Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Tuesday August 1, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:56 PM
Highway 1

Log24 illustration for 'Highway 1 Revisited'

John Constantine,
cartoon character, and
Donald E. Knuth,
Lutheran mathematician

“I need a photo-opportunity,
I want a shot at redemption.
Don’t want to end up a cartoon
In a cartoon graveyard.”

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060801-Gibson.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Mel Gibson,
photo by
Los Angeles County
Sheriff’s Department

This meditation is prompted by memories of suicidal alcoholics Hunter S. Thompson and Ernest Hemingway, as well as by the title of Mel Gibson’s latest project, “Apocalypto.”

A search on Gibson’s film title leads to this quotation:

“And what does apocalypse mean? It means revelation: apocalypto means to open up and to show the truth. But it also means absolute violence, so the apocalypse is a violent revelation and a revelation of violence and immediately you see the relevance of this.”

Interview with Rene Girard in the June 1996 issue of UCLA’s Anthropoetics: The Journal of Generative Anthropology

It is by no means clear that “apocalypse” means “violence,” let alone “absolute violence,” except in the Christian tradition.

For apocalyptic Christian violence, see “Apocalypse and Violence: The Evidence from the Reception History of the Book of Revelation” (pdf), by Christopher Rowland of Oxford University.

As for “the relevance of this,” see the definition of “generative anthropology” (GA) at


“The originary hypothesis of GA is that human language begins as an aborted gesture of appropriation representing–and thereby renouncing as sacred– an object of potential mimetic rivalry. The strength of our mimetic intelligence makes us the only creatures for whom intraspecific violence is a greater threat to survival than the external forces of nature. Human language defers potential conflict by permitting each to possess the sign of the unpossessable object of desire– the deferral of violence through representation.”

Compare with the remarks of Jung on Transformation Symbolism in the Mass:

Antecedents and parallels are found for the ritual of the Christian religious Mass in Aztec, Mithraic and pagan religious practices. “The Aztecs make a dough figure of the god Huitzilopochtli, which is then symbolically killed, divided and consumed….”

Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 11. 2nd ed., Princeton University Press, 1969. (pp. 222-225)

Mel Gibson’s interest in religion and violence is well known.  His film “Apocalypto,” scheduled for release on Dec. 8, 2006, deals with human sacrifice among the Maya, rather than the Aztecs or Jews.  (Cf. Abraham and “Highway 61 Revisited.”)

It seems unlikely that Mel will learn more about these issues in his recovery program. Too bad.

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