Crankcast Week 186 – 20090428

Chris Taber!He’s back and this time it’s personal.

This week on a Taberlicious episode of the Crankcast… Chris comes around to talk of Wii Fit, movies and other stuff.

Comment here, mail here and friendship here, or here.

Week 186 – Time: 69:30min. – File Size: 31.9mb

30 Responses to “Crankcast Week 186 – 20090428”

  1. Marshall Says:

    RE: KNOW1NG move:

    Scientology doesn’t deny other religions, it lays science (and some say science fiction) over top of other religions. The fact that the “angels” are “aliens” proves my point. Also, most Christians would say that Aliens are NOT christian. Ant that there IS NOT life on other planets. It has christian elements, but it IS NOT a Christian movie.

    I stand by my Scientology statement.
    I do see things others don’t though…might be nuts…

  2. Taber Says:

    Ha! You make valid points, but since the Bible is brought out in the movie to further the plot, I will argue that it is a Christian movie. And one could argue that if Angels existed they would be aliens in that they are “not of this earth.” And that is somewhat what the movie was trying to illustrate. They were saying this is what it might look like if Angels existed. Or that the description of angels in the bible were simply an interpretation of the creature’s slipstream. Also, Nic Cage’s father is a priest and Nic’s character has lost faith, if you need to be beat over the head any more with the Christian Stick, than that’s it right there. There is no mention or hints at thetans, Xenu or the like. In fact this movie is really a Michael York cameo away from being another Omega Code.

  3. Paul Says:

    I found Next in a HD-DVD clearance bin last month. :)

    Maybe it got green lit as some producer’s wish fulfillment movie. Consider – studio guy tries out all the futures where everyone wears different color T-shirts, and chooses the red one.

    Taber needs to do a Gymkommentary with Chris Moreno, watching The Happening! :)

  4. Marshall Says:

    The devil can quote scripture as well as any priest. You don’t have to be a christian to use christian symbolism.
    Also, since Scientology is still mostly considered a fringe movement they can’t make a movie that spells out all their beliefs. but linking themselves to the most accepted religion in America is a good idea to bring people a little closer to their point of view. This is a tried and true method used by Christians against pagans as Christianity spread through Europe. It’s why we have Santa Claus at Christmas.

    This move is as much a “Christian movie” as is Dracula.

  5. MIke Norton Says:

    Come on Marshall… you know we love you

  6. Marshall Says:

    I’m not at all hot under the collar about this. No worries.
    I’m just saying think about it. It’s a bait and switch…

    Looks like a Christian movie… Smells like a Christian movie… Tastes like–NO WAIT! It’s NOT A CHRISTIAN MOVIE!!
    I’d expect a film savvy guy like Taber to get that.

    The THEY LIVE glasses comment was priceless!

  7. Marshall Says:

    Also, if memory serves…

    The movie makes no mention of Jesus, his teaching, nor his disciples nor how to get to heaven post the martyring of Jesus on the cross. It does rely heavily on what I’d call American-Christian popular culture—ie, apocalyptic fascination. But that is derived primarily from the book of Revelations and the Old Testament (Torah & Talmud of the Jewish faith). Making this more a Jewish movie than a Christian movie. Epically with the garden of Eden and Noah’s ark references as well as the fascination with prophecy connected to numbers.

  8. Taber Says:

    Well, there was the one blatant Scientology movie: Battlefield Earth. Which if I understand correctly suggests that scientologists exist to thwart an impending alien raid on Fort Knox to steal all of our gold. Which is ironic since in reality, it’s scientologists that are the ones raiding something similar to Fort Knox…Tom Cruise’s pocketbook.

    With that said, again, neither Nic Cage, director Alex Proyas, nor the writers have any connections to Scientology. And whatever you read into the movie just isn’t there, which suggests to me that you need to catch up on your Dianetics to get your facts straight. Why isn’t the Matrix, Star Wars, Star Trek or any number of other science fiction films also considered scientology propoganda? I’m sure you could find far fetched connections in all of these. And while I haven’t seen the BSG finale, from your discussions, it sounds like the climax doesn’t seem too far off from the message of Knowing. So why aren’t you attacking that for it’s blatant symbolism? Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m due for my monthly Thetan Colonic down at the Celebrity Center.

  9. Crowley Says:

    in “Let the Right one in” Eli (the young Vampire) is actually supposed to be a castrated young boy. (that’s why they have that weird scarred glimpse scene) The character is played by a young girl though.

    As far as whether the character is evil or not… I think that’s a pretty gray area and open to interpretation.

