Monday, November 16, 2009

Apocalyporn: 2012 or 6 to 4

Seeing that Nineties were the Sixties in reverse, it's strange how much the Naughties feel like the Seventies. 

We have a deep recession, an President more interested in platitudes than policy, a mass culture obsessed with sports and celebrity and a fashion culture fixated on decadence and 'transgression'. American politics is still fixated on the same old social wedge issues.

 There's even a new wave of UFO sightings and alien-based films. But it all feels so contrived and ritualized this time around. And we don't have the Cold War as a backdrop anymore, so the new wave of disaster/Apocalypse movies has to resort to natural disaster rather than nuclear holocaust, which doesn't really pack the same thematic punch. It's that much more tragic when we destroy ourselves.

The missus and I were set to see 2012 on Sunday until we realized it was two and half hours long, and grocery-shopping and dinner-making and kid-bathing were more important. I'm not sure I won't simply wait for the DVD; I feel like I've seen the movie already. I'm sure there will be all sorts of juicy syncs to mull over- never mind the presence of John Cusack, Superstar and Amanda 'Nephthys' Peet. But I've never seen a Roland Emmerich movie on the big screen, and any possible synchitude already feels a little too contrived.

Emmerich is certainly fascinated with esoteric themes, though- Stargates, UFOs, alt.history- which is kind of disturbing when you couple that with his fascination with genocide and global destruction. But do I think he has access to any inside knowledge or that his films are part of some insider agenda?

 It's certainly possible, but I've never seen anything in any of his films that you couldn't read in the 'Speculation' section of your local Barnes & Noble or Borders (Daniel Pinchbeck and Lawrence Joseph are featured in some of the promo vids) or hear about on Coast-to-Coast AM. And Emmerich's politics are generally populist (there's a subplot in 2012 about a conspiracy to send the rich and powerful off-world in a fleet of arks). 

Typically for Hollywood, he immerses himself in esoterica but mocks people who do the same- Woody Harrelson plays the kooky 'conspiracy theorist' this time around.

Strangely enough, 2012 has the same solar flame theme we saw in Knowing. And this time we saw the old prefab "controversy" routine when Catholic League poobah Bill Donahue got himself some airtime protesting the destruction of Christian landmarks while keeping Islamic ones offscreen. 

But Emmerich's riposte - that he avoided doing so to avoid getting himself killed - didn't do Muslims any favors, particularly in the wake of Fort Hood. But is there another message being conveyed here?

Knowles' Law has it that whenever a controversy over symbolism erupts in the media it's usually disguising another hidden message altogether. Secret Sun readers have seen how ancient sun-worship symbolism is alive and well in Hollywood, hiding in plain sight. And we've seen Solar symbolism in Christian churches as well. I can only speculate on what it all means, but having the effects of a solar flare destroying the Vatican is certainly fascinating in that context. I'm tempted to chalk it up to the Collective Unconscious, but the prefab controversy makes me wonder.

I've come to consider Mithraism a completely different category from paganism or any of the other ancient religions. It's technically henotheistic, but essentially monotheistic. And the ancient Solar cults were generally pretty a pretty serious bunch- phallic, ascetic, militaristic, highly disciplined (and weird, as we saw in the Mithraic Liturgy). 

It's possible some of them could've survived all of these years underground, but it's more likely that the Mysteries were revived by Type A males more recently, maybe within established fraternities.

Taylor Swift kisses her Solar phallus Country Music Award

And since Mithraism cut across ethnic and national boundaries - the Romans learned it from pirates from modern-day Turkey - it's something that could gather aggressive male initiates from any faith. Sure it sounds crazy, but what good is an Internet if you can't wildly speculate on it? And all of that solar symbolism out there isn't creating itself.

Anyhow, if I do break down and see 2012 I will post a review. In the meantime, feel free to post your own.

BONUS FACTOID: The working title of 2012 was Farewell, Atlantis. The Space Shuttle Atlantis is set for takeoff today.