Welcome chez Saint Jerome studio!

A Zeitgeist watch page.

Antonello da Messina

SEX, DRUGS AND ROCK’N ROLL as a start? Ehm ehm! Times have been a changin’ from San Jerónimo’s, you know …

Cardinal Bagnasco: “O tempora, o mores”: the top Executive of a Gerontocratic Multinational is getting old, and forgets sometimes being top manager of a multinational organisation promoting and protecting pedophilia as core business (or, if you are less critical of the Vatican MNC: they produce it as a necessary byproduct, by their own internal contradictory anathemas, goals, principles, prohibitions, and rules – everything is explained by a 1st class Catholic theologian, Hans Kung: the Maestro of the current Pope, a repented protector of pedophile priests). 

A methodological note on class, gen-eration and gen-der. What you belong to intrinsically is: family, lineage, gender and an ethnic group  (biologically); generation (chronologically). As the greatest culture sociologist, Karl Mannheim (1893 – 1947) argues among others, the class or other social roots can be cutoff and substituted by new social roots. In “The generations” (now translated into Italian by Il Mulino), he argues that you must be cautious before attributing to the Zeitgeist any causal role in the explanation of social, generational or individual behaviours.

Everyone is affected “solo da quelle correnti che fanno parte della tradizione viva del suo particolare ambiente sociale” (p. 102) (only by those currents which belong to the alive tradition of his peculiar social environment) .

There is “un legame di generazione solamente quando contenuti sociali e spirituali reali costituiscono nel campo del dissolto e del nuovo in divenire l’unione reale fra gli individui che si trovano nella stessa collocazione di generazione” (p. 74) (a generational link, only when real social and spiritual contents institute, in the field of the dissolving and  of the forthcoming in evolution, the real union among individuals belonging to the same generation).

Therefore generational identity is made by a certain degree of contents affinity in individual consciences, which is stronger when these conditions apply: – first of all, the common destiny and the joint participation to historical events, are culturally filtered and mediated by  the diffusion of such “alive oral tradition” frames, across the small social groups where individuals are located and rooted (Simone Weil 1943, L’enracinement). – Second, generation unity prevails on fragmentation or  even (class) polarisation. Mannheim draws the example of early 19th C. Germany, divided into opposite cultural-political fields: a romantic-conservative Weltangschaung, and a liberal-nationalistic one. Of course, this was a common phenomenon across Europe.


SD&RR, sex drug and R&Roll is no more the Zeitgeist, since long:

– it was an element of such conscience (and subconscious) affinity, for the anticoncept. pill-based  baby boomer generation (just before: best of youth, la mejo zoventù del ’68): the Atopian place was a priary concerts week in … . Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Jimy Hendrix a peace-political-antiVietnamWar icon, even though not knowing what they were talking about, as he confessed later. It didn’t matter: the Subject being dead, he could carry the message just by semantic attribution, herd behaviour  by enthusiastic crowds. They were all ritual scapegoats on the scene, but a few survived by virtualising the sacrifice (a Christian cultural advance, according to René Girard). No one ever told all these stories (also before and after) better than Alberto Arbasino did: you read his Corriere della Sera articles collected in books (aside with PP Pasolini op-eds, another anti-Modern), and you get the contemporary cultural history of Mittel Europe. Perhaps The Nation or The New Yorker (and the Rolling Stones magazine) for the East Coast.


– Then came the loss-of-identity  X-one (NOT EVEN A NAME !), paying for parents’ faults and experiments. MASSIMO TROISI is perhaps the no-identity perfect icon: “I’m not a migrant, I’m a tourist”; Nanni MORETTI the post-com version.  For the East Coast, the public has decreed a low-quality film and terrible interpreter as cult,  Dustin Hoffman’w inexpressive mask in  The Graduate (1967): probably by identification mechanisms. Time Out’s Film Guide observes that an early, young  Clint Eastwood had better captured new sex behaviours, in a still ignored film.


