn’t a compulsive liar.
He wants you to be frightened. He wants you to know that you have no hope unless it’s endorsed by his panel of experts, unless he’s the one selling it to you. He wants you to be so afraid of the world that you can’t hear anything he doesn’t tell you, and once he has made himself your one true god, he wants you to spread his gospel. This is how he gets to rule the world.
And oh, he’s going to.
Unless we stop him.
Artist Lee Moyer (13th Age, Cursed Court) and author Seanan McGuire (Middlegame, Every Heart a Doorway) have joined forces to bring you icons and stories of the small deities who manage our modern world, from the God of Social Distancing to the God of Finding a Parking Space.
Join in each week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many tiny divinities: