Monday, July 16, 2012

The Killing Joke (Dahlia Noir)

The Universe is the Practical Joke of the General at the Expense of the Particular, quoth FRATER PERDURABO, and laughed.

But those disciples nearest to him wept, seeing the Universal Sorrow.

Those next to them laughed, seeing the Universal Joke.

Below these certain disciples wept.

Then certain laughed.

Others next wept.

Others next laughed.

Next others wept.

Next others laughed.

Last came those that wept because they could not see the Joke, and those that laughed lest they should be thought not to see the Joke, and thought it safe to act like FRATER PERDURABO.

But though FRATER PERDURABO laughed openly, He also at the same time wept secretly; and in Himself He neither laughed nor wept.

Nor did He mean what He said.

Eve of Destruction

Look for the symbolism

Kali's story can only end with a decapitation

The Middle Pillar

At the summit are the THREE SUPERNAL SEPHIROTH summed up into ONE — AIMA ELOHIM, the Mother Supernal — The Woman of the Apocalypse (Chap. 12) clothed with the SUN, the MOON under her feet, and on her head the Crown of Twelve Stars. . . . From the Three Supernals follow the other Sephiroth of THE TREE OF LIFE. Below the TREE, proceeding from MALKUTH is THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE of GOOD AND of EVIL which is between the Tree of Life and the World or Assiah or Shells, represented by the Coiled Up DRAGON with Seven Heads and Ten Horns—being the Seven Infernal Palaces and the Ten Averse Sephiroth.

"Short was found mutilated, her body sliced in half at the waist, on January 15, 1947, in Leimert Park, Los Angeles, California."

Jack Webb in Sunset Blvd.

In the 1950s, the actor Jack Webb -- the one who played Joe Friday on Dragnet -- did a book called The Badge: True and Terrifying Crime Stories That Could Not Be Presented on TV, in which he looked at the case and decided that "the wrong way of life" caused Short's death. (David Thomson)


The Lady in the Radiator


The Great Goddess . . . being tempted by the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, stooped down to the Qliphoth . . . the Columns were unsupported, and the Sephirotic Scheme was shattered; and with it fell Adam the Microprosopus. Then arose the Great Dragon with seven heads and ten horns, cutting by his folds Malkuth from the Sephiroth, and linking it to the Kingdom of the Shells. The Seven lower Sephiroth were cut off from the Three Supernals in Daath, at the feet of Aima Elohim. 


The Able bomb was called Gilda and decorated with the likeness of Rita Hayworth, star of the 1946 movie Gilda. The Baker bomb was Helen of Bikini. This femme-fatale theme for nuclear weapons, combining seduction and destruction, is epitomized by the use in all languages, starting in 1946, of bikini as the name for a woman's two-piece bathing suit. ("Operation Crossroads")

Rita Hayworth . . . was completely blindsided and terrified when a fan letter was sent to her on Feb 2, 1947 from "The Scar Never Fails" of Cleveland, TN. The author . . . intimidated Rita by making violent threats against her own life, ignorantly asking her if she wanted to wind up looking like "the blue daliha[sic]," clearly referencing "Black Dahlia" Elizabeth Short, whose mutilated and bisected body had just been found the previous month. If Rita did not comply with the blackmailer, she was told that lye would be "thrown into those beautiful eyes of yours." (Meredith L. Grau)

Elle Frank Bomb


The Girl Who Fell to Earth

[In] the Rita Hayworth vehicle Down to Earth . . . the actress portrays the ancient Greek Muse Terpsichore, who visits 20th century America to torment the Broadway producer who dares put on a show portraying the muses as man-crazy sluts, and Terpsichore herself as "just an ordinary dame." . . . while perturbed Terpsichore was no human female, we think she'd sympathize with the posthumous plight of Beth Short, Black Dahlia murder victim, brutalized before death by unknown assailants, and ever after subject to vile, false rumors. (1947 Project)

Splitting the Rita, 1947-1962: The Holy Trinity

One magical movement from Kether to Malkuth

The other Elizabeth Two

February 7 – Elizabeth II is proclaimed Queen of the United Kingdom (and her five other Commonwealth realms) at St. James's Palace, London, England.
July 26 – Eva Peron the so-called "Spiritual Leader" of Argentina dies at 33 years of Age at exactly 8:25 in the evening.
November 1 – Nuclear testing: Operation Ivy: The United States successfully detonates the first hydrogen bomb, codenamed "Mike", at Eniwetok Atoll in the Marshall Islands in the central Pacific Ocean, with a yield of 10.4 megatons.

