Atlantis: Myth, History, or Both?

Atlantis: myth or history? Growing up, I believed that Atlantis was entirely mythological and held no place in history. As a child, I loved the Disney movie ‘Atlantis’ which explored the Ancient City with its advanced knowledge and wisdom that was lost after a disaster. As it happens, I seem to have been drawn to this idea of an advanced civilisation that was lost, either to a natural or man-made disaster. Assassin’s Creed would be one example of such a storyline. Graham Hancock’s work would be an example of something more academic.

But today I’m going to explore the idea that Atlantis not only existed, but its footprint can still be seen today. Whenever I’m drawing from someone else’s research, I will provide a link to the source.

What is Atlantis?

Atlantis Richat Structure

image via Science Rumors

It’s possible, all be it unlikely, that you haven’t even heard of Atlantis. The origins from the story of the Ancient City are often traced back to Plato’s dialogues: ‘Timaeus and Critias’, which were published around 360BCE.

“Now in this island of Atlantis there existed a confederation of kings, of great and marvelous power, which held sway over all the island, and over many other islands also and parts of the continent…”

“…Fifty stadia (6 miles/9km) from the coast was a mountain that was low on all sides…the central island itself was five stadia in diameter (0.57miles/0.92km).”

“But afterwards there occurred violent earthquakes and floods; and in a single day and night of misfortune all your warlike men in a body sank into the earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner disappeared in the depths of the sea. For which reason the sea in those parts is impassable and impenetrable, because there is a shoal of mud in the way; and this was caused by the subsidence of the island.”

Solon and Egypt

Atlantis Richat Structure

image via The Famous People

It is possible that Atlantis is entirely fictional, meant only as an allegory for the stories of Plato. In Timaeus, a few passages stand out as being relevant to what I’m going to discuss:

“…if Solon had only…completed the tale which he brought with him from Egypt…”

“I have told you briefly, Socrates, what the aged Critias heard from Solon and related to us.”

“And whatever happened…they have all been written down by us of old, and are preserved in our temples. Whereas just when you and other nations are beginning to be provided with letters and the other requisites of civilized life, after the usual interval, the stream from heaven, like a pestilence, comes pouring down, and leaves only those of you who are destitute of letters and education; and so you have to begin all over again like children, and know nothing of what happened in ancient times, either among us or among yourselves.” (1)

Arguably, this is simply a part of the narrative that Plato was creating, but we must consider Solon if we are to explore the origins of the Atlantis legend further. Solon was an Athenian statesman and poet who was born in 636BCE and died in 558BCE. According to Herodotus (484BCE-425BCE), a historian, Solon travelled to Egypt (2). As we’ll soon see, this journey fits in with Plato’s tales.

It is said that during his time in Egypt, he visited with Pharaohs and priests, learning their history and philosophy. According to Plutarch, who was a much later biographer/historian, Solon visited with two priests in particular: Sonchis of Sais and Psenophis of Heliopolis (3). Seis is an Ancient Egyptian town that no longer exists, with very little trace remaining. Why is it important?

Seis, Egypt

Atlantis Richat Structure

image via Jean CLaude Golvin

The Goddess of Seis was Neith. There is a connection here that I am willing to chalk up to coincidence, however, I still find it interesting. The Goddess Neith was believed to appear in many forms, but one of her most common non-human depictions is as a cow, connecting her to Hathor or Mehet Weret whose name literally means “Great Flood” (4). The importance of a flood within the story of Atlantis will become clear later.

The worship of Neith dates as far back as the Pre-Dynastic Period of Egypt (6000-3150BCE) and it is said that Sais was the ancient birthplace of the cult of Neith which allegedly dates back as far as the First Dynasty of Egypt (3100-3050), with Sais being officially formed in around 3000BCE (5).

Interestingly, Diodorus, Plato, and Herodotus all compared the Goddess Neith to Athena. Diodorus even connected Sais to Athena in another way: stating that while all Greek cities were destroyed during a great flood, Egyptian cities such as Sais survived.

Unfortunately, no traces of the town’s ancient routes from before 1100BCE have survived. This is due to the farmers recycling materials: anything that wasn’t currently serving a function was demolished and used.

Back to Atlantis

Atlantis Richat Structure

image via Ancient Patriarchs

So, now that we have an idea of the origins of Atlantis, we can get back on track to exploring whether it exists. Plato stated that Atlantis existed 9,000 years before his time, so about 11,500 years before now. This just so happens to put Atlantis and its potential destruction at the end of the last Ice Age, which ended very rapidly and led to global flooding, possibly due to the Younger Dryas impact hypothesis.

This hypothesis proposes that one or several asteroids impacted or burst within the Earth’s atmosphere between 12,500 and 11,500 years ago. The idea was dismissed due to the lack of an impact crater, something that has only recently been discovered under the ice of Greenland.

Atlantis translates from Ancient Greek as ‘island of Atlas’, referring of course to the God of the same name. The Ancient Greeks believed that Atlas had been condemned by Zeus to stand at the Western edge of the world (6).

Why is this relevant? Well, we must consider what the edge of the world was to the Ancient Greeks. I’m going to be referencing several maps throughout this article, the first of which is by Herodotus. First, let’s recall a passage from Timaeus:
“…and there was an island situated in front of the straits which are by you called the Pillars of Heracles…”

b9ba39fc182a170ccffbd0594164ec89

image via Pinterest

As you can see on this map, the Atlas Mountains (M. Atlas) stretch across Northwest Africa. This map is from 450BCE and represents the known world according to Herodotus. You will see that just below the Pillars of Heracles (between Spain and Africa) are the Atlas Mountains, and below that sits ‘Atlantes’.

This could reference the name for the top part of the river, but as this is the Nile (named Nilus on this map), it could also be the name of the area or people, much in the same way that ‘Garamantes’ is used on this map to describe a “very great nation”.

Just to demonstrate the timeline here: Solon visited Egypt prior to 558BCE, this map was created in 450BCE, and Plato didn’t publish any mention of Atlantis until 360BCE.

Exploring Maps

Atlantis Richat Structure

image via Ordnance Survey

The location of Atlantes/Atlantis, as described by Herodotus on his map, is important when we consider maps that appear much later in time. There are two in particular that I’d like to explore: The World Map by al-Idrisi (1154CE) and The Piri Reis map (1513CE).

The map created by Muhammad al-Idrisi (sometimes spelt as al-Edrisi), known as the ‘Tabula Rogeriana’, is considered the most accurate map of the world to have existed within medieval times (7). Al-Idrisi compiled a collection of maps from those brought by Norman voyagers, as well as those held in Sicily, in order to create his version.

tabularogeriana_upside-down

image via Alrahalah

Above is a picture of the full map, but below is a zoomed in aspect with a rather bizarre detail. Keep in mind that Herodotus described Atlantes as being south of the Atlas Mountains.

capture2

image via Alrahalah

Another interesting map was made much later, in 1513. Similarly to the al-Idrisi map, the Piri Reis map was created using a number of other maps, somewhere between 20 and 34. He used Ptolemaic maps, the Arabic map, 4 maps from Portugal, and even the map created by Christopher Columbus. It’s also believed that Piri Reis used maps that had been moved to Constantinople from the Library of Alexandria centuries earlier. These ancient maps have led many to believe that Antarctica had been explored long before originally believed.

pirireis

image via Ancient Origins

As you can see, this map shows parts of Europe, Africa, and South America, as well as Antarctica. The general accuracy of these maps has been confirmed in the modern day. If we zoom in, we can find one area of great interest: you’ll notice it circle in red. A city surrounded by water.

InkedPiri_reis_world_map-e1379556898352_LI.jpg

image via Ancient Origins

Eye of the Sahara

Atlantis Richat Structure

image via Intrepid Travel

So, what does all this mean? Well, it suggests the location of Atlantis and explores the origins of the legend, offering a possible explanation for why it hasn’t been discovered: it has long since been destroyed. As such, it would appear on earlier maps (such as those used by al-Idrisi and Piri Reis), either as a ruin or possible even a city that was rebuilt on the ruins of what was once Atlantis.

Atlantis Richat Structure

image via Google Maps

So here you can see the same rough area that I’ve pointed to on the other maps. I’ve just taken screenshots from Google Maps and so I can only apologise for the unprofessional appearance of these. If we switch to the satellite view, you will get a better idea of what I’m talking about and why I’m referencing Google Maps.

Atlantis Richat Structure

image via Google Maps

If you look from the upper right corner of the image, through Mauritania, and down to Noukchott, you can see that the sand appears to have been swept away, almost as if a large body of water was either permanently or temporarily flowing over the land. However, there is another detail here that is of much higher importance: notice the circular disk just above the ‘Ma’ in ‘Mauritania’?

Let’s take a closer look!

capture5

image via Google Maps

The Richat Structure

The Richat Structure, which also goes by the name ‘Eye of the Sahara’, Eye of Africa’, and ‘Guelb er Richát’, is described as a geological formation that has existed since before the emergence of homo sapiens. The structure is essentially on a dome of magma which is causing it to be pushed upwards in a similar manner to what is currently happening with Antarctica.

So far, no major archaeological digs have taken place in or around the structure, but some smaller digs have unearthed many Acheulean artefacts. This is the term given to the manufacture of stone tools by a typically non-homosapien species such as homo erectus. There have also been fish skeletons and even whale bones discovered, which means that water flowed over this area recently enough for these remains to not have fossilized.

However, while searching around the area on Google Maps, I did notice something. This was already mentioned by BrightInsight, whose videos on this topic are deeply informative (he connected almost all of these dots), but I happened to stumble across it thanks to somebody marking it as “unknown structure”.

capture6

image via Google Maps

I can only imagine (without any knowledge of archaeology) that this structure is modern, certainly within the last 1,000 years. But I’m not basing that on anything. So, if this is the location of Atlantis then why aren’t there more buildings or structures? If we assume that Atlantis was washed away by a flood or destroyed by an earthquake, these are only minor details when compared to the fact that it would have existed 11,500 years ago.

To put it in perspective, if humanity died out today, it is estimated that the Hoover Dam would be one of the longest lasting structures. Estimates put its lifespan at around 10,000 years (although its turbines would stop after just two years) (8). But how long would it last if an earthquake brought the structure to the ground or an immense flood caused it to crumble?

It’s likely that given the various levels within the Richat structure, that it would have formed natural rings of water and land. This could easily have been adapted to become a city for a civilisation.

In Summary

Atlantis Richat Structure

image via Letter Box D

So, do I believe that Atlantis was in this location? Did it exist at all? Frustratingly, we’ll probably never know. I think that the body of evidence that suggests that early humans are not exactly how we once believed them to be is expanding every day. We’re learning more about our past and one day we might have a much clearer idea.

For now, I think that it’s certainly something interesting and fun to consider and explore. I think that the worst thing we can do, is turn down an idea before exploring it simply because we’ve been led to believe that the notion is ridiculous. Was Atlantis a civilisaiton that powered flying vehicles with crystals like in the Disney movie? I highly doubt it! Does that mean we should rule out its existence entirely? Absolutely not!

Wouldn’t it make a lot of sense if Atlantis was an advanced civilisation of some description that allowed smart minds to grow and prosper? After all, the Ancient Egyptians seemed to have access to some sort of technology that we don’t fully understand. The Pyramids of Giza certainly weren’t tombs and we don’t even know exactly when they and the Sphinx were built. Maybe a group of survivors of the Great Flood passed this information and knowledge on, leading to some of the flood myths that exist around the world, varying from culture to culture.


Thanks for reading! Do you believe that Atlantis could have existed? Could it have been in Africa all along? Let me know down below! 

Don’t forget to follow me on here and on Twitter to stay up to date with my posts!

If you have anything to add or perhaps a suggestion for a future post, leave a comment!

Peace!


1) http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/timaeus.html
2) http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0126%3Abook%3D1%3Achapter%3D30
3) http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Plutarch/Lives/Solon*.html
4) https://www.ancient.eu/Neith/
5) https://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-africa/pharaonic-royal-city-sais-leaves-few-clues-researchers-002352
6) https://greekgodsandgoddesses.net/gods/atlas/
7) https://archive.org/stream/historyofmoorish03scotuoft#page/461/mode/1up
8) https://delzottoproducts.com/2017/03/15/long-will-take-concrete-hoover-dam-cure/

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Has Nick Fury Been Preparing for the Events of Avengers 4 All Along?

So let me preface this post by mentioning that I do not read comic books. I love comic book movies, I love the animated TV shows, and I even love the games, but I have probably read about 4 comics in my life and only one of them was about superheroes. The reason I mention this is because my theory may or may not be explained within comics and similarly, it may be completely contradicted by comics. Anyway, this theory is going to revolve primarily around Nick Fury and the upcoming Captain Marvel movie and Avengers 4. You don’t need to worry about spoilers because everything I will be discussing has either been mentioned in previous movies or was in the Captain Marvel trailer.

Let me just also mention the intention of this post. I’m not simply implying that Nick Fury has been preparing for ‘a’ threat but rather a specific threat. My concerns with Captain Marvel (given that we’ve had 10 years worth of movies) is that it takes place in the past and yet she hasn’t been directly mentioned at all, only hinted at during the post-credits scene of Infinity War. My theory (or observation) is that Captain Marvel will still make complete sense in relation to the events and characters that we’ve already seen within the MCU (which will take place in the future in relation to Captain Marvel).

Background

Nick Fury MCU

image via Marvel Cinematic Universe Wikia

It’s probably also worth mentioning that I was slightly under the influence of marijuana when this idea popped into my head. I was watching Avengers: Assemble (which I believe is just called Avengers outside of the UK) and it took me about an hour to get through the first 15 minutes because I created about four separate word documents covering random shit. I created character profiles and discussed the motivations of certain Avengers, and I started compiling evidence of how Iron Man is a hypocrite in every single movie he is in. Maybe these will float to the surface at a later date but today I’m going to focus on a theory that took up less than 2 lines of one of the word documents.

So what is the theory? In order to understand that, I want to discuss a very clear problem with the Captain Marvel movie: it takes place in the 1990s, so why have the events of the movie never been mentioned within the MCU? We know that Nick Fury was there, we know that Phil Coulson was there, and we know that Project Pegasus (the name of the base that gets blown up at the start of the first Avengers movie) was also a part of it. These could be inconsistencies but there is also a larger issue at stake which leads us to question the motivations of Nick Fury, but before I discuss that, I need to explain what Captain Marvel is ultimately going to be about.

The Skrulls

Nick Fury MCU

image via Screen Rant

So just to reiterate, I don’t read comic books. So if my information in this part is wildly off, I do apologise. As far as we can tell, Captain Marvel will cover the invasion of the Skrulls who are essentially an alien species that can shapeshift (or something similar) in order to look like anyone. Outside of the MCU in Agents of SHIELD (which is still the same universe but just isn’t “cinematic”) the Skrulls are mentioned during a storyline involving the Kree. Just in case you need a reminder, the Kree are the big blue fucks e.g. Ronan the Accuser from Guardians of the Galaxy (a character also listed as appearing in Captain Marvel). Anyway, the Kree and the Skrulls were at war which is why the Kree begin creating Inhumans on Earth as part of an army that will fight the Skrull.

