Monday, June 9, 2008

God is Algae, or Theology According to Bad Rap Artists Turned Underwear Models

Behold, the reason I have not, and undoubtably will not, watch an M. Night Shyamalanadingdong movie in the theater since The Sixth Sense: The Happening is all about how God is real and science is dumb...
But asked what specific religious faith inspired The Happening, Shyamalan went super vague. He said he drew on "the Native American culture and relationship with nature, the relationship with the sky, the earth, the rock the bear." He also claimed that cast he Mark Wahlberg because of his strong faith in Jesus. But Wahlberg's religious faith ended up causing a ton of reshoots. Whenever Shyamalan would ask Wahlberg what he was thinking about, and Wahlberg replied, "Jesus," Shyamalan would make him reshoot the scene in question. (Until he was no longer thinking about Jesus?)
Self-sodomizing Jeebus on a pogo stick, will the stupid never end. There have been many very well-thought out and deeply-researched arguments why logically, reason leads to religious faith. I may not buy any of them, mainly because none of them fully complete that bridge on logic alone, but I can at least admire those philosophers who refused to submit to some ill-thought out, touchy-feely bullshit to prove that, as Shyamalanadingdong would claim "There are limits to rational thought." I can even respect those who still hold to their irrational, unreasoned emotional feeling in religious faith, as long as they don't try to sugar-coat it as anything more substantial or valid than that. But to spew this kind of nonsense that neurotoxin-releasing algae somehow lead to evidence of God and thus proves a limit to reason is absurd. There are no known limits to rational thought itself, there are simply limits to currently available human reason. That we tool-using hairless monkeys may not have (yet) developed far enough to fully comprehend all the wonders of our universe does not mean that there is some anthropomorphized bearded thunderer up in the heavens that we can understand in our imaginations with all the answers to our questions.

And to use Albert Einstein to buttress this kid of shit, because he saw "the hand of God", is just insulting:
It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal good and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. - Einstein
Personally, I blame Spielberg. His Capra-esque approach, where deep social issues are drowned in a thick syrup of feel-good agnosticism rather than faced with any kind of honest intellectual bravery, was mimicked by most of the new Hollywood intelligentsia, and no one drunk so deep of this attitude as Shyamalanadingdon. Honestly, I would have no problem with this kind of semi-Christian anti-science agnostic attitude if it weren't just so prevalent now in recent genre fiction. Lost, Battlestar Galactica (maybe), The X-Files, anything not created by Joss Whedon, and countless movies (The Lord of the Rings and Prince Caspian most eggregiously) are all prime examples of this kind of anti-reason subtext. Although to be fair, it's not like there isn't a long track record of anti-faith science fiction where religion is public enemy number one.

Anyways, watching Marky-Mark look confused into a camera for two hours was never my idea of good time to begin with, but this kind of crap is enough to make me write off The Happening even as a Netflix rental. I'm betting it's going to do a moderately-well opening weekend followed by disastrous 50%+ drops leading to more questions as to Shlamalanadingdong's box office viability; but, once he comes out with his adaptation of Avatar the Last Airbender, enough of the anime freaks are going to buy tickets and refuel his place as Spielberg's heir in Hollywood. Bah.

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