Tell 'em what I took, man!

Reflections of a repatriated ex-patriot

Monday, August 20, 2007

Critical Review of the Zeitgeist Movie

I was recently sent a link to the latest conspiracy theory peep-show known as zeitgeist.

The following is a review of such:

I found the movie somewhat compelling, with the last part sending an Orwellian chill down my spine. However, I also found the presentational elements to be overly-sensationalistic, the content to be overburdened with quotes and gratuitous clips of violence and destruction, the music cheesy, and the composition of the argument to be too jigsaw puzzle-like to swallow. Basically, the movie is broken up into three parts, the first an affront to the Christian religion stating how it's basically a composite plagiarism of astrological mythologies of the ancient world; the second more 9/11 conspiracy; and the third a damnation of the federal reserve bank-- how it has been the cornerstone of every evil act perpetuated by our government since it's inception, and how it will precipitate a totalitarian one-world government in the near future in which every civil liberty and right to privacy will be completely eroded.

As with the case of many conspiracy theory documentaries, there are lots of points of contention. Certainly myriad debates, points and counterpoints can be rendered at any time in the movie, fomenting either an exchange of scholarly debates or the usual hurling of personal insults on web forums that result when people just happen to disagree. I'll pick just a few sections of the movie that piqued my curiosity.

In part I:

Are their really that many parallels between Egyptian and Christian religious doctrines, e.g. Virgin Birth / Anointment / Crucifixion / Resurrection / Afterlife or is it just a preponderance of coincidental, agenda-filled comparisons of convenience to make the point? Certainly I accept the idea that elements in the Bible have very significant similarities with other religions traditions. I remember from a Western Civ. class in college, for example, that the word for 'rib' in Sumerian is the same for 'to make live,' an important coincidence among many when comparing the Sumerian 'Epic of Gilgamesh' with the stories of Genesis in the Hebrew Old Testament. The proximity temporally and physically between the ancient Hebrews, Sumerians, and Egyptians definitely makes the dissemination of mythological explanations for the origins of humankind quite possible.

Further, the assertion that the Egyptian God Horus, merely an allegory for the sun, arising later in the figure of Christ is at least compelling enough to take into consideration. But, as far as the claim that the historical Christ never existed, well, the jury's still out on that one. For lots of people it will take more than the assertion that just because there aren't any (sans Bible) objective historical references that confirm his existence, that, by definition there could not have been a real Christ, to sway them otherwise.

In part II:

I'd like to say I'm extremely skeptical when it comes to 9/11 conspiracy theories, but I have yet to find convincing answers for the following points:

How DO you explain the explosions that appear on video beneath the impact of the planes on buildings one and two and then again on building number seven which wasn't even hit directly by the planes?

Why was building seven not even mentioned in the official 9/11 commission report?

Is it true that the heat of the flame from the impact of the planes on the WTC could never have become hot enough to physically melt the steel of the frame, thereby causing the buildings to fall into their own footprint?

That being said, I don't necessary subscribe to the idea of an "inside job," because I don't think there's really any compelling evidence to prove it to be so. Just because you ask a question that you can't answer, doesn't mean some shadow conspiracy of evil greedy world bankers, supernatural phenomena, or alien force must therefore be the only logical explanation.

Then again, being relatively uninitiated to the dearth of CT videos and books that must now be widely available it's difficult not to be at least a little alarmed with the idea. If anyone could provide any suggestions of videos, books, or sites that promote or pan the major claims, I'd be interested to know.

In part III:

Perhaps the hardest to take in, part three begins with the claim that the main reason that colonists took up arms in the American Revolutionary War was to escape the control and regulation of our currency by the usurious King George the 3rd. But, irony of ironies the scheming robber-barons of the early 19th century pissed on the noble sensibilities of our forefathers, establishing the uber-evil federal reserve which would later become the instrument of enslavement of the American people. The movie makes the claim that income tax is evil, that there's no law saying you have to pay it, and that the lion's share of what you pay goes directly into the pockets of the rich bankers.

Well then I suppose no money is ever dispensed to: The Department of Health and Human Services, The Department of Education, The Department of State, The FDA, The National Census, The EPA, Medicaid and Social Security (although these are separate deductions), The Department of Transportation, NASA, The Department of the Interior, The Department of Agriculture, The Centers for Disease Control, etc., etc. For a real look at how your income tax is broken down, and the proposed budget changes for 2008, click the following link. What is scary looking at this poster, however, is the overall amount of money spent on military expenditures, the number of circles on the list deemed "classified," and that the budget is broken down quite simply into an overall classification of Military and Non-Military. As someone who believes we shouldn't have gone into Iraq from the start, it's hard to stomach that 67% of my tax dollars go to military funding-- that I have to pay that much to keep myself 'safe from terror.' As the one who has to pay that amount, shouldn't I have more say in how it gets allocated?

The movie further attempts to prove that the last three major wars were coerced and manipulated by this clandestine League of Evil. I don't buy the Lusitania bit, and I don't think anyone really forced the hand of the Japanese Emperor in the bombing of Pearl Harbor, but the Gulf of Tonkin incident as the guiding farce behind the start of the Vietnam War (which was never even officially declared a war) is spot on. Finally, I'm intrigued to learn more about the Amero, the new currency that's to be adopted as the universal tender of North America similar to the Euro, the national identity card slated (apparently) for May of 2008, and the plan to implant people with chips for identification and control. I'll suspend judgement on that until I have more information about it. From first glance, however, it appears to be, at best, over-alarmist.

Overall I've come away from the film with the following questions and answers:
Have governments, religious clerics, or any organization of authority used lies, deceptions, fear, the media etc. to control the majority? Of course!

Is it scary how many people don't read, how much trash there is on television, how complacent and uninvolved people have become in this country? You bet your ass!

Has every conflict that ever arose in the history of the United States been instigated by the CIA who in turn were working under the orders of a secret society of wealthy elite? NO!

Was 9/11 an inside job? I seriously doubt it, although many questions remain.

Has the Bush administration failed to sell us this war? Absolutely, though it still goes on despite the fact that the majority of Congress and the American people disagree with it, the executive branch of government now having become too powerful, putting in jeopardy the system of checks and balances specified by the constitution.

Would I recommend people watch Zeitgeist? Yes, because it at least opens up debate and questions the legitimacy of our government to do the things it does to people.

Do I get annoyed of being told all the time that I need to wake-up and take action and that the truth might be more sinister than I'm willing to accept? You're goddamn right!

Am I done with this post? YES!