Good news everybody!
It’s time for
from our sponsors
~ ~ ~
Let the games …
◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
For a hero to be a truly great hero, he needs to be:
Nematodes in-the-know will tell you,
that only ‘true’ heroes
have ‘what it takes’,
… worm cuisine.
Why is that exactly?
Does it not seem a little strange to you that a race of people should so esteem, the decomposure of their ‘finest’ citizens?
“Psychosis … refers to an abnormal condition of the mind …
often described as involving
a “loss of contact with reality“.“
Sounds pretty scary eh?
And yet … here’s the strange thing.
There exists a global freakishness peculiar to our civilization that goes like this:
… we lust after
the loss of contact
This peculiarity goes by many names:
- Video Game Dependence
- Compulsive Pornography Disorder
- Manic Music Dependence
- Hyper-Communication Syndrome
- Pathological News Monitoring Disorder
- Fashion Fixation Nervosa
- Compulsive Identity Mania
Why would we give up something so vital to existence …
… as reality?
“real (adj.) early 14c., “real, actually existing, true”
Let’s start with a man unafraid of reality, Robert Fritz:
“Too often reality is seen as the enemy. Even Albert Einstein …
… was not a fan. He said, “Reality is merely an illusion, although a very persistent one” … one day he [Einstein] was playing in a string quartet with some very illustrious musicians … After making many mistakes, his friend Jascha called out, “Albert, Albert, what’s the matter with you? CAN’T YOU COUNT!“
Maybe Albert tried to explain to his friend Jascha that his playing out of time was merely a persistent illusion …“
Our civilisation’s putsch to see ‘reality’ (or ‘life’) as an illusion to be overcome. or as a ‘bitch‘ to be slapped or disregarded, has been quite astonishing.
We must ask:
“In what sane world would such loss of reality be tolerated?”
The sane reply must surely be:
I think we’d better let Mr Fritz wisely continue:
“Everything that is real happens in reality: relationships, the creative process, music, art, sports, career, fun, pain, cooking, eating, spending time together, love, spending time alone, LIFE. So why do people have such trouble with reality?“
Bloody good question!
“Reality is an acquired taste.” For most of us, we don’t like reality because it may include unpleasant things. But insisting that things are not what they are doesn’t make them change. Once you become a fan, anything other than reality is not something you want because it is where the action is.
Now comes the hard bit – to see if I can show you how & where our taste-buds got sickened of reality.
Oh the stress!
“In psychology, stress … can be described as: feeling of strain and pressure, feeling of anxiety and being overwhelmed, overall irritability, feeling of insecure, nervousness, social withdrawal …” etc etc.
Like so much of the crap we possess, stress was sold to us via the toxic twins – Experts & The Media.
Introducing counterfactual thinking:
“Counterfactual literally means, contrary to the facts …”
“Stress is produced by a particular kind of abstract thinking, something that linguists & social psychologists call counterfactual thought … Have you ever had a thought such as “If I weighed less I would be more attractive” … “If I had more money, my life would be easier” … the first part of the statement counters the facts of life as they are”
The before, & then after quote, come from The Myth of Stress by Andrew Bernstein. He rejects any notions of stress as external & places it squarely at the feet of counterfactual thinking.
He claims stress is frankensteined into life when we use reality-denying words like ‘should‘ & ‘should not‘ … oh my god, what a surprise – we are being ejected from life …
… by the English language:
“linguist Daniel L. Everett described his time among the Pirahan tribe in the Amazon, whose members have very little counterfactuality in their language or culture & are the happiest people Everett & his fellow linguists have ever encountered. The Hopi language & culture seem to share a similar grounding in factual reality & peace of mind.
But you, as a modern Westerner, come from a culture & a linguistic system with strong counterfactual tendencies … The structure of the idealized “should” is tightly woven into your value system & your morality. That’s how you were educated to see the world … if you’re interested in living without stress, you need to challenge this structure“
Another reality taste-bud-killer is hindsight.
“the inclination to see events that have already occurred as being more predictable than they were before they took place“
Surely the looking back & (way) down on previous selves, events & understanding …
“It seems, with hindsight, ridiculous that in the early 1950s, many thought that a sub-4-min mile was impossible“
… deserves a more appropriate label.
How about psychosis? …
“loss of contact with reality“.
e.g. (& referring to our previous quote)
Until the sub-4-minute mile was run,
“When do you know for sure that something is possible? After it is created. Anything before the fact is speculation“
Let’s now re-look at Just World thinking, it’s BIG – you will see why as we continue … for now, here’s an aperitif:
“The story of depression begins with the person as a child learning to be good & to believe in the Just World“
A quick off-the-top-of-my-head musing on Just World “rules”, led to these:
- hard work is honoured / admired
- if you don’t rock the boat you will be safe
- being good keeps you safe
- you get (eventually) what you deserve
- truth matters
- money makes sense
- families love each other
- happy ever after
- the hero arrives just in time
- the guilty / sinners are punished
- your life makes a story
- the innocent die for a reason – made Jews / Israel necessary?
- you will be seen / found / rescued
- suffering is for a reason
- no one can have it easier than you
- love is all you need
- people get well
- you can help people
- your parents cherish you
While your list would undoubtedly be different, you will hold variations on (at least some of) these themes.
And that matters
the ones you breathe life into every day,
because of your
belief in a Just World
“It’s not fair“…
… is your trigger
I’m sure the ‘NEWS’ would return to sane obscurity if we did not get all worked up about injustice – all those deliciously ‘unfair’ things that happen every day. I wonder how many pages a newspaper would have …
… without ‘unfairness’.
‘Unfairness’ is very, very personal.
We get incensed about the terribly unfair things that happen to innocent victims.
We seethe about the ‘undeserving’ having it ‘easy’ or getting more than their ‘fair’ share.
We get worked up according to the rules of …
… our own particular “Just World‘ Programming.
“Believing in the Just World leads us into self-delusion, denial & acts of cruelty against ourselves & others“
We react to others according to our own Just World interpretation. We can leave Jehovah for dead, when it comes to those who trespass against our commandments.
I was introduced to the Just World idea, by Dorothy Rowe, a woman I currently hold in great esteem:
“She … came to reject the medical model of mental illness … . She believes that depression is a result of beliefs which do not enable a person to live comfortably with themselves or the world. Most notably it is the belief in a “Just World” … that exacerbates feelings of fear and anxiety if disaster strikes. Part of recovering is accepting that the external world is unpredictable and that we control relatively little of it“
But that’s no fucking good, surely?
We need answers.
We need to feel safe.
We need to know what is happening.
So that THEN we can relax.
What if it’s all wickedly & manipulatedly, arse about face my friends?
Let’s look at it another way.
Just World thinking is your employer, your mortgage holder & your drug dealer all in one. You work for it & struggle to repay it & are addicted to it.
“One day”, you think, you will retire & own the deeds to yourself & kick that habit right out the door.
The Platosocrastotle Thinking System™
is designed to ensure
However it isn’t simply one structure that binds us – it’s more of a Gulliver’s Prison System™ …
so many, many
devilishly inconsequential knots
too small to matter.
But then again
what do you think …
… a net is made of?
