THE SECRET OF THE PYRAMID

By Laurent Vachaud (Translation by Debra Gray & Jasun Horsley)

Almost twenty years after its release, there is still ongoing discussion about what the thirteenth and last film by Stanley Kubrick, Eyes Wide Shut, is really about.

Like the novella by Arthur Schnitzler that inspired it (Traumnovelle), the film describes the nocturnal odyssey of a New York doctor (Bill Harford, played by Tom Cruise) who ready to do anything to regain his lost capacity for desire. What sparks his quest is the confession of his wife, Alice (Nicole Kidman), under the influence of drugs, of her fleeting, overwhelming attraction for a complete stranger she encountered in a hotel lobby. At this basic level, the movie is perfectly understandable, even if, on its release, some critics were unconvinced, even disconcerted, by such a simple narrative line. Some saw the characters as obsolete: could a western man at the dawn of the 21st century be made passionately jealous by his wife’s mere desire for another man. They puzzled at scenes that seemed indistinguishable from dreams (the famous ritualized orgy at the Somerton chateau), and at a happy ending which seemed to indicate a previously unseen degree of compassion on the part of “the master” for his characters.

Even if Eyes Wide Shut had given me a great aesthetic and emotional experience, I personally had trouble placing it in the same class as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Barry Lyndon, The Shining, or Full Metal Jacket. This was precisely because I felt I couldn’t connect to it intimately. Worse, I didn’t find in it what I normally loved in Kubrick’s films—the derailing mechanics, the split personality, the conditioning of beings by violence, the pessimism of the vision. Everything in the film seemed soft, shy, and repressed, like the exasperating character of Bill Harford, a real “man without qualities.”

Despite my resistance, I re-watched the film repeatedly, in small sections or in its entirety, in the hope of better understanding what had escaped me. But the more I watched it, the more its enigmas multiplied.

Why did the actors say their lines so slowly, as if under hypnosis? What was the secret society Bill Harford stumbled into in Somerton, and what was the ritual he attended? What was the purpose of the Harfords’ little girl, who could so easily have been left out of the film? Was Alice only a frustrated wife who used erotic reveries as an escape, or did she hide a darker secret? Why was the action picked up again at the end during the Christmas holidays? Finally and more importantly, why was Kubrick so passionate, for such a long time (thirty years), about this little story of conjugal jealousy in which nothing much happens? Was there something more complex hidden in the film?

As I watched, I realized that Eyes Wide Shut had the most complex and coherent visual tapestry in Kubrick’s entire filmography. Complex, because every decoration was full of signs, graffiti, colors, and symbols that could mean anything, everything, or nothing at all. Coherent, because of a shape that stood out from the others in almost all the scenes, that of the triangle. There was nothing surprising in this: the triangle is a classic geometric figure found in many films. Except that it is not about any triangle in Eyes Wide Shut, and its detection gave me my first hint of understanding the film. Remember the famous opening: at the sound of a Shostakovich waltz, Alice lets her dress fall to the floor to appear in all the splendour of her nakedness. Again, perhaps there’s nothing extraordinary about this. The whole thing lasts only a few seconds; and yet, the modus operandi of the film has just been exposed: to draw the spectator’s gaze to the apparent subject (eroticism), only to better conceal the real subject, even while keeping clearly visible. And what is this element hidden in plain sight? Let’s examine the twin columns, presented in a symmetrical manner to the right and left of the stage. They irresistibly evoke the pillars of a temple. Now let’s take a look at the red curtains around the window with lowered blinds just in front of Alice. Their arrangement draws the recognizable figure of a pyramid, which, framed by its columns, refers to Masonic iconography, the emblem of the “New World Order” (Novus Ordo Seclorum) and the mythical “Illuminati” as popularized by the novels of authors such as Robert Anton Wilson and Dan Brown. (Let us not forget that Kubrick was himself interested in esotericism and conspiracy theory, and that he once sought to adapt Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum, Brown’s inspiration for his best sellers The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons).

The Harfords’ bedroom, therefore, evokes a Masonic temple, a place haunted by an invisible and omniscient higher order, to which Alice is irremediably linked. Even the title of the movie, Eyes Wide Shut, which appears just after this first scene, sounds like a director’s warning: “Do you think you’ve seen something? You’ve seen nothing. You think you’ll see an erotic film with Nicole Kidman?  I will show you a woman manipulated by a secret society at subconscious level, without the knowledge of her husband.” Because Alice has already undressed many times under the influence of this power, like other women we meet later in the film.

Seen in this light, Eyes Wide Shut seemed to me to be more in sync with other films Kubrick that tell the story of people who only believe themselves to be masters of their fate, when in reality they are being manipulated by higher powers, powers which empty them little by little of their humanity.  The most striking example is, of course, 2001: A Space Odyssey, where the Order is of a divine or extraterrestrial nature, represented in the form of a black monolith which Kubrick films as a broken pyramid, overshadowed by the omniscient sun (in one of the most famous shots of the film). The pyramid and the eye are also found on the poster for A Clockwork Orange, whose protagonist, Alex, is also a puppet in the hands of the elite. In The Shining, it is Jack Torrance who is under the influence of demonic forces at the Overlook, an institution with a convent roof at its base, situated at the foot of a pyramidal mountain, surrounded by triangular firs.

Redmond, the hero of Barry Lyndon, thinks himself master of his destiny while his fate is already known to an omniscient narrator, who makes him appear from then on as a toy of Providence. The American poster even put forward a triangular figure, the ace of spades—a symbol of both Barry the player’s profession and his misfortune. Finally, to complete the loop, the entire action of Barry Lyndon takes place in the eighteenth century, which saw the birth of the famous Illuminati of Bavaria, officially dissolved in 1785 but suspected to have survived as the Illuminati, a secret society pursuing a plan of world domination and very similar to the Higher Order in Eyes Wide Shut. Even if Kubrick never officially names the sect to which Victor Ziegler belongs (the existence of the Illuminati having never been proven), he makes it an amalgamation of the occult societies, associating with it symbols of the Freemasons, Luciferians, and even Scientologists.

The presence of the Order is made noticeable in the film not only by the pyramid shape but also by multiple lights (again, in reference to “Illuminati”?) and invading colors: walls of lighted garlands at Ziegler’s; satanic pentacles in the ballroom; many triangular Christmas trees that seem to watch Bill Harford, like sentinels (or the monolith of 2001), throughout his nocturnal odyssey; “carrier of light” statues in Somerton; red hangings at the homes of Ziegler and Millich and in the entrance to Somerton and on Domino’s door, all evoking the “Red Shield,” the origin of the surname “Rothschild,” a  family long associated with the World Bank Illuminati plan. (Coincidentally, the castle where Kubrick filmed the orgy scene is none other than Mentmore Towers, a home belonging to the Rothschild family). These visual associations make all the more sense when we remember that, for Kubrick, the higher powers have always been associated with light: Danny’s second sight is called The Shining, to say nothing of the lighting of the war room and Dr. Strangelove’s nuclear explosions, the spatio-temporal corridors of 2001, or the beam of the projector in A Clockwork Orange.

