Diane Lane continues her slide back towards the B list with a new 'thriller' whose plot is stolen outright from an old Millennium episode called The Mikado. I realize the writers have been on strike the past few months and they have my full sympathy, but can't anyone come out with a single frickin' original idea out there? Or is the psychic malaise that is destroying popular culture finally reached a crisis point when fresh ideas and concepts are seen as terrifying and alien? There was a column in a recent Entertainment Weekly lamenting the lack of originality in scifi, but why not extend that to the entire industry? It's not like there aren't a host of novels, comics and plays out there still waiting to catch Hollywood's eye.
I've been collecting some old Playboy magazines and saw one issue that reviewed Marathon Man, Rollerball and Dog Day Afternoon, along with a host of less well-known but still memorable films all in a single column. It depressed the hell out of me- those three classics came out in the same month? Unbelievable. I can't think of three films in all of 2007 that approach that level of quality. This is what happens when the bean counters take over. Say what you will about moguls like Louis B. Mayer or Jack Warner, but don't say they didn't love movies. And there's certainly no room in that town for a visionary like Robert Evans anymore.
Here's how it will go: The suits will continue to dominate every single aspect of film-making and produce more and more tired old hash like Untraceable and people will stop going to the movies altogether and play Wii instead.
Not that I blame Diane, one of the many sirens of my adolescent years. And my post-adolescent years...
Both vocally and verbally, Elizabeth Fraser showed herself to be highly adept at wielding the archetypes. There were times when she seemed like Circe or Hecate, summoming unknowable entities simply with the sound of her voice. But just as with Jung, there's a danger in putting yourself so deep within the Dreamstream.
After being hospitalized for a nervous breakdown, Fraser emerged in 1994 spouting all the right therapeutic happy-talk in her interviews, but sounding completely psychotic onstage. This was all the more remarkable given the massive publicity push the band received that year, appearing on several different major TV shows.
From a 1995 Alternative Press piece:
Parenthood has clearly reordered Fraser's thinking, as has the self-examination she's undertaken since she had a nervous breakdown in 1993 while working on Four-Calendar Cafe.
"Everything ground to a halt," she explains. "I didn't know what was wrong with me." Entering a treatment facility in the U.S., she was admitted to a trauma unit and confronted both herself and those around her with some hard truths.
"I got told I was big-time co-dependent. I found out I was bulimic. I found out what I went through is called incest," she says. Deeply buried childhood memories became clearer. "You know, memories of being abused by people with no face. All you do is just cover up for those people, even while you're trying to remember."
When you're fresh off of a full-scale nervous breakdown, that's probably not the best time to go on The Tonight Show. I saw this when it first aired and was heartbroken. I had lost interest in the band at this point in time, but wasn't prepared for this kind of public meltdown. This was like watching a Saturday Night Live parody of the Cocteau Twins, only it wasn't remotely funny. Despite all of her empowerment therapy talk, Fraser seemed to be coming apart at the seams in public.
I can't help but wonder, in this moment of profound spiritual crisis was that Other Thing running the show? Fraser seems in thrall to something...no, that's not right. She doesn't even seem like she's there. And when her eyes are open in that clip she looks completely bewildered. And then the eyes shut and the weird Yoko/exotic bird noises resume completely disregarding the melody or the rhythm or the lyrics of the song.
I'm not an expert on the topic (in fact I'm downright uninformed on it), but I can't imagine that "walk-ins" drop in on happy souls with pleasant lives, and nothing is more damaging to a psyche than sexual abuse. But the backstory is instructive, because I begin to see the crucial period of the Cocteau Twins as this dance between two wounded souls - Fraser and her addicted husband Robin Guthrie - channeling much deeper energies in their own way and having a profound influence on many others' lives.
No matter what beauty it manifests, a collaboration based so deeply in emotional turmoil will eventually run aground, and those energies will find new places to go. But the greater story- and the synchronistic footprints it has left- is what we have to understand and incorporate into our own lives.
Fraser would regain her voice and return to form in 1996. But as we've seen, an otherworldly tragedy would visit itself upon her the following year. And then there is this strange publicity photo that's recently surfaced, that I don't know what the hell to make of.