Jehovah was playing for keeps when he said:
“Thou shalt knot …“
The God Father has so very much to do with Just World thinking – cos it’s an awfully dangerous world out there dontcha know … but if you are very, VERY good BIG Daddy will protect you.
Dorothy Rowe places Security at the opposing end of the Freedom spectrum.
If you read that last line through without thinking ‘Fuck’ (or its equivalent for non-swearers), please got back & read it again.
I was taught
was the opposite of freedom,
We were taught that Freedom was & is the cornerstone of Democracy.
Yet think about it, what is the biggest, hardest putsch behind our free democratic modern world?
‘Thou shalt be secure’
But then God Fathers are very much into protection rackets.
Note of caution to fanatical freedom seekers: healthy living is a mix of security & freedom (according to individual needs) – but I’m sure you can figure it out yourself without any agencies.
You know I’ve been wondering:
- ‘Were gods created as a ‘thing’ to be sinned against?
… if there were no gods, would there be no sin & thus no need to hide from ‘reality‘?
Just World thinking declares that you must ‘earn‘ the good that comes to you.
- Would we work the way we do if we did not have this embedded idea of ‘earning’?
- Could our present monetary system exist without that belief?
- If we weren’t so afraid of ‘reality’ would we need cinema & tv? Just how responsible is entertainment for creating our fear of reality?
- Could advertising exist without Just World thinking? Materialism is all about what you deserve – 1001 little treats to reward you for being a good citizen, for ‘paying your civilised dues’ – a quick fix to feed your habit for another seven days.
- Could the lottery ever have gained its insidious hold without Just World thinking. How many people in the queues KNOW that this week it’s surely their turn, they have been so good, suffered so long now, things just HAVE to get better.
Just World thinking steals your life – because it makes sense of ‘waiting’.
Waiting is not meant to make sense.
Let me make better sense of what I’m trying to say.
Waiting is a Death Watch.
I want to finish by looking at how Romance could not exist without Just World thinking. For those who want to mutter & grumble as they read, that “it’s all different now” – I say bollocks, this thinking goes bone deep & bones don’t change in one generation.
So let’s strip-search ‘romance’.
First off, men don’t ‘get’ romance.
They are not interested in it.
Some know how to ‘play it‘ to their own advantage & are probably more aware than most, of its poison. That they use the poison (& get away with it) is one of the many clues we have that this is not a Just World.
To keep this world in a state of imbalance,
a fantastic system
has been operating
It goes like this:
From an early age boys are emotionally castrated & forced into a hero role.
From an early age girls are trained that there is something shameful about them. Something wrong that must be ‘forgiven’. It’s never quite understood just what this unpleasantness is, but it is in the very air that a girl breathes.
At some stage she will reach the point where she must choke-swallow this wrongness or ‘sin’ – for only then can she be born again into ‘woman clan’ where she will work to atone for the shame.
This ‘something-wrong-feeling’ is why girls accept each fairied-tale of a female protagonist’s hardship & suffering. It is understood that by suffering & sacrifice she may eventually be rewarded. She knows she is a sinner, but that she can ‘earn’ redemption through “one who is without sin” – i.e. a hero, a knight, a man.
“As for me, I have always agreed with the fairy books that the moment when Prince Charming arrives is the perfect climax. Everything that goes before in the life of a girl simply leads up to that moment, and everything that comes after dates from it; and while the girl of the twentieth century, sallying forth in search of adventure, may not hope to meet at the next turn a knight in shining armor, or a sighing troubadour, she does hope, if she is normal and has the normal dreams of a girl, to find her hero in some of the men who pass her way” ~ Temple Bailey, “Adventures in Girlhood,” Philadelphia, 1919
Romance for women, is redemption.
It is no mere trifle – they are attempting to ‘save their own lives’.
Men just don’t get that.
A woman romanced is being redeemed from her unknown guilt & shame. She becomes blessed among woman.
Romance has a very great deal to do with the ‘women’s tribe’. We all share our guilty secret of unnamed shame. When a woman has been ‘redeemed’ by a man she is lifted up from her sin. She is made clean.
“Hell hath no fury”, because when a woman is cast off, she is cast down again, a very long way down.
The Just World told women that while “yes they were bad, they could yet be redeemed” through suffering & by giving up their own strength so that men could become the heroes who would then come & redeem them.
(In return, though unbeknownst to women, a man too will be granted redemption – he will be saved by a woman who will ‘do‘ his emotions for him.)
Women have learned to wait & wait & wait & we’re quite ok with that, it makes for many a charming, sad story … Her name was Lola.
But waiting is the death of them. There is a good reason why the words wait & weight are intoned with the same sound
Some months ago while contemplating this theme I got what I can only call a ‘message’, that shocked me both by its unexpectedness & its vehemence, it said:
“women are not supposed to wait“
I am still digesting that one, but it makes a whole lot of sense.
what we’ve got wrong
is really quite simple.
We have been trying to live according to laws that do not pertain to this planet.
Any thoughts that this is a Just World are counterfactual.
“No honest appraisal
of the world …
could ever conclude
… are fair & just”
Counterfactual thinking creates zombies – people who breathe & eat but have no connection with reality.
We are suffering from reality starvation & we just don’t know it.
While the media bombards us with stories like this:
“At the present rate of destruction, an area of rainforest the size of 2,000 football pitches is lost during a 90 minute football match“
… it might be wiser to ask:
At the present rate of destruction, how much of ourselves are we losing on a daily basis by lack of connection to reality? How much are our senses shutting down with each 8 hour work day? How many memories are being destroyed/replaced by each movie watched?
What do we stand to gain by a return to reality. I suggest a life that is a thousand times better than the ones we are deathing in now – why else would so much effort have been put into scaring us out of it?
“No matter how far you have gone on a wrong road, turn back“
For anyone who is interested in taking that journey, I leave you with the wisdom of Robert Fritz:
“It takes discipline to learn to see reality as it is. It takes skill, because we have been trained to think comparatively, which means we have been trained to have reality stimulate triggers of concepts we have, past experiences we presume to be the same as what is going on, theories, speculations, beliefs, and so on. To see reality takes looking and observing. But the mind isn’t good at that because it takes the ability to be okay with not knowing something while we are finding out. The mind hates not knowing, and so, when we don’t actually know something, instead of looking to find out, our minds wants to fill the space with answers that pretend to know what we don’t know. To learn how to, not only tolerate, but appreciate not knowing something until we find out, is how we acquire a taste for reality“
Do we really need another round of Olympic Games keeping us stuck in the unreality of far away worlds, or do we need the reality at our fingertips, under our noses, in front of our eyes & within earshot:
“You don’t need a concept to know what you are tasting, or smelling, or touching, or hearing. Your senses are designed to perceive reality so that you can make decisions about what you will do in the circumstances“
Are you keeping up?
Do you think old articles have no place in the here & now? tsk, tsk.
In 2008 I wrote about the murder of Adrienne Shelly. It felt very important. But I didn’t know why. I wrote many articles. Her death twinned up (for me) with Heath Ledger’s.
But nothing made sense.
In her final movie – one she wrote & starred in, she played ‘Dawn’ i.e Aurora.
