"So this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause."
- Padame Skywalker
There are no accidents in weird rainy accidental double features, like when I chanced upon the very strange 'forgotten' 1962 film, HITLER (with Sam Fuller stalwart Richard Basehart as the titular) after watching Altman's SECRET HONOR (1984), with Phillip Baker Hall as ole Tricky Dick Nixon, and labeled, 'A Political Myth,' and then a UFO Hunters episode and now The Myth Behind Star Wars, with little snatches of everyone from Joe Campbell (my Merlin), to Camille Paglia (my Kali). Let me tell you, it was a great night to be alone with a microphone and multiple video monitors reflecting my exteriors, and an alien that looks like a cat monitoring my every move.
|"I'd like to thank Birch for recommending this film in a previous post."|
I was bored by Nixon when this was all happening live on national TV in 1972 and I was five, but learning how to cut loose in your oak-paneled study and empty out your soul into a microphone or a painting or a keyboard is what it's all about if you want to grow up to be an artist or writer. Sooner or later every true artist or writer has that moment when they realize being home alone is as good as it can ever get - that everything else--going out, seeing friends, sex, bonding, etc, work--is all just avoiding the issue - the end - the task beyond all tasks - the land between dream and waking - the terror of being alone in your study with just the blank page or microphone in front of you - armed only with a whiskey tumbler and maybe a cigarette --this is the period at the end of the sentence. All the rock and roll and drugs and madness and risking your neck fucking over the boys at the Bohemian Grove was all just for this, for the cassette tape, for posterity, to preserve your fuck you to Lord Lhus in the annals of the eternity. Let it be thus recorded.
It's American to believe in the dark secrets behind the Masonic symbolism of the presidency but only Dick--ripped raw in his haze of paranoia, scotch and mother issues--dares speak the truth alone with his studio audience: the Bohemian Grove--where he was brought several times to hear the edicts of his shadowy sponsors-- is the true seat of power. Washington is just where their edicts are implemented. That "a bunch of homos from Cambridge - these guys were assorted white trash - what they wanted was a political laboratory" (in California) controlled from deep in the Grove, where 'Jew mobsters' like Meyer 'Hymen Roth' Lansky could run naked and free and assume their natural giant saurian shapes-- it is all just too much for old Dick and he himself turns out to be Deep Throat, bringing the Washington Post down upon his sorry ass before he's forced to sell out the country any further. Awesome! He is, it turns out, just an "Un-indicted co-conspirator like everybody else in the United States of America!" His "Secret Honor" is that he saved the country at the loss of his innocence.
|Bohemian Grove 'Cremation of Care' Ceremony - you never saw this.|
Meanwhile we see the paintings of Eisenhower, Lincoln, Jefferson on the oval office walls, and they all seem twisted and arcane, as if swirling reptilian pan-dimensional aliens were, even now, within the confines of a portrait on television on television, writhing and breathing and corrupting the deepest tissue of man's democracy and soul with Martian spider eggs.
SECRET HONOR seems to be missing a key ingredient if you see it at home - which is an audience response. I saw it alone and it made me uncomfortable, like being locked in a room with a raving drunk who doesn't really see you but makes private jokes and expects you to laugh on behalf of his imagined audience. Who amongst us drunks or white knuckle glory days-obsessed dry drunks can't relate when Nixon notes, "I used to love to sit in the Lincoln study -- fireplace going... air conditioner on." Is that not, in fact, the best combination known to man? And it's evil, too!
Without the flanger, HITLER comes off as a very strange and lengthy episode of Alfred Hitchcock presents or an old Monogram melange of threadbare sets and stock footage like the Lawrence Tierney DILLINGER crossed with what would happen if Sam Fuller directed John Huston's FREUD. I can imagine Godard and Bassin pissing themselves with delight seeing this at the Cinémathèque Française, sans subtitles and Tarantino probably imagined them pissing at it too when he made BASTERDS. Strange that this film's not listed in either Lenny Maltin or Time Out Britania, and even Time Warner's info screen for it says 2003, and with Hitler's mental problems really just stemming from a Ross and Rachel-like orbit with Eva Braun and a Norman Bates-style orbit with his loving mother, it may as well be from 2011 or 1955. Consensus says 1962, but Blue Lou says it came out the same year as PSYCHO -- wait, which version?
Alas, the film is relentlessly unpleasant, as Hitler buckles under the pain of sexual frustration and ze burden of having to carry his mother to zee root celler, I mean bunker, whenever Himmler comes over.
Now, I know what it's like to have a hot Germanic blonde young cousin, and let me tell you it's not that bad. You can handle it, you don't have to arrange for your thugs to shoot her after she shouts at you: "Your mother, always your mother! You can't live vit ze shame! You will see your mother in every woman's face, just like you see her in mine tonight! I dare you to look at me and tell me who you see!" You don't need to let it get that far. Hitler notes: "attraction turns to revulsion - the satisfaction that even an animal enjoys is denied me!" and becomes more and more icky. He can't bust a nut cuz his nut was shot off at Somme... or so ze legend goes.
Next up on the cable flip was History Channel's UFO Hunters --an interesting show that errs too much on the side of the rational. Here's a metaphor that described their M.O. perfectly: Let's say a kid sees a bunny rabbit and you tell her the rabbit doesn't exist, it's just a dream - no rabbit. But then 40 years later she identifies a cotton ball in a blind test as the closest thing to its tail, and so now it wasn't a dream; someone left a cotton ball out in the fields and her imagination did the rest.
The Mythology of Star Wars came on right after... and they brought up the interconnected conspiracies of the Empire, with Christopher Lee and his desert world mining operations as the Nixon, the Obama, the 9/11, the Reichstag... the flaming goat dog of straw! The cremation of care!
In closing let me say that I'm not a crook, or co-conspirator, or a believer, a nutcase, or a fascist, your honor... depending on whom you ask of course, but there's a lot of people to ask. Everyone thinks someone else doesn't deserve to be here. Somewhere someone thinks you're a crook just for having read these words, and that someone sleeps inside you. Erich says 'An undivided self is an oxymoron' --like a water-and-glass-free water glass. Unite your warring halves and watch it all just disappear... a dark cloud remembering it was only ever water and air, never meant to last, never meant to own property and fret over mortgages and be kept alive by slow pressure cooker compresses and midlantic storm front regions until it was as stale with conservative paranoia as tricky D. Nix himself.
If the ocean could come claim you it would gladly dissolve you back into the fold. In that, take comfort, and a liberal dash of dread atop it, like foam; but when you lift your cup to drink, lo! There is no cup, no arm to lift, no fingers, no mouth. Your drinking motion is just a folding of a single wave back on itself, a splash more Chivas and then even 'then' is gone and the reptiles in the grove just smirk and let the aeons wash over them like warm blood.