The always-revelatory Inside the Cosmic Cube is looking into the alchemical origins of the Joker. I'd just like to add that the Joker's original incarnation as the Red Hood reminds me of the Rubeo from Alchemical iconography...
Also, it seems that Heath Ledger had read The Killing Joke
DRE: Have you read many Batman comics?
HL: No and I think that’s kind of helping me a little bit. I was never really a fan of comic books or comic book movies. I never despised them but I was never one to read them. I never sought out the films but I would sit down and enjoy them. So because of that I really feel that I’m not carrying much pressure.
DRE: Have they given or asked you to read certain comics?
HL: The Killing Joke was the one that was handed to me. I think it’s going to be the beginning of The Joker. I guess that book explains a little bit of where he’s from but not too much. From what I’ve gathered, there isn’t a lot of information about The Joker and it’s left that way.
The Shuttle launches...
...and the very next second.
Jack Nicholson warned Heath Ledger on 'Joker' roleGood actors become their roles, and Heath Ledger was a great actor. Some people have misinterpreted Nicholson's statement as some supernatural hoodoo. My feeling is that Nicholson understood what a demanding and extreme role would do to a sensitive artist like Ledger. His experience even before his death should be a cautionary tale- divorce, sleep disturbance, depression. But there is more to see in the world of the Symbols that Ledger found himself immersed in.
BY JOE NEUMAIER
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Thursday, January 24th 2008, 3:18 AM
Heath Ledger thought landing the demanding role of the Joker was a dream come true - but now some think it was a nightmare that led to his tragic death.
Jack Nicholson, who played the Joker in 1989 - and who was furious he wasn't consulted about the creepy role - offered a cryptic comment when told Ledger was dead.
"Well," Nicholson told reporters in London early Wednesday, "I warned him."
Though the remark was ambiguous, there's no question the role in the movie earmarked as this summer's blockbuster took a frightening toll.
Ledger recently told reporters he "slept an average of two hours a night" while playing "a psychopathic, mass-murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy .I couldn't stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going."
Prescription drugs didn't help, he said.
Heath Ledger's makeup in the new Batman movie isn't the first time someone from the big-time media borrowed from Killing Joke. Here's Jaz Coleman wearing an earlier version of the makeup, with the lipstick drawn across the cheek as we see with the Joker. The song he is performing there- for the first time on television, mind you - has an interesting history.
The song is called "Eighties" and was released in 1984. There's an interesting tie-in to Our Gods Wear Spandex in the lyric, "I'm in love with the Coming Race." Interesting to note that this semiotically-loaded video ends with one of the band's usual torchlight processions. Note also the bonfire in the middle of the clip. As with the later "Hosannas from the Basements of Hell" video, they were attempting to charge this clip with occult resonance. A promotional tool becomes a ritual working. Not being an occultist, I can't speak to the video's efficacy. I can only ask: what were the results?
You may have heard the lead riff of "Eighties" in Nirvana's 1992 hit "Come As You Are." To say the very least, Killing Joke didn't appreciate the homage and took Kurt Cobain to court, only to drop the suit when he committed suicide in 1994.
Not a fortuitous precedent for ripping off the Jokers.
Somewhat of an earlier variation of the riff was heard on a 1982 album by the Damned, ironically titled "Life Goes On," but it was clear where Cobain nicked the riff from. Ironically, Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl would later play with Killing Joke on their 2003 self-titled album, whose lyrics read like a David Icke lecture.
Hosannas from the Basements of Hell is a bit of a different story. The song itself is about how Jaz Coleman uses Killing Joke to channel his aggressions, but the album is filled with very heavy occult themes- songs dealing with Babalon ("Invocation") and Lucifer ("The Lightbringer"), as well as songs with titles like "Walking with Gods" and "The Judas Goat." However you care to explain it- whether through psychological or supernatural means- powerfully-focused ideas in art can take on a life of their own. By modeling the new Joker off of Jaz Coleman's stage makeup, there is almost some sort of transference at work.
Add to that the psychotic nature of the role itself, the immense demands big budget movies make on actors and the general self-abuse so common among young celebrities and you have a recipe for sorrow.
