GI Joe vs. Apophis, or "Gnosis is Half the Battle"



So GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra makes its debut today, and the critics have their knives out for it. Doubly so since Paramount didn't offer screenings for them. Having seen the the beating Transformers II took, you can't blame them. But then again, Transformers proved itself to be 1000% critic-proof, so maybe the studio it figured it could save a few bucks and leave the reviewers playing with their Wii's. You might see a lot more of that in the future, particularly as the legendary critics of yesteryear vanish from the scene, increasingly replaced by semi-literate Ain't It Cool-type reviewers.

The GI Joe revival is brought to you courtesy of Mr. Stephen Sommers, who initiated the popcorn-gobbling masses into the Egyptian Mysteries of death and resurrection with his Mummy series, which also introduced Dwayne "King Horus" Johnson to the mythic role he'd later fulfill in Race to Witch Mountain, if not in a different context.

But overshadowing that is the usual media controversy, this time brought to you by complaints that the GI Joe film doesn't celebrate nationalism, but instead ties into the ongoing trend of internationalist militarism in big budget flicks. Sommers stated that, "This is not a George Bush movie...(r)ight from the writing stage we said to ourselves, this can’t be about beefy guys on steroids who all met each other in the Vietnam War, but an elite organization that’s made up of the best of the best from around the world.” Which resulted in whining like this:
This is reminiscent of the determinedly unpatriotic Superman Returns, which deliberately refused to state that Superman was fighting for “truth, justice and the American way.” Even GI Joe is now subject to the dictates of political correctness. We wouldn’t want Europeans thinking that we idolize the men and women of the American military. That would be uncouth.
Unfortunately, the problem for the chickenhawks is that the rest of the world is sick of neocon bloodletting, so a film celebrating such would probably wilt in the international market, which is increasingly important for these very, very expensive action films. Never mind the politics, Paramount probably isn't interested in sacrificing hundreds of millions of dollars/pounds/euros/yen simply to get the thumbs-up from a bunch of chickenhawk keyboard commandos.

But you don't come to The Secret Sun for political handwringing, right? What I'm more interested in is that we have two big budget blockbusters based on beloved 80s toys this summer, both battling these international menaces fond of serpent/reptile symbolism. The Fallen in Transformers was distinctly serpentine and GI Joes face off against the old nemesis, the Cobra organization. Both films have powerful connections to Egypt, either directly (Transformers) or indirectly (Sommers' involvement in the Mummy/Scorpion King films).

Did I happen to mention that the GI Joe team is led by a General Hawk?


"You! You're the ringleader!" Hilarity.

It's tangential, but I'm reminded of the slightly-unsettling old GI Joe PSAs, which bore the tagline, "Knowing is Half the Battle." We just saw another big-budget alien apocalypse Knowing, and I can't help but wonder if there's a thread running through these 2009 films, either overtly or otherwise.

But what's certain is that we're seeing a new kind of militarism, as opposed to the 80s Rambo variety. It's about the group, not the individual. It's about shared, global threats and not about individual struggle. I've seen this developing on a parallel track in the comics and fandom underworlds for a long time now- the team and the group is paramount, and the individual is only as important as his contribution to the group.

Maybe it's always been that way. But it's only recently that this kind of inverse-Gnosis has begun to manifest itself itself in our pop mythology.

17 comments:

  1. http://www.crystalinks.com/bookofcaverns.html

    You blog too fast..hehe..I don't know how many blogs ago, I posted a link to the exploration of caverns and tunnels that are on the Gizeh plateau. When the book comes out this fall, it's going to say that the enexplored, airless tunnels are heading toward and under the Gizeh pyramids. The question to ask is what is under the pyramids. Cayce says it's the lost library. Others are reporting that their is a magic crystal with exptraordinary powers. How comes it this could be happening in the present tense? It's because these things are being guarded..

    see above link...

    http://www.andrewcollins.com/page/news/EQ12%20_2_beneath.htm

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  2. G.I. Joe rise of Cobra opens after a series of three eclipses (dragon's head and tail eclipsing sun and moon).