There was one final article I never got to writing about her – it was all about Aurora & the Dawn. The staging of the 4th Batman movie, the Reality TV version in Aurora, was Hollywood at it’s finest.
What follows (with minor 2012 adjustments)
was posted with deliberation on
November 1st, 2008.
~ ~ ~
My series of articles on the Sacrifice dated back to a mind expanding five day visit to Sydney last year. On either side of that epiphany was a plane flight & on both those flights I watched a movie. This movie or should I say what happened to the movie’s writer & director has been my companion since then. For many months I have held a promise to write about it.
Maybe it’s just fanciful but I have had the idea that if we could put truth or awareness back into the time frame from whence it was stolen (or manipulated), perhaps we could reverse (or release) it. The PTB certainly seem addicted to time frames & rituals, so with that in mind, this article has bided it’s time, until now.
That flight to Australia took the usual three & half hours. I flicked onto & then off a few bad movies & then spotted Waitress. I remembered seeing the ‘shorts’ for it & thought it looked quite fun. I was still watching it when the announcement came to switch off for landing, but that was fine as I thought I’d watch it again on the flight home. And so I did. I enjoyed it as a feel good movie, savouring the sensuous tie in with delicious looking pies.
Some time later I thought I’d take my son to see it – while I realise it would be labelled a chick flick by many, it had a nice flavour to it that I thought he would enjoy. It also happened that I invited a friend who was feeling a bit down at the time. It was she who first told me about ‘the actress who was murdered‘.
I was rather stunned & I thought she meant Keri Russell who played the lead role. I’ve not watched tv in years, but I remembered seeing previews for Felicity, & that there had been a tremendous palaver about her hair.
I went looking on the internet, it was not Keri Russell at all, but the movie’s writer & director, Adrienne Shelly who had been killed. She had also played a role as one of three waitresses in the movie. It was the date she died – 1st November, combined with the overkill of her death, some lines from the movie & an amazing synch that kept this event alive & unsettled for me.
There isn’t a particularly straight route in this article, just things that have called for attention along the way, nor is it meant to be sensationalist – this story was part of a very important event in my life, so in a sense I’m trying to return a favour.
To start with I have borrowed some info from Ellis Taylor’s site because what he says, he says well & with great integrity. The following words relate to a number of different murders, but are they so different after all?
“My insights and research, so far, suggests that both culprits and victims are chosen because aspects of their energy patterns suit a specific purpose. The locations that are involved are selected for the same reason. It is not necessary for any of them to be consciously aware that they are being motivated to fulfill the intended agenda…There is always an occult element to every incident, every experience, because all things are manifested thoughts and are therefore devised in secret.
In many cases major incidents are callously manufactured to camouflage or bury something else that the Darkness or its Dark Ones are trying to hide from the public.“
Adrienne Shelly was killed on November 1st (2006) – the day after Halloween, known as All Saints Day & the Day of the Dead in numerous cultures. Here Ellis Taylor refers to a woman who went missing on 30th October, 2006 – one day before Halloween (& two days before Adrienne Shelly’s death):
“The evening of 30th October is the night before Halloween/ All Souls – 31st October and 7 days prior to the true Samhain 5th November in 2006, which also hosted a full moon. This Samhain moon is known as Dark Moon, Herbistmanoth (Harvest Moon) and Blotmonath (Sacrifice Moon). This is a time dedicated to the Scandinavian goddess Hel.“
Most sites I’ve read refer to Samhain as the 1st November, that was why I paid attention to this date – Ellis puts it at the 5th, either way, countless cultures pay great attention around this time, the Western world simply snuck in Guy Fawkes Day on 5th November to keep this week brewing nicely.
So looking to some additional info on the Celtic festival of Samhain.
“Feast of Death.
The rituals of Samhain involve bonding with the dead. On this night, the Celts believed the doors were opened between the worlds and the paths were travelled by the spirits going back and forth on this night. This world and the Otherworld become equivalent to each other, and no barriers existed between the dead and the living, that is, the “Veil” was at its thinnest.
It is The Veil between the two worlds that Wiccans invoke when they cast the circle to worship or perform rituals; thus, on Samhain night, when the Veil is thinnest, spells are most powerful because we are closest to the spirits.“
“Samhain is the most sacred and high holiday of all the festivals of all rituals. Samhain combines a number of elements: the end of the agricultural harvest, the wild harvest, the transition of the fall foliage season into the onset of winter weather and the commemoration of The Day of the Dead. It is a time for remembering our ancestors and our departed loved ones, and a solemn time should be set aside for contemplating the mystery of Life and Death as taught by the ancient ways.”
“It is generally celebrated on October 31st, but some traditions prefer November 1st. It is one of the two “spirit-nights” each year, the other being Beltane. It is a magical interval when the mundane laws of time and space are temporarily suspended, and the Thin Veil between the worlds is lifted. Communicating with ancestors and departed loved ones is easy at this time.”
“Symbolism of Samhain: Third Harvest, the Dark Mysteries, Rebirth through Death.”
This time of year is honoured by numerous cultures around the world, each linking into a belief in some form, that the spirits of the dead or the world they inhabit, are closer than at any other time of the year.
“Día de los muertos or the Day of the Dead is a very important holiday in Mexico, it can be traced back to “to the indigenous peoples such as the Olmec, Zapotec, Mixtec, Mexican, Aztec, Maya, P’urhépecha, and Totonac. Rituals celebrating the deaths of ancestors have been observed by these civilizations perhaps for as long as 2500–3000 years….Similar observances occur elsewhere in Europe and in the Philippines, and similarly themed celebrations appear in many Asian and African cultures” – (wiki)
Now lets take a brief look at Ecuador
“Día de los Difuntos, or Day of the Dead, is without a doubt one of the most important and highly respected days in the Ecuadorian highlands, taking place on November 2nd“
“The most important dates in the indigenous’ calendar are the 1st and 2nd of November. All Saints’ Day (Todos los Santos) and Day of the Dead (Dia de los Difuntos, o muertos).The ancient belief is that the soul visits its relatives within these days and should have plenty of food to be fed and continue further on its journey to the after life“
“The Ecuadorian Day of the Ancestors isn’t quite like the Mexican Day of the Dead, nor is it like American Halloween. El día de los difuntos is a time to celebrate one’s dead ancestors. In the small country villages, families dress in their finest clothes and carry a meal to the cemetery, where they dine on top of the grave of their ancestors. One plate is always left for the dead ancestor.”
Now we return
I don’t like this bit & in fact I have never been able to reconcile myself with it. The following is the gist of news reports.
She was found hanging by a sheet from a shower rail in the apartment she used as an office at 15 Abingdon Square, in Manhattan on the evening of 1st November, 2006. At first it was reported as a suicide – but her husband & family & indeed common sense said this was not so – she had been waiting to hear if her movie Waitress had been accepted into the Sundance Film Festival.
A reebok shoe print in the bathtub or on the toilet (versions vary) led to the arrest of Diego Pillco, a 19 year old illegal immigrant from Ecuador who had been working in the building. Again versions vary, but it seems he first denied murder, but then later confessed. Stories also vary as to the ‘reason’, at first it was that they argued over noise & then later that she found him stealing money from her wallet. There are also various versions of what happened next, with a general acceptance that he hit her & presuming he’d killed her, thought of making her death look like a suicide to cover his tracks.