I have to say I was saddened that a brilliant young actor like Ledger left us so early, but I wasn't shocked. So much of his film work seemed to radiate darkness- his deaths in two of his most prominent roles (The Patriot and Monster's Ball) come to mind. And then there is the Clown Prince of Crime, nearly a satanic figure from the looks of the Dark Knight trailer. There is a strange echo of the death of Brandon Lee (star of The Crow) as well, certainly through the synchronistic link to Paul Raven's death if nothing else. That film's hit soundtrack was chock full of Killing Joke admirers like Nine Inch Nails and Helmet.
Some individuals seem to become strange attractors of a sort. When they die it's always tragic, until you look back on their lives and find that Death seemed to be their constant companion.
For the rest of us, it seems advisable to be very careful about the symbols we toy with. One may not believe in their supranatural power, but even a knee jerk skeptic can't rightly dismiss the power of suggestion from the equation.
Of course, that might just be two ways of saying the same thing.
In honor of Heath then, a requiem filmed in -of all places- Loreley, Germany...
There's a myth that Bill Clinton represented some triumph for liberalism. The fact is that the Clinton Administration was a friggin' disaster for liberalism, the Democratic Party, civil liberties and working Americans, and a bonanza for the Republicans, the Religious Reich and asshats like Rush Oxycontin and Mann Coulter. The Clintons' true colors are coming out now that Obama is putting up a tough fight and everyone can see just how ugly that is.
Not that what I say matters to anyone at all but myself, but I'd rather have Obama win the nomination and lose the election than have the Clintons back in the White House. As to Obama's experience, that matters only to those individuals who are naive enough to believe that the President sets policy or makes any important decisions. I remember when Bill Clinton began his first term and bungled the Haiti situation and Jimmy Carter and Colin Powell- officials of the real Government - came in and cleaned up his mess. It was then I realized that the President is just a symbolic position. And I like the symbolism of Barack Obama a hell of a lot more than that of Billary Clinton.
While I'm preparing the second part of "Killing Joker," I think it's instructive to see this 1984 live performance by Killing Joke. Here we see an earlier variation on the new Joker makeup, but with the lipstick drawn across the cheek as we see in Dark Knight.
I've seen a place - set in time
And pillars tall in my sight
Then I heard voices sing
Sweet in the air they fell through
And then the song became alive - song and dance
Ways we've lost come flooding back now
Then my ancestors awake
Then i forgot myself
And in our joy they take their joy
And in their skills we take our skills
Then all the lines between are gone
It's also important to note that while Jaz Coleman has the mouth and the makeup, the real chthonic power in the band are the non-Euclidean riffs of Kevin "Geordie" Walker, who looks like a GQ model and plays like Nylarhotep. Killing Joke has influenced literally thousands of bands either directly or indirectly, but no one has ever come close to channeling the atavistic carnage he invokes on his Gibson hollow-body.
The Mystery deepens to untold levels. Looking at the Dark Knight trailer, it's so painfully obvious that someone was looking very carefully at Killing Joke's video "Hosannas From the Basements of Hell." Ledger is made up to be a slightly more glamorous version of Jaz Coleman, who's been using that that type of makeup for almost 30 years. They even went so far as to borrow Coleman's unkempt hair. This Joker looks nothing like any version I remember and almost exactly like Coleman. Designers and stylists are constantly combing through any reference they can get their hands on for "inspiration," and it seems a no-brainer where the new Joker comes from.
Ellen Degeneres showed this clip (kudos to Just Me over at Meta-Logic Cafe for the scoop) when she announced Ledger's death. The video showing Ledger attacked by a crow, or better for our purposes, a raven.
Killing Joke bassist Paul Raven is not in the 'Hosannas' video. He had left the band before it was filmed to tour with Ministry. Three months before Heath Ledger died in his sleep, Paul Raven also passed away in his sleep. The video for 'Hosannas' was filmed around the same time as Ledger made that appearance on Ellen.
Remember now that this is the band that inspired Alan Moore to transform the Joker from a comic-relief Batman villain into the iconic character he is today. But Dark Knight completes the circle by paying visual tribute to Jaz Coleman with their new depiction of the Joker.
More and more all the time, it seems that the Collective Unconscious is speaking to us in profound and powerful ways. Or are we just more attuned to it since the Internet gives us the power to make connections instantaneously? The very nature of the Web seems to be encouraging people to new levels of pattern recognition. The more information you have at hand, the more the patterns begin to reveal themselves.