These lights and colors also create in Eyes Wide Shut a trance-like sensation of dizziness, reinforced by the particular diction of certain characters who express themselves as if in a daze. This is particularly clear in Alice’s two big scenes—when she dances with Szavost, and when she argues with her husband under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. Her manner of speaking changes dramatically and a second personality seems literally to appear. This, for me, was the second key to reading the film.

Kubrick has always had a pronounced interest in altered states of consciousness and multiple personalities. Whether it’s Alex in A Clockwork Orange, Bowman near the end of 2001, the marines in Full Metal Jacket or Jack and Danny in The Shining, many of his characters experience a metamorphosis following trauma or brainwashing. Furthermore, the famous Ludovico treatment in A Clockwork Orange was similar to many mental programming techniques tested by the CIA in the 60s, the MKULTRA and the MONARCH programs. Inherited by the Nazis, for whom Kubrick has never hidden his morbid fascination, MONARCH and MKULTRA are at the heart of Eyes Wide Shut. Before explaining how, a little historical reminder is needed.

At the end of the Second World War, some Nazi scientists were clandestinely brought back to America to continue their research on personality breaking points, but this time on behalf of the CIA. Test subjects from psychiatric asylums were delivered to them and the whole secret operation was called PAPERCLIP (Martin Scorsese refers to it, through the character of Max Von Sydow, in Shutter Island). During the sixties and seventies, the MKULTRA experimental subjects became soldiers and even civilians, who were drugged and traumatized with the aim of creating multiple personalities, each activated by a password. The object was to make programmed “Manchurian Candidate” killers or sex slaves for the elite. A former test subject named Cathy O’Brien claimed to be one of the many survivors of the MONARCH project in her book Trance Formation of America, published in 1995. Haunted by disturbing dreams and personality disorders, she claimed to have relived under hypnosis the sexual abuse inflicted by her own father, who was linked to the CIA and himself an abused child. Recollections of her and her daughter delivered to Satanist and pedophile networks were also highlighted, still under hypnosis, albeit without any proof having been established (the MKULTRA archives were destroyed by a CIA manager, Richard Helms, in 1973). O’Brien claimed to have served as a “presidential model,” i.e., a programmed sex slave, for the use of former Presidents George Bush, Sr. and Ronald Reagan.

We can think what we want of O’Brien’s testimony, but it seems unlikely Kubrick wouldn’t be interested in such material, especially since O’Brien’s book, self-published the year he started working on the storyline of Eyes Wide Shut, describes with great precision her reactions to a MONARCH-type inducement of trauma. Via this method, usually inactive areas of the brain are stimulated, giving the test subject increased sensory perceptions. This idea is echoed in 2001, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining and Full Metal Jacket. And what did Dr. Strangelove depict if not the collaboration of a former Nazi with the American government? Strangelove’s final speech even explained how an assembly of women recruited from the finest specimens would be made available to elites after the apocalypse to perpetuate the human race. This speech seems to directly announce the “presidential models” of Somerton.

Alice’s strange dreams and altered states resemble a perfect Monarch victim. It is just as if Kubrick took Schniztler’s novel Traumnovelle and changed it gradually to “Trauma-Novelle,” sneaking in the theme of mind control so dear to him. In this way, everything that happens within Schnitzler’s dream in the movie becomes the fragmented memories of an alter ego. This idea is especially clear in a scene where Bill returns home to find his wife waking from a dream, similar in many ways to his own evening in Somerton. In Kubrick’s version, it is not so much a case of coincidence or “synchronicity” between Bill’s experience and Alice’s “dream,” as of a young woman who served as a brainwashed sex slave during the ritual that Bill surprised at the castle. Alice’s mind then repressed the traumatic memory so she could continue to function freely, in a reflex psychiatrists describe as a fugue state. Thus, each of the traumas suffered corresponds to a fugue state or different personality, stored in her body and brain.

Throughout Eyes Wide Shut, Kubrick also ceaselessly forges links between Alice and the girls of the orgy. The black dress that falls in the foreground announces the fall of the capes of the slaves of Somerton. Alice’s omniscience afterwards (she seems to “see” the girl with bare breasts that her husband examines in her office, and to sense the danger he is in with Domino) represents an extraordinary acuity of her brain, similar to the one described by Cathy O’Brien and also found in “The mysterious young woman” who recognizes Bill at the orgy despite his mask. Finally, at Ziegler’s party, Alice flees Nightingale (Todd Field) because she unconsciously recognizes the man playing the piano in Somerton. Kubrick even suggests Alice’s dissociation by showing it reflected in mirrors whenever one of her alter-personalities enters the scene.

From there, it’s as if a part of Eyes Wide Shut unfolds in Alice’s fragmented psyche. All the other women encountered by Bill during his nocturnal wandering become the many multiple personalities of his wife, as created by MONARCH. Marion (Marie Richardson) refers to an Alice weakened by the death of her father. An additional connection between the two women is the wallpaper of the mortuary chamber, adorned with lily flowers from the Harford landing. Marion also wears a necklace foreshadowing that of the “mysterious young woman” of Somerton, another avatar of Alice. Later, when Bill goes to Domino (Vinessa Shaw), he confronts the student prostituting herself to make ends meet. Domino’s purple vest is also the same color as Alice’s sheets, and adorned with a Masonic compass, a sign of her control by the “Order.” On the walls of Domino’s room, masks again announce Somerton’s universe. At Millich’s home, where Bill buys his costume for the evening, we discover another Alice alter ego: the child abused and prostituted by her father.

In her testimony, Cathy O’Brien insisted that the MONARCH victims were generally all abused by their parents (usually the father), themselves former victims under control, to form entire lineages of human robots. The name of Millich’s costume shop, “Rainbow,” is far from innocent, echoing as it does the mysterious phrase of the two models who pounce on Bill at Ziegler’s party: “Do you want to go where the rainbow ends?” More than likely this is a reference to the Somerton ritual, but it is also an obvious nod to The Wizard of Oz, a film based on a book by L. Frank Baum. Like Eyes Wide Shut, The Wizard of Oz can be read on at least two levels: as a story for children, and as an adult story replete with occult resonances. Baum was an active follower of Theosophy, an esoteric doctrine based on the teachings of Helena Blavatsky (the Harfords’ daughter is called Helena). Theosophy sought to extract the common roots of all religions in order to form a universal doctrine capable of leading man to knowledge of the Divine. Did Kubrick, like Baum, seek to create his esoteric manifesto through Eyes Wide Shut, or to reveal his allegiance to a secret society? On the contrary, in my opinion he sought to denounce the influence of the occult on women, and especially on children.

