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Hiply Apocolyptic Religious Themes in Entertainment: New Dominance Emerging?

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posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 07:46 AM
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I was discussing "the change" in Hollywood recently with my Illuminati sponsor and she inspired additional insight into our emerging love of metaphysics.

First a little context for the ages (pardon the effort to document what we already know). The news is obviously obsessed with Catholicism now. From Schiavo to the Pope and any political issue they can spin into a "fanatical divide of faith" they do. The fact anchors feel compelled to now disclose such trivia as being "a quarter Catholic" or some such nonsense to ascertain credibility on a story speaks volumes.

And emerging trends in entertainment some will note are following suit. The NBC/Sci Fi venture Revelations is the latest hiply apocolyptic drama starring hot nuns and miracles, but hardly unique. I'm asking for additional examples as much as giving them, but off the top of my head every drama from Tru Calling to Dead Zone to Medium centers not just on the paranormal, but some higher power driven story line. Though it's certainly not all of dramatic entertainment, with obvious exceptions from more "accurate" science and law enforcement genres like CSI and Law & Order, I do think the metaphysical themes or "metadramas" are increasingly becoming disproportional. Joan of Arcadia? Was that really necessary?

As was related to me, this probably started with the "Scully effect" from the 90's X-Files. Whether intentional or not, Chris Carter did balance a paranormal "loon" with a science driven partner, but also balanced her with her own deeply held religious faith and an occasional mission from "God." Carter's second series Millenium was an apocolyptic drama all it's own then. I seem to also recall all manner of faith based dramas being the rage in the 90's with shows like Touched by an Angel, pseudo-science/religi-fiction like Quantum Leap and the not so paranormal 7th Heaven. I'm quite sure there's more, but compare just these from the last 10 years to the Hollywood of the prior half century.

I suppose The Waltons went to church as did Beaver, but I know darn well The Honeymooners, Lucy and nobody on Gunsmoke, Wild Wild West, Kung Fu or Love Boat did. And if they did, God wasn't an actual character or sent notes or solved crimes. Even BattleStar Galactica has been remade with a patently prophetical and religious theme, while America's longest running overtly agnostic space opera Star Trek just had Enterprise cancelled.


I'm sure we could see the same differences in movies where Miracle on 34th Street wasn't a "miracle" at all, but every movie now from the horror genre to the Stigmata clones are full of them. And beyond just the metaphysics of killer dolls stealing souls (aka the metaphysics of "Chuckie") an increasing number of those movie plot lines are about... the hiply apocolyptic end of the world.

It's so prevalent I don't even think we notice when a parody like Dogma makes fun of it, or even has enough material to make fun of the emerging themes. It's become that pervasive.

Biblical scholars in particular may take notice of "dangerous" Christian fiction like the popular Left Behind series or DaVinci Code, but that's just a small percentage of the overall radical shift our society is currently undergoing. Not that the plots aren't entertaining, or an adult mind can't distinguish between the fantasy of fighting off the apocolypse by the skin of our teeth every episode... but (here it comes) think of the children.


Seriously, if some part of the "Santa Claus" lie messed you up on even a superficial level (a more common impact than some realize), what in the world are we doing to kids today with pervasive apocolyptic fiction, angels on every corner (not to mention devils) and God solving crimes on evening TV?

Note that I don't discount the obvious tie in to non-religious paranormal themes like Aliens, Hobbits and Hogwarts, but on some level a fantasy not validated by Church on Sunday seems less real.

I'm concerned. Deeply.




posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 11:21 AM
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As far as I can track, the actual interest began in early 1998 with the rise of the "OMG! Y2K WILL DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMM US ALL!" terror and the fearful trembling over the Nostradamus prophecies about 1999 (which would certainly come true because, of course, Nosty was infallible.)

In spite of the reassurance of those of us in the computer industry, fear took over and on its heels came the Bible Thumpers. Yes, Y2K was going to End The World but YOU (you sinner!) could still be saved.

After Y2K failed to rid the planet of sinners, we next had The Verichip as the Mark of the Beast, 2001, PlanetX, The Incredible WTC Conspiracy (with dollar bills and all,) RFID as the Mark of the Beast, Carnivore as the Mark of the Beast, the occasional "bar codes as the Mark of the Beast", and by then the event was off and running. "The Passion" inspired more (the whole world, supposedly, would be brought to Jesus through this ministry) and so on and so forth. Any second we were going to here trumps and see vast angels wandering around.

