22 October 2009

Zeitgeist II (Seriously)

I somehow missed this, but Zeitgeist II: Addendum came out more than a year ago.  I just finished watching and the experience was nothing near the first segment.  I was pretty obsessed with the original Zeitgeist, I watched it probably three times and wrote about it and I think it was part of the reason I started blogging about conspiracy theory films and books.  II is pretty boring.  Mostly a rehashing of arguments and evidences from the original, the only new material is really new agey and annoying.

A lot of people have the theory that the paradoxical thing about most conspiracy theorists, expecially the NWO type that Peter Joseph, the auteur behind the Zeitgeist films, is not unlike, is that they oppose institutions like religion and government, and seek to debunk the mythology that the establishment uses to earn the faith of the people, yet their own ideology serves a similar function to those institutions, that being, providing life with some sort of structure, one that aligns an individual with other believers and against non-believers.

The focus of the second Zeitgeist is the idea of a resource based economy, which is the solution that few conspiracy theorists ever propose.  Joseph claims that our monetary based society is doomed for failure and self-destruction.  He might be right, but his presentation of the resource based economy is boring and kind of lame.  I'm going to spare you the details, but it basically involves interviews with this guy who invented something called The Venus Project, which is sort of a ridiculous Utopian system where no one works and every one is unified or something like that.

Peter Joseph reminds me a little bit of the eighteen-year-old guys in Whit Stillman's movie Metropolitan, who allow their overwrought ideological views to get in the way of their ability to socialize like normal people.  He keeps saying things like, "Whatever your personal beliefs may be, they are meaningless," and generally doesn't seem able to temper his beliefs in a way that a normal person would find both interesting and unoffensive.  And this isn't surprising given that his biggest influences seem to be Carl Sagan, George Carlin and Bill Hicks (incidentally, Bill Hicks is kind of fascinating, you should check out his YouTube videos if you've never seen them).

Anyway, this all seems like people again trying to answer the question, "Why do bad things happen?"  It's a tough question.

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