Ever since Lolita, in which Clare Quilty (Peter Sellers) supplied a pedophile network with fresh meat, the theme of childhood abuse has always been at the heart of Kubrick’s work. In A Clockwork Orange, the teenager Alex is sexually molested by his teacher on his bed before suffering terrible mental torture that deprives him of his free will. Barry Lyndon’s Lord Bullingdon receives severe corrections from his father-in-law, and The Shining shows a child abused by his alcoholic father. Likewise, Full Metal Jacket portrays young men subjected to shock treatment worthy of the Clockwork Orange program. The Vietnamese prostitutes and the young sniper of Full Metal Jacket are often minors, also conditioned for a very specific purpose. And then we have AI: Artificial Intelligence, the project Kubrick would have shot after Eyes Wide Shut that Spielberg finally filmed? Kubrick’s idea of ​​a synthetic child and its association with an android prostitute (“Gigolo Joe”) clearly suggests what use Kubrick imagined for “Supertoys,” the child-robots of the future. Spielberg significantly reduced this aspect in his treatment of the story, converting it into a fairy tale updating of Pinocchio. But what was Collodi’s “Island of Pleasure” if not an allegory of a pedophile dream par excellence?

In Eyes Wide Shut, abused childhood is everywhere. We see it at Millich’s—he   prostitutes his own daughter—but also in the heart of the Harford home, in an even more pernicious way. When Bill returns home at the end of the film, he finds the mask he wore to Somerton on Alice’s pillow. Is it his wife who found it, as in Schnitzller’s novel? Or was it left on the pillow as a warning? Kubrick does not say, but this is our last hypothesis. Echoing the warning message that Bill had already received from the hands of a dismal old man when he returned to Somerton, the mask, placed on the pillow by the Illuminati, sounds a new warning, saying, “We have access to your wife but also to your daughter.”

If Alice is shown pampering herself to become a perfect object of desire, it’s clear she reserves the same fate for her daughter, whom she coifs like a little doll. Is she preparing her to become the ideal MONARCH slave, true to the tradition of abused parents and children? Watch the little girl in her first scene: sitting on the couch next to her babysitter, she is wearing butterfly wings. MONARCH owes its name to a variety of butterfly, the Monarch Milkweed, because its test subjects all felt a sense of flutter after each session of electro-shock. Then at the end of the film, Helena wanders into a toy store where a game with a red logo, “Magic Circle,” is clearly visible. This echoes the Somerton ritual that the little girl will be called to one day. The viewer then sees a mass of teddy bears, which in some circles are a symbol of child abuse, as well as reminiscent of a bear from The Shining (a scene cut from its European screening) in which Wendy tells the doctor about Danny’s mistreatment by his father. Finally, when Helena finds the toy of her dreams in the store, it is a Barbie doll adorned with butterfly wings. When she proudly brandishes the doll in front of her parents, it evokes not only the concubines of Somerton, but also the child’s own future. The loop is complete: the caterpillar will become a butterfly one day.

All of these observations could be smoky delusions, admittedly. Perhaps they are similar in kind to those offered by Rodney Ascher’s entertaining Room 237 documentary, in which one wild theory about The Shining’s true occult meaning follows another. Surely we need at least one breathtaking detail to confirm our thesis? As it happens, there is one to be found, not in Eyes Wide Shut but in The Shining. When the Torrance family arrives at the Overlook Hotel, Danny meets the ghosts of the previous caretaker’s twin daughters, in the playroom. The fact Kubrick chose to make these two girls twins (unlike in the source novel) is a clear allusion to the theme of multiple personalities created by trauma in children. At least, this is strongly suggested by the words of an advertising poster seen behind the girls on their very first appearance. The poster is for a ski resort and bears the name of MONARCH. When we factor in the attention Kubrick famously paid to every detail in his films, is it sensible to dismiss this as mere coincidence? Or is it there, like the masonic pyramid of Eyes Wide Shut, to designate the real subject of the film?

Why was Kubrick so obsessed with traumatized children and mental and physical torture? Had he experienced it himself? This is a question that nobody can answer. On the other hand, Eyes Wide Shut seems to deliver another coded message, just as intimate. In the critical scene that kick starts the film’s action, Alice tells her husband how, during a vacation in Cape Cod, she met a naval officer who seduced her with a single glance. If he had ordered it, she says, she would have abandoned everything—Bill, Helena, all her “miserable life”— to follow him. Through recounting this memory, Alice describes the absolute dependency that connects her to her “handler” or “watcher,” namely, the man who programmed her, who by a word, or even a look, can cut her off from those she loves forever (this is known as “disconnection”). As for the naval officer’s uniform worn by Alice’s “handler,” a man in a uniform may seem like a common enough fantasy for women, but it also serves as a thinly veiled allusion to the Church of Scientology, whose founder, L. Ron Hubbard, was a naval officer, and whose most senior executives belonged to a network named Sea Org (whose members wear uniforms). In addition, the fact the star of Eyes Wide Shut, Tom Cruise, is one of the most famous members of this sect sheds further light on the film, because the actor and the character are combined in one and the same manipulated victim. Ziegler’s secretary in the film is also performed by Michael Doven, a notorious Scientologist who was the Cruise’s “handler” and who features in the credits of all his films. Cruise himself never concealed his relationship with an abusive father who beat him up. Kubrick could hardly be unaware of these details.

Finally, the filmmaker had a personal reason to signal Scientology as one of the corrupting powers of the Harfords’ world. His daughter Vivian, who made the documentary about the making of The Shining and who composed the music for Full Metal Jacket (under the pseudonym Abigail Mead), joined the sect in Los Angeles shortly before the start of the filming Eyes Wide Shut. This information was only revealed by the family, sometime after Kubrick’s death. According to his wife Christiane, Kubrick was devastated by his daughter’s leaving, and implored her desperately to return. When he died, Vivian attended his funeral in England, escorted by a “handler,” after which she left again, never to return (not even after the death of her sister, Anya). Today, Vivian is a follower who has succeeded in “disconnecting” from the Kubrick family. Her entourage has not heard from her for more than ten years.

In one of the last scenes of Eyes Wide Shut, Bill Harford enters a café which is playing the tragic notes of Mozart’s Requiem (Mozart was himself a Freemason). Opening his journal, he discovers an article about the death of a young woman, a former beauty queen. From all of these details, it becomes hard not to see Eyes Wide Shut as a father’s requiem for his lost daughter.

