PREFACE CHAPTER ONE: TIMETABLE CHAPTER TWO: CHAPTER THREE: ON A FIRST LOOK AT NORMAN O. BROWN A PLAUSIBLE TIMETABLE
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THE MEDIA MESSIAH, OR LOOKING FOR JESUS
TV p. 21 Kate Bush - 'Cloudbusting Video' 'The Crazy Ray' 'The Crazy Ray' - Frozen into Stone Statues! 'Village of the Damned' - Super Children with Glowing Eyes! 'Brain from Planet Arous' - Madman Cackles! Drooling Alien Sex Fiend (Me) Ellen in Pretty White Panties Attacked by 'Alien' Monster! 'The Ruling Class' - Delusions of Grandeur 'The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari' - Hypnotized (Under a Spell) 'Weird Science' - Sex Toy/Barbie Doll 'The Last Airbender' - Orgone 'The Last Airbeder' - Pie Fight! CHAPTER FOUR: THE MESSIAH RETURNS p. 41 Dead 'Alien' Film Space Gunner APPENDIX 1: THE SECRET RAPTURE p. 46 APPENDIX 2: FROM NORMAN O. BROWN'S CLOSING TIME P. 47 BIBLIOGRAPHY p. 63 Interesting Portrait of Norman O. Brown FILM LIST BY DATE p. 68 'Surrogates' - Me Looking Down and Fairy Bowling! 'The Dark Knight' - The Joker - Despised Suitor 'E.T.' Finger FILM LIST p. 83 FILM SERIALS p. 93
PREFACE What do you call a crazy spaceman? - Note: Read my more recent: http://www.angelfire.com/crazy/spaceman/address.html An Astronut.
I prefer a distinctly minority position, which would be called multiple-rapture postmillennialism. The postmillennial position holds that many of the predictions made in the New Testament, including those of the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24, Mk 13, Luke 21), were accomplished in the early Christian era, and their past fulfillment limits the future events to be expected. There exists one school, represented by, for example, Max King and Timothy James, which holds that each and every prophecy of the entire New Testament was accomplished during the early Church age. However, I feel this view neglects proper consideration of the Book of Revelation. Postmillennialism is also sometimes referred to as preterism, which implies that the text is allowed to speak without exegesis. Thus, when Jesus repeatedly predicts the Kingdom within a generation, I do not write off the statement as a mistake or excess of enthusiasm. Instead, I draw up a timetable that shows the Kingdom beginning a generation after the Crucifixion. Then, when John of Patmos says the Millennium starts at this date of the beginning of the Kingdom, I duly go to my chart (see Timetable at my site) and set the Thousand Year Clock ticking. There was in fact a specific date a generation after the Crucifixion - the pivotal date of A.D. 70. This was the historical date of the Fall of Jerusalem, which is not a particularly prominent date in more mainstream discussions. This is the date of the First Resurrection in the terminology of John of Patmos that begins the Millennium. What happened in A.D. 70? God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform. After a lengthy siege by the Roman legions, Jerusalem was ransacked and leveled. To the secular eye, as detailed by Josephus in THE JEWISH WAR in gory detail, the scene was one of mass destruction in which not even the Temple was spared. A.D 70 blew it to Kingdom Come and the prophesied Kingdom did come. For to the spiritual eye, as Russell’s PAROUSIA demonstrated more than a century ago, these events were the fulfillment of the Olivet Discourse and the return of Jesus and His conquering armies in the clouds to inaugurate the spiritual reign with the saints and martyrs. Other sources listed in the bibliography including Chilton’s PARADISE RESTORED espouse this view. Chilton nominated Jerusalem as the Whore of Babylon and Rome as the Beast. (Note added 2006: In my 1986 Timetable I followed Chilton. I have since reversed my opinion. I now see Rome as the Whore and Jerusalem as the Beast.) I need to stop for a moment to consider the question of the dating of the Book of Revelation. The presently accepted date for the appearance of the Book of Revelation is A.D. 95. If this is the correct date, the fulfillment of the predictions made so far would be merely a matter of hindsight. I recommend John A. T. Robinson’s examination of this question in REDATING THE NEW TESTAMENT. Robinson cites extensive internal and external evidence for moving the date of the Book of Revelation back to the A.D. 70 timeframe. Further, he traces the standard A.D. 95 view back to a single source. This
