TARANTULA ON ANGEL FOOD (inconspicuous)

Posted in Uncategorized on August 17, 2015 by kidkenoma

Paul A. Rothchild (April 18, 1935 – March 30, 1995) was a prominent
American record producer of the late 1960s and 1970s, widely known for
his historic work with The Doors, producing Janis Joplin’s final album
Pearl and early production of The Paul Butterfield Blues Band.He is
considered the 5th door in the band,and one of the greatest producers
in the 60s.

Born in Brooklyn, Rothchild grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey[1] and
graduated from Teaneck High School in 1953. His was a musical family;
his mother was an opera singer, and Rothchild studied classical music
conducting.

According to Sports Illustrated journalist Bjarne Rostaing, in 1959
Paul was in the same Military Intelligence Corps (United States Army)
unit as him.[2]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_A._Rothchild
***************************************
Zappa (born, curiously enough, on the Winter Solstice of 1940) never
really made a secret of the fact that he had nothing but contempt for
the ‘hippie’ culture that he helped create and that he surrounded
himself with.

And it is probably safe to say that Frank’s dad also had little regard
for the youth culture of the 1960s, given that Francis Zappa was, in
case you were wondering, a chemical warfare specialist assigned to –
where else? – the Edgewood Arsenal. Edgewood is, of course, the
longtime home of America’s chemical warfare program, as well as a
facility frequently cited as being deeply enmeshed in MK-ULTRA
operations. Curiously enough, Frank Zappa literally grew up at the
Edgewood Arsenal, having lived the first seven years of his life in
military housing on the grounds of the facility.

Zappa’s manager, by the way, is a shadowy character by the name of
Herb Cohen, who had come out to L.A. from the Bronx with his brother
Mutt just before the music and club scene began heating up. Cohen, a
former U.S. Marine, had spent a few years traveling the world before
his arrival on the Laurel Canyon scene. Those travels, curiously, had
taken him to the Congo in 1961, at the very time that leftist Prime
Minister Patrice Lumumba was being tortured and killed by our very own
CIA. Not to worry though; according to one of Zappa’s biographers,
Cohen wasn’t in the Congo on some kind of nefarious intelligence
mission. No, he was there, believe it or not, to supply arms to
Lumumba “in defiance of the CIA.” Because, you know, that is the kind
of thing that globetrotting ex-Marines did in those days

Making up the other half of Laurel Canyon’s First Family is Frank’s
wife, Gail Zappa, known formerly as Adelaide Sloatman. Gail hails from
a long line of career Naval officers, including her father, who spent
his life working on classified nuclear weapons research for the U.S.
Navy. Gail herself had once worked as a secretary for the Office of
Naval Research and Development (she also once told an interviewer that
she had “heard voices all [her] life”). Many years before their nearly
simultaneous arrival in Laurel Canyon, Gail had attended a Naval
kindergarten with “Mr. Mojo Risin’” himself, Jim Morrison (it is
claimed that, as children, Gail once hit Jim over the head with a
hammer).

The very same Jim Morrison had later attended the same Alexandria,
Virginia high school as two other future Laurel Canyon luminaries –
John Phillips and Cass Elliott.

*****************************************
John Phillips

Before arriving in Laurel Canyon and opening the doors of his home to
the soon-to-be famous, the already famous, and the infamous (such as
the aforementioned Charlie Manson, whose ‘Family’ also spent time at
the Log Cabin and at the Laurel Canyon home of “Mama” Cass Elliot,
which, in case you didn’t know, sat right across the street from the
Laurel Canyon home of Abigail Folger and Voytek Frykowski, but let’s
not get ahead of ourselves here), John Edmund Andrew Phillips was,
shockingly enough, yet another child of the military/intelligence
complex. The son of U.S. Marine Corp Captain Claude Andrew Phillips
and a mother who claimed to have psychic and telekinetic powers, John
attended a series of elite military prep schools in the Washington,
D.C. area, culminating in an appointment to the prestigious U.S. Naval
Academy at Annapolis

Before succeeding in his musical career, however, John did seem to
find himself, quite innocently of course, in some rather unusual
places. One such place was Havana, Cuba, where Phillips arrived at the
very height of the Cuban Revolution. For the record, Phillips has
claimed that he went to Havana as nothing more than a concerned
private citizen, with the intention of – you’re going to love this one
– “fighting for Castro.” Because, as I mentioned earlier, a lot of
folks in those days traveled abroad to thwart CIA operations before
taking up residence in Laurel Canyon and joining the ‘hippie’
generation. During the two weeks or so that the Cuban Missile Crisis
played out, a few years after Castro took power, Phillips found
himself cooling his heels in Jacksonville, Florida – alongside,
coincidentally I’m sure, the Mayport Naval Station.

http://www.davesweb.cnchost.com/nwsltr93.html
**********************************
Leonard Cohen

On one side, 1,400 American paratroopers tried to invade Cuba in April
of 1961. On another side, Cuba repelled the invasion. And on the third
side – the underappreciated side – a 27 year old Canadian by the name
of Leonard Cohen was certainly doing something, though the nailed down
quality of what it actually was seems to be up in the air.

In one telling, Cohen went to Cuba because he was “fighting on both
sides.” In another, he went because of “a deep interest in violence. I
was very interested in what it really meant for a man to to carry arms
and to kill other men – and how attracted I was exactly to that
process.” And in the the third, he went, he got drunk (on rum, Cuba
libre, or mojitos, quien sabe; déjame en paz y me deja escribir),
spent his time with late night movie operators and hookers, was woken
up by an official from the Canadian embassy, taken to said embassy,
and politely and firmly informed that his mother was worried about
him.

Ira Nadel – the biographer quoted above – explains: “Wearing his
khakis and carrying a hunting knife, he was suddenly surrounded by
twelve soldiers with Czech submachine guns. It was late at night and
they thought he was the first of an American landing team. They
marched him to the local police station while he repeated the only
Spanish he knew, a slogan of Castro’s: Amistad del pueblo, ‘Friendship
of the People.’ This made no impression on his captors, but after an
hour and a half of interrogation, Cohen convinced them he was not a
spy buy a fan of the regime who wanted to be there.”

********************************************
Richard Farina

Richard Fariña, (born April 30, 1937?, New York, N.Y., U.S.—died April 30, 1966, Carmel, Calif.), American folk singer and novelist who, with his wife, Mimi Fariña, played a significant role in the folk music revival of the 1960s.

Fariña studied engineering and literature at Cornell University and reputedly served with the Irish Republican Army in the mid-1950s and later briefly with Fidel Castro’s guerrillas in Cuba.

http://www.britannica.com/biography/Richard-Farina

On April 30, 1966, two days after the publication of his novel, Fariña attended a book-signing ceremony at a Carmel Valley Village bookstore, the Thunderbird. Later that day, while at a party to celebrate his wife Mimi’s twenty-first birthday, Fariña saw a guest with a motorcycle, who later gave Fariña a ride up Carmel Valley Road, heading east toward the rural Cachagua area of Carmel Valley.

At an S-turn the driver lost control. The motorcycle tipped over on the right side of the road, came back to the other side, and tore through a barbed wire fence into a field where a small vineyard now exists. The driver survived, but Fariña was killed instantly. According to Pynchon’s preface to Been Down…, the police said the motorcycle must have been traveling at 90 miles per hour (140 km/h), even though “a prudent speed” would have been 30 miles per hour (48 km/h).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Fari%C3%B1a#Death

Walpurgis Night is the English translation of Walpurgisnacht, one of the German names for the night of 30 April, so called because it is the eve of the feast day of Saint Walpurga, an 8th-century abbess in Germania. In Germanic folklore Walpurgisnacht, also called Hexennacht (Dutch: heksennacht; literally “Witches’ Night”), is believed to be the night of a witches’ meeting on the Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz Mountains, a range of wooded hills in central Germany between the rivers Weser and Elbe.

In the United States, Walpurgisnacht is one of the major holidays celebrated within LaVeyan Satanism and is the anniversary of the founding of the Church of Satan.[2]

The Church of Satan is an international organization dedicated to the religion of Satanism as codified in The Satanic Bible. The Church of Satan was established at the Black House in San Francisco, California, on Walpurgisnacht, April 30, 1966, by Anton Szandor LaVey, who was the church’s High Priest until his death in 1997.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Satan

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walpurgis_Night

THE LAST STATUE (ch1)

Posted in Uncategorized on July 1, 2015 by kidkenoma

THE LAST STATUE (chapter 1)

Phone machine announces the crack of doom…the bubble bursts, the dream dissolves…return to what passes for consciousness with a Kurt Cobain sized headache…flaked out in front of the tube where a guy in a suit covered with question marks says I’m entitled to a large share of govt. money, which seems a stark reversal of the facts such as we’ve all come to know them…

“Cinco…you there? awake? sober?” chirps my agent de Castro, after the message-beep.

A little earlier, just before the big nod-off, I’d been taking a break from trying to patch somebody’s flat-tire of a screenplay. I started watching a 1921 Fritz Lang movie called ‘Destiny’, synopsis of which follows thus: “Hoping to find her fiance, a girl drinks a magical tea and faces an ominous apparition.” Which…now that I think about it, presents a certain parallel to the circumstances under which I was viewing this film.

And now, in the shrill light of morning, I’m facing my own ominous apparition in the form of de Castro, making the obligatory agent-checking-in-call: “Heh-heh…sorry to disturb your ‘work’-no…nothing much happening, heh-heh…just checking in…”

But no, not so routine, sez de Castro, “Hey, got something you might be interested in-could even be lucrative-a helluva story at the very least…maybe another ‘Heaven’s Gate…”

All right, might as well humor the chump. Pick up the phone, cut in with-”Ah, when you say ‘Heaven’s Gate’…you mean the Nike sneaker-flying-saucer suicide cult? Or the ill-fated Michael Chimino western?”

“Exactly…” says de Castro.

It was a month like many others, as they all blend, out toward the far end of the beveled edge of History…The salient features of this era were, as I recall, something like:

-police in a major American city were accused of using excessive force

-Oprah was on the cover of O

-a generically obnoxious young blonde female celebrity was booked on a 502

-there was a disaster in Indonesia

-meanwhile…stuff was blowing up all over the Mid-East, as high ranking generals scrambled for excuses & private contractors ran amok

And now…here’s de Castro with an unsavory blast from the past, coming at me with ‘Heaven’s Gate’ of all things, at this hour of the morning…

So I sez, “In the interest of my impending deadline, and your impending tennis match, or whatever…could we be a little more specific? Maybe cut to the chase just a bit here…”

“Okay, what’s the deal with Rex Learner? Didn’t you do some writing for him back in that designer-mullet infested decade we like to call the 80’s?”

“Well…the deal, in a nutshell, is that the sonofabitch still owes me about $70,000, as a rounded-off dime-on-the-dollar, arbitrated figure. Now, when you reference ‘Heaven’s Gate’, I kind of tend to visualize all the money disappearing down a black hole, or Learner & Co. all beaming up to the mother-ship or the mystery-comet or whatever it was…”

De Castro declined to elaborate over the phone, provocative but oblique, as per standard agent power-style. He extracted a commitment to meet at Anthony’s bar & grill, to which I-against my better judgment-agreed.

Prismatic shafts of light now beam through the convex window in the front room. The cats soon appear expecting food, vying for attention by releasing the ‘mute’ button on the remote. Before I can hit the ‘power’ switch, another word about finance: “Hi, I’m Phil Massinger with a new way to pay old debts…yes, yes…anything for a quiet life…”

********************************

We meet in the muted ambience of Anthony’s in Santa Monica over requisite male-bonding beverages appropriate to the situation…pleased to meet de Castro’s old Army buddy, Richard Privette.

Privette, ex-LAPD, now a private investigator2 has his own agency, employing at least a dozen people, “It’s not all about the shedding of shoe leather anymore…these kids click mice and tap keyboards…access the hall of records, the assessor’s office, DMV, the phone company…gives me time to concentrate on the more subtle cases.”

Thoughtful pause while refreshing beverages are consumed, and Privette continues, “So de Castro tells me you’re a script doctor…”

“I prefer to think of myself as a screenplay veterinarian.”

“Script proctologist,” chimes in de Castro helpfully.

“It’s my understanding that you’ve done some writing for Rex Learner, a director of quite some renown and notoriety, who, according to the leading biographical references, leaves quite a wide swath of dashed hopes and unpaid bills.”

“Well as a synopsis, that’s not bad,” I have to admit, “but I’m sort of puzzled about the ‘Heaven’s Gate’ angle that de Castro was going on about.”

“Learner’s still out there, shooting a financial sinkhole of a movie, from a massive, as yet unfinished screenplay called ‘O’Blivion’s Water’. Aptly titled, considering the flow of mula through this thing…already about 20mil beyond any production budget in Hollywood so far, must be some kind of record. Word is, somebody’s very unhappy with this whole deal, and would like to terminate this production ‘with extreme prejudice’ as they say in the movies…”

I take advantage of the pause, to have a bit of fun at the expense of de Castro, who in my opinion, is looking way too smug about all of this…

“Geez, I appreciate the righteousness & urgency of your cause, and no doubt he’s Got It Coming, but I don’t think I’m up for anything like that,” I explain, “Uh, so how much were you offering-just scholarly curiosity…”

“Fer chrissakes Cinco, he’s not hiring you to clip the bastard-” he’s about to elaborate, but breaks off in mid-sentence, noticing my traditional smirk of Put-On.

So we all share a hearty chuckle, and order another round. Maybe take a moment to field a call from my research assistant, Becky:

“Your pal from the airport…Terry-from Lennox3 says the ‘Dr. V.’ you were asking about, is probably a Dr. Vinrod…I googled & printed what I could & left it on your so-called desk…oh, and Mrs. Kurtz called, wanted to give you a heads-up about Engram Frazier4 who apparently is frantic to get in touch with you. Judging from the eight or nine messages on your voice-mail, I would have to concur…something about a power lunch at Eleanor Bull’s. A splendid opportunity to review some of Mr. Frazier’s notes…also present will be Mr. Skeres, and a Mr. Poley, who, I believe, also have some ‘notes’ for your edification…”

Fuck that. This I need like a hole in the head. I’d been more than patient with these pinheads, and the stale, insipid piece of dogshit that Frazier insists is a screenplay-’Sodbusters’, an egregiously lame Bruckheimer-styled vice-squad drama patterned after the CSI cookie-cutter crime shows. 105 annoying pages of pure unadulterated, shopworn cliches-a house of cards built on a foundation of quicksand.

Even Frazier seemed to sense something wrong here. Couldn’t I just make it, you know, more coherent or something? I doubt that anybody could, although, as far as I’m concerned, anybody can try as long as they try somewhere else ’cause I’m over it.

On my last pass with this thing, I’d sketched-in completely irrelevant directions & gratuitous camera angles. A very annoying stunt which normally would guarantee termination of contract due to unprofessional conduct. But not with Frazier…kinda guy can’t take a simple ‘Fuck Off’ as an answer…Now, the whole point of having my research assistant sort through phone messages and E-mail, would be to screen out lost causes like Frazier & his goons.

The lesson to be learned here, if any, would, I suppose, be to pay more attention to whatever the hell it is that de Castro & Privette are pitching…

“My client, Mrs. Wheeler, was personal assistant and confidant to Learner for ten years. Now, as a production assistant at Tri-star, she’s come across information that would seem to imply a threat to his life. Corroborated from several sources, this information seems reliable, if not conclusive.”

“Learner’s been shooting in New Mexico,” continues Privette, “Tight security, all very hush-hush…map points, code-words…real streamlined, fanatically loyal skeleton crew, traveling in caravan from location to location…really roughing it, sometimes camping right at the location, in RVs, teepees & bubble tents, right out in the desert…not even any craft-services…”

De Castro gives an involuntary shudder at this last revelation. Indeed, a production unit without catering; what’s the point?

“I had to level with Mrs. Wheeler,” says Privette, “Sending in an operative, no matter how well trained or subtle, could very well backfire in a situation like this. My profession seems to be undergoing an agonizing reappraisal in the post-Pelicano era. A closed set, very limited cast of characters-Learner’s not taking calls, and unsolicited visitors are firmly discouraged…”

“There is a weak link in the chain however; big problems with the script…which leaves a vacancy: writer wanted…so, you’ve got a history with this guy…could be beneficial to all concerned if someone could get in there and take a look. No one is suggesting you take a bullet for Learner or get dangerously close to anything too nasty. Just take a close scan for anyone, besides yourself, who doesn’t belong, or who might have an agenda pertinent to our inquiry. One of the puzzling anomalies about this entire project is the effortless flow of money to sustain it. Maybe you could cut a deal with Learner for the back pay, plus whatever it’s going to take to pump some life into this screenplay, which I’m given to understand you’re already somewhat familiar with?”

“O’ Blivion’s Water & I go way back…”

“Exactly why you’re the one for the job. Mrs. Wheeler avers that Cal Habrud, a line-producer for Canopus Productions (Learners company) will put in a good word, a letter of introduction that should put you right there.”

*******************************

And so we agree to meet at Privette’s office tomorrow, sign some forms, work out a few details, review a few profiles of some of the more interesting production staff and assorted hangers on. As we zoom in slow toward the bar, observe sport-sized TV screens tuned to CNN-fresh footage from the war (hard to keep track of which one exactly, but it was bloody, painful, expensive, and made no fucking sense whatsoever) blasted vehicles, daisy-cutters & cluster bombs on wedding parties…shrapnel…broken glass…charred flesh of young children…

“Holy shit!” grates de Castro, while gibbering neo-con dickheads try to put a positive spin on it all, accentuate the positive, like that book The Secret-gotta tune out those negative thoughts…can’t make a New World Order without grinding a little hamburger…

“Just like a Nam flashback-typical fucking Skull & Bones-CFR war,” opines Privette, downing the last of his drink, “What was it Jim Jones said about not learning from history? Now, he wasn’t the first to say that, but judging from this bullshit, he definitely won’t be the last either.”

According to de Castro, Privette had seen plenty of action up close & personal in Nam and Cambodia. According to the tone in Privette’s voice, he’d seen more than enough.

Way more.

************************************

I’d actually lost track of Learner, at least until de Castro & Privette started this latest song & dance. I really had no clear idea if he was still in the business or even alive at this point. Learner was from the Coppola-Scorsese-Altman generation of would-be auteurs who climbed an arc of prominence and influence starting in the late 60s, rising to some fairly impressive peaks before crashing & burning by the end of the 70s or shortly thereafter.

Learner’s bleary, stubble-jawed hyper-realistic western & Mexican landscapes and other genre locations seethed with atmospheric menace and twisted sinister intrigue, juxtaposed with surreal glimpses of unraveling reality just hovering at the edge of the frame. This alone, with a body of work starting with ‘The King of Nothing’, followed by:

‘The Kenoma Kid’
‘Blood on the Saddle’
‘Thunder at the Well’
& ‘Circle Round my Skull’
should have secured his place in the pantheon.

From that point, Learner began his massive, over-ambitious quartet:

‘Line in the Dirt’
‘Fool’s Tornado’
‘Fire-Wheel & Turner’
&’Oblivion’s Water’

…which apparently, is still not finished, which if true would have to be setting some sort of world’s record, surpassing even Orson Welles’ ‘Othello’ as longest drawn-out production.

