Friday, May 26, 2006

Another Right Wing Meltdown

The gazillion-selling Da Vinci Code has been converted into a blockbuster movie and the right-wing culture warriors are not happy:

"Da Vinci Thoughts [Stanley Kurtz]
"I just saw The Da Vinci Code. Point one: Michael Novak's review is dead on. [At NRO, Novak found the movie such a maelstrom of hate and decadence that he could barely finish his Junior Mints.]

"Point two: This movie is a salutary kick in the teeth for conservatives. There's no gainsaying the fact that the Narnia movie was a big deal. Having conceded that, the fact remains that when it comes to exercising influence on the fundamental levers of American culture, conservatives remain in a pathetically weakened position.

"I may not be a professor of 'symbology,' but I have taught at Harvard and studied religious symbolism. So I feel in a particularly strong position to reveal the entirely unsecret conspiracy against patriotism, tradition, and religion hiding in plain sight on our movie and television screens, in our universities, and on the pages of the mainstream press. Conservatives have forgotten just how precarious our position is. One cable news channel, talk radio, and the blogosphere do not an invincible army make. It only seems that way because we also have nominal control of the reigns of power. But lose our foothold in government, and conservatives are up a creek. The other side controls the levers of cultural power in this country, and we are the enemy in their eyes (and on their screens).

"Conservatives need to face the fact that our position in this culture is genuinely precarious. If we lose our hold on power, we'll scream bloody murder on our outlets at everything the other side does. Yet those screams may only confirm our helplessness. The deep cultural dimension of our political battles makes an ordinary transfer of political power far more consequential than it was in the days when America had a bipartisan foreign policy and a broad cultural consensus. We can dream about forcing Republicans to the right and then riding back into power two years later, but one big loss could easily turn conservatives back into a marginal cultural force for some time.

"Why have Democrats been so angry? It's because their taken-for-granted cultural superiority has been called into question by 9/11, the return of patriotism, a tough foreign policy, and the open defense of the sort of traditional values they thought were on the way out. Republican victories have punctured the cultural left's sense of the historical inevitability of their triumph, and that is at the root of their rage. By controlling the political agenda, conservatives control the cultural agenda as well (or at least a large part of it). But the truth is, other than the government, the left is still in control of our critical cultural institutions. Should the left recapture the government as well, it may well succeed in pushing traditionalists aside in the culture at large.

"The battle is radicalizing. Big Love and The Da Vinci Code are far more direct and brazen attacks on tradition than we might have anticipated just a few years ago. Conservatives are the targets, and Hollywood is aiming and shooting repeatedly. Give credit to Tom Hanks, by the way. As producer of Big Love and star of The Da Vinci Code, he is clearly one of the captains of the not-so-secret conspiracy.

This is some piece of whining. Of course I don't read NRO a lot so maybe this is typical. But this is Conservative-as-Victim mania such as I've rarely seen, at least since the election of Shrub.

And what's the conservative complaint about Big Love? Polygamy (like slavery) has plenty of Biblical precedence and justification. Most of the Old Testament patriarchs and kings had more than one wife at the same time. For that matter, the taboo against polygamy seems to be of a rather modernist, liberal, secular humanist origin.

I would think conservatives might be more offended by that other HBO series, The Sopranos. I've never watched it, but as I understand it, the show is noted for its, um, character "clipping". That is to say, it's violent. And it's a violence practiced outside the bounds of law, which should be especially offensive to today's conservatives so bent on restoring the rule of law where it applies to immigrants. But if there's a monumental conservative Christian opposition to or boycott of The Sopranos I am unaware of it.

Anyway, the boys and girls at NRO, and presumably elsewhere around the conservative media empire are (gasp!) offended and outraged that people are allowed to write (and read) books and make (and go to) movies that offend and outrage Christian conservatives. This despite the fact that conservatives have been making a big show over the last few decades about the outrages of "political correctness" that prevent them from saying mean things about black people and other minorities and those groups conservatives consider socially inferior or threatening.

Meanwhile, the conservative bubble that was the post-911 period is collapsing into a smoking pile of financial and political fund-raising scandals, an unpopular and unfullfilling war in Iraq (and the re-emergence of conflict in Afghanistan), and a rising tide of political ineptitude generally. In the face of these challenges to their dream of permanent political and cultural hegemony, some conservatives are reallocating their resources and vitriol to other potential and pseudo wars against immigrants, Iran, and other, non-conforming Americans. The war against the latter is waged officially against noted liberal demons like college professors and Hollywood celebrities (of which The Da Vinci Code is a representative), but in actuality is aimed at regular Americans who by purchasing the goods and services of a free, market-driven culture are offending the conservative movement's sensibilities. Still other conservatives are turning on their political leadership, threatening to embroil the forces of reactionism in a civil war.

Most frustrating to the spokespersons of cultural conservatism is the realization that political control over elected institutions does not necessitate cultural control over the individual and over the masses, at least not in a democrat, pluralistic and capitalist system. This latter element seems particularly important in that while conservatives loudly trumpet the virtues of capitalism, market mechanisms are essentially amoral processes that produce large financial rewards for Mel Gibson and Tom Hanks alike.