source is a statement by Irenaeus that the Apocalypse first appeared “toward the end of Domitian’s reign.” This statement is ambiguous and may even be merely mistaken. Other sources listed in the bibliography (including Chilton and James) accept an earlier date. The Book of Revelation represents a significant amplification of the preceding Gospels and Epistles. Here the concept of the Millennium is introduced for the first and only time. The timetable presented by John of Patmos extends forward to the future Judgment Day and the establishment of the New Jerusalem, thereby completing the New Testament Canon. Turning to the time period of the Millennium, lasting approximately from A.D. 70 to A.D. 1070, the starting point was the spiritual event, the Parousia, as detailed by Russell and Chilton. But secular historians looking back at this time period as a whole have labeled it the Dark Ages. More recently this verdict has been tempered by the demonstration of the development and technical progress that occurred in the Middle and Far East during these years. But it does remain true that for Western Civilization, primarily Western Europe for these years, these were times of unprecedented barbarism and ignorance. During these times the blood of countless martyrs was spilled in belatedly laying down the Roman Empire and establishing the Church. Violence was the order of the day and sugarcoating or rose-colored glasses are unnecessary. The First Resurrection was an event of mass destruction and the Kingdom or Millennium was an era of barbarism. In other words, it is not an accident or coincidence that the fulfillment of the prophecies was apocalyptic. Instead, there is an important principle to remember here, since I will point out that Judgment Day will also be mass destruction and the New Jerusalem to follow will appear to secular eyes again be relative barbarism. I will take up these thoughts again in later chapters. Why didn’t Judgment Day begin about A.D.1070 with the end of the Millennium? Historically, many of the people living then did expect to see the Messiah return. I answer instead that this was the date when Satan was unbound for his season. Here I part company with many of the sources listed in the bibliography. They prefer to see the Millennium as an indeterminate period extending potentially thousands of years with Satan loosed for his season only shortly prior to the Second Coming. They see the Church still in the Millennial period expanding and consolidating its gains to ultimately convert the entire world immediately prior to the Advent. On the contrary, I hold that John of Patmos really meant a time period of approximately one thousand years, and that Satan has been at work sowing his evil. I admit that the season has now lasted nearly a thousand years in its own right. One consolation is that this extended period is finally about to come to a close. Satan has been quite busy from my point of view during the last centuries. Examples of his infamous work would be such events as the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Counter-Reformation, the Inquisition, the
Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution on down to the contemporary horrific mass movements. I could be accused of being a feudalist or an obscurantist here. However, I do not look back to the Kingdom so much as forward to the approaching New Jerusalem. At this point in time I feel we are reaching the low point of the curve descending to Hell, immediately prior to the Messiah’s return. Thus, I teach hellfire and damnation, as do most of the right wing evangelists who hold the premillennial view. But, as I have said, the postmillennialists of the bibliography, who are also uniformly conservative for the most part, place much less emphasis on this aspect. I am also in agreement with the premillennialists with respect to the Rapture. Historically, for eighteen centuries the Rapture was taken as essentially simultaneous with the Advent. This is detailed by, among others, MacPherson in THE GREAT RAPTURE HOAX and Kimball in THE RAPTURE: A QUESTION OF TIMING. MacPherson demonstrates that the nineteenth century so-called Scotch seer Margaret MacDonald in 1830 introduced the pretribulational Rapture - a temporal separation of a Secret Rapture from the Second Coming. This introduction was a theological novelty or innovation. MacPherson traces the concept from its introduction through the nineteenth century figures Darby and Scofield to the mainstream electronic evangelists of today. I have said that I accept the multiple-Rapture view, which is a variation of the pretribulational Rapture. I agree, based on the work of my sources, that this view had its origins only in the nineteenth century. I will indicate why I hold that view in the last part of Chapter Three. I should note that because I take a preterist perspective, I place less emphasis on seeing the events that occurred with the First Resurrection exactly duplicated on Judgment Day. For example, Nero was clearly the Antichrist for A.D. 70, but I don’t necessarily expect to see a new Antichrist prior to the Second Coming. If forced to, one could select from many twentieth century candidates for this post. Similarly, I don’t expect to see the coming events occurring at the actual Jerusalem this time. I predict in Chapter Four they will more likely begin in one of the advanced Western nations. Beginning with the next chapter, I will be using apparently incongruous sources, such as left wing sources from the sixties. I will delve into films and the media in general. These sources I will bring up are relevant to the issues of this chapter. So far I have outlined a plausible but not mainstream view of Christian eschatology. From this point forward, as promised, expect the view presented to be ‘weird‘.
