When did they start making Astrophysicists so damn pretty?
Monday, December 31, 2007
In a provocation seemingly designed to drive symbology buffs and conspiracy theorists to distraction, a giant statue of the death god Anubis sauntered down the Thames on a barge to promote the King Tut exhibit. Note the twin towers in the background that the photos of the stunt seem to showcase.
All the more reason to go to the exhibit...
All the more reason to go to the exhibit...
Scorcese wins a long-overdue Best Director Oscar for The Departed, parts of which were filmed on my old stomping grounds. I can think of any number of other pictures that should have earned Marty the nod, but The Departed is certainly worthy.
Wahlberg should have gotten Best Supporting though...
David Lynch struck blows for creative freedom, cinematic quality and the eternal power of the dreaming mind with his latest masterpiece, Inland Empire. Like most other movies these days, I watched it on DVD so I wasn't bothered by the digital video at all. In fact, I felt it gave the film an extremely unsettling feeling of intimacy.
I'm sure DV will unleash a torrent of awful films, but it will also give the next David Lynch an opportunity he or she wouldn't have with film. There's no reason someone couldn't do a film like Clerks with a camcorder these days. Hell, you could do a film that looks as good as that on your phone these days. The question is can anyone write anymore?
I became a believer in physical reincarnation this year when our beloved Mary returned to us in a new body. She didn't quite get the markings right but they're morphing every day, especially around the eyes. Mary lived to the ripe old age of 19 and a half, but decided she wanted more. Every day with her (we renamed her "Fruit Wrinkles") is a joy.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
In the Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, DJ Moores wrote of Jung's theories that scapegoating and ritual sacrifice spring from the ego's inability to deal with its Shadow, the accumulation of negative emotions that all of us struggle with, but that the pious and the devout in particular are unable to accept in themselves:
Thursday, December 27, 2007
There are times when art becomes reality. The pilot for X-Files spinoff The Lone Gunmen, which eerily predicted a 9/11 scenario, is perhaps one of the most notorious examples of this.
In Egyptian mythology, Osiris was killed on the 17th day of Athyr, the third month of the ancient calendar. Though not acknowledged, 17 seems to be a very meaningful number in the Mystery traditions, sort of equivalent to the Cross in Christianity. It symbolizes an unjust death and the promise of rebirth.
October saw the 700th anniversary of the public suppression of the Knights Templar. Happily, the Vatican miraculously discovered papers clearing the Templars of the charges against them.
Of course, the "papers" were "discovered" six years before they were publicized, but, you know, timing is everything.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
When you're an adult, there's no more depressing time of the year than the week after Christmas. The kids love it; they're off playing with their new presents, enjoying their vacation. Yet it always seems colder and grayer the day after Christmas, and only the promise of New Year's Eve is there to brighten the gloom.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Speaking of androgynous dying/rising savior heroes, Image Comics are reportedly working on a new omnibus for Captain Victory and His Galactic Rangers, Jack Kirby's completely whacked-out series from the early 80's.
I'm sure most of you out there remember the Crash of '94 and its aftermath. The year began with the passing of Jack Kirby, one of those events that the ancient Romans would have seen as the grimmest of grim portents.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Synchronicity is a term that is on everyone's mind lately. It's also a term that I'm not sure is always completely understood. The symbolic link between The X-Files and Rockefeller Center that we looked at yesterday is not synchronistic per se.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Mysterious Britain that explores the ancient European celebrations of Yule, from which we've derived many of our modern Christmas rites. Another essay explains how the ancients celebrated the winter solstice with bonfires.
And a quick googling reveals that the practice of Solstice bonfires seems to be experiencing a bit of a comeback.
Knowles' Xth Law: When in doubt about a particular esoteric symbol, consult The X-Files. As I wrote about in my X-Files X-Egesis, Chris Carter posited that aliens were the creators not only of humankind, but of our religions as well.
Friday, December 21, 2007
The Fire/Sun god overlooking the skating rink reminds me of the symbolism Lewis used in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Above Prometheus/Mithras/Horus' head is TGAOTU. I do believe the whole tableau is meant to be seen from that worm eye's view.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
The closer we get to Christmas, the more I'm thinking about Rockefeller Center. I guess it's a regional thing, but again- anyone even remotely interested in symbolism should at least take a virtual tour of the premises. In many ways, it's the crown jewel of Mithraic Manhattan.
From a Thelemic website:
Alchemy had three main objects: 1. The transmutation of the base metals into gold, or more generally the conversion of abundant relatively useless material into rare useful substances.
