Thursday, 15 June 2017

Skellig Michael And Civilisation

In the opening episode to his monumental series ''Civilisation'' Kenneth Clark visits a small and remote island off the south west coast of Ireland called ''Skellig Michael''. Clark paints a rather bleak picture of 6th century Europe. The ancient order under Rome was in rapid decline, European life buckled under the weight of ceaseless attacks by marauding tribes and to the south, the ''Barbarism of Islam'' was on the march. The light of European civilisation was on the brink of being extinguished.

 For Clark, the civilisational building potential of what he calls ''Western Man'' needed to be secured far away from the tumultuous events taking place on the continent, and via the early Christian monks, it was. Scattered on what must at the time have seemed like the edge of the earth, Celtic monks secured the knowledge of Christianity, the ancient world, high culture and ethics while secluded on Iona, the Farne islands of Northumberland and Skellig Michael, in Irish ''Sceilig MhichĂ­l''.

 For a century the Celtic priests and missionaries in the barren northern wastes, scratched a meagre existence out of whatever fish and primitive crops could be harvested from the tundra and rocky islands upon which they lived, but the light of civilisation flickered on, and eventually spread to the wider population. Western Civilisation was born. Fittingly enough, Clark titled the opening episode of his series ''By the skin of our teeth''.

As white men and their civilisation bestrode the earth like giants, Skellig Michael, its historical role fulfilled, returned to obscurity, back to a remote wind blasted outcrop populated by nesting seabirds.

 Until recently.....

The 2015 reboot of the Star Wars franchise saw Skellig Michael reenter the cultural realm as Luke Skywalker's retreat, and in the upcoming ''The Last Jedi'' the old island will feature prominently as Luke trains the young feminist warrior heroine. 

The new Star Wars are very Jewish movies, from the script writers to the financing, the director to the studio, but more importantly, the ethics and central message of the new Star Wars are Jewish, feminism, multiculturalism, promotion of black men in leading roles, and rumour has it, homosexuality is on the way too.

 It's quite possible that Skellig Michael simply offered a scenic locale for the shoot, but this too is questionable, within the story Luke Skywalker flees to the island seeking solitude, just as the old Celtic monks did, Luke keeps the Jedi flame alive as the galaxy collapses into war and chaos, just as the monks did, Luke, via the young girl, aims to rekindle the Jedi religion from the sanctuary of Skellig Michael, just as the monks did, and so on.

 Whether this was by design or simply an accident hardly even matters, the fact remains that Skellig Michael is once again a symbolic location for the founding of a new morality, a new way of being, a new way of looking at the world.

Kenneth Clark's Civilisation is primarily concerned with art rather than politics and war, or economics. It is through art that we can delve into the European soul, art reflected the spiritual and philosophical state of European Man. But what gives rise to civilisation in the first place? once again Clark explains it succinctly, in one word ''Permanence''. Wars and monarchies, political systems and industry may change and fluctuate, but while there's a stable and coherent set of moral principles underpinning the civilisation, such dramas are fleeting.

 With that said, then, what does the ''art'' of Star Wars or any other  modern blockbuster actually have to say? if the rebooted Star Wars is symbolic of a new civilisation then what does it reflect? indeed, whose soul and spirituality does it portray?.

 In actual fact the Hollywood blockbuster of today is antithetical to what Clark or the Celtic monks would have considered ''Civilisation''. It cannot and does not reflect the aspirations or inner longing of a given people because it is created for the consumption of the ''Mass Man'' of post modernity. Its audience is not ''a people'' but ''humanity'' it reveals nothing because there is nothing to be revealed, it is offal being handed to a herd.

 If ''permanence'' is the primary principle of founding a civilisation then what stability and durability is to be found in the Jewish Hollywood production hosting a sizeable array of Jewish intellectual constructs which have the exclusive aim and purpose of ceaseless change and ''progression''? or, to be less charitable, revolution without end?. Especially when we understand that many of these edicts contradict each other, demonisation of the white male runs parallel with an obsession with racial equality, feminism runs alongside Islam, everything runs counter to everything else, but the Mass Man laps it up along with his cola and popcorn, it isn't that our masters are stupid, it isn't that they simply got certain aspects wrong, it is that chaos is the permanence they seek, chaos is the ''civilisation'' they are building.

 Every man, woman and child of European ancestry should be familiar with the story of Western Civilisation and the role of reclusive monks scattered in the icy northern wastes, but almost non of them are, and that's the cruellest trick of all, they'll never know the symbolism as they watch Star Wars, they won't understand they're being mocked, they'll ponder for a second, something about the island will strike them, and then they'll slurp their beverage and gorge on the triumphant fodder being force fed to them by the agents of chaos.  

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