Adam and Aaron review the recent Steven Spielberg film, Ready Player One. The past, present and future of virtual worlds are explored in depth in this book adaptation. What current, real world realities are present in this work of fiction? What occult "Easter eggs" have the filmmakers left for us to uncover?
topics include: Steven Spielberg director, book adaptation, rights, licensing, special effects, virtual reality, Columbus OH, Easter egg, Steve Jobs, creation, video games, time, corporate gaming companies, MMO games, pop culture, nostalgia, nerds, trivia as knowledge, 80s films, movie magic, IOI like IGN, advertisements, Oasis, debtors prison, The Shining, future of virtual worlds, regret, Atari, revolution, signing away rights, initiation rituals, threes, love, male and female creative aspects, predictive programming, technology, dystopia, value of the real world, immersive artificial environments
Adam and Aaron record their first live show on Ochelli.com. They take the occasion to review season 3 of the Netflix series Black Mirror.
topics include: live radio, Netflix, new distribution for entertainment, short films, media, technology, futurism, happy endings vs dark endings, Nosedive, social media, polite society, repressed emotions, sexual frustration, superficiality, social status, passive aggression, social networking, ulterior motives, epiphany, transcendence, analytics, denial, San Junipero, virtual reality, period piece, nostalgia, uploading consciousness, choices, Shut Up and Dance, phishing, blackmail, moral ambiguity, Men Against Fire, video games, super soldiers, dehumanizing the enemy, military involvement in video game production, T&M podcast history
Adam and Aaron weigh in on Jim Carrey's recent interviews which have baffled his fans the world over. Apparently there is no such thing as Jim Carrey at all. What might this mean? Has JC lost his mind, or is he onto something?
topics include: identity, psychology, persona, Eastern religion, metaphysics, philosophy, Norm MacDonald, sexual alchemy, occult, Gnosticism, conspiracies, alternative research, truth, woke, E! network, Dionysus, world stage, masks, celebrity culture, prestige, creative freedom, artists, entertainment industry, performance art, manic depressive, depression, actors, feeling empty, fulfillment, ego, mainstream media, Hollywood small talk, cringe worthy, meditation, nothing is real, comedy, humor, epiphany, truth seeking, Andy Kaufman
On this episode we return for a casual discussion on the Hollywood Sex Scandal, looking at the prominent narratives and what they could mean for the future of Hollywood and Pop Culture.
We look at the issue from a number of different angles, highlighting the numerous ways in which this scandal is stoking outrage over questions of patriarchy, social justice and corruption, and the potential that exists for further polarisation and social breakdown.
We also look at the symbolic ramifications that these revelations bring to light, particularly in relation to the betrayal of trust and the fall of iconic institutions. We also touch on questions of opportunism on all sides, from those making allegations to narcissistic media pundits who thrive on drama.
Is this scandal further provoking a war of the sexes? Is patriarchal Hollywood being undermined to make way for a new epoch of open source entertainment? We discuss all of these questions and more.
Topics discussed include: Hollywood, Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis CK, Media Narratives, Sensationalism, Patriarchy, Feminism, Social Justice, Hypocrisy, Victimhood, Systemic Corruption, Sex Slaves, Pedophilia, Human Trafficking, Bush, Clinton, Conspiracy Culture, Burden of Proof, Celebrity Bandwagon Jumping, Abuse, Social Tension, Bill C-16, Transgender Pronouns, Legal Equality vs Social Negotiation, Vulgarity in Comedy, Degradation of Standards, Loss of Innocence, Betrayal of Trust, Jimmy Saville, Bill Cosby, Hollywood on Trial, Lack of Original Ideas, Awful Comedies, Comic Movies, Wonder Woman, Elevation of Feminist Icons, Death of Old Institutions, Rise of New Media, Ideological Reactionaries, Age of Transitions, Age of Confusion.
We return with a highly esoteric discussion on Blade Runner 2049, the 2017 sequel to Ridley Scott's cult-classic from 1982. Despite not doing well at the Box Office, this film succeeds in artfully suggesting a number of stories within one, and like the first film, leaves the audience feeling they have witnessed something profound.
Set in the titular year in dystopian Los Angeles, the film follows the replicant LAPD officer 'K' as he uncovers hidden evidence that replicants are capable of reproducing autonomously. After being ordered by his superiors to investigate and destroy the evidence, K is led to believe that he himself may be the offspring of a union between replicants, and so disobeys his orders in search of his origins.
We start by summarising the plot and the story, before diving into the multi-layered elements of the film, looking at the heavy use of biblical motifs and creation mythologies in both the script and the subtext. As humanity has fallen from grace in foolishly pursuing godhood, the next epoch of creation is born, and so the film is replete with wordplay and symbolic motifs which elucidate these ideas.
We discuss the film's focus on feminine imagery, especially following the many negative reviews given by feminist critics. We deconstruct the notion that the film is overtly sexist and gratuitous in its imagery, by pointing out the deeper symbolic significance in these motifs. The film is both critiquing the objectification of women whilst also celebrating the goddess archetype and venerating the full range of feminine principles.
We also spend time talking about the various characters, in terms of what they represent and how they develop throughout the story. The ultimate journey of K in particular is heavily suggestive of Gnostic principles and ideas, though we also touch on the characters of LUV and JOI, who at various points reveal a higher truth or meaning to his journey into selfhood.
We touch on a myriad of other topics in this extended podcast, from Silicon Valley execs and the transhumanist demiurge Niander Wallace, to questions of humanity, to the artful cinematography and soundtrack of the film, plus much more. Please excuse the low audio quality.
Topics discussed include: Blade Runner, Los Angeles, Dystopia, Environmentalism, Synthetic Foods, Synthetic Society, Replicants, Artificial Intelligence, Original Film, Sequels, Artful production, Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Jared Leto, JOI, LUV, Niander Wallace, Wallace Corporation, Tyrell Corporation, LAPD, DNA, Regeneration, Reproduction, Miracles, Biblical Themes, Adam & Eve, Garden of Eden, Genesis, Creation, Gnosticism, Pyramids, Pharaohs, Godhood, Demigod, Demiurge, Light, Symbolism, Geometry, Human Eye, Feminist Critiques, Goddess Archetypes, Sexuality, Objectification, Veneration, Slavery, Oppression, Self Awareness, Las Vegas, Holograms, Earth Mother Archetype, Masculine vs Feminism, Search for Truth, Materialism, Infertility, Revolution, Wordplay, Secret Societies, Sacrifice, Truth, Love vs Joy, Techniques of Cinema and Sound, Quality of film and music.