Learner’s feuds with Jim “The Smiling Cobra’ Aubrey at MGM, and severe alienation of many other industry kingpins, contributed to his image as uncontrollable bad-boy, and made each picture increasingly difficult to complete. On the other hand, the grizzled, bearded, booze-guzzling, coke-snorting, mirror-shaded bad-boy persona, was a more memorable and popular character than could be found in most movies, including his own.

There were interested parties willing to participate in financing motion pictures, largely for the photo-op chance to hob-nob with an actual legendary American celebrity independent out-of-control renegade out-law “cinema auteur”.

Learner hadn’t counted on this. He’d just wanted to rattle the suits, not become the poster-boy for boiling-over, unmanaged, collective rage, but it was the easiest, if not the only way that these films could get made…

“Goddamn it ,” as he was wont to say, “I’ve done some degrading and unpleasant shit to stay in this business-I’ve had breakfast with Sue Menger, lunch with Mike Ovitz, and sex with Julia Phillips, I’ve been thrown out of the office at Warner’s, by Ashley, Wells, and Calley, had meetings with Paramount brass until Stanley Jaffe bled from the nostrils, and Charlie Bludhorn foamed at the mouth, so it would be…imprudent of me to bitch about these weasels. Boring yeah, but a least they’re not spitting foam on me…”

As the years fly by and the information trickles in, to be sifted, analyzed and interpreted, preliminary speculation indicates that Celebrity might just possibly have (gasp!) a less than positive effect on human character, being, amongst other things, enticing, seductive, even addictive, which brings us to Learner who, partly to maintain his celebrity-madman status & partly to assuage his own paranoia, had taken to publicly blowing himself up. The Russian Suicide Death Chair: place six sticks of dynamite in two hopefully even rows, or seventeen sticks in a big circle, then lie down between them in a paper coffin or crouch fetal-like under a chair…the sticks detonate and form an eye-of-tornado type pocket, assuming all the sticks went off, you should be OK, maybe a little hard of hearing, but not too much more notably deranged than before. Once, up in Oregon, and at least once more at ‘Big H Speedway’ in Houston, Learner blasted his way to nihilist notoriety in front of God & anybody else that wanted to look.

*********************************

“So what have you been doing? Finish that Frazier project?” inquires de Castro, carpooling on the way over to Privette’s.

“Ah, you know…reading a little William Carlos Williams, maybe some Ford Maddox Ford, doing a little snow and water-boarding. As you know, I’ve been wintering in Tuscany…digging the red-tiled roofs on the hillsides, savoring the bounty of the local vineyards, the antipasto, the tangerine orchards in bloom…the voluptuous allure of dusky Neapolitan girls straining in their Versace halter-tops to catch the last slivered rays of the surrealist popsicle sunset…”

“All right, stop it… I was almost buying it for a second,” You could kind of tell this was leading up to something…ah, right on schedule-”So Carmen tells me you were out at her place in Zuma…and you burned a bunch of screenplays?”

“We were running low on firewood, and I’ve been rethinking my format…how about graphic novels instead?”

“Which ones?”

“Just the seven.”

“What are you, fuckin’ nuts!? I never understood what ‘The Plaster Cramp’ 6 supposed to be about, but we could have easily sold ‘El Hombre Verde’ & ‘The Secret Mirror’…some of those could definitely have been movies by now-”

“Yes, Yes…It did pain me considerable to deprive The Industry of these humble offerings, but y’know, The Industry, if It could hear us, would say: don’t worry about Me…there’s always ghastly remakes of earlier films-particularly French New-Wave classics, and 60’s & 70’s TV sitcoms and spy-shows, sequals, prequals, comic books, cartoons, videogames, graphic-novels, and generic, mass-produced, cookie-cutter vehicles for past and present Saturday Night Live alumni-”

“But to just burn the shit-”

“Don’t think of those stories as gone, they’re just consolidated into seven chapters of the current work…”

“What current work?”

“The one we’re in now”

“In now?”

“Yes, so try to be interesting for a change…”

“What would be interesting,” says de Castro with an agent’s innate skill for letting himself off the hook, “Is for you to remind me once more, just where you hooked up with Learner and all this ‘O’Blivion’s Water’ nonsense, I seem to be a little fuzzy on the chronology.”

“Well…First, as we all know…all roads lead to Bob Evans…”

*******************************

The Kid

When I first set eyes on Bob Evans, he was being wheeled through the Paramount offices on a gurney by his chauffer David Gilruth. Evans, on this occasion, was attired in black silk pajamas, and black velvet slippers with little gold foxes hand-stitched onto the toes. No indication of anything unusual about any of this, just the usual day to day apparel of choice, and preferred mode of transportation-at least until Gilruth got him to the limo.

As executive-production-assistant-intern-understudy, my duties had so far mainly consisted of going for coffee & bagels. And so, to wander those halls in that state of blissful ignorance, sipping morning coffee, thinking those happy thoughts, one might encounter Peter Bart, or Al Ruddy, and think to oneself: “These guys seem focused, competitive, efficient, yet still exhibiting some semblance of ethical human values…”

On the other hand, you could have an up-close and personal encounter with Evans, Frank Yablans, or Charlie Bludhorn. A very different story.

In an earlier incarnation as an actor, Evans had been selected to star in an Irving Thalberg biopic. This selection had been made by Thalberg’s widow, Norma Shearer, on the premise that Evans “looked the part”. There was common speculation that Paramount chairman/Gulf Western chief Charles Bludhorn had merely done the same, by hiring the egregiously under-qualified Evans to assume the duties of chief of production, while Bludhorn and his pals, like Michele Sindona, Paul Marcinkus, and Licio Geli, to name three, got on with the business of laundering Big Money, as it flowed in from Immobilare, Banco Ambrosiano, and such like…

Meanwhile, I was getting on with the business of screenplay courier. Seems routine enough; roll on out to Evans’ palatial estate, scoop this script and deliver to Peter Bart, possibly at a party. Say what you will about Evans, (and I will) nothing is ever routine with The Kid.

Parking my dilapidated Citron as unobtrusively as I can, I take the roundabout approach to a side door as specified in the instructions. I knock, door opens, and it’s Evans himself in full-stride, springing out the door, with some boobalacious halter-top honey young enough to be even my daughter in tow…

“…Uh, hey-glad you could make it pal…here, take this,” he hands me the joint he’s been smoking with his little companion. “Got a bit of a meeting going on inside right now, so just kind of hang out sort of low-key here for a minute will ya? Niki here, and I, are gonna go get David to bring the car around-we’ll be right back…”

They disappear around the corner of some hedges, and I’m left to finish the joint and ponder the Santa Ana winds now kicking up, rattling branches & rustling leaves in the eucalyptus trees, rows of which frame and bisect the estate.

Nothing too out of place…although Evans always seemed more like a booze, coke, and pills type, but a little weed and/or ludes goes a long way toward negotiating the pendulous charms of young coconut-butter basted So Cal female flesh. Wouldn’t you?

A couple of tokes later, I’m suddenly aware of voices traveling along the shrubbery in the opposite direction from where Evans and Niki just vanished.

…getting closer…think I’ll just sit sort of crouched-over on this quaint marble bench behind these overgrown rose-bushes bordering a row of cypress trees…here they come…almost in view…the first face to follow its voice around the corner is Charlie Bludhorn, followed by John E. Gray, then another individual later to be identified as Terrence W. Abbot, next, mob mouthpiece Sidney Korshak, and then…Henry Kissinger!?

Jeeziz…what next? A mummer’s parade with J. Edgar Hoover & Meyer Lansky? Some sort of narco-sting ambush gambit, deploying the full brunt of Division-5 and the brutally over-funded NSA?

That Evans was chummy with the Big K, was evident from the strategically placed photographs in his office of his cherished trophy-friends–Kissinger foremost among them–that given a pretext, Evans would show to just about anybody that would sit still for it. But it’s another thing to see the bastard oozing around the corner while I’m in the act of committing what was in those days a schedule-II felony.

From the context of what I can overhear, it’s apparent that these mooks are having a sidebar apart from the main meeting

Gray whirls on the others, more or less focusing on Kissinger, “All right Henry, I can squash this SEC investigation, but you guys owe me one, a BIG one…Sidney, you need to talk to Senator ****** for me, I’ll have some notes on your desk by closing tomorrow…” Voices drifting off as they re-enter the house through the door from which Evans had emerged.

INT. EVAN’S LIMO (MOVING)

Gilruth, as always, at the wheel…heading west down Sunset…

Our POV from back seat looking out toward 180 fish-eye lens perspective of windshield, thru which we can see palm trees sway & shiver in the balmy Santa Anas, disgorging fronds & widow-makers, blowing down to smite the vehicles of the less fortunate.

As we pan back toward the rear of the limo…The Irishman (who’s actually from Neptune) and The Kid are holding forth, while Niki & her nearly identical colleague Viki, are conversing in a completely self-contained, exclusively closed reference, pop-culture discussion among themselves, while blaring some early Wailers on a boom-box, as they roll joints of prime gold Columbian.

Kirschvasser & Cuervo await to refresh…

IRISHMAN
…that’s show-biz Kid-there’s a rhythm to it…ya can’t rush these things. I got rushed with ‘Drive’-that ain’t gonna happen on this one.

KID
What was it called again? Moonfire? Mooncrap?

IRISHMAN
‘Moontrap’. It’s a Don Berry story, a western. Great stuff,
but needs honing. Got this kid Sharpe doing a rewrite, but
it’s goin’ kind of slow…that’s why I gotta scramble to keep
Kovaks and the Sylberts on the line…got Van Dyke Parks for the soundtrack…everything’s ready as soon as it’s writ, but no go till the script’s finished…Which reminds me, gotchyer telephone book right here…courtesy of Beener, 436 pages…not even close to finished.

KID
So you don’t want it?

IRISHMAN
Beener wrote it on spec for The Pro when The Pro was all pumped-up about westerns-The Pro ain’t so keen on all that since Altman peed on his leg up in Seattle…so he just stops 400-plus pages into it, takes his name off it…I’m a chump-right? So I loan Beener money, and what do I get? A fuckin’ spare tire…The Pro’s sloppy seconds…

KID
“O’Blivion’s Water?” This guy’s got water on the brain. Looks like ‘Chinatown’ on horseback to me.

IRISHMAN
Shit, I wouldn’t care if it was ‘Shampoo’ 7 horseback, if he’d just finish the fuckin’ thing for once.

KID
What is this goddamn jungle music anyway?

IRISHMAN
Don’t believe I recognize that one…shit Kid, it’s another
generation, these chicks haven’t even heard of Aretha, let
alone Ruth Etting. That’s a humbling thought to keep in
mind…How old did you say these girls are?

KID
I didn’t card them…what am I their father? Viki says she’s
nineteen & Niki must be at least that…

IRISHMAN
I’m just sayin’, that’s a lot of cotton candy to have on your plate with Ali flying in tomorrow night…Do me a favor, huh? Be a mensch and change the sheets, or get Gilruth to do it.

KID
Yeah-yeah…I’ve got it covered, Niki, Viki, and Ali, all get frilly things…real high-end kinky lingerie from Suzy Creamcheese…everybody’s happy, no problems…The Kid will abide,The Kid will live & learn…

IRISHMAN (sings)
The Kid will crash & burn…

KID
Which reminds me…

The Kid turns, hefting the massive screen-play which plops onto the unsuspecting lap of Cinco, who, until this second, had completely lost his place among temporal-spatial coordinates as the result of total cannabis saturation almost from the minute that Evans answered the door…

KID (to Cinco)
Make sure this gets to Peter Bart…we’re gonna drop you at this party-if he doesn’t show up, hand it to him in person at the office-under NO circumstances are you to turn this over to Frank Yablans or even let him see it-got that?

IRISHMAN (leaning forward)
There’s gonna be an amigo there by the name of Emilio, we’d like you to convey our regrets at having just missed him, but make sure he gets treated real good, OK? I knew
I could count on you pal…

The Irishman deploys The Smile, which has never been known to fail.

The limo is slowly losing its race with the solar orb toward the western horizon of orange & pink & darkening azure…lights twinkle on across the bay, the trees still swaying and undulating in slow motion like deep-sea flora…

********************************

Trancas

Somewhere during the hazy ride to the beach I’d gathered just enough presence, or absence of mind to exchange phone numbers with one of the babble-on girls in the Limo. It had seemed like the suave Irishman-like thing to do. But now, I couldn’t for the life of me remember which one. Would it, could it, possibly matter? But there was nobody around to answer that question as the limo pulled back onto the Coast Highway toward the general direction of The Game…

It’s Bad-Boy night at Trancas Beach. I should have known that Bart would have the good sense & foresight to sit this one out. Pouring a shit-load of booze & blow into the likes of Gary Busey, Jan Michael Vincent, Don Johnson, and David Carridine, would seem to imply a fairly self-explanatory punch-line.

Feminine presence is slow in arriving due to the volatile possibilities just outlined. The primary exception to that paradigm being the Margolin-Kidder-Salt team that I knew slightly from parties at Nicholas Beach. Less formally known as Janet, Margo, and Jennifer, they always seemed to present an amiable and witty buffer to the accumulation of coke-dilated egos that occur as an oft-repeated motif at Malibu parties. In stark contrast to most party hostesses on the scene, their graciousness often extended even to those of us yet to achieve the various intermediate states of celebrity enjoyed by the majority of the guests (Scorsese, De Palma. Spielberg, etc.) Intelligent, articulate, opinionated actresses, eager to discuss literature & writing craft with anyone besides the morbid, suicidally self-absorbed Paul Schrader or the blustery shot-gun wielding John Milius.

Tonight at Trancas, out on the deck in the rear of the house facing the ocean, is an impromptu band jamming on a Hank Williams tune. There’s Busey on guitar & vocals, Rick Danko8on bass & vocals, Dennis Wilson-who seems to be having some difficulty in staying upright-on drums, with Jesse ‘Ed’ Davis & Ron Wood on guitars …noted medications consultant Kathy Smith lurks nearby.

Big commotion from inside…the guest of honor, Emilio Fernandez has arrived. A celebrated actor/director of the Mexican cinema, Fernandez also has a rep as a far, far Badder Boy than everyone here tonight put together. A larger-than-life man of passionately expressed aesthetic preferences, he has been known to occasionally kill disrespectful critics & uncooperative extras on movie sets. Rounding out the resume is a series of duels, bankruptcies, and volatile relationship entanglements, not to mention massive sombreroed Presence as an actor, and an astonishing body of directorial work.

The band (’Teddy-Jack-Eddy’ according to a slurred Busey when asked) is growling its staggering path through a John Lee Hooker song, sounding pretty good too, when suddenly:

Shots-broken glass-shouts-cries-sobbing panicked hysteria…

…inside: everyone scatters…

-Don Johnson headed for the side-door, exits through sliding glass window

-Schrader paranoically crouched beneath the dining room table fumbling for his piece…

-I can see Busey out on the deck, dive right over the rail and into the surf…

The storm had already passed even as I bolted into the den. Fernandez had holstered his pearl handled 44. and was standing transfixed by a full-face close-up of Maria Felix on the tube.

A shredded painting & splintered frame were strewn on the floor…I think it was a Schnabel-I really couldn’t tell.

As a man of highly refined aesthetic sensibilities, Emilio was bound by honor to deliver the coup-de-grace to the offending canvas.

I think it was Janet Margolin, who in the midst of all this had calmly walked over and flipped the tube over to a Spanish language station. Margolin was later heard to say, “I always regarded TV at a party as a crass declasse bummer; something we’d only put up with to humor Spielberg, but over there on channel 34 was an old Emilio Fernandez movie. Go figure…”

The motion is seconded by Harry Dean Stanton, who had been serenely chain-smoking out on the deck through the entire outburst…now steps to the microphone with an acoustic, to deliver a beautiful, aching rendition of ‘Las Golondrinas’…followed by an early Henry Porter tune.

********************************

So Bart would get the screenplay-just not that that night. A bargain would be struck, terms negotiated, a favor repaid…A call placed by Sidney Korshak from his usual table at the Bistro, sitting as always, equidistant between two phones, one of which would convey The Deal as pitched by Korshak, to interested parties who, having an aggregate IQ exceeding room-temperature, would acknowledge the futility of refusal, and accede to the terms without further delay. Learner would take possession of the screenplay, and I reasonably assumed that once having been fobbed off on Bart, “O’Blivion’s Water” would be out of my life, soon forgotten as we all move on to other things.

So much for reasonable assumptions…

***************************

“All right, let’s click up a few of the folks you’ll likely be meeting in the next few days…” Privette swivels the screen around to our line of vision, “Exactly what the practical function is for some of these individuals is frankly a mystery to me. A most unusual entourage…”

“OK, here’s Charles Kyd L’Maigne-early LSD chemist from the 60s Bay area culture…in the same circle, but never as famous or prolific as Owsely, much more low-key, hence difficult to indict or convict. Indeed, the one case filed against him, dried up & blew away when the Company-connected star witness for the prosecution took a brody.”

“Here’s Major Hector Arcana, ex-Air Force intelligence, former consultant to the Eviary & the Aquarium

“So I’m at my sister in law’s, right? A total fuckin’ Republican dingbat. At a regretfully inevitable social commitment, she starts going on about Clare Booth Luce or some shit, and I remember this entry in an antique encyclopedia I’d bought over the weekend at a garage sale that read:
Nor is Antichrist unknown to Mohammedan theology in which he is called Masth al Dajjal, the false or lying Christ…He is to be one-eyed and marked on the forehead with the letters CFR, i.e. Cafir or infidel.

“CFR, huh? Well…she’s got the same Encyclopedia Britannica right there in the dining room. As a patriotic Christian, I’m thinkin’ she must want to know, right? With any luck I thought, it should ruin her thanksgiving. So, lo & behold, I go to look, and…there’s no entry. Everything else in the book is the same, except page 126, where that one specific paragraph is missing. The difference? My copy is 1904, hers:1919. Did a little googling, found that a preacher from Austin Texas, named Texe Marrs, has written concerning the very same entry. Reverend Marrs, who happens to be a retired USAF officer, who has taught psychology, political science, American defense policy, aerospace studies, and strategic weapons systems (nice rŽsumŽ Texe), claims in ‘Circle of Intrigue’ that in 1919, as the Council on Foreign Relations was forming, a certain Colonel House arranged to buy the rights to the Britannica, so as to expunge the offending material. Texe comes up a little short on documenting this assertion, but if you google on out to where the buses don’t run, you might come across that early photo of Col. House & Ezra Buckley III 9 shaking hands at the closing of a deal.”

