Zeitgeist – My False Reality
Zeitgeist is a German word that means the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era according to the Merriam-Webster. It’s the title of a documentary that you can find at http://zeitgeistmovie.com/. It was produced by Peter Joseph and won an Activist Film award. Its premise could be controversial: That our lives our nothing more than fuel cells for a few lucky powerful people. Somewhat like the matrix except there is no need for a red pill or a blue pill. The produce of our toil feeds the few wealthy and powerful while we ask for nothing more than beer, medications, mindless televison and films, Second Life and other web 2.0 false realities.
He builds his case by showing us first that Jesus never existed. Religion is a tool, he suggests, to keep us under control. God is a myth that is so convincing that we are unable to question it. Next, he shows how 9/11 must have been an inside job. Furthermore, he asserts, no buildings can fall in such a controlled fashion unless they have been preloaded with explosives that result in such a perfect demolition. Finally and this is where for me the arguments become the most obscure: our money has no meaning and no value except what the one central bank declares it has. The rise and fall of the markets and my spending power is little more than at the whim of the controllers of the bank whose own money is always protected. They will get into the market and out of it before I feel its effect.
One nice touch in this movie are some still brilliant scenes from Network (1976) where Peter Finch admonishes our attachment to mindless entertainment in the form of television. The scenes from Network were actually the more powerful message for me. What the newscaster says is still relevant today. But did Zeitgeist itself shock me? No. Did it disturb me? Absolutely. Because at the core of its message I think is an invitation to question basic assumptions of what my life in society really means and to whom it benefits and in what ways. From that point of view I loved the movie. As long as you keep an open mind and do not merely open your mouth like a bird to receive it as some kind of false nourishment, it can be thought provoking and serve to spur on any personal inquiry into these matters that you may have been reluctant to explore.