Intro & Outro music by Hans Zimmer.
The very first Bonus Podcast episode of Themes & Memes is a review of Captain America Civil War. The review strays from the movie as Adam and Aaron talk at length about media, current antagonist politics, and The Age of Transitions.
topics include: Captain America Civil War, bad movie year, shift in entertainment industry, Marvel, cinematic universe, TV and films converging, Disney, franchise films, Iron Man, Avengers, Spider Man, comics, DoD Entertainment Liaison Offices, conspiracy themes, Hydra, current political climate, symbolism of Captain America character, individualism, John Birch Society, International Law, bureaucracy, global culture, Western Philosophy, political market trends, World War 2, archetypes, Charlottesville, Unite the Right, Antifa, Red Ice, Gavin McInnes, Vice, leaders bounce from pole to pole, flip flopping, Russian interference in American politics, spectator events, media convergence, The Age of Transitions, ash mobs, SJWs, mass distraction, media, unplugging, infotainment, confusion, Newt Gingrich
While widely panned, The Circle is a film that does a good job at presenting some very important ideas. Adam and Aaron talk about its commentary on corporate life, cults, sousveillance, and real life Silicon Valley tech giants.
topics include: extra unpublished podcast episode, The Circle, Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, novel, popular fiction, Silicon Valley, work life balance, young urban professional, See Change, transparent, sousveillance, social ideals, corporate cults, total surveillance, privacy, secrets are lies, marketing, exploitation, critique of yuppie lifestyle, social climbing, networking, branding, lifestyle marketing, work campus, brand loyalty, technology as revolutionary change agent, Mercer, critics of technology, SJWs, no escape, Soul Search, car crash, press conferences, political aspirations of tech companies, simplified portrayals of politics, terrible casting, few bad apples motif, brainwashing, separation from family, self driving cars, terror attacks
After an extended hiatus, we return to give an update on the podcast; talking about what has been going on behind the scenes, and giving listeners a glimpse of what to expect from future shows.
We start out by discussing changes and distractions in our personal lives, before mentioning some of the films and TV shows that have caught our attention recently, including the 2006 B-Movie Southland Tales and the 2017 Tech-Thriller The Circle. We also touch on the apparent lack of worthwhile films coming out at the Box Office; looking at whether digital streaming services have now superseded the cinema, and whether on-demand serials are outperforming Hollywood films.
From there, we continue looking at random oddities from the world of entertainment and media, such as the enigmatic David Lynch, Transcendental Meditation, the recent Oscar Awards blunder, and the various methods that those in Hollywood will employ to create publicity. We touch on the viral success of certain TV shows, and how a changing industry is changing popular notions of entertainment.
We finish up by returning to the world of Alt-Media and conspiracy culture, once again noting the incredulous turn toward reactionary right-wing populism that has been taken as of late. We note how the founding narratives and principals of Alternative Media have been all but discarded, as it competes for attention at any cost through controversy and vacuous drama. We touch on a few examples and lament the failure of the Alt-Media to be alternative.
Topics discussed include: Update, Moving, Germany, California, Hiatus, Films, 'Southland Tales', MTV, Bush Administration, Neo-Cons, Hollywood, Media, Politics, Celebrity Culture, Extremism, Reality TV, Trump, Identity Politics, TV Series, Netflix, Amazon, Box Office, Black Mirror, American Gods, 'The Circle', Time Constraints, Marvel, Avengers, David Lynch, Profound Films, Transcendental Meditation, Cults, Mystical Ideas, Darkness, Mystique, Publicity Stunts, Lack of Good Films, 2017 Oscars, 'LA LA Land', 'Moonlight', Vapid Entertainment, Laurel Canyon, Youtube Celebrities, Joe Rogan, Alex Jones, High Ratings, Chobani Lawsuit, George Soros, Mainstream Profile, Alternative Narratives, Terrorism, Security State, James Comey, Russia, Scandal, Insanity of Media, Left-Right Politics, Future of Podcast, Taking the High Road.
On this episode, we return to the 'conspiracy classic' genre in looking at the 1989 Sci-Fi B-movie 'They Live' by John Carpenter.
The film introduces 'John Nada', a drifter working manual labour in LA, as he stumbles across a special pair of sunglasses which allow him to see a very different version of reality than the 'American Dream' he is accustomed to. As it is ultimately revealed that humanity's perceptions are being controlled by a camouflaged alien race; Nada tries to convince those around him of the truth, thus alerting the aliens to his existence.
Despite being pursued by the authorities on a vigilante rampage, Nada manages to recruit one of his co-workers, whereby the two work to expose the aliens and reveal their system of control to the world.
We talk about the film as it relates to both popular and conspiracy culture, looking at how the sentiments and motifs found in the film were used and referenced so frequently in the early days of the 'truth movement'. Despite being a deliberately silly film, many of the key quotes and memes are as relevant today as they were some 30 years ago.
We also discuss the wider metaphors of the film, in terms of how the struggles of 'Nada' represent that of the truth seeker; trying in vain to 'wake up' those around them to a vastly different interpretation of reality. We look at the symbolism of the prolonged fight scenes as representing the battle between the 'truther' and the 'sheeple', and the degree of resistance Nada faces in his quest to raise awareness.
We finish up by touching on the truth movement and wider conspiracy culture, and how the predominant ideas and attitudes have changed over the years, noting the sense of nostalgia that these films can elicit. We look at how films like 'They Live' can influence perceptions of reality, along with the pitfalls of extremist interpretations, where elements of fiction or fantasy are perceived on a literal basis.