A rare essence

The two-piece swimsuit was introduced within days of the first nuclear test on the [Bikini] atoll, when the name of the island was in the news. Introduced just weeks after the one-piece 'Atome' was widely advertised as the 'smallest bathing suit in the world', it was said that the bikini 'split the atom'.

Splitting the Adam Kadmon

When it arose within Ein-sof (the Infinite) to weave Yesh (Something) from its Ayin (Nothing) Ein-sof performed an act of Tzimtzum, contracting and concealing itself from a point, thereby forming a central, metaphysical void. It is in this void that the Primordial Man, Adam Kadmon, and all the countless Worlds(Olamot) emerge.

Lights flashing and recoiling from the eyes, nose, mouth and ears of the Primordial Man emanate the ten archetypal values, the Sefirot and the 22 holy letters (Otiyot Yesod), which were to be the building blocks of the universe and the structural elements of all things.

These lights first formed vessels (Kelim) that were to contain the further emanations of the light of the infinite (Or Ein-sof). However, the vessels could not contain these emanations, and in a cosmic catastrophe known as the Breaking of the Vessels (Shevirat ha-Kelim), the vessels were displaced and shattered. The letters, which had been initially assembled into meaningful groups became a Babel of nonsense. This rupture in the universe created a separation of the opposites, in particular, a split between the masculine and the feminine aspects of both God and the Primordial Man.

The broken vessels tumbled down through the metaphysical void, trapping within themselves sparks of the emanated divine light. These entrapped sparks became shrouded in layers of darkness as they fell into the Sitra Achra, the "Other Side." The world, instead of being composed of the pristine archetypal values of Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Love, Judgment, Beauty, etc. was now formed of the broken, displaced, and obscured lights and vessels as they coalesced as Kellipot (Husks, complexes). As a result, our world (Assiyah-"making"), is, as Adin Steinsaltz has put it, "the worst of all possible worlds in which there is still hope," yet paradoxically it is the best of all possible worlds because it serves as the arena for redemption . . .

As a result of the Breaking of the Vessels, the Primordial Adam was himself partly shattered into a multitude of individual souls, who themselves are comprised of the same fragments or Kellipot that form our world, and which are exiled and alienated in the "Other Side.". The task of individual men and women is to extract (via an act of birur) those sparks (netzotzim) that are his or her fortune to encounter in life, and to raise and spiritualize them, so as to reconstitute the Sefirot and the figure of the Primordial Man as five Partzufim (Visages or Personalities of God) and restore the harmony of the opposites, as well as the conjugal relations between the masculine and feminine aspects of God, man and the world. (New Kabbalah)

‎"This can't be legal, it's murder in the first degree"

"Set, while out hunting by moonlight, discovered the chest, opened it, and cut Osiris' body into 14 pieces, which he scattered throughout the land . . ."

Our blood shall feed the earth

The Great Magician

The Black . . .

On the day of Short's murder, production on The Lady From Shanghai was shut down due to a strike caused by Welles, contrary to union rules, working on construction of the carnival funhousc a set. The coincidence of that hardly needs commenting on, but the macabre parallels between aspects of the set and The Dahlia murder are, to say the least, unsettling. In a sequence, cut from the film at Columbia President Harry Cohn's insistence, Rita Hayworth is shown standing in a chamber of horrors surrounded by grotesquely dismembered mannequins. The walls are daubed with disturbing, violent images and anatomical drawings, one of them a partially flayed cow with a woman, cut clean in half, lying on top of it. Elsewhere there areseveral clowns' faces, one imprisoned in a metal birdcage One of the images painted on the Wallis of a bisected skeleton, its arms and legs posed in positions eerily similar to The Dahlia's corpse. In a production still, Welles and make-up artist Bob Schiffer are shown applying make-up to the face of a mannequin, giving the impression that its cheeks have been slashed into a wide, gory smile. Elizabeth Short's face was mutilated in the same way, her cheeks lacerated from the corners of her mouth to form a ghastly, rictus grin. (Empire)

. . . and the White

Bette Short was seeing a man called George (Welles's first name, used by certain of his intimates) and ate in a restaurant that Welles frequented, Brittinghams's near the Columbia studios; that the body was left, carefully arranged, on the former site of The Mercury Wonder Show on Cahuenga Boulevard--where, of course, Welles had so famously sawn a woman in half; and a collage message from the murderer sent to the police with the girl's address book and birth certificate, which heavily features the letters O and W. (Simon Callow)

Follow O.W.

