I'm such a procrastinator. I've been meaning to post a review of Zeitgeist for almost a year now and I'm just now getting around to finishing it.
As I was reading my usual RSS feeds last year, I noticed the post from Boing Boing concerning the movie "Zeitgeist". The post contains a review by Jay Kinney on the film along with a critique of how it was done as well of a laundry list of the film's shortcomings. While certainly on the mark, I'd like to comment on it a little more. First, let's watch the video so we're all on the same page here.
Pretty trashy, eh?
While I'm sure we all find the usual conspiracy theories pretty silly, I feel like they still talk to something within us and within our society that I feel like addressing.
It starts off with some choice quotes from various gurus promoting a peaceful view of the world, then flashes a series of war images to throw the viewer's sense of balance off. After a series of rants about how we're being lied too, it winds into Part 1 of the film. This part is fairly straight forward. It tells the story about how Jesus is merely a retelling of the old stories of Horus, Mithra, et. al. Nothing that Joseph Campbell hasn't already pointed out more eloquently. For further reading on that topic, I recommend The Hero with a Thousand Faces. I think that this is meant to throw the casual viewer off their religious foundation in preparation of Part 2.
This part concerns 9/11/2001 and laying into the inconsistencies of the official narrative of what happened on that day. While I don't think that I can credibly affirm or repute any of the content presented to any qualitative degree, it seems to me that the producers of the film are once again trying to take a common experience and throw the casual viewer off center even more. In other words: they're trying to weaken the viewer's foundation of the world.
Part 3 presents the meat of what they're trying to accomplish. After softening up the audience by telling a story about the powers that be lying to them, the producers shape a world view that we as citizens are being controlled and manipulated and are largely powerless over our own lives. Before I continue, I need to get this out of my system...
Phew! That's better!
Like what they accuse the government and Christianity of doing, they are also doing. They are using fear and paranoia to accomplish a change in a person's viewpoint. They are trying to suck the viewer into accepting the premise that we are serfs and a small group of people are our lords. Despite the high idealism at the end, it doesn't really provide a map to counteract those forces.
This is something that I really try to fight against. While the filmmakers certainly have some valid points and questions, I really feel that their presentation is just as harmful. While we continue to live in a fear based world, we will never progress as a society. What's in the past is in the past. The question is what do we do today? What about tomorrow? What about a month from now? Or even a year from now? We all have a responsibility to move forward openly and honestly. That is the type of world that I want to live in. it starts with each one of us. It spreads from me to you. From you to another. And so on. Not from some person on a podium or from some film. It's personal and intimate. With that, no "one world government" has the power to control us.