Stairway to Sirius: Dogtown Blues

The Sirens, from last year's season finale

Exactly a year before the season premiere of Californication on Sunday, we looked at the extremely incongruous Sirius symbolism that was all over last season's finale. It was all part of an absolute orgy of Sirius and Merpeople symbols that was floating through the Memestream at the time.

I hadn't thought too much about it until I watched the new episode, and lo and behold the show was picking up right where it left off. What any of it is supposed to mean is beyond my reckoning, but it certainly is part of a much larger constellation of Sirius (and Atlantis) symbolism hiding beneath the surface in the entertainment media. Allegedly.

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The recap clips included this shot of Hank and Karen, played by the radiant Natascha ("Christmas Day") McElhone or Solaris (read: "Sirius") fame. Karen is the diminutive of Katherine, establishing her as one of the Hollywood Hathors. Note the Blue Star looming in the background, which we here on the Secret Sun recognize as one of the epithets for Sirius.

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Here we see the calm before the storm, when the scheming Mia (the show's Nephthys) invites Hank and Karen to a reading of the book she stole from Hank. Looking between then is the pentacle of Venus, which we see Karen crowned with here.

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Now, I've been watching this show since the beginning and never caught that Mia published her book under an assumed last name, "Cross." Which is doubly interesting given Mia is the diminutive of "Maria." Triply, given that she stole Hank's story and sold it as her own. Calling Acharya S....

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I guess it's redundant then to point out that Mia's agent/boyfriend is named "Paul."

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Hank's reunion with Karen when he's released from jail (one of his many symbolic resurrections) is blocked by Marcie, his friend and agent's spunky bisexual wife. Continuing the Sirius symbolism (this scene takes place in Venice aka "Dogtown"), Hank calls her Karen's "watchdog." Even more interesting, he calls her the "gatekeeper." Marcie is a he/she name, referring to the planet Mars.

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Speaking of he/she's, Carla Gugino appears as Hank's new lawyer. Carla is another he/she name (literally- Carl means "man") and when we first see her she's dressed in distinctly masculine clothing. Gugino has alien identity written all over her; she starred in the X-Files knockoff Threshold, as well as Race to Witch Mountain, another Sirius-fest.

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Here's where I start to wonder if they're just screwing with us; after the meeting with the he/she, Hank and Charlie enter a building and descend a staircase from the ground floor...

... a visual which Secret Sun readers need no introduction to.

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They end up in the lobby of the UTK agency, or "United Talent Kollective." No agency would use that spelling. The UT got me thinking of Utu, the Sumerian sun god, but I couldn't account for the K. Then again, reading it backwards you get "KTU," or K2. So there you go.

Either way, here Hank meets Sasha, the actress who'll be playing Mia in the adaptation of his book. We see a lot of her in this episode. Quite a lot. It almost makes up for all of the credulity that's strained to the breaking point when the 18 year-old starlet seduces the fifty-plus Hank. And you guessed it; Sasha is yet another he/she name.

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And here we make sure that we understand that Sasha is yet another Hathor, identified with her Roman counterpart Venus.

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Speaking of K, we see Charlie flash Hank an 11, which certainly fits with all of the relentless homoerotic joshing that acts as a humor substitute on TV these days. I'm open to any other interpretations as well.

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Here's another interesting motif: an in flagrante Sasha reflected in a Sun mirror, which we also saw in I Am Legend...

...linked to that beautiful, amazing, wonderful dog who steals the film. What's the connection, you ask? Well, here we get a literal rendering of the Dog Star through visual juxtaposition.

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And a few seconds later after that shot, we see Hank dreaming of returning home to Dogtown.

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Here he dreams of Karen, who is helpfully wearing a Phoenix pendant around her neck.

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The dream ends badly and Hank wakes in Sasha's apartment, under the Dog Sun mirror...

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...which has yet another incongruous stairway. Not just any stairway, but one with the a spiral motif...

