I keep coming back to the concept that ideas have consequences, and it seems to be a key concept that many “fans” of conspiratorial history theories don’t acknowledge or care about. Five times in the last two days, I’ve received messages telling me to stop analyzing America Unearthed because it’s “entertainment” that isn’t meant to be taken seriously. If it were true that TV were a consequence-free medium, we would all be in a happier place. But it isn’t. Consider the following four news stories from the past few weeks:
I’m a bit worn out after yesterday’s marathon review of America Unearthed, so today I have a few short items to discuss.
When your press materials describe you as “a real-life Indiana Jones” and you spent the first season of your show trying and failing to find the Holy Grail, what do you do for an encore? Well, you take a cue from Raiders of the Lost Ark and try and fail to find the Ark of the Covenant, of course! That’s the premise for America Unearthed S02E01 “Ark of the Covenant,” the series’ first new episode since March 15 of this year. But before we can get to the episode, I need to discuss what happened between seasons.
I know many of you are eagerly anticipating my review of tonight's new episode of America Unearthed. I will be working on reviewing the program tonight and tomorrow morning, and as was my practice during season one, I will have my review up around midday tomorrow, December 1. I am not a machine. I can't go faster.
In the meantime, I've already pre-debunked some of the episode's claims in this blog post from November 19, and I've posted in my Library the full text of F. R. A. Glover's England, Remnant of Judah (1861), the British-Israel text that introduced the myth that Jacob's Pillar traveled to Ireland and to Scotland.
As Ancient Aliens grows older, it is noticeably struggling to find new ways to present the same claims. The topics for the show have grown more diverse and less focused on aliens. The topic for S06E09 “Aliens and Forbidden Islands” is islands—simply an entire category of landmasses. We can look forward next season, I suppose, to “Aliens and Mountains,” “Aliens and Really Tall Trees,” or “Aliens and Pleasant Lakes.” At least this time the show tries to connect the subject to aliens, positing that islands worldwide are ancient alien bases.
Note, though, that the “forbidden” islands are so “forbidden” that not only did Ancient Aliens get to them but they are also mostly open for tourism.
Recently, we’ve seen an author named Kathleen McGowan appearing on Ancient Aliens, and I assumed this was because she is the widow of ancient astronaut theorist Philip Coppens, who married her a year before his death, not long after McGowan divorced her previous husband, Peter, with whom she had three children. But McGowan has started cross-pollinating other programs on the History family of channels, and she showed up Wednesday on Bible Secrets Revealed to discuss the “sacred feminine” and the early Church’s suppression of femininity.
I watched this episode because it promised to explore the Book of Enoch and the concept of the Watchers, key elements of the ancient astronaut theory. While this segment was interesting, though not without the suggestion that Biblical authors were hiding the “truth” about giants, the show was mostly intent on exploring the “sacred feminine” and the “Holy Bloodline.”
Scottish novelist Charlie Stross posted his thoughts about the driving force behind H. P. Lovecraft’s cosmic fiction yesterday, and he attributed Lovecraft’s dread at the limitless cosmos to advances in physics during the first decades of the twentieth century. Specifically, he related Lovecraft’s inter-dimensional, infinite cosmos to the growing understanding in the 1910s and 1920s that universe is larger and older than the physicists of the 1890s had assumed.
Sometimes I imagine a parallel world where, for whatever reason, the Roman Empire never adopted Christianity and the world moved forward with Classical paganism. Would we today be plagued with Olympian fundamentalists searching atop Mount Parnassus for Deucalion’s chest? Would we be facing controversy over whether to include in textbooks the Promethean account of creating mankind from clay in a single-sex world until the arrival of Pandora? Would internet posters be complaining that mainstream academics refuse to admit the reality of the Heroic giants? The Babylonian priest Berosus told us that even before Christians started hunting for Noah’s Ark on Mt. Ararat, the Babylonians had already made a tourist attraction of the site where Utnapishtim’s (a.k.a. Xisithrus’) Ark had had supposedly come to rest. Things don’t change that much.
After a bit of a break to give me time to read ahead, we move forward to Part Three of Graham Robb’s The Discovery of Middle Earth, in which the author attempts to defend the premises elaborated in Parts One and Two. This will be the final part of my review.
Late last night I received a cryptic note from Pastor Doug Riggs containing three hyperlinks and signed only with the words “Proverbs 18:13.” I got out my Bible and looked up the passage to see what the good pastor was trying to tell me. “To answer before listening—that is folly and shame.” It appeared that I was being rebuked, but for what? To find the answer, I needed to check out Pastor Doug’s links. What I found was so very sad and so very disturbing.