The overkill in this event disturbs me & also how ‘dramatic’ it feels.
Acceptance of the idea that an illegal immigrant would stoop to murder to avoid detection seems plausible. However I wondered why someone in such a knife-edge position would risk any kind of exposure in the first place.
“Neighbors at Mr. Pillco’s apartment building said he was hard-working and respectful. He lived in a basement apartment with his cousin and held a variety of odd jobs, they said.“He sent money home to his mother and father,” said Frank Lingo, a neighbor. “He minded his business. He never bothered me or anyone else near here. He seemed like a good kid. I’ve never seen him hang out.”Chris Pannhorse, another neighbor, said: “He was always respectful to me and my wife. He’s a good kid. Because that is what he is to me, just a kid.”
“Pillco’s cousin told The Post that the accused killer was “quiet and peaceful. He didn’t have a temper,” and was working to pay off his smuggling debt, and to support his parents and five siblings back in Ecuador.“
Pillco comes from Ecuador where
“the most important dates in the indigenous’ calendar are the 1st and 2nd of November. All Saints’ Day (Todos los Santos) and Day of the Dead (Dia de los Difuntos, o muertos)“
So November 1st is the Roman Catholic feast day, All Saints Day – a part of of Pillco’s tiny room included:
“a simple shrine to a Catholic patron saint, adorned with flowers and prayer cards.”
The modern Oracle better known as the ‘media,‘ incubated guilt in the ‘discerning’ public with the next few lines:
“In the corner near the bedroom door was a cheap TV. On a nearby shelf were a collection of Spanish horror and smutty films featuring women dressed as schoolgirls posing on the cover“
… hmmm, no mention of the cheap dvd or video machine with which to watch them, or am I being picky?
It’s amazing how a little pornography, casually dropped into ‘objective’ reports basically guarantees public acceptance of guilt – I couldn’t help remembering the stories of ‘Korans left in bars’ prior to Sept 11.
Am I saying he didn’t do it – I have no idea, I wasn’t there. I just noted interesting points. Another significant date in this scenario was Pillco’s entry into America on the auspicious date July 7 (7/7). A little further along, we have the date of 14th February (Valentines Day), this year as the date in which he pleaded guilty.
“During his testimony in a New York courthouse on Thursday (14Feb08), Pillco then confessed to hanging the 40-year-old to make her death look like a suicide.”
I have found his following choice of words strange – a description followed by an extra admission.
“I didn’t mean to kill her. But I did kill her.”
“I saw a sheet and I decided to choke her and that’s what happened.“
Part of the reason I find this murder so hard to accept is the dramatic feel to it. It could so easily be the plot of any one of the multitude of tv crime shows that drop bodies into peoples living rooms at a dizzying rate.
I’m not sure how many panic stricken people would have the wits to create a suicide scene using a sheet as a makeshift rope & if they did because they’d seen it on tv, surely they know to wipe away prints. Perhaps he did, because I’ve never heard of any other evidence being found.
I was obviously not the only person to see the dramatics of this event.
The crime show Law & Order, jumped on it & a few short months later, exhibited their own rendition entitled ‘The Melting Pot’ –
“Well, it was bound to happen sometime, but frankly we’re a little shocked how fast Dick Wolf is getting going on the Adrienne Shelley rip-off episode“
and the storyline…
“JULIO CONTRERAS] male, 19-24, Hispanic, illegal immigrant. Speaks English w/accent. He has been working as a day laborer/construction worker in this country for almost two years. He sends money back home to his family in So. America – he is the sole breadwinner for his mother and siblings …
… He is suspected of murdering Erin Garrett after they argued about his construction crew turning off the electricity in her building. He admits to the argument and pushing her. She fell, hit her head, and was knocked unconscious. Julio swears he did not hang her. He is brought to trial“.
Notice the victims name Erin is a twist of the four middle letters of Adrienne’s name. Erin means Ireland – the Celtic home of Samhain.
Adrienne began her career as:
“an Indie film actress who gained fame as filmmaker Hal Hartley’s early muse.” She came to prominence in two of his early movies, The Unbelievable truth (1989) and Trust (1990). She, herself guest starred in an early episode of Law and Order, as well as appearing in Homicide: Life on the Street & ‘Oz’. She turned to “writing and directing, making her directorial debut with “Sudden Manhattan” in 1996.“
I realised today that there was no way I could complete this article & publish it for November 1st, it has been steadily growing in a strange variety of directions, so I have decided to divide it into two parts, having only just skimmed the surface. My intention was to somehow help return what I see as stolen energy – I have no idea if this is possible, it was simply my intent.
Along with this, I now feel the desire to use & share the energy of this time as best I can. I found some interesting ideas on Samhain that I had not contemplated – ideas that belong to us, the living & so I pass them on.
“Samhain is a time of introspection, of emptying the false from the mind, heart, and soul. It is a time to heal the source of our deepest wounds ... and those we have inflected on others around us … before time fails us. It is a time when we can learn to see clearly.“
“Like New Years’ celebration all over the world, Samhain festivities fall into two sequential phases: one that signifies the return to Chaos, and involves the disposal of old goods… and the mixing of the two Worlds, in Past and Future; and a second whose theme is the rebirth of Order and Cosmos, of creating anew, of preparations, and of the rites of Samhain Morning.”
“Health or disease came from the ancestors in the Celtic Cosmos; to live well one had to be on good terms with the dead and with one’s past. The past becomes present again on Samhain, between the years. All oblations and funeral rites due the ancestors must have been offered, and all debts of this World paid, if the traveler is to step lightly between the Worlds. If all was not in perfect order, the quester might become trapped or the ancestors could send disease and misfortune when the passage opened. Or the wronged dead could pass into this World, and walk in the time between the years, seeking revenge.“
For the first time ever, I have contemplated this day in line with what I have learned from the festivals of the Day of the Dead. I have a candle burning amid photos of family members who have died. My cupboards are bare, as I ‘ve been rather busy researching, so the food I have offered consists of dry bread & cooking chocolate – so far no complaints thank goodness.
It’s funny I was just thinking the other day, about how I’d told the following story long ago, but couldn’t remember where. I was thinking of it because of my recent article “oh for the love of god” & wondering…
Then I found it here at the bottom of this article. I wasn’t sure what to to, it seemed almost hypocritical to leave it in, but I didn’t want to whitewash the past.
So I’ve left it, but also amended it – I honour who I was, but I also allow newer wisdom to fill the places it needs to fill.
I leave you with my own personal offering on this Day of the Dead. The time in this world is too precious now to withold our stories when they may offer healing.
Many years ago now my first child was stillborn. It was completely unexpected & I was shocked & angry for a long time. Somewhere along the way I felt a desire to create a memory of him & so decided to put an entry into the Book of Rememberance at the crematorium where his ashes were scattered. I struggled for some time with ideas & words of rememberance or not forgetting. When the words came, they came quickly & simply.
Beside his name is written
Love(great respect), Little One.”