Now, mind you that it's mainly the fundamentalist Christians doing this and they are a VERY vocal minority. Conservatives tend to be more vocal than liberals or middle-of-the-roaders and tend to play the "patriotism and religion" trump cards as frequently as they can.

They see the nastiness in the world today (thanks to our ghoulish media) and can't (because of their poorly educated backgrounds) imagine that it has EVER been worse. Hence the logic that God is going to strike everyone down any second now.

One good end of times hysteria leads to another. We now have the Mayan one as well. I expect it will continue until we all get prozac or until 2014, whichever comes first.



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 06:00 PM
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Originally posted by Byrd
One good end of times hysteria leads to another. We now have the Mayan one as well. I expect it will continue until we all get prozac or until 2014, whichever comes first.


How true.

I was just watching Lou Dobbs almost talk about this issue but stop short. He was lamenting the lack of scientific leadership and inspiration in this country. Who are our leaders? Who's rallying students and young people to learn, advance, build a better tomorrow? He was talking about science and math and specifically comparing "heros" of yesterday like astronauts and cold war scientists and environmentalists and comparing it to the vaccum of today.

But it's not a vaccum actually. It's an opposition. There are cult leaders spreading metaphysical psychobabble throughout all mediums and from the very halls of power. It's not about a "better tomorrow" either. It's about the end of the world and it's NEAR!!

Reminds me of growing up Reagan. The Day After generation was convinced the world would end in a ghastly nuclear conflict with the USSR. Now they're raising their own kids with that same end of the world mentality. And Hollywood is helping spread the word.

[edit on 18-4-2005 by RANT]



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 06:22 PM
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How can you build a better tomorrow when is “The end of the world as we know it”?

What a great way to influence the future with the promise of a rapture and doomsday prophecies.

Parents in every generation complain that the “world is worst now that in our time” but has somebody done actually anything to make it better for the next generation?

At least I did my part, I have two children one I am still working on it, the other one I got her into biological sciences because her knowledge can help humanity in the future, see instead of filling her head with religious doomsday bs, I am making sure that she gets ready to help humanity in case something comes our way.

I always feel that we humans will create our own doomsday if it doesn’t come as predicted, so somebody is going to be needed with a good head on their shoulder to help the survivors.

What a way to waste a generation with a mentality that they have to live up to today because is not tomorrow, repent and wait..........either the rapture will come for you and take you away or the second coming will be here for you.



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 06:53 PM
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Great post RANT.


Having gone though a very religious upbringing in the catholic church (there was a church at the end of my street) attending catholic school (the other end of the street!); being an alter boy; reading the bible and then having my own reason kick in and start questioning the priest after mass about innumerable inconsistencies in the bible (at age 12!!); not getting satisfactory answers; rejecting the catholic church; going to bible studies with my mom (who continued her journey to become a minister in the Wesleyan church - its protestant); I have been around religion all my life until I finally accepted agnosticism if not outright atheism to finally let it go and free myself of eternal guilt. All that time the "end is near" was a constant message.

But I have never seen it in the mainstream media the way I do now.

I read a book several years ago called "The Pursuit of the Millennium: Revolutionary Millenarians and Mystical Anarchists of the Middle Ages" by Norman Cohn. I highly recommend it. It looks at the social conditions of those times that lead to all kinds of crazy religious cults.

I'm convinced that what we are seeing in North American culture at the moment is a kind of Millennial fever unleashed with the passage of the year 2000 and that has taken root in the fear and confusion caused by 9-11 in a clueless populace.

There have always been Salvation movements but when they take root in a scared and/or poor populace (especially if poorly educated) it can get downright dangerous - especially for intellectuals and "other" points of view. The book goes through several examples of "millennial fever" that gripped people in the middle ages and I see parallels in what is happening now.

Social unrest coupled with the promises of a salvation movement leads to social upheaval and the worst kinds of religious fanaticism which in turn leads to the worst kind of atrocities justified by religious motives (US example - Salem).