Moreover, conservative angst is amplified by the recognition that the last 6, 12 and 25 years of conservative political leadership has not fundamentally altered the direction of society or yielded the revolutionized world their fantasies have imagined and inflamed. As James Wolcott writes, society tends to move along by fits and starts, regressing a little here, advancing a little there. This is problematic for conservative and liberal utopianists alike, but especially for conservatives whose perspective of the 20th century is probably not a record they are proud of or can revel in when one considers the importance of Civil Rights, for example, and the development of federal government programs like Social Security, Medicare, and college aid. The end of the Cold War and the relative collapse of world Communism, while on the surface clear conservative triumphs, in practice have probably done more to erode conservative ambitions than enhance them. The end of Communism as a global threat has meant less fear generally and more freedom, politically and economically in particular. Neither of these outcomes are conducive to a vibrant conservative value system and hierarchical form of social control.

On the other hand, as Kevin Phillips and Michelle Goldberg have documented, trends in the religious world would seem to be more advantageous for conservative thinkers hopeful for erecting a more authoritarian and conformist state in this country. But despite the size, intensity, and peculiarity of American religious conservatism, it remains unclear, at least to me, what the origin or origins of this new wave of Christian fundamentalism is, and what ultimate impact it will have in a large, fragmented, individualistic and consumerist society like America. While the organizations, programs and rhetoric of Christian Reconstructionalist leaders are indeed frightening in many respects, I suspect that much like the soldiers of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders, the rank and file of Christian followership is much less committed to a project of political and cultural purification that might cost them their SUV's, comfortable homes, and peaceful retirements than their eliminationist rhetoric would suggest.


Seven Star Hand said...

Hello Bulworth and all, (you may not initially agree with everything I reveal, but we are allies nonetheless...)

Here is the key to understanding what the Vatican and Papacy truly fear...

Here's a real hot potato! Eat it up, digest it, and then feed it's bones to the hungry...

Pay close attention, profundity knocks at the door, listen for the key. Be Aware! Scoffing causes blindness...

There's much more to the story of the Vatican's recent machinations than meets the eye. It's not the DaVinci Code or Gospel of Judas per se, but the fact that people have now been motivated to seek out the unequivocal truth about an age of deception, exactly when they expect me to appear. These recent controversies are spurring people to reevaluate the Vatican/Papacy and the religions that Rome spawned, at the worst possible time for them.

Remember, "I come as a thief..." ?

The DaVinci Code novel and movie are no more inaccurate as literal versions of history than the New Testament. The primary sub-plot involved purposeful symbology being used to encode hidden meanings, exactly like the Bible and related texts. In other words, none of these stories represent the literal truth. This is the common and pivotal fact of all such narratives about ancient Hebrew and Christian history. Debating whether the DaVinci Code, Gnostic texts, or the Bible are accurate history is a purposeful ploy designed to hide the truth by directing your inquiry away from the heart of the matter.

There is a foolproof way to verify the truth and expose centuries-old religious deceptions. It also proves why we can no longer let the Vatican tell us what to think about ancient history or much else. It is the common thread connecting why the ancient Hebrews, Yahad/Essene, Jews, Gnostics, Cathars, Templars, Dead Sea Scrolls, DaVinci Code, and others have been targets of Rome’s ire and evil machinations. The Vatican and its secret society cohorts don’t want you to understand that the ancient Hebrew symbology in all of these texts purposely encodes and exposes the truth about them. Furthermore, the structure of ancient wisdom symbology verifiably encodes the rules to decode messages built with it. This is what they most fear you will discover.

If the Bible represented the literal truth or even accurate history, there would be no need for faith in the assertions of deceptive and duplicitous clergy and their ilk. It is undeniable the New Testament is awash with ancient Hebrew symbolism and allegory. The same is evidenced in the Old Testament, Dead Sea Scrolls, Gnostic texts, biblical apocrypha, Quran, DaVinci Code, and other related sources. All ancient religious, mystical, and wisdom texts have been shrouded in mystery for millennia for one primary reason: The ability to understand their widely evidenced symbology was lost in antiquity. How do we finally solve these ages-old mysteries? To recast an often-used political adage: It’s [the] symbology, stupid!

It is beyond amazing that the Vatican still tries to insist the Gospels are the literal truth. Every miracle purported for Jesus has multiple direct symbolic parallels in the Old Testament, Apocalypse, Dead Sea Scrolls, and other symbolic narratives and traditions. Recasting the symbolism of earlier Hebrew texts as literal events in the New Testament is one of the central deceptions associated with Christianity. This is part of the secret knowledge held by the ancient Gnostics, Templars, Cathars, and others, which is presented with dramatic effect in the DaVinci Code. None of these narratives or stories were ever intended as the literal truth. This fact is the key to unraveling many ages-old mysteries and exposing the truth about the Vatican's long-term deceptions.

Moreover, the following Washington Post article (The Book of Bart) describes how many changes and embellishments were made to New Testament texts over the centuries, unequivocally demonstrating they are not original, infallible, or truthful. When you combine proof that the New Testament Gospels are not wholly literal with proof that these texts were heavily reworked in the early years of Christianity, you are left with only one possible conclusion. The Vatican has long lied to everyone about the central tenets and history of Christianity. This revelation also proves they are not the Creator’s representatives but Her longtime opponents. The recent hoopla over the Gospel of Judas and DaVinci Code demonstrates they are still desperately trying to deceive the world and obfuscate their true nature and activities.

It's no wonder the Vatican fears the truth more than anything else. As further proof of these assertions, seek to understand the symbolic significance of my name (Seven Star Hand) and you will have proof beyond disproof that Jews, Christians, and Muslims have long been duped by the great deceivers I warned humanity about over the millennia. What then is the purpose of "faith" but to keep good people from seeking to understand the truth?

Now comes justice, hot on its heels... (symbolism...)

Not only do I talk the talk, I walk the walk...
Here is Wisdom!!

Revelations from the Apocalypse

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