– It was followed by HIV-AIDS and the unbearable  too-many-identities (a postmodern mental disease: Giovanni Jervis) BC generation: Bobos-and-Cool. Cools who are not Bobos? The paradigm are the COATTI (fully CONSTRAINED, 0 degrees of freedom) from Carlo Verdone’s Rome suburbs: in art, the heir of Alberto Sordi, who was the “economic miracle” generation in person (adults in the 1950s, just before baby boomers).   All the sociological theories and empirics have been filmed, no one excluded: you just have to search for. Not by chance my colleagues in Venice use to teach urban sociology in a cineclub way. No better. Wired is the reference. With blogs we move to the next generation, and hypermodern changes even in the previous ones.



Recapitulating some epoch-making, and the last generations  (on a 25 years standard):

– 160.000 LUCY, Australopithecus afarensis, 4 million years ago (FOUND IN HADAR, ETHIOPIA, 1974).

– 441st Generation. Agro-pastoral innovators (born 9000-8976 BC): in Canaan, they begin growing corn and barley. In Persia (Iran) and Afghanistan, not yet rogue nations, they domesticate sheeps and  goats. Allowed for by a natural global climate heat, it is still: the major material change in Sapiens life and ecosystems; its earlier and unsurpassed Technological Revolution, still ongoing in its secondary industrial follow-ups. According to Diamonds, a better supply of domesticable species allowed for a world lead of the Eurasian platform, that has not disappeared, and will likely persist until the next Ice Age. Americas have closed this gap in the last 2 centuries, not Africa – which will literally  die (drought, famines and unprofitable pandemias) in the current 21th C. AC artificial global heat, to resurge only in the next Ice Age, as the traditional last resort of Hominids in Ice Ages – therefore a place of mass immigration. 

– 361. 80 generations after the startup of the greatest of all technological revolutions (agriculture), in Anatolia people builds the second known town (after Ur): Catal Huyuk generation, opening the 7th millennium BC.

– 105-99. Generations (6th C. BC) introducing simultaneously the major ever cultural change, cutting across all the civilisations and Empires: the religions of universal hope and safety in another world, from Zarahustra to Aristotle (Karl Jaspers 1949, Origin and sense of history;  Yves Lambert 2007, La naissance des religions. Paris: Armand Colin).

– 82. JOHN BAPTIST and JESUS CHRIST the Nazarenus (the Essen) generation (25 – 1 BC): closing the Jewish messianic age (200 BC – 70 AC),  the Jewish Era, and the universalist spiritual innovation wave.

– 10. 1875-99: Early Moderns, last born in Ancient Régimes and early Revolution chidren

– 9. Childrens of the Restoration (1814), after Napoleonic wars: born 1800-24

– 8. Early Victorians by education (1825-49): the Paris Commune (1871) generation that invented Commun-ism

– 7. Grown up as  Late Victorians (1850-74)

– 6. My grandparents (1875-99), WW1 mass scapegoats; some were born in the 1880s Great Depression. Last subset: i ragazzi del ’99 (the 1899 boys): 19 years old, they were catapulted on war front lines in Italy. Although the basic paradigm shiflt had already taken place (Einstein and quantum physiscs; africanism in visual arts, introduced by Brancusi, Picasso and Modigliani since 1906), WW1 co-generated almost all the culture of the “short century”: from real communism, to Poetry (Elliott, Pound). It was best represented by bombs suddenly cutting off generals’ heads, in  Céline‘s masterpiece.

– 5. My parents: WW2 boys and girls (1900-24), grown up in the Great Depression. Notabene: two close generations touch the bottom, passing through 2 Great Depressions follwed by 2 WWs.

– 4. The KEYNESIANS.  Born in the Great Depression, grown up in economicle miracles – A. Sordi, 1925-50

– 3\4 in between Keynesians and B-Boomers, mostly born in the late 1940s: the ’68 best youth 

– 3. Baby Boomers (1950-74), children of Mama Welfare State, grown up with peace and apparently unlimited growth 

– 2\3 in between:  Massimo Troisi’s X generation (born in the 1970s), oil stagflation years

– 2. Postmodern Bobos and Baba-Cool (1975-99): my daughters, … and Carlo Verdone

– 1. Children of the blogs. The Hypermodern Sapiens 2000-24, hopefully last born in Ancient Rentier Régimes (it will be so, whether the hypothesis holds that they are carriers of a radical cultural change instance and, like generations 10-11, they will not tolerate to carry on the legacy of Ancient Régimes). My 2 grandchildren’s destiny: Niccolò and Andrea. Their terrible risk: another Great Depression and WW, exp.lly if they don’t succeed timely in their vocational Revolution.