1Corresponding Steely Dan songs for Chapter One: Babylon Sisters and Hey 19
2from TLS authors: One of the predecessors to Doc Sportello [from Pynchon’s Inherent Vice] would of course be Nick Danger, a psychedelic Chandler-style private eye on the second Firesign Theater album, who eventually morphs into Dick Private—Private Dicktective on Firesign spin-off album Roller Maidens from Outer Space by Phil Austin. A glance at the synopsis of this story is, I think, well worth anyone’s while—most…illuminating. http://www.firesigntheatre.com/albums/album.php?album=rm Also reference private eye “Richard Privette” of the “post-Pellicano era” in TLS Chap. 1
3Terry-from-Lennox: Terry Lennox, murderer from Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye, filmed in 1973 by Robert Altman starring Eliot Gould. The Long Goodbye figures prominently in the Theresa Duncan/Jeremy Blake mythos, being, purportedly, Jeremy Blake’s favorite film
4Engram Frazier:Ingram Frizer : killed playwright Christopher Marlowe. Engram: a neuropsychology term denoting means by which memory traces are stored, also used by the Church of Scientology for a recording of a painful memory not accessible by the conscious mind. Frazier: Sir James Frazer, author of The Golden Bough (1890), comparative study of mythology and religion, focusing on fertility cults and “death of the king” rituals.
5These lines reference part of the Jandek mythos: “He’d written seven novels, but after they’d been rejected by New York publishers, he’d burned all the manuscripts.” Not to mention the significance of the number 7.
6″The Plaster Cramp” is a title from “The Library of Babel”, a short story by Jorge Luis Borges. Full text here: http://jubal.westnet.com/hyperdiscordia/library_of_babel.html
7The Warren Beatty character in Shampoo, filmed in 1975, is a composite character based partly on hairstylist Jay Sebring, who was murdered at the Polanski/Tate residence along with Sharon Tate, etc at 10050 Cielo Drive, August 9, 1969.
8Rick Danko, of seminal group The Band, wrote songs with countercultural hero and prankster Emmett Grogan, who is thinly disguised as “Kenny Wisdom” in TLS Chapter 5. See also song “Brainwash” lyrics (quoted on Untermeyer’s blog, 9/23/09)
9A character from Jorge Luis Borges’ short story Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius, an eccentric American benefactor who expands the scale of the Uqbarist enterprise to a full Tlönist encyclopedic undertaking. “Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” is required reading for a full understanding of The Last Statue. Full text here: http://www.coldbacon.com/writing/borges-tlon.html
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V_Cinco Says:
March 12, 2014 at 2:48 pm e
Out along the coast, follow the directions to Cal Habrud’s place at Zuma…

Drop by to see Carlo “Felonious” Felonas1 former Learner driver of long standing, now residing in the guest house on Habrud’s property. Carlo’s pottery & sculpture have been enjoying a recent mega-surge in popularity & prestige. Felonas was part of the early Ferus gallery scene, and the seminal Semina art movement in Topanga with his former neighbors, George Herms and Wallace Berman 2

Now, down at the beach, he has a specially issued permit to mine clay at certain favored sights in the hills above Malibu, much like the Rindge family who ran the historic Malibu Potteries back in the ’20s.

Using Keeler’s glazes, with the Little Valley and the Cuedra Seca dry-line techniques to resolve pre-Columbian Meso-American themes into geometric labyrinths…religious icons…hieroglyphs…sigils…power animals & primary colors…all grist for the potter’s wheel (see seal #21)3

“That, and I’m finally finishing this series of statues. I’m on the 29th now, got one more to go…”4

“These are surrealist Tarot,” says Rosa, Felonas’ esposa, “These were brought as gift by Remedio Varo 5, when she & Peret come to visit in San Miguel. The first card ees the Lock; for knowledge, then the Wheel & Blood-for revolution, then the Flame is love, and the Dark Star for dream…”

A brief survey of Rosa’s stunning oil & acrylic canvases, then: cervesa & mota on the ocean-facing deck…small to middle-sized talk, then a shift of topic to Tina Delgado…

“Oh yeah,” says Felonas, “I knew her mother Marjorie back down in San Miguel Allende when there was a little scene happening there. It was a full-on Bohemian art colony trip for awhile. It was intense, and having Marjorie on the scene made it even more so…taking peyote & staying up for three nights in a row wandering the labyrinthine tunnels beneath the Casa del Inquisidor6. Her paintings-so fiery & delirious, the canvas could barely contain the energy…”

“Then, she had that affair with this bullfighter…ah, Armando was his name… You’d figure that’s plenty of gothic-romance melodrama right there, but then he goes and dies suddenly, causing mucho innuendo to the effect that Marjorie had somehow jinxed him, which was heavily reinforced given the fact that she obviously had more than a passing acquaintance with things Dark & Mysterious…If you were hunting for a witch to project some fear onto, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better candidate than Marjorie.”

“She left town not too long after, and I sorta lost track past a couple of letters, each a bit more remote and rambling than the last-more like she was havin’ an internal discussion with herself, y’know?”

“So next I hear is from a mutual friend who’d visited Marjorie out in Beaumont, California. According to this friend who’d visited her, Marjorie was in really bad shape. In fact, they claimed that she was now totally fucking bat-shit crazy, ranting about how she was pregnant with the “Wormwood Star” by immaculate conception, stuff like that…”

“Around then, I had some business out near Palm Springs. This was back in ‘53, right about the summer solstice. I hadn’t heard from Marjorie in a while, so I thought I’d stop off in Beaumont and look her up…

She lived way the fuck out in this virtually inaccessible canyon-a real axle-buster of a dirt road full of big rocks & scorpions, then finally…this tiny shack-no water, electricity, or phone…Just Marjorie, livin’ by herself…”

“She had lucid moments, but she was pretty much out to lunch at this point. She seemed very gaunt & emaciated, yet somehow exhibiting physical symptoms of advanced pregnancy-not a good combination. I tried to reason the possibilities: was this a “hysterical” pregnancy or something? Perhaps some not-well-understood anomaly that we could just deal with y’know?”

“I was running out of ideas and I couldn’t get her to leave the shack, so finally I made it back to town and called a doctor. He had to come from Banning; the next town over.

Must have taken him two hours to get from Banning to Beaumont, but finally we get back to the shack, whereupon the doc proclaims with all due authority: yes indeedy, she most certainly is pregnant-can’t be no doubt about it-just as Marjorie, right on cue, starts with some fairly pronounced labor contractions…”

“So, Tina was born right there…couldn’t possibly imagine a more un-hygienic environment. It was filthy, dusty, fly-ridden…every inch of wall space covered with her latest canvases which had now evolved or devolved to a frightening demonic intensity that even her previous works had only hinted at. A long painful labor…real touch & go for a while. Between the location and Marjorie’s condition, it struck me as highly unlikely that both mother & child would survive-possibly neither…”

“Marjorie was too weak and disoriented to object to hospitalization afterwards, but walked right out in the middle of the night without seeing her daughter, or acknowledging any of what had happened. Eventually she made it back to her parent’s house in Pasadena.

When I next saw her, years later, she was living in Santa Fe…still spaced out, but more or less functional I guess. She just went by the name “Cameron” then, she had her other daughter Krystal with her, but still no recollection of Tina at all.”

“Ma & Pa Ion had run a small gem & mineral shop in Beaumont for decades out there, and when “Pa” died, “Ma” eventually married Hector Delgado, and they would, after a lot of bureaucratic paper shuffling, wind up with custody of Tina.”

It was obvious from an early age that Tina possessed certain abilities. It’s difficult to talk about without using terms that carry a lot of disreputable baggage-categories that are inadequate or misleading at best, but something like remote viewing, healings, and various other inexplicable phenomenon.

People would drive out to Beaumont from all over, especially LA…Poor people from East LA, Watts, Boyle Heights…also celebrities-movie people, sports figures, TV & radio personalities…

In response to an insight acquired by her own remote viewing, Tina eventually went off to school in New York, studying art at Columbia on a scholarship, and attending these private classes by Norman Raeben. Somewhere along the line, she’d made a ripple out in California, and whoever it is that keeps track of such things finally showed up to recruit her for participation in a series of projects: Stargate at Fort Meade…experiments at SRI…Lab Nine…certain star-crossed research at Lawrence Livermore labs, 1974-75…

Camillo7

Later that night, wrong turn in the quick-moving fog, down past the airport we can barely see the Windsock Theater over at the corner of Heinz & Tower…impressive triple bill: ‘United 93′…’Lockerbie 103′…and ‘The Disappearance of Flight 322′…

Regain bearings. Chart a course going north, up the coast between Santa Monica and Venice…cheesy little hole-in-the-wall bars, down past the diver’s places: The Leaky Pontoon, The Rusty Regulator, Walter’s Snorkel Hut…past The Fabius, The Thermal, The Two Worlds…looking for some random place of in-between…The name, at first, seems faint, and difficult to recall…

Ah yes, deep in the heart of mist-shrouded Venice, crossing the square…then squaring the circle (see seal #19), down at the corner of Pico & Ficino… it’s an old, soon-to-be-demolished movie palace-The Camillo, featuring a marquee that still reads: ‘DETECTING SCHENKEL’8-the last show to be presented in this gilded temple of flickering light.

We pan through the interior of the old theater, every nook & cranny a repository rich with treasured memories…these same corridors…deserted rooms…colonnades… glass objects…chandeliers…pearls…mirrors…gold-leaf foliage…a stucco hand holding grapes…Slow zoom toward a modified stage beneath the screen, where Porter and his swinging avant-noise combo; String Therion9, are weaving an intricate geometric sonic edifice, a crescendo, a pause…as quivering sub-sonic bass-notes hover in mid-air like shifting liquid drops, threatening to take on solid form…then dissolving into mist…Porter steps up to the mike to ponder the dualist dialectic of light & dark:

Shadow on the window10
Shadow on the wall
I wake up screaming
The sun sets at dawn
Shadow of a woman
So dark the night
Specter of the rose
A tragedy at midnight

Footsteps in the night
Nowhere to go
Edge of the city
Man in the shadow
Woman on the run
I, Jane Doe
Make haste to live
Kill me tomorrow

Drive a crooked road
The devil thumbs a ride
Shortcut to hell
in the Night Tide
Odds against tomorrow
And then there were none
Criss-Cross…Detour
on Highway 301

While the city sleeps
They drive by night
Where the sidewalk ends
for The woman in white
In a lonely place
Where the damned don’t cry
Too late for tears
Kiss tomorrow goodbye

We’re just solid light
on our way back home
take the Angel’s Flight11
between the break of dawn
and the Twilight Zone

The woman on the beach
Out of the Fog
The company she keeps
Outside the law
The man with my face
Out of the past
Talk about a stranger
No questions asked

Cry of the hunted
No way out
To the ends of the earth
Shadow of a doubt
Two of a kind
Under the gun
Walk a crooked mile
to The shack out on 101

We’re just solid light
on our way back home
take the Angel’s Flight
between the break of dawn
and the Twilight Zone…
(20008

Exponential spiraling fractals emanate from Porter’s guitar, shifting the song into a long shimmering modal coda…spinning a sonic web over textured layers of keyboards, just bristling with Zoroastrian subtext…

Medium zoom toward the projection-booth where we can see Bill “Fire in the Hole” Habrud busy mixing the sound, while running footage from early Porter westerns, abstract, hallucinogenic Johnny Piato excerpts, and an old Curtis Harrington flick from 1963, called Night Tide…

We notice Tina Delgado next to the curtain, looking outward from the rear of the stage. From her vantage-point, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to see the films being projected behind the band. If she could see the film-noir being projected through the slow-motion underwater ambiance, she might recognize a face from the unthinkable past…

Mysterious hooded female figure…oblivious to boardwalk & merry-go-round…past the ferris-wheel pier where mermaids & sailors dream of True Love and Tomorrow, she scans the skies above the arching foam of the luminescent night tide, searching among unnamed celestial bodies for the expected Wormwood Star, unaware of the reversal of those expectations already incarnate, a goddess she’ll never know, forever occluded from the vessel Marjorie, like a black hole in her field of memory…12

As the music twinkles to a conclusion, the reels shift to an excerpt from ‘The Kenoma Kid’, an early BBS (Bert, Bob, and Steve) epic, with Harry Dean Stanton in the eponymous starring role, with Ben Johnson and Burgess Shale, as B.J. & Drayton…also featuring Millie Perkins, Janet Margolin, Dean Stockwell, and Russ Tamblyn…based (sort of) on an Adrian Lynne screenplay…

EXT. DESERT NEAR DURANGO (SUNSET)

Patented Vilmos Zsigmond oil-paint textured pan across jagged landscape under impossibly blue wide-angle Mexican sky, filled with lush, fast-moving cloud formations, distorting and breaking massive shafts of raw sunlight into color-swirled prismatic spectra.

Kid Kenoma peers into the distance while discoursing with two trail-weary riders who’ve come a long way to seek directions…

The two riders are seasoned & tempered by many miles of road-grit and the hard-knocks of life, but next to Kid Kenoma, they might as well be Tom Thumb & The Boy with Green Hair…

Kenoma (addressing riders)

So BJ13 & Drayton14 are heading this way…sure, why not? Might as well be here, as Stratford, Deptford or [http://www.nickelinthemachine.com/?p=161 81 Powis Square]…I hear they turned Greene15 with pickled herring and Rhenish wine. Now, BJ killed two men before he wrote his first word…shit, when he was 33 years old, his own mother was arrested for trying to poison him16…Trust BJ? Nah, let that be the first of a thousand lines blotted17. And we all know about Drayton…so, if they want to come & share their poison wine18, they can try some of mine…got some Ben Zoma19 soma, got some of that Ripley’s Ruddy Toad20 wine, fit for a feast, or a sharp reckoning in a small room…

The flat dry voice echoes out across the parched loam and sun-blasted chaparral, tapering off in the distance, to sharp, jutting, quartz-veined mountains…

From deep-focus landscape…cut to:
slow pan across ancient cobble-stoned village…
the crumbling town square…
the dilapidated church…
the ruined adobe arches bearing more than a passing resemblance to the fabled Paramount Gates…

Kenoma

…Coming out of the south end of Blackstone, take the forking path toward Sulpher Springs…follow Quicksilver Ridge Creek on out to the salt flats, way down in Furnace Canyon…take the peacock trail out past the Cinnabar Ranch up on Red Crown Hill…should bring you right into White Rock21 where you need to look up Leo Greene22 at the Red Lion-23he’ll take you to Ruth the Gleaner24 & Sally Manders25, who in turn will introduce you to Joachim & Boaz-pillars of the community… 26 Might be of some help to fellers like yourselves…

*************************

“That was my first tour of duty with Rex,” explains line-producer Cal Habrud, “He thought Bert Schneider was playing dirty by being charming & agreeable to whatever Rex needed, on the one hand, then sending his brother Harold, “the attack dog” to hassle him on the other…Rex’s strategy, now that I think about it, in retrospect, had to be equally devious, knowing that Bert was, what would be to some people, the epitome of a Bel-Air revolutionary, making a very visible, some would say, flamboyant point of supporting what were considered to be “radical” causes, most specifically: bro-ing it up with Huey Newton in high-profile, radical-chic, photo-op, celebrity soires…So, the Rex Learner response to all that, is to promote me to line-producer, to run interference with Bert & Harold, which is a pretty big step up from book-keeper in anybody’s economy, the subtext being, that as an American of African heritage, I was symbolically immune to Harold’s wrath, because Harold, ultimately answered to Bert…and after all, what would Huey think?”

“On ‘The Kenoma Kid’, the final hassle with Bert, Bob, and Steve, was the editing-they didn’t want to release it unless it was re-cut, which didn’t sit well with Rex, ’cause he’d cut a lot of it himself, in collaboration with some doping buddies, there being, let’s say, a notable lapse in continuity, among other things, so…they come up with Lou Lombardo, and this guy can really cut film. In a couple of days, Lombardo has this thing sliced up and ready to go, except for a couple of scenes that had looked pretty weak in the dailies-big battle scenes with lots of extras. Seemed like a good idea on storyboard, but looking kind of underwhelming on the screen.”

“Learner, at this point, has moved on, in a coke-fueled huff to boot, and was holed-up at the Castle not taking calls, writing a new screenplay based on the idea of Arthur Lee from the band ‘Love’, as a singing cowboy-gunslinger-sheriff, the only hitch in any of this, being the total non-communication from Arthur. I remember one of the meetings that Rex set up with him at Ben Frank’s. Obviously, we would have liked to have done business with just Arthur present, but he wanted to lord this in front of the whole band apparently, right after a gig at Bido Lito…the air thick with tension & frosty hostility, sullen bad-vibe saturation…Arthur to Bryan Mclean: ‘You’re boring man, I knew we should have gone with Beausoleil…’ 27Mclean, as I recall, wrote the big hit-single for their third and last album as the original group.”

“Lombardo & I go up to the Castle, fuck this incommunicado bullshit, we need some answers. After a lot of knocking, and bad static at the door, we bully our way in, and yeah…it’s quite a party alright, Bobby Neuwirth, Mason Hoffenburg, Janet Margolin, Terry Southern, Tom Baker, Monte Hellman, Henry Jaglom, Karen Black, Howard Alk, Helena Kallioniotes, Dean Stockwell, Victor Maymudes, and a cast of dozens…Trying to flag down Learner’s attention was definitely a lost cause with all the chatter, fueled by a large dune of white powder on display atop the main dining-room table, with subsidiary mounds distributed in various locations, discreet & otherwise…”

“We kept getting the old ‘Yeah, yeah…I’ll be with you in a minute’ jazz. We were determined to get some answers, so we dug in for the siege…We waited in a little side-room/den kind of thing. Not bad, pretty comfortable actually, got the game on the tube, there’s a plate of cookies and a punch-bowl, so we’re hanging out for a while-still no answers-when we start to notice that this isn’t the kind of punch ‘n cookies we had at church camp as a kid…Things are getting a little swirly, like we’re moving in slow-motion, deep underwater…Somehow, we made it down the hill, and back across town to Culvert City, where we were supposed to be cutting this thing. It wasn’t trippy to the point where everything turns into kaleidoscopes, but a real heightened sense of form & color…I remember listening to someDolphy, Bobby Hutcherson, Monk, and then Lombardo calls me in; rolls a reel with what had looked like a real bland shootout in the dailies, now looks like a high-budget apocalypse, an overwhelming whirlpool of carnage, featuring regular-speed action, inter-cut with two variations of slo-mo, with hypnotic rhythmic effect, detailing a ballet of slow-motion squib explosions. Pretty shocking stuff. Rex immediately realized, when he saw it, that the effect of rhythmic multi-speed montage, gave all of this a depth and almost Biblical sense of finality, reinforcing the other elements of the production…”

“The deal-breaker with Bludhorn,” continues Habrud, “was this dog of a screenplay called ‘Havana Divorce’28:, which, as written, was a throwback screwball comedy, just the kind of fluff that Charlie loved. Coppola, Bogdonovich, and especially Freidkin had all told him to fuck-off in no uncertain terms with this crap, so Bludhorn starts working on Rex, and probably would have gotten the same reaction only more so, except Charlie, in pre-emptive desperation, throws in this extra: the possibility of actually shooting

on location in Havana, which Bludhorn thought he had cause to be optimistic about, suffering from the delusion, as he did in those years, that he could cut a deal with Castro to set up a massive Gulf-Western managed sugar cartel. He even kept a yacht customized & maintained, on call 24-7, just in case the call from Fidel comes, christened ‘The Caribbean Hannibal’ (which should be a tip-off to The Beard, right there,) known exclusively outside of Bludhorn’s presence as ‘The Caribbean Cannibal’, which was stocked with a projector, a screen, and copies of two movies that Castro actually appeared as an actor in: ‘Bathing Beauty’ (1944)29 and ‘Holiday in Mexico’ (1946). All, I presume, so Charlie & Fidel could have an Ernest Hemingway, male-bonding fishing adventure…”

“Never happened, of course. As Bludhorn made overtures to Fidel, Learner was surreptitiously mangling the script, twisting it into something darker, faster, disturbing, in other words-into a Rex Learner story. As the slow realization of failure dawns on Charlie Bludhorn, here’s Learner ready with a re-vamped screenplay, with a budget, in pre-production. Charlie, who really seemed to be strangely sentimental about this script, finally lowers the boom: Sorry, Havana’s out, how about…the Dominican Republic? Gulf Western, for all practical purposes, virtually owned the country right about then.30 Bludhorn had set Freidkin up to shoot his re-make of ‘Sorcerer’ there, which was a disaster by just about any criteria you can measure such a thing; which should have been an indication to Charlie, right there, as to what kind of results to expect.”

