Monday, November 23, 2009

Endless Twilight in a Sleepwalking Nation

Could the Twilight craze spark a Mormon "Great Awakening" in America?
Stay tuned...

ITEM: Twilight: New Moon sucks the box office dry with a record setting opening:
LOS ANGELES - The vampire romance "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" sucked up $140.7 million in its first three days and pulled in a total of $258.8 million worldwide, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Be prepared for a deluge of articles on the Mormon subtext of Twilight. One blogger hit the nail on the head, in my view:
What I find most interesting about the concept of eternal marriage in the Twilight series is that Meyers seems to have created this allegory for Mormon marriage unintentionally. Her assumptions about marriage and the after-life are likely so unconscious that this theology surfaces in her books clearly but nonchalantly. It doesn't make the book a Mormon novel any more than a Protestant writer pens Protestant books. All writers -- even the authors of the Gospels -- are informed by their contextual circumstances, so why should Meyers be any different.
ITEM: Which leads back to our discussion on Mormons and sci-fi. I've been thinking about it quite a bit the past few days, though my thoughts haven't really gelled yet on the topic. But it's uncanny how it seems to dovetail with the idea of all of these sci-fi memes as aspirational rather than devotional modes of religion. If the evolutionary psychologists are right and religion is simply a way to ensure procreation and attentive child-rearing, seeing families making their collective pilgrimages to cons (read: shrines) certainly speaks to popculture as a post-modern, polytheistic secular religion.

Cons like NYCC have children's days on Sunday, where kids under 12 get in free. And of course Twilight has brought armies of young girls into cons, infuriating the older male fans. Almost as if armies of Christian families had descended on formerly Gnostic or Neoplatonic shrines in the Roman era. It's fascinating how many of those aging male fans are objectivists or militant atheists and/or skeptics, and how many of them are unmarried and childless.

If demography is indeed destiny, then the Fanboy as we've known him may be entering his own twilight.

ITEM: The missus and I did watch The People - There is not only a explicit current of AstroGnosticism in the film, but also this concept of apotheosis which is at the core of Mormonism. That idea of never-ending evolution towards godhood may account for the high premium placed on the work ethic, literacy, physical fitness and sobriety in Mormonism, all of which have vanished almost entirely from Evangelical Christianity in America. Mormons apparently believe they are destined for much better things than lolling around the Elysian Fields. Different motivation.

It's not a must-see, but students of the ongoing AstroGnostic revelation might want to read up on it, at least.

ITEM: If Twilight is waving the flag for Mormon eternal family values, then Evangelical and Pentecostal Christianity has found its ultimate avatar in Sarah Palin. Never before has one person encapsulated such a broad-based movement with such totality than the former Alaska governor embodies her brothers and sisters. She isn't one of them- she is all of them. Given the thrust of the Republican Party and the Evangelical movement, she's a shoo-in for the GOP nomination in 2012. Tina Fey is going to be a very busy woman in the years to come...

Atlantis Reaches ISiS and a Child is Born...

While strange objects from space are turning night into day, the Atlantis Shuttle (flight STS-129) is working on the International Space Station. One of the astronauts-Marine Lt. Colonel Randolph Bresnik (born 9/11/67 in Fort Knox, KY)- became a new father during the mission. He and his wife adopted a Ukrainian child in 2006. Bresnik's wife hails from Pompton Plains, NJ, night across Interstate 287 from Wanaque Lake, site of a major UFO flap in 1966.

So many memes, so little time...

ITEM: Oh dear, was it the American Music Awards tonight? I see Rihanna was rocking the Leeloo look, and Adam Lambert brought a little of the old Jobriath vibe to prime time. I'm sure all of the social conservatives are beside themselves with glee. The Black Eyed Peas had an X-Force vibe happening and Pete Wentz had some strange Wehrmacht look going on. Funny when the outfits are the most interesting part of a music awards show.


  1. I hope nobody need to bother with palin This i s a beautiful story.

  2. You didn't mention Lady Gaga, who was wearing some exoskeleton and helmet get-up reminiscent of the creature in "Alien." Underneath all that she also had her own Leeloo-inspired bodysuit.

    Can't wait til we can wear these clothes to the office!

  3. I like to avoid Lady GaGa as much as I can. Take away the imagery and all that's left is a boring rehash of old Taylor Dayne music.

  4. Christopher, you've pierced my heart!

  5. I remember Jobriath, pretty cool pre punk feel, but he was already old hat after Bowie and Bolan. With Lambert, it's hard to say. There's a rumor that May and Taylor of Queen wanted to work with Lambert, and I could see that. Funny how everything old is new again, same old patterns we keep seeing.