See if you recognize these points common to all salvation movements:

1) collective, in the sense that it is to be enjoyed by the faithful as a collectivity, to the exclusion of all non-believers;

2) terrestrial, in the sense that it is to be realized on this earth and not some other-worldly heaven and that you must work towards making it happen;

3) imminent, in the sense that it is to come both soon and suddenly and thus affect you personally (contrast this with denial of global climate change and peak oil as a remote event that we need not worry about);

4) total, in the sense that it will utterly transform life on earth (not a mere improvement or social progress but perfection itself);

5) miraculous, in the sense that it is to be accomplished with the help of some supernatural cloud being (divine intervention).

For me personally, the scariest thing I have learned searching topics on ATS has been the info I included in my post on Rise of the Reconstructionists. These people are in CHARGE!!!



Originally posted by RANT

I'm concerned. Deeply.


So am I.
And we should be.
.



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 07:14 PM
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Though the religious right is really kicking the "end of the world" stuff into gear, I also see quite a bit of it in the fringe elements of the new agers.

It seems to them that we are all entering the 4th dimension (or is it the 5th?) and the world as we know it is changing profoundly. Everyone must prepare to ascend so lets cleanse those chakra's children. When I was 18 I traded my chakras for a six pack of beer and box of ho ho's. How was I suppose to know i'd need them later?

When your heart is at peace with the life you are living and your soul is at peace with your creator, whoever you consider that creator to be, then everything else is just icing on the cake.

Thats the good part of being at peace right now, you almost hope one of those lunatics get it right just so you can watch it all go down.

Love and light my friends,

Wupy



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 07:18 PM
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Gools you sound exactly like the way my brother was brought up he was an altar boy we did everything we were expected to do......... due a Catholic upbringing but with a twist..........my father was and Adventist.

We have both religious view, its four of us siblings and up to this day none of us has keep the religious views, I guess we got enough of the doomsday predictions and prophecies.

I tell you I have kept my children away from the binds of believes they can make their own choices and be what ever they one, is up to them.

I like doomsday movies but they fall in my horror fiction categories.

I agree also on who is the target of prophecies, depending your level of education and your economical status that's how religious you tend to be. One thing is following religion as a tradition and another following religion as the only thing to you have to live fo.

The "last days" the "apocalyptic days" and the "end is near" has been used over and over by all religious movements since the birth of the Christian church.

Now it has been exploited by the movie makesr because it makes money.

The author of the left behind series made a killing after the 9/11 tragedy.



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 07:35 PM
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Originally posted by Gools
See if you recognize these points common to all salvation movements:

1) collective, in the sense that it is to be enjoyed by the faithful as a collectivity, to the exclusion of all non-believers;

2) terrestrial, in the sense that it is to be realized on this earth and not some other-worldly heaven and that you must work towards making it happen;

3) imminent, in the sense that it is to come both soon and suddenly and thus affect you personally (contrast this with denial of global climate change and peak oil as a remote event that we need not worry about);

4) total, in the sense that it will utterly transform life on earth (not a mere improvement or social progress but perfection itself);

5) miraculous, in the sense that it is to be accomplished with the help of some supernatural cloud being (divine intervention).

For me personally, the scariest thing I have learned searching topics on ATS has been the info I included in my post on Rise of the Reconstructionists. These people are in CHARGE!!!



And I fear they've developed the perfect "persecution" shield to combat even criticism. Once upon a time, you could call loons loons. You still can with people convinced reptilians live under their couch, but now if you don't let people convinced the world is about to end at the hands of sword wielding nephalim (and that it's their duty to help) teach that in public schools and seek divine guidance on the judicial bench about sodomy from Zeus, flying serpants and similar mythos, you're "persecuting" them.

I think the political implications of theo-tyranny are well known, and spelled out all over these forums (where the faithful allow anyway), but it's the subtle programming of media (news and entertainment) I'm just now catching on to here.

I can remember "miracles" on TV being a bad thing (according to my upbringing) in supernatural plots like Bewitched and I Dream of Belly Buttons, but now it's expected and from a Christian sympathetic apocolyptic perspective no less. Literally, the "world" and/or "Universe" is in peril in each and every episode of these shows. It used to be about "saving the day" in minor conflicts with wits and knowledge. Not saving souls with prayer and superstition. This is entertainment? Well it's fantasy. But what is it teaching kids?