Now we jump into the uncertainties and unknowns of HYPER MODERN people, no more Bobo nor Baba Cool. Dozens of music stars approaching the 70s are somehow less convincing than they used 2B, on the SD&RR issue, apart Jimmy Halliday. He’s the living Elvis the Pelvis, the final proof of the truth of he Mother of all metropolitan legends. Yet, a “Hot Liz Hurley” (so the title goes, you might check it out if you are 18+; as a matter of recitation, Susan Sharpe on Time Out labels her “barkingly mediocre”)  still suggests it to a resilient Bobo-cool, computer geek Brandon. In a Faustian remake, “Bedazzled” by Harold Ramis (2000): Princess of Darkness as  Hot Liz Hurley. This scene is fun, the remake of SD&RR in a remake film.

ZEITGEIST exp2.  Zeitgest, the movie


The Zeitgeist, something in the air. Our generation of social scientists learned the word, its multi-facets senses and occasions to make use of it, from Schumpeter’s immense masterpiece, the coupled History of economic analysis and thought. Now there is another candidate masterpiece calling Zeitgeist himself. It won a prize at the activists film festival, Hollywood 2007. Zeitgeist 2 is announced in Autumn 2008. We think it essentially circulates oL: this is really good and a fundamental dimension of liberaton along web 2.0 places. Such an important channel for videos that have no other outlet, just NO ONE in the “salles du cinema” !!! It has a long momentum. It is still, after many months, among the most seen videos on Google videos: we have not yet checked it out how it ranks on uTube network, but it’s easy done. This is the film, in 3 parts: 1) a nice piece of history of Christianity – NOTWITHSTANDIG THE PARANOIC PARADIGM deforming some well known facts (putting some in evidence, some not for thesis sake)  in the History of Religions 2) absolutely boring, uninteresting: escavating one more time Ground 0, with no finding yet; it  leads where? 3) alive again: economics, always seen in a Big Brother, conspirative history persective. The film’s paradigm on history: a sort of degeneration of Political Economy and Scientific Marxism (forgotten for a decade, but now coming back into teh Zeitgeist: something thet ZEITGEIST THE FILM blatantly ignores). Their degeneration into a  cheap sub-ideology  getting people horrorised by Power as the Absolute Evil, but also paralysed forever. Isn’t this a perfect  plot of Power (a bit like all the stupid and targetless agitation by Beppe Grillo in Italy, if you want)? Of course it is  not, but IF THEY’D TO BE COHERENT WITH THEIR OWN PARANOIA, THEY SHOULD SELF-DECLARE BEING AN ESSENTIAL PART OF IT; AN EXTREME WING  OF THE CONSPIRACIES WEB: exactly because they are not marxists, not revolutionaries, not scientific (they ignore even the basics of a methodology, they live in a pre-Galilean theological culture) and therefore not subversive AT ALL. The reason of all this intellectual mess  is AU FOND  theological: “Zeitgeist the movie” is  100% Gnostic (because Gnosis has been and still is today’s Manicheism, there is hardly any other so complex and alive theology and philosohy in such an area)  but –  this is the mess – without being aware of it. WE ARE GNOSTIC AS WELL, in a certain measure, AT DEEPRECESSION; BY DEFINITION AND EXPLICITELY. SINCE FROM BLOG’s TITLE QUOTING SIMON WEIL: WE COULD NOT BE MORE EXPLICIT.  BUT BEING PROGRAMMATICALLY SO, we keep the phenomenon under CTRL, and mix up it with our threads of our spiritual research. The Cathars are certainly in our hearts and not just for their brutal repression, but for their intrinsic approach to a New Europe that was lost  but also survived. The Cathars and Dante were telling a Modern Europe still to come, if ever, so much they were projected into a secularisation of their credos. Zeitgeist Movie Author declares himself atheist: but this is patent false conscience, at odds with all what he says and does: the movie, after some correct interpolation from Egypt, and jumping upon other essentially arguments not even mentioned,  finally interprets St. Paul’s Christianity as Gnosticism.  No novelty and not unsound: but at odds with the vital struggle of Early Christianity against Gnosis as their Mortal Enemy for a Millennium, starting from the Padri della Chiesa: so what was that,  A FORK? More complicated and totally different from such caricatures and shortcut unfitingt our archelogical and historical state.of.the.art, as doesn’t Pope Benedetto 16 volume no.1 of the series. COME ON, ITìS A SHAME SAYING EVEN A SINGLE WORD ON JC; IGNORING DECADES OF RESEARCH ON QUMRAN AND ALL THE OTHER ORIGINAL, RELLEVANT MANUSCRIPTS… ??? !!! ??? !!! ??? !!! YOU=RE KIDDING ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? SHUT UP, ZEUTGEUSììUST THE MOVIE; SHUT UP AND SHAME ON YOU:  EVEN MORE AMATEUR and worst han WIKIPEDIA. THE MOTHER OF UNPROFESSIONALISM. Google BìVideo, or Wiki: popularity is not only independent and orthogonal; on some dimension, it is INVERSELY correlated with boring Qumran schoalrs from whuch we (no less amateurs, BUT curious) have read a few thousands pages. At least, Zeitgeist is REAL, OURE GNOSIS and not fake one to create a bets seller (you know what I mean: the bandit writer that copied every page of his best seller novel, by a historical inquiry book by 3 journalist published a decade before, didn’t acknowledge the source, didn’t pay a cent and won at court, of course). If the neo-hegelian, Marcusian system englobes everything, they – the paranoic people – are part of it. If you abandon that philosophy, you get rid of conspiracies and return FREE TO ACT: SPEECH AS AN ACT. Our vote to the three parts: 8\10,  4\10 and   6\10, respectively: average 6 (on CONTENTS: all the film is great, speaks of the great real issues and outside the consensus chorus, once defined the intellectual virus). Globally, the idea of a thread connecting the three parts, makes the system outstanding above his so weak , very close to zero value single elements: an art masterpiece in its kind, and even (once parti pris, anti-scientific unilateralism and lack of ANY KIND of analysis –  be it documentary, scientific or philosophical -, artist’s legitimate subjectivism and the PARANOIA PARADIGM dicsounted) an introduction to the need (a signal of demand, not a supply in any acceptable, reasonable sense) of a critical theory – 100% missing in the film, even because there seems to be no collective  background work: e.g,. with “dissenting specialists”  in the involved disciplines (history of religions, terrorisms studies, and political economy). The Movie is like the ’68 coming back, striking again: every generation is ree to repeat the former’s mistakes, but COME ON; ARE YOU KIDDING ??? And 1968, although redundant in events-linked, fashionable,  false and quickly perishable philosophies (from Marcuse to JP Sartre), while blatantly ignoring the good ones that were there, even in Paris classrooms (Emmanuel L). With all its   itellectual and political disasters, 100% misunderstandings of contemporary Prague,  1968 on average: 1. was not so illiterate and dilettante on serious issues,  as Z The Movie is. 2. Was orientated to ACTION, the AGORA’; not to self-depressing pessimism. 3. In an èlite, dominant in some parts of Europe, there was SITUATIONISM which is one of the most  important recent advances in social science and social theory. In Italy, OPERAISMO too had the same high intellectual profile, although less innovative in its Marx reading. “Zeitgeist the film” is neither Qumran, nor its imitation by the Vangeli, or The Manifesto. It is at variance fwith  these milestones of our current creative cultures and evolving societies. You see, our cultural and social history  is not a path-dependent sequence of ALL EVIL, at least not if someone is really opposing to what Simone Weil used to label “History written by the winner party”. Our life today might actually be border-of-paranoia, our societies much less rich of options, had not the Qumran manuscripts and (Divina Comedia, Paradise Lost, etc. etc.) the Manifesto being thought, metabolised and transmitted. THERE IS NO REVOLUTION HERE: ONLY A BIG BROTHER ZEITGEIST, on anarchist Orwell’s footsteps (we always prefer the originals: perfectly conserved Qumran texts to the ever and ever manipulated Christian ones; Orwell to Zeitgeist – the film). After seeing it, you might want to understand better; you have many choices, among which, from the film’s site: a) the bibliography of  the script -food 4 thought; b) some useful FAQS and answers by Zeitgeist author; c) the interactive tanscript – at the moment only of Part 1. 
Published on May 24, 2008 at 8:46 am  Leave a Comment  

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