(Return to TABLE OF CONTENTS) CHAPTER TWO A FIRST LOOK AT NORMAN O. BROWN
It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing. - Brown quoting Shakespeare There is a good possibility you have never heard of Norman O. Brown or come across any of his writings. His books are now a generation old and partly out of print. Perhaps certain of the issues he raised have become moot with the passage of time. I think when his books originally came out Brown was taken as merely a sexual radical. I say merely here in the sense that Brown would not be under discussion if I felt that was solely what he was about. A superficial reading of his cryptic, aphoristic style indeed does give this impression. However, the actual subject of two of his
books, LOVE’S BODY (1966) and CLOSING TIME (1973) was religion. Of the two books, CLOSING TIME is currently out of print but necessary for a complete picture. With these two books Brown actually solved the mysteries of religion. Am I here claiming that if you comprehend these books you will have all your questions answered on religion? Yes, that is indeed what I am claiming. Brown did get all the way to the inner sanctum. If you are able to solve Brown’s puzzles, you will simultaneously solve the mysteries of religion. I say this fully aware that Brown’s erudition makes this a monumental task. If I have piqued your curiosity, and you decide to take a look at Brown, the best procedure might be to look at some other sources as a preliminary. It’s all there in Brown in plain English, you understand, but you may have more success by circling in from the periphery. One good out of print source from the same time period is Eric Gutkind’s THE BODY OF GOD: FIRST STEPS TOWARD AN ANTI-THEOLOGY. This book is also written in an aphoristic style. Comparing the title of this book with LOVE’S BODY will give you a clue to start you on the road to solving Brown. In my correspondence with Brown, he told only me he had to only open Gutkind's book to see the nearly word for word similarities with LOVE’S BODY. Gutkind as a Jew was familiar with this Kabbalistic concept of Adam Kadmon, as was the Jew Spinoza with his One Substance. William Blake referred to the Grand Man. But later to downgrade that idea, Brown in 'Closing Time' quotes Vico: '- -were frightened and astonished by the great effect whose cause they could not know, and raised their eyes and became aware of the sky. They pictured the sky to themselves as a great animated body, which in that aspect they called Jove, who meant to tell them something by the hiss of his bolts and the clap of his thunder. Thus it was fear which created gods in the world.' Gutkind's writing was shrill. He was disturbed because he unconsciously understood The Taboo (see my Address) was being violated, primarily by means of TV. He said, 'Something is hitting us out of the Stone Age.' Looking from the philosophical side, Michael Harrington’s THE POLITICS AT GOD’S FUNERAL astutely asks the right questions. The best book ever written on Jesus is Constantin Brunner's OUR CHRIST: THE REVOLT OF THE MYSTICAL GENIUS (1921). Here's an interesting sentence out of the book: 'There he hung, the blasphemer of God and slanderer of the most notable men, the poor malicious fool, the incorrigible wretch, the whoreson and whoremonger, the swindler, the liar, the seducer.' The so-called radical Freudians, in general, such as Marcuse, Reich and Roheim in addition to Brown, are pertinent. See Paul Robinson’s 'The Freudian Left: Wilhelm Reich, Geza Roheim and Herbert Marcuse.' There isn’t space for an exegesis of Brown. Instead I’ll outline a central idea - the importance of the Primal Scene. For the uninitiated, the Primal Scene is what Dad and Mom did in the
bedroom. Now even Freud’s disciples had difficulty seeing the significance of the Oedipal Primal Scene and repeatedly attempted to revise their master. Perhaps the best way to get an inkling of its significance is to set up a confrontation between the Joker (the little 'castrated' clown portrayed by Brown) and you. Put yourself in the following scene as a male: You are standing on the outskirts of the big, modern city where you live as the Joker approaches. The Joker begins, “You know, stranger, I’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately and have seen several cities, including this one. I must say I don’t like what I’ve been seeing at all. In every town the residents use elaborate locks on their doors and seen to be afraid to get outside on their own sidewalks at night. One minute they use each other’s bodies as pleasure objects, and the next they sue each other at the slightest provocation. I see noise, confusion, mayhem and worse at each turn. I can’t think of a thing that happened in Sodom that hasn’t happened here many