I'm sure there were others earlier, but I vividly recall the first "apocolyptic" plot I was exposed to as a child. The Bionic Woman had to stop a doomsday device from blowing up the planet.
For the life of me, I couldn't grasp the point of the super villian here. What do you gain by blowing up the planet? One Miiiillion Dollars? :shk: No. It was explained to me there's just evil in the world and good has to stop it. Okaaaaaaaay. The A-Team did that every week, but the world wasn't about to end. Now it is every hour on the hour every night of the week. It's screwing kids up. I even see it here (sad to say).



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 07:41 PM
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Originally posted by Byrd
...terror and the fearful trembling over the Nostradamus prophecies about 1999...

Yes, Y2K was going to End The World but YOU (you sinner!) could still be saved.

we next had The Verichip as the Mark of the Beast, 2001, PlanetX,

The Incredible WTC Conspiracy (with dollar bills and all,)

RFID as the Mark of the Beast, Carnivore as the Mark of the Beast, the occasional "bar codes as the Mark of the Beast", ...

"The Passion" inspired more (the whole world, supposedly, would be brought to Jesus through this ministry) and so on and so forth. Any second we were going to here trumps and see vast angels wandering around...

We now have the Mayan one as well. I expect it will continue until we all get prozac or until 2014, whichever comes first.
Good post!

We have had countless others as well within the last 50 years alone: The JW's reclycle the end every 20 or so years; we had that starnge little group called the Christadelphians predict the end for 1990, and to be sure they made it into Heaven, dared refer to themselves as Jews. The hugely popular Fatima predictions also counts as failure, except some still hang on by a thread that in fact they are yet to be fulfilled.

We have also the Revelation tie to 2012, where come May 2008 when two messengers are not left in the streets to rot over 3 days, we will at least have dispensed with one more of these silly stories.

If by chance the new pontiff dies between his election and 2012, well of course 2012 will be hyped even more, never mind that if they elect anyone with one foot already in the grave, it will not be taken as a signal that the politicos jockeying for power in Vatican City voted to ensure another 26 year reign is unlikely and will therefore not knock them out of the next round, but that the Malachy prophecy is in full swing.

Once 12/22/12 rolls around, we will either be told everything we see is a figment of our imagination, or the Mayan hoax will suddenly have been found to reflect a future year after some correction by an astute nobody.

Next we have to contend with Titor and after his time has run out the drug induced quartet of San Sebastian can last at least another 50, as with the Medjujorge half-dozen's ramblings.

There are always the predictions to keep the sheep in check, and as fast as one runs its course of time, several more come down the pipe to ensure the hundreds of others have been forgotten.


[edit on 4/18/05 by SomewhereinBetween]



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 09:52 PM
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The end of days doesnt exactly mean the whole world is gonna end, just that the way things are now are going to end. Like evil and such. I welcome the end of days with open arms.



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 09:57 PM
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Originally posted by Croat56
The end of days doesnt exactly mean the whole world is gonna end, just that the way things are now are going to end. Like evil and such. I welcome the end of days with open arms.


Hum..........so in the meanwhile what are you doing to make the world better for the next generation, or you think that the next generation will be on a garden of eden type of world after the end of days gets here so we don't have to worry a thing until then.



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 10:02 PM
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Well Im 16 so I cant exactly do antything right now can I
. Although me and my family do donate alot of food and cloths to the homeless drives. I dont know when the end of times will come. It could be now or a thousand years from now, I personally dont think we're anywhere near it.



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 10:06 PM
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Originally posted by Croat56
Well Im 16 so I cant exactly do antything right now can I


No, no really you are part of the next generation after all, just make sure you finish your school and get a good education so you can help the generation that will come after you.



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 10:30 PM
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so there is more spiritual tv shows. why not? we have to have garbage like "the l word" a show celibrateing lesbianisim. so why not even it out? what harm is there in relitively peacefull tv programing that deals with moral values? if you do not want to watch it then you have a choice not to. just as i do not have to watch shows that i feel have no business being on tv. welcome to equality on tv. i just want to know when we are going to have death duels to watch


personaly i have yet to see religious type shows pointing out the end is here. i just see a lot of science bable on how it will end, and seemingly pointing to it being in progress.
and since when do science and religion go hand in hand.



