Making it up as they go along?

The other evening I watched Darkest Hour with Gary Oldham.

In case you don’t know …

The movie is about Churchill becoming Prime Minister with the primary focus on the evacuation at Dunkirk and Britain’s further involvement in the War.

It is a good film and Oldham’s performance was worthy of the Oscar.

I enjoy films of this nature – providing there isn’t too much violence  – and I invariably like to check all the facts and figures where possible. Aren’t we so fortunate that these days we have the internet, and one can fact check almost instantaneously?

SPOILER ALERT

There is a scene in the film where Churchill’s car gets stuck in London traffic. On the spur of the moment he gets out the car, goes down the Underground (Tube) where he boards a train. During the brief journey to Westminster he has a conversation with a group of ”ordinary people” to find how they would react if England was to be invaded by the German army, which at that stage was only a few miles from the French coast, and invasion was a distinct possibility, if not imminent.

Every person in the carriage was adamant that they would fight to the bitter end.

This sentiment is what finally swayed Churchill over the issue of entering into negotiations with Hitler regarding peace terms, vindicating his personal belief that one can never negotiate with a tyrant.

It is sterling stuff, and I found myself thinking: Damn straight! and similar thoughts.

But there is one thing to bear in mind …

The scene on the Underground never happened. It is a piece of fiction.

And yet, had it not been for Google, I would never have questioned it, assumed in its historicity, and would likely have touted this as ”evidence” should  the topic of what finally convinced Churchill to throw everything including the kitchen sink into the war effort.

I imagine that most people under such circumstances would react similarly.

However, once shown the fictitious nature of such a claim these same people would, like me, smile, accept that the writer and director of the film had merely used ”poetic licence” to make a point, and move on. No hard feelings, and one’s enjoyment was not really diminished.

So why on earth do so many people refuse to accept that the Bible is nothing but Historical Fiction and, like the Churchill movie, many of the characters and scenes in the bible are completely fictitious, included in the narrative solely as plot devices.

Maybe the next time you hear or read someone touting the veracity of the Bible you might take a moment to consider Gary Oldham’s Oscar winning performance as Winston Churchill?

 

Ark.

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107 comments

  1. LOL… great analogy Ark. I am always amazed by how many would rather “feel good” inside than face the cold hard facts of reality. Every single cinematic film I ever go and see, or rent/buy for home-viewing, I always ALWAYS know… that despite the producers, directors, and screenwriters stating (at the beginning) that the film is “Based on A True Story,” that in no way equates to verbatim, minute-by-minute facts or truths. In other words, it is called cinematic license — everybody does it in order to generate more revenues, more excitement for more popularity. Embellishment is a lucrative art. Actual history and facts are boring and much less lucrative. Hell, these days probably damn well impoverishing! 😉

    Liked by 6 people

    • Btw Ark, if you haven’t seen Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, I highly recommend it as a 95% historically accurate film on our nation’s horrible past. And of course the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers was quite accurate too. I’m sure you’ve watched all 10 of those episodes. I’ve watched them perhaps 6-8 times minimum. 😛

      Liked by 2 people

    • So true, I remember watching an American TV series a year or two back called Fargo about certain crimes in an American town, you may have seen it.

      The starting credits claimed the stories were based on fact and the names changed of the individuals to protect their identity or words to that effect.

      I was dubious to say the least especially when a spaceship hovered above a scene of violent action, however when I checked on Google the producer admitted it was not based on any facts, I cannot remember his excuse, but he thought it gave the series some sort of impact, or whatever. American made programs, especially war movies are the best at the based on fact BS.

      Liked by 4 people

      • sklyjd,

        Do you remember the 1999 film The Blair Witch Project? For the longest time everyone (younger audiences primarily) in the mainstream spoke as if it were a true-blue story, actual camera footage recovered a year later from 3 lost, missing, or deceased art students in the Black Hills of Burkittsville, Maryland. The fictional legend was sensationalized by the directors/editors making it one of the highest grossing films of 1999 at over $250-million! But for 6-10 months many Americans believed it was a real, true story!

        I watched it with my then Evangy-Fundy Xian wife (now ex-wife) and she was SO disturbed by the movie, SO upset… that she forced not only a praying for God’s protection of our home, she also later had it cleansed of any evil spirits that had entered… via that film ‘speaking evil’ into our home. 😮 I was shocked it affected her so badly. But that’s exactly Ark’s point here. It’s true and it’s real with a LOT of supernaturally phobic people. :/

        Liked by 2 people

        • Yes Prof, I do remember the film, but I did not realise it made that sort of impact in America. I was living in NZ at that time and most of us realise it is only Hollywood hype and very few of us believed in a god or a devil anyway.

