Hard-core hagiography

Behold perhaps the most ludicrous movie trailer I’ve ever seen. The unintentional comedy is too various to even mention here, but when are people going to get off this subject? After accepting that the Virgin Mary was impregnated by a beam of light and the doctrine of consubstantiality, why are we pretending to be skeptical and look for evidence for our theories now? On the other hand it doesn’t surprise me that the people that Jesus was supposed to have become the father of are French, or that the French renouncing of the authority of the Catholic Church has by an admirably circuitous act of deviousness now allowed them to claim to be the children of the Son of God.

At any rate, this scanning of old paintings is turning the museums and cathedrals of Europe into Us fucking Weekly. “Is she pregnant?” “Do they look together in this picture?” So far fundamentalist Christians have been locked in a long and extremely un-scary feud with the entertainment industry, but now my biggest fear if Jesus does come back to earth is that religious veneration and its idolatrous cousin celebrity culture will merge. The Beatific Vision is basically the same principle as one long gratuitously doting photo shoot. The Rapture will probably be some interminable red-carpet ceremony and all eternity will be Oscar night, with the blessed collecting their trophies and the condemned passed up for the award for “Most Convincing Design of Prosthetics for 70-year-olds” forced to sit there and stare at the doors with fire-exit signs saying “No Exit” above them.

Whatever the Future Business Leaders of America say, no society would work if everyone were a leader. Most people have to be followers. So it makes sense that most people have an innate tendency to fawn on those that seem to be leaders. But just like with porn, religion and celebrity worship have both managed to lure an instinct with a perfectly useful and necessary biological function for survival off the path and trick it into rubbing its leadership-worshiping member for something that’s either not there or has been created purely to agitate this very feeling.

7 Responses to “Hard-core hagiography”

  1. shonk Says:

    Yeah, the fact that some random person thinks the representation of Mary Magdalene in a 13th century stained glass window looks pregnant is definitely telling evidence.

    I’m assuming this film is a documentary in the same sense The Blair Witch Project was a documentary.

  2. Curt Says:

    I thought it might be at first as well, but I looked up the dude and apparently he’s also made documentaries about Area 51, Bigfoot, and the Bermuda Triangle, among many others. So he’s either serious or really, really milking the joke. And that still leaves Dan Brown and all the others of his stripe that seem to really believe in all this. I’m surprised they’re not pacing around in front of the science center with the 9/11 Truthers.

  3. shonk Says:

    Wait…I thought Dan Brown made the whole thing up. He actually believes it?

  4. Curt Says:

    Made up what? These theories have been kicking around for ages. He’s fought lawsuits with authors claiming he plagiarized them, including one by a guy who enlists The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as evidence for the theory. As for whether Dan Brown believes in the theories his story seems to have changed over time, but at one point he apparently did say “the background is all true.”

  5. shonk Says:

    Made up the story in The Da Vinci Code. I mean, obviously he made up the plot, but I mean the background. Well, not that he made it up, exactly, since obviously the myths have been around, but I assumed he just picked some implausible conspiracy theories, made up anything needed to make it fit together, then wrote the plot over the top.

    …I just read the user comments on this movie’s IMDb page and now I’m all depressed.

  6. mock Says:

    While I’m inclined to agree with everything said so far, criticizing belief has always seemed to me a strange exercise. I am not sure that any argument can overcome belief, since basically by definition belief will trump any reasoned argument. And there are no shortage of people who are willing to put reason and logic on the back burner, especially when an appeal to metaphysics and epistemology are more than enough to overcome the supposed command of reason. Is reason itself just another belief? It is hard not to become convinced that regardless of the power and influence of civilization, ultimately the will of the majority will come to dominate. It may be the case that the elitism inherent in American politics will ironically be the saving grace of an entire culture, Europe included, regardless of the ridiculous demagoguery that we’ve been subject to for over a year now. This is all rambling, of a dilettante nonetheless, but the predicament is this: how does one respond to the particularly acute modern crisis of self-awareness when self-awareness is itself a modern predicament? Especially when the national and even world-political climate is not ready for such a confrontation.

    This is why I drink at night and never post on blogs.

  7. shonk Says:

    Well, that’s, uh, depressing. Don’t you think you might be over-analyzing a bit?

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