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MAGICIAN OF TIME: "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" and Part XIV of "Twin Peaks: The Return"

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"Who do you think that is there?" Agent Jeffries (David Bowie) asks in "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" and "Twin Peaks: The Return."
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Sitting on the back row yesterday evening with my gin and tonic, the lights came down and soon the audience, here at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, were transported back in time – to 1988 – when the body of waitress Teresa Banks (Pamela Gidley) is found near the small town of Deer Meadow, Washington – another “Blue Rose” case, as we learn in these opening scenes of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

It was a bit surreal being in a movie theater watching this David Lynch film – the underappreciated prequel, focusing primarily on the final days and hours of haunted prom queen Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) – as I had planned on seeing it in the theater when it was originally released, exactly 25 years ago this month. Yes, August 1992 was that long ago.

But it only played for one weekend at a theater in Fayetteville, Arkansas and I missed it (for various reasons), just as I had missed seeing David Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch in the same theater for the same reason a few months earlier – a film which involves a doppelgänger.

In any event, this screening of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me was part of the OKC MOA’s “Summer of Lynch” (check out Kevin Tudor's review of Inland Empire) and while it did not include the previously-deleted scenes (90 minutes called “The Missing Pieces”) later included on the BluRay, it was still a visual treat to see this quarter-century old film in a darkened theater with plenty of other fans (and some cornfed rube who wouldn’t turn off his fucking cell phone!). More Lynch films at OKC MOA this week. Don't miss 'em!

Ticket stub for Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. (Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report)

Lee’s performance is phenomenal, along with the sinister Ray Wise as the BOB-possessed Leland Palmer. And I should mention the team of Chris Isaak (Agent Chester Desmond) and Kiefer Sutherland (Agent Sam Stanley), as well as David Lynch himself, there in “the Philadelphia office” and Harry Dean Stanton, playing Carl Rodd at the Fat Trout Trailer Park.

Anyway, the scene that literally brought tears to my eyes, and one with dialogue I know by heart, is the one involving the character of Special Agent Phillip Jeffries, played by the late David Bowie. It was particularly moving seeing Bowie once again, particularly in light of Agent Jeffries’ importance to the Twin Peaks universe and the mysteries that encircle it.

For more on that, I note here, the profound statement Jeffries makes before he disappears, only to reappear in Buenos Aires, Argentina (“Pure air” in the “land of silver”) and end up who knows where.

For nearly four years I have been going back to a Dust Devil Dreams post I titled “We live inside a dream …” where I delve just a tad into this angle of the Twin Peaks enigma.

We live inside a dream,” says Agent Phillip Jeffries (David Bowie) to Agents Gordon Cole (David Lynch), Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) and Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) stare in disbelief at Agent Jeffries, who vanished while working a case in 1987.

It’s a critical scene – and quite psychologically horrifying – in 1992’s underrated and brilliant David Lynch film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

Jeffries wears a white suit. He shares a strange story in an affected Southern accent. And it is clear that Cooper sensed that something key was going to happen that morning.

It’s February 16, 1989 at FBI headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Moments earlier, Agent Cooper walks with purpose into Agent Cole’s office and says: “Gordon, it is 10:10 a.m. on February 16th. I was worried about today from the  dream I told you about.”

I then note a 1990’s French article about Bowie, which suggests that “(Bowie) is actually a great magician of time, possessed by inconceivable powers.

That rings so incredibly true, particularly now, in light of the ongoing “Blackstar Event” and Bowie’s death on January 10, 2016 at the age of 69, just two days after his birthday – a day in which I was able to wish him a “happy birthday” while on the air at a local radio station. Of course he didn't hear the birthday wish, but I put it out there, into the ether.

So, I am in the theater yesterday, August 13th, and mouthing every word of dialogue during this "we live inside a dream" sequence, tears coming to my eyes. "At the center of it all," as Bowie sings on "Blackstar." 

A few hours earlier, I had Tweeted out that both Kevin and I would be watching Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, opting to use the image of Jeffries pointing to the ceiling - this, after he points to Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) and says, accusingly, "Who do you think that is there?" It is clear that a doppelgänger is already on the loose.

But how to account for the skewered timelines? This is happening on Feb. 16, 1989, a few weeks before Coop is dispatched to the small lumber town in northeastern Washington state to investigate the murder of a local prom queen. And a few more weeks before Coop goes after his former partner, Windom Earle, who has taken the "Queen," Annie Blackburn, into the Black Lodge, via the 12 sycamores and the pool of scorched engine oil at Glastonbury Grove.

It is here that I want to note that before heading down to the museum to watch Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, I Tweeted out a message letting our thousands of followers know what was up. I carefully chose an image to accompany the Tweet, the one showing Jeffries talking to Agents Cooper, Cole and Rosenfield, where he points in the air, telling them that he had been to "one of their meetin's" and that it was "above a convenience store." 