  10. Marshall Says:

    1) I am not anti-Scientology.
    2) The topic of discussion was KNOW1NG, not Scientology, letting me off the hook for not tie-ing all sci-fi to it.
    3) I am not a Scientology, nor do I know any so I AM NOT AN EXPERT on every aspect of their beliefs.

    What I will say is that this IS NOT a Christian movie. and it DOES have some elements of Scientology that appear to be more deeply rooted in its core than the elements of Christianity it contains.

  11. Taber Says:

    Crowley, that is interesting and explains a lot. Where did you discover this information? I suspect it could be in the book.

    Marshall: It’s okay to be anti-Scientology, as many of us are. I question all religions in general but Scientology is the wackiest, most absurd one of all. Created by a failed sci-fi author no less. If a 10 year old wrote the origins of scientology verbatim as a 4th grade creative writing assignment, he would more than likely receive a D+.

    But again I fail to see any elements of scientology in Knowing other than the fact that space is mentioned. And while it is not a blatant Christian film which could have repelled many movie goers, you can’t argue that fact when the overall conflict of the film revolves around determinism and intelligent design. And by the end falling on the side of the latter.

    In over 100 reviews on the movie, there is not one mention of Scientology but many references to Christianity.

    “In truth, however, Knowing has a far more insidious agenda: to convince non-believers like Cage, an embittered, alcoholic atheist since his wife’s death, there is intelligent design in the universe.” Chris Hicks, Total Film Magazine

    “An uneasy blending of sci-fi and religion, fate and faith — the same mish-mash that has bedeviled most of M. Night Shyamalan’s recent movies, and leaves this film leaden with self-importance” Stephen Whitter, Newark Star-Ledger

    “A strange blend of apocalypse fantasy and Christian uplift…” Sara Schieron, Box Office Magazine

    “Man is it a slow day at work today.” Chris Taber,

  12. crank! Says:

    Whoah, hold on a moment.

    It’s completely unfair and inaccurate to call Hubbard a failed sci-fi author. The man was successful at that.


  13. Taber Says:

    Per Wikipedia:
    “Hubbard’s science fiction sold well and received mixed reviews, but some press reports suggest that sales of Hubbard’s books were inflated by Scientologists purchasing large quantities of books to manipulate the bestseller charts.”

    ^ Welkos, Robert W.; Sappell, Joel (1990-06-28). “Costly Strategy Continues to Turn Out Bestsellers”. The Scientology Story. Los Angeles Times.
    ^ McIntyre, Mike (April 15, 1990). Hubbard Hot-Author Status Called Illusion. San Diego Union, p. 1.

    So not a failure commercially, but critically, but he was not in the same league as Asimov or H.G. Wells or Aldous Huxley. In fact, Asimov denounced Hubbard as a phoney.

  14. crank! Says:

    Right but you’re missing the part in the wikipedia entry about the pre-Dianetics work:

    “Between 1933 and 1938, Hubbard wrote 138 novels, both science fiction and adventure.”

    I’d call that pretty successful, even if only by early twentieth century standards.


  15. Marshall Says:

    Again, you’re confusing things with Christianity that are not strictly Christian, common enough mistake in America.
    Faith is not strictly Christian, overcoming life’s difficulties through faith is not strictly Christian.
    And while Intelligent Design is championed by Christians around the country, it is not exclusively Christian either. In fact some of the best scientists and science fiction writers of all time were Christians.

    I won’t argue Hubbard’s professional standing. Millions of copies sold means he’s a better writer than I am.

    Also, I DO NOT read movie reviews. I like to judge them myself and I find most reviewers that I am familiar with are full of themselves. I’m not a movie expert, nor an expert on film critics, so I’m not trying to stir the pot on that, just explaining my POV and my predisposition to NOT listening to what they say.

    Again, I’m NOT an expert on Scientology, but if memory serves, they believe in aliens and that some are good, and that one day they will visit us for better or worse. CHRISTIANITY IN NO WAY REFLECTS A BELIEF IN ALIENS, BENEVOLENT OR NOT. Christianity also pretty clearly states that everything you need to know is in the book. thereby saying angels are NOT aliens. so if this was a CHRISTIAN movie, I think they’d drive that point… Oh, and they’d most likely mention Jesus and salvation instead of near total destruction of the human race and the creation of a new Eden.

    How about addressing my points instead of citing other sources?

  16. Jim Says:

    There’s an old video interview (long, in several parts) that describes the relationship between Scientology and Christianity. I haven’t seen Know1ng, but I suspect that it has nothing to do with Scientology.