Topics discussed include: John Carpenter, Roddy Piper, Podcasting, Truth Movement, Network, Conspiracy Culture, Science Fiction, Silliness, Social Commentary, Pro-Wrestling, Los Angeles, Labour, Construction, Tent Cities, Skid Row, Church, Soup Kitchen, Police Brutality, Sunglasses, Appropriation, Shepherd Fairey, Obey Meme, Hollywood Hills, Mind Control, Aliens, Propaganda, Symbolism, Metaphor, Waking Up, Global Warming, Environmentalism, Collaborators, Evangelism, Christianity, Humanitarianism, Preacher, Underdog, Disenfranchised, Victims, Elitism, Agendas, Population Control, Subliminal Messages, New Age, David Icke, Reptilians, Artificial Constructs, Popular Narratives, Reality vs Fiction, Literal Interpretations, Fantasy, Alt-Right, Trutherising, Conspiracy Town, Social Critiques, Changing Attitudes, Escapism, Motifs, Anger, Extremist Ideology, Exploitation, Will to Power, Alex Jones, Joe Rogan, Nostalgia, Hope, Sentimentality, Sadness, Continuity, Case Study, Simpler Times.
Another conspiracy classic movie review comes to the Themes and Memes podcast. Network has been quoted endlessly throughout conspiracy culture, and with good reason. This review fits right into the past few podcast episodes which have focussed on television news, and mass media in general.
Topics discussed include: antiestablishment film, conspiracy, nightly news, Howard Beale, sensationalism, exploitation, media, radical political movements, dehumanization, too much dialogue, truth, similarities to Nightcrawler, decor, lighting, speeches, commerce, Jordan Maxwell, David Icke, religious awakenings, waking up the same as being born again, religion, dogma, integrity, medium effects the messenger, mass appeal, Alex, Jones, stages of awakening, inciting anger in audience, mad as hell, grief, boredom, YouTube, internet media platforms, target marketing, Sir Anthony Hopkins, cinema in decline, novelty
On this episode, we return to the film Nightcrawler; looking at how social tensions are fostered by false or misleading media narratives, and how alternative media networks are now playing the mainstream outrage game to their own ends.
In the film, the fictional KWLA-6 news station actively targets white, upper-middle class audiences by selectively running stories about affluent demographics being threatened by urban criminals, so that the station can promote an ongoing narrative of fear and victimhood. We look at how the Alt-Media and the Alt-Right are now exploiting these methods, by dispensing with integrity and championing sensationalist 'panic porn' about threats to the western middle class.
We discuss the use of statistics in pushing agendas, where numbers and percentages can be worked to suggest any conclusion or point of view. The fictional character of Lou reveals that urban crime rates are actually going down, and that he must work hard to find crimes that support the opposite conclusion; tampering with facts to increase the moral impact of the story. We touch on a number of issues relating to media integrity, including the manipulation of facts into fictional stories, and how fearful narratives engender widespread allegiance to fearful politics.
We also touch on the recent controversy over ‘Fake News’, where Silicon Valley firms like Google and Facebook have floated the idea of purging alternative websites from their platforms, after it was asserted that propagandists in the Alt-Right helped sway the election for Donald Trump. We note the hypocrisy of both mainstream and alternative sources in crying foul over this fiasco, as both sides will routinely fabricate propaganda and push their own narratives in the media meme-war.
We finish up by looking at the way in which the social tensions are being further inflamed by the loudest and most controversial voices on both the left and the right, thus setting the tone for everyone else. The rise of reactionary Youtube personalities has been enabled and facilitated by opportunists in both the mainstream and alternative spheres, where controversy and conflict are being elevated above truth and ethics.
Has publicity become an end unto itself for the Alt-Media? Have the alternative news sources degenerated into the mainstream, where cynical journalists seek out populist drama at any cost, and characters like Lou scour the streets for opportunity?
Topics discussed include: Nightcrawler, Local News, Narratives, Perceptions, Statistics, Manipulation, 2016 Election, Trump, Crime, Immigration, Racism, Violence, Fear, Propaganda, Alt-Media, Alt-Right, Stories, Downtrodden Minorities, Poverty, Middle Class, Drugs, Victimhood, Strength, Security, Fascism, Alex Jones, Infowars, Paranoia, Integrity, Populism, Key Words, Conspiracy, Sensationalism, Neo-Nazi, Cass Sunstein, Headlines, Addiction, Psychology, Business, Left vs Right, Identity Politics, Terrorism, Richard Spencer, NPI, Red Ice, Hillary Clinton, SJW's, Insanity, Prisons, Racial Segregation, TV, Excitement, Gangs, MS-13, Paul Joseph Watson, Milo Yiannopoulos, Drudge Report, Fake News, Google, Facebook, Lifestyles, Brands, Pop Culture, Youtube, Journalists, Cynicism, Opportunism, Degeneration, Hypocrisy, Julian Assange, Wikileaks, Psychopathic Media, Changing Terminology, Truth Movement, Globalism, Star Wars, Imperial March, Satire, Police Brutality, Martial Law, Law & Order, Newt Gingrich, Peter Thiel, Mitt Romney, Age of Transitions, Cheerleading, Role-play, Opposition, Politics, In-Group/Out-Group Dynamics, Disengaging from Media.
On this episode, we review the 2014 thriller Nightcrawler, Directed by Dan Gilroy and starring Jake Gyllenhaal.
The film follows enterprising psychopath Lou as he scouts the nocturnal underbelly of Los Angeles looking for opportunity. After being inspired to become a 'Stringer'; filming urban drama for local news stations, Lou's talent for exploiting tragedy garners him fame and fortune on the LA morning news circuit. But without empathy or conscience to temper his ambitions, he soon crosses the line between neutral observer and active participant.
We discuss the portrayal of psychopathy and how this personality type is perfectly suited to news media, where exploitation is the very currency of the industry. The character of Lou finds himself at home amongst carnage and calamity, and has no inhibitions about manipulating both people and situations to his own advantage.
We look further at the film's portrayal of the industry and the obvious references it makes to Los Angeles and Hollywood culture. By setting the scene at nighttime and focusing on local TV stations, the film reveals a darker side to 'Tinseltown', far from the bright lights and the silver screens, where has-beens and would-be's exploit every opportunity to get ahead and stay relevant.
We also touch on the capitalist mythology espoused by Lou as he ruthlessly manoeuvres his way into the industry, discarding those who stand in his way. The supporting character of Rick exemplifies the struggles of the empath in contending with the pathological nature of the economic system, where numbers trump integrity and narratives trump the truth.
Is 'Nightcrawler' a critique of Hollywood in general, and is it in fact a critique of the entire economic system? Does the psychopathic character of Lou tell us something profound about mass media? Be sure to check out our next episode, where we explore the concept of news stories and media narratives, looking at what Nightcrawler tells us about perception.