“Learner, needless to say, was far from amused, access to Cuba, being the only reason to sign on for such a deal in the first place. Learner’s revenge was a scheme to cross into Haiti and shoot his, by now, very sordid little tale of Bill & Barbara Kleen, now replete with Voodoo shadings, and evil corporate intrigue, largely financed by some irresponsibly creative book-keeping, involving cooked double-books, and puffed-up expenses from a lot of financial shell-gaming.”

“So, within hours of landing in Santo Domingo, we’ve got an organized caravan on the way to Oveido, out near the Haitian border, where we meet up with Bizango31 reps; heavily armed, focused, right out to the cusp of fanatic, evidently some sort of cult, or lodge, that even the Ton-Tons Macoutes weren’t about to fuck with. Negotiating with the Bizango involved making pay-offs right out of an attachŽ case stuffed with bills of various denominations. It occurred to me at more than a couple of points along the way, that out in the forested area not much was stopping these characters from helping themselves to the cash-drawer and eliminating the middleman. We were prepared, at the very least, for the old sliding-scale price escalation, a standard practice in many parts of the world, especially, not too-surprisingly, in very dangerous, impoverished parts of the world, but they accepted their pay-offs at the agreed upon price, just going about their business, which was to scare the shit out of anybody in a radius of miles just by their presence, including border guards on either side who would much rather step out for a coffee break than deal with Bizango in any way.”

“Naturally, Learner had diverted, subverted, derailed, and neutralized all of Bludhorn’s little helpers, creating the required amount of confusion about the whereabouts of Learner & crew…lost in the swirl of chaos we call Port au Prince, shooting exteriors & local detail, still advancing the story of the disintegrating marriage of Babs and Willie32 with some pretty intense performances. We managed to put a few reels in the can before Bludhorn pulls the plug. The shit hit the inevitable fan, somehow, in the confusion of logistics out of Port au Prince. Budhorn’s minions got hold of the footage we’d shot…Needless to say, plenty of ill-will to go around, injunctions, torts, restraining orders, lawsuits & counter-suits. Last I heard, Kent Schlockman has possession of the footage, which is too bad because there really is some good stuff in there, sort of an Eisenstein-in-Mexico sort of deal…lotta local atmosphere, but blending it in with the narrative, just a few more interior set-ups, which we could have done anywhere, very inexpensively…and we could have wrapped the whole thing. But no, Bludhorn wouldn’t go for it-just sat on the footage till he gave it to Schlockman to cut & paste as he sees fit…Schlockman’s only claim to fame, as far as I can tell, is the ‘lost’ Elvis movie-”

“There’s a lost Elvis movie?” we gasp incredulous.

“Movie, would be wildly overstating it, these things do take on a life of their own, but what’s there, is about two and a half reels of actual footage, puffed up with screen tests, songs, and out-takes, and whatever else they had in the can before the whole thing collapsed…

“Now, this was maybe very late ‘67-early ‘68. The big E was very disgruntled about the state of his career, particularly the quality of the movies the Colonel was schlepping him into. Depressed, and bored stupid, making embarrassing cheesy flicks, starting to bloat up, got to slim down in order to keep making more tacky, lame movies, only one way to do that: MORE PILLS!! Mucho uppers por favor, in addition to his already massive intake…a vicious cycle…even Parker could see the Big Guy needed perking up. I think it’s pretty well established by now, that the Big E was totally obsessed with James Dean 33 perhaps the ultimate fan, possible undertones of guilt and unworthiness at falling short of Dean’s acting legacy, yet getting fat paychecks for grinding out what was with very few exceptions, pure drivel, beneath Elvis’ dignity, or for that matter, beneath anybody’s dignity…”

“This was all before my tenure, so I’m not quite sure where or when exactly, that Schlockman hooked up with Colonel Parker, but there he was, with a scam to dangle Nicholas Ray in front of Elvis, who was desperate for credibility; and no better way to achieve that, than working with the director of ‘Rebel Without a Cause’. Dreams of getting the old gang together: Adams, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo34 Russ Tamblyn; the only problem being that Nicholas Ray was absolutely persona non grata at this point; drug & booze issues, a collapse on the set a few years back, uninsurable, unbankable, most likely to not succeed, all calls left unreturned, but Schlockman, somehow…thought he could start with private financing, then…hopefully gathering Elvis momentum, hook a big studio on the line without their being aware of Ray’s involvement in this thing. The impossible dream to be sure.”

“Schlockman had somehow latched onto a screenplay by this quasi-existentialist German playwright, Kolon KlaŸgher, called ‘Mine Shaft’, really heavy-weight stuff that had been optioned by James Dean before his last crash, supposedly going to give the big E his best role at least since ‘Kid Creole’. The cast wound up with Presley as Zeke Blammer, Nick Adams, whose options were otherwise quite limited at this point, as Soapy Barnes, a very tentative Natalie Wood, as Melissa Raines, Tuesday Weld, who was ah…available, as April March, Bob Conrad, whose schedule was pretty tight with ‘The Wild Wild West’, but real close on the Universal lot, therefore feasibly available, as Mr. ‘B’, Mineo & Tamblyn had major schedule conflicts, and so Scholckman tries to fob Bob Denver off as Hanson; the wacky beatnik desert-rat. Ray was pissed when he saw Denver on the set; “This is NOT a goddam Elvis movie!” sounded paradoxical, but everybody knew what he meant: no Maynard G. Krebs beatniks. As a screen-test stand-in, Conrad found this guy Chuck Summers wandering around the lot, who, after the ejection of Bob Denver, was final choice for the wacky beatnik role. Conrad also found roles for Red West, Michael Spilotro, and Johnny Fresno, the latter two having something to do with the financing of this production, which was starting to take on an Ed Woods-vibe in terms of the slapdash, desperately improvised approach to cast & set, and unpredictable budget fluctuations, culminating in the collapse and/or fall from the wagon, of Nicholas Ray, second day of February, and the unlikely death of Nick Adams 4 or 5 days later.”35 So, the dream was over for the rebel without a clause. Elvis would grind out a couple more fluff movies, then stage a comeback T.V. special, and eventually hit the road, hurtling down the fast-track to extinction. The alleged “Rebel Curse” would proceed onward, collecting more victims, sparing Conrad and Red West. Last laughs, if any, to be had by the relatively long-lived Bob Denver.

“Where, if you don’t mind my asking, did Major Arcana first link into all of this?” I wonder, still stoned on the “lost” Elvis movie.

“Back in ‘98, we were shooting some outdoor establishing shots on location in Box Canyon, when this guy just comes stumbling out of the brush along the San Narciso dry-wash, tattered, dusted, scratched & scraped. At first I thought it was a joke; like he was doing a bit-the Kevin McCarthy scene at the end of ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’,36 but no, this dude was real disoriented, obviously on the run from someone or something, didn’t want any cops, or any medical attention beyond the production nurse, but he had us contact this Major Arcana from the Udjet Foundation37, who seemed to be in the loop with this dude, name of Luther Blisset38, which resulted in this report:”

9/12/98

Professor Blisset was originally commissioned to penetrate the latent structural edifice that represents the actual chain of command at the Supervacuo39 facility in Box Canyon40, at the behest of The Board; a shadowy anti-totalitarian society, in existence since the 1930s, founding members said to include Richard Rollins41 & Sam Untermeyer42

Supervacuo, which is owned by aerospace giant Microcynicon,43 was set up to specialize in deconstructing, reconstructing, and improving (with the jolly assistance of imported Third Reich experts) experimental Nazi war technologies, with particular attention to V-2 & post V-2 design.

Numerous sightings of unidentified flying phenomena have been seen in the area, commencing on 11/11/5744, followed within a year, by a series of “reactor meltdowns”45, which on close inspection, were deemed inadequate to the production of radiation leaks comparable in magnitude to those measured in the area.

The Yesod Foundation46 located in Box Canyon, at the eastern edge of the facility,
is a front for

Professor Blisset had been employed at Supervacuo aerospace facility in Box Canyon

1″Felonious” comes from “Midnight Cruiser”, Steely Dan: Felonius my old friend/Step on in and let me shake your hand/So glad that you’re here again/For one more time/Let your madness run with mine/Streets still unseen we’ll find somehow/No time is better than now
2Another interesting article on Wallace Berman appeared in Blastitude, Cary Loren’s ‘zine: http://www.blastitude.com/13/ETERNITY/wallace_berman.htm
3Along with statues, Giordano Bruno also created a series of 30 memory seals. From Giordano Bruno by James Lewis McIntyre: “The 30 seals are hints “for the acquiring, arranging, and recollecting of all the sciences and arts,” the Seal of Seals “for comparing and explaining all operations of the mind. And it may be called Art of Arts, for here you will easily find all that is theoretically enquired into by logic, metaphysics, the cabala, natural magic, arts great and small.”
4A reference to the statues of Giordano Bruno, who only completed 29 out of an intended 30
5from the authors of TLS: “You may remember Remedios from Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49″. See: http://pmc.iath.virginia.edu/text-only/issue.598/8.3mattessich.txt
6From Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of John Whitesides Parsons “On June 16 (the day before Parsons died), the night before Parsons and Cameron were meant to leave, Parsons went for a walk in Expositions Park with George Frey. He excitedly told Frey of their plans to visit the Casa del Inquisidor in San Miguel de Allende, which had a secret tunnel running to a nearby nunnery and was said to be haunted. He predicted that he and Candy (Cameron) would spend several months in Mexico.”
7Guido Camillo: 15th Century philospher who created a “memory theater”. See this (unfortunately poorly reproduced) recreation by Frances Yates:
8Lambert Schenkel and his disciple Johannes Paepp wrote works in the 17th century on techniques of memory. Paepps’s book Schenkelius detectus, or Detecting Schenkel, “reveals the secret of the occult memory hidden in Schenkel’s books,” in other words, shows the influence of occultist Giordano Bruno on Schenkel’s methods, confirming how the techniques of artificial memory turned into the magico-religious techniques of the occult memory.” (quotations from Frances Yates, The Art of Memory, p. 301-302)
9A portmanteau word, combining “String Theory” and “Therion,” a term for “the Beast” used in Crowleyan Thelema religion. Possibly based in part on the performances of Jandek; see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5hJ8LFMCbI&feature=player_embedded
10Each line of this “song” is the title of a film noir. A sample of movie posters: Make Haste to Live, The Devil Thumbs a Ride, So Dark the Night The Man With My Face, The Woman on the Beach. Many movies on this list involve a woman’s murder.
11Angel’s Flight is a landmark funicular railway in Los Angeles
12Night Tide had an appearance by Marjorie Cameron as the “Water Witch”. You can see her in these excerpts from Night Tide: the veiled woman at :54 and entering the Blue Grotto at :17
13Jonson, Elizabethan playwright known for his explosive temper. Jonson told of killing an opponent in hand-to-hand combat, and pled guilty to killing actor Gabriel Spencer in a duel.
14Drayton, poet, playwright and friend of Ben Jonson and Shakespeare. In fact, Shakespeare’s death is attributed to the result of a “bilious evening” with Jonson and Drayton.
15Robert Greene, poet, playwright and contemporary of Jonson and Drayton. His name has been floated as the “true” author of the plays attributed to Shakespeare. His death occurred, as his biographer Nashe wrote, after a (bilious?) “banquet of Rhenish wine and pickled herring,”
16″At the high point of the feast…[Jonson’s mother] raised her glass and drank to her son. She then proceeded to show him a small paper packet which she had with her, full of “stong, lusty poison”. Her attention had been to administer this to her son…Ben Jonson: His Life and Work, Rosaline Miles, p98
17Ben Jonson: “The players often mention it as an honor to Shakespeare that in his writing; whatsoever he penned, he never blotted out a line. My answer hath been, “Would he had blotted a thousand.”
18Steely Dan, King of the World lyric: “All I’ve got to say/I’m alive and feeling fine/If you come my way/You can share my poison wine”
19Simon Ben Zoma, rabbinic sage
20George Ripley, 15th century alchemist, wrote a alchemical treatise entitled A Vision, which was explicated by English alchemist Eirenaeus Philalethes as “The Vision of Sr George Ripley, Canon of Bridlington, Unfolded”. Some pertinent lines:When busie at my Book I was upon a certain Night,/This Vision here exprest appear’d unto my dimmed sight:/A Toad full Ruddy I saw, did drink the juice of Grapes so fast. For more information about toads in alchemy, see: http://www.alchemywebsite.com/toad.html
21Black stone, sulpher, quicksilver, furnace, cinnabar, white rock—all of these are elements of alchemical work
22The Green Lion: a reference pointing toward the Kabbalah Tree of Life: from The Golden Dawn by Israel Regardie: “He set his right foot upon the sea and his left upon the Earth, and he cried with a loud voice as when a lion roareth (the Green Lion, the path of Leo above Tipareth, refering to Teth).”
23A magical working described by Israel Regardie in The Golden Dawn involves creating “kerubic figures” in the shape of “a red lion, a black bull, blue eagles and yellow angels.”
24Ruth the Gleaner refers to thebiblical character Ruth, wife of Boaz. This story is also associated with the Entered Apprentice Degree of Freemasonry.
25Sally Manders=salamanders, creatures that figure in alchemical and mythological lore.
26Joachim and Boaz are the pair of symbolic pillars (with Boaz on the left) described in the biblical account of the Temple of Solomon and featured prominently in Masonic temples. They also appear on the Rider-Waite High Priestess tarot card.
27Bobby Beausoleil, musician and Manson associate. Convicted of the torture and murder of Gary Hinman in 1970. From prison, Beausoleil recorded the soundtrack for Kenneth Anger’s film ”Lucifer Rising”.
28Possibly a play on [http://www.lyricsfreak.com/s/steely+dan/haitian+divorce_20130165.html “Haitian Divorce,” a song by Steely Dan
29The is some confusion about Castro’s appearance in Bathing Beauty. IMDB lists him as appearing as an uncredited extra in Easy to Wed, a 1946 film also starring Esther Williams, but not in Bathing Beauty.
30See Noam Chomsky:http://books.google.com/books?id=lWjLdLahLToC&pg=PA246&lpg=PA246&dq=gulf+and+western+and+sugar&source=bl&ots=_QjN3OoAif&sig=Mp1N-xMZupBOd-X5fuliddWxjTE&hl=en&ei=j-XHSpfSIpKX8AbL1pHiCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10#v=onepage&q=gulf%20and%20western%20and%20sugar&f=false
31Haitian voodoo cult:”The people designated by [the name Bizango] are sorcerers who (…) have joined secret societies whose members, united by the crimes they have committed together, give each other help. The [Bizango] derive material benefits from membership – wealth and all its trappings – a fine house, luxurious cars and a trip to France – though these considerations are secondary to the satisfaction of returning evil for evil, and of ‘eating people’ during nocturnal expeditions. For an interesting look at Bizango artifacts, see:http://surrealdocuments.blogspot.com/2008/11/vodou-art-and-mysticism-from-haiti.html
32from Steely Dan, “Haitian Divorce”: “Babs and Clean Willie were in love they said/So in love, the preacher’s face turned red”
33see: http://listverse.com/2009/05/26/10-scandalous-or-obscure-facts-about-historical-figures/:”Elvis was unhealthily obsessed with James Dean. Elvis exhibited many compulsive/obsessive qualities throughout his life which both helped and hindered his personal and public life. One of the areas that Elvis wanted to excel in was acting. He wanted to be the next James Dean and as a result was obsessed with Dean. He anguished over the fact that the roles he was given in movies were not (in his mind) substantial. Elvis knew all the words to “Rebel Without A Cause” that featured James Dean and Natalie Wood. Elvis sought out Wood because of her connection to James Dean. That relationship ended when Natalie came to visit Graceland and Elvis’ mother Gladys (who was domineering and jealous) drove Natalie away. Natalie confided to her sister Lana that “he can sing, but he can’t do much else”. The obsession with Dean led Elvis to intentionally befriend Nick Adams – a very close friend of Dean’s before he died and since his death rumors abound that Adams had a sexual relationship with both Dean and Elvis.”
34Note that four of the actors in Rebel Without a Cause died under questionable circumstances. See: http://www.knowledgerush.com/kr/encyclopedia/Rebel_Without_A_Cause_Curse/
35This movie appears to be the creation of the author. However, in the wikipedia article on Nick Adams, it is mentioned that days before his death, Adams “bought a plane ticket with his own money and flew to Rome to co-star with Aldo Ray in a SciFi horror movie , but when he got there found the project had been dropped.” Note the similarity between “Nicholas Ray” and “Aldo Ray”. The title of the uncompleted movie? “Murder in the Third Dimension”!
36http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wbL1W_X0hM
37The “udjat” eye is also known as the Eye of Horus. The authors of TLS may be playing with associations with “jet”, aeronautics and aviation
38Luther Blissett is a “multiple-use” name adopted by social activists and artists since 1994. See also:http://www.lutherblissett.net/. Some artists using “Luther Blissett” have morphed into a collective called Wu Ming. See: http://www.wumingfoundation.com/english/englishmenu.htm
39Supervacuo is a character in a Jacobean play entitled “The Revenger’s Tragedy” in the past attributed to Cyril Tourneur but now attributed to Thomas Middleton. A “vivid and violent portrayal of lust and ambition in the Italian court,” modern scholars assert that the play “is best understood “subversive black camp” insofar as it “celebrates the artificial and the delinquent; it delights in a play full of innuendo, perversity and subversion . . . through parody it declares itself radically skeptical of ideological policing though not independent of the social reality which such skepticism simultaneously discloses.”
40The authors of TLS are referring to Rocketdyne, designer and producer of rocket engines, and subsidiary of Pratt and Whitney. Rocketdyne participated in Operation Paperclip, employing many German engineers. Their rocket the “Redstone Missle” was based on Werner von Braun’s design of the German V-2.
41Richard Rollins was the author (1941) of I Find Treason: The Story of an American Anti-Nazi Agent
42″On behalf of Jewish rights, Untermyer served as attorney for Herman Bernstein’s suit against Henry Ford for anti-semitic articles published in Ford’s Dearborn Independent. After the advent of Hitlerism, Untermyer became president of the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League to Champion Human Rights, to counter Nazi propaganda and lead in the boycott of German goods. Other activity in the Jewish community included serving as vice-president of the American Jewish Congress until 1926 and president of the Palestine Foundation Fund for several years.” For an indepth discussion of Rollins and Untermeyer, see Peter Levenda, Unholy Alliance: A History of Nazi Involvement with the Occult
43Microcynicon: Six Snarling Satires is a work of poetic satire written by English playwright Thomas Middleton in 1597 and 1598. The published version was burned publicly as part of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s attack on verse satire. Although a minor work, the poems included prefigure the interests of Middleton’s mature work in sin, hypocrisy, and lust. More contemporaneously, Microcynicon in TLS stands for Pratt and Whitney, American aerospace company
44See this report:http://www.nicap.org/canogapark571111dir.html
45see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Susana_Field_Laboratory
46Although there is an actual Yesod Foundation in Boulder CO, the authors of TLS may be referring to The Fountain of the World, a cult located on Box Canyon Road, established in 1948 by Krishna Venta, aka Francis Heindswatzer Pencovic, who was murdered in an explosion set off by fellow cult members in 1958. Fountain of the World is infamous for being visited occasionally by Charles Manson and associates.
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V_Cinco Says:
March 13, 2014 at 9:23 pm e
The Last Statue
Chapter 4

The streets of Asuncion1 are swirling and churning with bright red silt-water, but down at the Lido2, the vibe is good and the perspective upbeat.