58 thoughts on “THE SECRET OF THE PYRAMID

  1. Kubrick was a genuine Artist with a complex, painstaking, carefully-constructed method for communicating dangerous heresies; heretical Artists have been hiding deeper messages (or their identities) for centuries. “Ludicrous” is a relative term; and would you argue with perfect authority that, say, Trump or Soros *don’t* have “ludicrous” … and possibly evil… sex lives? Of all the lenses through which to critique a work of Art, why go for the normative? Isn’t that how all “out there” information is demonized/ neutralized/ quarantined… with emotional appeals to some imagined “norm”? Ritualized orgies organized for powerfully corrupt men may or may not be ludicrous, but are you arguing that A) they never happen or that B) EWS can’t be viewed as an allegory? I find the very last minutes of EWS horrifying… the punch it packs is folded under the surface” or “obvious” narrative. Kubrick, who, within his films, trains the careful viewer how to read his films, was no fool or fakir.

    I’ve just read your “Age of Advanced Incoherence,” btw, and found it brilliant.

    • You can read some of my thoughts on EWS at this old forum thread here: https://forum.auticulture.com/viewtopic.php?p=13#p13

      I am certainly not arguing for A, as this post should make clear, tho that they ever happen in the way depicted in EWS I am fairly confident in assuming.

      For me, EWS packs no punch whatsoever unless it be to my aesthetic receptors, upon which I find it a cruel assault from beginning to end. This isn’t to dismiss the film; it is certainly some kind of cinematic anomaly and no, I agree it can’t be reduced to some sort of normative judgment because SK was not a normal artist (or IMO an artist at all, in the normal sense).

      I do not personally believe SK was communicating “dangerous heresies” in any of his films, tho I do think he was interested in generating controversy, which isn’t the same thing.

      I never completed my Kubrickon hyper-thesis, tho I am working on it again currently (on and off)

      • Most of Kubrick’s oeuvre was about the age-old abuse of Power and the blatant hypocrisy of Power’s hereditary representatives: the Ruling Class is his general target. One of the layers built into, eg The Shining, addressed the irony of the mass “fright” appeal of so-called “horror movies” of a supernatural nature when American history was a hundred times more grisly/frightening than any ghosts could ever be…

        https://berlin8berlin.wordpress.com/2017/12/27/kubrick-the-future-and-his-blackest-comedy/

        SK was a supreme postmodernist operating on a Meta level aimed at a future audience… it takes some digging to get it. But so does Nabokov’s oeuvre!

        • SK was a supreme postmodernist operating on a Meta level aimed at a future audience… it takes some digging to get it. But so does Nabokov’s oeuvre!

          I would agree with this, if not the apparent admiration with which it’s said. These men are insiders, not outsiders.
          Have you watched The Lolita Riddle? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Wmn1S8MXho

          • Will have a look!

            Just to say, quickly: Vlad was a “useful idiot” during the Vietnam phase of the Cold War; his connection to power was cousin Nick, who was directly connected to the CIA’s hijacking of Modernism. Like lots of Artists, he was naive on the topic of geopolitics. Kubrick wasn’t naive and he wasn’t “useful”… he was an oddity to the political top-layer (just like Cassavetes was and Godard too: artsy weirdos with little influence) and his message went, largely, over their heads… until, possibly, the Internet blew the whistle on him…?

          • Okay… have watched the clip! The Shirley Temple stuff is shamelessly pre-Hays Code pedo (I think the era was a strange and horrible one for kids), but the Nabokov tie-in is fairly thin. The death-by-car-accident-deus-ex-machina is a standard trope… the “342” parallel is interesting but only happens once on the Shirley Temple side of the equation. Also: authorial intention can be 180-degrees of the reader’s interpretation. In other words, even if the Temple/Lolita overlaps are real, how does that indict Nabokov? Is attacking pedophilia in Hollywood the same as indulging it? I remember OWS “activists” attacking the ghost of John Lennon over his song “Woman is the N___ of the World,” because of “N___” … which is as unfair/perverse a reading of critical Art as you can get.

            Anyway: I don’t want to bury your page in tangents. I’d rather talk about *your* radical writings. which I remember finding quite a while ago. To be honest I was *horrified* by your brother’s work/image, then pleasantly surprised by your work…

          • The myth of the solitary maverick super-genius? This myth is central to the ongoing psyop of Western culture including, or especially, its latest iteration of Hollywood, of which SK is the undisputed Lord and Master.

            The idea of a subversive creative genius working independently within a State-created and maintained superstructure on million-dollar state of the art works that require the highest levels of endorsement and support and that have massive cultural and social influence is suggestive to me of how deep this postmodern brainwash goes, alas.

            Simply put, if SK or VN were really subverting anything, why would they have been promoted as legendary culture makers by the very same cultural apparatus they were allegedly subverting? And, on the other side of the screen, where’s the evidence that these works have subverted or done anything but further the CIA-Hollywood psyop of culture?

            You’re right, this is a bit of a tangent, but as I say central to work-in-progress The Kubrickon.

  2. “For me, EWS packs no punch whatsoever…”

    On the Meta layer (which is the allegory floating on the “banal reality” of the narrative surface) of EWS, at the very end, it’s very strongly implied that the daughter of Bill and Alice is taken, from the “toy” store, by men seen earlier in the film. There are also Meta-clues that Alice is complicit and that Bill is being initiated. On this Meta level, the very last line of the film could very will mean: we’ll need to make another child, now. The eternal continuation of the groomed child-to-consumer-sex-object cycle.

    Kubrick teaches you early on to keep an eye on continuity “errors”. A plausible theory is that only Kubrick was aware of the encoded Meta-layer (which took years to map out) and that his famously “100 takes!” was about giving him space to sneak in the continuity “errors” and generally make it hard for anyone but Kubrick to keep track of certain subliminal placements/ call-backs. Moving furniture; disappearing/reappearing newspapers and house plants; changing typewriters… you really think chess playing super-anal Kubrick, who designed the very boxes he stored his materials in, to fractions of a millimeter… wasn’t on top of all that? Kubrick was in charge of everything… even the posters. Kubrick even specified how 2001:A Space Odyssey was to be shown in cinemas: the film’s music starts something like a minute, against a black screen, before the official film starts, as the audience is still taking their seats to look at the horizontal “monolith” of the black cinema screen itself… (the monolith is shown, near the end, in space, rotating through various orientations, among them the horizontal, no?)…

    Of course he often dissembled in interviews… nobody who puts such a herculean intellectual effort into building meta-layers into otherwise-“mainstream” movies is going to give the game away to the NYT or whatever. He had a grand vision and managed to pull it off and he even out-chess-championed clever Nabokov, who didn’t realize that Kubrick was sending him, and his possible proclivities, up, on screen, in Lolita (Sellers in the “Enchanted Hunters stage play” scene is a ringer for Vlad). Who but an Elizabethan-grade magician of crypto-narrative could sneak a graphic reference to the opportunistic homosexuality of barracks life, in a popular war film of the macho 1980s, and get away with it? Who but a supreme postmodernist would cross-reference Lolita with The Shining by including footage of James Mason, “in real life,” accompanied by girls subliminally reminiscent of “the (Shining) twins,” on the set of The Shining, in a making-of documentary (supposedly directed by Vivian: I often wonder if Stanley made the mistake of letting Vivian in on the secret, leading to their famous rupture)?

