All the dirt, news, culture and commentary for Oklahoma's second century.

LUCIFER (April Theses)

Discovery and Lucifer to become "one" in "2010: The Year We Make Contact."
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OKLAHOMA CITY – I was in the Florida panhandle, somewhere near Pensacola, and I’m looking at a wall, like one would find in a mausoleum, and I’m with an old friend named from my high school days named “Peter,” who is directing me to open up one of the top drawers.

In this is not a body of a deceased love one, but, rather, a large model of the Discovery One spacecraft as featured in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and Peter Hyams’ sequel, 2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984).

The "model"  in my dream was a lot bigger than this one, but you get the idea. (Atomic City Models)

I pull the tray out and look at the model and wonder what this is all about.

I wake up and it’s 3:30 a.m. I sense that I need to rewatch 2010: The Year We Make Contact, with Roy Scheider (American Dr. Heywood Floyd) and Helen Mirren (Soviet Cmdr. Tanya Kirbuk).

This is the film where the Soviets approach Dr. Floyd about their plan to send an investigative team to Jupiter to find out what happened to Discovery before astronaut David Bowman disappeared.

Of course this film came out in 1984, in the midst of some very tense times between the U.S. and Russia. In the film, there is a serious issue developing in Central America between the American and Soviet militaries and war seems inevitable as the Soviet-led Alexei Leonov spacecraft, which includes Floyd, Curnow (John Lithgow) and Chandra (Bob Balaban) head to Jupiter and the mysteries of the large monolith and within Discovery and its onboard computer HAL 9000.

In that early morning darkness I watched the drama unfold, especially as they send a probe to check out “signs of life” under the icy surface of the Jovian moon Europa.

When they arrive at the LaGrange Point between Jupiter and the volcanic moon Io, they find Discovery spinning in place, like a clock (a sync with Saturn, perhaps?)

The Alexei Leonov approaches the "800-foot-long shipwreck," the Discovery. (MGM)

Watching the Discovery spinning like that as the Leonov approaches, and Jupiter and Io offer a colorful – and somewhat menacing – backdrop.

What is important to remember about 2010 is that despite serious disagreements (communism vs. capitalism, etc.) back on Earth, out around Jupiter, the Americans and Russians are actually working together (as some insiders say President John F. Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev were attempting to do, behind the scenes, with their respective space programs) to figure out what the monolith, Bowman and HAL are trying to tell humanity, which is caught up in what is essentially "tribal" warfare, as 2001 filmmaker Stanley Kubrick and 2001 novelist Arthur C. Clarke are saying about us in the "Dawn of Man" segment of the film - as the "bone" weapon turns into an orbiting "nuclear" weapon by the year 2001, as we noted in "Guns in the sky."

As it turns out, the “message” (“something wonderful”) was that the main monolith and billions of smaller monoliths are working inside the Jovian atmosphere to create a mini-sun – called “Lucifer” (light-bringer) – in an attempt to encourage evolution on the moon Europa.

As the 2001 wiki notes: “The monoliths compressed gasses in the Jovian atmosphere, making nuclear fusion possible.”


With the relationship between the U.S. and Russia is at its lowest point, I watched a little over an hour into 2010, before heading back to sleep for another hour or so. I was thinking about the film and how great it would be if our country and the Russians (and the Chinese and everyone else, for that matter) would put our petty, terrestrial differences aside and work together in a serious fashion in hopes of making new discoveries, especially as there seems to be an increased focus on outer space both here in the U.S. and in Russia, China, and with the Europeans. And puzzling "fast burst" cosmic signals being increasingly detected by receivers on Earth.

Rare and brief bursts of cosmic radio waves have puzzled astronomers since they were first detected nearly 10 years ago. Illustration similar to opening scenes of 2010: The Year We Make Contact. (The UK Daily Mail)

After watching more than half of 2010, I fell back asleep, experiencing dreams that were a little more pleasant this go-round, with "flying" taking place, a sensation that feels very real when I'm in my dream state.