Topics discussed include: Los Angeles, KWLA-6, Jake Gyllenhall, Bill Paxton, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed, Psychopath, Sociopath, Cluster-B, Narcissist, Accident, Emergency, Crime, Urban, Carjacking, Stringer, Filming, Thief, Capitalism, Opportunism, Underbelly, Local News, Car-Chase, Dodge Challenger, Police, Shootout, Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Hollywood, Affluence, Carnage, American Dream, Americana, Inspiration, Exploitation, Blackmail, Ratings, Narratives, Weakness, Empath, Psychology, Sabotage, Music, Soundtracks, Ambience, Skid Row, News Anchors, Attractive Women, Television, Sensationalism, Blood, 5 Arguments for The Abolition of Television, American Psycho, Selling Yourself, Employment, Bullshit, Hard Work, Being Realistic, Selling Out, Murder, Profit, Darkness, Attention, Scandal, Controversy, Expose, Actors, Stars, Celebrities, Debasement, Current Events.
We continue discussing the 2016 US Presidential Election, reviewing the landslide victory by Donald Trump and what this astonishing development means for both mainstream and alternative culture.
We start by looking at the question of how this happened. From the FBI to Wikileaks to a bizarre revelation about occult rituals at the 11th hour; Clinton's campaign was dogged by scandal and controversy that vindicated Trump's anti-establishment platform on the final mile. And did the Democratic establishment further provoke the upset by publicly denigrating Trump supporters and brashly claiming victory before the polls had even opened?
As the dust settles, we question as to whether this populist uprising at the ballot box was the intended result of a targeted leaks campaign by hidden forces. From the Oxford Dictionary: "Trump: A valuable resource that may be used, especially as a surprise, in order to gain an advantage."
We discuss the mainstreaming of anti-establishment narratives in the lead up to the election, along with the future of alternative media in light of this event. Will platforms like Infowars depose the mainstream Neo-Con media, and will they cheerlead for Trump or hold him to his promises? The recent outreach of the Alt-Media into populist causes and the Trump campaign could not have been more opportune, as the outsiders now stand to become insiders.
We also discuss the obvious divisions that this election has created between the left and the right, with angry Marxist youth running riot while being mocked by cocky Trump supporters. Is the establishment's prediction of a Neo-Marxist uprising finally coming to fruition, and has this growing demographic been given a real reason to up the ante?
Topics discussed include: Election, 2016, Trump, Clinton, Obama, Democrat, Republican, Landslide, Politics, Milestones, CNN, New York Times, Polls, Ballot Box, Satisfaction, Mainstream Media, Symbolic Language, Tarot Card, Rigged, DNC, Wikileaks, Anonymous, FBI, Spirit Cooking, John Podesta, Occult Rituals, Revelation of The Method, Alt-Right, Basket of Deplorables, Infowars, Red Ice, Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Joseph Watson, Fox News, Racism, Liberals, SJW's, College Campuses, Marxists, Conspiracy, Anti-Establishment, Populist Uprising, Provocation, Attention Seeking, Targeted Leaks Campaign, Throwing the Fight, Strategic Trends, Extremist Narratives, Conflict, Tough Talk, BLM, Outsiders become Insiders, Stagecraft, Theatrics, Branding, Marketing, Products, Pop Culture, Arts, Elections as PSYOPS, Emotion, Reality TV, Celebrity Culture, Ronald Reagan, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Alex Jones, Ted Nugent, Future Elections.
On this special episode, we deconstruct the 2016 US Presidential Race between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump, focusing on the social phenomenon of broad-based Trump support within alternative and conservative demographics.
Rather than a partisan assessment of the candidates themselves, we look at Pro-Trump sentiment in the Alt-Media as a result of social disintegration in the wider ‘Truth Movement’, where the failed ambition of 9/11 Truth and Anti-Establishment groups has given birth to the rise of the ‘Alt-Right’ and White-Identity Politics.
We discuss the study of popular narratives and internet memes by the DoD, looking at how opinion and culture can be analysed and influenced, and how the psychological principals of propaganda are so easily utilised in the information age. Given the new set of cultural narratives that are rising to prominence, we explore the morphing of traditional 'conspiracy culture' into right-wing ideology, looking at the motives and ambitions of those who are leading the charge.
Is the 2016 election a piece of scripted drama for the masses? Has it been designed to absorb the 'Truth Movement' and lead it down the primrose path towards destruction? Is Donald Trump sincere in is bid for the Oval Office, or is he simply appointing himself as the vanguard of a reactionary uprising against the liberal establishment?
Topics Discussed include: Donald Trump, Hilary Clinton, Election, 2016, Memes, Narratives, Culture, Debates, Alternative Media, Truth Movement, Alt-Right, Milo Yiannopoulos, Alex Jones, Red Ice, Conspiracy, Left Wing, Globalism, Liberal, Rigged Election, Corruption, Trump-TV, Propaganda, David Icke, Democrat, Republican, Obama, Jacques Ellul, PSYOP, Fascism, Opportunism, 9/11 Truth, Victimhood, Flat Earth, Nazi's, 2012, NWO, Elite, Establishment, Zeitgeist, Religion, Political Correctness, Paul Joseph Watson, Steven Crowder, Gavin McInnes, Joe Rogan, Vikings, White Identity Politics, Immigration, Police State, Martial Law, Terrorism, DARPA, SMISC, Narrative Networks, MIC, Internet, Cherrypicking, Nightcrawler, CIA, FBI, Karl Rove.
On this instalment, we welcome artist and author Thomas Sheridan from thomassheridanarts.com to discuss the 1973 classic-horror film The Exorcist.
The film introduces Washington D.C Actress 'Chris MacNeil' as her 12 year old daughter 'Regan' begins to exhibit increasingly disturbed behaviour. Despite a number of tests and treatments, Regan's condition continues to deteriorate amidst a series of shocking paranormal events. After the medical establishment concedes defeat, it is deemed that a metaphysical approach may be the only option left, and so Chris consults the local Jesuit order to exorcise the demon.
We discuss the historical relevance of the film, in terms of its mythos and cultural significance at the time. The film is widely regarded to be one of the most disturbing horror movies ever made, and traumatised audiences throughout the 70's and beyond.
