Friday, August 31, 2007

That Zeitgeist movie on You Tube

If you are on the Internet for a reason other than your job or porn, you've likely heard about this little number. The Zeitgeist movie, which originally 'aired' on Google video and is now the buzzvid on You Tube. I don't know exactly how long it's been around for, but it's obviously reached it's tipping point, it's critical mass if you will, because I'm getting quite a few questions about it from young Christians who are feeling a bit confused.

If you watch Zeitgeist (or as I have come to call it, Shite-geist) and you get confused, it's only understandable. I'll confess right off, I haven't watched the whole thing. I just don't have the time. I'm working on a thesis, raising a kid, trying to be a slightly-stay-at-home-dad, and I'm doing my level best to read something really important, like the latest Dan Brown book. That last little line was a test. If you thought I was being serious, then you are the sort of person who is prone to lose their faith over watching poorly researched, cobbled-together conspiracy theory muckrack like Zeitgeist. I think Dan Brown books are important like I think being hit in the sack with a bag of ice would be a good time.

And don't go giving me static for not watching the whole thing. I had people say the same thing about the DaVinci Code, and when I finally got around to reading it, all I could think was "Hey! Dan Brown repackaged "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" for a whole new generation of suckers!" and, "Damn, that's 3 hours of my life I'm never getting back - I should have watched the golf channel!"

Besides, you can tell the agenda of this crockumentary in the first installment. I don't need to view the whole thing to formulate the opinion that I could be doing something better with my time (like blogging about it!). Do a little fact checking, and you'll discover just how craptastic Zeitgeist is as a source of good information. Go ahead and post your arguments for and against it. I couldn't care less. It's the DaVinci Code all over again. If you lose your faith over the amazing revelations in Zeitgeist or DaVinci, you were just looking for an excuse to make an exit. I read "The Covenant of the Flame" by David Morrell, which plays loosely with the idea that Jesus' mythos was borrowed from Mithraism when I was in high school. This was before the Internet when I could get someone else to make conclusions for me, and I was forced to wrestle through what I thought about the issue without much recourse for researching it myself. I continued to choose to profess Christianity. Maybe I'm a moron for doing so. Maybe I've checked my brain at the proverbial door. I'd say the same about people who buy into conspiracy theories about 9/11 being a plot of the Bush administration (this is giving the Bush administration far too much credit, in my esteem) or that there are rich Illuminati-types just waiting to take over the world. Let's face it, if either of those things are actually true, what the ef is the average Net monkey going to do about it? If these conspiracy theories are true, you're screwed, plain and simple, and there isn't much you can do about it.

This is what I mean when I tell people that I don't buy into rational apologetics for faith. It's not that I don't think reason is a valuable faculty, but if you read any of the comment threads on Zeitgeist, you'll likely be reading a pissing match between those who want to believe what the film says, and those who don't. Both groups bring their 'citations' to the table (mostly wikipedia copied and pasted) and then go "HA! See! I told you so!"

If I was to give Zeitgeist credit, it would only be that it might stimulate critical thinking. But I doubt that's going to be the case. I'd quote P.T. Barnum as saying "there's a sucker born every minute", but I googled that and apparently he didn't say it. If I want to, I can find websites that tell me that Napoleon never existed, and back their claim up with associations with mythology to prove it. So apparently Jesus and Napoleon have the same problem.

The bottom line is this. The Internet is a good source of information about one thing, and one thing only - American pop culture. The rest is likely dubious, including this blog.

For those too lazy to sift for the are some links to pages I thought were rather good on the topic.
Singing in the Reign
Reality Sandwich

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The New Harry Potter...

Okay, that was a shameless way to get people to read this. I can't apologize really. So while I know everyone is reading the new Harry Potter, I thought I'd let y'all know I've done 8 director's cut episodes for Magik Beans, and here are the links to them so far:

.01: Blackout - "If a picture is really worth a thousand words, most of the words in Andrew's current picture could be summed up by How the hell am I supposed to explain all this. Lara's picture could have had the caption, I'm not the one who let him in."
02: Chi with Your Chai - "Andrew kept waiting for someone to ask how the hell he'd grown a full sized tree in the middle of winter, or why the espresso machine was hanging from its branches, but aside from Blackout, no one seemed to want an answer for the mystery."
03: A Sense of Wonder Bra - "She looked back at Andrew, who was leaning over the counter, listening intently to the woman, who was leaning in a manner that had transformed her cleavage to the depth of a national monument."
04: Feeling Blue - "Andrew had been correct in thinking this would lead to “next base”. The kisses were no longer innocent, but involved tongues, which Andrew recalled might have been second base, or perhaps the point where the shortstop normally stands."
05: Worried-Den-Mother-Mode - "“We noticed the trails of power on our way in after the show,” she added. “The fact that there was residue from it means that the original source was quite potent.”"
06: Force Five From Above the Copy Shop - "“You seriously think there’s something mysterious going on here?” Ripper asked. “Andrew is a first class vanilla personality. He has nothing going for him. Sounds to me like he got himself a hooker with his newfound prosperity and is taking a few days to enjoy himself.”
07: A Series of Uncomfortable Silences - ""I'm checking on my boss at nearly midnight to see if the porn star he left work with the other day has slit his throat and taken all his money, what do you call normal?"
08: Cat Fight, Round One - "She had a glimpse of Andrew’s apartment, dim light spilling from a room off to the right of the entryway. The bedroom, she thought. But the smell that came from within hit her olfactory sense like someone had slapped her in the face with a handful of ####, wet animal, ammonia, and underneath it all, a distinct odor like chlorine."

Hope there are a few who will enjoy the marathon reading in the midst of a beautiful summer.