Oscars and Historical Inaccuracy

What if there was a hoax and no one noticed it? Like the one in the Oscar nominated film Argo. The torture scene, to be exact.  Or in that other Best Picture nominee, Lincoln– the one that irritated some in the state of Connecticut regarding their ‘nay’ vote on the 15th Amendment. Poetic licence in Argo, terrible historical research in Lincoln. Yet sadly, I read an article that stated that many young adults get most of their ‘history’ from films. Sure and why not. After all, who can recall an inspiring history class?

But what about purely fictional films like Star Wars, Wizard of Oz, and Adam and Eve in Paradise? As fictional films, they can never be accused of altering history or shoddy research.  Their poetic license is grand and irrevocable.

Yet there may be a deeper problem. What if the history itself is wrong? Then what?

For example, what if ‘history’ is portrayed from a specious source- a source which many or most of our fellow citizens accept as fact? Take that book referred to as the Bible. How much of our current societal structure has roots in this book? How many people are in churches at this very moment, praying to and singing songs based on material in that book? How many of our current members of Congress believe in that book and, in fact, base their legislative decisions on material from that book?

What if it is all a hoax?  What then? How would such a discovery impact us? The world?



14 thoughts on “Oscars and Historical Inaccuracy

  1. I use this question to explore the thinking capacity of new people I want to get to know: “If you had irrefutable proof that the Bible was a hoax and no gods existed, would you tell the world, and why?” Then I dig out of the person what he or she thinks the reactions of Catholics, Evangelicals, Muslims, Hindus, and other devout people would be, and the ethics of rocking their worlds.

    Atheists do this every day. No one listens who really should, though, because the “proof of God” is in the “personal experience” of the deluded, and no one wants to hear that their hopes hinge on a delusion. The ones I know all want to see dead people someday, even though it didn’t work out so great for that kid in the movie “The Sixth Sense.” Personally, I can’t see any scenario in which seeing dead people is a good idea.

    1. Interesting comment. So why is it that movies with dead people are called “horror” movies, but so many pray to see dead people everyday? And then you got those houses where dead people reside called haunted. Pardon the pun, but those ghost hunting shows just kill me. Where do the deceased get a change of clothes from the set they were wearing when they died?

      People have been dying for thousands of years and there is not a single instance of communication from “the other side.”

      Regarding the Bible, I think it’s an outstanding book…….of fables! I quote it all the time to make a point, but I sure as hell don’t think it’s nonfiction.

      1. People have been dying for thousands of years and there is not a single instance of communication from “the other side.”

        Exactly, NWO. Yet, hope springs eternal, pardon the pun.

    2. Aramink- My wife is reading a book for a seminar this Tuesday titled, Tatoos on the Heart, written by a Catholic priest. The book is about gangs and gang violence and the priest who tries to steer them in a different direction.

      There are review questions in the back which will be discussed during the seminar. Interestingly, one of them is, ‘do YOU believe in God?’ I said to my wife, ‘what difference does that make in the grand theme of the book?’ I further said,’ One need not believe in any Deity or religious creed to help people move upwards in their life.’

      1. Exactly right.
        Another question I like to ask believers is, “If your god will not reward good deeds of nonbelievers with heaven, but instead will torture them forever – while allowing a believer into heaven who is a serial killer or rapist just because he said he was sorry on his deathbed – is he really a noble god worth worshipping?”
        They never answer. They only want to talk about the “need for faith,” as though faith is relevant to the question.

  2. “What if the history itself is wrong?”

    The history of Obama’s handling of Obacare, cap and trade, deportation of
    hispanics and record numbers, avoiding black audiences, conducting
    illegal wars, killing American citizens without due process on a kill list that
    he is sole judge, jury, and executionioner, and signing the Patriot Act and the NDAA Act that takes civilizan freedoms away and gives them to the armed forces is historical fact. Where is the protest? You say you protest, then lets hear it.

  3. Just for reference, the photo in the post is that of the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh- the one written 1000 years before the Bible- and the one from which the authors of the Bible plagiarized their ‘ideas’ and sourced them as the work of their tribal god, Yahweh.

  4. The untidy human condition of creativity…a good thing, a bad thing. In the context of epic cinematic art, one can only stand in horrific awe of Leni Refenstahls masterpiece of propaganda, Triumph of The Will or, say, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis…Many people felt it had a positive humanist message, but many people walked away with something else. None the less, it was truly great art. Great art is never complete until it is viewed. We are the final part of the process. That is the onus of creativity.
    In this context, the evolution of Gilgamesh into the work that evolved into the Bible demonstrates all of the craft of human imagination, our talent for synthesis, because no matter what theologians would like you to believe, if you were a religious scholar and dissected the evolution of doctrine of any religion, it becomes obvious that though they would like you to believe it to be so, nothing is written in stone. How many times has the BIble been rewritten and edited by religious sects to promote their latest agenda over the last say, 600 years?…that’s a reasonably short and tidy “snap shot” from the real time frame.

    1. …and yet, Microdot, on this side of the Pond just think of the tens of millions of our citizens who have no idea about this and would even swear on it ;)

      1. The part that annoys me is that they won’t even consider looking at any supporting facts. And then they go one step further and accuse me of making up stuff.

  5. “The part that anno9ys me is that they won’t even consider looking at any supporting facts.”

    Yes, they can’t look at reason and facts, because they are FAITH believers.
    Faith trumps all.

    This is why I think that writting again and again on religion is a no gainer. Ending the paralizing nature of religion on the body oolitic will only end with time, that is, the decline in church of religious belief so we can reasoned public policy.

    1. … yet is it not important to The People to point out the facts? As a historian, surely you would not advocate allowing historical fact to be smothered and distorted- especially facts upon which societal precedent was established.

      Would you?

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