Arguably, this is a storyline that has been running for almost as long as the Thanos one. I think the Kree and the idea of Inhumans started back in season 2 of Agents of SHIELD, so about 4 years ago. This raises another problem with Captain Marvel because Inhumans haven’t so much as been mentioned in the movies and yet it seems like they play an important role in both the Kree and Skrull storylines. It’s somewhat annoying because there is no way that the Agents of SHIELD characters (such as Daisy Johnson) will ever make an appearance in the MCU.

Anyway, I don’t want to delve too deep into the MCU lore. I just wanted to cover the basics here of who the Skrull are and what their motivations might be within Captain Marvel. If these creatures can take on the shape of any person, you can understand why they pose such a major threat. I’m pretty sure I read something somewhere that one of the main characters in the comics turned out to be Skrull. It might even have been a few of them but I can’t fully remember. Anyway, that’s all you really need to know about the Skrull in order for my theory to make sense.

Phase 02

Nick Fury MCU

image via The Film Geek Blog

As I mentioned already, this theory popped into my head while watching the first Avengers movie. There were two moments that made me stop the movie so I could type some notes.

  1. Why would Nick Fury (and SHIELD) be hoarding Hydra weapons with the intentions of making weapons of mass destruction?
  2. Why would Nick Fury go along with Project Insight?

I want to discuss each of these questions because when you begin to explore them, they actually make sense when you consider the Captain Marvel movie…and only when you consider it, otherwise they are completely illogical.

So why would Fury and SHIELD by hoarding the Hydra weapons from Captain America: The First Avenger? I know he gives an explanation (he essentially blames Thor and the events in New Mexico) but it seems a little weak, especially when you consider that Fury has been through the events of the Captain Marvel film, whatever they may be. We know from Captain America: The Winter Soldier that Fury has a history of ignoring commands in favour of what he deems to be the right decision. Even in the Avengers movie he goes against the wishes of the Council at literally opportunity.

Secondly, why would Nick Fury, a man completely against widespread destruction and unnecessary death, be in support of Project Insight? He knew how deadly they would be, he knew that in the wrong hands they would be devastating, and yet he took the risk. Why?

Project Insight

Nick Fury MCU

image via Marvel-Movie Wikia

Project Insight is one of the more important aspects of my theory. I know that Project Insight isn’t a major story arc until The Winter Soldier but it’s actually mentioned in the first Avengers movie…at least that is my understanding of the scene. When Phase 2 is discovered and Cap, Tony, Thor and Bruce confront Nick Fury, Natasha mentions something. She says that SHIELD has a watch-list that includes the people in the room. Bruce asks her “And Captain America is on that list?” clearly questioning why SHIELD would have the most moral person on the carrier on a watch-list. Natasha replies with “We all are!”

It would seem like a pretty huge coincidence if the same watch-list that is in SHIELD’s possession in Avengers just also happens to be the list used by Hydra when commencing Project Insight. I mean as far back as the post-credits scene of the first Iron-Man movie, Nick Fury asks Tony “you think you’re the only superhero in the world? Mr Stark, you’ve become part of a bigger universe, you just don’t know it.”

Arguably, Fury and SHIELD could have that list entirely for the purposes of recruiting certain heroes to the Avengers and keeping an eye on the others…or, alternatively, this list could exist in order to monitor the largest threats. If the Skrull can impersonate anyone, certain individuals are going to pose a larger threat than others. How do you deal with an invasion that is taking place right under your nose? You build helicarriers that scan the DNA of the population of the world in order to determine whether they are human or Skrull…unfortunately, Hydra derailed this plan.

The Theory

Nick Fury MCU

image via Inverse

I propose (and I’m not saying that this was purposefully done by Marvel, don’t believe they had this level of foresight) that Nick Fury has been preparing for the bigger threat all along. During the invasion of New York why wouldn’t he have paged Captain Marvel? The world wasn’t at risk, just New York and perhaps he had faith that the Avengers could fix things. When Ultron hijacks the internet, intent on eradicating humanity, why doesn’t he page Captain Marvel? Again, perhaps he thought the Avengers could handle it. These are just excuses though and don’t actually relate to my point.

So why would Nick Fury risk hoarding Hydra weapons and creating mass-murder helicarriers with certain individuals being kept on a watch-list? Could it be that he was preparing for the Skrull invasion? Could it be that during the events of Captain Marvel, Nick Fury witnesses first-hand how insane the universe really is and so he takes it upon himself to try and prepare for another incident of that level? We can only assume that since her movie, Captain Marvel has been away fighting Skrull in the same way that the Avengers were still wiping out Hydra cells in Age of Ultron.

Avengers 4

Nick Fury MCU

image via the Shittest New-Outlet in the Universe

So why wouldn’t Nick Fury tell any of the Avengers this? There is a scene in The Winter Soldier that answers this question. Early in the movie, Cap confronts Fury about not sharing the details of the operation. Fury says “the last time I trusted someone I lost an eye” which happens to be something that will take place in Captain Marvel (given that he has both eyes in the trailer). A coincidence? I think not! I think that the events of Captain Marvel give Fury enough reason to assume that potentially everyone is a threat, that potentially everyone is a Skrull.

We know that in Captain America: The Winter Soldier he expresses several times that he couldn’t risk certain key details being discovered by the enemy. Sure, he was probably referencing Hydra but if his character is consistent then we could assume it would apply to a larger threat as well.

However, an important scene takes place in the lift. Nick Fury tells the story of his grandfather who used to carry a gun in his bag and how he would simply show it to anyone who tried to rob him. Is this the purpose of Fury’s actions? Is he trying to give the world a gun to show the universe?

Of course there is one character who we can assume Fury did confide in: Hawkeye. We know that Fury and Hawkeye have been working closely together ever since the latter was recruited to SHIELD. In Age of Ultron we get that super boring family story and we learn that Fury helped him keep it all off the grid. We also know that Hawkeye has been aware of Fury’s plan on more than one occasion, including in Age of Ultron. So where was he during Infinity War? I think it is highly likely that he was fighting Skrull invaders. Apparently his storyline in Avengers 4 is related to fighting the Yakuza, an organised crime syndicate in Japan. Of course this would seem like a bizarre priority given that half of the universe has just been snapped out of existence. Therefore it seems more likely that his mission is related to carrying on where Captain Marvel left off.

In Summary

Nick Fury MCU

image via Inverse

I believe that Captain Marvel will set up Nick Fury’s motivations for the rest of his timeline i.e. the MCU movies we’ve already seen. Thor and the events in New Mexico won’t have hugely threatened Nick Fury because he knows there is a larger and more pressing matter at hand. The same goes for Loki’s invasion of New York, the same goes for the fall of SHIELD and Hydra, and the same goes for the rise of Ultron. To quote Tony Stark’s opinion of Nick Fury: “He’s a spy. Captain. He’s THE spy. His secrets have secrets.”

That’s why I think Hawkeye is on a secret Skrull-killing mission. Not only that, it’s why SHIELD were so insistent on making weapons based around those used by Hydra, the Destroyer, the Chitauri, Ultron, and more. It’s also why Nick Fury was willing to risk an idea as dangerous as Project Insight become a reality. Provided the Captain Marvel movie doesn’t generate any major plot holes, everything else within the MCU in relation to Nick Fury’s plan still makes sense.


Thanks for reading! Does my Nick Fury theory make sense or is my inner-fanboy clouding my vision? Let me know down below! 

Don’t forget to follow me on here and on Twitter to stay up to date with my posts!

If you have anything to add or perhaps a suggestion for a future post, leave a comment!

Peace!

Rick and Morty: Aw jeez, not another theory!

Rick and Morty: The animated adventures of a genius, egomaniac grandfather and his insecure, idiotic grandson. Challenging morals, scientific principles and philosophy, there is something in Rick and Morty for everyone. I understand that many people view the fan-base as being inherently toxic so you can relax knowing that I won’t be making the claim that “only smart people understand Rick and Morty”. You may be unaware of the underling stories and theories surrounding the show so this post will take a quick look at the main story, some smaller theories and, of course, provide evidence for all. So grab your portal gun as we jump right into another dimension!

Background

rick-morty.jpg

image via Complex

So before we start throwing the main theory out there, we need to cover some background information. It is stated throughout the show that Beth has abandonment issues due to her father (Rick) leaving her and her family. We know he wasn’t around for the birth of Morty (at least). There are varying theories as to why Rick left (some of which we will explore later on) and even the death of Rick’s wife/Beth’s mother is somewhat of a mystery. We see a fake memory in The Rickshank Rickdeption (S3 E1) but many believe this is based on a memory while others believe it is based Simple Rick’s memory. Rick and Morty regularly refer to themselves as being from dimension C-137 (which is the world from Rick Potion #9 (S1 E6)).

The Theory

If you haven’t seen the show then this theory will probably make little to no sense. Even if you do watch the show, my explanation is most likely going to be atrocious. So, this is it: Rick is not originally from C-137. Morty C-137, as a result, is not his original Morty. This theory suggests that when Rick first returns to the family, he is taking the place of a dead Rick (similar to what Rick and Morty do in Rick Potion #9). Why would he need to do this? Good question.

 

Rick and Morty

image via Rick and Morty Wiki

What if a Rick lost his Morty in his original dimension? I say lost when what I really mean is abandoned and left for dead. Assuming that his Morty wouldn’t survive, Rick quickly moved across into another dimension and returned to the family he hadn’t seen in however many years. This Morty became his new Morty and nobody ever caught on. So how do we know this? Well, as we know that Rick has been away for at least 14 years, how could he have memories of a young Morty? In Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind (S1 E10) we see that Rick has memories of Morty as a baby. It’s one of the few times we see genuine emotion from Rick. Perhaps mourning the loss of his previous Morty?

Rick and Morty

image via Rick and Morty Wiki

You can see further evidence of this in Get Schwifty (S2 E5) when Bird Person rescues Morty. While explaining the “good” in Rick, Bird Person points out some photos: One of which shows a younger Rick holding a baby Morty. Morty even comments something along the lines of “who is that baby?”

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image via Reddit

Abandoned Morty

 

Rick Intro

image via Gus Calvo

The theory doesn’t end there though…no, sir! Remember the Morty that Rick left behind? The one he assumed (or simply didn’t care enough to check) was dead? Well he fits into this theory as well. In fact, this theory suggests that you’ve seen this Morty several times. During the intro to all three seasons, we see a 3 second or so clip of Rick and Morty running. Rick portals away leaving Morty trapped as big green, frog-like creatures approach. We assume that this is just a typical Rick and Morty moment where Rick thinks only for himself and abandons Morty. The fact that this is one of few recurring intro scenes makes a lot of sense. All the others also reflect a larger storyline e.g. Cthulhu.

Opening_morty_stuck

image via Rick and Morty Wiki

Yet we know from many episodes (e.g. S2 E1) that Rick would sacrifice himself for Morty. We also know that he’s seen as a “rogue Rick” (S3 E1) due to his emotional attachments to his family. Not to mention that in Rest and Ricklaxation (S3 E6) Rick tries to purge his toxins, which to him includes his emotional attachment to Morty. So what if there was a reason for leaving this Morty behind beyond the idea of ‘Rick being Rick’?

Evil Morty

Eyepatchevilmorty.jpg

image via Rick and Morty Wiki

This is where we welcome in the infamous Evil Morty. A fan favourite from the show, we were first introduced to the character in Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind. Evil Morty was after “our” Rick and had gone out of his way to frame him for the murder of other Ricks. I won’t explain the entire episode but Rick says something rather interesting at the end:

Morty: “The Mortyest Morty”

Rick: “Just don’t get too big for your loafers, Buster Brown. A cocky Morty can lead to some big problems. It can be a real bad thing for everybody.”

Morty: “Oh yeah? How’s that?”

Rick: “U-Uh, I’ll explain when you’re older.”

rick-and-morty-quotes.jpg

image via Smosh

The idea being that the Morty Rick left behind had become “a cocky Morty”. Perhaps he’d found a way to increase his intelligence or maybe he was just learning too much from Rick. In Vindicators 3 (S3 E4) Morty displays a wide range of skills that he’s picked up from Rick. Many of these simply relate to understanding Rick’s mind but others are technical such as defusing a neutrino bomb. After being left behind by Rick and somehow surviving, Morty started down a path of revenge. He found a way to control a Rick, he started kidnapping Mortys and killing Ricks (hiding himself and framing Rick C-137 in the process) all to get his revenge on Rick. He extracts the memories from Rick but the reason for doing so is never explained. Is he looking for something in particular: Perhaps a specific invention or a specific memory?

Season 3 Finale

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image via Rick and Morty Wiki

Fans loved seeing Evil Morty return and become President Morty in The Ricklantis Mixup (S3 E7): Leading us to speculate whether this had been his goal all along or simply another step in a larger plan. Season 3 was supposed to be 14 episodes long as opposed to then 10 we received. The episode we got as the finale, The Richurian Candidate, didn’t pack much of a punch and left many fans disappointed. It’s possible that if deadlines had been met and the full 14 episodes had been aired, we may have seen Evil Morty’s plan unveil itself as the real end of season episode. With the Citadel of Mortys up and running, it’s more than likely that season 4 will show us the Morty!

Bonus Evidence

There is some more evidence to display. Not so much in relation to the whole Evil Morty theory but simply in support of Rick not being from dimension C-137 originally. We often see Rick reference songs or movies that don’t exist. This is often chalked up to him being a bit crazy and having travelled across the universe and into other dimensions. Yet it also seems likely that had he originally existed in another dimension, there could have been different music, movies, TV shows, ETC. This evidence isn’t concrete and is actually a bit wishy-washy but I figured it was better to mention it all the same!

Alternative Rick and Morty Storylines

Fans often assume that when they watch Rick and Morty, they are watching the same Rick and Morty. Yet, the creators of the show have left breadcrumbs for us to follow that suggest otherwise. The first example of this would be the pilot episode. Not so much the episode as a whole but rather the opening scene with the neutrino bomb. There’s no reason to believe that Morty was able to do anything about the bomb which had already started its countdown. Yes, we could assume that it didn’t go off (perhaps a joke by Rick) or that Rick regained consciousness just in time to stop it…but why? Doesn’t it make more sense that the bomb simply went off but it was a different Rick and Morty? Of course this is only a very minor example of this. So let’s fast forward to Mortynight Run (S2 E2).

Mortynight Run

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image via SciFi Stack Exchange

In this episode, we follow Morty (and a reluctant Rick) away from Blips and Chitz in order to help FART escape. Turning out to be a pro-genocide multidimensional being with the plan of wiping out all carbon-based lifeforms, the episode ends in the deaths of a lot of innocent people. This is the first of two episodes which sneakily show us the lives of an alternative Rick and Morty. How do we know this?

At the start of the episode, Rick checks Jerry into Jerryboree (a care centre). We can see on the form that Rick has put C-137 as his dimension (although puts N/A for Jerry) and in return they are given ticket number ‘5126’. So we know at this point they we have been following the usual Rick and Morty.