In ten years from today, our reality paradigm will be very much different. Reductionism will be as antiquated as flat earth theory. Jung and others like him were living in that paradigm long before.
Robert Kagan famously said that America hails from Mars and Europe from Venus, but in reality, Europe is more like Mercury — carrying a big wallet. The E.U.’s market is the world’s largest, European technologies more and more set the global standard and European countries give the most development assistance. And if America and China fight, the world’s money will be safely invested in European banks. Many Americans scoffed at the introduction of the euro, claiming it was an overreach that would bring the collapse of the European project. Yet today, Persian Gulf oil exporters are diversifying their currency holdings into euros, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran has proposed that OPEC no longer price its oil in “worthless” dollars. President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela went on to suggest euros. It doesn’t help that Congress revealed its true protectionist colors by essentially blocking the Dubai ports deal in 2006. With London taking over (again) as the world’s financial capital for stock listing, it’s no surprise that China’s new state investment fund intends to locate its main Western offices there instead of New York. Meanwhile, America’s share of global exchange reserves has dropped to 65 percent. Gisele Bündchen demands to be paid in euros, while Jay-Z drowns in 500 euro notes in a recent video. American soft power seems on the wane even at home.
Antinous as Osiris, Holding the Wands of Horus. Antinous the Bithynian was the young lover of the legendary Roman emperor Hadrian. He fell into the Nile and drowned and was made a beloved god throughout the Empire. The Egyptians identified him with Osiris, who also met his end in the Eternal River.
So given all that, we shall adopt Antinous as our patron deity for the final installment of the Siren series, which will be entitled The Siren: Hardcore Synchromysticism.
Watch this space!
On May 29, 1997 Jeff Buckley said his last goodbye to this mortal coil in the roiling waters of the Mississippi. That river, which has given birth to so many classic American songs, has a vicious undertow beneath its placid surface.
Buzzing on the triumph of his new music and the impending arrival of his compatriots, Buckley sought to baptize himself in those legendary waters. He didn't realize he was actually swimming towards the Siren that took his father down to her two decades before.
This BBC documentary brilliantly tells the story of that horrible night:
There's nowhere else this story could have ended but in Memphis, Tennessee. There's no street but Beale from which Jeff Buckley would heed the Siren's call. There's no band but Led Zeppelin that could have been the musical accompaniment to their deathly summons, no other song than their demonic hijacking of "Whole Lotta Love." And the Pyramid is just the cherry on top.
The skies over Memphis became pitch black that night, as rescuers searched for Buckley, and a violent electrical storm soon tore that blackness into shreds. Columbia executive Steve Berkowitz looked up at the violent sky and the enormous pyramid and felt he had been transported to the River Styx. He was half-right. Hell is a movable feast, and that night it descended on Memphis.
On that fateful night, Fraser's Rilkean Dreams would be transformed from a love letter into nothing less than a dire prophecy of Buckley's fate.
Three thousand miles away, Fraser was in the studio with Massive Attack, guesting on tracks for their landmark album, Mezzanine. In hindsight, there is no other song Elizabeth Fraser could have been singing while her onetime lover was pulled beneath the River Styx than the surreal lament, 'Teardrop.' This story began in tears and had to end in them.
Water, water, everywhere.
The imagery of the 'Teardrop' video is mesmerizing- a fetus singing in Fraser's voice while swimming in the waters of Creation- a symbolic new life from tragic death. Full circle. The song would go on to become a modern classic, and would be used in numerous commercials and in the opening credits to Fox TV's House MD.
There's something else at play, some poetic -or mythic- ending, beneath the exoteric narrative. Something floating around the Symbolic Realm. I can just see it in Euripides and Aeschylus.
It goes like this: A beautiful and talented young troubador gets drunk on his own charisma and thoughtlessly toys with a delicate soul who is playing host to something that crossed over from the Other Side. Two thousand years ago, the omens and portents would have been recognized by everyone, from old women to schoolchildren. They would have warned him- don't break the Siren's heart.