The day after I arranged this, I experienced a feeling of intense joy that lasted for hours, even in the midst of a very tiresome activity. I have always associated the two events.
Love(great respect), Adrienne Shelly & all we have loved who have left this world.“
As questions are still coming out of the woodwork about the 2012 Batman ‘show’ in all its forms, I have decided to republish the work that led to “Playing with Batman“.
It all started quite innocently … though on rereading I found a very intriguing synch to do with another ‘show’.
~ ~ ~
It started with a weekend, any weekend, after all they’re kind of all alike, are they not?
Perhaps you are an exception or perhaps I’m missing something. For now I’ll take it that many people have the same problems with weekends as me. I suck at them – and for the longest time I’ve thought it was just me.
But I’ve been having a closer look at something that has been hidden in plain sight for a very long time indeed – a provocative little number that takes hold of your senses & dulls them down with just seven swings of the fob watch.
Let us take a little look at ‘the week’.
On it’s lonesome, ‘a day’ has become inconsequential, without it’s siblings it’s a bit pathetic – but get the Family all together, well that’s another matter, you don’t mess with them, ever.
So lets meet the Day Family – there’s the five kids, Mon, Tues, Wednes, Thurs, Fri, & their parents, Sat & Sun. Now be warned, this family is a tad obsessive-compulsive, they always have to go in the same order, each family member has it’s own personality & even it’s own ruling planet. They’re more than just your neighbours, they live in your house & in your head – indeed they’re the ‘monkey on your back’.
So first off there’s Mon, he’s our least favourite, he’s callous & rude, charging into your room & pouring a bucket of cold water over your head, so you can get back to the real world & earn your way.
You put up with Tues, because she’s not quite as aggressive as her brother & by the time she turns up you’ve broken the hypnotic effect that her parents have on you.
Now Wednes you could so live without, full of woe. You can’t help thinking couldn’t his parents have taken ‘precautions’ just once?’ He does so make the week drag out.
Thurs is kind of bipolar, makes you feel good because it’s pay day & then crap because it’s all gotta go on bills.
You open your door to Fri & invite her in for a cuppa relieved to see her again, but she can ‘go on a bit’.
Satur is most welcome, but there’s just something about him – he just seems to promise so much more than he delivers.
Then there’s his wife Sun, she’s kind of laid back, but after a while she starts to get you down & you can see where Thurs gets his bipolar tendencies from because the longer you’re with her the more gloomy you get. On top of that she keeps trying to ‘get you together’ with her son Mon, I mean come on woman, can’t you see he’s a total jerk, damn it.
If you were about to celebrate, let’s say your 42nd birthday, your life would have consisted 2191 weeks. That’s quite a few revolutions of the groundhog wheel, BUT where did all your 15,340 days go – can you remember.
Now this family is THE Royal Family. Forget all those inbred aristocrats hanging round in castles, this is the family that rules the world. Yes I know they seem harmless enough, I mean they don’t play loud music or try & nick your credit cards & well, they’ve been around since the day you were born & heck everyone knows them.
But I jest not – this family rules your world.
“The amazing thing is that today the 7-day week, which is widely viewed as being Judeo-Christian, even Bible-based, holds sway for civil purposes over the entire world, including countries where Judaism and Christianity are anathema. Chinese, Arabs, Indians, Africans, Japanese, and a hundred others sit down at the U.N. to the tune of a 7-day week, in perfect peace (at least calendrically!). So dear is this succession of 7 days that when the calendar changed from Julian to Gregorian the week was preserved, though not the days of the month: in 1752, in England, Sept. 14 followed Sept. 2 — but Thursday followed Wednesday, as always. Eleven days disappeared from the calendar — but not from the week“
“Today the seven-day week is enforced by global business and media schedules, especially television and banking.”
This family goes way back, it’s family tree can be debated, but not denied. The Bible itself bows to them, granting unto them the master number 22 –
“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.” Genesis 2:2
Oh God, don’t tell me it’s Monday already!
We are not so much living in a world as living within a week – just one week over & over & over again. If you were to time travel back to any time in your life you could still slot yourself in quite nicely because the seven-sided framework around which you are to stretch yourself is already in place, you will know what to do simply by finding out what day it is.
The week has a very distinctive rhythm or heartbeat of it’s own – you know it very well, your very being is synchronised with it – it’s the 5-2 beat. You work (or are schooled) for 5 days, then you have 2 days off, 5 days on, 2 days off, 5 days on, 2 days off ….. ….. ….. hypnotic isn’t it?
I thought I’d have a closer look at that rhythm – so I applied it to my breathing – to get a sort of experiential perspective – of course I knew I was doomed to fail & indeed in very short order I could no longer take in breath to the count of five, my lungs were too full I was forced to exhale mightily.
Hmmm… so what if our 5-2 weekly rhythm has a similar effect upon us, body & soul. Now I’m going to say here that I think this little test was not too far off the mark. Breath is what separates us from the dead, & it is supposedly living that we are doing during our weekly life. Even the word spirit is derived from the verb spirare which means ‘breath’. I’m thinking here that breathing is synonymous with living – we take in & give out our experiences constantly. So what happens to us when we overbreathe?
“Chest pain, Confusion, Dizziness, Dry mouth, Lightheadedness, Muscle spasms in hands and feet, Numbness … Palpitations, Shortness of breath, Sleep disturbances, Weakness“
… so many familiar names that experts tell us are caused by our stressful lives – well duh…
From the 5-2 beat, I got to wondering about the number 52 & if it might not play an important part in our lives. Right away the holding pattern of the 52 ‘reruns’ of the same week, any week, hoves into view & we call that one year.
The oh so trendy Mayan calendar has a complicated system (to me anyway) that creates a 52 year cycle:
“It consists of two types of calendar systems : a ritual cycle of 260 named days and a vague year cycle of 365 days… these cycles run concurrently after 18 980 days, or 52 years of 365 days“
It’s rather interesting then that 52 is the international dialling code for Mexico.
If you add the majuscules & minuscules of the English alphabet (big letters & little letters) together you get 52 – as numerologists give different values for these & as our written language has an enormous (hidden) influence on us I feel this is important.
There are 52 white keys on a piano & notable ivory tinkler Billy Joel brought out an album called 52 Street – celebrating the street of that name in Manhattan, while John Lennon had an apartment in East 52nd St.
52 is the title of a DC Comics limited series that debuted on May 10, 2006. The story is directly followed by the limited series Countdown to Final Crisis. It’s been a long time since I read a comic but my fellow bloggers have pointed to much imagery among their pages & certainly a browse through the wiki entry does reveal some interesting storylines –
“A multitude of clocks are all stopped at 12:52 (00:52). Monitors show images of Rosa Parks, Abraham Lincoln, a sailing ship with the flag of the Knights Templar, Elvis Presley, the Boston Tea Party and a dinosaur.”
“TIME IS BROKEN” – 52 seconds are missing. In the final week, while witnessing the rebirth of the Multiverse, Booster Gold worries about the “broken time”, after being reassured by Rip Hunter that everything is finally the way it was meant to be.”