...just like the one from Oslo, that led to the whole Stairway to Sirius last year in the first place. How about that? Quite a series of syncs, no?

So there are three possibilities here. First, it's all just random bits of the Memestream. No meaning or significance at all. La la la.

Second, the producers of Californication are big Secret Sun fans. Possible? Sure. Likely? Can't quite say.

Third, I seem to have stumbled on a very strange series of symbols that are embedded into certain shows and films for reasons I can only guess at. Maybe it's being driven by the Sirians themselves, who can say? Stranger things have happened. Allegedly.

Which explanation do you prefer?

POSTSCRIPT: I want to plug the big gabfest I had with Cosmic Gnostic. We start with the rock 'n' roll stuff and go much deeper into the concept of counterculture and all that it implies. More importantly, we dig into the basic philosophies behind this blog and its place in a much larger constellation of esoteric philosophy and culture, particularly the Psychedelic subculture.

17 comments:

  1. @Chris,

    Cool sync with James Frain (b. 3/14 "PI") / PAUL RIDER...

    Tonight's replay of the pilot episode of Tom Wheeler's "THE CAPE" on NBC had CHESS/PETER FLEMING played James Frain (FLEMING and JAMES... hmmm!) stand before a holographic file folder with the label "SIRENS".

    ~SE~

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  2. There's nothing new under the secret sun...so what does it all meme? Can you imagine the way Crowley's brain would have danced in the current of today's informational ocean? Or Joyce and Anton Wilson? Californication IS a that guy's secret sun, yeah? This secret sun is a blog, his is a sit-com on Showtime. Both weave the pastpresentfuture into an entertainment, a tale. Two yellow brick roads stretching into OZ. I'm beginning to think it's a butterfly net, harvesting agile minds that the competition would rather not see in boardrooms, courts, or schools. Knowles For President!!!

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  3. Speaking of the spiral motif... I recently watched "The Seeker: The Dark is Rising," a pretty bad 2007 movie that has a teen boy trying to save the world, but first he has to find 6 signs. Finding a sign is always preceded by a spiral swirling around in the air. The swirling spiral is almost an exact replica of the spiral staircase in Californication and the Grand Hotel Oslo.

    The movie is bad because, like bad pop music, it forces all the memes you talk about here, Chris. The movie doesn't spring out of the soul, like X-Files, but out of a board meeting.

    I've also been disturbed by Verizon's blatant use of the Norway hypnosis spiral (also looks like a stargate) in its ads. Their billboards are all over Chicago. See: http://marketingmasterinsights.com/input/2010/12/verizon-wireless-lincoln-tunnel-animated-billboard/

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  4. Hey Chris,

    Another weird synch, they seem to be happening a lot these days: last night I was thinking about Californication and when season 3 would get a UK release date. I was pondering your sirian-themed post about it.

    And today here you are with a follow-up. It was literally the last thing I was pondering before bed. I didn't consciously know it was almost exactly a year since that post, but my subconscious must have. Cool.

    I must admit, I really enjoy Californication. I know it's a bunch of sex-comedy nonsense that has no basis in reality, but for me the show flies based on the strength of Duchovny's performance as Hank, which I love.

    I know Hank's mysterious rock & roll allure strains credibility, but the whole conceit of the show is that Hank is the 'girl whisperer', and it tries to make a point about fantasy vs reality, albeit light-heartedly.

    I also know he's 50+ now, but if I swung that way I'd jump Hank's bones in a heartbeat, but I'd probably be thinking "Oh Mulder, oh Mulder..." the whole time.

    But that's just me.

    Where does all the sirius, merpeople imagery fit into this? I have no idea. If the producers aren't messing with us then I guess it's just the universe doing her synchromystic thing. Hank remids me of a nicer, sexier more erudite version of Charles Bukowski's alter-ego Hank Chinaski, but I guess that's not an original observation.