But upon waking, and hearing that a deadly bomb blast today in the St. Petersburg, Russia "Metro" subway, killing more than 10 and injuring dozens more - on the 100th anniversary of Vladimir Lenin's arrival to Finland Station in Petrograd (St. Petersburg), when he returned to Russia from exile in Switzerland on 3 April 1917 ahead of the October Revolution. What the Bolshevik leader returned with, his "April Theses," was like a "bomb" going off for the Russian proletariat, with Lenin writing (as featured in Pravda, the newspaper noted twice in the opening scenes of 2010), including nationalization of all lands, abolition of (czarist) police, army and bureaucracy, and much more for the revolutionary proletariat.

V.I. Lenin arrives in Petrograd on April 3, 1917, after living in exile in Switzerland. (Image via the BBC)

Red Dirt Report's Dust Devil Dreams section has been addressing "Cold War echoes" for at least three or four years now as tensions are as heightened as ever. Justin Raimondo suggests today that we may be heading to a replay of "World War I." 

Writes Raimondo: "The end of the cold war did not eliminate the prospect of a conflict between these two nuclear-armed powers – indeed, in retrospect, it may have increased the chances of a catastrophic collision."

Interestingly, Russian President Vladimir Putin was not in Moscow or at the Kremlin today, rather, he was in St. Petersburg during the presumed terrorist bombing, taking part in the All-Russia People’s Front media forum that opened on April 1st. And reports: "Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has denied earlier media speculation that President Putin was due to pass by the Sennaya Metro station around the time of the blast."

While discussing the bomb blast on her MSNBC program, host Andrea Mitchell said this of Putin: "St. Petersburg (aka "Leningrad") was his home base, where he got his start in the KGB."

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, said very little about the attack. 

Terrible. Terrible thing. Happening all over the world,” Mr. Trump said when a reporter asked about the attack in St, Petersburg.

From the look of things, both Trump and Putin are going to continue being proverbial "bulls in the china shop" on the world stage. After all, look at America's hawkish, doltish Ambassador to the United Nations, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who said President Trump has basically put it on Haley to "beat up on Russia," since Trump has too much going on, like golfing.

"He's got a lot of things he's doing, but he is not stopping me from beating up on Russia," Haley blurted out on ABC's This Week program.

Do we need an American diplomat beating up on anyone? 

I was thinking back on last night's dream and how the events in 2010 mirror what we're facing today, in certain respects. I then thought of the fact that a long-lost friend, "Peter," was with me in that strange dream last night as I entered the mausoleum and opened the door to reveal the Discovery ship model ... I realized that "Peter" was syncing with Russia's "Peter the Great," who saw to the creation of what would be "Saint Petersburg," the cultural capital of Russia and that large nation's second-biggest city.

The final line in (the very gnostic) 2010: The Year We Make Contact, after Lucifer is born, Dr. Floyd sends a message to his son as he and the Soviet/American crew heads back to (a more peaceful) Earth, now with two suns …

My dear Christopher, this is the last time I'll be able to speak to you for a long while. I'm trying to put into words what has happened. Maybe that's for historians to do sometime later. They will record that the next day, the President of the United States looked out of the White House window and the Premier of the Soviet Union looked out of the Kremlin window, and saw the new distant sun in the sky.

They read the message, and perhaps they learned something because they finally recalled their ships and their planes. I am going to sleep now. I will dream of you and your mother. I will sleep knowing that you are both safe, that the fear is over. We have seen the process of life take place. Maybe this is the way it happened on Earth millions of years ago. Maybe it's something completely different.

I still don't know really what the monolith is. I think it's many things. An embassy for an intelligence beyond ours. A shape of some kind for something that has no shape. Your children will be born in a world of two suns. They will never know a sky without them. You can tell them that you remember when there was a pitch black sky with no bright star, and people feared the night. You can tell them when we were alone, when we couldn't point to the light and say to ourselves - 'There is life out there.'

Someday, the children of the new sun will meet the children of the old. I think they will be our friends. You can tell your children of the day when everyone looked up and realized that we were only tenants of this world. We have been given a new lease and a warning from the landlord.”


Lucifer and Ol' Sol, above the Giza Pyramids in 2010: The Year We Make Contact. (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)

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Andrew W. Griffin

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

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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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