    Anyway, I agree with Mike, and to show my support I will now take off my red shirt.

  17. Sean D Says:

    Got to go with Marshall on this one. Also if I remember right, doesn’t Scientology mean the study of knowledge or something like that.

  18. thebizzz Says:
    Do you drink xx? I don’t but I like these commercials.
    no comment about the show. I haven’t listened in a while however I noticed that some of the comments seem to be about “Knowing” which may or may not be a scientology movie. I would hesitate to call this a christian movie religious perhaps. ….Christian? no.

    I was going to say a lot more but I’ll just say I agree and disagree with both of you.

  19. Taber Says:

    138 novels in 3 years. He was obviously a quantity over quality guy. Steven Seagal releases four to five movies a year. Doesn’t mean he’s a genius. Although I would join any religion that he decides to start.

    Sean D. Scientology doesn’t mean anything, it’s a made up word, by a goofy sci fi writer.

    Marshall i have addressed your points you just fail to acknowledge them. I am not leaning on other critics to make my points for me, but to provide support for my points. I’m still waiting for some sort of support or cited sources from your arguments Marshall. “If memory serves” is never a valid phrase of support

    And again, you missed my point about the Angels/Aliens in an earlier post: If Angels existed they would be considered aliens in that they are “not of this earth.” And that is somewhat what the movie was trying to illustrate. They were saying this is what it might look like if Angels existed. Now it’s your turn to tell me what Angels are supposed to look like. The film makes it a point to show that the creatures’ slipstream to look blatantly like wings. And the final images of what can only be described as a New Eden only supports this fact.

    And while Christianity includes the New Testament it also includes th Old Testament, which is often cited in arguments against homosexuality, abortion and the end of the world. Granted mostly by the Evangelical Christians. B Ut the appearance of Angel-like beings, the image of a New Eden (pairs of boys and girls running to a single tree in a field), and the concept of intelligent design all harken toward christian belief systems.

    Scientology on the otherhand, has no interest in these things and is basically all about the individual. It’s a self-help pyramid scheme that forces you to pay money to go from one level to the next. I found this site to be helpful:

    But most importantly, Roger Ebert’s blog ( and subsequent talkback is really the best place to discuss this and he is a far more intelligent man than I (or Marshall but I would like to see a debate between the two in a Town Hall setting) And while he is a film critic, it is not film criticism but an examination of the theological and philosphical questions raised by the film.

    After engaging in this discourse, one conclusion has made itself apparantly clear: that Knowing is the greatest, most important motion picture in the history of the medium. Followed very closely by another Nic Cage movie…Fire Birds!

  20. Marshall Says:

    EDEN predates CHRIST.
    (Taber, please refute this)

    ANGELS predate CHRIST.
    (Taber, please refute this)

    WINGED CREATURES that are NOT HUMAN predate CHRIST and are common in MANY RELIGIONS.
    (Taber, please refute this)

    The ARK predates CHRIST as well as JUDAISM (Christians and Jews might like to debate that).
    (Taber, please refute this)

    CHRISTIANITY = The worship of CHRIST, the SAVIOR/Massiah, the one true son of God.
    (Taber, please refute this)

    In CHRISTIANITY, CHRIST will return and SAVE his followers. The fact that a priest is NOT saved and that most
    everything on the planet is destroyed PROVES it is not a CHRISTIAN movie.
    (Taber, please refute this)

    My father is an avid Christian and a fan of Sci-Fi (Although I doubt he knows anything about scientology). He DEFINITELY WOULD NOT think this was a Christian movie. I am not citing my father, he is simply the most religious christian I know personally.

    The film DOES have CHRISTIAN (I prefer Judeo-Christian) THEMES in it. But I’m not going to troll wikis or youtube to support my opinion. To me it’s clearly MORE based in a SCIENTOLOGIST world than a CHRISTIAN world.

    You don’t have to be a Scientologist to write or act in a movie that has a serious lean in that direction. So whether those involved are or are not has no bearing on it. I will also say that it is NOT NECESSARILY a SCIENTOLOGIST PROPAGANDA movie…something that might have been inferred when I said it was a commercial for Scientology (on the crankcast)

    Scientology has had it’s problems with individuals inside the organization getting involved with money scandals, but so has every religion. Christianity’s most formative problem in this arena was most prominently written about my Martin Luther and spanned the entire Protestant reformation.

    The term “intelligent design” is a new label for one of the most ancient beliefs of mankind, the belief that something must have set this all into motion.