As of this writing, Elizabeth Fraser has released only one solo record- a limited-edition single- since walking out on the Cocteau Twins while recording their followup to Milk and Kisses in 1997.
It's called "Underwater."
A very interesting video, perhaps a revealing one. Key lyric "I had to fantasize just to survive." That image of mature sobriety would soon be shattered, however.
As usual, the director seems to be telling us something about the nature of this woman. Note also that she is always very self-conscious about flashing those unsettlingly-alien eyes of hers.
My question to all of you out there is this- why is the concept of twins so important in the esoteric tradition? After all, this is a trio that calls themselves the Cocteau Twins. Bonus factoid: Cocteau himself died on the 11th...
Heath Ledger's untimely death has people talking about the various symbols that are always put into play from events like this. Adam is digging into the the portents that no one paid attention to in his new piece, "This Joke is Not Funny."
A large part of the success of the Batman franchise is drawn from Alan Moore's seminal graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke. My personal take on B:TKJ was that it was Moore's admirable but not-entirely successful attempt to translate the very powerful musical and iconographic energies of the British band, Killing Joke.
As I've written in the past, Moore's interest in the occult world was probably heavily inspired by the band, who were talking these themes up many years before Moore himself. Killing Joke also wielded an incredibly potent iconographic punch through the work of house designer Mike Cole.
Killing Joke's iconography was ubiquitous in early 80s England. You can see old episodes of shows like The East Enders where characters are chatting in front of their concert posters. No one who saw their most powerful icons flushed them entirely from their subconscious.
And of course, the malicious Harlequin was their mascot.
Again, an object lesson in how incredibly potent energies bubble up from the source into the mainstream: Killing Joke unleash a host of very powerful energies into the world which Alan Moore attempts to translate into his own art. The emanations reverberate from the underground to mainstream comics, up into big-budget Hollywood films and then to the tabloids through a terrible tragedy like the untimely death of a brilliant young actor.
Whose sudden death follows three months after that of Killing Joke bassist Paul Raven...
My personal thinking? I'm always extremely careful what kinds of symbols I put in motion, especially those I identify myself with.
Joe turned me on to this band, whose lyrics are filled with fascinating snippets of deeper meaning. I thought of this song - titled, of course, "Seventeen"- as an example of their esoteric hint-dropping and went to look up the lyrics to their scintillating little number, "Soft Power"...
...and am confronted with our friends in white and red. The song I was playing at the moment on my Itunes has even more hints of a specifically arcane nature...
We`re on the same high you and I
Open the same page, no sunrise
New day dawning
Black sun rising
Another new wrinkle in the endless fabric of Synchromysticitude...
I wake up, fix my coffee, open up my email and this is waiting for me, spam for Diego's Buzzing Bee Adventure...
I wonder if my exclamation was inspired by the recent, untimely death of Brad Renfro...
One of my biggest influences is Graham Hancock, the pioneering British journalist and explorer. In my opinion, Hancock is a giant of our times and his influence on popular culture is as huge as it is unacknowledged. I attended his first talk on his latest masterwork, Supernatural, as New York's sublime Chapel of Sacred Mirrors. Being a Casteneda fan from way back in the day, I was captivated by the talk. Yet at the same time I was desperately hoping that people wouldn't use the book as motivation to go out and chug some ayahusca for themselves. I see that kind of activity as the equivalent of deep sea diving or Antarctic exploration- best left to the experts.
Many of the details in Hancock's talk struck a chord with me. When I was a kid I would get respiratory infections all of the time. As a result I would get terrifyingly high fevers, often peaking at 106ºF. As a result of that, I would often hallucinate. When I was 12, I got a particularly serious ear infection and was bedridden for over two weeks. Actually I was couch ridden- I was so weakened I couldn't walk up and down the stairs. If I wasn't so incredibly sick it would have been Paradise- nothing to do but lie around and read comics. I was a big Captain America fan at the time and was reading about three years worth of the title during that episode.
One night during this illness, I woke to a most peculiar tableau. A leprechaun was sitting on a rock in the middle of the living room and there was a thunder storm flashing in the adjacent room. I call him a leprechaun only because he was small and bearded and wearing archaic clothes and a rope belt. But he didn't seem cute and charming, he seemed scary as hell. He was shouting over the noise of the storm in a language I didn't understand, maybe Gaelic. And at some point the ceiling opened up and gold coins rained from the ceiling. The noise was unbearable and I passed out.
