From the same work in progress.

by waxbanks

Two fragments from the same project as the previous post. –wa.

A meaningless coincidence: the FX guys at Industrial Light & Magic (our best-named corporate entity) added hieroglyphs of C-3P0 and R2-D2 to the walls in the Well of Souls, site of the Ark of the Covenant in Raiders. Were I some kind of dreadful nerd I’d now tell you that this establishes as ‘canon’ that Raiders and Star Wars share a narrative universe. And of course Star Wars, a fantasy with SF trappings, happened ‘a long time ago.’ It is quite literally an ‘ancient astronauts’ story, and one that insists over and over that Everything Is Connected. ‘Luminous beings are we! Not this crude matter…’

I’m trying to have it both ways with the word ‘meaningless,’ there. When I insist that I’m both an adamant materialist atheist, on one hand, and a believer not just in six-and-more senses but in varieties of transformation for which no scientist will likely ever have a convincing name, on the other, I’m not trying to be cute, nor to buy legitimacy for kookery; nor am I playing semantic games. Magic isn’t real, but it works. Since I understand art to be machinery for effecting psychotropism over great (spatial/temporal) distances, this strikes me as no contradiction at all.

After playing in the pulps, the ‘eroto-mystical Nazi lunacy’ meme first gained widespread purchase with, you guessed it, The Morning of the Magicians and The Spear of Destiny (which freaked me out as a kid) … But Spielberg/Lucas/Kasdan’s Raiders is the best-known media instance of that conceptual complex, not to mention a classic example of conpsiratorial High Weirdness in mainstream drag. Between Raiders and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade we have Nazi ice queens wielding riding crops, suited G-men stowing ancient relics in a government warehouse, Exodus as both dream-history and actual history, medieval knights Grail questing in Turkey, secret societies guarding occult treasures, treasure maps built into Borgesian library architecture, secret Luftwaffe experimental programs, and American traitors pulling a reverse Operation Paperclip to chase archaeological (rather than nuclear) supremacy. Add in the failed Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and you’ve got von Däniken-esque ancient astronauts, Commie infiltrators, and Men in Black at Area 51 to boot.