    A story about a two-headed cobra born in China (most effected by the latest solar eclipse) is also making internet news:
    http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_3429800.html

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  3. I was on my out to get a movie from blockbuster and thought I'd quickly see if you had any new posts up. And lo and behold you did. I'll be brief with my opinion here on classic toy/cartoon remakes. There are pluses and some subtractions, and or negatives to these,"remakes." The upside is that they are fun for the whole family. I mean what better way to get father and son to a movie at 20 dollars a pop than to redo some cartoon from yesteryear or dads youth! The downside the critics bag on is simply,"there's no new art." But, it is an endless debate. I'll use a small analogy to sort of point of what I see quickly. Change the price of gas minutely and people still fill up right? Change the price of a car ( a large purchase) and people scream. People who pay for these films need to come to terms with this idea. These films are a collection of everything needed to draw the largest demographic. This chicken-hawk is off to blockbuster!

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  4. I worked on those godddam GI-Joe public service announcements durring my years in new York as a story board artist.

    Why oh Why did you make me remember THAT!


    MikeC!

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  5. I have a few funny syncs with the guy who plays Duke. While he was here in Baltimore we were in a movie together and hung out alot. I posted something and some pictures of him and I over at my private blog. One day we wore basically the same odd coat on set, I got a pic of that on the post. But also did anyone catch that magazine cover (link on my private site also) that said "welcome the world police" or something like that?

    Peace TQO

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  6. As a kid, there were a few years where I literally lived for G.I Joe.

    One of my favorite comics was the issue where there was no writing just images. Snake Eyes vs. Storm Shadow. It was the first time you realized they had history together.

    I remember my Mom brought the comic home for me from the local corner store, I opened it up and was perplexed that there were no words. Later I realized how powerfully silent imagery can be.

    After reading what to me at the time was some sacred text...:)...I automatically thought of the ingenious multidimensionality of hieroglyphs.

    http://www.yojoe.com/comics/joe/joe21.shtml

    Ahhhh, the memories.

    Also, I find those Psa's hysterical in a high fever dream sort o' way. :)

    ToothyGrinMatt

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  7. Hey CK/14

    I saw this on a friends Facebook page and thought you might get something out of it. :)

    Also, My Grandmother loves Owls. She has an area at the bottom of her steps exclusively for her Owl collection. I've been buying her Owl items 4 years.

    I don't know if she's been in contact w/those buggers, but I have a feeling she may have.

    Enjoy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28hk97-vZdQ

    ToothyGrinMatt

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  8. One thing I found interesting in this yahoo post was the name for Destro's organization--Military Armaments Research Systems. MARS. Plus with the fact that Destro should be rocking the silver mask, it reminds me of the face on Mars...

    Maybe Buzz Aldrin was a consultant for the movie...

    http://movies.yahoo.com/feature/twop-gijoe-characters.html

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  9. Unrelated but I think Chris could do a great post to shed some light on this article some liberal on my facebook "friends" list sent out. You know the type that everything is democrat vs. republican (aka obomatron). Only reason it cought my eye was cause of the Magog part, wasn't that daddies skull & bones name?

    Check out the first quote of the article "President George W. Bush told French President Jacques Chirac in early 2003 that Iraq must be invaded to thwart Gog and Magog, the Bible’s satanic agents of the Apocalypse."

    Here is the link
    http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=library&page=haught_29_5

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  10. I love the re-dubbed GI Joe PSAs... Did the movie make any mention of "Porkchop Sandwiches"? I'd see it just for that...

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  11. body massage machiiiiine GO

    Can't wait to see the remake of "Red Dawn," btw.