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image via Reddit

Yet, at the end of the episode, having followed a Rick and Morty on their FART journey when they eventually go back to pick up Jerry, Morty, being Morty, has lost the ticket. This doesn’t seem to matter too much…until another Rick and Morty (quite separate from the Rick and Morty we followed in this episode) ask of they have 5126, holding out the ticket we saw Rick and Morty C-137 receive at the start of the episode.

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image via Geek

Total Rickall

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image via The Daily Dot

So we followed a different Rick and Morty, big deal, right? That is until two episodes later in Total Rickall (S2 E4). At the start of the episode, we see Rick throwing out glowing green space rocks which leads to the murder of Uncle Steve (who is really an alien parasite that came with the space rocks). We then meet Mr Poopybutthole who appears in the intro alongside Rick and Morty. This isn’t just a joke about Mr Poopybutthole being a parasite (as we learn at the end of the episode that he isn’t) but rather it points to a different reality. This is a world where Mr Poopybutthole really does travel around with Rick and Morty.

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image via Reddit

How do we know this? Well, we can actually trace the “glowing space rocks” back in Mortynight Run (above). As we know that this is a different dimension and therefore a different Rick and Morty, it makes sense that Total Rickall is the home of the very same Rick and Morty. We later see Rick disposing of the same rocks (below). You may notice that the same purple dots that appear on the rocks also appear on the parasites.

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image via YouTube

Bonus Theories

These are some smaller theories to explore as well. I mean these are probably more akin to Easter eggs rather theories but here we go.

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image via YouTube

  • The “tall Morty” we see in The Ricklantis Mixup isn’t a Rick who was born that way. The reason he looks like a normal Rick (as opposed to Dufus Rick) is because he is from a reality where Rick used the microscope given to him by the devil (S1 E9). The microscope made him mentally retarded.
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image via Den of Geek

  • Rick’s genius actually comes from the seeds we see in episode 1 and this is true of all Ricks. We see the effects of the seeds on Morty at the end of the pilot episode which then puts him into a paralytic state for a few days. We also see these same trees being grown at the Citadel of Ricks/Mortys. This could simply be due to their value but what if rather than being an alcoholic, Rick keeps a seed-juice in his hipflask in order to top up his genius.
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image via Uproxx

  • In relation to the larger theory, one piece of the puzzle is a smaller theory regarding Rick’s suicide attempts. We see the “suicide helmet” in several episodes and at the end of Auto Erotic Assimilation (S2 E3) Rick nearly dies. What if this suicidal tendency exists in all Ricks, including the original C-137 Rick who actually went through with it, opening up a spot for “our” Rick to step into.
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image via Aficionados

  • Rick is Morty and Morty is Rick. There are two theories: one that Morty is actually a clone of Rick. This isn’t a huge leap but there also isn’t much evidence for it. The opposing theory is that Rick is an older version of Morty. This ties into the idea of the seeds being used to provide a genius level intellect. It also explains how Evil Morty could become so intelligent as to defeat Ricks.

Thanks for reading! Hopefully you enjoyed my exploration of just some of the theories surrounding Rick and Morty!

Don’t forget to follow me on here and on Twitter to stay up to date!

If you have anything to add or perhaps a suggestion for a future post, leave a comment down below!

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Peace!

 

 

 

Pokemon: The Great War Theory

We all know Pokemon in some form or another: Some of us played/watched it as kids, some of us have kids who play/watch it…some of us are adults who play it and watch it in Spanish to try and help them pick up the language…let’s not focus too much on that for now. Regardless, we all know the basic premise: the story of a kid in a world where pets (“friends”) fight to earn their owners money and fame. Ignoring the violence and enslavement, Pokemon tells many stories of friendship, heroism, altruism and is often fairly heart-warming. Even the regular villains in the show, Team Rocket, aren’t heartless and often support team good to fight the real team bad.

But what if I told you that there is a dark theory to Pokemon that often goes ignored? No, I’m not referring to the creepy Lavender Town music from the game that made people kill themselves or the seriously creepy Cubone story but rather the disturbing level of evidence that Pokemon takes place during or after a major war…

The Theory

I’m going to approach this one a little differently to my other posts. I’m going to lay the theory out at the start and then go on to explore some of the evidence afterwards. So the theory goes something like this: the game and show take place in a world where animals are far more intelligent (in comparison to our animals), have “abilities” and can actually evolve instantaneously after reaching a certain “level”. That’s the basics of the Pokemon world laid out without any storyline. In this world, you still have the same politics, the same human emotions, the same wars that we face in our world and as such, Pokemon became seen as weapons (think of anti-tank dogs, messenger pigeons, and war elephants but with abilities). So the battle for powerful Pokemon seems all fun and games in the show/game but there is more to it.

Sometime before the events of the show/game a war broke out between nations and as such, the men and their Pokemon were called to war. We never see any guns in this world and other than some makeshift bombs from Team Rocket, warfare is limited to Pokemon. Where duals or sword fights would take place in our world, Pokemon battles take place in their world. Some of these Pokemon have insanely powerful abilities and as such are better suited to war. Think Game of Thrones but with Pokemon instead of dragons and dire-wolves!

It’s hard to say whether the war is still going on or has already taken place. If it’s the latter, then the evidence certainly suggests that it was recent and that the nation we see in Pokemon is still preparing for a follow-up. So let’s take a look at some of the evidence to support this theory from the game and the TV series (I’m referring to Pokemon: Indigo League specifically)

Game vs Show

I first heard this theory in relation to the game only. However, as I started watching the show again (just yesterday), I noticed many startling moments that add evidence to this theory for the show as well. We’ll begin by looking at certain aspects that exist in both worlds (I refer to them as different worlds purely to avoid confusion because Pokemon Indigo League is loosely based on the original Pokemon game). Just keep in mind that this first section is just a very vague synopsis of the more specific evidence that exists within each world.

The Population

One thing you notice within the Pokemon world is how the population is divided: there are a lot of children (more on that in a moment) and a lot of old people but there seems to be drastically less middle-aged people. Now that on its own is fairly normal, I mean most developed populations are weighted this way. Yet it’s the sheer number of each. You’re constantly running into children everywhere and old people almost as much…women drastically outnumber the men and this is particularly true within the game world.

The Children

So what of the children? If you’ve ever played or watched Pokemon, you must have found it a little weird that children are literally being sent out into the wilderness at the age of 10. Most children in the show and game don’t have parents: Ash/Red doesn’t have a father, Gary/rival has no parents at all, Brock has no mother, and Misty doesn’t have parents. You encounter a number of children in both worlds who either live alone, are travelling alone or are living with grandparents.

The Adults

One thing you notice with many of the adults is that they serve some sort of purpose. For starters, most of the men in the Pokemon world are scientists such as Professor Oak (although he’s also elderly) and his aids. The rest either live in caves, up mountains or run gyms. The reason I suspect that the war may still be going on is that there are mostly old men and as such, it makes sense that these men were too old to go to war when it broke out.

Technology

We also have to acknowledge the incredibly advanced technology that exists in this part of the world and perhaps wonder if that has something to do with the cause of the war. Modes of transport, for the most part, seem to be rather out-dated but other areas are incredibly advanced. Let’s start off with the Pokeball: it is literally capable of turning Pokemon into energy or converting them into some sort of electronic data in order to store them inside this ball. Yet as is demonstrated in both worlds, these Pokemon are still conscious while inside and can choose not to leave or fight to escape. This is stepped up further when we witness the Pokemon transportation system which is used early on in the series to transport Pokemon (inside Pokeballs) to a different Pokemon Centre but is also used in the game to trade Pokemon. We’re literally talking about some Star Trek style teleportation of matter!

The in-game technology differs slightly in comparison to that of the show but we can all agree that it’s advanced as shit! Can you imagine just pointing an empty-looking ball at your dog and it suddenly being transported into the ball as some sort of red energy? If someone invented that technology today, we would be at war almost as soon as it was made public, if not before!

Mewtwo

We’ll look at Mewtwo in more detail later on but let’s just take a moment to appreciate what Mewtwo is: a clone! OK, that simplifies the situation drastically as there are two areas (both of which appear later) we need to explore in relation to Mewtwo.

  • Mewtwo marks a revolutionary step for science as the first successful clone of Mew along with gene splicing and DNA engineering to make him in theory the most powerful Pokemon (as far as anyone is aware). His psychic abilities, his level of communication, his intelligence all outrank his fellow Pokemon.
  • Mewtwo’s existence isn’t solely so someone can win badges and battle children on the side of the road…no. We know from both worlds that Pokemon often serve a function: Pikachu’s are used for power, Chansey’s work in hospitals, ETC and so it is hardly surprising that during or after a war, a nation would want to create the most powerful weapon. Think about how countries advanced their weaponry between WW1 and WW2…and how it’s advanced since. Mewtwo is quite simply an attempt to create the weapon to end all weapons, maybe even a deterrent.

Mewtwo goes on to become smarter than humans (arguably) and is certainly more powerful than any other existing Pokemon.

The Anime

We’re going to take a look at the anime first and explore some of the new details I’ve noticed and some of the theories I’ve concocted since. Some of these I will admit are grasping at straws slightly but it’s all just fun and games…mostly.

THIS IS SP…PALLET TOWN!

We’re going to start off with a pretty brutal fact: In ancient Sparta, boys as young as 7 were taken from their mothers to start their training. In Pallet Town, they are a little more lenient and waited until the age of 10 but the fact still remains that they are leaving home to go off and train animals for battle. It’s seen as an honour to be the most powerful Pokemon trainer in the world and it seems to be how one earns celebrity status in Pokemon.

This isn’t anything new though as in the show, Ash’s mother even comments on how she remembers it taking Ash’s father 4 days (or something similar) to reach the next town. So this is a tradition (or law-mandated) that certainly dates at least a generation back. This seems like a pretty barbaric situation if there wasn’t a war or the fear of one. Children aged 10 are given their “weapon”, they then head out and train themselves and their Pokemon in order to be the strongest. The way they test this is by fighting gym leaders. Tournaments are held for “fame” but in reality are just part of a never-ending series of training through which Pokemon just get stronger and stronger.

Brock and the Rock

Fairly early on in the show we encounter Brock who is the leader of the Pewter City gym. Not much is known about Brock (I had to do some research) but we do know from the early episodes that he cares for his numerous brothers and sisters due to his parents not being around. Ash and co encounter his father selling rocks near the entrance to Pewter City. It is his father who tells Ash all about Brock’s life. This is my theory as to how Brock’s father fits into this whole war scenario:

When the war was taking place, Brock’s father was called to action and had to leave his family behind. His wife not only has responsibility of the children but also of the gym (we learn in the show that she was once the gym leader and she even takes control of the gym again). Brock’s father even says himself that he was never a very good Pokemon trainer so he clearly didn’t have control of the gym before. This explains why Brock’s father was called to war while other gym leaders weren’t. I think that while at war, Brock’s father was bested in battle and as a result all of his Pokemon (rock types) were either captured or killed (it’s obviously unclear what the Pokemon war etiquette would be). When Brock’s mother leaves (probably due to the strain of having to raise 11 kids, Brock’s father returns to look after his family but suffers from PTSD and can’t manage it and so Brock steps in. Brock wasn’t surprised to see his father, meaning that he had been back home regularly enough to be known to each other. As a result of the PTSD, Brock’s father collects rocks to remember his fallen Pokemon but has no choice but to sell some (unsuccessfully) to try in his own way to provide for his family.

Missing Fathers

Fathers and in fact father figures are frequently missing from the show. You have Ash, Gary and Misty for starters. If we expand our search a little, we find that Jessie (Team Rocket) lost her mother in an avalanche but her father is never mentioned. I even expanded my search to main characters from later versions of the anime (who I had literally never heard of) and found that Serena (apparently one of Ash’s travelling companions) had a mother but no mention of a father; Clemont and Bonnie do have a father who is an engineer (the best in the city); Dawn also has no mention of a father; neither does Iris; Clemont and Bonnie have a father but he was also a gym leader.

This adds more evidence to the idea that all the men from this nation (other than those serving a scientific role or one essential to the upkeep of society e.g. engineer or a gym leader (training future soldiers and their weapons)) are away fighting or have died fighting in a previous war. There are of course those within organised crime but I feel like that’s a topic for another time. But speaking of families, let’s move onto the next bizarre piece of this puzzle.

The Clone Wars

Early on in the show we meet several of the “sisters” who are all identical and share the same name in the form of Officer Jenny, the collection of same-named identical sisters in charge of law enforcement and Nurse Joy, the separate collection of same-named identical sisters who cover healthcare. This is just part of a running gag within the show but what if there is a more sinister reason? We know that cloning is not only possible but has been done before (Mewtwo). However, Mewtwo wasn’t the result of simple cloning: it actually involved gene splicing and DNA engineering which was one of the reasons for so many failures. We’ll soon look at a theory which also explains why cloning a pokemon may be more difficult than cloning a human but I think the Jennys and Joys of the world are evidence enough of its existence.

You may be wondering why such an experiment would ever have been carried out. Well, during war you would need two majors function of society to remain intact above all others: law enforcement and healthcare. The men are sent to fight, the women raise their children (future Pokemon masters/soldiers) and as such, other positions needed to be filled. This is particularly true if this is a post-war situation.

Panspermia

In case you’ve never heard the term before, panspermia refers to a theory about the origins of life on Earth (or other planets). It suggests that bacteria capable of surviving extreme fluctuations in temperature and the vacuum of space could be moved from one planet to another by an asteroid or meteorite. Imagine that the Earth explodes or is victim to a giant asteroid impact and chunks of it fly through space for hundreds of years. One chunk could contain such life and may land on a planet where this bacterium thrives and evolves. You’re probably wondering what the fuck this has to do with Pokemon. Well, that’s where the moon stone comes in.

In the early episodes, the group meet a man (a scientist, shockingly) who is studying the moon stone. He believes that Pokemon came to Earth on this rock. While he describes it as being a spaceship, it’s not ridiculous to believe that a meteorite brought early Pokemon bacteria to Earth. Due to their rapidly evolving nature (which can be seen through both their own evolutions and the difference in generations that span across one human lifetime) this bacteria soon birthed the Pokemon we see in the show.

This idea goes a step further when we look at the abilities of the Pokemon as it explains why they can do the things they can do. We also know from early episodes that animals and Pokemon are not the same thing. We see a Pidgey eating a worm from the ground that isn’t a Pokemon. Misty also says that she hates bugs and doesn’t care if they are Pokemon, implying that there is a difference between bugs and bug Pokemon. It’s possible that Pokemon arrived on Earth a very long time ago (but after humans) and wiped most native animal species from the planet other than those that are at the bottom of the food chain.

Mew is seen as the ancestor of all Pokemon but this is just based on the human history of things. It’s completely possible that Mew was simply one of the earlier more advanced forms of Pokemon and due to its incredible abilities, ancient humans worshipped it and added it to art and stonework. Bonus theory: there is an idea that Ditto is simply failed attempts to clone mew. True story!

I’m going to keep adding to my evidence and theories for the show as I continue to re-watch it (I’m only on like episode 5 now). For now, let’s run through the original theory and how the game has evidence of a war.

The Game

As I mentioned before, I originally heard this theory in relation to the game and not the anime (while the theory is not mine, all the evidence I mentioned above and all the theories within it are my own). I won’t repeat any evidence that I’ve already mentioned for the show (such as lack of male characters, the population being mostly children and old people, ETC), however there are some points to be made in similar areas.

