Do Cyborgs pray to an Electronic God?
Mime-Version: 1.0 Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999 13:09:42 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Mychal McCabe <email@example.com> Subject: Theory Submission Do Cyborgs pray to an Electronic God? _________________________________________________________________ Earlier speculation on the relevance and references contained in the word 'Halo', seem to keep clear of the obvious religious connotations of the word. I mean come on... Angels wear 'em. While organized religion does trigger a nervous tic in my lower left eye lid, it seems as though there are some heavy religious thematics in the available body of Halo-nalia. The quotes taken from the dialogue that is the topic of Mark Levin's theory contain language which evokes both passages in the bible and various poetic works of William Blake. The following quotes and the analysis of them are presented here for anyone who hasn't seen this discussion at Marathon Story. Of those quotes which have been 'sourced' to the bible, "... He says I came not to send Peace but a Sword ..." seems the most express biblical allusion thus far. Greg Downing tracked this down in Matthew 10:34: Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword". Rather than a direct allusion to a passage "I have governed the unwilling. I have walked the edge of the Abyss" reads like a pared down gloss of another passage nailed down by Greg Downing Revelations (Chapter 20: 1-3): And I saw an angel descending from the heaven, having the key of the Abyss, and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the ancient serpent who is the devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the Abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, that he should not any more deceive the nations until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be loosed for a little time. The speaker of the Bungie line would seem to be the entombing angel, having governed the unwilling Deciver Satan. While there is no shortage of references to 'The Abyss' in literature (and our man Greg mentioned one in William Blake's 'The Marriage of heaven & Hell') this gloss reads accurately to me. Couple such biblical referencing with a few nods to William Blake's fraught Christian visions, and the particularly biblical thematic of much of the available story becomes a given. This sort of thing, future societies persisting in a more or christian religious belief system isn't exactly new. The dire slant of the bible quotes, a sort of plasma & brimstone, seems to jive with the mock deep religious techno-theocracy of Warhammer 40k's Imperial Space Marines (although visually this group of Marines seems to have more in common with the techno-buff bug squashers of the second "Alien's" movie). There have been indications that the human race is now a unified earthling Empire-minded entity as per this quote, "... the human race's fledgling planetary empire..." (bungie press release 7.21.99). Empires tend to operate with a pronounced religious flavor, and I think that we are all well versed enough in the various anti-social acts of certain religiously sanctified undertakings i.e colonization of the New World that this won't require any historical footnoting, killing 'heathens' and letting God sort them out. Does all of this necessarily mean that the humans and/or their AI's are fundamentally (not Fundamentalist) religious? They sure do talk the religiously themed talk. As do the Covenant aliens if we can accept Mark Levin's shrewd interp of those cryptic & grim messages from the olde Bungie Halo site (Blake spouting aliens have been explained elsewhere - I'm sure of it). The soundtrack to the Trailer, which a Myth order mate of mine identified as 'Monk Crap', factors into this discussion also. Developments on the story which have seeped out present a fairly bleak scenario for those empire minded humans: "As billions perish on humanity's colonized planets", at the hands of the Covenant, "who are sweeping their way through human space and destroying civilian worlds at will". So, if you didn't go out into the heavens with God at your back, maybe getting smacked up by a diverse body of alien cultures could make you remember to say your prayers the next time you have Scotty beam you down. Hear say, right? Yes, but what drives a good chunk of the millenial angst of current and past earth cultures, or even fin de siecle angst for that matter, is a kind of encoded fear that IT WILL ALL END. (Such anxiety has persisted for thousands of years despite my best efforts at reasoning away the relevance of peoples' belief in their chosen creation mythology) <-- edit as 'down on god' if ya like. This with no earth shattering mayhem or destruction at the hands of any God. The Covenant is making IT ALL END for billions of folks, and this alone might be enough to instill some zeal and fervor. We know that the Covenant are bad guys because they are stomping out non-military 'civilian' worlds indiscriminately or at least 'at will', also because Covenant contains the word Coven and we've been socialized to know that covens kill infants in the name of the Deceiver Satan (mentioned above). The depictions & actions of the Covenant establish a conditional reality that justifies our tooling on them with good ol' Earth Powa & know how. Does this mean humanity and their God is who we are rooting for? The Bungie attitude, as revealed in Marathon, towards your average digetic flesh and blood human seems a kind of whacky indifference. How will all of this our experience with the game? I have next to no ideas. What this means for what, as per Jospeh Haake's theory, seem to be a plucky band of cyborgs is hard to say. Cyborgs like games for the computer our nifty pieces of technology confabulated by humans. In Marathon a cyborg saved the day bunches of times over. There's a syllogistic point to be made here that borders on cloying so I'll let it slide. _________________________________________________________________ Brought to you by: Mychal aka Nomos o' Civil Order Throw a rock at me: firstname.lastname@example.org
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