It is the figure of the Magus of the Taro; in his right arm the torch of the flames blazing upwards; in his left, the cup of poison, a cataract into Hell. And upon his head the evil talisman, blasphemy and blasphemy and blasphemy, in the form of a circle. . . . this is the Mystery of Iniquity, that there was ever a beginning at all. And this Magus casteth forth, by the might of his four weapons, veil after veil; a thousand shining colours, ripping and tearing the Aethyr; so that it is like jagged saws, or like broken teeth in the face of a young girl, or like disruption, or madness. There is a horrible grinding sound, maddening. This is the mill in which the Universal Substance, which is ether, was ground down into matter. (Aleister Crowley)

The Mercury Theatre

There is a certain exquisite anguish at the heart of the World Soul that is the yearning for her own Fire. Synchronous evidence does not concern itself so much with pointing to the actual murderer of the Black Dahlia, but showing its symbolic significance. Marlene (the Lilith "replacement" for Rita the Shekinah) was Lola-Lola in The Blue Angel, now symbolically chopped in half by the Great Magician, movie director Orson Welles. (It will be remembered that Tom Cruise figuratively tears Leelee Sobieski in half in Eyes Wide Shut, which is the cosmic Gnostic magic trick.) 

Helter Skelter in the summer swelter

And coincidentally enough, modern Lolita Mena Suvari plays the Black Dahlia in American Horror Story. Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita begins in 1947--this is the quintessential post-war novel; the Gilda bomb drops in July 1946 and the world starts ending all over again.
This is how Humbert describes Lolita's mother, Charlotte Haze:
The poor lady was in her middle thirties, she had a shiny forehead, plucked eyebrows and quite simple but not unattractive features of a type that may be defined as a weak solution of Marlene Dietrich. (Shmoop)

In Orson Welles' The Lady From Shanghai, Rita Hayworth is killed in a Chinatown Fun House (we must remember that the End is always the Beginning--Death as an act of Creation). The film itself is a pastiche of Gilda and Vertigo, wherein Rita is the archetypal Lilith-as-scheming-Goddess (since they were always really the same) who sets up Orson (the hapless Black Irish Fool) to take the fall for a murder. But as we are dealing with Wheels Within Wheels, it is the meta-narrative that mostly concerns us.

Rita's double on the wall?

Death is the road to awe

Shevirat HaKelim

The numerous "shards" echo the primordial catastrophe of the "shattering of the vessels." Ironically, Welles' Lady was "cut to pieces" by studio executives, a fate that befell many of his films. This film was shot while Orson Welles was separating from his wife Rita Hayworth, showing that we are again witnessing the "separation" of the King from the Shekinah. When in separation, she becomes Lola-Lola (Lilith as the divided Shekinah), represented by Marlene Dietrich. 

In True Confessions, the victim is found with Chinese food in her stomach. In the L.A. noir of Chinatown, Faye Dunaway's ("done away") character is similarly killed in Chinatown, by which we should understand the lower material realms of Assiah (Asia). (A doppelgaenger of Elizabeth Short herself even seems to make an appearance as "Sophie"--Jake condemns her to the bathroom of doom.) John Huston plays the villain of the piece, a predator known for raping young girls. 

John Huston and BFF Orson Welles

Huston was best known as a movie director, including the Sue Lyon and Ava Gardner vehicle Night of the Iguana. He was also friends with Black Dahlia suspect George Hodel. (And it is the very name "George" that seems to recur.) David Thomson continues:

George Hodel was a strange social animal. His wife Dorothy had been married previously to John Huston, the film director, and the three of them stayed on friendly terms afterward. Hodel was also friendly with Man Ray and other modern artists. He had a house by the architect Lloyd Wright, Frank Lloyd Wright's son, on Franklin Avenue -- like a Mayan fortress from the outside, but a grotto inside -- that was deliberately maintained to resemble the home of the Marquis de Sade. And most haunting of all, Steve describes the occasion when Hodel and his friend Fred Sexton (the man who made the actual falcon for John Huston's film The Maltese Falcon) raped Hodel's daughter Tamar, a fourteen-year-old beauty. Hodel was charged with this crime later, in 1949, but acquitted because of a lawyer's clever and cruel campaign to expose Tamar as a congenital liar. The cops recorded Hodel's calls at the time, and in one of them he sneers, "Supposin' I did kill the Black Dahlia. They couldn't prove it now. They can't talk to my secretary anymore because she's dead." That secretary was poisoned, no questions ever asked. . . . 