    You can’t use Ebert as your surrogate in this either. If you would like to pull facts from his work, I look forward to hearing them, but I won’t go digging through Ebert’s dissertations trying to find your evidence for you.

    Also, this was a funny question, but it was NOT rhetorical. Is DRACULA a CHRISTIAN story because the characters are Christians? Because they are fighting against real evil? Fighting against sinful, harlotous creatures that have renounced God and are very similar to demons described in the bible?

    I look forward to your point by point responses.

  21. Taber Says:

    Man has this thing spiraled out of control. The entire point of this argument was just to refute your claim that the film was a commercial for Scientology, which you finally sucumbed to in your statement above.

    I am not arguing about the concept of Christianity. Eden, Angels, Dinosaurs, they all pre-date Christ. Who cares. That isn’t even a point in this argument. Angels are in the stained glass windows of every church. Adam and Eve and Samson and Delilah, Moses and the Ten Commandments, all predate Christ and are parables and stories that are taught in Sunday schools across the nation with just as much emphasis on them as the story of Jesus. Catholics and Lutherans and Protestants and Baptists all have the same Bible containing a New and Old Testament. Both books are studied and quoted and believed in. My point is that the movie contains blatant “Christian” iconography and symbolism. To say it contains religious symbolism is too broad a term and allows for the inclusion of Scientology, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. By your definition then Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, is not a Christian work because Jesus isn’t in it.

    I was not using Ebert as support of my argument but simply as another interesting take on the subject.

    Is Dracula a Christian story because it features Christians? No. I think that you are allowed to use historical fact to fabricate a work of fiction to help place the story in a believable context. In this case the story takes place in Romania and Eastern Europe, a largely Catholic populace. Vampire’s aversion to the cross is simply a fictional fabrication. Repurposing of familiar icons and symbols for entertainment value.

    Anyway, can we end this please. My thesis was never that Knowing was a Christian movie, it was that it was not a commercial for Scientology. In supporting the argument I wanted to illustrate that the images in the film were variations on Chrstian imagery and beliefs. The filmmakers are free to end the world without having Jesus Christ come down and judge everyone, that would make it a Christian movie, which this is not.

    So we will agree to disagree.

  22. MIke Norton Says:

    wow… I’ve been avoiding twitter and messageboards and now my own website has turned into a crazy town!

  23. Marshall Says:

    Yeah, I did say it was a commercial.
    And then very early in the discussions I said I’m uninformed about Scientology.

    In your first post you said: “I will argue that it is a Christian movie.”
    Which I am as adamantly against as you are against my Scientology statement.

    the fact that Jesus doesn’t save the faithful eliminates the possibility of the CHRISTIAN MOVIE angle. for me. In your defense, you did not say it was a christian movie in the original podcast, just that it had christian symboliosm, which is true (and something I’ve said as well).

    So in the end…
    It’s most likely NOT a commercial for Scientology. (We’re both under informed in my opinion.)
    It is NOT a Christian movie, but DOES contain Christian symbolism.

    Agree to disagree? Sure. But you buy the first beer next time we see each other!

    Love you, Taber.

  24. Fil Silva Says:

    My only input is to inform Mike that the placement of a quarter on the arcade machine was important because it let other people know that you “had next” and not to step into your place.

  25. Chris Neeson Says:

    PLEEEEEEEESSSEEE…have Taber and Marshall on the podcast at the same time! This conversation is golden.

    By the way, great episode guys.

  26. thebizzz Says:

    Is this the most controversial episode of the crankcast ever??

  27. Taber Says:

    Ah, you are correct I did mistakenly make the statement in that post that it is a Christian movie. Which makes me feel foolish.

    Either way, this was an exciting week in crankcast.

    I’ll see you in San Diego, Marshall. And we’ll drink until we see God.

  28. thebizzz Says:

    One thought, totally off topic. The t.v. show dollhouse came up in conversation on this weeks episode. Yes I watch this show its not bad. But I can’t help but notice the driving tech in the show. Mind wiping been. Sure its been done before however I have noticed some similar ideas with another property in particular. I don’t now how many of you are familiar with 7th son by j.c. hutchins. Its not the same story, completely different. I think… hard to tell considering both stories feature clandestine organizations with mind switching technology and ego maniacal villains named “alpha”.

  29. thebizzz Says:
    something about this video makes me think of something crank said at the beginning of last weeks episode.

  30. Crowley Says:


    The castrated boy part was apparently in the book. I was confused by it so I checked out Wiki and IMDB and that’s what they claimed.