times over. Tell me, when you first came here was the city the same as it is now?” You reply, “More or less it was, indeed.” The Joker says, “This town is a hard place to try to make a living in. Life is so hectic, there is such a constant rush and din, that I sometimes believe I’m really caught in a nightmare and will wake up at any moment. This is no place to try to start a family or to raise a child. There’s no place for the kids to play here. You know, although I’ve had plenty of opportunities to unzip my pants and pull out my gun here, I just haven’t felt right about it and so far decided to keep my pants zipped up. But I see by the ring on your finger that the situation here apparently didn’t deter you. You had the same opportunity, after all, to look around and see what was going on. But I see that no matter what you saw, you weren’t about to stay away. You had to have it. I admit that I am only a Fool. But I ask you - who’s the better man?” You: (Speechless). The Joker resumes, “ Because I care about the evil I see and you don’t particularly care, you end up with a child to carry on your line, and I don’t. I ask you, which man has the greater love?” You finally speak, “Before I punch you out, do you have anything more to say? - Any last words?” The Joker ignores this and pauses a moment to scan the distant skyline. He then points a finger at the tallest skyscraper, rising in the mists - a source of civic pride known to all residents (and an indisputable phallic symbol). (Note added: I here 'prophesied' the World Trade Center attack 20 years ago. Also, my Timetable 'prophecy' showing the Last Days beginning in 2000, turned out to be the same event). The Joker turns and asks, “How? - that building there - Tell me how that modern Tower of Babel was constructed? No, let me
answer the question. It was constructed by men who at some time or other unzipped their pants. Not that a single one of them was ever forced to you understand. It is after all a voluntary act. Now I ask you to consider for a moment with me what would have happened if not one of these same men had ever unzipped their pants at all - not even one single time. How much of what you see around here now would still be here? I’ll answer - not a bit of it would here, including the building I just pointed to. I’ve been wondering these days why we put up with the perpetual nightmares here that we go through to get these massive monuments constructed. If we could just get all the women under control, we could sit around all day and drink beer and play cards.” You reply, “Leave it to a shiftless ne’er-do-well to --” The Joker interrupts, “What we really need here is a King the absolute biggest Fool we can find with the largest member. I think you may agree that I am the perfect candidate for this job, as I’m absolutely no good for anything else.” The pair glare at each other, ready to fight.
Let me make the important point about this tale that the ‘you” of the dialogue could just as well be the Joker’s father as anyone else - not a single line of the preceding would need to be changed. (In the original tale of Oedipus meeting his father at the crossroads, the pair had been separated and there was a disguise and neither seemed to recognize the other, at least consciously.) If the ’you’ of the narrative were indeed the Joker’s father, the Joker would then literally be a son of a gun. This would also make the Joker on his mother’s side literally an S.O.B. In the dialogue that took place at the Temptation of Christ (Matt. 4:1-11, Mk. 2:13, Luke 4:1-13), Jesus rejected Satan’s offer of the kingdoms of this world. Brown says we are indeed in Satan’s kingdom, i.e., Hell, especially in the big cities. Jesus will one day accept dominion over the earthly kingdoms, but only on Judgment Day when His enemies have been made into footstools. When He does return, He will bring the keys to Hell and to Death. This implies that a massive restructuring of present urban life - our man-made Hell - will begin at this point. To change the subject, if you have an interest in James Joyce, you should examine the excerpts Brown has collected in CLOSING TIME. Joyce either imitates (or himself actually is) the insane, and the WAKE is from start to finish nothing but the gibberings of a madman. FINNEGANS WAKE is a textual Rorschach test, by which I mean that in its voluminous pages, any phrase you are looking for before you open the book can likely be found. But all the excerpts Brown has assembled taken together conclusively demonstrate that Joyce ‘cracked’ religion, i.e., that all the answers were set down in the
WAKE. In other words, Brown demonstrates that Joyce earlier pioneered the same trail in that Brown found. I don’t want to go beyond fair use and start quoting text, so I’ll stop. (Return to TABLE OF CONTENTS) CHAPTER THREE THE MEDIA MESSIAH: LOOKING FOR JESUS ON TV
