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Moloch

January 30, 2013

Shelby asked about Moloch in class. I’ve linked to a bit more information here, here, and here.

1722_moloch

Update: Yes, Moloch does appear to be raising the roof.

Anyway, let me hazard an attempt at making sense Freder’s reference to Moloch in Metropolis, since I’m really not sure I was very clear about the matter on Tuesday. Moloch appears to have been a god worshiped by the Canaanites, the Phoenicians and other near Eastern peoples (including, it seems, some Israelites) during the era of the Old Testament. Among other things, Moloch – or at least his worshipers – appear to have gone in for human sacrifice. I suspect Freder is comparing the idolatrous worship of Moloch and the human sacrifice that goes with it with the idolatrous worship of technology and its attendant human cost (especially on the workers) in his father’s metropolis. I’m open to other interpretations, of course, but that’s what it looks like after a bit of consideration.

By the way, film makers – particularly those of a sci-fi bent – sometimes introduce characters named Moloch (or something similar) in order to play on this background, as was mentioned in class. Take this dude, for example:

Moloch Watchmen

And Moloch makes a little appearance in Ginsburg’s poem linked in the previous post too.

 

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