We look at the social critiques being made in the film in relation to science, rationalism, the medical industry and religion; whereby the backdrop of trauma and crisis leaves both the characters and the audience in a state of conflict. We also explore the occult story being told in the film relating to the nature of evil, before looking at why this film is less shocking now than it was in 1973.
Topics discussed include: Thomas Sheridan, Iraq, Babylon, Pazuzu, Demon, Georgetown, University, Washington D.C, Elite, High Society, Possession, Paranormal, Destruction of Innocence, Nature of Evil, Movies, 1970’s Standards, Pop Culture, Miley Cyrus, Sexual Conduct, Debasement, Shock Value, Marketing, Aleister Crowley, Choronzon 333, Medical Industry, Big Pharma, Ritalin, Rationalism, Science, Scientism, Religion, Love, Faith, Catholic Church, Vatican, Jesuit, Priest, Fear, Cluster-B Personality, Occult, Carl Jung, Art, Consciousness, History, Conspiracy, Symbolism, Freemasonry, Vietnam War, Snowflake Phenomenon, Safe Spaces, Bureaucracy, Theatrics, Manipulation, Victim Complex, Psychic Immunity, Trauma, Delusion, Moral Judgements, Critiques, Thomas’s Books, Puzzling People, Defeated Demons, Walpurgis Night, The Druid.
On this installment, we return to one of our very first reviews by looking at its 2016 sequel Now You See Me 2, directed by John M. Chu.
The film picks up a year after the Four Horsemen's introduction to the world, where they lay in hiding and await further instruction from 'The Eye'; the mysterious secret society they had previously been inducted into. After finally being prompted to orchestrate another public spectacle, the show is hijacked by a hacker who exposes the Horsemen and blackmails them into stealing a secret surveillance device. But as the Horsemen work to turn the tables on their new adversary, the intrigue and subterfuge builds toward a grand revelation that changes everything.
We discuss the sequel in comparison to the first film, reiterating the storyline and common threads relating to secret societies and the mystery school tradition. We look at the arts of stagecraft and sleight of hand, and how these tools are used to create mystery and spectacle in the real world. The Four Horsemen clearly personify the mass media complex, where sensationalism and trivial revelation are used to distract the audience from something else.
We look at the multi-layered understandings within the story, and how both the Horsemen and the audience are taken through a ritual process of role-play, revelation, and initiation; whilst the greater truth remains obscured in darkness. We also touch on concepts like surveillance and secret societies, questioning as to what message the film is trying to send about these two controversial topics.
Given that the film was clearly created by a group of initiates, what perception do they want us to have about secret societies and their role in society?
Topics discussed include:
Magic, Mystery, Heist, Illusion, Deception, Secret Society, Symbolism, The Eye, Four Horsemen, Apocalypse, Revelation, Jesse Eisenberg, Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo, Surveillance, Social Media, Sleight of Hand, Alchemy, Daniel Radcliffe, Michael Caine, Tarot, The Fool, Houdini, Rhodes, Atlas, Stagecraft, Initiation, Celebrity, Uri Geller, Cold War, CIA, Mi6, Paranormal, Counterintelligence, Attention, Logic, Suggestion, Publicity, Multi-Layered Understandings, Perception, Ego, Fame, Role-Play, Freemasonry, Disney, National Treasure, Benevolence, Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin, Symbolic Language.
On this episode, we look at the 2013 Indie Spy Drama, The East Directed by Zal Batmanglij.
The film follows corporate intelligence operative 'Jane' (played by co-writer Brit Marling) as she is tasked with infiltrating a radical anarchist cell who have been attacking high profile industrialists in retaliation for their corporate crimes. Calling themselves 'The East', the group operates on an 'eye for an eye' strategy, targeting high level corporate executives with specific acts of violence to mirror the suffering of their victims.
After forging her cover identity and blending into the nomadic underground of anarchist drifters, 'Sarah' finds herself at the The East's secret headquarters and eventually adopts an active role within the group. As her time undercover wears on though, she begins to feel split loyalties between The East and her corporate employers; questioning her conservative worldview and developing genuine sympathy for the group and their anarchic cause.
But despite her political awakening and her growing loyalty to The East, Jane soon finds that all is not what it seems.
We discuss the many strong points of the film, being an independently written story with well conceived plot devices and engrossing character development; where the clash of political ethos and social attitudes conveys a number of complex perspectives. We explore questions of perception and self-interest, looking at the contrast between ideas of consumerism and freeganism, and how wilful ignorance allows corruption to flourish.
We also touch on the bohemian, pragmatic outlook of both the corporate establishment and the off-grid anarchists, where the ends justify the means and the notion of self-righteousness becomes an end unto itself.
Is industrial crime a question of conspiracy or ignorance, and what actions are justified in stopping it?
Topics discussed include: Hiller Brood, Private Intelligence, Infiltration, Undercover, Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgard, Ellen Page, Anarchists, Conservative, Consumerism, Materialism, Capitalism, Ignorance, Conspiracy, Industry, Pollution, Environmentalism, Freeganism, Rail Riding, Dumpster Diving, Squatting, Nomads, Big Pharma, Oil, Medications, Corruption, Sympathy, Terrorism, Lifestyles, Perception, Perspective, Loyalty, Revolution, Conflict, Females, Gender, Interpretation, Indie Films, Characters, Love Triangle, Economics, Espionage, Politics, Wastefulness, Direct Action, Jams, Radicalism, Violence, Food, FBI, Ethics, Bohemian, Cold War, Far-Left, Corporations, Pragmatism, Crime, Executives, Military-Industrial Complex, Competition, Publicity, Rationalism, Trump, Comfort, Security, Nature, Consequences, Victims, Spaghetti, Pasta, Meatballs.
This month, we take a change in direction from previous episodes in reviewing the 2010 documentary film 'Exit Through The Gift Shop', which chronicles the misadventures of UK street-artist 'Banksy'.
Both serious and satirical, the film follows eccentric cameraman Thierry Guetta as he haphazardly makes inroads into the underground street-art scene, eventually taking on the role of Banksy's Documentarian and Personal Assistant. After a high-profile U.S exhibition brings him overnight fame and fortune, Banksy instructs Thierry to start compiling his documentary footage so that the real story behind the media sensation can be told; though he soon learns that Thierry posesses neither creativity nor competence as a filmmaker.