Waitresses in perky duck-like uniforms appear bringing ice-cold Antarctica beer & some sort of hors d’oeuvre sausage, followed in short order by parillada steaks, pirhana soup, and maize cakes.

Before leaving for El Dorado3 Mantua had facilitated the acquisition of a mill bottle of Valisa Numinosa extract. Valisa being a very rare and obscure genus of lotus, known for its vivid, luminescent blue color & for overwhelming, mind boggling hallucinogenic properties…which come on pulsating & fluttery in the orange and white interior of the Lido; sort of like sitting inside of a big tangerine…

A voice at the bar is dropping names so hard, they might well shatter into a million pieces4: Klaus Kinski5, Mick “The Rooster” Jagger6 and Werner Herzog7, and of course the mayor, Martin Burt8; all claimed as valued past customers, while a voice in a nearby booth, belonging to a Teutonic Bunge9 rep explains: “You see Hans, you musn’t think of the Reich as having capitulated. Consider it as more of a reorganization of corporate structure and a diversification of portfolio. So it is not prudent to draw attention to one’s self—I must get rich very slowly—but think of the possibilities; anything-anything can be done in this country.”

We flee this intolerable buzz-kill, and settle into a booth in a quieter section of the tangerine, where the noise-level is appropriate for reflection on the jagged trajectory that brought us to the far side of anywhere…

Previously, back in La-La land, having parted ways with Paramount, now employed by a tragically-hip film journal dedicated to celebration of the willfully obscure. A recent arrival to trendy obscurity being one Rex Learner, whose career had followed the same basic curve as his contemporaries: crashing on the rocks of dilated egos, bloated budgets, dubious taste, and the frosty blizzard of Peruvian snow being shoveled into the collective Hollywood septum; bottoming out with such dubious spectacles as ‘At Long Last Love’, ‘Sorcerer’, ‘One From the Heart’, ‘New York, New York’, ‘Quintet’, ‘Lookin’ To Get Out etc.’10

This was now the era of Eisner, Ovitz, Don Simpson, Geffen, Lucas, Spielberg…an agenda of dumbed-down sleaze & kid-vid fluff, reflecting retro-rightwing, trickle-down Reaganomics, peddling unrealistic quick-fix expectations, with upbeat, phony happy-endings, appealing to a very finely-calculated target demographic audience, calibrated down to a much lower common denominator than ever before. Obscene, previously unimaginable amounts of revenue now beckoned: fast-food tie-ins, product placement, merchandise licensing and endorsements, and video residuals, with a particularly medieval system for distributing the proceeds…

As I stood poised to knock on the office door, located in some flimsy pre-fab type buildings serving as make-shift Learner headquarters, as far from the realm of the Suits as you could get and still be on the studio lot; I wondered, would he live up to his currently snow-balling (& speed-balling) public image? Should I bother to interview him at all? Could I just make something up, and let it go at that, assuming that nobody will know the difference, or give a shit one way or the other, when…THWACK!! The unmistakable sound of stainless-steel penetrating cheap door, the very tip of the blade slightly protruding…

“Well…shit, you might as well come on in, get this bullshit over with…” croaks a sandpaper voice from within…

I’d heard about Learner’s violent confrontations with James Caan, Rip Torn11 and in particular an anecdote about an impatient, enraged, and possibly over-medicated Garey Busey, commandeering a lance from an extra playing a Maxmillian-era French cavalry lancer, charging Learner on horseback, hurling said lance javelin-style, deep into the bottom of Learner’s chair on his frantically rising Louma crane. So I was determined to not be rattled by Learner’s antics-just get the interview, and get out…

The room was a shambles, as though in the midst of moving, although whether out or in, I couldn’t tell…weapons & white powders in plentiful evidence throughout the room, large spliff-stubs smoldering in ashtrays…and there he is, the old fraud…snake-skin Frye boots up on desk, blood-shot, insanely dilated eyes squinting behind mirrored shades, Cuban cigar in hand, massive spliff stump smoldering in the ashtray in front of him, like some sort of Rasta incense…

“So, here we are…my assistant just quit, the Suits are on my back to get this thing in pre-production, and I can’t make any fucking sense out of these pages…” indicating the scattered chunks of screenplay strewn about the room, and across the desk, sort of a familiar look about some of those pages, now that I stop & focus…12

“Ah, well here’s the part you’ll want to build up, if you’re smart…the stand-off out near Durango, vying for control of the well…a full canteen as the holy grail…also, the caper in the border-town…the break-in to the vault…theft of the deed to the Cripple Creek water rights…the drunk judge-the cancelled hanging…the dam-burst, the flood, the errant riverboat…the wild ride down Cripple-Creek on the second-half of the cruise…Shit, there’s about four movies jammed into this thing, if you know how to extract them…you gotta hit the tables with a system if you’re going to beat the odds, count the cards, but don’t count on anything else, this is no reason to hedge your bets, but you’re playing this like a novice housewife from Des Moines, pumping quarters into a one-armed bandit…”

Back in Mexico, the meetings with Emilio Fernandez13 had actually started on an optimistic, if somewhat unrealistic note…big extravagant meals, astronomical bar tabs-even by Learner standards, marathon sport-fuck binges in plush, exotic, red velvet textured brothels—no expense spared…But soon, our esteemed amigo is perpetually enmeshed in chronic legal problems that seem to increase exponentially, until it gets to the point where Se–ior Emilio is on the lam, on a more or less permanent basis.

After a trip to Rose Marie’s14, right outside of Acapulco, and a sordid, digressive prowl through pulque bars so far into the outback as to have a kind of trench gouged into the floor beneath the bar, so that seriously macho imbibers are able to relieve themselves without breaking stride (a good place to drink yourself under the table, or the volcano…) then back to Mexico City, to be ejected from the Alfonzo Bedoya15 retrospective. Spot of bother with security at the reception—Learner: “I don’t have to show you no stinking back-stage pass!” It slowly dawns on us that our shelf-life here has expired, so we move on to greener pastures & Better Deals…

We’re only in Lima for six hours before being ejected from Peru, after a disastrous interview on live Peruvian TV, in which Learner, within the space of about four and a half minutes, manages to mortally offend the ruling junta, the Church, most indigenous tribal peoples, the Communists, which may or may not include the Shining Path; who are violently offended…and many a random passerby. An ill-advised attempt to wing the interview in Learner’s idiosyncratic Spanish, compounded by ungodly amounts of local medicinal alkaloids, started things off on a jarring note, to be followed by a largely incomprehensible tirade onto which any outrage or affront could be convincingly projected.

The mood of the crowd gathering outside the hotel is getting ugly as we commune with Clemmons on the phone. “You guys can’t go to Columbia-so forget it. When you went on the tube and started blabbing about making a movie about the drug-trade, you may take it from reliable sources; that did not go down well in Bogota. My advice is to try for Paraguay, it’s the easiest to get into with the least questions asked. Shit, Joseph Mengele didn’t even bother to use an alias on the visa application…Remember, it’s imperative that you get out of Peru right now, quick-before you’re summoned downtown for questioning, I guarantee you won’t like it-and whatever you do, stay the fuck out of the Southern Cone16 …”

Our intrepid overseas legal consultant Clemmons’ first advice when briefed on Learner’s plan to relocate from Mexico City to Lima was; “No, no…you don’t want to be in Peru right now…terrorists, bombs, the Shining Path…repressive military crackdowns.

You’re better off right where you are. Can’t you guys drum up some sort of story in Mexico?”

But Learner wouldn’t be dissuaded, so here we are, in a verrry secluded spot where clandestine aircraft depart for destinations not listed on any official manifest…

“It’s not flying into Paraguay that you’ve got to worry about,” says the pilot as we clear the now invisible runway in the creaky Eisenhower-era aircraft, “It’s flying over Bolivia-that’s what you want to worry about…”

Destination: the Chaco, a desolate, hostile no-man’s land, that serves as a kind of buffer between Bolivia and the rest of Paraguay.17 Undrinkable, sludgy swamp-water… thorny shade-less trees, crocodiles, a cornucopia of poisonous snakes, and a mind boggling assortment of obnoxious insects & various other pests, are just a few of the richly deserved reasons for the endearing regional nickname: “The Green Hell”.18
“Want you guys to meet Virge Mantua,” says our pilot upon landing, “You can’t trust a whole lot of people out here…Virge is the exception…he knows the place like the back of his hand-plus: he’s got a copter-get you to where you need to be.”

“So you’re the ones looking for Johnny Piato,” says Mantua swooping low over a greenly defined estancia, spiraling in for the landing. Now THAT gets our attention, sets off a few bells, prompting a rewind of the conversation with Learner just before departing Peru…

“It’s a blessing in disguise,” Learner had said back in Peru, as the car Clemmons had sent, discreetly pulled away from the curb. We’d made it out of the hotel undetected, and could see the disgruntled citizens at close-range, waving signs that seemed to translate to something like ‘Alfaro lives-Damn it !’19& ‘Stop stealing our grease!’ & ‘Smash the Centipede!’. Some kind of code or surrealist performance art—it was difficult to tell.

“Paraguay is where Gianni ‘Johnny’ Piato is rumored to be hiding out,” Learner chortled, “Somewhere in the Chaco, he’s got a ranch as a base of operations. Jodorowsky turned me onto this guy’s work way back when…I got to meet Piato at one of the Telluride fests. There were some rare screenings of ‘Picatrix’, and ‘30 Birds in China’—total cinema sorcery, I mean literally…closest thing I can think of would be Harry Smith’s ‘Early Abstractions’,20 but taken way further. At Telluride he would give these informal but very intense raps that he gave permission to tape. When he would free-associate, it was as if a Mallarme salon in Paris 1919, was being taped like a Grateful Dead show.”

Piato was an Italian national, with an Argentine wife, whose work had become increasingly convoluted & hermetic, dropping plot-structure & character development altogether, preferring instead to manipulate & juxtapose images in a Kabbalist, and alchemistic structure.

“Images are repositories of memories, and can be used to store vast quantities of information.” says Johnny Piato on one of Learner’s bootleg tapes, “One might find such information-laden imagery on Tarot cards for example or alchemistic wood-cuts, and Kabbalist diagrams. Aside from the classic memory wheels; architecture-especially temples, palaces, theaters, labyrinths, vast-possibly infinite libraries, are all prime storage vessels…but this information can be deposited in even more abstracted forms, like a piece of music, a dance, a series of short stories, a novel, a film…Intense contemplation of these images can transform human consciousness into a force-field, invoking celestial energies of incalculable power…”

The interior of the estancia main-house still has portions of a naive, primitively rendered mural of what I assume to be a sort of idealized state-fair, with first-prize going to a Guernsey cow, who seems to be floating over a hay-bale with serene, almost Chagall-like21 detachment.

“Most likely a Mennonite painting…their main turf is more to the east of here, but they’ve achieved pretty wide distribution throughout the area,” explains Mantua, “And at the top of the stairs, I think you’ll find it difficult to ignore, the many-times larger than life portrait of gruff but lovable, Dr. Jose Gaspar Rodriguez Franc’a—El Supremo to you…those eyes will follow you anywhere…” An obsessively detailed oil depiction of possibly the ultimate archetype of severity & stern disapproval, a stark contrast to the child-like Mennonite fair.22

“My specific commission is to bring you to meet Johnny at his southern franchise, which you might expect to be a slightly more, uh…convoluted excursion.” Mantua elaborates as he passes out cold Antarcticas23 to all takers, “The other main brew out this way is Breman24, proceed at your own risk on that one…caveat emptor. We leave for Asunci—n tomorrow, then the Lapacho Curtain…”

On the way to the main house, Mantua had showed us a crumbling structure out toward the western edge of Johnny’s property…”the Play Room”, a partially sand-filled bunker left over from the disastrous Chaco war.25 The charred inside…apparently the result of Piato’s recent experiments.

Although not much more forthcoming about the experiments, Mantua did fill us in on some of Piato’s background that might not have made it to the official bio. Apparently, Piato’s wife had been among the early “disappeared” in Argentina’s Dirty War. Five months pregnant, suffering a fatal hemorrhage in custody during “intensive interrogation”, was bad enough, but as headless and mutilated corpses started choking the Rio Plata, and the details of the massive Argentinian torture-machine known as “The Process of Social Reorganization,” started to become widely known, we might infer that Johnny’s formerly sunny disposition was in no small peril of darkening…

When he got the news, Gianni Piato was in the middle of making a documentary on an almost unknown, and virtually extinct, indigenous tribe known as the ItarŽ, who had remained enmeshed & invisible in their Paraguayan rain-forest environment, from which vantage point they watched with horror as their cannibal neighbors the AchŽ, succumbed to The Great Extinction Machine, and the unnatural submersion of most of their hereditary environment, by waters overflowing from Itaipœ Dam. When Piato returned from futile inquiry in La Plata, he disappeared into the rainforest, becoming initiated into the mysteries of the ItarŽ, where he evidently blended his hypnotic icon & image manipulation technique with potent shamanic symbols developed in collaboration with the ItarŽ.

It was through the ItarŽ that Piato became aware of the existence of the ‘Promised Land’ also known as Waldner-555, located in an off-limits area near the Brazilian border, designated by the government as “District-X”.

“The Promised Land”, according to Mantua, “Is a mostly underground para-military compound, presided over by a mysterious individual referred to obliquely, as ‘El Nuevo Supremo’ or ‘The King of the World’. We now know this to be Dr. Frederick Von Meir, one of the first clues being this rare ariel photo of a marigold patch—quite distinctive in that part of the rainforest, and entirely consistent with evidence analyzed from other quarters occupied by Von Meir”.26

The Doktor (seal-23)

Dr. Frederick Von Meir[[footnote(From “American Metaphysical Circus” by The United States of America: “At precisely eight-o-five/Doctor Frederick von Meier/Will attempt his famous dive/Through a solid sheet of luminescent fire.

In the center of the ring/They are torturing a bear/And although he cannot sing/They can make him whistle Londondderry Air

And the price is right,/The cost of one admission is your mind”)]]: Outer Head of the Order of the Trapezoid27 , blazed a trail with roots going back to The Society of Lizards, or Eidechsengesellschaft28, via Frederick Barbarossa & the Order of Teutonic Knights as decreed in The Bull of Rimini, founding the unbroken dynasty of the Dominus Mundi—the Master of the World,29—with a flow-chart of influence extending deep into the Illuminati, the Skull & Bones and the Orbis Tertius (Obscura). Von Meir’s Order of the Trapezoid, seems to have been the connective tissue in the Sebottendorf-Haushofer30 circles encompassing Thule & Vril31 related groups. Von Meir’s connections in the related A.A (The Order of Blazing Tlšn), extended from Col. J.F.C. Fuller32, Georges Monti33, and Carl Schmitt34 on the Continent, to John Whiteside Parsons35, N. Ron Gibbered,36, Ray Burlingame, and Georgina Brayton in California.37 Von Meir’s occult research led to his breakthrough discovery of what he called “the Reductive Mind”; a state of consciousness said to be shielded from normal human awareness by a wall of astral fire. Once activated, the Reductive Mind was able to communicate with “entities from the star-system Tlšn, the dark companion Mlejnas”, and the various orbiting, inhabited, perhaps haunted spheres: Kralnia-Z, Mizar-12,38 Meon-63, Neophrates,[[footnoote(Krishna Venta, leader of the Fountain of the World cult in Simi Valley, CA, claimed to have led a convoy of rocketships to Earth from the extinct planet Neophrates.)]] Alma Benhura,39 some of whose venerable inhabitants, were very obliging in their dissemination of information leading to quantum technological advances. Proximity to this “tech” put Von Meir in a pivotal position with the KlŸsterdrome: the elusive geopolitical/industrial cartel (Krupp, Farben, Thyssen, and others whose names we’ll never know, whose judgment we’ll never see).

The good doktor’s quest for the “Reductive Mind”, led to some bold research during WWII. Exotic states of mind were studied and catalogued, while mind-altering drugs and torture were employed to crack open the shattered husk of personality, paring consciousness down to the basic Reductive Mind; whose personality was defined by violent malevolent antipathy toward the very concept of humanity, meting out the “tech” as rope for the expressed purpose of hanging ourselves.

Fears of total human destruction are not the concern of the ubermensch. Von Meir’s only valid bargaining chip with the forces invoked, and access to their ‘tech’; was the traffic in human souls marinated in pain, fear, shame & ritualized debasements of the human spirit, which is part of the formulized technique for accessing the ‘Reductive Mind’, which means cracking the former personality open like a walnut, by observation & participation in actions that would be regarded with the utmost repugnance by most current human sensibilities (murder, incest, rape, pedophilia, necrophilia, cannibalism, beastiality etc.) which give off vibrational frequencies that The Forces That Be experience as the ecstatic peak-experience equivalent of intense sex, or a hit of crack.

The practical application of these discoveries, was Von Meir’s post-war establishment of secret cults that could serve those very specialized needs, all the way from Yonkers to Buenos Aires. While assisting in the flow of Nazis to the US, during Operation Paperclip, Von Meir established resilient occult groups in Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, and Matamoros, eventually on down to Colonia Dignidad. With these mind-cracking techniques, bolstered by a kind of proto neuro-linguistic programming, he could meta-program subjects, to program other subjects, to program other subjects, and so on, providing very compartmentalized assassins & badger game sex-slaves etc. Some of the earliest subjects rumored to have been successfully meta-programmed, were concentration-camp inmates; including a rabbi, a doctor and an adolescent boy.