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 10:53 PM
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Originally posted by Croat56
The end of days doesnt exactly mean the whole world is gonna end, just that the way things are now are going to end. Like evil and such. I welcome the end of days with open arms.
If you are a Christian, that is exactly what it is supposed to mean, and the only optimism in this regard is everlasting life in Heaven.

It is best to delve into the whys and wherefores for ourselves and not rely on what others may tells us, including what I or anyone else may say, as this is the only way to become truly informed and thus be satisfied that we are not speaking either wishfully or from coercion.



posted on Apr, 19 2005 @ 12:04 AM
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Listen, while some may be lead to believe that Christians have somehow infiltrated Hollywood, at least to the extent that they're using the television medium to push a tent house revivial agenda, it's simply not true. The industry is incredibly cynical, incredibly, and they're simply exploiting the hand wringing of heartland America.

It's partly produced by Paul Rabwin, who also produced the X-Files and Millenium. It was written by David Seltzer, created the OMEN. Co-producers David Minkowski and Mathew Stillman produced Aliens Vs. Predator, and the upcoming adaption of Doom. If there hand out with a dollar inside of it, somebody's going to find a way to take it.

This was the same thing that Hershell Gordon Lewis was doing 30 years ago with 2000 Maniacs and The Gore Gore Girls. Wowing the farmer folk with tales about Old Scratch, knocking at the door, trying to steal their babies away. That's all it is.

Besides Mel Gibson, nearly every attempt at christian evangelical films have been clumsy and oafish. Tritie, poorly written melodramas with terrible FX and even worse acting. This is a wave, a fad, and like any fad, it will eventually get stale. There are already 3 or 4 more replicas of Revelations coming soon. The dam will burst, because the economy of television will simply not allow it.

High Concept shows like this absolutely never last.



posted on Apr, 19 2005 @ 12:21 AM
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This thread is informative and entertaining, but it is doomed.

DOOMED I tell you.



posted on Apr, 19 2005 @ 12:40 AM
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Originally posted by MaskedAvatar
This thread is informative and entertaining, but it is doomed.

DOOMED I tell you.


are there signs? can you show us sign, Mas-e-A-a-a-?
SAVE ME! i didn't mean to dip sally frenlinger's pony tail in the ink well in grade two, HONEST!

i'm too tired and snapped to read all those words, but i liked the title, and i wanted to read the mighty wisdom of the Mas-e-A-a-a-, who was the LAST TEMPTED to put up a POST-apocalyptic opinion.

in greek 'apocalypse' is 'reveal', as in, the end of secrets. people confuse it with 'ARMEGEDON!!!!', the final war between good and evil.

BRING IT ON, you myth-makers of the ages! we have the Mas-e-A-a-a- on our side!!!!

deconstruct yourselves, before it's too late.



posted on Apr, 20 2005 @ 08:12 PM
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Originally posted by billybob

Originally posted by MaskedAvatar
This thread is informative and entertaining, but it is doomed.

DOOMED I tell you.


are there signs? can you show us sign, Mas-e-A-a-a-?
SAVE ME! i didn't mean to dip sally frenlinger's pony tail in the ink well in grade two, HONEST!

i'm too tired and snapped to read all those words, but i liked the title, and i wanted to read the mighty wisdom of the Mas-e-A-a-a-, who was the LAST TEMPTED to put up a POST-apocalyptic opinion.

in greek 'apocalypse' is 'reveal', as in, the end of secrets. people confuse it with 'ARMEGEDON!!!!', the final war between good and evil.

BRING IT ON, you myth-makers of the ages! we have the Mas-e-A-a-a- on our side!!!!

deconstruct yourselves, before it's too late.


Or.... Send me 25.00 in cash or postage stamps and become an ordained minister in my church...



posted on Apr, 20 2005 @ 08:34 PM
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I previously agreed with Brimstone and MA and made semi-intelligent points including possibly off topic lamentation over the 1995 cancellation of "America Gothic" then I said some other stuff and I think it may have been fascinating, but groundhog day happened and white smoke is all I remember.

[edit on 20-4-2005 by RANT]



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