As Banksy takes over the editing himself, he instructs Thierry to go forth and pursue his own artistic visions on the street, only to find that Thierry has bigger plans in mind, and has hired a large staff of artists to start mass-producing his plagiarised pop-art concepts. After conducting a savvy and elaborate public relations campaign as ‘Mr Brainwash’, Thierry opens his new gallery to public applause and highly lucrative profits, much to the chagrin of Banksy and his colleagues.
We discuss the synergistic relationship between the world of modern art and public relations, where the currency of an artist is determined by publicity and networking, and the content of the artwork is less important than its perceived social context. The film appears to be critiquing this paradigm in ‘mockumentary’ style, while still advocating the exploitation of these principals - begging the question as to what sentiment is actually being communicated?
We also touch on the history of establishment influences in countercultural art movements, exploring questions of artistic integrity versus commercial opportunity; ultimately interpreting the entire film itself as a cynical exercise in guerrilla marketing. By both exposing and exploiting the frivolous nature of the art world, the film employs a masterful blend of satire, controversy and contradiction to create mystique around the artist.
Is Banksy really a single individual, or simply the brand name used by an underground clique of artists and spin doctors? Was Thierry Guetta a lucky entrepreneur, or was he the cynical face of an elaborate and lucrative publicity stunt?
Topics discussed include: Banksy, Shepherd Fairey, Obey, Andre the Giant, Art, PR, Public Relations, Thierry Guetta, Mr Brainwash, Street Art, Pop-Art, Andy Warhol, Mockumentary, Hoax, Space Invader, Disneyland, LA, Cynicism, Publicity, Gallery, Exhibition, CIA, Congress for Cultural Freedom, Cold War, International Operations Division, George Soros, Open Society Institute, Tides Foundation, Adbusters, Occupy, Saatchi, Tate, Modern Art, Shock Value, Context, Rockefeller, Brangelina, Counterculture, Celebrity, Barely Legal, Prank, Occult, Alchemical, Secret Society, Initiation, Neophyte, Ritual, Drama, Promotion, Marketing, Publicity Stunt, Funding, Grants, Leftist Critiques, Anti-Establishment, Capitalism, Exploitation, Satire, Punk, Stencils, Installations, Staff, Crew, Guerrilla Marketing, Perception, Meaning, Hidden Clues, Themes, Memes, Contradictions, Profits, Commercialisation, London, Bristol, Logistics, Jackson Pollock, Post-Modernism, Rip-Offs, Production, Branding, Mystery, Subculture, Social Statements, Secrecy, Resources, Compromise, Group Projects.
On this episode, we welcome special guest Jay Dyer from Jay's Analysis to discuss the 2016 crime-drama Imperium.
After gaining intelligence on radical Neo-Nazi groups, FBI Agent 'Nate' is tasked with infiltrating the heart of the White Supremacist movement to investigate a suspected terror plot. Once embedded into the highest levels of the network though, he eventually learns that there are no credible threats of terror, and is thus encouraged by his superiors to both inspire and facilitate one himself.
We look the the parallels between the fictional story being told in the film, and the real-world entrapment scenarios being orchestrated by the FBI; where high profile 'terror plots' are engineered by undercover agents and then foiled by the Bureau - such as the infamous 'Newburgh Sting' case and others. We touch on the history of key players within Far-Right movements and the incitement of political agitation by establishment networks, drawing connections between high profile extremism and the deep-state.
We also look at the backstory behind the film, where Director Daniel Ragussis asserted his desire to prompt a civilised deconstruction of extremist racial narratives; consulting former FBI Agent Mike German on both White Supremacist ideology and Federal subversion tactics. We discuss the interpretations of Neo-Nazi doctrine and Extreme-Right social demographics being presented in the film, and question as to what sentiments are being communicated in regard to sociopolitical dialectics.
Is Imperium advancing a more complex narrative about paranoia and political ethics, or does it seek to justify the western liberal policy of eliminating all opposition?
Topics discussed include: Imperium, Jay Dyer, Daniel Ragussis, Daniel Radcliffe, FBI, Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, Terrorism, Surveillance, Intelligence, Credible Threats, Infiltration, Provocateurs, Ferguson Riots, Dallas Shooting, Orlando, False Flag, Dylan Roof, Charleston Shooting, Skinheads, Oklahoma City Bombing, Timothy McVeigh, Elohim City, Extremists, Far-Right Politics, Hal Turner, The Turner Diaries, Race War, Anti-Zionism, Lew Rockwell, Dallas Wolf, Fascism, CIA, Ukraine, Pussy Riot, Femen, Christian Identity, KKK, Geopolitics, The Newburgh Sting, Mike German, Brennan Law Centre, Police State Pageantry, John Birch Society, Predictive Programming, Victimhood, Western Liberalism, Democracy, Nation of Islam, Cognitive Bias, Charles Manson, PSYOPS, EU, Immigration, Multiculturalism, Rush Limbaugh, George Soros, Democracy Now, Michael Moore, BLM, Bill Maher, Conspiracy Theorists, White Genocide, Alt-Right, Henrik Palmgren, Red Ice, Hilary Clinton, Alex Jones, Donald Trump, Ethno-Nationalism, David Duke, Kevin McDonald, Cultural Marxism, Militias, Communism, Aleksander Dugin, Contradictions of Liberalism, Globalism, United Nations, Diversity, Demographics, Revolution, Audiences, NSA, Cyber-Ops, Narrative Networks, Jay's Analysis, Esoteric Hollywood.
On this episode, we welcome special guest Pearse Redmond from Porkins Policy Review to discuss the new Netflix Original series, Stranger Things.
Comprising one season of eight episodes thus far, the show is one of many recent productions that are made exclusive to on-demand platforms, and has fast become a sentimental sensation among its thirty-something target audience; thanks to its pastiche of 80's pop culture references and nostalgic plot devices.
We start by establishing the beginnings of the story, where strange events begin to unfold in 1980's small town America. Set against the backdrop of a secretive Cold War experiment at a local government facility, the series blends real world references to geopolitics and conspiracy culture with a heavy overlay of fantasy, horror, and science fiction - staying true to the aesthetic and screenplay of the classic 80's sub-genre.
