"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 Hitler? Whaaat?) after watching Altman's SECRET HONOR (1984), with Phillip Baker Hall as ole Tricky Dick Nixon, 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, clinking ice, overflowing ashtrays, 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 (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 something I really relate to today. Like many writers and artists I had the realization awhile ago that being home alone with recording equipment, paint, ink, music etc. is as good as it can ever get - that everything else--going out, seeing friends, sex, bonding, etc, work--is all just avoiding this, the task beyond all tasks. 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 was all for this. 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. Lord Lhus, fuck you! Ommmmm
It's only 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, which is that the Bohemian Grove--where he was brought several times to hear the edicts of his shadowy sponsors-- is the true seat of power in this country. Washington is just where their edicts are implemented. "A bunch of homos from Cambridge - these guys were assorted white trash - what they wanted was a political laboratory" 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. He is 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. He bears the shame of saving you!
|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.
|Note - collage by EK made from SECRET HONOR still- "your perception may vary"|
SECRET HONOR seems to be missing a key ingredient if you see it at home: 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, thinks you're probably a ghost (maybe you are) but still expects you to laugh at his jokes. In the rapturous flow of good scotch he hears the ghost applause anyway, rushing in his ear canals like blood currents. Who amongst us 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 to drink to? And it's evil, too!
Without the flanger, HITLER still comes off as very strange, like a lengthy episode of Alfred Hitchcock presents meets a Sam Fuller-directed sci-fi sequel to John Huston's FREUD. I can imagine Godard and Bassin pissing themselves with delight seeing this at the Cinémathèque Française, though somehow I doubt they did. It's so obscure it's unlisted in both Lenny Maltin's Film Guide and Time Out Britania, and even Time Warner's info screen for it says it was made in 2003.
Weirder still, the film explains Hitler's mental problems as stemming from a Ross and Rachel-like orbit with his sexy cousin, and then Eva Braun and a Norman Bates-style orbit with his loving mother. It may as well be from 2011 or 1954! In a word, it belongs nowhere.
Alas, too, 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 bunker, so to speak, whenever Himmler comes over.
Now, I know what it's like to have a cute Germanic blonde young cousin, and let me tell you it's not that bad, Adolf! 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. As if reading his DSM IV chart, Hitler explains "attraction turns to revulsion - the satisfaction that even an animal enjoys is denied me!" and it all becomes more and more icky. He can't bust a nut cuz his nut was shot off at Somme... or so ze legends say. It's never flat out states, but what is?
Next up on the cable flip was History Channel's UFO Hunters --an interesting show that thinks it can win over skeptics through its cock-eyed idea of 'rational' thinking, which is what Sherlock Holmes would dismiss as inductive reasoning: Let's say a kid sees a bunny rabbit in her backyard and tells you, all excited, and you tell her rabbits don't live in the area, therefore she is lying, or it's just a dream. But then 40 years later she still insists she saw a rabbit, and the UFO Hunters show her a cotton ball, asking her if it looks at all like the rabbit's tail. She says it does. They therefore conclude that she's not lying, or dreaming, but that she found a stray cotton ball drifting out in the fields and her imagination did the rest.
The rabbit (i.e. aliens, remember) is where mainstream western science, which has been leading us for so long, chokes up on the reins and rather than turn the reins over to the right brained empaths they throw the reins into the fire. But who am I to judge them, I with not a single un-violated precept? I, who can't be sure what he saw in 1974 wasn't a kite instead of a drone floating above our heads after school? (We flew a kite up to try and knock it down or tap it, but then a low flying Cessna almost flew right into our kite! It swerved to avoid us, and when we looked back at the drone it had zipped off. The Cessna perhaps spooking it. End of memory. But since there are no drones surely what we all saw was a party balloon or a very light bucket.)
The Mythology of Star Wars came on right after the UFO show.. and they brought up the interconnected conspiracies of the Empire, with Christopher Lee's character in the Phantom Menace 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! It all came looping home, closing the gaps on the conspiracies - Hitler, Nixon, Aliens, it was all combined to mean something!
In closing let me say that I'm not a crook, or co-conspirator, or a believer, or a dogmatic skeptic, or a nutcase, or a fascist. That's depending on whom you ask of course, your honor, but there's a lot of people to ask. Everyone thinks someone else doesn't deserve to be here, especially me. Somewhere someone thinks you're a crook just for having read these words, and that someone is right over your shoulders. Or maybe it's me, cuz you stole my heart, or soul. An undivided self is an oxymoron. Unite your warring halves and watch it all just disappear... and you shall be be a dark cloud remembering it was only ever sky and sea, never meant to last, never meant to be kept so separate from its setting by by slow pressure cooker compresses and midlantic storm front regions, never meant to grow as stale with cumulonimbus conservative paranoia as tricky D. Nix himself.
If the ocean could come claim you it would gladly dissolve you back into itself, dear rabbit-denying skeptic buzzkill. In that, fill thy coffee mug with comfort, and a liberal dash of 80 proof mortal 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 loll in the aeons of your warm blood surf.