“The number 52 in a circle litters the boards, the circles sometimes overlapping. The symbol of overlapping circles has been used in the past by DC Comics to represent alternate Earths, or alternate Earths fusing”
“World War III? Why? HOW?” — World War III was an important event in 52, as Black Adam (black + Adam (man) = Obama?) battled, and killed, several heroes”
“The old Gods are DEAD, the new Gods want what’s left.”
“Due to the unpredicted popularity of the series, DC issued several series of comics based on the individual threads of 52 … 52 Aftermath: The Four Horsemen mini-series … covering the Four Horsemen’s battle with Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. The other strand of that story from 52 is taken up in …
… Black Adam: The Dark Age… following Teth-Adam’s quest to bring Isis back to life“
In 1952, Elizabeth became Queen of England, the B-52 Stratofortress flies for the first time, the Diary of Anne Frank is published, the U.S successfully detonates the first hydrogen bomb ( codenamed “Mike”), the NSA is founded. Twice that year fatal smog descended on London causing the death of thousands Link
And one for Michael from Hidden Agendas – Werner von Braun publishes his ideas for a manned flight to Mars in The Mars Project.
Tellurium is a chemical element with the atomic number of 52. It is one of the nine rarest metallic elements on earth. Its name comes from the Latin tellus meaning ‘earth‘ & it was discovered in Transylvania in 1782. It was used as a chemical bonder in the making of the outer shell of the first atom bomb. In our modern world it is used in re-writable CDs & the new phase change memory chips.
And looky here from the 52 DC Comics –
“Σ Te versus (Au+Pb)” — … the atomic number of Tellurium (Te) is 52. The other elements mentioned are Gold Au) and Lead (Pb). Gold and Lead are names of Metal Men, and alchemists attempted to transmute lead into gold. Tellus is a member of the pre-Zero Hour Legion of Super-Heroes“
The 52 I found most interesting in all this, was the humble deck of playing cards & how well they mirrored our ‘timing’ – 52 cards to match the 52 weeks of the year, 4 suits to match with the seasons & 13 cards per suit – either to match the number of weeks in a season or the thirteen months that any pagan would fit into the span of one year – yes these are generalisations there’s a few days to be given or taken – but these are the numbers the majority of us understand & that I feel is most important.
Playing cards seem to have an undecided history, however they’ve been around for a long time
“In spite of their indeterminable beginnings and their unvarying, centuries old design, the 52-Card deck will never find a place in our concept of mystery or wonders of the world, because no matter what language is spoken or what part of the world you are in, playing cards have become as familiar as the moon to the sky. We take them for granted! And question them not“
But what if there is more to the cards than just mere games of chance? What if their true purpose was to leave nothing to chance?
What if their simple and well-preserved design was a language of symbols, passed down through the centuries, preserved as the worlds greatest past time? For those who know how to read the Little Book and its 52 Pages, the mystery is revealed as a map of the stars and a calendar of earth”. Link
I do think there is a lot more to the familiar deck of playing cards than we’ve been led to believe.
My Grandmother used to read them as another person would read Tarot cards. Certainly there’s probably meat aplenty to make a hearty post, but my eye was caught by something else. In the very week that the new Batman movie is released, how could I resist the call of the wild card – the Joker.
If internet sources are to be believed the Joker is an American invention & appeared in the later 1800’s.
“The Joker seems to have its origins in a special card used in a particular form of Euchre (a card game)… immigrants carried the game to the US … Americans added to the Euchre deck a card even higher than the designated Bowers (Jacks). It was called the Imperial Bower or the Best Bower. This was the genesis of the Joker“
Note added 2012: – I don’t watch 24 but I did recognise the role name of Kiefer Sutherland – Jack (Bauer) Bower.
Fancy meeting him in this old article – 24 hours in a day & 7 of those in a week …
“…early Jokers show much greater diversity. We find not only the trickster types but also children, stage characters, animals, etc. After the introductions of the Best Bower into Euchre, Americans equipped other card games with an extra card (usually as a wild card). Perhaps this is the stage in which the extra card became known as the Joker—meaning one that changes character or pops up unexpectedly. .. The choice of a jester is logical, not only because of his unpredictable behavior, but because he complements the court cards. In Europe, after all …
… the royal court really was home to jesters, jugglers and other entertainers” Link
Joker, jester, fool, buffoon, trickster. I have read that the origins of the jester go back to prehistoric tribal society. Certainly they acquired much popularity in the Middle Ages. I came across this…
“The jester was a symbolic twin of the king“
… and I wondered, could we say the Joker is the symbolic twin of Batman? Are we being shown two sides of the same coin?
Looking at the title ‘The Dark Knight’ – does ‘Dark‘ stand for the Joker & while the Knight is Batman & could the inclusion of Two Face be a little cryptic hint at what we’re being shown. I don’t trust this movie, for some reason the death of Heath Ledger brings to my mind the spell cast over Macbeth by the ‘weird sisters’ – far reaching & full of poison.
Batman (Christian Bale) has lost his symbolic twin. Just days ago we hear that this Knight was arrested for assault – I wondered if we are being shown something – that the Joker has not died, but has arisen within his twin. I am reminded of the loathsome ending of Twin Peaks many years ago, when the delightful Agent Dale Cooper is possessed by ‘Bob’. I wonder if these ‘trance’ themes reiterate the amount of darkness being pumped daily into our souls through the media.
Hollywood is built upon the hidden – we are aware of the ten percent that lies upon a variety of ‘Universal Studios’, it’s the ninety percent ‘that lie(s) beneath that we need to see – trickery – the art of the trickster or the Joker.
“Often, the card is a wild, and thereby allowed to represent other existing cards. The term “Joker’s Wild” originates from this practice. The Joker can be an extremely beneficial, or an extremely harmful, card“
Heath Ledger was reaching the end of his portrayal of the Joker, when the Jokela School Shooting took place in Finland on 7th November, 2007.
He also featured in the movie I’m Not There as “one of six actors trying to define singer, Bob Dylan.” Following the joker’s trail I find that it is generally agreed that:
‘the jester who sang for the king & queen, in a coat he borrowed from James Dean‘
… was none other than one Bob Dylan. The song American Pie mentions the jester twice more. He is
“on the sidelines in a cast“
“while the king was looking down, the jester stole his thorny crown“.
Certainly the Joker has stolen Batman’s thunder in the Dark Knight – this wild card is most certainly trumping the Box Offices of the world.
Well I’ve wandered a long way from where I started & I find that my weekend is closing in. Mon will be polishing his bucket & preparing to fill it with ice cold water.
If we pay attention for a moment we find one of the day-family’s tricky little secrets.
Let’s slightly adjust the magical spelling of the word ‘week’ & see what happens – now we have weak & if we carry that through to it’s ending we have weaken(e)d or weekend.
Hmmm … maybe that’s why we call them the …
… ‘Daze of the Weak’.
I don’t think I’d be too far off the mark to say it takes at least a ‘sevennight’ to unwind – you go on holiday but you need that time to relax & to find your natural pace. We’ve been told that we have life so much easier than our predecessors, so we shouldn’t complain. There’s movies to show us in case we doubt. We have technology, electricity, every comfort – here I must dip back to my previous post & drop in a little wtf… because look around, oh sorry you already have, that’s why you visit sites & blogs like this one.