          Having said that, the NZ national anthem has the main words of “God defend New Zealand” and I recon the atheists living there should be pestering their prime minister who is a confessed atheist to change the words (Argus could kick it off) 😊.

          o get back on track, didn’t that H.G. Wells movie “War of The Worlds” in the 50’s cause people to run for the hills also somewhere in America? I should Google it I suppose, but this also highlights how foolish beliefs can be contagious and lead the masses down the same path.

          By the way, I hope your ex-wife recovered from her supernatural experience.

          Liked by 3 people

          • Yes, you are right about that radio show “War of the Worlds.” It sent hundreds — within the range of radio signals — into a panic. It was unknown to many listeners that it was purely a fictional show. But your point is a good one: the more uninformed, uneducated, non-skeptical, but more emotional, easily made impulsive… the more gullible the person/people. Good salesmen/saleswomen LOVE pitching to those types! Good for business; good for popularity = good for power/influence. 🙄

            Liked by 4 people

  2. If these rabid religious believers would give a little in their assertions of the bible, they would look a lot better and would give atheist less to use against them. I was watching an interview with Matt Powell who is an independent baptist, who kept claiming that there was 4 different gospel writers who were inspired by god and that the gospels were identical when compared to each other. Despite the interviewer trying to show him the contradictions and how the stories were copied almost word for word in some parts, Powell wouldn’t budge. He thought it was a miracle and could only be explained by acknowledging god. He then brought up all the prophesies Jesus fulfilled. When the interviewer said that was like saying book 7 of the Harry Potter series agrees with things foretold in book 1, Powell denied they were the same idea at all because the bible was the written word of God. So how do we reach these people? I can not understand being so willing to deliberately ignorant of facts, especially when people point them out to you. Hugs

    Liked by 6 people

          • In the country in the late ’50s and early 60s, American Bandstand, hosted by the perennial Dick Clark: I always vaguely wondered where the bands were that backed up Jimmy Clanton, and the Everlies, and all that, but figured they were behind the curtains. One night one of the performers was playing his guitar and the light struck it just right, and I noticed the reflection off the sound hole in the middle. It was painted on, and he wasn’t playing
            at all.

            OMG.

            Then I realized that every damn one of those performers on Bandstand was lip syncing their music, and it was a bit like realizing there is no Santa, no tooth fairy, no God.

            Just wasn’t the same after that. =(

            Liked by 2 people

          • I understand that Judy, I always thought it was a fraud when I realised the performers were not really singing. I used to watch the lips just to see if I could catch them out.

            I eventually found another job 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Your tale is fine ark when u speak of the historical fiction that some use, but you then go off the rails when u include the Bible in comparison.

    Ark’s Note: Comment edited

    Like

  4. Belief in the Bible is almost as universally required, as is loving the mother or daddy who beats you regularly (sometimes to a bloody pulp)…I don’t understand it, either, but there it is. Show them a god who rapes pillages and plunders and a kind of wall comes up between them and the image.

    They believe the bible is true because they need to. It’s their prop, their reality, their cloak. It doesn’t have to make sense, it just is.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Belief in the Bible is almost as universally required …

      Which should raise the question: Why?
      I believe it ties in with my aversion to overt and gratuitous violence.
      Christianity is build upon a foundation of horrendous violence.
      It was also spread throughout the world through violence; tacit and overt.

      Why would you trust any ”father” that offered lots of love on one hand and an eternity of torture on the other if you didn’t love him back, and then had the gall to say it was your choice!

      Liked by 7 people

    • Sadly you can’t show them the view beyond that wall—programmed since birth not to raise their heads and look. Which is why I push the point, counter-program by educating the young in the most basic Tools Of Thinking: if nothing else the Law of Contradiction.

      And teach ’em when to pay lip-service obeisance whilst keeping a survivalist’s silence.
      Sometimes survival means victory — and in the battle for the mind mere survival must come first. Yes, it IS a war, and thus far God is winning.

      Which God? Take your pick, from a cast of thousands, and all of them the unique.

      No?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. If the outcome is more faith, in their eyes fiction is justified by how it makes them feel, or live their lives. This is the latest morphology of the meaning of the words truth, fact, or reality. If it makes them want to be kind to others or start an orphanage, it was a truth. Or, if it makes one more proud of his country, religion, heroes, it must be truth making that known through a fiction. It is a pungent ploy to hang on to any reason, to keep a dying religion they’ve wasted too much of their life with to give it up over actual fact.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Straight-out unadulterated history is often boring or too damned unbelievable to be used. So little embellishments are added here and there to improve the flavour, and often before long they have morphed into (have become) the ‘History’ itself.

    Too often conjecture becomes fact and replaces earlier fact. So now we are told that the real reason for the Titanic sinking wasn’t simply banging into an iceberg it could easily have brushed aside (oh … really?) but it because it was a seagoing glass-jaw riddled with internal weakness due to ‘blind-eyed’ fires.

    People desperately want their heroes and villains and will willingly set aside their ‘onboard censor’ to preserve illusions. Come up with a new twist and if you do it will it will enter the Literature (history) as fact.