Let me start with a lengthy list: PURPLE RAIN COLORED RAIN GREEN RAIN FAIRY RAIN INVISIBLE RAIN BLOWING THE WIND REAPING THE WHIRLWIND IDIOT WIND RADIO GA GA THE WHISPERING WIND WEATHER WAR SHIP OF FOOLS THE STARS FALL OUT REICHIAN ORGONE RADAR LOVE THE CALL LONDON CALLING THE BIG BROADCAST WEIRD RADIO PLANET WAVES THE CRAZY RAY BLOWING THE HORN SOUNDING THE TRUMPET HORSE WHISPERING MIND WAR FAIRY GOLD FAIRY BLIGHT FAIRY BASEBALL FAIRY BOWLING WALLS TUMBLING DOWN BALLOON GOES UP THE FINAL COUNTDOWN THE LONG GOODBYE THE BIG SHOOTOUT THE LAST ROUNDUP DROPPING THE VIALS THE POWER AND THE GLORY FIRE AND BRIMSTONE THE FLOOD TWINKLING OF AN EYE RAPTURED OUT SWEPT UP THE SECRET RAPTURE MARCHING MORONS DEAD MAN'S CURVE VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED LAND OF THE GIANTS DROPPING THE BIG ONE THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL THE MACHINE STOPS THE FINAL SOLUTION THE ELEPHANT BURIAL GROUNDS THE ROAD TO HOLOCAUST TIMEBOMB TICKING OVER SODOM LAYING THE DEVIL DOWN RADIO SILENCE LIGHTS OUT SHUTTING IT DOWN TURNING IT OFF PULLING THE PLUG PUSHING THE PANIC BUTTON PUNCHING THE DELETE BUTTON SLIP SLIDING AWAY FLUSHED AWAY THE SCREEN GOES DARK CLOSING TIME JUDGMENT DAY SIGNING OFF NIGHTFALL THE BIG SLEEP MY FAIRY DUMP “Whom the gods would destroy, they first drive mad.” “God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform.” '♪ She sends a cable comin' in from above Don't need no phone at all We've got a thing that's called Radar Love We've got a wave in the air, Radar Love' (Golden Earring) The band name means the ringing in your ear (or Led Zeppelin's humming in you head, or wave in the air) that is Radar Love, not heard by your external ears. 'Sane' people can't seem to hear it very well. '♪ No one likes us I dont know why We may not be perfect but heaven knows we try
But all around ever our old friends put us down Lets drop the big one and see what happens Asia's crowded Europe's too old Africa's far too hot and Canada's too cold South America stole our name Lets drop the big one (There'll be no one left to blame us)' We'll save Australia Don't wanna hurt no kangaroo We'll build an All American amusement park there They got surfin', too Boom goes London and boom Paree More room for you and more room for me And every city the whole world round Will just be another American town Oh, how peaceful it will be We'll set everybody free You'll wear a Japanese kimono And there'll be Italian shoes for me They all hate us anyhow So let's drop the big one now Let's drop the big one now
I’ll ask some questions about this list to clarify it. At first sight, looking over this by no means exhaustive list, it appears we need to get out our umbrellas (or perhaps a degree in meteorology). The first question to ask is: How many of these phrases have you ever come across before? Try to think where, if anywhere, any of these phrases can be found. After thinking it over, you might decide that some show up in literature, some may be from the Bible, but many of them come from the media. The next question about the list would be: by grouping all these phrases together as I did, did I thus intend to imply that each phrase is identical or synonymous with each other phrase in the list? No, they are interchangeable in only a few cases, but they are interrelated. What then do the phrases have in common? My answer is that all bear a direct relationship to a single phrase: MASS PSYCHOSIS
This particular phrase, Mass Psychosis, you are probably less likely to have come across. Mass Psychosis is in fact the actual meaning of the Secret Rapture doctrine of the Fundamentalists. Now I’m sure if one had the opportunity to interview rock star Prince and ask him what he meant by Purple Rain that he would not immediately reply, “a codeword for mass psychosis.” Similarly, Bob Dylan wouldn’t be inclined to say, “When I sang about Idiot Wind, I meant mass psychosis.” I would instead expect convoluted explanations involving literary metaphors, etc., if I received any reply at all. Incidentally, I mentioned Prince deliberately since there was controversy about his ‘explicit ’ lyrics when his songs came out. I note that his critics had nothing at all to say about the other dimension of his songs I am pointing to here - Judgment Day by 1999, etc. Prince's source was: '♪ Cause the free wind is blowin' through your hair
And the days surround your daylight there Seasons crying no despair Alligator lizards in the air, in the air Wishin' on a falling star Waitin' for the early train Sorry boy, but I've been hit by purple rain Aw, come on, Joe, you can always Change your name Thanks a lot, son, just the same Ventura Highway in the sunshine Where the days are longer The nights are stronger than moonshine You're gonna go I know' (America) Here