Von Meir’s greatest success however, might well be the adroitness with which he kept his name off of official records and reports, and his image off of any known photographs, allowing him to operate with low-key impunity before, during, and after the war, collaborating with his initiate Carl Schmitt, to install a fellow traveler “philosophy” professor at the University of Chicago,40, to manifest the second phase of the 9/11/73 begun in Santiago Chile,41 to 9/11/01 in New York. Thy name is Legion…and thou art Neo-Con.

In California, Von Meir set up an ad-hoc headquarters in an underground, Nazi-friendly bunker in Rustic Canyon adjacent to the “Murphy Ranch”, off of Sunset Boulevard in Pacific Palisades,42 (which is kind of interesting when you think about it, since a cluster German exiles fleeing Nazi persecution, lived just a strudel’s-throw away on San Remo) with a northern base near Holy City in Santa Cruz, an old-style roadside attraction-type cult commune right on the main highway, with plenty of auxiliary land harboring a covert, virtually inaccessible compound, where a circle of initiates were programmed to enact dark blood rituals, and to police the edifice of a burgeoning neuro-chemical social- engineering project, from the late 60s on, to be led by Von Meir’s protŽgŽ, Ronald Shitsky,43 (who had been reductive-mindedly programmed with Heinlein’s ‘The Moon is a Harsh Mistress’ as a trigger,44 while his star disciple will be programmed with ‘Stranger In a Strange Land’ 45 to whom had been transferred, a number of “technical patents”, to be sold with the intended purpose of launching a full-scale psychedelic, psych-ops blitzkrieg on America in particular, and the World in general. Some of these technical patents would parlay into “Shitsky” a.k.a. “Stark” acquiring the controlling shares to an aerospace corporation, Supervacuo, a division of Micro-Cynicon, located just to the west of Box Canyon, out beyond the Santa Susana Pass, above the San Narciso fire-road, specializing in reinterpreting & upgrading Nazi V-2 technology, (jeez, I wonder what sort of resume & pedigree would be appropriate for V-2 research?) located in an area hosting an absurdly disproportionate number of ritual sex-magic cults, not unlike say, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory & the Agape Lodge in Pasadena…

Meanwhile, back at the Lido, a waitress waddles by with a couple of dogfish on a platter, served apparently, with the head on…Taking a leisurely opportunity before shipping out to District-X or wherever, to savor the sheer random incoherence of it all; an expensively maintained railroad system with no trains (more of a “conceptual” railroad), the street vendors with trays full of rubber monkeys & plastic glow-in-the-dark spiders…the ubiquitous pink inflatable pigs46 and …the harsh, strictly enforced Stronata curfew in contrast to all-night bookstores & full-service, round-the-clock prostitute availability.

Earlier, after drinking at a British theme-bar above a Korean pharmacy, we’d sloshed on down to Plaza Uruguaya, mindful to avoid the pyragŸes (cops) out enforcing the curfew. Learner purchased a sword-cane (”the gentleman’s stiletto”) at an all-night thrift store, before arriving at the Plaza; destination of old hookers & used books (fresh hookers at the Plaza Paraguaya, they tell me). Then, wrapping our bookstore purchases in a thrift-store raincoat, slog back toward the corner of Chile & Palma and the relative safety of The Lido.

Old, hopelessly obscure, English-language pulp that has weathered & yellowed, but not quite yet crumbled to dust, has to go somewhere, and the Plaza Uruguaya is apparently one of those places. Dig: ‘Escape from Vheissu’ by Raymond Bernard,47 Fieldcrest publications-1963…Our hero Raymond Bernard descends to the subterranean world at the center of the Earth; a utopian paradise run by scantily clad, midnight-sun bronzed, vegetarian Amazon women, where things are looking pretty good…when along comes the fly in the ointment: the evil-twin doppelganger Raymond Bernard who fronts for the malevolent Ruling Council of Nine & the Maha Imperator, who must embark upon an epic journey pursued by the original Bernard, through the nether-regions of inner Earth (as opposed to the hep region with the Amazon women) up through the remote wastes of Antarctica, including the squeaky leather discipline of New Schwabenland, the monstrous color-coded Lego-land of Rainbow City, and the gloomy slack-less entropy of Leng & Kaddath…Finally escaping along the “Route de Los Gods” with the assistance of Los Amigos del Muerte…eventually ascending through an old Lemurian emergency off-ramp located in Mt. Shasta, only to find that the doppelganger Raymond Bernard, agent of CIRCE, is now loose on the surface world, fronting a sinister secret society which of course, poses as a charitable humanitarian organization that recruits by advertising in men’s “science” magazines48…

The return of Mantua prompts an excursion into the low rolling hills above Asunci—n, where monstrous architectural hybrids, congregate in a shrill display of gratuitous wealth…English-Tudor-Morrocan-Victorian-Art-Deco-Gothic-Futurist…and that’s just one house.

“Remember,” says Mantua, shifting Army surplus jeep gears, navigating a narrowing lane, winding into a decidedly more rural area, “This isn’t a sporting house-there’s one two doors down, just remember, it’s considered a major gaffe to be bargaining for services in this establishment…don’t want to end up like Tacho…”

“Taco?”

“Tacho Somoza, acclaimed statesman from Nicaragua, wound up here, as vicious fascist dingbats will, when nobody else will take ‘em. Ol’ Tacho ran a pretty tight ship, wouldn’t even spring for coffee or yerba mate for his Paraguayan bodyguards—a major breach of etiquette. He committed his second major fuck-up at El Mundo Occidente; the place we’re headed right now. There’s a kind of tacit immunity to Stronata policy there. One thing a Guyarni respects is a good curse, and as a priestess of the Ku, Ayisha is extremely well qualified to deliver just that—don’t get me wrong…she’s a gentle, beautiful lady…from Taiwan, I think. Adjectives like; mysterious & inscrutable, with all due implications of a hazy, if not downright shady past, would technically apply, but it starts to sound like retread cliche bullshit :’The Lady From Taiwan’ or something—don’t want to give you the wrong idea…”

“But old Tacho just wouldn’t listen. Figured, as always, that the unwritten law didn’t apply to him either. It was two or three years ago, he comes barging up here, storms in, scares the shit out of Ruthie at the front desk, verbalizes his needs in the crudest possible way—lotsa commotion & bad static in the hall…The red door opens—it’s Ayisha… doesn’t say a word—doesn’t have to—just stares, standing there, centered & serene in her green beaded gown, jade earrings, and silver shoes…Everything had stopped in the bar & casino…all across the killing floor…total silence…everybody within earshot knew he was doomed—this just wasn’t done.”

“Tacho’s entourage fled into the night. They knew that this wasn’t worth getting killed over; they hated Somoza anyway…wouldn’t even spring for coffee. Plus, word was out that even Strossner had had enough of Tacho. Standing there with no bodyguards, under Ayisha’s withering gaze, no choice for Tacho, but to turn tail & scram. Four days later, some chaps from Argentina caught up with Somoza just a few blocks over on Espa–a…turned him into a Swiss cheese…”[[See: Life Magazine, Oct. 8, 1956)]]

And so begins Learner’s obsession with Ayisha, which is a welcome change of pace. Up till now he’s been pining away for Catarine Milinaire, daughter of the Duchess of Bedford.49 Although the narrative was a bit fuzzy & subject to recollection-distortion, it would seem that Learner’s preternatural courtship of Catarine Millionaire reached some sort of premature anticlimax of dashed hopes & missed opportunity, involving a spot of bother with shots fired & a flaming mattress hurled from the second floor of the Pagsanjan Rapids Hotel, while visiting Francis Coppola’s location set in the Philippines.

The obscure origins of Ayisha’s career go back to the mysteries of the KU, an often distorted and misrepresented offshoot of the Blue-Lotus Society, imported by Jandekite missionaries working the far end of the Silk-Road. After childhood training in the legendary KU “mystery dances”, said to be an encoded repository of lost and/or forbidden knowledge, capable of invoking, vast untapped power, Ayisha whose original name had been Li Pen, was the beneficiary of the legacy of her illustrious ancestors; Ts’ui Pen, Sum Tan Wu, and Yung Shon Pen, whose many Jandekite secrets lay embedded in the Pavilion of the Limpid Sun.

Arriving in London, an seventeen-year old Li Pen is recruited by the Lodge of Astarte, as a featured dancer in certain semi-public ritual performances for the LOA; a sort of Orbis Tertius outreach-program, that presented occult-themed performances that ranged somewhere between theatrical mystery initiation ritual, and a good old-fashioned, British “gentleman’s club”. The breaking point in Li’s tenure with the LOA, involved a ceremony written by LOA cult leaders called “Initiation of the KU”: which consisted of a ritual conducted around an iron & brass framed, thick glass tank filled with tinted fluid, in which lurked several realistically simulated squid-like denizens of the deep, supposedly representing Cthulhu-type scary-monsters with phallic feelers. Li, having danced, stripped, and dived into the tank, would of course be seized, and uh, entertained to the vicarious delight of serious Orbis ritualists.

“At first, I try to fit in. Work to cooperate. Not to question. But soon enough, inevitable realization: it was a blasphemy & a desecration of KU. I knew I could not do this thing again. Many important members of the Orbis Tertius (Obscura), and also the Omega, had attended these early performances. There was big pressure to stay. Angry words, insult, threat to deport. I try to respond with tact, grace and apologies. To no avail.”

“Even after leaving, I hear from friends; my life in danger, must leave town, leave country-now…”

Well now, maybe we should pause here for a reality-check (bring two forms of ID to cash it though), and review just what these allegations mean in context…I mean, could it really be that dangerous? To gain some perspective on this matter, perhaps we should consult ‘Fountain of Penelope’, by T. Ellison Blount, which is purported by it’s author to be an accurate, and entirely factual account of the activities of The Lodge of Astarte. Mr. Blount, it should be noted, is the Ipissimus Supreme of the Orbis Tertius.

-(Page 10) After a ritual, one female disciple perishes at sea
while another dies in a plane crash.
-(Page 55) A woman is covered with a seething mass of white
slugs.
-(Page 64) After an encounter with a magical talisman, a woman
dies on the way to the hospital.
-(Page 93) a baboon is destroyed by forces beyond his comprehension.
-(Page109) Recounts the appalling events that push one Sister
Nona over the edge into madness.
-(Page 134) The plight of Fr. Kimmel enmeshed in slime-dripping
tentacles.
-(Page 158) A disciple Rana, is left soulless & mindless, after a
disastrous ritual gone wrong.
-(Page 188) A woman is possessed by the Demon Choronzon
-(Page 223) A woman is apparently gobbled alive by a ritually
conjured entity.

Apparently this lodge was not real big on safety regulations (by the way, old sport, demographically speaking, not to overstate the obvious, but it seems kind of lopsidedly harsh going for the ladies, eh what?) so yeah…I guess I’d leave town too, which is what Ayisha did, next arriving in Chicago, soon to set up a dance academy, and the first replica of The Pavilion of the Limpid Sun.

In the breaking dawn light, as the drizzle continues, we approach the heavily fortified gates to El Mundo Occidente. Close-up of truncated stairs leading halfway up the vine-covered wall, about twenty feet to the right of the front entrance, whereupon reclines an apparently unconscious individual, in a generic naval pea-coat, sprawled serenely across the steps, head propped, eyes conked & cancelled against the first beams of the rising sun, just as a pair of pyragŸes have taken an interest, standing over the sleeper…initial prodding with night stick…then-WHAACKK!! In one seamless action, the sleeping guy seizes the first pyragues’ rifle-muzzle, thrusting back HARD-slamming rifle-butt into face, which leads the rest of him over the stair-rail, about ten feet to the ground, regaining wobbly legs, spitting a tooth, running off into the sub-rainforest savannah …while pea-coat guy has, in that same fluid motion, conjured a standard-issue, WWII style, Colt .45…safety off, hammer cocked, thrust pointedly into the groin of the remaining pyragŸe, who, seemingly, knows the drill, following his partner over the rail & into the bush…

“Gentlemen,” announces Mantua, with all due fanfare, as Learner knocks on the door with his ‘gentleman’s stiletto’, “I’d like you to meet The Sailor…”

Inside; the textured, velvet Monaco of your most decadent dream: brisk, quiet, subtle gaming, shaded & cooled, insular…completely oblivious to the usual brutal shifts in Paraguayan weather-patterns & politics.

“The Sailor’s great-grandfather was commander Nicholas Stepanov, an actual Paraguayan naval hero,” explains Mantua; which is good, because up until this second, I had no idea that there even was a Paraguayan navy, being a landlocked country and all, “Wantchya to meet commander Nino Jetski, late of the Argentine navy, fifth month of AWOL, if memory serves…”

“I’m not a commander anymore, I’m not in anybody’s fucking navy, I’m just a Sailor, and my regrettable ancestor, commander Nicholas Stepanov, was a fascist, jingoistic, racist, White Russian prick,” the Sailor clarifies.
As we shake hands with the pea-coat clad Sailor, Learner notices that-”Hey man, you sure speak fluent English for a Paraguayan-Russian-Argentine former naval officer, what’s the deal?”

“Ah, the whole family had a collection of languages: Russian, French, German, English, Spanish, Guyarni, Portuguese, bit of Chinese…Then, I was in a liaison intelligence unit, stationed in Norfolk Virginia, then later, San Diego. Man, those were the days; codes & ciphers, fun in the sun, Sundays in TJ…Then, back to La Plata…a fucking chamber of horrors!” the Sailor leans over to honk a massive line of gleaming Peruvian blow off of a baroque, silver-framed mirror, “MOTHERFUCKER!! So then, I’m supposed to be working with Scilingo & Astiz…fucking assholes! Alfredo Astiz-the Angel of Death! He’s so proud of that title…there’s no real interrogation, no real information being collected, just the mindless application of electric cattle-prod to genitals…these degenerate cocksuckers could do that all day, and that whole deal with the cattle-prod and pregnant women-(actually, the Sailor goes on for another 10-15 minutes here, detailing the horrors of the massive Southern Cone torture machine. As the gruesome details accumulated, the mind on the brink of glazing over with shock, I suspected that maybe the Sailor was indulging in a bit of hyperbole, perhaps embellishing what was there for dramatic effect, as remembered through a haze of ca–a & white powder…WRONG! If anything, this was the Reader’s Digest Condensed, R-17 version…Many accounts of these events exist from a wide spectrum of victims & witnesses…Upon exposure to this material, anything short of vehement outrage, would, I suspect, be less than human…mindful, as we are, that even though the Brazilians, for instance, are proud of their accomplishments in this field with their innovative use of the electric cattle-prod, (a perennial favorite throughout South America), as far as a codified, scientifically accurate application of these methods, everyone knows you have to go to the School of the Americas, at Fort Gulick in Panama…or “consultants”, like Dan Mitrione, and Michael Townley, to name two…not to mention the fact that on 9/11/73, the death of Allende, the ascension of Pinochet, the beginning of a long, grim, twilight nightmare of torture & death, local Chilean death-squads hunted down victims on a hit-list of thousands; supplied, (according to well-documented sources in books available at most local libraries), by American intelligence agencies, at the behest of Mr. Henry Kissinger, who won a Nobel prize earlier that year for his tireless humanitarian work during the Vietnam conflict. Question I ask myself is: could this be the same Nobel dynamite manufacturing family that used slave-labor from Auschwitz during WWII? Just wondering…because while Chileans were being deprived of their humanity by torture, rape, death, and psychological warfare; their once-vibrant culture of arts, cinema, and poetry, was being decimated in close working synchronization with the economics policies of Milton Friedman, University of Chicago’s leading destroyer of national economies: deregulation, absolute corporate non-accountability, lots of cheaply imported Wal-Mart junk, unilateral murder & torture of anyone connected to labor organizations, waging war on poverty by, well…simply eliminating the poor. To this day, Chile’s economy has still not recovered from this trickle-down nightmare, (and how about the US?) while Friedman won the Nobel prize in ‘76…hey, I know: why don’t we just give the fucking prize to Pinochet, eh? EH?) now just biding my days as these morons prepare to go to war with Britain! That’s right, they’re going to duke it out over the Falkland Islands! I mean I’m conflicted…I so want to see Galtieri & Videla, get their asses kicked, but you know that it’s the enlisted men who are going to take the brunt of it, poor bastards; under-trained, under-equipped, no backup, no supply-line…The whole thing is sheer suicide, but these dumbshits think they’re going to make the Brits back down just by the strength of their bluster and pomposity…”

Meanwhile, out on the killing floor, the swish & snap of fresh, crisp cards on green velvet, “You gotta play the combination on this one, jacks up, then work it out one by one from there,” the Sailor advises Learner, who in fact scores on the play, and is in the process of scooping the winnings into his hat, when Mantua appears motioning towards the red door, behind which we find the honored guest; Chu Tukka NatabŽ, primo shaman of the ItarŽ, beaming graciously, one hand holding a substantial herbal cigar, which he waves scepter-like, motioning for informality & comfortable seating…

“He says they have been expecting you, welcome to the western world,” translates Ayisha, radiating exultant serenity, and hyper-focused awareness, “He has invited you to be witness to battle of phantom opponents…Piato summons voice of thunder, with moving colored shadows, defeat common enemy, you witness-go back to own pond; make waves…”
On the desk, in front of Chu, is an elaborate, ornate box; mysterious cargo recovered from a Junkers 390, covered in a labyrinth design, consisting of repetitions of golden triangles; the contents spread in a symmetrical half-circle, consisting of:
-a watch
-a bayonet
-snapshots of human beings, old-country, ethnic, possibly Hebraic or Romany descent
-a silver lighter engraved with German SS death’s head
-7 gold teeth, perhaps once belonging to people in
the snapshots

“Sacred golden mouth-bones, belong to tribe opposing same enemy, many worlds away, but unified in purpose, communicate through rune.” continues Ayisha, while Chu, after a lengthy preamble, throws the divination teeth dice-like, scrutinizing the resultant pattern with some intensity…