    And fact or not, that Winnie story will in future be quoted. Eventually it may well become historical fact. The precedents are set, no?

    Liked by 7 people

  7. We saw the movie too. Hard to believe the “hero” of ww2 who ‘saved the British’ allowed the lusitania to be torpedoed and 1200 people to be killed by intentionally not providing escort ships into an active war zone, then refused to send rescue ships for the survivors… All in an effort to pull the US into the European ww1. “1200 innocents? Small price to pay for the US saving our asses”

    Liked by 4 people

    • And many Westerners do not fully realize that it was the USSR and the USSR Army and people who sacrificed far and away the most lives in order to win the war of attrition on Hitler and Nazi Germany. Their commitment to victory, despite the costs, was what made it much MUCH easier for the Allied forces to advance. Without Russia’s remarkable sacrifices, the West probably would not have won the war.

      But since the USSR/Russia was Communist, this is not known or taught in European or American schools and history textbooks. Instead, we took most all of the credit for winning WW2.

      Liked by 5 people

    • @ Jonathan
      Probably not as many as one would wish.
      However, the option is now available, whereas in the past it was often inaccessible and also discouraged.
      I would say this is at least a move in the right direction, wouldn’t you?

      Liked by 2 people

      • It is progress
        But getting people to use those resources
        Even if you just start with http://www.snopes.com, that’s good for a start

        I have lost count of how many times I have told the same group of people that these two tales are nothing but fiction
        1)NASA spent millions of dollars developing an ‘astronaut pen’ that would work in outer space, while the Soviets fixed the problem much more cheaply and quickly by using pencils.
        2)Muslim girls buried alive by their father are fed and comforted by Jesus until rescuers come for them

        Liked by 2 people

    • Of course we should exercise due caution regarding anything that is claimed or touted as fact.
      The Underground scene in the movie was revealed as fiction by several historians that were consulted, and the film’s producers never said it was fact.
      The bible , however, is STILL touted as the Inspired Word of God, which , of course , is palpable nonsense.
      Sadly the entire religious industry is staffed by those who are liars, or those who simply go along with the lies, happily disseminating and indoctrinating people and especially kids all the Live Long Day.
      Tra la la …

      It is abuse, plain and simple, and should be treated as such.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. If a child were to wave a magic wand and say “poof you are now turned into a frog” it is a laugh and when a Christian says you are a sinner who will go to hell I also laugh because even though it is such a childish act the adult saying it is serious and actually believes it and this makes it hilarious.

    Monty Python as we know understood Christianity was a comedy.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. “So why on earth do so many people refuse to accept that the Bible is nothing but Historical Fiction and, like the Churchill movie, many of the characters and scenes in the bible are completely fictitious, included in the narrative solely as plot devices.”

    The problem with religion (in particular Christianity), is that it’s touted you will go to Hell forever for not believing in God, which is ridiculous. Most people would say that it doesn’t matter whether you believe in a particular movie being true or not, because it doesn’t affect your life, so changing your belief on that is quite easy. If you’ve been brought up in Christianity all your life, and committed to it, the thought you might be wrong is horrifying, so it’s easier to stick your head in the sand. That doesn’t make Christianity any less ridiculous though.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I can’t make the connection between the fictitious Churchill movie episode and why billions of people choose to believe the bible is the word of god. A bit of a reach. OK, so Satan is Hitler and Earth is about to be/has been/ invaded and the people have to choose to either accept defeat or fight ‘to the bitter end’. From a knee jerk perspective, believing in the bible as god’s word makes sense: what’s the alternative? We have a duopoly of forces here, and people are pushed and pulled to make a choice that could decide their eternity. The bible is the constitution and as is usually the case, no one actually reads it, they just listen to exegesis and interpretations and the embarrassing parts are neatly sidestepped. People (like myself) who have read the bible in an attempt to understand it are well aware that it is NOT just historical fiction. That’s where those inimical to the book itself make erroneous claims, falling in the same trap as those who worship it as god’s word. I would say, unless one is thoroughly familiar with the book, one should steer clear on commenting on it. Using Christians’ words for it is dangerously misleading. Read it for yourself, not to prove it is all error, nor to decide whether it is some god’s word or not (gimme a break about that claim!) or to find more ammunition describing the character of that horrid creature called Yahweh, but to find out what it really has to say about Earthian humanity. I’m not being an apologist for the bible or Christianity, just for the truth, and you’d be surprised to discover the similarities between our current society and the one the OT prophets decried and condemned in their day. Example: Donald Trump would not fare well under the watchful eye of the prophets. It has been said, keep your friends close, your enemies closer. Having a working understanding of the contents of the bible is the way to keep your religious enemies close and also how to disarm them. You’d be shocked at how often their claims and beliefs are in diametric opposition to the “teachings” found in the bible. Food for thought, perhaps.

    Liked by 1 person

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