The thing is, that happened. It wasn't a dream- it all happened when I woke up and stopped when I passed out. I remember it better than yesterday. I was painfully awake at the time. There were no coins on the floor the next morning nor any burn marks on the floor or on the furniture in the dining room. But that doesn't mean the episode didn't have weight and mass and sound and sight and smell. It also doesn't mean that it wasn't extremely unpleasant either.
After Hancock's talk I waited in the receiving line and then told him that story. His face lit up and he nodded knowingly the entire time. He told me that my experience was basically identical to any number of the shamanic experiences he heard about in the field. He said that high fever seemed to throw the same filtering switch in the brain that hallucinogens did. I was gratified by his response, but at the same time I wondered how anyone could put themselves through that kind of thing voluntarily.
Still and all, I was captivated by Hancock's research. And as per usual, the more I heard about shamanism and its by-products the more I was reminded of Jack Kirby....
I think leftover fishguts rotting beneath the dinner table would be less nauseating than this despicable parade of shills. It's good to see that some people are starting to wake up to just how risible these self-appointed pundits are. Their canned homilies, their ridiculous predictions, their slavish adherence to conventional wisdom are all starting to lose their satanic spell over thinking human beings.
Sometimes there is a point when the Collective Unconscious answers your incessant knocking at its door.
Paprika is an absolutely brilliant - and deliriously entertaining - film dedicated to the transcendent power of the Dreaming Mind. I'd never heard of it until I picked it off the video store's shelf last night. In it was nearly every basic concept I'd be mulling over for the past month. And to punctuate the convergence, it zeroed in on the symbolic power of the number 17.
Time and again over the past several years I've been confronted with this magic number. I've not seen much on 17 in any of the literature, but it's imprinted itself on hundreds of news stories, film clips, and whatnot repeatedly. I was happy to see to see its significance acknowledged in this wonderful and important film.
And in addition to this wonderful tribute to the Siren, it also focuses heavily on bridge symbolism. There is also a crucial use of butterfly symbolism as well. An absolute must-see for anyone interested in the power of the Unconscious Mind.
Amazing how all the obsessions start to fold in together when you take them apart. This song came around the same time as Kirby's Hole in the Sky...
Hole in the sky
Gateway to heaven
Window in time
Through it I fly
A pack of gluttonous, raccoon-eyed paranoids drunk on consumerism, Calvinism and overstimulation.
An expert diagnosis of Bush-era America? Well, that's a bit outside of the Secret Sun's province. Here, it's a description of Jack Kirby's "Night People," whom Captain America tangled with following the Madbomb Saga. Christmas is probably still fresh in your memory, so this montage should ring true....
Firmly ensconced in the endless ocean of the Dreaming Mind, Kirby foresaw the future of America and only got a few of the details wrong. The Night People have indeed come, only the Elite wasn't defeated and the Madbombs keep going off all the time.
Foreseeing the Bush Administration's policy of "Shock and Awe" or the constellation of control techniques Naomi Wolf catalogs in her book The Shock Doctrine, the Night People's Inquisitor turns the Horus-resonating Falcon and his lady into one of them using their sacrament, the "blessing" of electroshock treatment. In addition to the Egyptian stand-in superhero, we have Leila, whose name is Arabic for "night."
The Night People have their heaven, only it's not on Earth. It's in another dimension and they use their own homemade Stargate to move back and forth. The only problem is their dimension is the dwelling place of demons- their heaven is actually a Hell. Devising their own interpretation of the Rapture, the Night People concoct a plan to transport all of the demons through the Stargate to Earth, so their dimension can be Heaven once again and Armageddon will befall the fallen world they left behind.
This kind of prophecy must leave a semiotic trail to its fulfillment and here we get hit after hit.
You see, the Night People had their own Mega Ritual, transporting their asylum on Zero Street to another dimension, along with a healthy chunk of Manhattan's bedrock. Zero Street is now a fenced-in Ground Zero, its native soil replaced with alien atoms.