1Asuncion, Paraguay
2
3A city in Paraguay, El Dorado also is known as the mythical South American city of gold. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Dorado
4See Steely Dan, “Here at the Western World”:Down at the Lido they welcome you/With sausage and beer/Klaus and The Rooster have been there too/But lately he spends his time here/Hangin’ with the Mayor and all his friends/And nobody cares/Where the sailor shuts out the sunrise/Blacked out on the stairs
5German actor and collaborator with director Werner Herzog. See:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klaus_Kinski
6See: How to Dance Like Mick Jagger
7German film director who in 1972 directed ”Aquirre, the Wrath of God”, a film about the travels of Spanish soldier Lope de Aguirre, who leads a group of conquistadores down the Amazon River in South America in search of the legendary city of gold, El Dorado. It was filmed on location in the Peruvian rain forest.
8″Martin Burt is founder/CEO of Fundación Paraguaya, an NGO devoted to the promotion of entrepreneurship among the world’s poor. He is also co-founder of Teach a Man to Fish, a global network that promotes “education that pays for itself”. In addition to his work in civil society, Martin has served as Vice-Minister of Commerce and was elected Mayor of Asunción. A Visiting Professor at the University of the Pacific, Martin has received the Inter-American Development-Bank Microfinance Award for Excellence in Social Responsibility, the Outstanding Social Entrepreneur Award from the Schwab Foundation, the Skoll Foundation Social Entrepreneur Award and he is committed to the Clinton Global Initiative.” See:http://www.wise-qatar.org/en/laureats/Self-Sufficient-School, also:http://www.schwabfound.org/sf/SocialEntrepreneurs/Profiles/index.htm?sname=39148&sorganization=0&sarea=0&ssector=0&stype=0
9Founded in 1818 in Amsterdam (and later relocated to Antwerp, Belgium), Bunge is a agribusiness and food company with extensive dealings in South America. See: http://www.bunge.com/
10Films made (in order) by Peter Bogdanovich, William Friedkin, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorcese, Robert Altman, and Hal Ashby. Each one was a critical and/or financial failure.
11From Rip Torn’s wiki entry: The part of lawyer George Hanson in the Peter Fonda-Dennis Hopper road movie Easy Rider was written for Torn by Terry Southern (who was a close friend) but according to Southern’s biographer Lee Hill, Torn withdrew from the project after he and co-director Dennis Hopper got into a bitter argument in a New York restaurant, ending with Dennis Hopper pulling a knife on Torn.
12Dennis Hopper made “The Last Movie”, a 1971 drama filmed in Peru that “simply put, concerns the ill-fated production of an American western in Peru—which is to say itself. Most simply explained, the movie allegorizes the implosion of ’60s hopes. One of the craziest (and druggiest) movies ever made, it’s also blatantly self-deconstructing and meta to the max, albeit produced years before those terms became commonplace.” See: “Drugstore Cowboy,” by J. Hoberman.
13Mexican actor and director whose participation in the unsuccessful rebellion of Adolfo de la Huerta against Mexican President Álvaro Obregón Salido caused him to be exiled to the US.
14From Bob Dylan’s “Goin’ to Acapulco”: I’m going down to Rose Marie’s/She never does me wrong./She puts it to me plain as day/And gives it to me for a song
15Bedoya, a Mexican actor with a career in both America and Mexico, is best known for his role as Gold Hat, the bandit leader who declares he doesn’t have to show any “stinking badges” in John Huston’s 1948 adventure film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
16The Southern Cone is a geographic region composed of the southernmost areas of South America, south of the Tropic of Capricorn. Most of the countries in this region, until the 1990s, were controlled by right-wing juntas.
17The Chaco is a region of land occupying approximately 100,000 square miles in Northwestern Paraguay, Southeastern Bolivia, and Northern Argentina. The Chaco War (1932-1935) was the result of a territory dispute between Bolivia and Paraguay. See:http://www1.american.edu/ted/ice/chaco.htm
18
19The Alfaro Vive, Carajo! (AVC) is a clandestine left-wing group in Ecuador, founded in 1982 and named after popular government leader Eloy Alfaro. See: The Dictionary of Contemporary Politics of South America.
20″Early Abstractions” is a collection of seven short animated films by ethnomusicologist and mystic Harry Smith. See: Early Abstractions, Part 1 and Part 4
21
22These details come from Steely Dan’s “Show Biz Kids”: After closing time/At the Guerney fair/I detect the El Supremo/From the room at the top of the stairs
23
24
Breman, Germany, is the home of the Becks brewery, and also the Breman-Vagesack concentration camp used during WWII.
<
25From "Third World Man" by Steely Dan: Johnny's playroom/Is a bunker filled with sand/He's become a third world man/Smoky Sunday/He's been mobilized since dawn/Now he's crouching on the lawn/He's a third world man
26See "King of the World" by Steely Dan: No marigolds in the promised land/There's a hole in the ground/Where they used to grow/Any man left on the Rio Grande/Is the king of the world/As far as I know
27The Order of the Trapezoid was founded in 1957 by Anton LaVey, and eventually evolved into what is now the governing body of the Church of Satan. Its rituals are based on Germanic magickal techniques. See: The Nazi Trapezoid, by Tim Mahoney and the order's website: http://www.trapezoid.org/index2.html
28See The Thousand Year Conspiracy: Secret Germany Behind the Mask, by Paul Winkler, for details on this ancient secret order. The use of the lizard is significant for its relation to the alchemical salamander.
29"As a series of small kingdoms emerged in Europe out of the ruins of the Carolingian world, a

THE LAST STATUE (chapter 1)

Phone machine announces the crack of doom…the bubble bursts, the dream dissolves…return to what passes for consciousness with a Kurt Cobain sized headache…flaked out in front of the tube where a guy in a suit covered with question marks says I’m entitled to a large share of govt. money, which seems a stark reversal of the facts such as we’ve all come to know them…

“Cinco…you there? awake? sober?” chirps my agent de Castro, after the message-beep.

A little earlier, just before the big nod-off, I’d been taking a break from trying to patch somebody’s flat-tire of a screenplay. I started watching a 1921 Fritz Lang movie called ‘Destiny’, synopsis of which follows thus: “Hoping to find her fiance, a girl drinks a magical tea and faces an ominous apparition.” Which…now that I think about it, presents a certain parallel to the circumstances under which I was viewing this film.

And now, in the shrill light of morning, I’m facing my own ominous apparition in the form of de Castro, making the obligatory agent-checking-in-call: “Heh-heh…sorry to disturb your ‘work’-no…nothing much happening, heh-heh…just checking in…”

But no, not so routine, sez de Castro, “Hey, got something you might be interested in-could even be lucrative-a helluva story at the very least…maybe another ‘Heaven’s Gate…”

All right, might as well humor the chump. Pick up the phone, cut in with-”Ah, when you say ‘Heaven’s Gate’…you mean the Nike sneaker-flying-saucer suicide cult? Or the ill-fated Michael Chimino western?”

“Exactly…” says de Castro.

It was a month like many others, as they all blend, out toward the far end of the beveled edge of History…The salient features of this era were, as I recall, something like:

-police in a major American city were accused of using excessive force

-Oprah was on the cover of O

-a generically obnoxious young blonde female celebrity was booked on a 502

-there was a disaster in Indonesia

-meanwhile…stuff was blowing up all over the Mid-East, as high ranking generals scrambled for excuses & private contractors ran amok

And now…here’s de Castro with an unsavory blast from the past, coming at me with ‘Heaven’s Gate’ of all things, at this hour of the morning…

So I sez, “In the interest of my impending deadline, and your impending tennis match, or whatever…could we be a little more specific? Maybe cut to the chase just a bit here…”

“Okay, what’s the deal with Rex Learner? Didn’t you do some writing for him back in that designer-mullet infested decade we like to call the 80’s?”

“Well…the deal, in a nutshell, is that the sonofabitch still owes me about $70,000, as a rounded-off dime-on-the-dollar, arbitrated figure. Now, when you reference ‘Heaven’s Gate’, I kind of tend to visualize all the money disappearing down a black hole, or Learner & Co. all beaming up to the mother-ship or the mystery-comet or whatever it was…”

De Castro declined to elaborate over the phone, provocative but oblique, as per standard agent power-style. He extracted a commitment to meet at Anthony’s bar & grill, to which I-against my better judgment-agreed.

Prismatic shafts of light now beam through the convex window in the front room. The cats soon appear expecting food, vying for attention by releasing the ‘mute’ button on the remote. Before I can hit the ‘power’ switch, another word about finance: “Hi, I’m Phil Massinger with a new way to pay old debts…yes, yes…anything for a quiet life…”

********************************

We meet in the muted ambience of Anthony’s in Santa Monica over requisite male-bonding beverages appropriate to the situation…pleased to meet de Castro’s old Army buddy, Richard Privette.

Privette, ex-LAPD, now a private investigator2 has his own agency, employing at least a dozen people, “It’s not all about the shedding of shoe leather anymore…these kids click mice and tap keyboards…access the hall of records, the assessor’s office, DMV, the phone company…gives me time to concentrate on the more subtle cases.”

Thoughtful pause while refreshing beverages are consumed, and Privette continues, “So de Castro tells me you’re a script doctor…”

“I prefer to think of myself as a screenplay veterinarian.”

“Script proctologist,” chimes in de Castro helpfully.

“It’s my understanding that you’ve done some writing for Rex Learner, a director of quite some renown and notoriety, who, according to the leading biographical references, leaves quite a wide swath of dashed hopes and unpaid bills.”

“Well as a synopsis, that’s not bad,” I have to admit, “but I’m sort of puzzled about the ‘Heaven’s Gate’ angle that de Castro was going on about.”

“Learner’s still out there, shooting a financial sinkhole of a movie, from a massive, as yet unfinished screenplay called ‘O’Blivion’s Water’. Aptly titled, considering the flow of mula through this thing…already about 20mil beyond any production budget in Hollywood so far, must be some kind of record. Word is, somebody’s very unhappy with this whole deal, and would like to terminate this production ‘with extreme prejudice’ as they say in the movies…”

I take advantage of the pause, to have a bit of fun at the expense of de Castro, who in my opinion, is looking way too smug about all of this…

“Geez, I appreciate the righteousness & urgency of your cause, and no doubt he’s Got It Coming, but I don’t think I’m up for anything like that,” I explain, “Uh, so how much were you offering-just scholarly curiosity…”

“Fer chrissakes Cinco, he’s not hiring you to clip the bastard-” he’s about to elaborate, but breaks off in mid-sentence, noticing my traditional smirk of Put-On.

So we all share a hearty chuckle, and order another round. Maybe take a moment to field a call from my research assistant, Becky:

“Your pal from the airport…Terry-from Lennox3 says the ‘Dr. V.’ you were asking about, is probably a Dr. Vinrod…I googled & printed what I could & left it on your so-called desk…oh, and Mrs. Kurtz called, wanted to give you a heads-up about Engram Frazier4 who apparently is frantic to get in touch with you. Judging from the eight or nine messages on your voice-mail, I would have to concur…something about a power lunch at Eleanor Bull’s. A splendid opportunity to review some of Mr. Frazier’s notes…also present will be Mr. Skeres, and a Mr. Poley, who, I believe, also have some ‘notes’ for your edification…”

Fuck that. This I need like a hole in the head. I’d been more than patient with these pinheads, and the stale, insipid piece of dogshit that Frazier insists is a screenplay-’Sodbusters’, an egregiously lame Bruckheimer-styled vice-squad drama patterned after the CSI cookie-cutter crime shows. 105 annoying pages of pure unadulterated, shopworn cliches-a house of cards built on a foundation of quicksand.

Even Frazier seemed to sense something wrong here. Couldn’t I just make it, you know, more coherent or something? I doubt that anybody could, although, as far as I’m concerned, anybody can try as long as they try somewhere else ’cause I’m over it.

On my last pass with this thing, I’d sketched-in completely irrelevant directions & gratuitous camera angles. A very annoying stunt which normally would guarantee termination of contract due to unprofessional conduct. But not with Frazier…kinda guy can’t take a simple ‘Fuck Off’ as an answer…Now, the whole point of having my research assistant sort through phone messages and E-mail, would be to screen out lost causes like Frazier & his goons.

The lesson to be learned here, if any, would, I suppose, be to pay more attention to whatever the hell it is that de Castro & Privette are pitching…

“My client, Mrs. Wheeler, was personal assistant and confidant to Learner for ten years. Now, as a production assistant at Tri-star, she’s come across information that would seem to imply a threat to his life. Corroborated from several sources, this information seems reliable, if not conclusive.”

“Learner’s been shooting in New Mexico,” continues Privette, “Tight security, all very hush-hush…map points, code-words…real streamlined, fanatically loyal skeleton crew, traveling in caravan from location to location…really roughing it, sometimes camping right at the location, in RVs, teepees & bubble tents, right out in the desert…not even any craft-services…”

De Castro gives an involuntary shudder at this last revelation. Indeed, a production unit without catering; what’s the point?

“I had to level with Mrs. Wheeler,” says Privette, “Sending in an operative, no matter how well trained or subtle, could very well backfire in a situation like this. My profession seems to be undergoing an agonizing reappraisal in the post-Pelicano era. A closed set, very limited cast of characters-Learner’s not taking calls, and unsolicited visitors are firmly discouraged…”

“There is a weak link in the chain however; big problems with the script…which leaves a vacancy: writer wanted…so, you’ve got a history with this guy…could be beneficial to all concerned if someone could get in there and take a look. No one is suggesting you take a bullet for Learner or get dangerously close to anything too nasty. Just take a close scan for anyone, besides yourself, who doesn’t belong, or who might have an agenda pertinent to our inquiry. One of the puzzling anomalies about this entire project is the effortless flow of money to sustain it. Maybe you could cut a deal with Learner for the back pay, plus whatever it’s going to take to pump some life into this screenplay, which I’m given to understand you’re already somewhat familiar with?”

“O’ Blivion’s Water & I go way back…”

“Exactly why you’re the one for the job. Mrs. Wheeler avers that Cal Habrud, a line-producer for Canopus Productions (Learners company) will put in a good word, a letter of introduction that should put you right there.”

*******************************

And so we agree to meet at Privette’s office tomorrow, sign some forms, work out a few details, review a few profiles of some of the more interesting production staff and assorted hangers on. As we zoom in slow toward the bar, observe sport-sized TV screens tuned to CNN-fresh footage from the war (hard to keep track of which one exactly, but it was bloody, painful, expensive, and made no fucking sense whatsoever) blasted vehicles, daisy-cutters & cluster bombs on wedding parties…shrapnel…broken glass…charred flesh of young children…

“Holy shit!” grates de Castro, while gibbering neo-con dickheads try to put a positive spin on it all, accentuate the positive, like that book The Secret-gotta tune out those negative thoughts…can’t make a New World Order without grinding a little hamburger…

“Just like a Nam flashback-typical fucking Skull & Bones-CFR war,” opines Privette, downing the last of his drink, “What was it Jim Jones said about not learning from history? Now, he wasn’t the first to say that, but judging from this bullshit, he definitely won’t be the last either.”

According to de Castro, Privette had seen plenty of action up close & personal in Nam and Cambodia. According to the tone in Privette’s voice, he’d seen more than enough.

Way more.

************************************

I’d actually lost track of Learner, at least until de Castro & Privette started this latest song & dance. I really had no clear idea if he was still in the business or even alive at this point. Learner was from the Coppola-Scorsese-Altman generation of would-be auteurs who climbed an arc of prominence and influence starting in the late 60s, rising to some fairly impressive peaks before crashing & burning by the end of the 70s or shortly thereafter.

Learner’s bleary, stubble-jawed hyper-realistic western & Mexican landscapes and other genre locations seethed with atmospheric menace and twisted sinister intrigue, juxtaposed with surreal glimpses of unraveling reality just hovering at the edge of the frame. This alone, with a body of work starting with ‘The King of Nothing’, followed by:

‘The Kenoma Kid’
‘Blood on the Saddle’
‘Thunder at the Well’
& ‘Circle Round my Skull’
should have secured his place in the pantheon.

From that point, Learner began his massive, over-ambitious quartet:

‘Line in the Dirt’
‘Fool’s Tornado’
‘Fire-Wheel & Turner’
&’Oblivion’s Water’

…which apparently, is still not finished, which if true would have to be setting some sort of world’s record, surpassing even Orson Welles’ ‘Othello’ as longest drawn-out production.

Learner’s feuds with Jim “The Smiling Cobra’ Aubrey at MGM, and severe alienation of many other industry kingpins, contributed to his image as uncontrollable bad-boy, and made each picture increasingly difficult to complete. On the other hand, the grizzled, bearded, booze-guzzling, coke-snorting, mirror-shaded bad-boy persona, was a more memorable and popular character than could be found in most movies, including his own.

There were interested parties willing to participate in financing motion pictures, largely for the photo-op chance to hob-nob with an actual legendary American celebrity independent out-of-control renegade out-law “cinema auteur”.

Learner hadn’t counted on this. He’d just wanted to rattle the suits, not become the poster-boy for boiling-over, unmanaged, collective rage, but it was the easiest, if not the only way that these films could get made…

“Goddamn it ,” as he was wont to say, “I’ve done some degrading and unpleasant shit to stay in this business-I’ve had breakfast with Sue Menger, lunch with Mike Ovitz, and sex with Julia Phillips, I’ve been thrown out of the office at Warner’s, by Ashley, Wells, and Calley, had meetings with Paramount brass until Stanley Jaffe bled from the nostrils, and Charlie Bludhorn foamed at the mouth, so it would be…imprudent of me to bitch about these weasels. Boring yeah, but a least they’re not spitting foam on me…”

As the years fly by and the information trickles in, to be sifted, analyzed and interpreted, preliminary speculation indicates that Celebrity might just possibly have (gasp!) a less than positive effect on human character, being, amongst other things, enticing, seductive, even addictive, which brings us to Learner who, partly to maintain his celebrity-madman status & partly to assuage his own paranoia, had taken to publicly blowing himself up. The Russian Suicide Death Chair: place six sticks of dynamite in two hopefully even rows, or seventeen sticks in a big circle, then lie down between them in a paper coffin or crouch fetal-like under a chair…the sticks detonate and form an eye-of-tornado type pocket, assuming all the sticks went off, you should be OK, maybe a little hard of hearing, but not too much more notably deranged than before. Once, up in Oregon, and at least once more at ‘Big H Speedway’ in Houston, Learner blasted his way to nihilist notoriety in front of God & anybody else that wanted to look.

*********************************

“So what have you been doing? Finish that Frazier project?” inquires de Castro, carpooling on the way over to Privette’s.

“Ah, you know…reading a little William Carlos Williams, maybe some Ford Maddox Ford, doing a little snow and water-boarding. As you know, I’ve been wintering in Tuscany…digging the red-tiled roofs on the hillsides, savoring the bounty of the local vineyards, the antipasto, the tangerine orchards in bloom…the voluptuous allure of dusky Neapolitan girls straining in their Versace halter-tops to catch the last slivered rays of the surrealist popsicle sunset…”

“All right, stop it… I was almost buying it for a second,” You could kind of tell this was leading up to something…ah, right on schedule-”So Carmen tells me you were out at her place in Zuma…and you burned a bunch of screenplays?”

“We were running low on firewood, and I’ve been rethinking my format…how about graphic novels instead?”

“Which ones?”

“Just the seven.”

“What are you, fuckin’ nuts!? I never understood what ‘The Plaster Cramp’ 6 supposed to be about, but we could have easily sold ‘El Hombre Verde’ & ‘The Secret Mirror’…some of those could definitely have been movies by now-”

“Yes, Yes…It did pain me considerable to deprive The Industry of these humble offerings, but y’know, The Industry, if It could hear us, would say: don’t worry about Me…there’s always ghastly remakes of earlier films-particularly French New-Wave classics, and 60’s & 70’s TV sitcoms and spy-shows, sequals, prequals, comic books, cartoons, videogames, graphic-novels, and generic, mass-produced, cookie-cutter vehicles for past and present Saturday Night Live alumni-”

“But to just burn the shit-”

“Don’t think of those stories as gone, they’re just consolidated into seven chapters of the current work…”

“What current work?”

“The one we’re in now”

“In now?”

“Yes, so try to be interesting for a change…”

“What would be interesting,” says de Castro with an agent’s innate skill for letting himself off the hook, “Is for you to remind me once more, just where you hooked up with Learner and all this ‘O’Blivion’s Water’ nonsense, I seem to be a little fuzzy on the chronology.”