    Anyway, I'm still waiting for Mulder to take on those pesky reptilian grays come 2012, so HHank Moody battling the sirians will have to wait.

    Peace

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  5. Strangey- Thanks for the tip- I''l check it out. You got a grab?

    319- Hmm, you may be on to something with that butterfly net thing...

    Oyin- The Verizon ads are interesting but since the rings aren't joined it's not technically a spiral. But the visual is very striking- it's like using Verizon products gives you a halo.

    Raj- It's a fairy tale for middle aged men, just as Entourage is for young men. It's pure fantasy. But as to the symbolism- that's what I live for. Super-obscure symbols showing up in the weirdest places.

    OK, next post, here I come...

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  6. @Chris,

    check out THE CAPE on Hulu @ http://www.hulu.com/the-cape

    The scene is in Chapter 6 with Peter Fleming / Chess (James Frain) in "ARK Towers".

    ~SE~

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  7. @Chris,
    and since you're Siriusly spying the spirals, you might also appreciate the the spinning holograms that create the final folder in that scene.

    ~SE~

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  8. That random conversation with Robert Wilson is good. Not as good as this post though, mind blowing and nail biting.

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  9. I mean that in a good way, just in case it gets misinterpreted.

    Thanks Chris.

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  10. Agreed, Californication is totally a fantasy for middle-aged men, in the same way that Bukowski's stories were compensatory fantasies. But it's a damn sight more enjoyable than Entourage, which is seriously painful to watch! To my mind at least.

    Peace!

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  11. Christopher, in case you're unaware of this, your big blue star just behind Ms. McElhone, is part of the logo for a British beer called Newcastle Brown Ale, which's popular everywhere football's played in the UK, including Liverpool, my own particular umma.

    It's also colloquially known as Nukie Brown or more simply Nuke.

    Given your Atlantis angle I was surprised you didn't pick up on the name of the city where it was originally made, 'New Castle': if ever a brand of beer was perfect for alluding to such mysteriana as the resurrection of sunken super civilizations, or the initiation of the new age by the descent to Earth of the City of God, then surely Newcastle Brown Ale's that beer, (then again I suppose you could allude to the Buddhist state of Enlightenment with 'Bud Wiser'!).

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  12. http://www.slate.com/id/2278314/

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  13. Chris, these are my favorite kinds of posts. I look forward to seeing the new Californication season. What does it say about me that I love this show and Entourage, despite the fact that they're supposed to be male fantasies? It's the characters that I enjoy most on both shows. And the misogyny never bothers me. I can't really explain it. Not that it's necessary to do so.

    Deb

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  14. Gabrielle Giffords is described as a BLUE DOG .


    cheers

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  15. Oh, Chris, I also wanted to tell you that Pamela Adlon (aka Pamela Segall) --- who plays Marcie Runkle, gorgeous garden gnome and gatekeeper --- has done four androgynous roles that I'm aware of in her long career.

    Night Court - Bull Get's a Kid: Playing a girl posing as a boy to get a surrogate dad through a social program.

    The Redd Foxx Show - series regular: Playing a girl who pretends to be a boy when her foster father mistakes her for one on first meeting.

    Something Special aka Willy/Milly - feature film, title character: Playing a girl who wishes to become a boy so she will be taken seriously in her ambition to become an astronomer, and gets her wish thanks to some "magic powder".

    King of The Hill - series regular: voice of Bobby Hill.

    She has also done a lot of voice-over work and may have played other male characters. They were in kid's shows I don't watch though, so I don't know.

    Just thought I'd throw that into the mix.

    Deb

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  16. UTK, K-Tu. KK. 11-11. Brilliant insight there, Chris!

    Thank you again!

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  17. hey, i'm prolly not the first to point this out but i saw the same [or very similar] sun mirror in oliver stone's nixon. i put a screenshot here, you can find it in the film at around 45 minutes in.

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