    The storytelling genius responsible for all this is not super-human, it’s just surpassingly rare, because most people are too sloppy, lazy and unmethodically unambitious to go to the “extreme” lengths Kubrick went to realize his vision.

    Look at the issue of “the Droeshout Portrtait” engraving of “Shakespeare”: centuries before Stanley Kubrick walked the Earth, Artists were already at it… encoding painstaking secrets for future close-readers to uncover. Power has always been The Enemy (before it was human it was saber-toothed tigers, et al) and Artists have always been engaged in the struggle. Without the power to command armies, our only power has always been secrecy/stealth. Every generation of dissident visionaries nurtures the rebellious among the generations that come after… an ongoing historical record that reminds us that the mainstream narrative is bullshit: Those in Power do not love us. Kubrick takes his place beside Marlowe/ Bacon (or whatever committee of radicals that Shakespeare-the-yokel fronted).

    https://shakespeareoxfordfellowship.org/wp-content/uploads/Rollett.Doublet.pdf

  3. “Simply put, if SK or VN were really subverting anything, why would they have been promoted as legendary culture makers by the very same cultural apparatus they were allegedly subverting?”

    VN subverted nothing; SK went over their heads. Well, until the crowd-sourced Think Tank of the Internet busted him…

    “The myth of the solitary maverick super-genius?”

    Nah. “Genius” will do it.

    • you have a much lower estimation of the sophistication of the adversary than I. Or possibly a higher estimation of your own.

      I always presume myself to be many steps behind the social engineers.

      What if the crowd-sourced Think Tank of the Internet did not “bust” SK but played into his (i.e., Their) hands?

      • “you have a much lower estimation of the sophistication of the adversary than I”

        The Adversary is verging on Invincible at this moment; the last chance we had of a viable “revolution” was probably the 18th century… and they’e plugged a lot of those holes (not only that: the weapon gap between Serf and Lord was minimal back then; now it’s asymptotic). They have hired the finest amoral intellects (straight outta Harvard, Yale, Oxbridge, Cornell etc) that money can corrupt. That doesn’t/didn’t make them (pre-Internet) Omniscient.

        Tracking and infiltrating the Panthers is one thing… but figuring out that 2001: A Space Odyssey is an act of cultural subversion? You give them too much credit in the wrong department. I’m not smarter than Hegemony, I benefited from the crowd-sourcing Think Tank of the Internet and therefore probably became aware of what SK was up to a little while after TFIC (the fuckers in charge) finally did. Which still wouldn’t have predated Full Metal Jacket. SK got away with it for a good many years, IMO.

        • “Stanley was crowned and enthroned”

          Only to the extent that David Bowie was; ie: not really. Harvey Weinstein had more power in his rancid ______ than all of the phases of Kubrick combined. Che Guevara is an enduring symbol, too. Means very little. There isn’t much cross-over from the realm of “Cultural Icons” to the Masters of War, though many Icons (a la Bourdain) make great Kapos and Pets.

          • IMO you underestimate how essential myth-making is to the maintenance and extension of gross/temporal power. It predates it, and those who shape the myths, define the narratives and hence how power is distributed, or so it seems to me. Douglas Valentine is instructive on this subject.

            And central to the propagation of useful myths is the notion of the maverick genius behind them. It goes back to Homer, who didn’t exist (and maybe Shakespeare too, who you also refer to as possible composite character).

        • As a result of this heinous sin (Kubrick’s autobiographical movie puzzle) against God (THEY/THEM), Lucifer (Kubrick) was banished from living in heaven (Hollywood)

          (Isaiah 14:12)

          ? Okay, I’m done 🙂

          • it’s tricky, for sure, but I suspect there’s a continuum, i.e., by the fruit shall ye know the roots; but then I am not sure Christianity can be blamed for the Inquisition. You seem more familiar with this area than I am, since I don’t recognize those names (I do know Chancey Gardner).

          • mm yes I may need to import this over to the EWS post if it continues …

            Another myth, this time Promethean. But Lucifer was cast out, and Prometheus was chained…. Stanley was crowned and enthroned.

  4. Oh shit. You guys are doing Kubrick in here.

    I think he was just the most disgruntled employee of all time.
    Well, second most .. if you count Lucifer.

    • Again, I am not convinced. That SK was better at psy-war than the whole psy-war dept? I dunno, sounds to me like the exact sort of fairy-tale that Hollywood cornered the market on; ironically the same sort of fairy-tale SK was claiming to subvert. Yet Clockwork Orange is so far from a subversive movie that it could have been made by the CIA; I say it was, just as 2001 was made by NASA and Fight Club was made by Starbucks. (Fincher & Nolan are the heirs to Kubrick’s crown as much as PT Anderson.)

  5. PS

    “how deep this postmodern brainwash goes”

    When I use the term “postmodern” I’m referring to a specific set of convention-flouting literary effects (a la Coover, Gardner, Brodkey)… not the recent social engineering mindfuck that has people parroting the nonsense that being a Woman is a state of mind, and all that

    • “That SK was better at psy-war than the whole psy-war dept?”

      Psywar is a control mechanism. Kubrick films aren’t a control mechanism. Psywar requires a total, relentless, uninterrupted field of overwhelmingly saturation-effects to turn human thoughts into an aggregate national or demographic crystal of dumb-fuck simple. Art Films are blips for weird intellectuals to ponder off and on, quietly, over the years, regarding the pre-control core of the Human Condition and a possible path back to it. The difference is profound.

  6. >Kubrick films aren’t a control mechanism.

    are you sure?