“Well…First, as we all know…all roads lead to Bob Evans…”

*******************************

The Kid

When I first set eyes on Bob Evans, he was being wheeled through the Paramount offices on a gurney by his chauffer David Gilruth. Evans, on this occasion, was attired in black silk pajamas, and black velvet slippers with little gold foxes hand-stitched onto the toes. No indication of anything unusual about any of this, just the usual day to day apparel of choice, and preferred mode of transportation-at least until Gilruth got him to the limo.

As executive-production-assistant-intern-understudy, my duties had so far mainly consisted of going for coffee & bagels. And so, to wander those halls in that state of blissful ignorance, sipping morning coffee, thinking those happy thoughts, one might encounter Peter Bart, or Al Ruddy, and think to oneself: “These guys seem focused, competitive, efficient, yet still exhibiting some semblance of ethical human values…”

On the other hand, you could have an up-close and personal encounter with Evans, Frank Yablans, or Charlie Bludhorn. A very different story.

In an earlier incarnation as an actor, Evans had been selected to star in an Irving Thalberg biopic. This selection had been made by Thalberg’s widow, Norma Shearer, on the premise that Evans “looked the part”. There was common speculation that Paramount chairman/Gulf Western chief Charles Bludhorn had merely done the same, by hiring the egregiously under-qualified Evans to assume the duties of chief of production, while Bludhorn and his pals, like Michele Sindona, Paul Marcinkus, and Licio Geli, to name three, got on with the business of laundering Big Money, as it flowed in from Immobilare, Banco Ambrosiano, and such like…

Meanwhile, I was getting on with the business of screenplay courier. Seems routine enough; roll on out to Evans’ palatial estate, scoop this script and deliver to Peter Bart, possibly at a party. Say what you will about Evans, (and I will) nothing is ever routine with The Kid.

Parking my dilapidated Citron as unobtrusively as I can, I take the roundabout approach to a side door as specified in the instructions. I knock, door opens, and it’s Evans himself in full-stride, springing out the door, with some boobalacious halter-top honey young enough to be even my daughter in tow…

“…Uh, hey-glad you could make it pal…here, take this,” he hands me the joint he’s been smoking with his little companion. “Got a bit of a meeting going on inside right now, so just kind of hang out sort of low-key here for a minute will ya? Niki here, and I, are gonna go get David to bring the car around-we’ll be right back…”

They disappear around the corner of some hedges, and I’m left to finish the joint and ponder the Santa Ana winds now kicking up, rattling branches & rustling leaves in the eucalyptus trees, rows of which frame and bisect the estate.

Nothing too out of place…although Evans always seemed more like a booze, coke, and pills type, but a little weed and/or ludes goes a long way toward negotiating the pendulous charms of young coconut-butter basted So Cal female flesh. Wouldn’t you?

A couple of tokes later, I’m suddenly aware of voices traveling along the shrubbery in the opposite direction from where Evans and Niki just vanished.

…getting closer…think I’ll just sit sort of crouched-over on this quaint marble bench behind these overgrown rose-bushes bordering a row of cypress trees…here they come…almost in view…the first face to follow its voice around the corner is Charlie Bludhorn, followed by John E. Gray, then another individual later to be identified as Terrence W. Abbot, next, mob mouthpiece Sidney Korshak, and then…Henry Kissinger!?

Jeeziz…what next? A mummer’s parade with J. Edgar Hoover & Meyer Lansky? Some sort of narco-sting ambush gambit, deploying the full brunt of Division-5 and the brutally over-funded NSA?

That Evans was chummy with the Big K, was evident from the strategically placed photographs in his office of his cherished trophy-friends–Kissinger foremost among them–that given a pretext, Evans would show to just about anybody that would sit still for it. But it’s another thing to see the bastard oozing around the corner while I’m in the act of committing what was in those days a schedule-II felony.

From the context of what I can overhear, it’s apparent that these mooks are having a sidebar apart from the main meeting

Gray whirls on the others, more or less focusing on Kissinger, “All right Henry, I can squash this SEC investigation, but you guys owe me one, a BIG one…Sidney, you need to talk to Senator ****** for me, I’ll have some notes on your desk by closing tomorrow…” Voices drifting off as they re-enter the house through the door from which Evans had emerged.

INT. EVAN’S LIMO (MOVING)

Gilruth, as always, at the wheel…heading west down Sunset…

Our POV from back seat looking out toward 180 fish-eye lens perspective of windshield, thru which we can see palm trees sway & shiver in the balmy Santa Anas, disgorging fronds & widow-makers, blowing down to smite the vehicles of the less fortunate.

As we pan back toward the rear of the limo…The Irishman (who’s actually from Neptune) and The Kid are holding forth, while Niki & her nearly identical colleague Viki, are conversing in a completely self-contained, exclusively closed reference, pop-culture discussion among themselves, while blaring some early Wailers on a boom-box, as they roll joints of prime gold Columbian.

Kirschvasser & Cuervo await to refresh…

IRISHMAN
…that’s show-biz Kid-there’s a rhythm to it…ya can’t rush these things. I got rushed with ‘Drive’-that ain’t gonna happen on this one.

KID
What was it called again? Moonfire? Mooncrap?

IRISHMAN
‘Moontrap’. It’s a Don Berry story, a western. Great stuff,
but needs honing. Got this kid Sharpe doing a rewrite, but
it’s goin’ kind of slow…that’s why I gotta scramble to keep
Kovaks and the Sylberts on the line…got Van Dyke Parks for the soundtrack…everything’s ready as soon as it’s writ, but no go till the script’s finished…Which reminds me, gotchyer telephone book right here…courtesy of Beener, 436 pages…not even close to finished.

KID
So you don’t want it?

IRISHMAN
Beener wrote it on spec for The Pro when The Pro was all pumped-up about westerns-The Pro ain’t so keen on all that since Altman peed on his leg up in Seattle…so he just stops 400-plus pages into it, takes his name off it…I’m a chump-right? So I loan Beener money, and what do I get? A fuckin’ spare tire…The Pro’s sloppy seconds…

KID
“O’Blivion’s Water?” This guy’s got water on the brain. Looks like ‘Chinatown’ on horseback to me.

IRISHMAN
Shit, I wouldn’t care if it was ‘Shampoo’ 7 horseback, if he’d just finish the fuckin’ thing for once.

KID
What is this goddamn jungle music anyway?

IRISHMAN
Don’t believe I recognize that one…shit Kid, it’s another
generation, these chicks haven’t even heard of Aretha, let
alone Ruth Etting. That’s a humbling thought to keep in
mind…How old did you say these girls are?

KID
I didn’t card them…what am I their father? Viki says she’s
nineteen & Niki must be at least that…

IRISHMAN
I’m just sayin’, that’s a lot of cotton candy to have on your plate with Ali flying in tomorrow night…Do me a favor, huh? Be a mensch and change the sheets, or get Gilruth to do it.

KID
Yeah-yeah…I’ve got it covered, Niki, Viki, and Ali, all get frilly things…real high-end kinky lingerie from Suzy Creamcheese…everybody’s happy, no problems…The Kid will abide,The Kid will live & learn…

IRISHMAN (sings)
The Kid will crash & burn…

KID
Which reminds me…

The Kid turns, hefting the massive screen-play which plops onto the unsuspecting lap of Cinco, who, until this second, had completely lost his place among temporal-spatial coordinates as the result of total cannabis saturation almost from the minute that Evans answered the door…

KID (to Cinco)
Make sure this gets to Peter Bart…we’re gonna drop you at this party-if he doesn’t show up, hand it to him in person at the office-under NO circumstances are you to turn this over to Frank Yablans or even let him see it-got that?

IRISHMAN (leaning forward)
There’s gonna be an amigo there by the name of Emilio, we’d like you to convey our regrets at having just missed him, but make sure he gets treated real good, OK? I knew
I could count on you pal…

The Irishman deploys The Smile, which has never been known to fail.

The limo is slowly losing its race with the solar orb toward the western horizon of orange & pink & darkening azure…lights twinkle on across the bay, the trees still swaying and undulating in slow motion like deep-sea flora…

********************************

Trancas

Somewhere during the hazy ride to the beach I’d gathered just enough presence, or absence of mind to exchange phone numbers with one of the babble-on girls in the Limo. It had seemed like the suave Irishman-like thing to do. But now, I couldn’t for the life of me remember which one. Would it, could it, possibly matter? But there was nobody around to answer that question as the limo pulled back onto the Coast Highway toward the general direction of The Game…

It’s Bad-Boy night at Trancas Beach. I should have known that Bart would have the good sense & foresight to sit this one out. Pouring a shit-load of booze & blow into the likes of Gary Busey, Jan Michael Vincent, Don Johnson, and David Carridine, would seem to imply a fairly self-explanatory punch-line.

Feminine presence is slow in arriving due to the volatile possibilities just outlined. The primary exception to that paradigm being the Margolin-Kidder-Salt team that I knew slightly from parties at Nicholas Beach. Less formally known as Janet, Margo, and Jennifer, they always seemed to present an amiable and witty buffer to the accumulation of coke-dilated egos that occur as an oft-repeated motif at Malibu parties. In stark contrast to most party hostesses on the scene, their graciousness often extended even to those of us yet to achieve the various intermediate states of celebrity enjoyed by the majority of the guests (Scorsese, De Palma. Spielberg, etc.) Intelligent, articulate, opinionated actresses, eager to discuss literature & writing craft with anyone besides the morbid, suicidally self-absorbed Paul Schrader or the blustery shot-gun wielding John Milius.

Tonight at Trancas, out on the deck in the rear of the house facing the ocean, is an impromptu band jamming on a Hank Williams tune. There’s Busey on guitar & vocals, Rick Danko8on bass & vocals, Dennis Wilson-who seems to be having some difficulty in staying upright-on drums, with Jesse ‘Ed’ Davis & Ron Wood on guitars …noted medications consultant Kathy Smith lurks nearby.

Big commotion from inside…the guest of honor, Emilio Fernandez has arrived. A celebrated actor/director of the Mexican cinema, Fernandez also has a rep as a far, far Badder Boy than everyone here tonight put together. A larger-than-life man of passionately expressed aesthetic preferences, he has been known to occasionally kill disrespectful critics & uncooperative extras on movie sets. Rounding out the resume is a series of duels, bankruptcies, and volatile relationship entanglements, not to mention massive sombreroed Presence as an actor, and an astonishing body of directorial work.

The band (’Teddy-Jack-Eddy’ according to a slurred Busey when asked) is growling its staggering path through a John Lee Hooker song, sounding pretty good too, when suddenly:

Shots-broken glass-shouts-cries-sobbing panicked hysteria…

…inside: everyone scatters…

-Don Johnson headed for the side-door, exits through sliding glass window

-Schrader paranoically crouched beneath the dining room table fumbling for his piece…

-I can see Busey out on the deck, dive right over the rail and into the surf…

The storm had already passed even as I bolted into the den. Fernandez had holstered his pearl handled 44. and was standing transfixed by a full-face close-up of Maria Felix on the tube.

A shredded painting & splintered frame were strewn on the floor…I think it was a Schnabel-I really couldn’t tell.

As a man of highly refined aesthetic sensibilities, Emilio was bound by honor to deliver the coup-de-grace to the offending canvas.

I think it was Janet Margolin, who in the midst of all this had calmly walked over and flipped the tube over to a Spanish language station. Margolin was later heard to say, “I always regarded TV at a party as a crass declasse bummer; something we’d only put up with to humor Spielberg, but over there on channel 34 was an old Emilio Fernandez movie. Go figure…”

The motion is seconded by Harry Dean Stanton, who had been serenely chain-smoking out on the deck through the entire outburst…now steps to the microphone with an acoustic, to deliver a beautiful, aching rendition of ‘Las Golondrinas’…followed by an early Henry Porter tune.

********************************

So Bart would get the screenplay-just not that that night. A bargain would be struck, terms negotiated, a favor repaid…A call placed by Sidney Korshak from his usual table at the Bistro, sitting as always, equidistant between two phones, one of which would convey The Deal as pitched by Korshak, to interested parties who, having an aggregate IQ exceeding room-temperature, would acknowledge the futility of refusal, and accede to the terms without further delay. Learner would take possession of the screenplay, and I reasonably assumed that once having been fobbed off on Bart, “O’Blivion’s Water” would be out of my life, soon forgotten as we all move on to other things.

So much for reasonable assumptions…

***************************

“All right, let’s click up a few of the folks you’ll likely be meeting in the next few days…” Privette swivels the screen around to our line of vision, “Exactly what the practical function is for some of these individuals is frankly a mystery to me. A most unusual entourage…”

“OK, here’s Charles Kyd L’Maigne-early LSD chemist from the 60s Bay area culture…in the same circle, but never as famous or prolific as Owsely, much more low-key, hence difficult to indict or convict. Indeed, the one case filed against him, dried up & blew away when the Company-connected star witness for the prosecution took a brody.”

“Here’s Major Hector Arcana, ex-Air Force intelligence, former consultant to the Eviary & the Aquarium

“So I’m at my sister in law’s, right? A total fuckin’ Republican dingbat. At a regretfully inevitable social commitment, she starts going on about Clare Booth Luce or some shit, and I remember this entry in an antique encyclopedia I’d bought over the weekend at a garage sale that read:
Nor is Antichrist unknown to Mohammedan theology in which he is called Masth al Dajjal, the false or lying Christ…He is to be one-eyed and marked on the forehead with the letters CFR, i.e. Cafir or infidel.

“CFR, huh? Well…she’s got the same Encyclopedia Britannica right there in the dining room. As a patriotic Christian, I’m thinkin’ she must want to know, right? With any luck I thought, it should ruin her thanksgiving. So, lo & behold, I go to look, and…there’s no entry. Everything else in the book is the same, except page 126, where that one specific paragraph is missing. The difference? My copy is 1904, hers:1919. Did a little googling, found that a preacher from Austin Texas, named Texe Marrs, has written concerning the very same entry. Reverend Marrs, who happens to be a retired USAF officer, who has taught psychology, political science, American defense policy, aerospace studies, and strategic weapons systems (nice rŽsumŽ Texe), claims in ‘Circle of Intrigue’ that in 1919, as the Council on Foreign Relations was forming, a certain Colonel House arranged to buy the rights to the Britannica, so as to expunge the offending material. Texe comes up a little short on documenting this assertion, but if you google on out to where the buses don’t run, you might come across that early photo of Col. House & Ezra Buckley III 9 shaking hands at the closing of a deal.”

1Corresponding Steely Dan songs for Chapter One: Babylon Sisters and Hey 19
2from TLS authors: One of the predecessors to Doc Sportello [from Pynchon’s Inherent Vice] would of course be Nick Danger, a psychedelic Chandler-style private eye on the second Firesign Theater album, who eventually morphs into Dick Private—Private Dicktective on Firesign spin-off album Roller Maidens from Outer Space by Phil Austin. A glance at the synopsis of this story is, I think, well worth anyone’s while—most…illuminating. http://www.firesigntheatre.com/albums/album.php?album=rm Also reference private eye “Richard Privette” of the “post-Pellicano era” in TLS Chap. 1
3Terry-from-Lennox: Terry Lennox, murderer from Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye, filmed in 1973 by Robert Altman starring Eliot Gould. The Long Goodbye figures prominently in the Theresa Duncan/Jeremy Blake mythos, being, purportedly, Jeremy Blake’s favorite film
4Engram Frazier:Ingram Frizer : killed playwright Christopher Marlowe. Engram: a neuropsychology term denoting means by which memory traces are stored, also used by the Church of Scientology for a recording of a painful memory not accessible by the conscious mind. Frazier: Sir James Frazer, author of The Golden Bough (1890), comparative study of mythology and religion, focusing on fertility cults and “death of the king” rituals.
5These lines reference part of the Jandek mythos: “He’d written seven novels, but after they’d been rejected by New York publishers, he’d burned all the manuscripts.” Not to mention the significance of the number 7.
6″The Plaster Cramp” is a title from “The Library of Babel”, a short story by Jorge Luis Borges. Full text here: http://jubal.westnet.com/hyperdiscordia/library_of_babel.html
7The Warren Beatty character in Shampoo, filmed in 1975, is a composite character based partly on hairstylist Jay Sebring, who was murdered at the Polanski/Tate residence along with Sharon Tate, etc at 10050 Cielo Drive, August 9, 1969.
8Rick Danko, of seminal group The Band, wrote songs with countercultural hero and prankster Emmett Grogan, who is thinly disguised as “Kenny Wisdom” in TLS Chapter 5. See also song “Brainwash” lyrics (quoted on Untermeyer’s blog, 9/23/09)
9A character from Jorge Luis Borges’ short story Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius, an eccentric American benefactor who expands the scale of the Uqbarist enterprise to a full Tlönist encyclopedic undertaking. “Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” is required reading for a full understanding of The Last Statue. Full text here: http://www.coldbacon.com/writing/borges-tlon.html

(under deconstruction)
http://laststatue.wikispot.org/

THE GHOST OF ELECTRICITY

Posted in Uncategorized on June 29, 2015 by kidkenoma

The Gamergate controversy concerns sexism in video game culture. It garnered significant public attention after August 2014, when several women within the video game industry, including game developers Zoe Quinn and Brianna Wu and feminist cultural critic Anita Sarkeesian, were subjected to a sustained campaign of misogynistic attacks. The campaign was coordinated in the online forums of Reddit, 4chan, and 8chan in an anonymous and amorphous movement that ultimately came to be represented by the Twitter hashtag #gamergate. The harassment included doxing, threats of rape, death threats and the threat of a mass shooting at a university speaking event.

Gamergate has been described as a manifestation of a culture war over gaming culture diversification, artistic recognition and social criticism of video games, and the gamer social identity. Some of the people using the #gamergate hashtag have said their goal is to improve the ethical standards of video game journalism by opposing social criticism in video game reviews, which they say is the result of a conspiracy among feminists, progressives and social critics. Commentators from the Columbia Journalism Review, The Guardian, The Week, Vox, NPR’s On the Media, Wired, Der Bund, and Inside Higher Ed, among others, have dismissed the ethical concerns that Gamergate have claimed as their focus as being broadly debunked, calling them trivial, based on conspiracy theories, unfounded in fact, or unrelated to actual issues of ethics in the industry.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamergate_controversy

(D-E-J-A V-U)

Any of this sound at all familiar? Matheny? DE333? Bullyville?

Hmmmmmm?

https://kidkenoma.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/behind-the-curtain/

#THEREMYGATE

SATELLITES ON THE CEILING

Posted in Uncategorized on June 8, 2015 by kidkenoma

THE SLEEP OF REASON

Posted in Uncategorized on February 14, 2015 by kidkenoma

“There’s this guy from the CIA, he’s creeping around Laurel Canyon…”

PLANET LEAVES

Posted in Uncategorized on January 14, 2015 by kidkenoma

__ΞΞΞΞΞΞΞϴϘϴΞΞΞΞΞΞΞ__

Posted in Uncategorized on October 26, 2014 by kidkenoma

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