The Population

The population issues mention previously exist even more so in the game world. The player finds that as they enter cities with gigantic stores, houses, casinos, ETC there are almost no people. You find that other than casinos which seem to provide entertainment to the elderly part of the population, there isn’t much else to do other than gyms. You never see any cinemas, football pitches, parks, or anything that would be seen within a normal society. This is because the children can’t get distracted from their training, the adults can’t be distracted from their caring and as such the elderly and the useless are the only groups allowed to take life less seriously.

Lieutenant Surge

This character deserves a section all to himself and while he does appear on the show, it’s not so much who he is but rather what he says in the game that matters. In the show, Lt. Surge looks pretty much the same as the game describes him: tall (gigantic even), muscular, short and spikey blonde hair, he wears military clothing (jacket, trousers and boots) and even has dog tags. In the game, when approached by the player Surge says: “Hey kid! What do you think you’re doing here? You won’t live long in combat! That’s for sure! I tell you what kid, electric Pokemon saved me during the war!”

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Final Notes

So we can see that there is certainly some supporting evidence of this theory…although this is all entirely confirmation bias and obviously it isn’t likely that the creators had this Pokemon war in mind when creating the game and anime. It’s certainly fun to think about though and as I continue to play the game (again) and watch the anime (again), I will continue to add any evidence I find to this post.

If you have any comments or opinions, be sure and share them below! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter to be kept up-to-date with various blogs and announcements!

Happy Feet: The Cheerful Commentary on Religious Indoctrination

You may be a little surprised to see the words ‘Happy Feet’ and ‘Religious Indoctrination’ in the same sentence. What may ultimately seem like a warm-hearted tale of a handicapped penguin’s quest to discover the interruption in his colony’s food chain is actually a layered tale of environmental damage and religious indoctrination (and the challenges one faces in trying to escape it). In today’s post we will be exploring that connection and cracking the case wide open for all to see.

Basic Summary

For those of you who haven’t seen Happy Feet, you’re missing out on a rather entertaining film. This post is unlikely to make much sense to you otherwise but allow me to quickly summarise it for you, just in case. Happy Feet follows Mumble, a slightly handicapped penguin who lacks the ability to sing (an essential part of the mating process) but can instead tap his feet in a rhythmical manner (although not always on purpose). This is due to his father, Memphis, dropping the egg during one of the coldest winters. Being continuously alienated by his colony, Mumble eventually stumbles across a different penguin colony where singing is seen as a hobby rather than an essential part of life. Here, they collect pebbles in an attempt to woe the females.

Mumble and his “amigos” are eventually banished from his colony due to his “dangerous ideas” and so set out on a quest to find the fish (the lack of which has been blamed on Mumble and his feet). Eventually Mumble finds a giant ship that is collecting all of the fish and taking it away and so he follows it until he eventually passes out and lands on a beach. From here, Mumble ends up in a zoo, does a dance, humans put a tracker on him and send him back to his colony and eventually everyone lives happily ever after….typical children’s film, right? Wrong!

Religion

The religious element of the film was nothing new to me and I’d always intended to write a post about it…but as time went on it became less and less of a concern and I figured that it wasn’t worth the effort. That is until a couple of days ago when I re-watched Happy Feet and noticed a bizarre aspect that had eluded me in the past. The word “penguin” can be perfectly switched out for any religion (I chose Christianity).

One thing you have to keep in mind is that the colony worships the mighty “Quin” (I’m not sure how you spell it exactly as it’s taken from the end of the word “penguin”). So there is already a very open religious element to the film but it’s the underlying element that I find so interesting. Let me give you some examples that I noted down. These were all the times after the first few instances where the word penguin was used and could be perfectly swapped for “Christian”.

“…it’s not Penguin”

“…hardly a Penguin at all”

“…it just ain’t Penguin”

“…he’s a regular (something, I missed the word) Penguin”

“…ancient Penguin wisdom”

“…brave Penguin nation”

Tell me that none of these have a solid meaning when the word Christian is switched in. There is a reason I chose Christianity as well which I’m going to explain in more detail later on but I’ll share one very specific quote that I believe highlights the reason. During a scene where Mumble is tap dancing and others are joining in, one of the elders says this to him: “that kind of pagan display” and then goes on to blame him for the food shortage. Of course one famous religion has been known to deal with Paganism in such a manner…

Memphis Drops the Ball…or the Egg

In order to delve deeper into this bizarre underlying commentary we have to examine key moments in the story. We’ll start with Mumble’s father, Memphis. During the winter when the females head off to collect food, it is the responsibility of the males to shelter the eggs and also each other. They create a sort of wall and take it in turns to face the cold. During this time, the elders lead chants to the great Quin/Win (I think Quin but I couldn’t find a solid source) which all the penguins are supposed to follow. They even show a giant penguin in the sky who is almost being formed by all the chanting penguins.

Unfortunately, Memphis is too distracted by his own singing (specifically the love song between him and his partner) and almost as a sign of his lack of faith and commitment to the great Quin, he drops the egg. Doing so for even a few seconds is enough to literally freeze it and kill the offspring inside. Memphis sees the resulting tappity feet of Mumble as being a curse or punishment for his distracted mind and lack of Quin-worship. Something that is evident throughout the film.

“Aliens”

Mumble was always a curious little fella and during his early years he finds himself victim to some hungry birds looking for roaming penguins to snack on. One of these birds has an identification bracelet (if that’s even what they are called) around his ankle which he goes on to explain was put there by aliens after being abducted. This highlights two key issues within this films:

1) Mumble now has more information on the outside world than any other Penguin within his colony, all of whom conform without question and aren’t curious about life beyond their grounds and 2) Lack of information on a subject leads to ridiculous conclusions. It highlights a very noticeable train of thought within religion where if something can’t be explained in terms we already know then it must be something completely “out there”. This can easily relate to the idea of filling all gaps in knowledge with God.

The Elders

Within Mumble’s colony there is a small group of elders who are part of some sort of council. They are responsible for guiding the beliefs and opinion of all the conforming penguins. They are essentially the Vatican to the colony’s Catholic Church with the leader being the Pope…who for some strange reason is Scottish. There is an Italian member as well though. This group denies the existence of any aliens because it goes against the narrative they’ve been pushing.

They are also the ones who label Mumble’s dancing as “that kind of pagan display” and it is they who alienate Mumble by forcing his own parents to talk him out of his mind set. While Mumble’s mother stands her ground and defends Mumble, his father who is still guilt-ridden from dropping Mumble feels he has no choice but to support the council. When Mumble refuses to conform and support the Elder’s point of view, he is banished from the colony. This is where Mumble’s journey to find the fish begins.

Connecting Theme

One thing is evident between all belief groups within the film. Whether it be Mumble’s colony and the mighty Quin, the amigos and Lovelace, the predatory birds or the elephant seals, they all view humans as being alien. Each has a unique view of “God” but all view the one thing they have evidence of but can’t explain as being alien. I think this is an interesting parallel to the religions of the world. They may all have one theme running through them e.g. God. Yet all have different opinions on themselves and their interactions with their God. This is just a minor point but I figured it was worth mentioning.

Heaven

Upon chasing a fishing vessel, Mumble ultimately washes up on a beach and is thrown into a zoo. Here he meets seemingly braindead penguin who refers to him as Dave. “Try the fish, Dave”. This is Penguin Heaven. To the penguins it is heaven because they are rewarded with all the fish they can eat (something that was running out at home) in exchange for doing nothing and having zero responsibilities or goals. Almost like some higher power granting them wishes. When speaking to one penguin in particular, Mumble asks him if its anywhere near Emperorland to which he responds that it’s “anywhere you want it to be”.

Of course the reason that it is named Penguin Heaven is due to it being based on an exhibit in Sea World, Orlando, Florida but I think it also has a deeper meaning. Heaven is often  seen as exactly like Penguin Heaven: you’re free to enjoy yourself, you don’t have to worry about responsibility, you can be happy and get all the food you want, but I think it raises a darker issue. What if you get to heaven but none of your family do? What if you’re up there enjoying all the bounties that heaven has to offer while your family starve? Is that heaven? We see Mumble attempt to throw fish to his hallucinated family (who also refer to him as Dave). Not to mention the other key issue: boredom. Without any purpose, without the freedom to explore, the risk of death, the challenges that normal life throws at you, you become a zombie and end up braindead like the only penguin Mumble communicates with.

Final Scenes

The film ends with mumble being returned to Emperorland where he is greeted by Gloria but told to leave by the Elders. Mumble explains his story and tells them about the aliens which the Elders outright deny. Mumble’s experience is irrelevant to them because they have a narrative that needs to be maintained and despite the fact that it is in reality a far more realistic explanation for the famine than one penguin’s tapping feet, the Elders stand their ground.

Upon revealing that he has alien technology attached to his back, the Elders then label him a traitor for leading the aliens to Emperorland. This of course raises questions as moments ago they were denying the existence of such beings altogether. We then see a battle of sorts between the old ways and the new: the archaic chants and singing of the elders and their supporters vs Mumble and his tapping feet. Eventually the aliens arrive and out of fear of death (or something similar) the elders eventually follow Mumble and support this new approach.

I think this in itself also highlights an aspect of religion: fear of death is not only the cause of most religions (in one form or another, I’m not saying people are religious because they fear death) as is fear of the unknown. Put into a situation where all the evidence is piled against them, religions will stand their ground until such a time that their destruction seems imminent, at which point they will follow the masses. Think about all major theories that have come into existence throughout human history: the order of the solar system, gravity, evolution, the big bang theory, ETC. The more that science explains, the more that religions adapt their beliefs to fit around the evidence. Very few people view the bible as being 100% literal and that is because more and more of it makes less and less sense in relation to history and science…but also morality.

Even the Pope’s throughout history have had drastically differing points of view: from supporting fascism, to hating gays, to saying evolution was God’s work. We end up with thousands upon thousands of different interpretations of the Bible (through Christianity’s denominations, of which there are 40,000 or so).

 

Anyway guys, that’s my say on the film Happy Feet. I hope that you enjoyed it and as always, leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter! Peace!

Why I’m not a Film Theorist!

 

Who doesn’t love a crazy, yet bizarre film theory? Is Elf really a film about racism (or at least discrimination)? Why does Jack-Jack have the same hair as syndrome? Could the aliens from Monsters vs Aliens actually be part of a major conspiracy involving the infiltration of the white house? Is Tropic Thunder really the final film rather than the actual events that took place? Is Hot Tube Time Machine actually Lou’s second or third time travelling back to the 80s? What is the connection between Scooby Doo and Cabin in the Woods? Of course most of these films will have little to no evidence to support them.

These aren’t supposed to be super serious theories. This isn’t like the idea that Willy Wonka used children to make his chocolate or that all the Pixar films take place within the same universe. They’re just fun ideas I came up with (not remotely under the influence of marijuana, of course) and I figured I’d share them to see what you guys think so don’t take them too seriously and instead, just keep them in mind the next time you watch any of these films. Let’s dive right in:

 

Scooby in the Woods

This theory combines two ideas together: I’m sure all of you are familiar with Scooby Doo? Yes? Good! The live-action films will be the focus of this theory (although it does also relate to the cartoon). The other film that is involved in this theory is Cabin in the Woods. For those of you unfamiliar with Cabin in the Woods, it’s a sort of satirical take on the horror genre where the audience are represented by violent and cruel Gods who require human sacrifices to die in a terrifying and brutal fashion. In order for the sacrifices to count, the chosen 5 have to select their own death. In the film they choose a weird incest, red-neck zombie family to kill them. With me so far?

So there are 5 main characters in the film which relate to the 5 necessary sacrifices: you have the athlete, the scholar, the slut, the jester and the virgin. There are several rules that have to be followed in order for the Gods to accept the sacrifice, one of which being that the virgin has to die last. In Cabin in the Woods, there is a shady organisation that is essentially responsible for ensuring that the necessary sacrifices are made whenever the God’s demand it.

So how does all of this relate to Scooby Doo? Well the first thing that drew my attention to this comparison was the characters. Let’s look at the list of 5 suitable sacrifices: the athlete (Fred), the slut (Daphne), the scholar (Velma), the jester (Shaggy) and the virgin (Scooby). You may be wondering why I chose those roles for Shaggy and Scooby…well first of all, Scooby Doo does not have a dick (something my girlfriend pointed out to me) but also in the first Scooby Doo film, why is Scooby Doo chosen as a sacrifice? His soul is pure! Scooby is the virgin sacrifice who needs to die last in order for the Gods to be appeased.

That isn’t where the parallels end though. For starters, in Cabin in the Woods it’s the virgin and the jester who infiltrate the organisation where all the monsters come from. In Monsters Unleashed, the exact same thing happens. Shaggy and Scooby infiltrate the monster making factory in an attempt to put an end to the unleashing of the monsters. Furthermore, the athlete is taken down while on a motorbike which is true in both cases.

We can even take the entire comparison a step further. We can obviously view Mystery Inc as the chosen sacrifices. That much is clear. We can view the monsters as the monsters, again, a pretty straight forward comparison. What about the Gods? The Gods in Cabin in the Woods are supposed to be the viewers but in Scooby Doo its the public. We seen in both films that the public are very quick to appear whenever Mystery Inc are surviving/defeating the Monsters but when they are losing the Gods are hidden from view. So one could even argue that the “villains” who create the monsters in Scooby Doo are actually just trying to appease the Gods!

 

The Reproducing Man from Earth

I’m going to start off with a lesser known film: The Man from Earth. If you haven’t seen it before, you can find a trailer and some information (without spoilers) on my mind-fuck film list here! If you’ve seen it before then we can begin. So The Man from Earth follows John. He’s been many things throughout his immortal life (which I won’t list just in case someones eyes wander down here before they’ve seen the film. I can explain my theory without ruining the film anyway.

So John is immortal and he is asked about whether he has ever met anyone who is the same as him. He says he met somebody once and saw him again one other time but that he was lost in a crowd. When asked about love, John says that he has lost the capacity. I mean, after living thousands and thousands of years, how many loved ones has he lost? He’s lonely, even if he tries never to admit it, there are hints through his stories.

Eventually John must have grown sick of never finding anyone like him and so, he wondered if maybe his offspring shared his immortality. If he was an annomaly in nature, his offspring have an improved chance of also being the same. Even if the odds were low he had thousands and thousands of year to basically trial and error it. John had children, then moved away and then returned much later in their lives to see if they were old/dead.

How do we know this? At the end of the film we discover that Will (an elderly old man whose wife had died a few days previously) is actually the son of John the immortal man. It could just be coincidence that John ended up in the same place as his son…but considering how careful he seems to be when moving around, I don’t think this is the case.

So instead we have an immortal man who is travelling around impregnating women to try and find himself another one of his kind with whom he can travel and be less lonely. We see this idea being taken a step further when he allows Sandy to travel with him right after his son just died.

 

Elf

I have a couple of theories related to the film Elf. The much loved Christmas classic tells the story of Buddy the Elf. A human who was raised as an Elf before being sent back to New York to get his father off Santa’s naughty list. I’m not usually one for Christmas films (yes, I’m a Grinch!) but Elf is always highly entertaining!