Hades and Persephone

John Huston was a bit of a sadist, and was also interested in hypnosis. And here we come upon delicate ground -- personal comment on an artistic hero. Huston was a man of action as well as a great storyteller, but also a user of people, a gambler, a reckless soul. As a young man he killed someone in a driving accident, and the matter was covered up. And he did say that the thing he loved about film-making was the power, the sadism. . . . in Chinatown, Huston played Noah Cross, one of the bleakest villains in Hollywood pictures -- a man who rapes his own daughter -- and did him with relish; and in a very bad film called De Sade he even played the marquis himself. . . . (Thomson)

Left: Black Dahlia crime scene photo
Right: Man Ray, Minotaur

In identifying signature surrealist art motifs with the hideously mutilated and bisected corpse of Elizabeth Short we are led to associate an entire art movement and its most famous exponents as occult observers of an unspeakable riddle within a shocking crime.  In analysing these same motifs, particularly Man Ray’s minotaur motif, we are consequently given a key in connecting the Black Dahlia murder to a distinct Saturnian mythological element – the grandson of Zeus, great grandson of Kronos/Saturn, the half-man, half-bull son of Minos, the Minotaur, destroyer of maidens. . . . By leaving Elizabeth Short’s mutilated corpse in a state of redressed pose, that most grisly of crime masterpieces, . . . [the murderer] may have been the first killer whose recognised modus operandi was art, albeit a murderous art.  As a true destroyer of maidens, . . . [he] had become surrealism’s Minotaur Incarnate! (Saturn Death Cult)

The Two Towers and the Minotaur on the Threshold

Juliet Browner in minotaure repose, Vine Street studio, Los Angeles, 1945

Marcel Duchamp, Etant donnés

I looked at The Asphalt Jungle again, and this is what I saw. The first time we meet Alonzo's mistress, she is curled up on a sofa. She is Marilyn Monroe. The camera looks down on her, folded into the small seat, twisted a little, foreshortened. I had a sudden shock at the odd way she might be being posed by eyes that knew the pictures of Elizabeth Short. Then, later, Monroe's character is talking to Alonzo, who is planning her future, and her arms go up in the air, above her head.

The structures of evil: a film buff's catalogue system can search quickly. I thought of The Lady from Shanghai (1949), where Rita Hayworth's character is listening to a story of sharks in the dark sea -- and one arm goes up over her head, involuntarily, as if to shield her eyes from the sight. And I thought of Gilda (1946), a film with a sadistic edge, where as Hayworth dances, her gloved arms are up over her head. How many degrees of separation? When I mentioned it to my wife, she looked at the shot and told me that gesture simply accentuated the bust line -- "and you know what guys are looking at."(Thomson)

The written woman

Every word a stain on the silence

As soon as the Christian God, emanating forth from Silence, manifested himself as the Word or Logos, the latter became the cause of his death. The serpent is the symbol of wisdom and eloquence, but it is likewise the symbol of destruction. "To dare, to know, to will, and be silent," are the cardinal axioms of the kabalist. Like Apollo and other gods, Jesus is killed by his Logos; he rises again, kills him in his turn, and becomes his master. Can it be that this old symbol has, like the rest of ancient philosophical conceptions, more than one allegorical and never-suspected meaning? The coincidences are too strange to be results of mere chance. (Helena Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled Vol. 2)

Scarlett has been symbolically "written" upon by the sinister "Bobby," which recalls the character of BOB from Twin Peaks, who also had a habit of inserting letters of his name under his victims' fingernails.

Loren Coleman recently posted an article on Frank Lloyd Wright that I must quote it at length:

From 1945 through 1951, the John Sowden House was owned by Dr. George Hodel, a Los Angeles physician who was a prime suspect in the infamous Black Dahlia murder, although he was not publicly named as such at the time. The house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright's oldest son, Lloyd Wright. Its design was based on the Mayan Revival movement, embraced by Frank Lloyd Wright, for example, in the Ennis-Brown House. . . . Dr. George Hodel's own son, Steve Hodel, himself a retired City of Los Angeles homicide detective, argued in his 2003 book Black Dahlia Avenger that the Black Dahlia victim, Elizabeth Short, was actually tortured, murdered and dissected by his father inside of the Sowden House, in January 1947.