OUTATIME

Little did I know that the Twin Peaks: The Return episode the same night would feature flashbacks to that very moment in "time," a word that seems have less meaning and power than it once did in light of recent events.

And then, I later note that the Tweet preceded a Tweet of a book review I recently posted (noted above) titled For the Good of Mankind: A History of the People of Bikini and their Islands by Jack Niedenthal, published in September 2001. The book offers not just a history of these peaceful Pacific Islanders, but the horrific nuclear testing they subjected the island - and, ultimately, many islanders - to, with the seemingly noble idea that repeatedly testing these life-destroying weapons, it would be for the "good of mankind." Just more lies from the imperialists who only bow to money, power and greed, and see the Bikinians and other native Pacific islanders as less-than-human and guinea pigs for their diabolical atomic tests and experiments.

In a Secret Sun blog post, written by Christopher Knowles and titled “Sex magick and secret societies at war: The liminal symbolism of Twin Peaks,” the author makes a connection I made as well, between David Lynch’s Mulholland Dr. and the character of “Gilda” (the Rita Hayworth character in the Buenos Aires-set 1946 film Gilda) and a nuclear bomb detonated in ’46 at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands nicknamed “Gilda,” much to Hayworth’s displeasure, according to her-then husband Orson Welles.

As Knowles sagely notes: "We saw in Episode Eight that Lynch and Frost may believe the explosion at Trinity Site unleashed the Demons of the Air on our dimension. Were they really thinking of Crossroads, given that it was named after the traditional venue for summoning demons? Knowing Lynch it's even money.”

So, after leaving the theater and letting those words and images and ideas wash over me, as they did when I finally saw the VHS version in early 1993, I would watch Showtime's Part XIV of Twin Peaks: The Return and come away ... stunned. Mind-shattered. And so may things intersecting with our reality to the degree of being disorienting - because things seem to happening so fast - and yet slow, in Twin Peaks time. What to make of it?

And after a few less-than-stellar episodes, Lynch returns - as both auteur and actor - in a mind-blowing episode titled "We are like the dreamer," where early in the episode, after FBI Agent Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) and FBI Agent Tamara Preston (Chrysta Bell) are talking about doubles and doppelgängers and how the first actual "Blue Rose" case involved a woman - and her doppelgänger - in a motel room in Olympia, Washington in 1975.

The word "Blue Rose" was uttered by the dying woman, Lois Duffy, and the "Blue Rose" task force was on its first case, four years before Cooper would become an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and 14 years before the events in Twin Peaks unfolded.

So, there is a lot to go over in Part XIV. But I'll focus on a few things (a few *SPOILERS* ahead): 

Cole tells Rosenfield and Preston that he had “another Monica Belluci dream,” which causes Preston to smirk knowingly, ever-so-slightly.

Cole continues. He says in the dream he is on a case in Paris, France and has a coffee at a streetside café with The Matrix actress Monica Belluci, who tells him that “We are like the dreamer who dreams, and then lives inside the dream.”

The recollected dream is shown in black-and-white, rather than in color. Belluci then asks, “But who is the dreamer?

Is all of this really a dream, as Jeffries states in Fire Walk With Me back in 1989?

Well, Cole continues, recounting his dream by saying that Belluci looks past him and he turns around to see himself as a younger man – it’s Cole in that very scene as portrayed in Fire Walk With Me, where Jeffries saunters in and lays it all out, refusing to talk about “Judy” but to reiterate that we all live inside a dream.”

I am seeing Bowie-as-Jeffries once again, in a slightly different context, but the "pieces" are coming together, "in dreams." The battle between good and evil appears to be coming to a head - in Twin Peaks - as "The Fireman" (sync with Beatle Paul McCartney and my "White Album" and "Rocky Raccoon" syncs) has not only talked to Cooper and others, but Deputy Andy Brennan (?!?!), played by Harry Goaz, and even a young Englishman named Freddie Sykes from my ancestors' old stomping grounds of London's East End, who jumps on some stacked boxes and is transported through the portal to the realm of "The Fireman," who is overseeing all there is.

Freddie (Jake Wardle) is told that he will leave England (airplane ticket already paid for) to find his "destiny" and go to "Twin Peaks,Washington" in the United States - all while wearing a right-handed, green gardening glove (magic gloves, like in the "Let's Dance" video, which incorporates Australian aboriginals and a nuclear detonation) that gives him extra-special strength. He now works security at the Great Northern Hotel (on a visa?) alongside James "Jimmy" Hurley (James Marshall) who gets the story out of Freddie by saying it's his "birthday" (another Beatles "White Album" sync - with November 2018 being the 50th anniversary of the album's release - at the very beginning of 1990 - four months before Twin Peaks first aired, I was fired from a job at a Wichita, Kansas skating rink as a disc jockey and floor guard for playing the "White Album" - and specifically "Birthday" - without permission). This may not be so weird, since the "White Album" is their "Transcendental Meditation"-period album. And, of course, David Lynch is an internationally-known proponent of TM.