    ReplyDelete
  12. G.I. GAGA

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2439/3604307301_6408edf746_o.jpg

    POKE HER FACE

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  13. Talking of Horus, well at least his eye in this case, Adam Lambert has designed an Eye of Horus pendant, that's an exact copy of his tattoo, for the Pennyroyal silver signature collection for charity.

    http://www.examiner.com/x-5302-Minneapolis-Entertainment-Examiner~y2009m8d6-Adam-Lamberts-Pennyroyal-Silver-pendant-sold-out-additional-to-be-on-auction

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  14. There actually is a direct Egypt connection in GI Joe. There are extensive scenes that occur in Egypt, with the pyramids figuring prominently.

    The story is about the battle between two major forces for control of the planet, really. The "good" guys - the "Joes" - include a red-headed woman (think Merovingian) named Scarlet who falls for a black "Joe." So many ways you could go with that - Jesus is said by many to have been more black than white in appearance, and of course we have our black President Obama - aka "the One," - consorting with the scarlet woman of Revelation?

    The movie is a synch dynamo, but possibly one of the most cliche-ridden, trite movies I have ever seen. The "Illuminati" needs to get a new screenplay writer.

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  15. The movie is a synch dynamo, but possibly one of the most cliche-ridden, trite movies I have ever seen. The "Illuminati" needs to get a new screenplay writer.

    That's probably because it's intended to make us dumber just by watching it. There's no problem with the screenplay, it's doing exactly what it was written to do.

    This movie says to me "average joe and/or children, join the military and you'll do stuff like this (...not)", then again I haven't seen it yet (and probably won't).

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  16. I was going to comment on your "pop" culture. Popeye is a sailor man. And Perhaps the navy has the "pop" eye and people who drink (coke vs pepsi) give access to control units as receivers and ocassional senders to people out there. Using music, and rhythm and conjugal visits, one can bond with others and embed their waves within longer waves and surf/ride the waves of informaation and sound.

    It seems to be a battle of statism and national id... and how best to beat the leviathon of the sea and lord of the flies.

    The 100th Monkey effect allows all to be upgraded once the effect occurs as those with RH+ supposedly have the monkey gene. This awareness could make people rule over the beasts. However, taping into our gene pool with the use of pop is possible??. The language of the birds.. is the language of theives (argot, cant language) .. and can be tapped into during the month of August especially with Acacia a DMT hive mind substitute. This can allow people to see text, understand the larger context of face down books of life.

    It seems like you already know this stuff as you seem to be speaking to me on a higher level than I could understand before.

    I sure hope you are not a chicken hawk toying with children to gain insight.

    The whole quark thing--is key.
    Up, down, strange and charm.

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  17. Eric- I read that. I'll definitely be keeping my eye on that situation. Magic crystals I don't know about, but it could be the Hall of Records.

    Stargurl- That's very interesting. There was also a baby born with two heads in Asia recently. Very strange.

    MH- Death and destruction- fun for the whole family. The family that slays together stays together!

    Mike C- Ha! It's that Vulcan Mind Meld going on.

    C- Put some of those goodies on your public site too!

    Toothy- Hell yeah! I remember that comic well. I spent a whole weekend re-reading it back in the day and I wasn't big on that series. Good stuff. Also, Yahoo had some creepy owls up this morning.

    David- Mars again. Egypt and Mars. 2009 in a nutshell.

    C- You know people who are into politics are like sports fans. That's their trip and its US vs Them rah rah. I don't think you can talk to them.

    Tommy- Ha! Awesome hilarity. I'd put more of them up but folks can check it out on YT.

    Doug- Body Massage! Yeah something vaguely perverted about those ads to begin with.

    Anony 545- Lady Gag Gag is more like it.

    Astronut- Wow. I just hope he joins Queen. That would be awesome.

    Just Me- Thanks-- I posted on that.

    Tommy- It's like Top Gun times 10. What's up on the technomilitary coming attractions?

    Anony 955- Whatever you're smoking, make sure you pass it.

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