Zeitgeist – the greatest lie ever told
If you spend time poring through Google Video, as I do, you have to develop a filter for the endless sea of Religious, New Age or Conspiracy Theorist crap. Zeitgeist is the latest addition to this fecal tide, but I am linking to it because its an interesting example of a media phenomenon. A bad phenomenon but an interesting one.
There are a finite set of actors for conspiracy theory plots: Christians, Merovingians, the Illuminati, Freemasons, Jews, the Federal Reserve, and the most recent catastrophe that is closest to home (JFK assassination, 911 etc.). From the anti-semitic forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, to Dan Brown’s the Da Vinci code, Alex Jones’ 911 rantings and now Zeitgeist. They are all part of the same genus – the Fucking Entertaining Big Lie (FEBL).
You can usually spot a FEBL film from the outset because they often use cheap graphic effects with bad rendering and metaphors. In Zeitgeist we have the earth surrounded by a pixelated metal cage. Zeitgeist comes in three parts and an Overture (and not much of a Coda). The Overture shows a series of powerful archive imagery of violent acts, historically relevant to an American audience. The images of violence are treated seriously, but they are basically entertainment.
Part 1. is a loosely plagiarized version of the God Who Wasn’t There, complete with much of the same archive footage. The premise is that Christianity is based upon previous religions. Fair enough, apart from the plagiarism. Part 2 and 3 show 911 and then talk about the Federal Reserve and how, you know, like everything is linked man. 911 seems to be used in the same way as the Overture – as violent pornography, a real life Die Hard, but under the guise of polemic. The argument about the Federal Reserve as a government conspiracy, begs the question – why would a conspiratorial public body setup a private central bank? In Zeitgeist, anti-Semitism has been replaced by jingoist libertarianism – somehow the idea of American income tax is un-American, and free trade within North America shows Lou Dobbs as a patriot fighting against dark forces, rather than an armchair racist.
Here is the problem, FEBL media usually means nothing and is patently false but incredibly seductive. It is the perfect scaffold to hang propaganda and acts like a bit-borne, pernicious narcotic. Although films like Zeitgeist are mildly entertaining, due to their unbelievable popularity (more than 5 Million people have watched it on YouTube), they must be taken seriously. I suspect they might actually be dangerous, and therefore, as someone who does not believe in censorship it is important to make fun of Zeitgeist as the tired piece of po-faced, visually illiterate, polemically challenged, pornographic bullshit that it is.
36 min 51 sec Nov 5, 2007 www.zeitgeistmovie.com