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bOWLing Green (life-changing jackpots)

"Not to be Reproduced (La reproduction interdite", 1937) by Rene Magritte.
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If you want to know what to do next, just look around you. The clues are there.” 8/14 meditation in The Secret Language of Birthdays

OKLAHOMA CITY – Long-closed, the Borders bookstore chain carried one of those thick and heavy – and relatively cheap – books near the front of the store, the ones I tend to ignore.

It was another one of the horoscope/astrology/New Age books, this one focusing on characteristics of people born on particular days of the year – simply titled The Secret Language of Birthdays.

Grain of salt, I know.

Anyway, I had not seen this book in a while, but stumbled across it the other day. Reading the entries for family members and friends, I was repeatedly stunned by the seeming accuracy of the descriptions of the personalities of people born on certain days. Tendencies, health issues, foibles, traits …

It’s fun. But is there actual significance to all of this?  

My birthday is August 14th. I share this birthday with a lot of celebrities I happen to admire in varying ways – Steve Martin, David Crosby, Halle Berry, Magic Johnson, Mila Kunis, Marcia Gay Harden, Gary Larson of The Far Side – and I do notice certain trends in their public personalities.

But whatever, right?

Actually, my birthday is also called (according to the people behind this book) “The Day of the Mortal Mirror” and that traits for those born on this day are: observant, honest, funny, self-unaware, escapist and disturbing. More right than wrong, in my case …

It opens by noting: “Those born on August 14 hold up a mirror to the human condition, and are generally one of two types. The first type actually embodies the characteristics of their age—its style, philosophy, strengths and weaknesses. Usually these August 14 people are not particularly aware of what they represent nor are they interested in commenting on it. The second type is made up of those who comment and analyze, seeking to lay bare the foibles of their world, whether it be their own private circle or society at large.”

When it comes to the Tarot, August 14th is noted thusly: “The 14th card of the Major Arcana is Temperance. The figure shown is a guardian angel who protects us and keeps us on an even keel.”

Seeking a balance between my inner and outer self is very important. A lifelong goal.

As the site notes, "looking inward will re-charge you." A big reason why Dust Devil Dreams is so important to me. 

But I think in the years I've been analyzing my "inner life," I have discovered things that Swiss psychologist and sync giant Carl Jung called the "Shadow," that "unconscious aspect" or "dark side" of one's personality. 

In any event, this theme of the “mirror” and using it to “comment and analyze” has been coming up quite a bit for me of late.

It reminded me of the singer-songwriter and musician Evan Dando, best known for being the leader of the alt-rock band the Lemonheads. Dando was born on March 4, 1967 ("The day of creative isolation") and according to this occult birthday book, those born that day are “self-contained, intimate, autonomous, fearful, shy and self-involved.” It describes Evan Dando to a “T,” particularly after seeing him live in concert, where he barely even made eye contact with the audience at all.

I like Dando’s music and I find him to be interesting if a bit “self-involved,” as noted above. Still, as a Reality Bites-era Gen X’er I was interested in Dando’s one-time relationship with fellow alt-rocker Juliana Hatfield, about whom I’ve written here before.

(Neal Preston / CORBIS)

Anyway, back on October 13, 2013, I wrote a piece called “Evan, Juliana and the mirrored image.” I talk about doppelgängers, something that was triggered by a visit to a local coffee shop where someone in line blurted out the word “doppelgängers,” which is, of course, “a paranormal double of a living person.”

As I wrote nearly four years ago: "This gave me pause. Doppelgänger? The mind raced. I immediately thought of two things – Twin Peaks, when Agent Dale Cooper enters the Black Lodge and his evil doppelgänger emerges later. The other thing that I thought of was a work by my favorite Surrealist painter – the Belgian Rene Magritte. The work of art was 1937’s La reproduction interdite (Not to be Reproduced). It is a painting of a man (Magritte patron Edward James) standing in front of a mirror. Next to him is a book – 1838’s The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allen Poe. This novel, which would later inspire adventure writers including Jules Verne and Herman Melville, deals with a dark journey for a man named Pym, who is aboard a whaling ship (from Nantucket – again Massachusetts/New England) that heads farther and farther south – to the South Pole and alludes to the Hollow Earth theory we have discussed here at Red Dirt Report.

And while the Poe book is reflected properly in the mirror over the mantle, the reflection of the man in the mirror is not. You see only the back of his head. This famous Magritte image, I learned as a much younger person, was an example of a doppelganger. The mirror reveals much more than we think."


Well, with the return of Agent Dale Cooper, his evil doppelganger and the whole, twisted Twin Peaks universe this past month, the idea of doubles, of the paranormal variety, have been discussed in many corners of the Internets and such.

In fact, seeing Twin Peaks: The Return analyzed in the age of social media and online discussion boards, podcasts and reddits, well, it's too much to absorb, really. I am mainly trying to watch each episode - very carefully - and try to discern just what the hell may be going on and where this all leads. 