    Psywar requires a total, relentless, uninterrupted field of overwhelmingly saturation-effects to turn human thoughts into an aggregate national or demographic crystal of dumb-fuck simple. Art Films are blips for weird intellectuals to ponder off and on, quietly, over the years, regarding the pre-control core of the Human Condition and a possible path back to it. The difference is profound.

    what’s profound is the difference between this viewpoint and the viewpoint I have been exploring and expanding at this blog and podcast for several years, which is the very opposite of what you state above, namely that art of all varieties is very far from a blip in sociocultural psyops but absolutely central to it, perhaps the foremost medium for the creation of a controlled opposition, Lucifer’s very own domain, so to speak. Suggesting you are new to these parts (my own work)?

    here’s a good example (from your other recent post, here: “I mean, Mick Jagger is neither subversive nor a genius but he managed to get a song about menstruation (and resultant “blue balls”) into the pop charts during the early 1960s, when words like “damn” were regularly censored and a “period” was beyond the pale, no? Things slip through. And Evil examples, of a category of things, don’t preclude the non-Evil variations.”

    You may want to read Seen & Not Seen, Vice of Kings or what’s currently online of “Occult Yorkshire” for some background, not just on Jagger but on the Fabian cultural engineering program that began in the late 1800s and that includes pushing the envelope of the permissible with seemingly subversive artists and material (just as Fabian GB Shaw did when he used the word “bloody” in Pygmalion).

    Ah, Trojan Horses wherever we look. IMO, you have fallen for the same covert elitist programming I did, or at least seem to be expounding it, and it all goes back to compartmentalization of our awareness: divide and conquer.

    The notion that 2001 or Clockwork Orange was a “weird blip” is a bafflingly obtuse example of such doublethink.

    As I say I used to think the same way, that social engineers were not artists and hence behind the curve i was grooving to; that was before I realized that “art” is as much a technology as guns and battleships.

      • The Kubrickon’s back on the menu, boys.

        Exhibit, let’s call it 42 : or
        Are blue scenes dreams and what did Bill really see ?

        By now, most Kubrick fans have seen this shot from EWS.
        It’s the scene after the Somerton house :
        https://imgur.com/a/PqnjI2R
        Some say the word “sex” is in the painting above the bed

        But the very next shot :
        https://imgur.com/a/fz34F7r
        some say the name “Melena” is on the door
        (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melena#Etymology)

        So a shot of a child, the word sex and then the word for blood and feces ?
        Yikes.

        • Fascinating and credible, too. But here’s the crux of it: who do you think placed those clues there, if clues they were?

          Think carefully before answering.

          • “If we are going to just talk about Art, big A, then I consider Fight Club far superior as a film to anything Kubrick ever did…”

            Middlebrow fun at best, that Fight Club; no ambiguity means No Art… just craft. It’s ironic because of the two oeuvres, one works far better as Social Engineering (precisely because it ISN’T Art),,, and I don’t mean Kubrick’s. How do you know you haven’t been gulled into attempting to discredit an actual (subversive) Artist? And please enumerate the “clues” that Kubrick didn’t Auteur his own oeuvre. Are there any, other than the fact your instinctive theory needs this to be true?

          • “But here’s the crux of it: who do you think placed those clues there, if clues they were?”

            More pointedly: what do we see in the film, or in Kubrick’s biography, that somehow indicates that any and all clues weren’t put there by Kubrick himself…? That’s the gap you aren’t bridging. Your reasoning seems to be 1. There’s no such thing as a genius 2. Kubrick, therefore, couldn’t have been a genius 3. Since Kubrick couldn’t have been a genius, what committee put all those clues in there? 4. If it took a committee to put all those clues in there, there’s no such thing as a genius…

          • I only survived the Kubrickon by not having to pin these types of things down. I wouldn’t even call them clues anymore. A person sees as deeply into the movies as they see into themselves or something..

            I mean, the important thing for me isn’t the movies. It’s, has watching SK improved my life ? Has SK helped me to be cooler to my fellow human beans ? I think it has.

            By using the sets/props or “clues” in SK movies as footnotes I’ve discovered books by interesting authors, looked at beautiful paintings and sculptures, studied and listened to classical music, learned about film and cameras, etc. These things have brought more warmth and quality to my experience of living. I’ve had really cool conversations with other humans about not only the above topics, but also about SK himself. I’ve bonded with co-workers over Full Metal Jacket and have enjoyed Dr Strangelove with my Dad and his friends.

            And actually, I don’t think “Being There” and Hal Ashby would have changed my life as much as they did if I hadn’t gone so deep into SK. Same goes for John Carpenter movies. For me the three are inseparable. The American New Wave. Stanley = Head, Hal = heart, John = guts. Anyway..

            If I HAD to answer “Who do you think placed those clues there, if clues they were?” with something besides “I don’t know.” Ultimately, I think that part of Stanley that was under the influence of “Luciferic forces” did it.

            That.. was a tough question.

          • I’m glad you took the time to answer it. I agree movies and anything that can be a launch pad for conversation and exploration become ipso facto positive influences; but of course one can then say this about jimmy savile.

            That you are able to triangulate SK with Ashby and John Carpenter with a straight face speaks volumes for your immunity to the Kubrickon contagion which I find myself battling with whenever I go public, even slightly and tangentially as now, with my thesis.

            I would agree with your last guess: i currently think SK was only following orders when he put these clues into the mix and half the time didn’t even know about them. & it’s essential to allow this, at the very least, because the notion that SK was the mastermind behind the Kubrickon (the Internet Hive Mind’s version of his oeuvre) is a psychic Chinese finger trap that only reinforces ad nauseum the idea of SK as a genius, evil or good or both at the same time – even tho the movies belie this when looked at as works of personal self-expression (which they are mostly devoid of, IMO, much more so than John Carpenter movies, even. Most of which suck balls. 😉 )

          • but now I want to point out that in the context of the scene, Bill is the one dreaming. So maybe the “correct” answer is “Bill” ? 😉

          • True. Let’s not forget that SK is only 3 degrees of separation from Veit Harlan and that sweet sweet Nazi money.

            You might have to explain this if you don’t mind : “That you are able to triangulate SK with Ashby and John Carpenter with a straight face speaks volumes for your immunity to the Kubrickon contagion..”

            Side note, I can assure you that if you were a middle class white American male in your mid 30s, you would like Carpenter. 😉

          • Actually, I see what you mean. Because people would put SK miles above Ashby, but that’s madness. Ashby makes SK look like a cold lifeless robot. In fact, the best Kubrick movie is “Being There”, “Kubrick movie” meaning this formula of : novel adaption, one point perspective, monoliths, prop puzzles, conspiracy exposé, biopic, etc.

          • I’m not a fan of Being There so… But one of the things studying Kubraphilia has helped me let go of is the confusion of personal taste with factual truth. What counts is the transmission and there’s really no measure for that because the receiver determines that as much as the transmitter. Course this gets us into postmodernist quicksand in which there is only the subjective, so John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness becomes equal to Coppola’s The Godfather and everything just gets blurred out.

            I do love The Thing, btw, but that’s probably about it for Carpenter. In the end, all our darlings must go.

