Yep, it finally happened. I’ve put on my internet blogging tinfoil hat.
It started with an insightful, possibly apocryphal, letter from Thomas Paine to Andrew Dean claiming “The fable of Christ and his twelve apostles … is a parody on the sun and the twelve signs of the zodiac”. It is still a relevant letter to this day, as Paine takes a moment to call out anyone who would wear their religion on their sleeve, cynically claiming to be a Christian without actually acting like one. “Their religion is all creed and no morals.”
This then led me to one of those interminable conspiracy documentaries a-la “Loose Change” entitled Zeitgeist. I skipped past the worthless first ten minutes, past some laden anti-religious indoctrination and bad clip art until I found a compelling argument for the astrological basis of the story of Jesus and his 12 disciples — an analog Paine discovered long before I did. Maybe he had Google Video, too?
The Zeitgeist video makes an interesting appeal to Gnosticism and atheism, asking the salient questions of who creates the rules behind religion and for what purpose? Who thinks it’s OK to break those rules in the name of their religion? To their credit, the authors of Zeitgeist channel much of the philosophy of The Matrix or Grant Morrison’s mindfuck comic series The Invisibles. The bad thing is I just compared their philosophy to an action movie and a comic book.
Ultimately, Zeitgeist presents a lot of interesting, thought-provoking ideas about the secret history of Jesus, but that only makes it about as theologically valid as The Da Vinci Code.
After that illuminating dissection of religious origins, Zeitgeist then descends into that heavy-handed New World Order “ZOMG! 9/11 was an inside job” bullshit these videos are infamous for. It does seem ironic that they would spend 30 minutes acutely deconstructing a 2000 year old myth, and then wantonly construct their own tautological sausage out of whatever scattered pieces of post-processual anthropology* they could find that happened to fit their message. Thomas Paine I’m sure would have something to say about that.
Oh, and Jesus as the sun? I totally called it.
*lookit me, I know how to use meaningless buzzwords!