We were led to believe, back in 1991, that Agent Cooper entered the Black Lodge and his evil doppelganger escaped (the famous scene of Cooper smashing his head in the mirror in his hotel room, and seeing the demonic "BOB" in the reflection ...), causing mayhem for the past quarter-century, all while wearing snakeskin, sporting a spray tan and bad hair - and a most malevolent disposition. 

Good Cooper, meanwhile, has re-entered our world (circa 2014 or so) in Las Vegas, as coffee-swilling "Dougie Jones." And this Vegas link has been syncing heavily with me in light of my Robert Bigelow, gambling/corruption angles, alien technology and atomic bomb legacy of that area, which you can read here.

And so, a day or so after having a very strange dream, I was driving down the highway (as America's "Ventura Highway" comes on - literally, right now - "aw c'mon Joe, you can always change your name") and I see a sign for a Native American casino which reads "LIFE CHANGING JACKPOTS." It is the "jackpots" won by "Dougie"/"Mr. Jackpots" (aka "Good Cooper"?) that lead to some troubling developments at the Silver Mustang Casino. Life changing for "Dougie," the pit boss and many others. Dougie wins nearly half-a-million dollars and dodders off in a daze. 

So ... to my dream: I find myself in a seedy casino, a lot like the one in Terry Gilliam's 1998 film Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, based on the Hunter S. Thompson "gonzo" story and a one about the death of the American Dream. This is something I've been thinking about for a while ... the death of the American Dream ... like the paper I wrote in college, shortly after the original Twin Peaks went off the air - a compare and contrast between Twin Peaks, Washington in Twin Peaks and Mayberry, North Carolina of The Andy Griffith Show. If only I could find that paper ...

So, in the dream, I'm in this casino hoping to see a concert by the actual singer/songwriter Chris Isaak, who not only had a hit in 1991 with "Wicked Game," featured in David Lynch's film Wild At Heart, but who would appear as FBI Agent Chester Desmond in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992). Agent Desmond would vanish at the Fat Trout Trailer Park in Deer Meadow, Washington while investigating the murder of prostitute Teresa Banks. The jade-green Owl ring is at the center of it all.

Had I been thinking about Chris Isaak and his role in the Twin Peaks world? Yes. But what was interesting is that a guy "passing himself off as Chris Isaak" is on stage, someone who looks like E Street Band member Steven Van Zandt. He's insisting HE is Chris Isaak. Then, a man at the bar, looking like a 1980's version of "Weird Al" Yankovic, tells me that it really is not Chris Isaak but a "lookalike." That the real Chris Isaak got in trouble with someone named "Ynez" and is now in prison in California. The name "Ynez," I later learned, means "pure" or "chaste." No wicked games there. But that theme of doubles - imposters - keeps coming up. Like the recent Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band reissue, "it was 50 years ago today" ... and I can't look at Paul McCartney quite the same, ever again.

But what is VERY weird, is that I came across a Shutterstock photo of Chris Isaak and Steven Van Zandt - together. They, of course, look nothing alike. I have never seen this photo of these two men together, ever, in my life. It's a little eerie.

In my notes, following this dream, I ask myself: "Who is behind these imposters and what did Chris Isaak do?"

BREAK: Just as I was typing this, I get a call from local TV station News 9. They wanted permission to use a photo I took of "Owl Court" - about an old Route 66-linked travel court off Britton Road here in Oklahoma City. I wrote about it on October 30, 2015, in a story headlined "Owl Court is not what it seems." It was an obvious wink to the Twin Peaks phrase "The owls are not what they seem." Owls just keep coming up in my life. Remember what "owls" stand for Whitley Strieber. And in Twin Peaks, evil agent Windom Earle's name is an anagram for "Owl in dream," a phrase I used when writing about the high expectations related to the Twin Peaks reboot.

Perhaps I need to contact Mike Clelland about this ... 

It seems as though someone stole the "Owl Court" sign - and this as I'm writing about the Owl ring in Twin Peaks. In fact, while I was in Bardstown, Kentucky recently and spotted a painting I wanted titled "Night Flight" by a wildlife artist and painter named Kathryn Wilson. It was of a white owl swooping. 

The "Night Flight" owl painting in Bardstown, Kentucky. (Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report)

I did not buy the painting at the time, intending to order it from the artist when I returned to Oklahoma City. I emailed her my interest and she went to the art gallery to pick it up for me to mail to me. But it was gone. It was sold to someone from "Bowling Green, Kenutcky." The first question she asked was, "Are you from Bowling Green?" I said no. She found it strange that the painting had been up for approximately a year and no one had expressed interest in it. And then it sells within a 48 hour time period - to someone from Bowling Green. Additionally, the sketches and paints and such she used in relation to the painting were stolen. There was an air of weirdness around all of it. Recall the recent "Bowling Green Massacre" story from Trump underling Kellyanne "alternative facts" Conway? It became an unsettling meme of menace and alternate reality weirdness in Trumpsidedown America. We were really in "alternate 1985," like in Back to the Future Pt. II.

Addressing the time travel "conundrum" in Back to the Future Pt. II on The Big Bang Theory. (Warner Bros.)

So, what does this all mean? Right now, I’m not sure, but the “clues” are there, as my birthday “info” notes. And there are many.

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About the Author

Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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