          • Well, it follows that you wouldn’t be a big fan of Being There because I think it is a Kubrick biopic disguised as a Kubrick film. It’s a double dose.

            The story goes, Sellers wanted to turn the Jerzy Kosiński novel, Being There into a movie about Kubrick for a long time and that Ashby was the only one crazy enough to do it.

            The joke here, (I think) is that Kosiński plagiarized his first novel The Painted Bird and was accused of plagiarism again when Being There was published. Ashby “plagiarized” Kubrick by using the “Kubrick template” mentioned above. It’s also interesting to note that Ashby’s career went completely down-the-drain after Being There was released. Yes, yes. It could have been the cocaine..

            https://imgur.com/a/DE4Vhzy
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Being_There_(novel)

          • You can verify that Sellers wanted to adapt the novel in various documentaries, but not that Sellers/Ashby were consciously hoping for a secret Kubrick biopic.

            But, exactly. I don’t know where that story started. It was passed down by the same mechanism as the Kubrickon.

            So you see, I had to construct an Ashbycon to escape the Kubrickon. Or at least, to show myself the door.

    • “In the end, all our darlings must go.”

      I’ve done a bit more reading through your material, Jaysun, and I think I see what’s going here: you were badly burned by the Wachowski Sisters psyop. The Matrix was the biggest chunk of Hegemony-pushed, committee-created, social engineering of the ’90s… and it helped to usher in the 9/11 era ( though Neo looks good in his DMV photo, doesn’t he?). And you fell for it (along with falling for the paper-thin hokum of Carlos Casteneda, the godfather gigolo of the New Age) hook, line and virtual sinker. Well: you were young. And now your pendulum is swinging hard the other way… we’ve all been there.

      I think it’s a common error to think everyone Famous is directly complicit or an Agent (the old fashioned, inefficient Stasi model). When in fact it’s the case that Late Phase Capitalism can metabolize anything, even vivid resistance, and it doesn’t require its cogs to be witting. Not everyone is on the payroll, though I’m not so sure about the Wachowski Sisters, who were fishy from the beginning.

      As an action flick, The Matrix was topnotch entertainment, although, philosophically, it was not, in my opinion, amazing: any well-read science fiction nerd was already familiar with the basic concept (even the pilot episode of Star Trek, c. 1965, got there first, with apologies to Plato). What was new were the “bullet time” SFX and they were incredibly expensive (fishy) and effective… and whoever made that effective first Matrix obviously had nothing to do with all the stinkers thereafter (which probably really were directed by Lana and Lilly; I’ll bet you a pineal tea that one of them “commits suicide” next)…

      The genius of the first Matrix was in handing viewers [largely bright, tech-savvy, agitated males] a simple metaphor with which to understand the puzzles of the fucked up era… and what was the solution it suggested? Be a superhero able to dodge bullets, fly, and punch through concrete! Easy! And very Marvel, no? A kind of heroic, clued-in, dynamic paralysis sets in and decades go by and the metaphor continues to “work”… another job well done (by Tavistock, The Rothschilds, the Khazars, Lyndon LaRouche, the Venetian Black Nobility, the CFR, George Soros, the CIA, the Mossad, the NSA, the Hanseatic League, the Bavarian Illuminati, the Jesuits, DARPA, Big Oil, The Vril, The Fed or The Kiwanis Club…)

      • As an attempt to apply psychology to fathom my motives or place my current work into some sort of “deep” context, the above effort is about on a par with Matrix Reloaded – which as you point out seemed to have been made by someone with no clue as to the potential depth of the waters they were wading into.

        I’d say try again, but please, don’t.

          • “The best way to attack is not to seem to be attacking.” Paul Bowles

            The care troll always retains plausible deniability.

            Or it could be unconscious behavior.

          • I’m not attacking, Jaysun; why would I? There are those I would *definitely* attack and those that I have… but you: no. It’s just that I’m not deferring to your self-perceived greater wisdom on these matters. You have your opinions and I have mine… I don’t quite get why you seem to think that I should accept you as an Authority. You’ve written some good pieces, but your knowledge is also spotty, on one or two things. Like the rest of us. I’m not trying to persuade you of anything… but if you’d like to persuade me, why not offer some evidence for some of your claims? If you’d rather not, that’s fine, obviously. But a real chat (between equals) doesn’t have to end up being a snipe fest. If you want Sycophants Only, post that disclaimer at the gate.

            Bowles is a fave, by the way… but his Art was as “cold” (not a bad thing) as people (erroneously) claimed Kubrick’s was. Two upper-middle class expats of diametrically-opposed natures; interesting comparison.

            Here’s a citation I’ll lay on you:

            “It is so important to understand that one of the primary means of immobilizing the […] people politically today is to hold them in a state of confusion in which anything can be believed but nothing can be known, nothing of significance that is.”

            “Beliefs” are easy. Let’s go for something a little more… clarified? Let’s start with evidence. My style of argument leans on reason/ evidence/ clues etc.

          • Then it’s unconscious behavior on your part and there’s not much I can do about it; but it’s in all your posts, including this one, which suggests that, if I don’t roll over and respond to your straw-man arguments – and essentially transcribe (or at least summarize) my books into the comments section (including the unpublished ones, in the case of Kubrick) — then I am an autocrat claiming supreme knowledge who only tolerates sycophants. It’s passive aggression and it’s running through almost all your posts, even if you don’t see it, combined with autocratic decrees about what’s Art and what isn’t, and a persistent run of disagreements with what you imagine my positions and beliefs to be (without ever asking). It’s truly insufferable and the worst part is, you don’t seem to realize how annoying you are being.

            Thinking you can read my Wikipedia page, for example, and then bounce back to psychoanalyze me as a way to dismiss my opinions on Kubrick and social engineering. How well do you think that’s going to work? Based on what I’ve read from you, you’re not a dummy, so then why are you acting like one? I have to ask myself if you are sincere. Hell maybe you are autistic and just lack social graces. You wouldn’t be the first.

            If it were me in your shoes, I would be asking myself this: how come, within days of discovering the site of a writer I admire, I have wound up in an adversarial position? Does it have something to do with how I am behaving? And why am I still here?

            The work I do is highly sensitive and I am pretty sure it’s nothing like a) you think it is; and b) anything you have come upon previously. And I do occasionally attract care trolls, and other kinds of trolls, and sometimes they are very subtle and efficient at wasting my time by engaging me in arguments that aren’t addressing the body of my work, or even any specific points, but only nitpicking away at their own particular bones of contention. Maybe it’s to get attention, to draw traffic to their site, or simply take up my time and energy, who knows?