The John Sowden House was used as a shooting location to depict the home of Ava Gardner in Martin Scorsese's The Aviator (2004), a film about Howard Hughes.

The Black Dahlia was identified as Elizabeth Short, and a photograph of her compares favorably with the appearance given to the Sean Young character in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner (1982).

The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Ennis-Brown House in Los Angeles was used in one drive up scene, and as the studio inspiration for shooting in Rick Deckard's apartment in Blade Runner. The style of this house, again, was Mayan Revival, and the Mayan influence is undeniably strong in the employment of the glyphs throughout. . . . Deckard's apartment, drawn by set designer Charles William Breen and built on stage at Warner Brothers, was inspired by the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Ennis-Brown House. Breen actually had plaster casts taken from the textile blocks of the Wright-designed house and used them for the walls in the stage set. 

The Hierophant

The King of Holy Wood

Additionally, the Ennis-House House was briefly the home of famed esoteric author Manly P. Hall, (see here). Also the Ennis-Brown House was used in the Disney film The Rocketeer as the home of Neville Sinclair, Nazi spy. Howard Hughes was a prominent character in the film. [Thanks M.]

In the Lee Tamahori-directed Mulholland Falls (1996), Rocketeer star Jennifer Connelly plays a fictionalized Black Dahlia (an aspiring actress, Allison Pond), in which radioactive glass is found at her feet, leading the detectives to the Nevada Atomic Testing Site. [Thanks E.D.] 

In 1999, during shooting, movie director David Lynch created the Club Silencio as a location in his surreal classic Mulholland Drive (2001). Tile casts of the block relief ornamentation from Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis-Brown House were used for the Club Silencio doorframe. In 2011, Lynch opened a real-life nightclub in Paris named Club Silencio, inspired by the one in his film. (Twilight Language)
Frank Lloyd "Write" is obviously a glyph of the Demiurge, building houses of Maya to entrap innocent girls. The owner of the house of Maya is the Lord of Illusion.

Laura Harring plays Rita in Mulholland Drive and Dehlia Draycott in Nancy Drew. David Lynch's interest in the Black Dahlia is well known.

The Colossus of Rhodes is Adam Kadmon--Camilla Rhodes in Mulholland Drive acts as Gilda, the Split Adam/Atom. There's two of them--the World Soul and the Spirit eternally dancing within it. The Shard and the Dark Crystal.

Candy girl

I posit that behind Betty and Veronica there is a third girl, the Black Betty, represented by the Black Dahlia--the Shekinah (that is, Sophia) in whom all hope lies. But Black Betty's child (Sophia's offspring Yaldabaoth) is crazy. Her absence from the world is the eternal Killing Joke.

In Dave Stevens' original comic of The Rocketeer, "Cliff Secord's girl-friend Betty is modeled after 'Queen of Pinups' Bettie Page." For the film version, the writers changed "her name from Betty to Jenny and her profession from nude model to Hollywood extra."

(MK Ultrasound)

"Is This a Trick, or Some S&M Game?"

Bettie Page, as an avatar of the Shekinah in Exile, is best known for being "in bondage." She spends her life in front of the movie camera (the Eye of God). It is precisely the purity of the Page that is defiled by the "poison pen."

Also in the Rocketeer comic is a mysterious magician named Orsino, whom we may take as being Orson Welles.

In his magic act, it's all fun and games until the girl gets killed.

Mulholland Drive and Mulholland Falls

In Mulholland Falls, John Malkovitch is essentially an amalgamation of Peter Sellers' characters of Clare Quilty and Dr. Strangelove--the head of the Atomic Energy Commission. He believes in the necessity of Girl Sacrifice on the Holy Wood in order to keep the wheels of the American Empire running. She was killed for being a threat to National Security.

Jennifer Connelly is found loaded with gamma radiation, which strangely parallels her role in the 2003 Hulk movie. She's a Black Betty again--Betty Ross.

(Manohla Dargis)

George Hodel is Pierce Patchett, the creepy dude in L.A. Confidential who cuts girls . . . and "needed a Rita Hayworth.

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain

(Jerold J. Abrams, The Philosophy of Stanley Kubrick)

Exquisite Corpse presents the theory that Elizabeth Short's murder may have been informed by surrealist art, and that the killer was familiar with surrealist art and ideas. It also proposes that art created after the murder may have made veiled references to it. . . . Foremost, our book asserts that this gruesome but precisely executed murder may have been a deranged attempt to imitate motifs in surrealist art. 

