Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Thought It Was the End

Listen to "The Symbology of Paper Hearts" on Spreaker.

Why, howdy do? Nice of you to mosey on by. It's been a mite quiet 'round these parts lately on account of real life heavily intruding into my synchromystic perambulations. But that's real life for you, isn't it?

I have a few things to report on, including this charger of a podcast appearance, in which the classic X-Files episode "Paper Hearts" is the launching pad for a grand tour around some of this blog's great fixations, not to mention deep dives into the sordid history of Cold War black magic.

I guarantee you that if you enjoy this blog you will grok this gabber, whether you're a devotee of the mighty X or no. We leave the orbit of the episode in question entirely about halfway through and really get deep into the paranormal and parapolitical nebulae.

Because what else would you possibly expect, the new Soundgarden concert movie played IMAX screens for one night only, which happened to fall on my birthday. And because of course, the closest screen it was showing on happened to be in Elizabeth, right smack dab on the banks of the confluence of the mighty Passaic and Hackensack Rivers. 

Because not just one river but TWIN rivers.

I really enjoyed the show and left feeling quite elated and invigorated, which is kind of odd given how mind-numbingly bleak the music was. I was rocking in my cushioned stadium-style seat quite a bit (on account of being an embarrassment) and came that close to head-banging on a number of occasions. Because I am a sad, hopeless douche.

The band played extremely well (the show is from 2013), though they didn't really catch fire until the last third of the two hour and forty minute set. I kind of got the feeling they didn't like each other much, the King Animal material didn't seem to inspire them terribly, and under other circumstances it might be depressing to see a bunch of middle-aged men a good two decades past their prime ignore each other for 160 minutes. 

But hey; it's Soundgarden. You take a certain level of misery for granted.

But given the hugeness of the screen I did get a good look at Chris Cornell, four years before his death, and was frankly alarmed by what I saw. He looked-- and came across like-- a man who had already sued his demons for peace and was searching (and not with his good eye closed) into the far distance for his escape route. And searching hard.

He did liven up a bit halfway through the set and told some jokes, but they were mostly angry and/or self-depreciating, if not actually self-loathing. After a relatively subdued but effective performance, the jokes were followed by some agressive, old-school jam-kicking, which felt very much like his late attempt at self-exorcism.

But given his "In My Time of Dying" benediction-slash-epitaph at the end of a particularly paint-peeling slam-through of "Slaves and Bulldozers," on top of a full evening of me staring into his ready-to-die eyes (when they weren't covered by hair) and any number of lyrical references to self-harm, I have to announce that as much I love me a juicy conspiracy theory, I also now have a very, very hard time believing Chris Cornell was killed by anyone but himself.

I think that Cornell, like Scott Weiland*, had a history of serious abuse and trauma in his childhood and wasn't willing --or more likely, able-- to express it openly. But I think the Cornell Foundation, created to help children in crisis, pretty much speaks for itself. I don't believe he fell onto that particular cause on a lark.

The way Cornell bonded with Chester Bennington, who was very open about his history, strikes me as fitting the pattern as well. Cornell often said that a bum dose of PCP in his early teens sent him into a depressive tailspin, but I'd reckon the 'dust merely kicked open some gates in his head he forgot he'd closed.

So as much fun as it might be to speculate on hit squads operating out of certain Beltway eateries or kleptocrat foundations, the horrible truth is that childhood sexual abuse often leaves scars that never heal, and sometimes people just get tired of watching the scabs ooze every damn day. 

I think we were truly blessed to have had a talent like Chris Cornell in our lives for as long as we did.  I'm not interested in re-litigating the case, but I have done my due diligence on the matter and saw nothing last night not entirely consistent with a lovely and sensitive middle-aged man losing his patience with a lifetime of pain. 

I'm not saying he didn't brush up against some very bad actors in his life, in fact seeing for myself how demonic the music industry is from an extremely early age, I'd be shocked if he hadn't. 

But I looked into those eyes on a very large screen and, frankly, saw surrender. And that was a good four years before he finally threw in the towel. And personally, I don't begrudge the man one bit.

And because we are all in a coma, this trailer played before the show. This film was made by Nick Broomfield, who I heard tell may have made a picture show about a rock star whose exit was in fact ushered, and apparently features a long passage on the writing of "Hallelujah," popularized by a certain young Shepherd Boy I might have mentioned in passage here once or twice.

And is it my imagination or is Cohen a dead ringer in this trailer for the young Al Pacino?

July 2nd was the Great South American Eclipse and it was heralded by a hailstorm in Guadalajara, Mexico on Sunday night. This really caught my eye in the context of Sunly insanity since I'd been PM'ing with a Twitter pal that very same Sunday about a Sibylistic sync I found rather uncanny.

That being the concert that gave rise to the ludicrous "Cocteau Fever" TV news report that fans love to joke about (and was the trio's first major media exposure in the US) actually happened the night of the devastating Mexico City earthquake in 1985 (September 19th). 

"It never ends" has apparently been grandfathered.

The report features footage of the band playing "Pale Clouded White," one of the Sibyl's many, many butterfly-themed songs and also the song that really convinced your humble host that this woman was channeling powers far more ancient and powerful than we could dare dream. It's also a song that, gussied up with a little more distortion, would sit quite comfortably on Ultramega OK.

Bonus Syncs: That particular CT show was in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus was where the members of Soundgarden were en route to (for a big festival) when they heard Chris Cornell was dead. 

Mexico City has not one but Twin monuments to (Christopher) Columbus, as you'd expect by now. And as you'd also expect by now, the Mexico City earthquake was a result of another earthquake that occurred in the ocean.

Speaking of oceans, a Russian nuclear sub caught fire on Monday, unfortunately killing 14 sailors.


*Weiland made scattered comments over the years about this isolated incident or that, but I think a song like "Long Way Home" speaks very loudly for itself too.