I want to stop discussion of the list and return at the end of this chapter with more comments. Let me briefly return to the general topic of the media. By media I mean all the conduits by which paid entertainment reaches us - film, radio, television, etc. Because television has such a voracious appetite, I will be using the term media and TV more or less interchangeably. Think of how TV, in order to fill each and every hour, gobbles up the output of the other media, from films to stage plays to even rock music in the form of music videos. Here's a shot from an MTV video, showing Reich's Rainmaker:
Kate Bush – 'Cloudbusting' Video Some of us are logging in nearly a third of our lives glued to our sets these days. A clue according to Brown is, 'The phallus is so closely identified with magic in Roman religion that the word fascinum meaning 'enchantment', 'witchcraft' (cf. fascinate), is one of the standard Latin terms for the phallus.' As a baby boomer, I teethed on TV and took its pervasive influence for granted. But, after decades of exposure we have now had, I feel it is time we should begin a serious examination of the media. Its influence is probably considerably greater than literary sources today. Already by the sixties we had the McLuhanesque dictum that the medium is the message. This idea is that the content is not particularly important, but rather the existence and ubiquitousness of the medium itself is the most significant fact. Let me look at media criticism in terms of increasing level of profundity. At the lowest, most abysmal level, the media are seen as providing harmless entertainment. But the billions of dollars we dump into the media demonstrate that much more is going on. Slightly better is the extreme right wing evangelical view that TV and films are the devil’s picture book and rock music is the devil’s music. This approach has the virtue of being factually correct, but has fallen on increasingly hard times as all but the diehards have capitulated and joined in the media cacophony themselves. Massive blocks of radio broadcast time and entire cable networks are devoted to selling Jesus sandwiched in between the ads for soap and used cars.
Slightly more discriminating is the idea that TV is a boob tube and rock music is infantile, subversive trash, and exposure to one or both may permanently warp your brain. Is the ultimate objective to produce a race of mindless, godless, zombie giants (the return of the “men of renown” of Genesis as described by Brown in CLOSING TIME)? (Literalists mistakenly believe that they were actually physically giants, but what they were was selfish, vicious ogres.) What indeed keeps us mesmerized by the flickering images hour after hour? Why are so many of us couch potatoes - practically frozen into stone statues? What are we really watching? Joyce in the WAKE labels it 'swishingsight teilweisioned'. The answer from Norman O. Brown is that we are seeing the Oedipal Primal Scene reenacted night after night in endless repetition with slight variations. You object, “I beg your pardon. I watched a game show followed by a situation comedy last night.” What we are really doing here is paying performers to put on the only show we want to see. Finally, at the highest level of criticism, we also simultaneously get the final verdict on the media. We are watching Jesus get crucified night after night in excruciating detail, although we may not be consciously aware of it. After decades of this, I think it is likely to catch up with us some day. In other words, the lurid violence and evil we see depicted in the media may eventually come to us in real life. In spite of the blanket condemnation of the last paragraph, I’m going to turn around and list some movies. Ideally you should stay away. But the payoff is going to come to us all, whether or not we individually may or may not have watched. In the meantime, perhaps we can use the opportunity to study both the overt and the subtle techniques being employed. The primary genre to keep an eye on is science fiction. As Susan Sontag said in the sixties, this is the genre of apocalypse and mass destruction. Typically, as in the prototype FRANKENSTEIN (1932), a man attempts to appropriate the prerogatives of God (technically blasphemy) and reaps madness and disaster. These are rigidly moral parables where retribution is swift and sure. Look, for example, at Rene Clair’s THE CRAZY RAY (1923) from the infancy of the industry. The elements that were to become clichés with decades of continuous repetition were already present. A mad scientist invents a ray machine he constructs inside the Eiffel Tower that freezes the inhabitants of Paris into stone statues.