I head back to work tomorrow, to tread the Groundhog wheel again, to rerun the week I did last week & the one before & the one before – but I believe this time I will not be quite so hard on myself. I thought it was me who was doing ‘something’ wrong – I hadn’t thought to look at a setup that is geared to keep me in one very small week. If you can’t see the invisible walls how can you find a way to scale them.
I believe the naming of days has created a seven sided see-through box. For as long as I can remember, the day that is looming ahead of me now has been Monday – I know what it looks like & how it will be, I hardly even need turn up, in reality probably only 20% of me has been there most weeks – the oh so dominating presence of Mon does the rest.
The week – the biggest Joker of them all?
When I signed on this morning my WordPress statistics (which spy on you), told me that someone had been reading my 2008 article “Playing with Batman”. Having been made aware of recent news stories, it feels very right to re-publish – in case you get confused I wrote this after the release of the last Batman movie, yet many phrases feel like they belong here today in 2012.
~ ~ ~
A mix of some well worded comments, syncs & ‘all the hype’ over the new Batman movie got me to wondering about this chiropteric man. I got to wondering – if Batman was a version of an ancient god just who might he be? So I decided to have a little play with him.
Following in the wake of many favourite detectives, I set about looking for clues… but, insert fingers drumming on desk … where to begin?
What follows are the musings that came from my playtime.
The Bat’man’/god himself being open to various interpretation, I took the easier route of starting with his surroundings.
So it all started with the Bat Cave which made me think of…The Underworld which made me think of… Hades. Ahhh … could Batman be a personification of Hades? – hmmm… little grey cells to the Bat Pole.
Hades is the Greek god of the dead and ruler of the Underworld (which is also known as Hades). He is not ‘death’ itself, but we’ll come to that.
He is one original six Olympians (with the advent of the Olympics upon us – what jolly good timing to bring Hades/Batman out of the closet & dust him off). He is brother to Zeus & Poseidon – when they were carving up the world, he drew the short straw & got the Underworld – I wonder if his sisters, Hestia, Hera & Demeter might not have been a bit peeved at being left out of the spoils – hell hath no fury & all that.
“the Bat Cave is the secret headquarters of fictional DC Comics superhero, Batman, (the alternate identity of billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne), consisting of a series of subterranean caves beneath his residence.”
In searching out descriptions of realm of Hades I came upon these;
“It was a dark and dismal realm in which bodiless ghosts flitted across grey fields of asphodel”
“murky subterranean realm”
“where the uttermost depth of the pit lies under earth”
“Homer describes the passage of souls to Haides led by Hermes, the guide of the dead. Here they flit like bats through the dark places beneath the earth”
“And as in the innermost recess of a wondrous cave bats flit about gibbering, when one has fallen from off the rock from the chain in which they cling to one another, so these went with him gibbering, and Hermes, the Helper, led them down the dank ways. Past the streams of Okeanos they went, past the rock Leukas (the White), past the gates of the sun (pylai Hêlioi) and the land of dreams (dêmos oineiroi), and quickly came to the mead of asphodel (leimôn asphodelon), where the spirits (psykhai) dwell, phantoms (eidôla) of men who have done with toils.”
Not a sought after holiday destination then.
Hades has a helmet given to him by the Cyclopes, which can make him invisible. Batman wears mask / helmet that he uses to make ‘Bruce Wayne’ invisible.
Hades has a number of other names including Clymenus (‘notorious‘) & Eubuleus (‘well-guessing’) – sorry can’t resist this one … as a boy, Bruce Wayne falls down a well, disturbing a load of bats & the legend takes it’s first baby steps.
Another meaning for Eubulus is the giver of good counsel – the name of Wayne’s Butler, ‘Alfred’ means ‘good counsel‘.
One of the plants sacred to Hades is the Cypress so I was intrigued to find Actinostrobus arenarius or, the Bruce Cypress-pine.
Bruce Wayne is of course is a squillionaire – another name for Hades is Plouton meaning ‘the Rich One‘. The Latin name for Plouton is Pluto.
In that little syncro world that can be such fun to play with, we find that the planet Pluto has some delicious little tidbits to offer.
“Pluto was quickly heralded as the ninth planet in the solar system when it was spotted Feb. 18, 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh, a young amateur astronomer at Lowell Observatory. It still holds that title today, if somewhat tenuously.”
“The name Pluto was first suggested by Venetia Burney, an eleven-year-old schoolgirl in Oxford, England. Venetia was interested in classical mythology as well as astronomy, and considered the name, one of the alternate names of Hades, the Greek god of the Underworld, appropriate for such a presumably dark and cold world. She suggested it in a conversation with her grandfather Falconer Madan, a former librarian of Oxford University’s Bodleian Library. Madan passed the name to Professor Herbert Hall Turner, (British Astronomer awarded the Bruce Medal far astronomy in 1927) who then cabled it to colleagues in America.”
What a lovely tale & trail of coincidence – a goddess (Venus) in Oxford, whose interests sound a little like those of a cultivated beauty contestant, names the ninth planet after the god of the underworld. Meanwhile we have the goddess’ grandfather ‘Falconer’ who is named after a solar symbol
“The Falcon is a solar emblem for success, victory and rising above a situation. Further evidence of its solar influence, the Falcon was symbolic of the rising sun in Egypt. It is also the king of all birds where many gods were shown with the head or body of the Falcon (including Ra)”
In a darling little synch to top this off I find that the info regarding the ‘falcon’ is given by one A. Venefica – … damn I did have a link to show you that, but my ‘proof’ has vacated it’s premises.
To round off our little trip to Pluto, why not pick a random date to officially announce it’s new name – how about the 121st day of the year –1st May, 1930 or Beltane –
“As the festival that celebrates the triumph of summer over winter, Beltaine is also the time when the victory of the new solar god is achieved over his rival the old year god, whose power had waned over the winter”.
We can’t quite leave this little detour without a wink over to those lovers of children everywhere – Disney.:
“The Disney connection: Mickey Mouse’s dog made his debut in “The Chain Gang” in 1930 — the year Pluto was discovered. A year later, he was named Pluto, probably because the planet of that name was so much in the news”
… sounds ok, just getting in on all the excitement of the time – but … I found it rather interesting that ‘DIS’ is the Walt Disney Company’s NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) symbol – yes I thought that would raise an eyebrow or two, knowing as we all do that Dis is the Roman god of the Underworld & of course we all remember that Dis is a version of ‘dives’ meaning ‘rich’ – what a tight little circle we are turning in here.
Just before we head off I did just have a wee play with Dis, I know very naughty – Dis is a city in The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. It is the last known location of The Orange Bend of the Rain bow – not a bad reward for a bit of play – make of it what you will.
Sorry I was having fun & got carried away.
Persephone is the wife of Hades. He lured her into a convenient spot with a beautiful flower (narcissus), & then abducted her to the Underworld. She eventually became his wife. Interestingly… her animal symbol is the bat. From wiki
“Bats symbolize death and rebirth. Sometimes, they are known as the “Guardian of the Night.“
Switching civilisations for a moment, I couldn’t help noticing a similarity between Batman & Anubis – ok it’s those big pointy ears that did it.