BLACKSTAR EVENT PROCEEDS AS PLANNED

What is interesting is that on November 28, 2015 – 43 days before Bowie left this earthly plane – I wrote a piece headlined “David Bowie’s "★"single/film images feel inspired by “Twin Peaks” and “True Detective.”

Indeed. Director Johan Renck would say that he and Bowie, while creating the occult, “Space Oddity”-synced video that “Trakovsky films, Jodorowsky’s Holy Mountain and vintage stop-motion animation in Popeye cartoons” were sources of inspiration for the “Blackstar,” among other things.”

As of today, August 14, 2017, the "Blackstar" video has been viewed nearly 35 million times on YouTube, I should add.

Here were my thoughts at the time …

“(I)t felt like Bowie was channeling ideas and themes from Twin Peaks (including Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, which he appears in) but also the strange, cult mythology of Carcosa and The Yellow King as featured in the first season of True Detective

In fact, in Robert W. Chambers horror tale The King in Yellow,  which is referenced during True Detective's investigations into ritual murders in Louisiana, Carcosa is noted in "Cassilda's Song," as are "black stars," something pointed out to me by the sync blogger at The Libyan Sibyl.

I recently reviewed Walter Bosley's new book Destination: Carcosa, which speculates that Ambrose Bierce, the somewhat mysterious writer from the late 19th and early 20th centuries may have been seeking his own "Carcosa."

In any event, I suspect we have not seen the last of David Bowie as the final episodes of Twin Peaks: The Return play out into early September.

NINER

This would take me back to a post I wrote on May 30, 2017, "What happens in Vegas (Harry's lodge is gone)" and in the main image I include some books and magazines - Entertainment Weekly discussing Twin Peaks, Penn Jones Jr's Forgive My Grief, about the aftermath of the assassination of President Kennedy, David Lynch's The Big Dream CD, an EW highlighting Bowie after his death and that aforementioned book on the people of multi-nuked Bikini Atoll.

It synced with that above Tweet about Twin Peaks: Fire Walk WIth Me. It was unreal! Surreal!

Today happens to be my birthday – my 45th – and I was reminded by a colleague that our current president – he who must not be named – is our 45th as well. 4+5 = 9, of course, and I noted the number “9” 

Or should I say “Elk’s Point #9 Bar.” Yeah, #9 – another “White Album” sync, as in "Revolution 9."

"Number nine, number nine, number nine ..." or is that "one-one-nine, one-one-nine ..." Is this some veiled reference to both the "Manhattan Project" AND "9/11'? And recall that David Bowie did die in Manhattan in New York, where the "Glass Box" is located in Twin Peaks: The Return.

Anyway, in the #9 Bar, an evil trucker begins to sexually harass Palmer and threatens further violence and when she removes her “face,” he sees what she really is – that entity from the Glass Box – and he breathes his last. 

TULPAS

Back before Cole tells Rosenfield and Preston about his Monica Belluci dream, Rosenfield tells her that story about Cole and Jeffries and the '75 doppelgänger case, he asks her an interesting question ... one that brings Tibetan Buddhism back to the forefront.

Fans of the show know that Agent Cooper was interested in Tibetan Buddhism (as was his evil, former partner Windom Earle). Now that there appears to be two Coopers, when Rosenfield asks Preston what this aforementioned “blue rose” reference is and involving two identical people who are not natural twins – as blue roses don’t occur in nature – Preston wisely suggests that it is something “conjured … a tulpa.” 

I point readers to the fascinating works of French adventurer Alexandra David-Neel, who wrote of her many adventures in mysterious Tibet in the early 20th century.

In my April 2016 review of David-Neel’s 1929 book Magic and Mystery in Tibet, I write: “Probably the most remarkable chapter addresses the creation of thoughtforms and phantasms known as tulpas. These entities are created through intense concentration and certain rites by those who have “reached a high mental and spiritual degree of enlightenment” and one familiar with the “psychic forces at work in the process.”

David-Neel said the process of creating tulpas is “fraught with danger” and that she did an experiment where she created a “a most insignificant character: a monk, short and fat, of an innocent and jolly type.”

It took a few months for the Frenchwoman to create her tulpa. He soon materialized like a real person, yet was still a bit of a puppet to David-Neel. Visitors took the tulpa – which went from a rotund appearance to a more lean, malicious look - for a real lama.

It would take David-Neel “six months of hard struggle” to rid herself of this tulpa.

Writes David-Neel: “In spite of the clever efforts made by the Tibetans to find rational explanations for all prodigies, a number remain unexplained, perhaps because they are pure inventions, or perhaps for other reasons.”

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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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