So where does my theory begin? Well, right at the start of course. You may cast your mind back to similar stories such as Thor, where Odin take the child of a Frost Giant and raises it as his own son. There are slightly more sinister versions of the same story such as A Brave New World where a half-savage, half-cultured (if that’s even how you’d define him) boy is taken away from a world where he didn’t fit in…to a world where he still didn’t fit in.

I can’t help but think about the song “Half-Breed” by Blue Swede. The song revolves around a half-Cherokee, half white man who was never accepted by the Cherokee tribe he was born into but was always seen as a Cherokee by white people. I think this is a similar story to Elf. We view it as a ridiculous comedy about an Elf but what if there was a serious message behind it?

Buddy didn’t ask to be raised an Elf. He may have crawled into Santa’s bag but he was essentially kidnapped from the orphanage. He is raised in a world where magic is real and penguins and snowmen can talk. He grows up wearing the Elf attire, eating Elf food (mostly sugar), being incredibly friendly to everyone and helping Santa throughout the year so that he can deliver presents at Christmas. Yet when Buddy arrives in New York, despite the fact that he isn’t causing anybody any harm, he is ridiculed, belittled, treated like an idiot (he does essentially have the mind of a child) and struggles to fit in.

Think about it: he sings to his father because of a misunderstanding. He is told that that’s what is expected of him yet when he does it, he gets thrown out. He tries to make friends (with animals and people alike) only to be attacked or ignored. Smiling too much is even seen as annoying and soon he is instructed to do it less. The food he eats is seen as weird and bizarre, his excitement at Christmas seems over-the-top to the point that his “boss” thinks Corporate sent a professional. His friendliness is often seen as creepy (such as the shower scene) when really he just wants to spread happiness throughout the world.

So what is Elf? It’s the film about accepting those who are different than us. People may seem a little weird to you: their clothes may look ridiculous or rarely be washed, their food may seem strange or even inedible to you, their behaviours and attitudes come across as a little crazy but if we accept them as simply another human being trying to fit into our already crazy world then we learn the true meaning of Christmas and family.

I also had an idea that Buddy could perhaps have escaped from a cult or religion that he was indoctrinated into as a child. Perhaps there is no Santa or elves but these are just how Buddy’s child-like mind deals with the sudden return to reality. Nobody can really understand why he acts so strange but he’s been raised in “Elf culture” and after escaping, there was nobody to ease him back into the world. It’s sort of like that TV show where Amish teenagers go out into the world for the first time and have no idea what anything is or how to behave.

What do you think? Looking into a Christmas film a little too much? Maybe, but it doesn’t get any more sane from this point onwards.

 

Hot Tub Time Machine

My theory here is related to one of the main characters: Lou. If you haven’t seen the film, it’s a rather moronic tale of 3 friends and one of their nephews who travel through time via a hot tub to the 80s and proceed to interact with life then/there. I enjoy the film but it’s not great by any means and is mildly entertaining at best! That being said, the last time I watched it I noticed some very bizarre moments.

The main character Lou is seen as the deadbeat. His attempted suicide at the start is ultimately what leads to the group going on a skiing trip. My theory is this: Lou has been back in time this way before. If you’ve seen the film then this may sound a little ridiculous but bear with me!

Lou (we learn near the end of the film) is the father of Jacob. Jacob’s mother, also Adam’s sister is staying at the same ski resort as the guys. She’s in the same lodge as the enemy of Lou (Blaine). Anyway, for Lou to sleep with Adam’s sister and thereby create Jacob, he has to be at the same lodge as Blaine, who had just beaten Lou up twice (one of these times being slightly earlier that evening).

Lou is terrified of Blaine, even as an adult who has just travelled through time so in the original timeline he wouldn’t have been anywhere near that lodge and therefore nowhere near Kelly (Adam’s sister and Jacob’s mother). The only reason that they end up in the lodge is to get the Chernobyly (the energy drink that was basically responsible for sending them back in time).

This is what I think happened: I think Lou’s life was as awful as it appears in the film. He hates himself and everyone around him and comforts himself with drugs and alcohol (which is also a drug but I just wanted to be clear that alcohol was involved). Originally (let’s say in timeline 1) Jacob doesn’t exist. Lou, in a desperate attempt to reclaim his youth and reconnect with his best friends (only friends) tries to organise a ski. Adam is “super busy” (as is described in the film) and Nick doesn’t want to go without Adam (or alone with Lou) and so Lou, despite having booked the hotel room that was the same one they’d gone to before as young adults, takes the trip alone.

After getting drunk, taking drugs and ultimately ending up alone in his hot tub, Lou tries to drown himself. However, he wakes up in the 80s and comes to terms with the idea that somehow, he has travelled through time. In an attempt to change the future, Lou doesn’t walk into Blaine and therefore doesn’t get his ass kicked later that day. Lou parties hard, thinking that by changing this one moment of his past, he’ll have altered his life in the present drastically.

Eventually Lou ends up back in the present: nothing has changed at all (well, maybe some small things but for arguments sake, let’s say that this is still the same as timeline 1 i.e. Jacob doesn’t exist). He tries to tell his friends Adam and Nick about what happened, to bring them in so that they can explore the idea as a group again but they just don’t care. Lou angrily travels back to the 80s and goes around messing with the timeline. He convinces Adam to break up with Jenny, he sabotages Nicks performance and he sleeps with Kelly. Blaine, perhaps through jealousy decides to kick Lou’s ass because of this and when he returns to the present, a lot has changed.

This is timeline 2. He realises that Jacob exists in this universe and that’s why he hates Jacob so much. He resents this kid who is basically the symbol of his repeated fuck-ups. Jacob is a symbol of Lou’s guilt for ruining his friend’s lives (that’s why the film constantly asks the question of why Adam ever broke up with Jenny). In an attempt to change things, Lou travels back again but for some reason, whenever he travels back now the same events occur: Adam still breaks up with Jenny and Nick still performs poorly on stage. Lou doesn’t sleep with Kelly and as such, realises that Jacob is his son when he returns to timeline 3 which is another timeline where Jacob doesn’t exist.

In one final attempt, Lou travels back and sleeps with Kelly. He doesn’t consider staying in the 80s to live his life through to the present and as such, when he returns, Kelly isn’t a part of his life and neither is Jacob. So this time he is convinced to take his friends with him on yet another journey into the past. He knows from trying before that they won’t go willingly and so, he fakes a suicide attempt.

This is where we get into the events of the film. Lou doesn’t like Jacob, that much is true. He doesn’t want Jacob to come to the past with him because he’ll see how much of a loser his father was. He also doesn’t want Jacob being immune to any time changes. You’ll notice that his attitude starts to change towards Jacob once they are back in the 80s. They start to bond (yes, they almost have a threesome) but he just wants his kid to not be a loser like him.

Lou realises he needs to recreate the moment with Kelly which is why he starts laying groundwork early in the film. However, the mistake he makes is that he is convinced that his friends are on his team this time. They HAVE to help him fight Blaine this time. Don’t they? Lou thinks that Blaine is his demon that needs to be beaten. He can change his life around by not running and not getting his ass kicked. But Lou gets his ass kicked again and what’s worse, the chernobyly gets taken.

Lou has no plans to go back to the present and actually doesn’t really care if the guys go either. One thing he does know is that for his family life to begin, he and Kelly have to conceive Jacob. So when the others are busy searching for the Russian energy drink, Lou focuses on looking through Kelly’s stuff. He knows fine well that it isn’t there but assumes she will come back at some stage.

Everything else that happens is just what happens: Lou stays to spend time with Kelly, Jacob and to get rich (of course). He’s also helped the guys fix their mistakes and now he gets what he really wanted: his friends back.

 

Jack-Jack: Son of Syndrome

This one may sound a little whacky but it’s all just fun and games. I’m sure you’ve seen The Incredibles. If you haven’t then what are you still doing reading this? Go watch it…now! Anyway, you will of course be familiar with the Parr’s youngest child: Jack-Jack. We get to see some glimpses into his powers during the short Jack-Jack attack. However, I recently noticed that Jack-Jack doesn’t really look like his father. Instead, he resembles the villain: Syndrome.

We know that Syndrome has been watching a bunch of superheroes. We also know that Mr Incredible was his hero as a child. Essentially he was the reason that he went from being Incredi-boy to Syndrome. Why is this important?

Well, we have the scene where Syndrome acts surprised when he sees the Parr family all together. What if he wasn’t surprised? What if through his technology, Syndrome somehow planted his own DNA either into Mrs Incredible OR one step further: allowed the superhero genes of Mr and Mrs Incredible to merge to insure the kid had super powers BUT he also inserted his DNA in as well. Just look at the hair: Mr Incredible has blonde hair. Dash has blonde hair. Mrs Incredible has dark brown hair. Violet has dark hair. What about Jack-Jack? Ginger. Not only ginger but, look at the style. It is pointed up exactly like Syndrome’s. You may be thinking back to Syndrome as a kid when his hair didn’t look anything like that…but you have to keep in mind that his entire image was styled after Mr Incredible. So he flattened his hair in the same way.

Now this could just be a coincidence. Maybe they were just trying to cover as many hair colours within the Parr family to show that the powers are the result of a mutation and that the same mutations take place within other aspects of their genes. It could also just be a coincidence that Syndrome went home, collected Jack-Jack and planned to raise him as his own. It could even be that Jack-Jack is in some ways a clone of Syndrome but with the power-elements of Mr and Mrs Incredible. That way, even if Syndrome dies there will be a version of him with powers in the world. Something he’s always wanted.

 

The_Incredibles_-_Syndrome_-_Renderdownload

 

The Alien Conspiracy

Monsters Vs Alien is the exciting tale from Dreamworks about…well…Monsters Vs Aliens. This is a pretty minor theory but I think that it’s somewhat interesting. Ever notice that the symbol for the Monsters is the same shape as the alien spaceship? Interesting!

I haven’t fully developed this theory yet but I think it has something to do with Operation Bluebeam. What is this you ask? Let me explain. Operation Bluebeam is a conspiracy theory based around NASA. This theory relates to the use of hologram projections to convince people that the anti-Christ is taking over the world. Interestingly, there are variations of it with some conspiracy theorists claiming that the real plan is as follows:

NASA or their puppet masters (Operation Bluebeam is not something I buy into, I’m just explaining it the way that I heard it) would create an alien invasion through the use of projections. I don’t mean that they visually create an alien invasion…but rather they project holograms all around the world as if they are coming from a mothership. This “aliens” then threaten the destruction of Earth unless the human race agrees to be subservient. The nations that agree are then ruled through this method of projection. Those that don’t are destroyed through entirely terrestrial means.

In the film, the commander of the monsters has never had an opportunity to display their value. Much like the monsters, he has been locked away in a government facility until such a time as he is needed. As such, he convinces Dr Cockroach to assist him. In exchange for their freedom, Dr Cockroach must create the means to project an alien hologram around the world. He also has to create a mothership and giant alien robots. After all, Dr Cockroach has been locked up for decades at least. He can make anything out of anything.

The goal of this operation from the general’s point of view is to get into the White House. Not in as such (he can get in using codes and scans) but he needs a seat at the table, to be respected by his peers and to look good in the eyes of the president. (I couldn’t find a good photo of the alien space ship from above or below but i’m sure you see it from such an angle in the film and it looks exactly the same as the logo (left).

 

Tropic Thunder

This isn’t so much a theory as it is a realisation. Tropic Thunder opens with the information “…of the 10 men sent, 4 returned. Of those 4, 3 wrote a book. Of those 3, 2 were published. Of those 2, just 1 got a movie deal. This is the story of the men who attempted to make that movie.” We then assume that the film goes on to show the process of the film being made…BUT in actuality it’s the film of that film being made.

Everything in the film is dramatized for effect. The real director didn’t step on a mine, they just added that in. The war hero 4-leaf wasn’t a fake; they just needed a new twist. In the actual events of them making the film, chances are very little happened. A lot of money was wasted (similar to the start) and so the director takes them to the jungle and sets up cameras. The original film was filmed this way with 5 actors wandering through the jungle, trying to survive, acting out scenes as they went. Perhaps they get into some trouble but nothing to the scale of the film. When they get out, the film is a disaster.

Instead, they re-do the making of the film with all the drama and thrill and adrenaline pumping gunfights, drug addictions, deaths, character development etc. Focussing on the actors instead of the character they were supposed to be portraying.

 

Anyway, that’s my list of random “theories” that I’ve come up with. Pretty ridiculous, huh? I sometimes think it is fun to just randomly add a twist to films when you notice small details out of place.

 

If you have any of your own, feel free to post them below or Tweet me your ideas. Don’t forget to follow me here and on Twitter to be kept up-to-date with my blog posts, short stories and any updates on my novel! Peace!

The Conspiracy Conspiracy

 

What is a conspiracy? Well to use the first definition that Google displays it’s: “a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful” or “the action of plotting or conspiring”. However, we are all familiar with how the word is used today. If you get the label of a conspiracy theorist, then it means you wear a tinfoil hat because you’re worried that the aliens who shot JFK and planned 9/11 are using their base at Area 51 to read your mind. Keep in mind that the term “conspiracy theory” doesn’t directly refer to someone believing some crackpot theory. It’s simply a theory related to a group’s secret plan.

As such, I want to use this post to explore this idea that perhaps we need to view conspiracy theories and conspiracy theorists in a different light. Similar to how the blanket term of “drugs” is often used as if all drugs are equally as dangerous or equally as addictive or remotely the same substances whatsoever. Yes, we have class systems for these drugs but just keep in mind that weed is in the same level as amphetamines, ketamine and barbiturates. But this isn’t a drug post.

So what will I be looking at today? I’m going to look at some of the extremes: the conspiracy theories that really do deserve to be up there on the “tinfoil hat required” list while also looking at some of ones that turned out to be very factual despite being mostly ignored today. I’m also going to cover an area that seems to be avoided or seen as the “no-man’s land” in every single aspect of life: the middle ground. For some reason you’re either down the rabbit hole or you’re not. There’s never an opportunity to stick your head in to take a look.

Get the Tinfoil Hats Out

I’m going to keep this section fairly short and light-hearted (all to build you up for the later sections). The truth is there are a million if not billion random conspiracy theories out there that I’m sure we’ve all heard. The Elvis one is always a go-to option but rather than explore that one further, let’s warm up with another musical icon: Paul McCartney.

 

Paul is Dead

What about the idea that Paul McCartney died in a car crash in 1969 and The Beetles covered it up and replaced him with a look-a-like? This is one that I only heard about recently and it’s certainly an interesting one. Apparently, at the end of the song ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ you can hear John Lennon saying the words “I buried Paul”. People have even interpreted the album covers as being signs as well. The famous Abbey Road cover being a nod to the funeral which is why Paul is barefoot. This theory was put to rest pretty quickly when Paul McCartney took part in an interview with Life (I’m sure the pun was intended) magazine in which he acknowledged the rumours as being ridiculous…sounds like something a Paul McCartney look-a-like would be paid to say…

 

From Bombs to Tsunamis

I’m sure we all remember the horrific tsunami that took place on Boxing Day 2004 in Indonesia. The scientific explanation is that the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that took place triggered the tsunami and everything that followed. However, there are those who believe that the US government (or at least some section of the US military) detonated a 5-10 megaton bomb in order to trigger the tsunami as a way of sending in “relief support”: All in an effort to claim oil fields. Apparently the type of waves in the area were indicative of an underwater explosion. Combine that with the fact that the US had aid there incredibly quickly and you have a fishy situation. Out of all these slightly crazier conspiracy theories, this is the one I view as being most likely…not that I believe it but I just think that the US government is capable of literally anything!