This ‘ear‘ ily endowed god, was once the most important god of the dead, but Osiris muscled in & Anubis took on more of the god of undertakers role.
“Originally, in the Ogdoad system, he was god of the underworld…Since he was more associated with beliefs concerning the weighing of the heart than had Osiris, Anubis retained this aspect, and became considered more the gatekeeper and ruler of the underworld, the “Guardian of the veil” (of “death“).
Returning to Hades we find that one of his most impressive possessions was
“his dark chariot, drawn by four coal-black horses” [which] “always made for a fearsome and impressive sight“.
Here we see Hades in his awesome chariot
whisking off his extremely reluctant bride- to- be
for a slap up meal at Chez Hades.
In Batman Forever, Batman assigns the car the power of a chick magnet when he says to Dr. Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman)
“It’s the car, right? Chicks dig the car“
Perhaps if Hades had had modern technology he might not have had to stoop to trickery & abduction to ‘claim’ his bride.
Because Hades spent most of his time in the underworld, signals were needed to call him forth –
“when mortals invoked him, they struck the earth with their hands“
When Batman is invoked, a signal is shone in the sky.
Hades seems to have a mixed reputation & if we overlook that itsy bitsy irksome bit about him keeping the souls of those we have loved forever & a day, we can see him as as an ok kind of guy just doing his job – a sort of caretaker.
Now in this little jaunt round the underworld, there is another character we need to see. If I carry on playing & also refer back to my previous post on ‘Groundhog Day’, I come to this sentence …
“the jester is the symbolic twin of the king“
… there I suggested that The Joker was the symbolic twin of Batman. You with me on this?? If Batman is Hades & The Joker is his symbolic twin, then which god does he symbolise?
“Hades rules the dead, assisted by various (demonic) helpers, such as Thanatos and Hypnos, the ferryman Charon, and the hound Cerberus.“
So I just have to go with Thanatos – the god of death. Now he does actually have his own twin, which is Hypnos, who is the god of dreams. But I’m not going to let that get in the way of play & anyway we’re looking at symbolic twins.
A little aside here:
“In Roman sculptural reliefs he [Thanatos] was portrayed as a youth holding a down-turned torch and wreath or butterfly (symbolising the soul of the dead)“
“Thanatos might be poetically called the brother of Hypnos (Sleep) and the son of Nyx but no matter how you describe him, he is a creature of bone chilling darkness. From on high, Helios (the Sun) never casts his light on Death. (Theogony, line 760)”
“Hypnos goes kindly among the mortals but, his brother, Thanatos has a heart made of pitiless iron. When he takes hold of you, the world of light ceases to be.“
Ok back to the Joker, I have to admit I have not seen the new movie, nor do I feel the call to do so (I was very happy to learn that when my son went to see it there was a power cut during a particularly tense moment followed by a break in which ABBA’s Dancing Queen was played – a spell breaker if ever there was one). I do however have access to the Internet so finding out about the movie is not too difficult.
“This “Clown Prince of Crime” is most certainly an instrument of indiscriminate death. He is described as an “indiscriminate killer that lives for his teasing confrontations with Batman“.
Batman, like so many superheroes were borne (born) along the same energy wave that brought in WWII – a very interesting theme in itself. He was a creation of one Bob Kane (or Bob Kahn, a Jewish American comic book artist & writer). I’m just going to pop off topic for a moment to bring you a little something to chew on. Kane was:
“a high school friend of fellow cartoonist and future The Spirit creator Will Eisner“.
Now I can’t help noticing a distinct similarity between the signatures of Will Eisner & Walt Disney – not to mention the lettering – I’ve noticed other’s on the interent have picked up on this too.
The official Will Eisner logo
This is the signature that first got my attention –
… the similarity is intriguing n’est-pas?
Ok returning to the scene of the Joker & his possible secret identity as Thanatos.
“Batman Vs The Joker” – Batman #1 (Spring 1940) The first Joker story ever by creator Bob Kane and ghost writer Bill Finger instantly set the tone for all Joker stories to follow in the next 68 years. He appeared as a straightforward mass murderer
… ah the good old days.
Now Thanatos is not necessarily seen as a ‘bad’ grim reaper. He is often referred to as the bringer of peaceful death (that’s where something in this life is so crap you want to get away – the Underworld may perhaps not be your ideal choice of getaways however). “
“Violent death was the domain of Thanatos’ blood-craving sisters, the Keres, spirits of slaughter and disease“
Oh dear, does this mean the end of playtime, have our syncs run dry. I think not – are you game to se how far we can stretch this? Good for you – come on then.
It seems our latest helping of The Joker features him in a cross dressing role & …
“… a thread developed by Frank Miller in The Dark Knight Returns, which implied that the Joker is gay, or at the very least bi-curious. A few writers like Morrison and Miller have made this a recurring theme in writing the Joker, and the character’s sexuality is a subject of a lot of discussion amongst online fans”
Ok so perhaps our psycopathic jester is a combination of Thanatos & his sisters – the bloodthirsty Keres.
How’s this for a storyline
“Going Sane” – Legends of the Dark Knight #65-68 (Nov ’94-Feb ’95) Believing that he’s finally killed the Batman, the Joker, apparently having lost the anchor of his existence, goes through plastic surgery to return him to “normal” and wakes up one day as “Joseph Kerr”
… or perhaps we should read that as Keres.
Tying together the idea of Batman as Hades with The Joker as Thanatos & the symbolic twin of Batman we have The Joker, in fetching nurses uniform (I’m told), resonating with female Keres, telling Batman …
“You complete me”
… need I say more!
The closing credits of the Batman movie acknowledge not one but two deaths – that of the Australian Heath Ledger & a New Zealand-born special effects technician, Conway Wyckliffe who was killed when a camera truck crashed into a tree. Wyckliffe previously worked on Bond film Casino Royale and the Tomb Raider films with Angelina Jolie.
There’s an anagram site I use to play with names & words when looking for ideas – here are some anagrams for Christian Bale:
Lie In Bat Crash – Bat Lairs Niche – Line His Bat Car – Rich Bat In Sale – Bat As Rich Line
& Heath Ledger:
The Hag Elder – Geld Heather – Get He Herald – Glad He there – He Geld Earth
Well play time is almost over, now I’ve got to get on to the serious work of chasing down spelling areas & glitches in this bag of tricks. Lets have just one more toss of the dice & see what happens when we play with Batman / Hades for the last time. If we mis-spell The Dark Knight we get The Dark Night & I can think of no better epithet for ‘death‘ than that phrase – and of course the bat is the guardian of the night…
“In ‘protecting’ ourselves by shutting down emotionally, or moving to a remote plot of land to grow chickens & raise vegetables, nothing is changed.
Getting back to basics requires a return to the ‘heart of living’ … so perhaps it makes sense in these ‘raw’ times to allow our ‘youngers’ to be our elders“
Last year I interviewed seven year old Zack. His child-wisdom was tremendous.
I have absorbed his ideas into my thinking & my writing.
He’s eight now.
We talked again today.
Or listen to our podcast below: