Who The Bleep Are They Kidding?Recent stomach troubles have dictated a strict diet with very few of the foods I most enjoy permitted. Primary among these is, that old English staple, bread and cheese. Like Wallace, I am a cheese-eater through and through, and could happily have it with every meal if not for digestive considerations. No more. In the past month, the only cheese I have been enjoying has been at the movies, most copiously at the What the Bleep Do We Know? sequel, Down the Rabbit Hole, a movie that ought to carry a warning to lactose- (and lachrymose-) intolerant viewers: “Contains potentially dangerous levels of cheese.”
A quasi-documentary about “the fundamental truth of unity,” Bleep 2 is more New Age physics for lazy laypeople to ooh and ah over. In fact, it is more of a remake than a sequel, a compendium of stuff left out of the first movie, perhaps, and with nothing at all by way of upgrading in evidence. 2½ hours of ineptly staged dramatizations and waffling interviews with self-satisfied “experts,” and perhaps a half hour of original material to justify, however limply, its existence, Bleep 2 is a shameless cash-in on the first film’s success that suffers from all the failings of the original. Despite the larger budget and longer running time, the filmmakers have chosen not to develop their technique in any significant ways, revealing their utter complacency as “artists,” and betraying a smug simple-mindedness and appalling lack of imagination completely at odds with the “ground-breaking” nature of their material. I can only presume they considered the original formula to be already perfect and that, since it wasn’t broken, why fix it?
The first movie made money and seemed to spark interest and excitement in the most unlikely of viewers, viewers perhaps grateful that such ideas were getting air-time at all in a popular movie. Yet it’s hard to imagine a work whose style is so profoundly in conflict with its content, that juxtaposes such profound, challenging ideas with so daffy and clichéd an execution. The expressed end of the Bleep films appears diametrically opposed to the means employed. They propose to present a whole new paradigm by which to interpret our reality (and live our lives), a quantum weltanschauung if you will; yet the methods employed are so profane and uninspired that the result is rather to discredit (if not actually debase) the awesome concepts which these films are so gleeful to bandy about. By endeavoring to deliver the findings of cutting edge physics to the mass consciousness, the Bleep films are the quintessence of New Age reductionism. They present a lowest common denominated version of the Mysteries, selling audiences life-changing ideas in cozy, non-threatening forms, so that the masses can have their manna and eat it, feel “enlightened” without having to change in any meaningful way.
In a quantum Universe in which information determines the spin of each and every particle, the Bleep movies spin their information into one big, dull, self-satisfied blah. As with all things New Age, by focusing exclusively on a positive “spin,” they render the subject flat, two-dimensional. Throwing around words like God, eternal, absolute, infinite energy, consciousness, etc, with so little force or precision saps not only the words but the concepts behind them of power and vitality. The concepts may reach more people by being so diluted—thinned out—but at what price? This user-friendly, multiplex-tailored view of occult realities is as far from shamanism as art from kitsch (and kitsch is what the Bleep movies are).
Fuzzy-headed professionals talking about the power of the brain? People we would avoid like the plague at a dinner party holding forth on “avenues of reality, unborn” and “infinite tomorrows.” Please.
Words, words, words, but where is the spirit? Images that belong in a Gatorade commercial not in a movie about time and space. The magical Universe seen through the lens of the Bleep movies becomes the asinine universe. A supremely patronizing experience.