 

The Moon is a Hologram

Yup, you read that title correctly. The moon it seems is a hologram and the Illuminati or some other secret society has pulled the wool over our eyes for decades. It’s hard for me to go into this one with an open mind, mainly because the entire conspiracy doesn’t make a great deal of sense. From what I can tell, this theory began when an amateur photographer observed the moon for a year and noticed ripples of some sort. He then came out and expressed the idea that the power system was failing which is what caused the ripples. He notes that while doing this he spotted an unlisted satellite that is one of many that projects the moon into our sky.

If you’ve never heard of David Icke, he’s an intelligent man who has bought into what seems like every conspiracy that has ever existed e.g. Saturn is the home of the lizard people who run this world in their human costumes. I first encountered Icke several years back when a talk about the nature of reality, the governments of the world, the holographic universe theory ended with him butchering by favourite Bill Hicks moment: “Just a Ride”. I have nothing against Icke as a human but I do get the feeling that he peddles a lot of nonsense in order to gain from it financially. If you make a theory crazy enough, there will always be people who will hop on board.

Anyway, Icke suggests that the moon being a hologram is all part of the Illumanati’s control over us. By presenting a fake moon, they highlight their power. It doesn’t end there. Oh no, sir! Apparently, the real moon could still be out there and could even be home to a population of alien colonisers. We will be looking at the moon landing further on in the article, I’m sure you’ll be happy to hear.

 

The Reptilian Conspiracy

In case you’ve managed to avoid hearing this one: The Earth is home to shapeshifting lizard creatures who rule the planet. These aliens are known as the Annunaki (which is based on ancient mythology from the Sumerians, I believe) and the Royal Family are actually lizard-people. Of course they are just the low level lizard people. We once again visit the opinion of David Icke, who claims that the bible references these lizard people (of course when you look at the mentioned passages, you don’t get that impression at all).

Apparently this species arrived on Earth via flaming UFOs and manipulated the human race into being their slaves. Only then did they realise that to truly rule, they would have to use their shape shifting power to become human. I’m all for believing in ancient aliens and civilisations but this one definitely requires a tinfoil hat to be a part of.

 

From Downright Crazy to Downright True

Of course not all conspiracy theories are quite as out there. There are many, many examples of governments creating shady plans in order to benefit their own agenda. Some of these are just downright terrifying to imagine but will also set us up for the final section. This section won’t cover anything that isn’t factual. I might share my opinions on them but the cases themselves are all completely true.

 

Operation Northwoods

This is an incredibly interesting yet also terrifying report. It’s suspected to be one of the reasons that JFK was assassinated (more on that in the next section) Operation Northwoods was a proposed false-flag operation. Who proposed it? Certain groups within the US Department of Defence and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that’s who. The proposal called for the CIA and several other agencies to commit acts of violence and terror against US civilian and military targets while under disguise as Cubans.

Some examples of these acts included: hijacking planes while dressed as Cubans with Cuban identification; attacking Guantanamo Bay in order to kill military targets while again, being disguised as Cuban soldiers; blowing up US ships and finally, planting bombs and carrying out attacks in US cities. The purpose of this was to create a strong public opinion that invading/going to war with Cuba would be necessary.

 

MK Ultra

Ever worry that the government might be poisoning you or brainwashing you? Sadly, Project MK Ultra is a true example of this. The CIA (an agency we will be referring to A LOT!) carried out highly illegal tests on both US and Canadian citizens (all unwitting). What was the aim? Well, they wanted to find the most effective techniques for interrogations and brainwashing. So they tested a wide variety of drug methods such as dosing people with LSD. They also tried hypnosis, sensory deprivation and a wide variety of other techniques including verbal and physical abuse.

Ultimately, while an investigation was carried out to determine all the shady shit the CIA had been doing, very little was done in relation to the MK Ultra project. Most of the files were destroyed at the command of the head of the CIA at the time, Richard Helms.

 

The Snowden Files

We all remember the relatively recent breakthrough that the NSA and the GCHQ had been spying on not only enemies but also allies. Both organisations right under our noses had carried out illegal and certainly shady mass data collection and if not for Edward Snowden, we would be none the wiser. Once again, very little has happened as a result of this and the US’s reaction to a whistle blower has been made quite clear which doesn’t bode well for any future releases of this nature.

Of course this won’t have stopped there. The CIA uses Snapchat to collect facial recognition data and Mark Zuckerberg is still all too willing to supply any information he can to any paying buyer, especially government bodies. People like Theresa May want us to have less privacy and if the Snooper’s Charter had gone through, apps like WhatsApp that use encryption to keep messages private, would have become illegal unless they supplied governments with backdoor access.

It’s safe to assume that most of our data is still being collected, they’re just finding more and more ways to do it.

 

I could write about so many more but I don’t want people to get bored but at least you’ll have seen a glimpse of some of the shady acts that our governments have been very willing to do. If you’re interested in these sorts of historical moments, then I suggest you read up about the WTC bomb of 1993 (I think) and the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. This brings us on to the final section.

 

The Middle Ground

One thing that needs to be addressed in terms of conspiracy theories is the middle ground. Why can’t I believe part of a conspiracy theory but not the whole thing? We view them as being one extreme or the other. The reason I’ve named this post The Conspiracy Conspiracy is because I think part of the reason people ignore the middle ground is that they simply don’t want their bubble to be burst. If we can agree that the above example are factual then are the following ones really so hard to believe? I’m going to basically give you an overview of my beliefs on the following well-known conspiracy theories. I personally can’t see any reason why it’s such a stretch to believe them.

 

The Moon Landing was Fake

Ok, hear me out. I believe that we went to the moon. I’m not about to deny that we did. However, I think that while we did go to the moon, fake footage was also shot. I’m inclined to believe the Kubrick conspiracy version of this i.e. Kubrick was brought in to film the fake version and left clues to this throughout other films such as The Shining. My belief is as follows: NASA and the US were about to make history by being the first to send men to the moon. Were people just going to accept that as fact? Of course not. If someone claimed today that we had men on Mars but didn’t provide proof, we’d label them a crackpot conspiracy theorist.

As such, I think a back-up was created just in case there were any issues. In the event that the mission as a whole failed or the footage wasn’t available, then this back-up version would have been used. I’m not even against the possibility that some of the fake footage was added to the real footage. I just think we need to be open minded about the whole situation. There are many examples of Neil Armstrong and the others clearly hiding details. Don’t believe? YouTube and the Internet will be your friends!

 

JFK Assassination

I am a strong believer in the idea that this wasn’t just the work of Oswald or Communists or whatever other official explanation was given. Everything about the assassination screams “conspiracy” and yet for the most part, people ate up the official story. You only have to look as far as the autopsy photos changing, bullets changing, footage being destroyed, files being set for declassification and then delayed.

Is that not enough? Well, what about the ridiculous number of eye-witnesses who died within a few years of the event? Not that their individual deaths were suspicious (although cut breaks surely are) but the sheer number that have died in that time is certainly bizarre and an anomaly. It is said that the odds of them all being dead by 1969 is one hundred thousand trillion to one.

A YouTuber whose channel is Bright Insight led me to the idea that George Bush Senior may have had a direct involvement in JFK’s assassination. He was working for the CIA at the time (one of the agencies seen as most likely to have carried out the assassination) and since he became president (followed later on by his son) it’s no real surprise that keeping this under wraps would be essential. Especially since that leads to a whole bunch of questions about other times the CIA and the Bush family may have joined to commit illegal activities.

 

9/11

Truther is a word often thrown at someone who doesn’t agree with the given narrative about the 9/11 attacks in New York. Am I a truther? No…well, sort of. If you viewed it as a scale with believing the narrative being 1 and believing Bush himself piloted the planes via remote control as 10, I’m probably in the middle: Somewhere between 4 and 6.

Everything about the event just seems off. If you ignored everything else and simply focused on how the Bush administration handled the event that alone would raise suspicions. It just so happens that that isn’t the only evidence. Just to be clear here, I don’t believe that explosives were planted in the buildings or that the CIA organised the attacks (although if you read up on the WTC bomb several years previous, it certainly raises some suspicions).

However, I do believe that it is completely possible that the attacks were allowed to happen and were closely monitored as the day went on. I do believe that the US government received countless warnings that such an attack would take place. I do believe that the attacks were used to fuel public opinion and mount an unnecessary invasion in order to take control of oil and opium. I also believe that the 9/11 Inquiry was great at avoiding any real answers or investigation and that thousands of people had their lives torn to pieces and got a mumbling moron President making everything worse.

 

In Conclusion

So what is the conspiracy conspiracy? Perhaps it’s a plan from a secret society to turn anybody who questions the official narrative into a tinfoil hat wearing nutjob…or perhaps it’s just a title that has no real meaning that to sound catchy. I’m not genuinely implying that the word conspiracy is in itself a conspiracy…but I think that as a society, we’ve attached connotations to the word that ought not to be there.

The point of this post isn’t to debate conspiracy theories. The point of it is to highlight that sometimes, your government and my government are responsible for some extremely shady shit. Yet we let them get a pass over and over again. It’s like letting your dog shit on your pillow and then just shrugging your shoulders because fuck it! I think we all need to take a step back, look at the evidence and decide whether something is believable or not. Just because someone suggests an idea that goes against everything the media or your teachers or your parents are telling you, doesn’t mean that you should rule it out.

I’m not saying believe every crackpot theory you hear. I’m saying that you should look at all the evidence and come to your own conclusions. Government conspiracies are probably in motion right now so don’t go down the path of saying “a government could never get away with that”. They have and they will again. When a red flag is raised with an issue but a group of the people believing it also believe that the Earth is flat, don’t assume that your point of view is wrong or that theirs is…

…And when it comes to the CIA, assume the worst.

 

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter to be kept up-to-date with writing I do outside this blog. If you have a taste for conspiracy theories, check out one of my older posts that looks at how the petition system in the UK is simply there to make you feel like you tried and failed to make a change.

Westworld: Multiple Timelines (and Other Theories)

(Unlike my usual posts, this one will be updated and edited after being posted so if it looks incomplete, that will be why. Feel free to comment with any evidence or critique towards what I mention. Each episode “summary/analysis” will not be edited after a new episode has been released. That way, you can see where my mind was wandering to rather than allowing me to correct mistakes.)

Just when you thought that robot cowboys inhabiting a futuristic theme park was crazy enough, the guys behind Westworld begin to show that we’ve only just entered the maze and that there are plenty more twists and turns ahead of us! If you haven’t watched the show or aren’t caught up then I’d advise not reading past the second paragraph as I’ll be delving into each episode to look at evidence for this current theory that is spreading like wild fire…

Amongst all the sex, gun fights and malfunctioning computer programmes, it’s difficult to notice the smaller details to a show such as Westworld. As long as you’ve watched at least the first episode then you will have already have witnessed the “man in black” in all his triumphant glory. Described as a guest who “gets whatever he wants” and has been visiting the park for 30 years, this black-hat wearing psycho has raped, murdered and scalped his way from episode to episode in search of a deeper level to the game: the maze. Playing the game in what is the polar opposite way, we have white-hat wearing William…but what if these two men weren’t so different after all? In fact, what if they were literally the same person? One of the latest theories to float to the surface is the idea that we are in fact viewing two, possibly three (maybe even more) periods in time. In the early episodes we were led to believe that the main story would revolve around this “bug” that is sweeping through the hosts and causing them to remember previous experiences and ultimately act way out of their usual routine. This appears to merely be a distraction to keep our attention away from the real story: What led William down such a dark path?

Well let’s look at what we know so far:

-William (who arguably is the Man in Black but younger) is travelling with Dolores who is often described as “special” and “the oldest host in the park”. She is beginning to hear voices and remember her past “lives”.

-The company that William works for has been thinking about buying shares in the park or buying it out completely.

-Arnold’s death (35 years ago) almost took down the park but didn’t because of the actions of the Man in Black.

-The Man in Black has been visiting the park for 30 years

-The last “critical failure” was over 30 years ago and was caused by an update

-He knows some of the hosts (Dolores and Lawrence, for example) which are the two main hosts that William has interacted with so far.

These are of course very minor and abstract details that certainly don’t supply enough evidence to suggest that this theory holds any water. So instead, let’s take a look at each episode and see what evidence is contained within. I’m also going to be dropping in some other theories along the way which I think are being used as a smokescreen to keep the hidden storyline hidden for as long as possible.

Episode 1: Despite William not actually appearing until the 2nd episode, there is actually a lot of evidence to be taken into consideration here. While this episode may be best known for the incredible version of “Paint It Black” during the gun fight scene, this episode introduces us to the infamous man in black. Within the first few minutes, we witness Teddy repeating his train journey into town. During these repeated journeys, we can overhear who I assume are guests, talking about hat colour. One guy (who I feel could be an early version of The Man in Black but I don’t actually have a great deal to support it) is talking to someone about his hat colour: he mentions that the first time he came he went white hat with friends but that the second time he went full evil black hat on his own and had the best few months of his life. The show is already introducing the idea that white hats represent good while black hats are of a more sinister nature. This seems more important when you imagine the reveal (if there is a reveal) that William and the man in black are the same person, considering that when they are first introduced to the audience they have different colour hats. One thing I noticed is that the man in black doesn’t seem phased at all by the bullets when he is being shot in the first episode. We know that the hosts can’t kill guests but as we see with William and Logan, they get hurt by the bullets and even beaten up. Of course, it could be argued that after 30 years of playing, the man in black is just used to the impact and so it appears that the bullets simply don’t hurt him. I would theorise that when you take this timeline theory into consideration, we know that there was an “incident” of some kind 30 years in the past from the present day storyline so what if this incident is the reason that guests no longer feel the pain of being shot? When William and Logan get shot, the incident has not yet happened and part of the thrill is the dark reality that you can still get hurt. Once the incident happens the company has no choice but to pull on the ropes a little and tighten up health and safety in order to keep the park open. We hear the Man in Black announcing “Goddam it’s good to be back” so we can assume that when we meet him for the first time, this is him having just returned to the park. It’s in this episode that we also hear the staff mentioning the critical failure that took place 30 years ago. It’s mentioned just after an update is put into place when Theresa Cullen points out that the staff always get nervous when a new update is released because of what happened 30 years previously. This next point could be wrong because I haven’t gotten round to comparing it to the later episode but when Hector and his posse roll into town guns blazing (or quite the opposite initially) it is a black man with a badge who confronts them. I don’t remember that being the case later on but I’ll need to check that out and come back to it. If not, I think this would further support the idea of two timelines. Having the same character appear makes sense due to the fact that the hosts don’t age but having a different character within the same storyline might seem a little suspicious. Of course it could still be nothing as we’ve witnessed Dolores’s father being replaced already. Another potential theory I think could easily be true is that the staff (or at least some of them) are in fact the same as the hosts but made to fit into the futuristic (at least to us) environment rather than the West. This goes a step further into the idea that Bernard is in fact an Arnold replica and has some or all of Arnold’s consciousness floating around in his brain. This idea comes more into play when we look at the second episode.