We also explore one of the most interesting aspects of the series, in looking at the target marketing of customised entertainment, where tools like analytics and meta-data seem to be driving the production of on-demand, niche-marketed TV series. Is a merge between Hollywood and Silicon Valley going to be the next big tech revolution?
Finally, we discuss some of the archetypes, roles, and cultural dynamics being presented in the show, and explore the question of how mass culture can influence our perceptions of history, where memories are continuously filtered through an emotional overlay of sentimental entertainment.
Topics discussed include: Stranger Things, Netflix Original, Duffer Brothers, On Demand, Binge Watching, 1980's, Hawkins Indiana, Children, Dungeons & Dragons, Demagorgon, Upside Down, Akira, Nostalgia, Pop Culture, Homage to classic 80's films, Sentimentality, The Goonies, ET, BMX Bikes, Poltergeist, The Neverending Story, Labyrinth, Stand by Me, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Stephen King, Super-8, J.J Abrams, 11, El, The X-Files, Alphabet Agencies, Shadow Government, Department of Energy, CIA, DOD, Pentagon, NSA, NASA, MK-ULTRA, Project Stargate, Remote Viewing, United Earth Army, Men Who Stare at Goats, Jay Dyer, SRI, Aspen, Esalan, Conspiracy Culture, Cold War, Men in Black, UFO's, Paranormal, Supernatural, Horror, Mind Control, LSD, Surveillance, ESP, Telekinesis, Mainstreaming of Conspiracy, Addictive Nature of TV Shows, Epic Dramas, Nostalgia as Bait, 80's Aesthetic, Graphics, Font, Analog Synth Music, Novelty Factor, Target Marketing of Culture, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, Demographics, Children of the 80's, Meta-Data, Analytics, Synchronicity, Social Norms, Paranoia, Geopolitics, Ronald Reagan, Altering History, Filter of Memory, Innocent Fun, Authority Figures, Government, Gender Roles, Lack of Parenting, Latch-Key Children, Reflections.
We return to the film 'The Wicker Man', looking at themes of manipulation, ritual drama, and staged provocation, before transposing these concepts onto the current metapolitical climate as we see it.
We explore the idea of 'the willing fool' archetype being incited by 'crisis actors' to role-play in dramatic and provocative theatre, from 'terror attacks' to reactionary meme wars; looking at how this alchemical concept of the meta-theatre is being used to advance a strategy of tension. We also look at the conflict between the left and right archetypes in sociopolitical trends, and how different demographics are being lured into base, suicidal ideologies by theatric provocations, ultimately accepting martyrdom.
Finally, we discuss the esoteric aspects of dialectical conflict, and how secret societies like Freemasonry have always used opposing forces to induce tension and create change, touching on concepts of staged terror events, political antagonism, and social malaise.
Topics discussed include: The Wicker Man, Manipulation, Provocation, Terror Attacks, Political Conflict, Dallas Shooting, France Event, Overstimulation, Social Tension, Crisis Actors, 'The Willing Fool', The Clown, Propaganda, Mass Confusion, Conspiracy Culture, Extremism, Alt-Right, Left vs Right, Justice, Religion, Right Wing, Sacrifice, Radicalisation, Reactionary Rhetoric, Strategy of Tension, Racism, Leftism, Popular Attitudes, LGBT, Debates, Triggers, Ritual Dramas, Archetypes, Role Play, Political Demographics, Martyrdom, Alchemy, Meta-Theatre, Operation Gladio, P2 Lodge, Creative Destruction, Dialectics, Secret Societies, Freemasonry, Square & Compass, Opposing Forces, Regeneration, Controlling Narratives, CIA, Political Candidates, Occult Process, Masks, Possession, Anonymous, Crowd Psychology, Global Meta-Theatre, Playing The Fool, The Wicker Man Afterthoughts, Unworthy Sacrifice.
On this episode, we continue looking at themes of occult ritual and esoteric psychodrama via the 1973 mystery/horror film 'The Wicker Man'. Another 'conspiracy-classic', the film follows a Scottish Highlands Police Officer who travels to a remote island community after being tipped off about a missing schoolgirl. After encountering the Heathen rites and traditions of the townsfolk, he eventually deduces that a ritual sacrifice to the Pagan gods is being planned, thus inciting him to infiltrate the ceremony.
We discuss the arcane arts of manipulation and subterfuge, the 'Willing Fool' archetype, and the myopic misunderstandings of the Christian initiate as he wills himself to martyrdom. We also take a look at the dichotomy of psychological principals that are played out through the clash between Paganism and Christianity, and touch on the possibility of a higher Masonic conspiracy on both sides of the religious divide.
Be sure to join us on our next review, as we draw parallels between 'The Wicker Man' and the current sociopolitical climate, where crisis actors and 'willing fools' are fuelling the strategy of tension.
Topics discussed include: 'The Wicker Man', Robin Hardy, Synchronicity, Scotland, Scottish Highlands, Hebridean Islands, Summerisle, Christian Police Officer, Pagan Community, All-Seeing-Eye Symbolism, 'The Green Man' Inn, The Bartender's Daughter, Willow, Sex Magick, Regenerative Rituals, Fertility, Shock and Offence, Maypole, Mayday, Phallic Symbolism, Folk Music, Deception, Manipulation, 'The Willing Fool', Tarot Archetypes, Religious Conflict, Psychological Interpretations, Ego, Force vs Understanding, Masculinity vs Femininity, Monogamy vs Polygamy, Techniques of Subterfuge, Sexual Energies, Temptation, Seduction, Lord Summerisle, Wordplay, Masonic Undertones, Kilts, Aprons, Gloves, Swords, Religion as Social Control, 'Punch, The Fool', Ritual Sacrifice, Pagan Ritual, Hermaphrodite, Hobby Horse, Fish, Myopic Attitudes, 'Willing, Virgin, King-Like Fool' archetype, Irony, Christian Morality vs Pagan Morality, Wicca, Martyrdom, 'King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime', Patriarchy vs Matriarchy, Hexagonal Sword Ceremony, Passing Through the Gate, Masonic Ritual, Star of David, Opposing Principals, Seal of Solomon, Understanding of Religion, The Crown, Wider Conspiracy, Playing Roles, Ritual Drama, Provocation, Sacrificial Magick, Similarities between Religions.
