At the Void's Edge

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Return to Twin Peaks (no spoilers)

Yesterday David Lynch and Mark Frost announced they are creating nine episodes of Twin Peaks in a limited series, a legitimate, canon, no-kidding, real third season, “25 Years Later.”

I’m still too stunned to even fully comprehend it. My lifetime favorite television series ever. Twin Peaks. TWIN PEAKS. There can only be one; there IS only one. Fans like me were shocked, even heartbroken, by the ending we got after only two seasons all those years ago. But even in our disappointment, we still loved the experience we’d been given, recognizing it as the rare and probably unreproducible thing it was. Over time I had assumed it was gone forever, a rare kind of thing that was only able to happen by a fluke in the first place, quickly snuffed out by the storms of network television business politics and not likely to happen again, ever.

In a stale landscape of safe, predictable, forgettable television, Twin Peaks was something different. Twin Peaks was a challenge, a mystery flavored by Mystery in the capital-M sense of the word: a sense of the Hidden and Unknown beyond the mundane world. In contrast to the dry, clinical detachment of today’s forensic crime procedurals, Twin Peaks was all about the emotional and interpersonal stakes of one death in a tightly-knit community. But underlying that charming, nostalgic small-town-America exterior, there lurked something else, a world of secrets, terrors, and demons… human and otherwise.

The idea of an “other world” - a shadow world, a Black Lodge - underlying the happy illusions we see every day resonated very deeply with my own experiences growing up in small town East Texas. And its influence is clear in another love of mine, the long-running survival horror gaming series Silent Hill, a work of genius in its own right. To this day the symbolism of hidden shadow worlds and the idea of the polar extremes of human potential are powerful recurring themes in my own dreams.

The Twin Peaks neo-mythology of the Black Lodge and the “dugpas” bears the David Lynch signature characteristic of ambiguity. Ask ten fans what the Black Lodge even is, or who the dugpas are, and you’ll get ten different answers. This is the way Lynch has always rolled; he never assumes his audience needs everything spelled out for them in big capital letters. He is a visual artist first and a storyteller second; he is happy to present image-as-image and allow the viewer to fill in the blanks. This engagement of the imagination makes the viewer more of a participant than a passive spectator, an experience that audiences - at least the kind that make up the Twin Peaks fan base - had been starved for when Twin Peaks first appeared, and remain starved for today.

This is especially true in America, where many viewers are actively hostile to ambiguity, and most popular culture caters to this prejudice. The absurdities of our national politics notwithstanding, we are a more or less rational culture. In other words, we expect everything to obey some kind of predefined order: defined by science, defined by conventional religion, or defined by some set of reliable rules that always make sense no matter what the circumstances.

Lynch’s visions, by contrast, reflect the core truth he sees in our world: You don’t get an easy out. Sometimes there are no easy answers, and all you have to go by is what’s right in front of you, even if it doesn’t make sense. No one’s going to hold your hand, and no one’s coming to save you.* Figure it out.

So now that this is really happening, and there really is going to be a legitimate Lynch/Frost third season of Twin Peaks - not a spinoff or a remake - some reflexive nay-saying has already begun. All I can think of to do is manage expectations and just be happy they care enough to give it a shot. The original series took me by surprise because I’d had no previous expectations at all. Over-speculating and building it up too much two years out will only set up a letdown. For now, I’ll just be happy the original creators give enough of a damn to pick up some of the open threads and maybe, give us fans the closure we never got the first time around.

It’s really ridiculous how happy this has made me.

*(I know, I know… I’ve seen Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and know there are sometimes rare exceptions!)

A Nest of Vipers

So, the Orwellianly-named “Value Voters Summit" was this weekend. I’ve been lightly monitoring some of the headlines and peeking in on some of rhetoric. And surprise, surprise… same old same old. Pretty much what you’d expect. "Take Murica back for freedom and Jesus and Israel because we’re persecuted and we need a Crusade because Islam and Communist Nazi atheist Muslim Hussein Obama Bengazi. Also, OMG abortion and gay marriage!!"

Adventures In Irony: The ones who bawl and squall the loudest about the pretend threat of “creeping Sharia” are perfectly happy with a nation ruled by religion; they just don’t want any competition over whose version of Invisible Santa Claus Guy’s Book of Fairy Tales will dictate the morals of the masses by divine fatwa, exempt from the rules of evidence and immune to criticism.

HATE IS LOVE. FEAR IS COURAGE. FAITH IS REASON.

THE ONE TRUE GOD IS WATCHING YOU.

A nest of vipers. Scribes and Pharisees. Hypocrites. This is what it’s come to.

Anyway, I note with interest that when I first started this blog, posting secularist and theocracy-watch type links was a significant part of it. Now, it has largely fallen off to little more than an afterthought. Now, even going to the trouble of posting all the links and commenting on them seems more of an investment of time and energy than I’m willing to sacrifice from my own reserves in the bigger scheme of my master plan.

The forces of Restriction and theocracy in the West have not gone away, of course. And the ones leading the charge on science denial and stupid restrictions based on obsolete Bronze Age pseudo-morality in America are still not Muslims. But for the most part I’ve grown to resist getting too sucked into the vortex of letting their every little move and awful comment divert me too much from my own true Mission… defeating the purpose of being free from their strangleholds in the first place.

The fact I can pretty well do my thing without their silliness obstructing me too much is a good thing, but there are others who are not so fortunate. Now to build my power, fulfill my Mission, and remain on watch for ways to pry their claws off the others…

Matthew 23:13-33

Jerry Boykin Believes in the Return of Rambo Jesus — and Says That the Savior Wants You To Buy an AR-15

skepticalavenger:

atheistassessment:

Words fail, so I’ll just let this speak for itself. It’s the just-surfaced audio of a speech that Jerry Boykin, executive vice president of the Family Research Council, delivered at the WallBuilders’ Pro-Family Legislators Conference in November:




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And this is the kind of thinking that starts holy wars.  

God was and is made in the image of Man. Exhibit # 996,012,550,100,312.

skepticalavenger:

atheistjack:

via Trolling Atheist

No need to apologize, Australia.  You got rid of him fair and square.  We’ve been trying to dump him off on other countries but no one else is dumb enough to take him.

Apology accepted. We’ve shat so many morons into the world we’re in no position to throw stones. Plus, I can’t stay mad at anyone who gave us Miranda Kerr.

skepticalavenger:

atheistjack:

via Trolling Atheist

No need to apologize, Australia.  You got rid of him fair and square.  We’ve been trying to dump him off on other countries but no one else is dumb enough to take him.

Apology accepted. We’ve shat so many morons into the world we’re in no position to throw stones. Plus, I can’t stay mad at anyone who gave us Miranda Kerr.