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Zeitgeist: the Bullshit.

Finally watched Zeitgeist: The Movie (2007) via Netflix; it had been recommended to me a few years ago by a co-worker from Eastern Europe who, while not normally beholden to conspiracy theories, has enough ethnic, national and religious hatreds (to wit: Roma -- whom he refuses to dignify by that name; he insists on calling them "gypsies" -- Hungarians, Russians, French, subcontinental Indians [who he says remind him of "gypsies"], Chinese, Japanese, Jews, blacks, Catholics, Baptists, Pentecostals, and at least half of his own former countrymen) that he found Zeitgeist's arguments compelling.

Meh. I'll grant that the man behind this movie (and the subsequent installments in what has become a series), Peter Joseph, assembled a good-looking video on a minimal budget; however, anyone who's done any kind of reading in its central arguments -- "Christ-as-myth," 9/11 "truth," and / or the insidious illegality of the Federal Reserve and U.S. income tax -- isn't likely to be as impressed by what Zeitgeist lays out.

As regards "Christ-as-myth" and the parallels between Christianity and Horus worship among the ancient Egyptians, Zeitgeist doesn't hold a candle to, say, Barbara G. Walker's A Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, and appears to be an extremely dumbed-down summation of Kersey Graves's The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors, or Christianity Before Christ. (Zeitgeist was also way off-base in its comparisons of Horus to Jesus: it wasn't Horus who was resurrected, but his daddy, Osiris; also, it's disingenuous to say that Horus was a virgin birth, unless one stretches a point and says that his mother, Isis, in conceiving Horus with either the severed penis of her husband, Osiris, or a gold model of same attached to his reassembled body, is still technically a virgin. One wonders that Joseph didn't mention that the early Christians adopted Egyptian iconography of Isis suckling the infant Horus for their cult of Mariolatry.)

Some of the 9/11 stuff -- which Joseph seems to have largely culled from other 9/11 "truther" screeds, such as Loose Change (the second edition) -- was disconcerting and seemingly reality-based enough to give me pause (such as the number of people at the World Trade Center who heard a loud bang before the first plane hit; then again, there have been several cautionary notes sounded over the years regarding the unreliability of eyewitness testimony...); however, the main arguments, seemingly advanced by engineers, were that the World Trade Center towers shouldn't have been able to have been collapsed, particularly in "pancake fashion," by the crashing of two jumbo jet liners into them, echoed the arguments against a single truck bomb doing all that damage to Oklahoma City's Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on 19 April 1995. (One shouldn't be automatically overawed by someone's assertion of engineering expertise; keep in mind that a prominent Holocaust denier, associate professor of electrical engineering at Northwestern University Arthur Butz, insists that the Holocaust couldn't have happened because he finds no evidence that Auschwitz was equipped with poison gas chambers, based on his engineering background.)

But the reedits that Joseph did to Zeitgeist didn't entirely efface the anti-Semitism inherent in much of his gold bug, anti-Federal Reserve, anti-income tax arguments. (Ask Wesley Snipes how much traction that not paying your income tax due to its perceived unconstitutionality will get you in federal court.) While I'm as much a fan of Major General Smedley Butler as anybody, I note that Joseph only cited him for his pearls of wisdom regarding financiers (chiefly from his 1935 book War is a Racket, reprinted in 2003 by Feral House), and was conspicuously silent on Butler's outing of the so-called Business Plot, the abortive planning in 1933 by several high-rollers to oust FDR in a coup and appoint Butler as an American Il Duce, wholly subservient to them, of course. This might've been done for the sake of retaining a relatively cohesive video; but it is a little peculiar, given how Joseph explicitly, through juxtaposition of audio, video and still photographs, likens the administration of George W. Bush ("Bush 43") to that of Adolf Hitler, and how he pointed out two examples of American financial entities' support of the Nazi regime.

Still, I think that dubbing Zeitgeist as agitprop is more than fair; it pretty much held my interest throughout, with a few dull spots, but I've no real interest to watch the rest of the series.



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