Blog : Posts tagged with 'fake mythology'



In which we make better documentaries

We sat down last night to watch one of the Christmas present DVDs: Arrested Development Season 3. It got me thinking, after yesterday’s post, about pseudo-archaeological documentaries.

I don’t mean Professor Parfitt’s documentary described yesterday, so much as the far wilder theories produced by, say, Graham Hancock, or the many who have followed on from The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. You know the sort: the sort who will tell you, straight-faced, that the Bavarian Illuminati knew the secrets of the Knights Templar, who had found ancient Jewish documents containing the mystical secrets of Egypt and the bloodline of Jesus, whose descendants formed the Priory of Sion, founded the Freemasons, who preserve the secret that Atlantis was in Antartica, and who hope to return to the French throne as predicted by Nostradamus. And that you would already know all this, if it wasn’t being kept secret by a global conspiracy involving the Pope, the British royal family, and the Bilderberg group. That sort of documentary. The sort which is bound, somewhere, to contain the line: “if the documents we had found in the obscure archive were true, it would mean rewriting the history books.”

Anyway, if you didn’t watch Arrested Development – and not many people did – one of its constant features was a narrator’s voiceover, performed by Ron Howard.* A rather sarcastic narrator’s voiceover, pointing out every moment where the characters lie or make a mistake.** And that’s exactly what all those documentaries need.

Presenter: If the documents we had found in the obscure archive were true, it would mean rewriting the history books.

Ron Howard: But they’re not.

A thousandfold improvement, I think you have to agree.

* who has lately been directing a movie based on a Dan Brown book, so will know exactly what I’m talking about.

** which is rather frequently.

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Surprise sighting

In which, for the first time ever, a gruntlebeast is captured on camera

You might have noticed the little mascot of this site – up there in the top right, at the time of writing, although that might change given time. Really really long-time readers might remember me explaining what it was, back in the mists of time. It is called a gruntlebeast, and, because of the considerable lack of evidence for their existence, is often believed to be mythical, invisible, extinct, very very shy, or possibly any combination of those four things. You will, I’m sure, have noticed the distinct lack of sightings of gruntlebeasts mentioned in the news.

However: things have changed! The FP Militant Invective Laboratories have, after many years of trying,* apparently managed to capture footage of a gruntlebeast in the wild. Indeed, the footage seems to confirm the conjectured “partially invisible” hypothesis, and also possibly the beast’s legendary shyness. See what you think:

A possible rare sighting of a gruntlebeast on video

Apologies for the low quality; but, well, if it wasn’t low quality, it wouldn’t be a proper controversial mythical-creature sighting, would it? The next task: get some evidence for its famous “Arrg kxrrt!” hunting call.

* well, you saw how old that last blog post was

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In which we wonder where religions come from

The big problem with three-day weekends* is that you start wishing they were four-day ones.

I didn’t do much for the May Day weekend. Lazed around in the house, then on Monday popped out to York for the day. As it was May 1st, I automatically thought of Edinburgh, and the raucous, fire-whirling Beltane celebrations on Calton Hill.

The Beltane celebrations are very popular in Edinburgh, largely with students and tourists who leap at the chance to do something Celtic, Spiritual and Traditional. Which, of course, is rubbish; Edinburgh Beltane is an entirely modern event, with no connection to some ancient mystical past. That doesn’t mean it isn’t religious and spiritual, of course – we all make our own religions. Although most of the performers are interested primarily in giving a performance, there are a few pagans among the Beltane organisers who see it, personally, as a religious ritual. They are the ones who, if the Christian Fundamentalist wing of Edinburgh Council succeed in getting it blocked,** will sneak away for a private ceremony in a quiet field somewhere, without the fire jugglers and drunken students.

As I said, we all make our own religions. Back home on Monday, I said a quiet and submissive prayer to the Goddess. Not because I believe she exists, but because I believe she might; and you never know what other gods were listening at the time. It’s always nice to think you’re receiving a bit of spiritual guidance, whether it comes from the supernatural world or not.

* apart from them being largely bunched together, as Diamond Geezer has described.

** No, really – there is a small-but-significant Christian Fundamentalist faction in Edinburgh Labour Party, who constantly do their best to block what they see as a Satanist festival. I used to know someone who was closely connected with the Beltane Fire Society, which is how I know all this – although it might be a few years out of date now.

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In which we get a nomination

I’ve only just found out that Tuesday’s post was one of the nominees in Troubled Diva‘s first Post Of The Week Competition. The other nominations were all very, very well-written, by people who seem to be far more fluent writers than I am,* so I wasn’t exactly surprised when I didn’t win. Thanks to Clair, though, for the nomination.

The eventual winner was this complex, emotional and moving blog post from “this too“. It’s not, at first glance, the sort of blog I normally read,** but that post is definitely a worthy winner. Plus, the site does have some lovely photos.

Oh, the other thing that the competition has made me think is: I should definitely get around to those plans to get the gruntlebeast on t-shirts.

* or maybe they just put more effort in; and bother to spend more than 5 minutes on each post.

** although I should try not to judge just from the one post, shouldn’t I

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The creature

In which we discuss the natural history of the gruntlebeast

Someone – actually, no, I think it was Somewhat – recently said they thought the mysterious creature at the top right was myself. Strangely enough, it isn’t. Here’s a slightly better picture of it:

A Gruntlebeast

The creature isn’t me, but it does have a name. This is a gruntlebeast. Although shy,* and so rarely seen on camera, these rather sad monsters are unfortunately rather common.

Their name comes from their main food: gruntles. They will often attack lonely strangers, using those vicious teeth to remove the victim’s gruntles. Often, the victim will not even notice the beast’s attack, only realising that they now feel rather disgruntled.

Clearly, these things are a menace. They account for a large proportion of the disgruntled people in the world, in turn leading to large-scale outbreaks of annoyance, irritation, depression and Being A Twat. You should watch out for them, and be particularly wary if you hear their distinctive hunting cry: “Arrg kxrrt!” If you see any, or hear of any sightings, then let me know. Be safe out there.

* and also, according to some accounts, sometimes invisible; which may account for the partially see-through appearance of the one in the picture.

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