I don’t get modern art,” says Bleichert. “I doubt modern art gets you either,” replies Madeleine.

Lilith and the Shekinah

The Black Dahlia (Shekinah in exile--the dismembered woman) shoots a pornographic "art" film on the set of  The Man Who Laughs along with a blonde Lolita (Lilith ruling Kether) character. 

It's really a 1928 silent movie where the Dahlia gets killed. Like Norma Desmond in Sunset Blvd., they killed 'er with "talk, talk, talk." 
The sets of The Man Who Laughs serve also as the sets for the stag film, and De Palma presents himself as the worst sense of what directors can be, simple pimps procuring beautiful women for the delectation of their clientele. The doubling of the stag film and Man Who Laughs feels like an indictment of contemporary film itself, a question of at what point the medium becomes so debased, so simple a mechanism for sating the dullest tastes that it becomes indistinguishable from the artlessness of pornography? . . . The audition clips are also a study in contrast, with Mia Kirshner luminescent in every frame, something like a silent movie actress, all while her character is laughed at for her shoddy acting. (Italkyoubored)
Her mouth was sliced ear-to-ear, looking like Heath Ledger's Joker. Aaron Eckhart (Harvey Dent) also appears in The Black Dahlia. It's the Joker's movie.

The Doctor is in

The Joker and the Harlequin

The figure in this card, Adjustment, is said to be the female counterpart to The Fool. Yet it can be deduced that they are a meant to be single entity, but the Tree of Life itself is the split Adam. She is ultimately the Shekinah but is here substituted by the Lamed Lamed, or Lilith. (MK Ultrasound)

Charlie Chaplin's magic show

The Great Magician

Joyce Milton claims that a major inspiration for the novel [Lolita] was Charlie Chaplin's relationship with his second wife, Lita Grey, whose real name was Lillita and is often misstated as Lolita.... Lolita's first sexual encounter was with a boy named Charlie Holmes, whom Humbert describes as "the silent...but indefatigable Charlie."

Samael and Lilith: Lo plays it with Charlie, or maybe Adolf, when she descends Jacob's Ladder and weds Hades. She was supposed to meet Mona (the Black Dahlia, the Shekinah below who depends on the light of the higher sephirot) in the Dead Pool, but Charlotte's qlipothic Justice intervenes and the Tree remains divided against itself.

The Shards

A life in pictures

In The Killing Joke Joker shoots Barbara Gordon (the Primordial Redhead) in the stomach and through her spine, leaving her crippled from the waist down (thanks Jeremy Huff).

Stealing Laura's red Herrings

Charlie Chaplin plays opposite a ballet dancer who can't use her legs in Limelight

The ballet she plays with Charlie concerns her own death (as usual).

In The Big Lebowski, Bunny as a "Lolita" figure is first seen as being torn into pieces (missing a toe), but then is revealed to be whole and willingly consorting with the forces of non-existence--"while her essential nature as Spirit is retained, it is her adultery with the Lord of Illusions that defiles her."

The Bicycle Joker is the King of Easy Writers

Asleep at the Wheel

The microcosmic Joker is the Fool in his guise as Magician-Initiate. Jack Nicholson is the macrocosmic Joker in his guise as Great Magician--the Easy Writer who scribes upon "Harley" Quinn, she of the dancing wheels. The harlequin dances within the cube of space that is itself suspended within the field of limitless light.

It reminds one of this Clockwork Orange poster, with the girl trapped within a recursive hierarchical black pyramid (feedback loop?), which Alex breaks through to find himself in the womb of another starry goddess (Binah).

Caesar Rome-ro the Hierophant (Pontifex Maximus)

The Minotaur

Though the face of the Hierophant appears benignant and smiling, and the child himself seems glad with wanton innocence, it is hard to deny that in the expression of the initiator is something mysterious, even sinister. He seems to be enjoying a very secret joke at somebody’s expense. There is a distinctly sadistic aspect to this card; not unnaturally, since it derives from the Legend of Pasiphae, the prototype of all the legends of Bull-gods. (Aleister Crowley)

Joker the Hierophant-Initiator drives the #22 (Major Arcana, paths on the Tree of Life, and the age of Elizabeth Short when she died) school bus in The Dark Knight. School is in session; "are you watching closely?" The Hierophantic Killing Joke is dependent on maintaining the illusion of separation, which is why Joker's face is that of an eternally-dismembered woman. Art as Redrum.