Episode 2: In what I can only really compare to the early moments of Donnie Darko, the second episode has a sleeping Dolores be awakened by a voice saying “Wake up Dolores. Do you remember?” The weirdest thing about this scene is that after we hear/see it, the story skips to William on the train…Coincidence? I think this is an early nod to the idea of William’s story being in the past. We also have to wonder who was talking to Dolores. It certainly sounds like Bernard but what if it is the “glitch” or “bug” that is messing with her programming? This would certainly add weight to the idea of Bernard being an Arnold clone or at least having some sort of connection to Arnold despite claiming not to have really known about him. When we watch William and Logan get off the train, the area they step out into strongly resembles an area we saw in episode 1: namely an area that Bernard and a team went through in order to get to cold storage. Only when they went through it, it was dark and flooded with water. I haven’t properly compared the areas but just after seeing them I noticed a similarity. Later on in the episode we hear the mysterious voice in Dolores’s head saying “Remember”. This is where memories from Dolores’s past begin to be revisited as she sees dead people despite her memory being wiped after each visit. An interesting thing about Dolores is that she plays a pivotal role not only in the show, but in this theory. We see her and Teddy constantly meeting each other and repeating the same routine over and over. However, we know that this isn’t a daily thing as the stories can go on for days, even weeks, maybe even longer. The immediate repetitions make it appear as if we are viewing day 1 then day 2 then day 3 so that when we are introduced to the Man in Black in episode 1 as he hands Dolores the can she drops, it fits in after Teddy does the exact same thing. Then in episode 2 we notice William also handing her the can and it may even appear that this is merely over the course of a few days but that just wouldn’t make sense. I mean Dolores does repeat this same process several times over the first few episodes but the show doesn’t really tell us if it’s actually every single day, week or maybe every cycle when newcomers arrive. Speaking of William, after being left to choose his clothes, he is presented with what appears to be a serious choice: a black hat or a white hat. As I already mentioned, he chooses a white hat but there really wouldn’t be any reason to put as much emphasis on his hat choice unless there was a deeper meaning. I mean sure, you could argue that it’s merely a representation of good vs evil, right vs wrong. I mean in Lost we had the game of checkers and the colour of clothing to lead the audience into a whole light vs dark battle. I just feel like that idea is a little played out and given how complex the storyline seems to be so far, I’d be very surprised if it was simply meant to represent good and evil. I mean Logan chooses a black hat and he certainly acts like he deserves it…but then what is evil? He isn’t doing anything differently to the other “players” at this theme park. I mean it’s what it’s there for, right? While on the train, Logan is constantly telling William that this place is where people go to find their true selves. He wants William to let loose and expose his true personality, thinking that there might be more to him than he lets people see. This plays into the theory a little more when later in the episode we hear the Man in Black talking to Lawrence. After explaining how good friends they are (or at least how well they know each other), he comments saying “..you used to be a little eloquent” before saying “I was born in this here!” Now since he is referring to the park, I think it is safe to assume that he doesn’t mean literally, although that would be a somewhat interesting story to hear. So if the Man in Black was “born” in the park, we have to assume that he was a completely different person before arriving. Being in the park turned him into the Man in Black.

Episode 3: I have to admit that the first time I watched the third episode, I didn’t really notice anything out of the ordinary or anything that would lead me to suspect that a deeper level of storyline was in play. The second viewing was akin to stumbling upon a treasure map. Let’s even look at the very start of the episode (or at least near the start): We have the Man in Black telling Dolores “Why don’t we reacquaint ourselves, Dolores. Start at the beginning!” Funnily enough, the same thing happens as in episode 2 in that the scene then cuts to William. It really couldn’t be any more like a flashback without the words “30 Years Ago” appearing on the screen. This episode is really all about laying even more foundation of the “white hat” that William really is. It doesn’t take long before he is saving the cliched damsel in distress which also happens to be the scene where we seem him feeling the physical pain after being shot by a host. No bullet wound or bleeding but definitely an impact that manages to knock him off his feet and leave a mark. Coincidentally enough, in what I will describe as the later timeline (the one with the Man in Black as opposed to William), Teddy comments that Wyat (his new enemy thanks to Ford’s new storyline) is neither a man nor the devil because “the devil can’t be killed.” This happens to be one of the traits that the guests have but perhaps used most noticeably by the Man in Black who stands and takes the bullets that in the real world would kill a man, and to the hosts makes no sense. Another interesting thing about episode 3 is that I believe it hints at a third timeline, one focusing on Arnold or Bernard (or possibly both depending on whether they are indeed a form of the same person). There is a scene that I think could be Arnold (who if this theory is correct, would of course look exactly like Bernard) creating the initial problem that will lead to the critical failure. We see him talking to Dolores, explaining change through stories and telling her that he’s made a mistake and perhaps she should put back to the way she was before. He even uses the same quote that Ford used in an earlier episode about mistakes and evolution. I mean it could quite easily be Bernard repeating a quote from a man whom he respects…but perhaps it’s Arnold using the quote which is later used by Ford. I think this scene with Dolores hints at one of two possiblites:

  1. We are witnessing Arnold during the early days of the park. He is experimenting with the idea of creating consciousness rather than simply mimicking it but is having his own concerns regarding the impact it is having on Dolores. Despite having doubts, he continues to be amazed after she improvises without her programming showing any reason why she would say certain things. I think that Arnold’s pride and general curiosity lead Dolores to have this “special” side to her that we see in other episodes and perhaps Arnold planted ideas and code within her so that at a later date, he could access her “mind” in one way or another.
  2. The second possibility is that we are witnessing Bernard after another incident i.e. another critical failure. He begins to blame himself because he viewed Dolores as different to the others and perhaps gave her more leeway than he should have resulting in her faults going unseen by other members of staff and therefore not dealt with in a way that protocol would dictate.

There is of course the possibility that this scene is simply Bernard talking to Dolores but something just feels off about it. It’s all very cloak and dagger considering moments before she was being taught how to shoot by Teddy so there would only have been the rest of the day for Bernard to talk to her. Not to mention that there seems to be something the matter, some bigger issue that Arnold/Bernard is concerned about when it comes to Dolores. I mean she isn’t causing anyone harm and she isn’t going outwith her routine by any great amount so I don’t think it can be as simple as it seems. I also think that this episode adds to the idea that Bernard and other members of staff are in fact hosts of a higher caliber. Arnold/Bernard during a video chat with who we can only assume is the mother of his dead son, says “I forgot where I am…what I am” which again, might not mean anything and to be fair, it almost seems like too obvious a hint. Then again, what is he? Is he simply an employee in a remote park? Is he a host who is aware of what he is? Is he a replica of the dead founder of the park? Perhaps he is even more than that? We know that Arnold’s life was full of personal tradegy and we know that Bernard’s son died but what  if the two are the same? I also think that one of the members of the security team (the one played by a lesser known Hemsworth brother) is a modernised host. Again, it almost seems like the show is hinting at it too obviously for it to be true but all the jokes about “maybe it’s in my backstory” or why was he given the all clear to carry a weapon, something we know hosts go through. Before the malfunctioning, wandering hosts smashed his own head with a giant rock, he actually managed to hurt this security guy. Sure he is malfunctioning but isn’t the core code meant to stay in tact during such an event? We do, however, know that hosts can hurt or even kill other hosts. In fact, in many storylines it’s essential. We also know, thanks to Ford’s explanation, that Arnold was working based on a theory that early humans would have believed their conscience to be the voice of God which coincidentally enough is what the voice saying “kill him” inside Dolores’s head seems to sound like. It certainly seems more and more likely that this issue with the hosts is the work of a dead man.

One final point for this episode, taking us back to William on his journey to become the Man in Black. There is an interesting moment between him and Logan where the latter says “…to play white hat” which once again bring the whole hat colour issue into play again.

Episode 4: This episode opens with Bernard (or possibly Arnold) talking to Dolores again. If there are indeed multiple periods in time being shown within the show, it is difficult to work out where this one belongs. I suspect it may be outwith the main two timelines we’ve seen already. This episode gives us more information on William and Logan: we know from earlier episodes that William is/was married to Logan’s sister and that the two men work together. We learn here that Logan is higher up than William and that the only reason he brought William on this trip is because he isn’t a threat. He’s basically seen as having reached the peak of his career. I think this is important because it will show even more difference between William and the Man in Black as we learn in the same episode that the Man in Black owns a foundation of some sort. We hear another guest telling him: “your foundation literally saved my sisters life.” Rather than being evidence against William being the Man in Black, I think it’s actually supportive evidence to this theory. The purpose of it is to show us how drastically William changes. He enters the park as a timid, passive, wannabe-hero white hat but will leave as quite the opposite, only to return again and again. Another interesting moment in this episode is a conversation between William and Logan (two if you include yet another hat colour comment between the two: “Go black hat with me” Logan to William) They are talking about certain areas of the park and how their not the usual market-tested bullshit but come at a great cost to the park. Logan even mentions that the park is hemorrhaging money and that their company should take this opportunity to buy more shares. This becomes more relevant in the next episode but one final point I shall mention from episode 4 that I believe to be relevant is a conversation that Ford has with Theresa Cullen where they are talking about the park, specifically Ford’s new storyline and the board’s opinion of it. As the conversation gets a little heated, Cullen says “The board will agree with me, they’ll be sending a representative” only for Ford to reply “But they already have. I thought they would have told you!” My thinking is that the Man in Black is this representative. I think that after leaving the park as William, he takes control of the company he works for, investing in the park by buying shares, possibly even buying the majority. I think his trip to the park while seeming to be a holiday (he even says as much) is as much business as pleasure. Perhaps he is trying to see whether the park is still as exciting or maybe he believes there is more to this storyline than the audience has seen so far. Maybe he thinks Arnold has left something for those who can complete the maze.

Episode 5: Episode 5, while being an incredibly interesting episode and revealing some key moments such as us seeing the maze symbol on a coffin that is being transported by none other than Lawrence, actually doesn’t supply a great deal of evidence to support these theories i’ve been mentioning. That being said, we get some more moments of Dolores hearing voices: “Find me” which interestingly enough comes across as the same way that Ford communicates with her when he puts her to sleep by saying “deepened, dreamless slumber”. We do learn from this episode that it is possible for the hosts to be communicated with while they are still in the park (or at least that’s how it appears). Referring back to the point I made in episode 4; William and Logan discuss the idea of buying shares but Logan actually mentions that their company was thinking about buying out the park. When the Man in Black is talking to Ford, he mentions that Arnold’s death almost took the park with him and he mentions “almost, but not quite…thanks to me. Or maybe he left something behind.” We know that Arnold died 35 (ish) years previous to the Man in Black’s story and that he died just before the park opened. If that’s the case, did Arnold’s meddling with consciousness result in the critical failure after his death? We have to assume that him dying wasn’t the single reason that the park almost failed. What did he leave behind?

Episode 6: So this episode focused on one theory in particular: the idea of Bernard being an AI (or at least being made of the same stuff as a host). Within the first few moments of this episodes, those of you who have been paying attention will have noticed something rather odd: Bernard’s son was in a hospital on what looked like a rather old-fashioned drip. We’ve learnt from previous episodes that the world outside of the park is far beyond our level of technology. It was even stated that people don’t get sick anymore, yet here we have Bernard’s son in a hospital dying. If anything was a big clue to this theory, it was this opening moment of episode 6. Luckily, the episode actually confirms it later on but not before slowly dropping the hint. When Bernard and Theresa walk into Ford’s creepy holiday home where the host-version’s of his abusive father and the rest of his family were living, Theresa asks what is behind a certain door, a door that Bernard cannot see until it is opened. If this didn’t make you click then the quite up front reveal moments later would have. Quick note: the basement sort of room in the house where Ford was building other hosts looked very, very similar to the room where “Bernard” had been talking to Dolores. If we assume that it is indeed the same room then it means one of two things (in my opinion) 1) Bernard is in fact a copy of Arnold and it was actually Arnold who we saw conversing with Dolores which is a theory I mentioned after an earlier episode; or 2) Ford has been using Bernard to interview hosts who are the oldest in the park and have been impacted by the update. I have to stick with the first theory on this one, assuming of course that it is in fact the same room which is something I haven’t got around to checking. One other major point to come from this episode is that Ford is now removing the code that stops hosts from killing. That is unless Theresa is also a host which wouldn’t completely surprise me. I mean maybe the entire show only has three main human characters: William/the Man in Black, Ford and Arnold. Arnold, who could quite possibly now be a host but with his own mind inside. The entire show could basically be about some weird, futuristic type of corporate espionage and sabotage. We also saw some more of William and Dolores this episode as Dolores draws a place before they visit it. Could that suggest that she is in fact following a story arc that she has taken part in before and William isn’t some special guest leading her astray?

 

For those of you who have been watching, Westworld has now come to an end. In my opinion they wrapped everything up nicely and even though they’ll be doing a 2nd season, it seems like it will be largely separated from the goings-on of this season. I might come back and finish up my write up of these theories but now that the show is over and there is no more guessing to be done, I’ve kind of lost interest in summarising what these theories represent. I will however be writing about bicameralism (a theory of vital importance throughout the show) but I will be focusing on bicameralism in relation to my own theory of consciousness rather than relating it to to the events of the show.

Consciousness: Our Journey Through the Multiverse

Imagine for a moment that you’re driving. Maybe you’re going to work or to the shop or just driving for the sake of driving. You’ve got some music playing and you’re momentarily caught up in whatever song is on, to the point that your concentration has begun to wander and without realising it, the car has just drifted over towards the side of the road a little too much. You’re nothing more than a few inches away from driving down the side of what would be a fatal drop. You notice just before you go over and straighten the car up on the road as your heart begins to race due to your near death experience…but what if it wasn’t a near death experience? What if you did actually die in that car accident but your consciousness instantly manifests itself into a reality where your car didn’t tip over the edge.

I’m going to assume you’ve heard of the multiverse theory and the many worlds interpretation? If not, then just understand that it is possible that there are an infinite number of universes that exist out-with our own and every time you make a choice or decision, there could potentially be another version of you in a different universe/reality where you made a different decision. That’s probably the easiest way to summarise it but I’d still advise you go read about it somewhere else or even just go watch a YouTube video about it…anyway, you’ve just been in this car crash but suddenly you are alive and as far as you’re concerned, you didn’t die but you nearly did; one second longer and you would have been over the edge of the road. Luckily you managed to notice in time. There may be a term for this idea already but if not, I’m going to call it reality jumping or consciousness-host magnetism.

When you think about how little we understand about consciousness, is it really a stretch to imagine that such a thing could be possible? Graham Hancock once said during a podcast that he views consciousness like a radio signal, in that our bodies are receiving the signal (similarly to a radio) but we have no knowledge of what the source is. Perhaps there is some hub out-with our universe and all universes that sends out a stream or signal so that we are always aware in one universe or another. Maybe we are aware in every universe but just at different times or perhaps we’re aware in every universe at the same time but we are simply one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively (as Bill Hicks once said). I don’t think there is ever any way we could discover such a thing but it’s certainly an interesting topic to think about.

