ITEM: The Fourth Kind apparently makes use of Sumerian motifs, bringing a little AAT to the abduction party. Nothing new for hardcore UFOlogists, but as far as I know only The X-Files has fused the two memes. But speaking of Vancouver, a little film somehow escaped my attention last year- it's a Canadian horror epic called Ba'al: The Storm God. Apparently, I didn't miss much. And identifying Ba'al - a title meaning "Lord," and not necessarily a proper name - as a Sumerian god is not a good sign, considering there's a two-thousand year gulf between Sumer and the various Ba'al cults of the Phoenicians and the like.
But taking other people's gods and turning them into demons is a time-honored tradition. Ba'al later became the name of a demon in Christian mythology, as did most of the gods of the ancient world. After all, you can steal a people's land and treasure, murder their women and rape their children, but you haven't truly destroyed a people until you steal their gods. Just ask the Saxons.
ITEM: Art imitates life which imitates art again. We're all supposed to have a hearty chuckle at those New Age flakes in The Men Who Stare at Goats, but lo and behold, the Noetic sciences are alive and well in the military:
Warrior Mind Training is the brainchild of Ernst and two friends, who were teaching meditation and mind-training in California. In 2005, a Marine attended a class in San Diego and suggested expanding onto military bases. Ernst and her colleagues researched the military mindset, consulting with veterans who had practiced meditation on the battlefield and back home. She also delved into the science behind mind training to analyze how meditation tactics could help treat - and maybe even help prevent - post-traumatic stress disorder.I've been keeping my eye on the latest developments in the professional military (read: the mercenary army), wondering when the Supersoldier will finally emerge. This Samurai wrinkle is interesting- I wonder if future recruits will learn the ancient Samurai art of nanshoku.
Rooted in the ancient Samurai code of self-discipline, Warrior Mind Training draws on the image of the mythic Japanese fighter, an elite swordsman who honed his battle skills along with his mental precision. The premise? Razor-sharp attention plus razor-sharp marksmanship equals fearsome warrior.
ITEM: The big movie for the Christmas season is 2012, because nothing rings in the season like genocide and catastrophe. But a post on Mike Bara's Dark Mission blog caught my eye in regards to some of the theorizing on what I like to call "Y2012K"- the research of Andy Lloyd, who believes that Planet X is a brown dwarf star and Nibiru is a moon in its orbit.
I've heard theories to this effect and I think they're pretty interesting. Astronomers gnash their teeth and pull their hair, claiming that such an object would be one of the brightest objects in the sky, but I've also heard some more adventurous astronomers claim that Planet X has much longer than a 3600 year orbit. Anyhow, I recommend taking a look at Bara's post and Lloyd's site. If for no other reason than it will probably manifest itself in our pop culture fairly soon, given how ravenous the appetite for ideas for new CGI blockbusters is.
For my part, it all ties into the secret sun meme, with the Sirius symbology and all the rest of it.
ITEM: I've been watching episodes of True Blood and I'm digging it. It ties into a major theory I've been nursing- the ensemble cast as a precursor to a new kind of cultural polytheism. It's interesting to note that not only did the relentless attacks of AAT parallel the rise of the Religious Right, the revival of movie superhero as savior did as well.
Think about it- Rambo, Terminator, Conan, Batman, Dirty Harry, James Bond- all are based on the ludicrous fantasy that one man can defeat extremely well-armed armies of Other. It was the same mythos that put Ronald Reagan into office. Note how that meme began to wane with the Bush II era and the superhero team and ensemble cast (think Battlestar Galactica) came to the fore. Ironic how a liberal variant of the messiah mythos seems to be dissolving in front of our eyes today.
I'll be writing about it in-depth, but I'm fascinated how True Blood picks up where my lamented Blade: The Series left off. Unlike the feature films, I saw Blade as a nuisance in the series and was a lot more interested in the dynamics in the vampire families (I'm pretty sure the writers were as well).
As with Twilight, the vampires in True Blood are nothing less than superheroes for aspiring goths. True Blood's Erik, Twilight's Edward Cullen and Blade's Marcus Van Sciver are the same exact archetype- the vampire as cultured, vaguely-effete godling and nearly-omnipotent sex object. But even these formidable characters are themselves are beholden to a Byzantine network of councils and figureheads. Fascinating dynamic, there. Strangely enough, there's some monotheist bashing in True Blood, though it's poor, blameless Dionysus that's taking all the lumps. Weird.
More on all of this in the days to come. There's a whole psychosexual component to all of this as well, but that's a bit outside my ballywick. At least for the time being.