Mack the Knife

Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal) gets blown to pieces by the Joker. The Shekinah is in exile with Israel: "Her mother is Jewish ... Gyllenhaal has stated that she 'grew up mostly Jewish, culturally', though she did not attend Hebrew school."

Bettie Page believes in Jesus--Sophia keeps her Pistis, even when she's dancing with the Clown in Bondage.

No splitting on the Amanda Curran

Hades and Persephone, or Joker and Harley Quinn?

The final scene in Batman 1989 is straight out of Hitchcock's Vertigo, with Michael Keaton's Batman as Scottie, Kim Basinger's Vicki Vale (of Isis) as Judy, and Jack Nicholson's Joker as Gavin Elster. Michael Keaton took his stage name from Charlie Chaplin's comedic rival Buster Keaton.

Joker is running the movie projector. The Tim Drake Joker is Harpocrates (the dancing child in the heart of the Hierophant), the Fool as Hero-Initiate, who overthrows the Cosmic Fool.

The Magician vs. the Great Magician

Angela Hayes and Lester Burnham

Sean Young (Rachael the Shekinah in Blade Runner) was originally to star in Batman, but "fell" and was replaced by Kim Basinger, star of L.A. Confidential, written by James Ellroy, who also wrote The Black Dahlia. In Confidential Basinger is a Veronica Lake lookalike in the employ of Pierce Pratchett, who bears an uncanny resemblance to the possible Black Dahlia murderer.

The Blue Dahlia (1946) starred . . . Veronica Lake.

The Blue Dahlia murder happens at bungalow 93. Elizabeth Short's corpse was found at 39th & Norton Streets in south L.A. Johnny's dead wife was a party girl (it turned out to be sort of a drag).

The Black Betty . . . 

. . . and the Blonde Veronica

The Pierce Patchett-George Hodel lookalike (who owns the Blue Dahlia nightclub and is involved in various shady dealings) is married to Veronica Lake (Hades & Persephone), paralleling L.A. Confidential. She is caught in a very Bad Romance--but she'll help Alan Ladd through the Underworld.

Spoiler: It was Dad who done it, but we knew that already.

In Stanley Kubrick's The Killer's Kiss, the dismembered girl theme again becomes prominent (and note the synchronous Chinese subtitles). The Magician opposes the Great Magician in the Fun House. You have to chop up a few girls if you're going to create a Universe.

The proprietor of the Pleasure Land fun house is that same creepy mustached man. The thing about the recurrent George Hodel character is, in Blue Dahlia he didn't actually do it. Same with Pierce Patchett in L.A. Confidential. Steve Hodel fingered his father because it is, fundamentally, the Father who is responsible for this Act of God. Even if we are being told that George Hodel (the Devil?) is the perpetrator on some level, the real responsibility lies with God for letting it happen in the first place. Jerry Sandusky was the one who abused the kids, but Joe Paterno has to be held responsible.

Here, too, is the recurrent theme of the ballet dancer (Shekinah) who snuffs it, wherein the blonde Lilith (in the non-pejorative sense) takes the stage in the senseless dance of existence. These same themes would recur in Kubrick's adaptation of Lolita, where Quilty's dance becomes an important motif. The task of Kubrick's hero is to extract her from the Dance and raise the sparks of light.

Winona is what's for dinner

Getting the Glasgow Smile: creation as self-mutilation in Black Swan

"Short's severely mutilated body was nude, severed at the waist, and completely drained of blood."

The Lily in the box

In The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Heath Ledger's last film role, the concept of the "stage" again comes into play. Dr. Parnassus the Hierophant is using Valentina for his Mystery-Play. The victory comes when she escapes from the Father's artifice. ("They've got you trapped, Rose . . .")

Compare Joker and Vicki's dance and Rita's showdown in the hall of mirrors to Tom Waits (the Devil) and Lily Cole (Valentina) dancing with the broken "shards" (the Pale Moon Light).

What do you see
You people gazing at me
You see a doll on a music box
That's wound by a key

How can you tell
I'm under a spell
I'm waiting for love's first kiss

You cannot see
How much I long to be free
Turning around on this music box
That's wound by a key

For Bleichert, the obsession is erotic, he becomes infatuated not with the Black Dahlia as she lived, but the Black Dahlia as an image, apart from life. Bleichert wishes to somehow re-create this image in life, and his desire is fulfilled when he meets Madeleine Sprague [Linscott in the film], a woman who consciously makes herself into the image of the Dahlia, becoming her living twin. (Italkyoubored)

In The Black Dahlia, there is a clear Vertigo connection as Madeleine (note the name) is supposed to look just like Elizabeth Short (even if Hilary Swank pointedly does not). 

