June 23, 2008

Indian gods = space aliens

Indiana Jones and the Power of God?The notion that the gods were actually space aliens visiting Earth is not new. In the late 1960s and 1970s, this idea was popularized by Erich von Däniken, whose book "Chariots of the Gods?" sold millions of copies around the world. In this and later writings, he propounded the notion that the technology of the ancient world was given by visiting space aliens. Whether it was the building of the pyramids, Ezekiel's vision of the heavenly chariots, the statues on Easter Island or Babylonian stories of heavenly travel, von Däniken sees them as evidence of visiting aliens.

But von Däniken's favorite body of evidence are the Mayan, Incan and other Central and South American sites of massive temples and pyramids. From the Mexican site of Palenque, von Däniken identifies a pictorial carving of a human sacrifice on an altar as a spaceman sitting in a space capsule. A picture of a priest in an elaborate headdress becomes for him an astronaut with a space helmet.

So this new Indiana Jones film taps into von Däniken's ideas, even the fascination with South American ruins, and identifies gods as space aliens. Gods are not divine, supernatural beings, but flesh-and-blood creatures (or rather flesh-and-crystal-skull beings) with advanced technology. It suggests we poor superstitious humans have mistaken technology for divinity.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Indiana Jones and the Stereotypes of Doom.


writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Indeed not. It is that certain 'critics' have done what they always do, confuse fiction and illusion with reality...
All Best
Russ Bates

Rob said...

Glad to see you're still shilling for the white man, Russ. As you've proved with your fawning support of Mel Gibson, Larry McMurtry, et al., you've never met a Native stereotype you didn't like. What would Spielberg have to do to earn your scorn: show your Kiowa grandmother dressed like a pig?

As usual, you don't know jack about movie criticism. You've confused authentic or realistic illusions with false or misleading ones. In other words, you're too dense to understand the concept of stereotyping and how it works.

See Educating Russ About Historical Accuracy for some responses to your inane comment.