Which brings us to 2001. Two pages before Captain America enters the Stargate, we see this house ad for his adaption of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which draws our attention by using an early, superior cover layout. Drawing our attention even further is the 17-17 hovering above it, drawing our attention back to the Falcon.
No Ground Zero/ Stargate ritual drama would be complete without a Texas oil millionaire with patrician facial features, and here Kirby delivers the goods. Taking the role is Texas Jack Muldoon, a rootin' tootin' hellraiser jes' a-rarin' to jump on through that Stargate to the madman's heaven and kick some Ausländer ass.
Kirby gets the ethnicity a bit off but the semiotics down pat. Muldoon is an Irish name meaning "commander of the fortress." The crotch-hugging straps are a nice, prophetic touch. The twin Roman numerals need no explanation.
Nor does that reverse-Madbomb/Kong pose mirroring Cap as he emerges from the other side of the Stargate.
Ironically, fans were right when they labeled Kirby's 70s work "irrelevant." Kirby was looking through the prism of the Collective Unconscious straight into the 21st Century. The Night People saga is a pitch perfect foreshadowing of the orgy of paranoia, materialism and self-righteousness that befell America circa 2002- 2004. In many precincts, the Night People still reign triumphant.
Ironically, "The Night People" came out smack dab in the middle of America's Bicentennial but had nothing to do with 1976. It was about the next 100 years.
Through an quirk in scheduling, I've been spending a lot of my time delving back into the symbols. And its having a powerful effect on my dreams, which have become extremely huge and vivid.
Last night I dreamed that an enormous, mile-wide UFO was trying to phase into this physical plane over the Tappan Zee bridge. The force of this action was destroying the bridge, very much like the Point Pleasant event. I was primarily concerned with how traffic would get across the river, which is 3 miles at that point. The water was littered with construction debris and floating cars. Vladimir Putin was there, witnessing the event and he and I discussed the arrogance of the UFO's inhabitants. But the UFO was phasing in and out of this dimensional reality. Finally, the UFO - still phasing - was brought down telepathically by a small, bald Asian man. It was like watching a building collapse in slow motion- it took forever. But the bridge was still gone.
I can name any number of items in my thoughtstream lately that played into this construction, but the power of the Unconscious mind takes those bits and pieces and creates something unforgettable of them. And in a few short seconds, I could find just the right images to quickly construct a collage of to illustrate the story.
My question is why is so much of popular culture so dead and empty? Because we as a culture are not dreaming anymore. Americulture is a speed freak; unable to sleep and unwilling to dream. As with all speed freaks, our public life is becoming a dreary, ugly, miserable hallucination.
As I mentioned before, Jake picked up the Kirby ball and took it to the semiotic endzone. Not having read the comics as of yet, he may not have been aware that the Madbomb, that infernal mind control weapon of the Anglophile Elite, was devised by the aptly-named Mason Harding.
Just prior the beginning of the Madbomb Saga, we have "Slaughter in the Sky," drawn by X-Files resonator Frank Robbins. Here we see Doctor Faustus kicking Cap out of a plane that is flying towards New York City.
Given the synchronistic currents surrounding Kirby, the presence of Doctor Faustus is fascinating, given the fact that the mad psychiatrist is obviously Kirby's parody of Carl Jung.
Given Kirby's voracious appetite for anything outre or esoteric, at some point he must have read up on Jung. This is evidenced by the fact that Jung was rumored to Goethe's illegitimate great-grandson and held the figure of Goethe's Faustus close to his heart all of his life, taking the character on as his "second personality."
Who else but Jung himself could initiate such a portentous avalanche of synchronicity and symbolism that marked the last stage of Kirby's career in comics? And his stand-in seems to have a special interest in aircraft and New York City, particularly lower Manhattan there, albeit in non-Kirby comics.
Following the various breadcrumb trails and the bizarre synergy lately between the Kirby-crazed Secret Sun and the Stargate-obsessed Blob, is anyone surprised that Kirby followed up the Madbomb Saga with an incredibly strange story of an interdimensional Stargate opening up in the sky over the Ground Zero resonating "Zero Street?" Or that the the first hero through it would be the Falcon, the 17-resonating Horus stand-in? Or that the story would involve a Texas oilman and yet another reclusive sect of mind-controlled Fundamentalist weirdos?