The dark reflection

In order to solve the Mystery, our Hero will need to sleep with the bad girl (Jacob must marry Leah); but she is only a substitute for the real Shekinah (Rachel). Veronica is rich, but Chaotic Evil. 
Madeleine is Bleichert’s dark half, a twin who acts in ways he will not and does the things he wants, but which he will not permit himself. She is the one who initiates sex with him, rather than the other way around. . . . She acts as the agent of his own hidden desires, which might make her something like his “Black Angel”. (Italkyoubored)

Just as Judy/Madeleine is treacherous in Vertigo, Madeleine is working with the Father in The Black Dahlia. The Demiurge built shoddy firetrap houses in Hollywoodland.

In the end, it was the idiot manchild George who done it, assisted by the mad Mother, doing her best Gloria Swanson in Sunset Blvd. impression. The World Soul has gone insane, but it was not always this way.

Marrying Hades

In Queen Kelly, Gloria Swanson falls from a life of perfect purity to become the Madam of a brothel (the World-as-Whorehouse theme). Interestingly, the film was half-finished, which means that Sunset Blvd. effortlessly picks up the story right where it leaves off, with Swanson as the Princess (the Page of Pentacles) transmogrified into the Wicked Witch (the Queen of Cups).

The Middle Pillar

At the end of All About Eve, once the golden award of the Magna Mater is placed in Eve's heart, the Mother (the first Heh) is replaced by the Daughter (the second Heh, Phoebe as the "new Eve"), who awakens from her long slumber in Evil Eve's house of doom. In the real world, Anne Baxter (Eve Harrington) was the granddaughter of Frank Lloyd Wright.

And in Sunset Blvd., Joe G. meets second Heh Betty (having been condemned to eternal purgatory with first Heh Mal) and the film inexplicably flashes to color in the YouTube clip--the Shekinah's "cloud of pink" has the ability to distort reality itself. They then head to the "rainbow room." Heh means "window" and the first thing they discuss (after she gives him a drink from the Grail) is the script Dark Windows. Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) of course being the Dark Heh, the Dark Window. It's the Eyes Wide Shut Masked Ball again, transported to New Year's Eve.

Oh my prince...

...would that you drink of my lips... 

Critics have often dismissed Scarlett Johansson (who plays Kay Lake in The Black Dahlia, another nod to Veronica Lake) as a terrible actress. I suggest that this is deliberate; she is the same as the terrible actress in The Rocketeer who demonstrates the Mystery of the Grail in Neville's (the Hierophant's) Mystery-Play. She underscores the nature of the artifice; No Hay Banda.

Scarlett as the Blonde Betty lacks the depth of Black Betty (the Shekinah in Malkuth), who can only be apprehended by the profane through her films. 

Mr. Postman

Scarlett as Charlotte (Haze) in Lost in Translation (bride of the camera man, the Killing Joker) is not Bill Murray's (Bob Harris') wife, but willingly condescends to guide him through the Underworld and back to his real wife, who is preparing a place for him. (Or are they really the same?) The Holy Spirit (being wholly spirit) can only find her identity through her union with Bob in Assiah (Japan, or "Chinatown"), wherein God is made Man and the Shekinah is united with the King.

Lina in Singin' in the Rain further embodies the Harlequin (or Columbine, rather) archetype, which means that everything is really Alex DeLarge's fault (having stolen the goddess' power to create the world). Lina, as the counterfeit blonde Lilith, arranged for Shekinah Kathy to lose her job. Not coincidentally, Harley Quinn first appeared on September 11, 1992.

The true Grail, as the hidden Wisdom behind the Hollywood nightmare, prefers to remain out of the spotlight. (She's under a Contract with the Demiurge.)

What was that line again? Oh my prince... 

...would that you drink of my lips... 

Just give Betty a chance to write

The Black Betty of Sunset Blvd. is a Ghost Reader, lurking behind the cameras, while the Lilith-imago takes the spotlight . . . she is ready to love Joe G. as he is; but Norma demands his head as atonement for the Killing Joke.

The Great J.G.

And as I sat there, brooding on the old unknown world, I thought of Gatsby's wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...