Posts Tagged 'Illuminatus'

So why are you here? No, seriously. Did my government send you to help update their file on me? It’s a conspiracy I tells ya! A conspiracy! Which is all very useful as July is shaping up to be a scorching summer of paranoid sweats here in the UK. First up, the provocative Utopia returns for a second series on Channel 4. Despite the show inevitably lacking unsettling mystery – we all know where Jessica Hyde is now – it’ll no doubt make up for the short-fall with a fresh, infectious dose of unhinged interconnections.

At the start of last year I compared the original series to the quality once seen in the BBC’s Edge of Darkness and, as if to generate a perfect opportunity to compare and contrast, BBC 4 have obligingly rescheduled that whole slice of duplicitous magical realism starting tomorrow. While registering on the less whacked-out side of the spectrum, it’s still a chilling, fictional consideration of the shadowy world of the nuclear industry.

Maybe it’s a personal thing but I’ve always preferred my conspiracies as way out as possible, yet with enough meat on them to leave you fearing for your sanity should you ever research the connections they purport to make. Which does result in a very fine line as far as artistic appreciation is concerned. For instance, the Mel Gibson helmed Conspiracy Theory is a definite miss. As is Dan Brown’s horribly sanitised Davinci Code series. However, head back to the late 1960s/early 1970s – and the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination – and you’ll find the well-spring for the seminal Illuminatus Trilogy (Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson), Erik Von Däniken’s wonderfully left-field theories on alien intervention in our culture and, last but not least, Philip K Dick’s vision of a totalitarian state under the rule of Richard Nixon (Radio Free Albemuth – recently adapted for film). Collectively there’s enough within these to keep you second guessing for a month of Sundays. Just make sure you don’t let the fretfulness spill over into our current world of internet surveillance, spy bots, agenda driven news feeds, democratic capitals investing in water canons

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