'The Crazy Ray' An aircraft initialy out of range of the ray lands, and the passengers are astonished when they disembark.
'The Crazy Ray' - Frozen into Stone Statues! One worthwhile principle of criticism is to pay particular attention to the message of film titles. In this example, the title might bring to mind such questions as: “did the title mean the inventor was crazy? Or did the ray have crazy effects? Or did the ray drive people crazy, implying that to turn people to stone is to drive
them mad?” Properly understood, that was the last movie that ever needed to be made, since there was enough there to kill us all! A quite similar theme is presented in THE VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED (1960) and its sequel THE CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED (1964) (what questions do these titles bring to mind?). This time a mysterious influence seals off an entire village, the perpetrators in this case being invading aliens. Here, as in THE CRAZY RAY, a geographic area is temporarily circumscribed. The females are impregnated by the aliens and subsequently bear children with glowing eyes and mysterious powers. This aspect of the film echoes the tale in the Book of Enoch of the fallen angels who descended to earth to mate with the women and to teach forbidden arts.
'Village of the Damned' Super Children with Glowing Eyes Let me quickly note a few relevant characteristics of paranoid schizophrenia as described by, for example, Norman O. Brown, Geza Roheim or Victor Tausk. The patient believes evil entities such as aliens from another world are secretly conspiring to do him harm. The patient may believe his enemies are employing physical equipment such as beam projectors against him. He is subject to seeing hallucinations or hearing voices attempting to guide his actions against his will. In THE NEXT VOICE YOU HEAR (1950) normal radio broadcasts are interrupted for short periods each night, and the cast seems to hear a message. This message seems to be more or less the Sermon on the Mount. Was this the voice of God? If not, what was it? Another frequent theme in science fiction is the nomination of candidate (false) messiahs. I say false, since we are merely watching actors playing a fictional role. A real life prototype of these characters if found would not automatically thereby be a messiah. An example is THE MAN FROM PLANET X (1951), which has an alien who is trapped and needs earthly assistance. THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951) (note the title) offers another false messiah. An alien descends in a saucer, takes on the
interesting name of Mr. Carpenter, has a gathering of wise men, is killed and resurrected three days later, etc. In the case of this film, the extensive analogies were conscious on the part of some of the production people and were taken from the story on which the film is based. 'If the Earth dies, you die. But if you die, the Earth survives.' Thus sprach Klaatu (Kenau Reeves) in deadpan monotone in the dull 2008 remake. My clear task as space alien Klaatu is to rapture out billions! In the BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS (1958)(my all time favorite movie), an alien possesses a scientist, who then embarks on a mad quest to rule the world. This is my all time favorite movie. He shoots airliners out of the sky with his eyes while cackling maniacally. This is Wizard Rainmaking. He causes megaton explosions with no visible weapons in a blackmail scheme for world domination. He is a sex fiend.
'The Brain from Planet Arous' - Sex Fiend Madman Cackles While Shooting Down Airliners with his Eyes!
Drooling Alien Sex Fiend (Me)
Ellen in Pretty White Panties Attacked By Sliming 'Alien' Film Monster! Ingmar Bergman’s THE MAGICIAN (1958) presents a rather dyspeptic false messiah from a traveling carnival show. The messiah of WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND (1962) (note the title) is a fugitive mistaken for Jesus when discovered in their barn. When apprehended and frisked, he stretches his arms to form a cross. THE FLIM FLAM
MAN (1967) is a petty con artist living by his wits. CHARLY (1968) is mentally retarded until chemically transformed into a supermind. THE RULING CLASS (1971) has a wizard fight (= unconsciously a white meringue slime pie fight between clowns/madmen) to determine which madman is 'Christ', the winner being an apparent psychopath.
'The Ruling Class' - Delusions of Grandeur THE OMEGA MAN (1971), a remake of THE LAST MAN ON EARTH (1964), (note the titles) offers another ersatz messiah. In ZARDOZ (1973), the messiah figure is a barbarian. In 'The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari' (1919), the Professor is a wizard with his magic wand (phallus), and the 'cabinet' is the fil