            But if you really want a chat of equals, and are demanding that I change my ways so you can have one, do you really need me to tell you that this isn’t going to end well? Read my stuff and comment on that; or ask sincere and respectful questions that aren’t either disguised put-downs, couched in straw-man arguments, or unreasonable demands, all of which has the opposite effect to that of opening up the space between us for dialogue.

  7. “Thinking you can read my Wikipedia page, for example, and then bounce back to psychoanalyze me as a way to dismiss my opinions on Kubrick and social engineering.”

    No, Jaysun, it’s more that I read your grandiose and unsupported arguments (questioning the quality of Kubrick’s work and his authorship of it, with insinuations of “Tavistock”)… then ordered one of your paperbacks on Amazon… and saw this jaw-dropping message:

    ***Acknowledgements
    First off, my heartfelt thanks and appreciation must go to the Wachowski brothers, Joel
    Silver, Keanu, Laurence, Carrie-Anne, Hugo, and the cast and crew of The Matrix, for
    between them doing such an awesome job of delivering the myth. Without their unparalleled skill and dedication, none of what follows would exist.***

    The cognitive dissonance was breathtaking… then I thought: aha, I get it: he no longer feels this way about The Matrix/ Carlos Casteneda… he’s grown out of that nonsense (it was 2002-3, right?)… but he’s overreacting and tossing out Kubrick with the bathwater as a result, no? But now I’m not so sure you disavow the obvious snake oil of Casteneda or see through The Matrix/ The Wachowski Sisters… but it doesn’t matter (lots of druggy post-adolescents out there eat this stuff up). I’m not trying to open deeper/ further channels of dialogue, at this point, I’m just pointing out that your Mysterio-Authoritarian behavior is absurd and grating. Like too many parapolitical researchers, you’re taking on Messianic tics. Low on evidence/ reasoning but absolutely crackling with Aura: good for you.

    “If it were me in your shoes, I would be asking myself this: how come, within days of discovering the site of a writer I admire, I have wound up in an adversarial position?”

    Jaysun, I liked the one article, of yours, about the TransGender Psyops. I didn’t come to your site to pay homage, I came to have a look, then saw the anti-Kubrick nonsense and engaged on that topic with you. That’s pretty much the extent of it. If the TransGender piece had been all you had to offer here, I would have happily discussed it… not as a prospective disciple, mind you, but as someone with a similar opinion on that mess.

    “But if you really want a chat of equals…”

    Jaysun, what you don’t seem to get is that a “chat of equals” isn’t yours to grant. It’s the default reality. We had one. Now it’s done. No hard feelings but… yeah. Your dark mutterings about your hidden depths will have to suffice for now.

    • Text: *phew*

      Subtext: AAARGGGH!!!

      Note to self: Beware those who come to parade their superior intellects but leave their souls behind. They are ghosts of your own sinful past.

      Note to any silent observers, witnessing the posturing & floundering of a self-professed Artist in over his inflated ego, this much is also confirmed: Kubraphilia invariably has a toxic component. Challenge the Master at your peril.

    • well said Steven

      there are certainly geniuses and they can’t be ignored so they must be absorbed. and to continue to work one must let oneself be absorbed. no man is an island and the boundaries are indeterminate.

      Its always best to not be certain of another’s ultimate reality. hard to be certain of one’s own.

      James Joyce still does it for me, though he retreated so deeply into a self created world that I can’t be bothered with his last work. The ultimate solitary genius. Bergman still rocks my world as well. I would suggest The Hour Of The Wolf for his take on all of this.

  8. The take-away for me from this thread:

    I would say I mishandled SA from the start and it proved impossible to get back on track after that initial misstep; it then became a case of addressing the silent audience more than or as much as SA; as things proceeded, his own position became ever more defended/offensive, even when I tried to offer some sort of olive branch.

    It definitely left a sour taste; one more confirmation of the sort of reader I don’t want to attract to this site (the top-heavy kind). That his first comment was on the ritual abuse post made me suspect he had shown up expressly to derail me, since this is SOP around this topic. If so, he was highly skilled, and there doesn’t seem much evidence to suggest this.

    My disagreement centered around the folly of worshiping Artists & Art and of believing that Kubrick was some sort of Messianic miracle worker able to circumnavigate the Military-Entertainment Complex and deliver life-edifying works of Personal Genius. My error was in not treating SA as the total newb he was, and taking him through it in baby steps, or simply sidestepping the whole question (since it wasn’t central, or even peripheral, to any of my current posts). SA played into that by constantly asserting his superior knowledge and expertise, and assuming he knew what my positions were before I even stated them. It was a standard case of schismogenesis, the subject of my next think piece.

    As I said on the thread, the hardest thing to deal with is passive aggression/unconscious or covert harassment; the feeling that I may be projecting/overreacting but the certainty that it’s more than that.

    Something good seems to have come out of it in terms of insights at least. It helped me to see more clearly how the Kubrick psyop centers around the reinforcement of the idea of the “genius figure” and thence of the idea of the separate individual. This seems to be a foundational illusion upon which the maintenance of cryptocratic hierarchy disguised as democratic meritocracy depends.

    When we worship individual geniuses, we are hoping that somehow it will rub off on us and we will be elevated by our “good taste” and given a place at the master’s table, if only to feast on crumbs. And when we aspire to become one of the club we become complicit with the scam.

    More and more I feel like this idea is the source of all human misery, as I’m exploring with the thrift store series. Or at least, it seems central to my own lifelong dissatisfaction from aspiring to something that is both unwholesome and unattainable.

    I can still admire individual works of creation; but I’m no longer able to admire individual creators because of what I know about the culture they are complicit with, and because of how little I know about them (or can believe) as individuals. How can you admire someone when they may be participating in organized malevolence?

    It’s also interesting that people who are strongly opposed to elitism and the ruling class have no discernment when it comes to accepting the heroic figures that same class provides us with to raise up before us and admire.

  9. From Douglas Valentine’s CIA as Organized Crime

    “If you want to understand the critical role celebrities play in determining what society accepts as real and valuable, read Guy Debord’s books The Society of the Spectacle and its sequel, Comments. Debord explains the symbolic role celebrities play (at times inadvertently) in maintaining the illusions we confuse with reality.”

    “Debord cites the German philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach, who famously said: “But certainly for the present age, which prefers the sign to the thing signified, the copy to the original, representation to reality, the appearance to the essence… illusion only is sacred, truth profane. Nay, sacredness is held to be enhanced in proportion as truth decreases and illusion increases, so that the highest degree of illusion comes to be the highest degree of sacredness.” When Ellsberg told me he was a celebrity, he was saying that he underwent a symbolic transformation the moment he leaked the Pentagon Papers, and landed in a social realm that alienated him from non-celebrities like me.”

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