So you die and then before you know it you’re nervously laughing in another universe about the fact that you almost died. Then again, maybe it’s not instant at all. I mean without anywhere to store memories, why would we have any recollection of the journey from one host to another? Perhaps we’ve actually spent billions or trillions of years floating through some dark void between universes but we simply can’t remember it. I guess time might not even exist in that dimension so you’re just an awareness floating through nothingness. Ever zone out and feel like you were a million miles away? Maybe it’s because you just died in another universe and your consciousness has only just re-emerged into this new body. That feeling of having drifted miles away could be like an after-image of the journey you just took. Why would we even be limited to one consciousness? Maybe there are hundreds, thousands or even millions of “you” inside your brain. Since there are potentially an infinite number of universes where the same events, there are theoretically an infinite number of versions of you that have had the exact same experience as you. So perhaps your consciousness just merges with theirs and you’re none the wiser. I mean why would you be? It’s almost like syncing up sound with video. When it’s done perfectly, you can’t notice that the two are in fact separate things. They become one functioning film or TV show. What if mental illness is merely the result of an incompatible consciousness trying to merge with the others? Imagine for a moment that your consciousness is like an item in a shop: it has a bar code on it that is unique to all those items not just that one, individual item. For example, all the white chocolate chip cookies would have the same bar code. What if in some weird, cosmic sense our consciousness (which for the purposes of this post I’m viewing as similar to a base soul or spirit that has no experiences or memories other than the ones that the host body has saved in its brain) has a bar code of sorts; Some unique pattern that allows it to find and merge with others of the same code. The only comparison I can think of is that ridiculous game where you fire coloured bubbles at other coloured bubbles and after a certain number are touching, they pop. What happens then when a slightly different or maybe even completely different code is combined with the others? I can’t think of a better example so I’m going to stick with this bubble pop (or whatever the game’s name is) comparison. If we view your consciousness as a circle or bubble, and everyone else in the entirety of human consciousness has a completely different shape to yours, then we can use the colour of the bubble to distinguish between one compatible bubble and another. So what happens when 5 red bubbles suddenly get joined by a green one? Well, that consciousness believes it is in the right place. It joins the others but the host body doesn’t have the compatible memories or experiences, it doesn’t like the same music or write with the same hand. While the consciousness has no memories, maybe it is programmed or has some sort of hard wiring that stops it from just merging with any host. To begin with it may just observe but soon it would naturally try and control the host body which goes against what is already happening. Maybe this causes a tear of sorts in the psyche and ultimately leads to mental illness. Maybe this also explains why some people feel like they are the wrong sex: perhaps in another universe they are a different gender. They are the same person in every other way but just were born a different sex. If we use the bubble analogy again, what if the host was initially a blue bubble (or several blue bubbles) but a pink bubble (yes I’m using gender stereotypes for the colours) latches on, then another, then another. Would the pink bubble eventually become the controlling force within that host body?

Maybe we could even take this a step further: I remember reading this short story of sorts online. I’ll try and find a link to it so that you can read it (here you go: http://www.galactanet.com/oneoff/theegg_mod.html )…anyway, to summarise, this story suggests that when we die we come back as somebody else. Time is not important, you may die now and come back in 1450 but basically you are everyone else that ever has lived and ever will live. The story suggests that this is some form of maturing and that eventually you become a God-like being but you require the experience of all these different lifetimes before you can reach that level. So what if we take my consciousness idea and combine it with that: we could be a being that is living not only a potentially infinite number of versions of one life, but in fact a potentially infinite number of versions of every life. Maybe the code for each consciousness changes in a similar way to a counter. Perhaps you start out with 00001 (I’m of course simplifying this for the comparison) and the first 9 are the same life but after that one, you change to 00010. Each space could represent a new life that you’re to experience. Of course it wouldn’t be as simple as that or perhaps even as organised.

There is of course another way to look at this: Imagine that we don’t experience every universe but a select few. If there are an infinite number of universes then perhaps we experience a billion or a trillion and while we might not live in every one, when we die we have the option of restarting from that point in another universe that is the same. What if this group of universes is like a school or university or gym but in a crazy way that we can’t remotely comprehend while in it? Kind of like not realising you’re dreaming until you wake up. When we finish the combined experience of all these lifetimes, we emerge and can remember everything we’ve seen, learnt, touched, felt, etc. I guess the question then would be: what are we training for? To become Gods? Or are we merely foot soldiers in some sort of whacky alien training programme, preparing ourselves in a simulation for our upcoming war with humanity: Living a ridiculous number of lifetimes in a few weeks to learn their weaknesses and strengths? This is perhaps taking this train of thought a little too far outside the box but it’s fun to think about. Would our experience as humans alter our view on the war we’re about to have with them (now there is a film idea: aliens who live the lives of humans in a simulation that creates realities identical to the one true reality that they live in, only to ultimately find that they sympathize with us).

Of course I can’t imagine it being possible to ever prove or even theorize in any detail about such an idea. There would be something wonderfully relaxing about having such knowledge though. Would we fear death at all? Would we be sad for the deaths of our loved ones? I know religious people must be reading this thinking “well isn’t Heaven the same thing”. Maybe to you it is but as someone without not only the means to get to heaven but also the desire, I’d choose universe hopping over eternal suffering/bliss without a moment’s hesitation. There is also no need for any higher being to exist for such a theory to be true. I mean we know that electrons and such act in really crazy and mysterious ways so why not human consciousness? I mean isn’t it far more mysterious even without this theory?

This would undoubtedly lead to the moral dilemma of whether or not the new you in each universe really is you. I mean who are you? Are you the one, physical body or are you the experiences and memories that that body transports within the memory centres of the brain? Not that it would matter because you would always think that you are you due to being unable to remember your previous life/lives. For instance, I could have died in thousands of different ways already or perhaps this actually is my first life and I’ve been one of the lucky ones who just hasn’t died yet.

We would then also have the question of what happens when you die naturally? Do you just go to a universe where you live longer? There has to be a point where you quite simply do not live any longer in any universe in existence so what then? Do we just restart with no memories in a new, random universe as a baby? That part of it sounds more like hell to me: living longer and longer in each universe while being physically and mentally unable to take care of yourself and probably spending the majority of your time alone, practically begging for death. Not the most cheery note to end on but oh well!

Any thoughts on this post? Feel free to comment them below!

The Flash: A Representation of Dumbed-Down Television

Anyone else noticing that TV shows (as well as films) seem to be becoming more and more dumbed down in order to appeal to a larger audience? This can take place in many ways, whether it’s the shows characters doing something ridiculous to advance the story or revealing something about themselves that only the slower audience members won’t have noticed or even worse, things actually not making sense in the shows storyline. I recently binge-watched two seasons of The Flash which is what sparked this post so I’m going to use that as my point of reference as it highlights most of the issues I plan on mentioning.

 

I had never seen anything to do with The Flash before. If there are Flash films I haven’t seen them, if there are games then I haven’t played them and while I know there are comics, I haven’t read them. I only began watching the show because I’d been led to believe that it had interesting twists and turns and a generally cool storyline. While I did find myself ultimately hooked on the show, it wasn’t out of intrigue or curiosity as much as it was out of hate and disbelief. I’ll admit that it’s certainly an entertaining show (as much as it pains me to say it) but there are some very clear issues with the show that apply to many, many others like it.

One of the biggest issues is the number of episodes per season which in the case of The Flash is something like 22 or 23. Don’t get me wrong, some shows have a lot of episodes and manage it perfectly fine but others fall into a horrible pit where we notice a formula being used that causes each episode to mirror the one before it with only minor differences. This isn’t the case for every single episode but I found it went something like this:

-the audience is shown a new meta-human doing something at the time of the particle collider explosion;

-Barry and his team/family discuss some problem that they are having;

-the meta-human shows up and causes trouble;

-some member of the team (usually Barry) thinks they have the solution;

-they don’t and they fail;

-ultimately some important lesson about family or teamwork or patience or whatever is learnt and this is used to defeat the meta-human.

We get this for about 40 minutes and then in the last minute or so, some mysterious event happens that adds to the overall storyline in some way that is meant to be like a cliff-hanger but usually isn’t. Essentially, 80% of the show is filler material and 20% is unique storyline. Don’t get me wrong, some of the filler stuff is hilarious and interesting but you can only watch the same thing happen so many times before it becomes boring. The Flash isn’t the only show I’ve watched where this has happened: Take Elementary for example, a show I should have enjoyed a lot more than I did. Elementary also uses this technique in order to add more episodes to each season. This is all well and good but eventually you just become bored of it. Some other examples of this would include Criminal Minds, The Mentalist, Marvels Agents of Shield (specifically the first season) and Lie to me, which are all shows that I thoroughly enjoyed but even they had points where it just wasn’t that interesting and ultimately the success formula acts as a negative aspect of the show. Lie to Me didn’t even have any huge, overall storyline but it still became very formulated. Even The Walking Dead has started to drag its heels in terms of new story arcs. I mean Lost has plenty of episodes and (despite the fact that it ultimately ended up being wildly disappointing) managed to keep each episode unique and interesting. Sure, it may not always have made sense and caused us to have more questions than answers but if a bunch of plane crash survivors on an island can remain interesting, shouldn’t that also be the case with superheroes/villains? I find that for many shows, especially ones of this nature where the storyline should be the focus; less is more. Take Game of Thrones for example, we get 10 episodes a year…TEN! Ignoring season 6 which in my opinion has also become a tad too predictable and has certainly been dumbed down to appeal to a wider audience, I’ve found myself constantly wanting more of the show. I only started watching it last year and I binged 4 and a half seasons in less than a week and still wanted more. Since then I’ve watched the first 5 seasons all over again, as well as the 6th. Breaking Bad is another good example. The number of episodes per season varied a lot (8-16) but the show managed to keep me entertained for almost the entire time. Breaking Bad is another one I’ve managed to watch twice without feeling like the same thing is happening over and over in each episode. What about True Detective or Sherlock? Both incredible shows (perhaps ignoring the 2nd season of True Detective) and yet they have very few episodes per season. I mean Sherlock only has three episodes…just three. So of course the number of episodes can vary depending on the show and the content. I mean take House for example: House has many episodes per season, it’s basically the same thing every episode and yet it is entertaining to watch because it isn’t the storyline that is important quite as much as the characters. I mean this works with a lot of shows: Friends, Scrubs, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, House…all of which are similar from episode to episode yet remain entertaining. That’s because while they may have an overall storyline, it’s the content of each episode that is important.

 

As I mentioned before, the general “dumbing-down” of TV shows is definitely an issue that is becoming more and more prevalent. We, the audience, are being spoon-fed every singly detail so that we don’t miss it. Why? Well because if some, if not all of the viewers can’t understand what’s going on or miss details that are vital to the story then they may give up watching out of frustration. I’ll once again refer back to The Flash here as I have a few examples in mind. As I mentioned at the start, I’d never seen or read anything Flash-related. So why is it that after watching episode one (spoilers ahead) where we see Barry’s mum being murdered, I could instantly tell you that The Flash would get his powers and end up travelling through time to that night? It was pretty obvious, right? Yet it isn’t until episode 15 through some far-fetched (even by this shows standards) scientific bullshit that blood is found at the scene 15 years after the event that proves older Barry was there as well as young Barry. Bad example? How about how obvious it was that “Atom-smasher” from the start of season 2 was from another universe? I mean it was incredibly obvious. I have an even better example: There is an episode in season 2 where the Trickster (played by Mark Hamill) dressed up as Santa and gives out presents to children. Just in case anyone hadn’t been paying attention, the Trickster conveniently pulls down his fake beard to reveal who he is. Not to insult anyone but if it took up until that reveal for you to realise it was the Trickster then I’m afraid you are part of the problem that I’m referring to in this post.

 

Then of course we have issues that take place within the show itself. So just to carry on with my Flash critique, I shall use a few examples from it to show you what I mean. In The Flash, there are often lessons that Barry learns that are ultimately meant to guide him down his path towards being the best hero he can be. One of the biggest of these is messing with time. In season 1, Barry goes back in time and alters events, soon learning how dangerous the butterfly effect can be. I won’t get into the specifics but despite how risky time travel is, he goes back not once, not twice but three times (that I’m aware of). One of these times he goes back with the intention of saving his mother’s life but decides not to, then he goes back to learn how to run faster and despite the fact that he gets chased by these time-ghoul things that hunt those who mess with time, he goes back again at the end of the 2nd season and actually does save his mother. This final journey back in time is as a result of his father being killed by Zoom who is from another universe. So just to reiterate my point here: despite Barry knowing how risky time travel is and how much can be changed, and despite Barry knowing that crazy time-wraith creatures are likely to hunt him down for changing too much, he decides to go back 16 or so years to change several events that took place: he saves his mother which in turn stops his father going to jail while also stopping the reverse-flash…why is this an issue? Well ignoring how much can change, there are several more logical options that could have been explored. I mean Barry could have gone back and saved his father or gone back before the portal to Earth 2 was opened, both of which would result in less change. Oh, and just to top all this off, this all takes place after Barry reaches inner-peace about his mother’s death, like literally a few episodes before!! I probably haven’t explained this in the simplest of ways but hopefully you get my point. I mean not only is this show completely illogical but it also fails at keeping characters consistent. Barry (or any of the other characters) can have a completely new personality or outlook on life from one episode to the next. One minute Barry is willing to do anything to get his powers back because Zoom has taken one of his best friends…but as soon as he is presented with an option he has to decline it and bring his dad in to help which ultimately leads to his death (another moment where Barry could have gone back and altered things to save his father without completely messing up the timeline). The whole point in having these characters behave a certain way is to give them a personality. You should be able to watch a show and when a character acts a certain way think to yourself “Ahh, that’s exactly the sort of thing he/she would do” but with the Flash, we go from one sort of behaviour to the other with no real explanation.

 

Don’t get me wrong, there are some excellent shows out there that ignore this ridiculously formulated structure (The Leftovers, Sherlock, Black Mirror, Mr Robot…to name a few) but are we losing a large portion of our entertainment to dumbed-down devolutions? I certainly think we are headed in the direction of just having superheroes appear, save the day and then return to their lair with no real storyline or character development whatsoever. As for The Flash? Well, I guess when season 3 airs I’ll have to decide if it’s worth me angrily watching it just in the hopes of finding a more interesting storyline. My only hope is that shows such as Game of Thrones pull themselves back from the edge of the abyss before we lose them to generic television forever. How long before we have an entire episode dedicated to Jon Snow’s morning hair routine? Probably a bad example because that could potentially be entertaining to see…but you get my point. Given that the Flash can time travel (among other crazy abilities) you would imagine that the story writing could be a tad less predictable or even just a wee bit more interesting. Perhaps we simply expect the unexpected and nothing comes as a shock anymore.

If you disagree and believe that I’m being unfair to the shows I’ve mentioned then by all means leave your opinion below. I’d love to hear whether it’s just me that thinks this.