My friend David Dodd is currently pursuing his degree in Intellectual Property law, but was previously a Latin teacher at prestigious Newark Academy. Dave is also a serious student of the Classical world and as such is my go-to guy for deep history from that period.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
I wrote about the panoply of symbolism you see in Manhattan in "Pantheopolis," but the holiday season got me thinking about Mithras, the original reason for the season. I was considering Mithras today since WorldNetDaily linked to a story on the movement among Fundamentalists against Christmas.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
One of my favorite all-time comic book characters is yet another alienated outsider: Swamp Thing. DC doesn't seem to know what to do with the character anymore. What's worse, they still haven't gotten around to reprinting the amazing issues written by Grant Morrison and Mark Millar and drawn by Phil Hester.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Fascinating quotes on the Mithraic mysteries, the direct ancestor of the Masonic traditions. Somehow, Led Zeppelin got me thinking about that again. Read up, I've got something coming linking it all up that will blow your mind.
"The cult of Mithras had been taken up with great enthusiasm by the Roman legions and had traveled with them from Iran to Rome, to Tunis, to the Rhine and even on to London and Hadrian's Wall. Mithras' cult satisfied many of the same urges that would also attract people to Christianity. It was a brotherhood where rank and mutual obligation were based not upon accepted social codes but on the secret bonds of a closed circle, an underground network of close allegiances operating right across the strong social fabric of the Empire." - John Romer, Testament
It's well known that Gene Roddenberry had extensive contacts with the Nine as did Jon Povill, who worked on the show Sliders as well as Synchromystic cult fave Total Recall.
But it's less well-known that there were nine major characters in the original cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation, all of whom had direct counterparts in the Egyptian pantheon.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
A recent DNA test put some longstanding myths in my family to rest, right in time for the holidays. But it led me to wonder what myths we will organize ourselves along in the future...
It's easy to rail against divisions, but the fact is that people have always needed to feel they are part of an in-group. But I've always been more interested in what people have in common than in their differences. The reason I believe we need new mythologies is because this chaotic world of constant creative destruction is going to require new alliances untied to our old ones.The center of economic power is shifting to China and India, and they don't care about our ethnic or religious differences, they're much more concerned with their own. The wish-dream that the world will all join hands and live as one is nothing but wanting- to-buy-the-world-a-Coke corporate propaganda...
Monday, December 03, 2007
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Well, that was fun. No one said people were just going to sit around and nod politely while you challenge long-standing paradigms. But putting up with a little abuse is the price you pay when you want to get people's attention.
Friday, November 30, 2007
There’s been a bit of a hullabaloo over that the fact that 2004 is the 70th anniversary of the modern American comic book. For most people, this is one of those nostalgic milestones that reminds us of our lost innocence.
Here is an interesting episode of This American Life that gives a compelling example of how mythology is still alive and well. An ex-gang banger talks about how he learned how to cope with his lifestyle by taking lessons from the movies; those mythic Mob elements like loyalty and family.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Part one of the Superman/Hercules presentation is up on Comic Book Resources. I was hoping to hand this off and move on but that's the way it always goes. It's been fascinating watching some of the reaction on the message boards.
It really reminds me of the old debates in the AOL religion section, particularly when it came to polarized topics like biblical inerrancy. It's all clarified things in my mind and helped solidify ideas I've been mulling over. Part two should be up today.
Quote for the Day: But the coming Superman is of the type of the Masters: They are Masters of Compassion; not only Masters of Knowledge, but of love and knowledge together, which make Wisdom, and it is Wisdom which shall be the characteristic of "the Coming Race". - Annie Besant, 1917
Saturday, November 24, 2007
It's a truism that superheroes are nothing new. Pulp superheroes like John Carter, the Shadow, Doc Savage and Tarzan predate Action #1, just as comic books like Ally Sloper's Half-Holiday long predate Famous Funnies.
Friday, November 23, 2007
When most Americans think of England, they tend to think of tired, old cliches. In Yankee minds, England conjures up bucktoothed colonels, ruddy beefeaters, shrivelled aunties and raging queens prone to saying things like " Pip, pip", "cheerio" and "duckie."
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
First of all, let's establish the meaning of the term "swipe." I'm looking at this from the point of view of a graphic artist. "Reference" or "inspiration" often means "knocking off" in the trade. You take an image and futz around with it - change things, move things around- until you come up with something new. The action lines and placement details in this piece seem out of the realm of coincidence.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
It is the single most iconic image in the history of comic books. But was it swiped?It is the single most iconic image in the history of comic books.
But was it swiped?
Monday, November 19, 2007
I've been doing a lot of radio interviews these past few weeks and I can tell that people are a bit thrown by the term "gods." I get the feeling some of these folks aren't exactly sure what I mean- do I think we should follow Homer Simpson's example and pray to Superman? Not exactly.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
History tells us some ragtag Scandinavian tribe came out of nowhere in the 10th Century and within a few decades conquered northern France, England, Sicily and Syria.
Quite a feat.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
From the Our Gods Wear Spandex blog.
I'd like to thank everyone who's picked up the book! As I've said this is just the beginning of what I hope to become a long cultural conversation, and I intend to use this blog to turn readers on to books and other cultural artifacts that I think will augment the experience of those of you interested in these topics. Now for all of you old school Marvel maniacs, I am going to present the news in a manner you may find strangely familiar...