As promised, we return in our 33rd episode to look further at the deeper meanings of Stanley Kubrick's conspiratorial magnum opus 'Eyes Wide Shut'. We discuss the esoteric initiation of Dr Bill Harford into the world of hidden forces that shape his reality, and his ignorance of the occult principals that are guiding his journey. Delving deeper into the artful deception of the mystery tradition, we examine how both protagonist and audience are willingly fooled into a base interpretation of esoteric truth, and how these themes of occult signalling are incorporated into Kubrick's other works. Finally, we look at the untimely death of Kubrick shortly after the film was shot, touching on questions of intrigue surrounding these events.
Topics discussed include: Eyes Wide Shut, Stanley Kubrick's Filmography, Running Themes, Complexity of Material, Attention to Detail, Layers of Relevance, Dr Bill Harford, Tom Cruise, Alice Harford, Nicole Kidman, Marital Problems, Argument, Jealousy, Affairs, Flirtation, Propositions, Provocations, Triggering Impulses, Prostitute 'Domino', Moral and Social Hypocrisy, Denial of Temptation, Social Masks, The Willing Fool, Double Meaning, Egotistical Ignorance vs Philosophical Ignorance, Esoteric Traditions, Mystery Schools, Deception, Psychological Control, NLP, Sexual Tension, Sexual Liberation, False Dialectics, Higher Truths, Deeper Meaning, Gnosticism, 'Dr Strangelove', 'The Shining', '2001 A Space Odyssey', Hidden Messages, Water Fluoridation, Base Understandings, Exoteric vs Esoteric, Supernatural Possession, Cremation of Care, Seeing Everything and Understanding Nothing, 'Domino'='Sandy'=Alter-Ego, Professionalism, Politeness, Gentleman, Scientology, Esoteric Casting of Tom Cruise, Dr Bill=William=Will-I-Am, Hierarchy of Names, Temporal Power and Control, Stanley Kubrick Death, Conspiracy Culture, Alex Jones, Philosophical Death, Purposeful Evocation of Mystery.
In our 32nd episode of Themes & Memes, we take a look at the conspiracy-cult-classic 'Eyes Wide Shut', by Stanley Kubrick. Neither the high praise or ongoing deconstruction of this film within conspiracy culture are unwarranted, as the film blends edgy social critique with a highly esoteric storyline; using sexual tension to reveal the existence of a powerful and arcane secret order. We start by outlining the exoteric journey of protagonist Dr Bill Harford, before discussing the esoteric initiation that both him and the willing audience are manoeuvred through via symbolism and suggestion. Be sure to stay tuned, as in our next episode we continue our analysis of both the film and its director; looking at occult philosophy and ritual with eyes wide open.
Topics discussed include: Eyes Wide Shut, Stanley Kubrick, Significance in Conspiracy Culture, Attention to Detail, Multiple Layers of Meaning, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, New York Elite, Flirtation, Marital Problems, Affairs, Fantasy, Masks, Somerton Elite Mansion, Paganism, Wicca, Occult Rituals, Sex Magick, Naked Supermodels!, Magic Circle, Ritual Drama, Dream States, High Society, Social Critique, Wannabe Culture, Lack of Sophistication, Western Religion, Traditionalism vs Sexual Liberalism, Heathenism, Human Condition, Monogamy, Sexual Tension, NLP, Suggestion, Inciting Conflict, Provocation, Masonic Symbolism, Yachin & Boaz, Solomon's Temple, Goddess Disrobing, The Willing Fool, Initiatory Ritual, Eyes Wide Shut=In The Dark, Esoteric Process, Revelation of The Method, Black & White, Dark & Light, Male & Female, Masonic Chessboard, Opposing Principals, Set Design, Lighting, Rothschild Party, Free Will, Exoteric vs Esoteric Storylines, Lack of Understanding, Celebrity Culture, Voyeurism, Titillation, Moral Judgement, Hypocrisy of The Audience, Mind Control, Connection to Regenerative Impulses, Initiation into Occult Philosophy & Culture, Eyes Wide Open.
On this episode, we return to the theme of financial corruption and public indignation via the 2016 siege-drama; 'Money Monster'. Directed by Jodie Foster and starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts; the film follows a financial-affairs based TV crew on Wall Street as a disgruntled investor storms the set and holds them hostage on live TV. Angry and demanding answers over the disingenuous financial advice he has been given, we examine the increasingly predominant themes of anti-Wall St sentiment, popular indignation toward the system, and the theatre of reactionary politics around socioeconomic issues. We also look at the Hollywood A-Listers involved in the film, the symbolic illustration of esoteric concepts, and the broader social messages in relation to justice and moral victory.
Topics discussed include: 'Money Monster', Wall Street, 'Mad Money', Jim Kramer, Goldman Sachs, Ridiculous Cable Shows, Stockmarkets, Fraud, Fiat Currency, Software Glitch, Narrow AI Algorithms, Speed Trading, 'Assault on Wall St', Jodie Foster's History with John Hinckley Junior, Mark David Chapman, Catcher in The Rye, Gun Control, MK-ULTRA, Corruption and Theft in Finance, Rebellion, Indignation, Disenfranchised Everyman, Lack of Journalism, Public Relations, Conflict of Interest, Media Incitement, Julia Roberts, George Clooney, United Nations Messenger of Peace, Council on Foreign Relations, The Sentry Foundation, Philanthropy, Diplomacy, Charities, Clooney Links to CIA, Clooney Being Groomed for Politics, Lee Gates Character, Masonic Coding, 'Money Monster=MM=Master Mason', Sentry=Gatekeeper, Gates to Solomon's Temple, Gatekeeper of The Wealthy, Hundred Dollar Bill, Benjamin Franklin, All Seeing Eye Symbolism, IBIS=Sacred Animal of Knowledge, Bank of International Settlements, ISIS=Public Enemy No.1, Public Outrage, Antagonism, Hypocrisy, Sensationalistic Media, Moral Relativity, Lack of Decisive Victory, 'The Wolf of Wall St', 'The Big Short', Lack of Moral Resolution in Films, U.S Political Divide, Hilary Clinton, Donald Trump, Anti-Establishment Rhetoric, Blending of Reality & Fiction, Strategy of Tension, Orlando Shooting, Frequency of Crises, Despair, Confusion, Masculine 'Right Path' and Feminine 'Left Path' Archetypes, Conflict of Inner Duality, Climate of Anger and Provocation.