April 1, 2017
La Maison de la Derniere Cartouche
A Contribution To The ERB
A Review: Atlantida
By Pierre Benoit
Review by R.E. Prindle
Pierre Benoit’s excellent novel Atlantida: The Queen Of Atlantis was first published in 1919. Written in French it was translated in 1920 so it is possible that Burroughs read it. There is a possible reference to the book in Tarzan the Invincible, I’ll get to that later. Benoit himself was accused of ‘plagiarizing’ H. Rider Haggard but he defended himself by saying he neither read nor spoke English while Haggard was not translated into French as of 1919.
It matters little as Benoit, Haggard and Burroughs all knew their Greek mythical heritage and all seem to be addressing the male-female conflict from the same intellectual approach derived from that mythology. And they all placed their stories in Africa, a burning question of the day.
The heroine of Benoit’s novel, Antinea, is an irresistible woman along the lines of Haggards She and Homer’s Circe, and Burroughs’ La. All three women rule over lost lands. Antinea lures Aryan men to her to her palace carved from a mountain of the Ahaggar range.
The Ahaggar range, Ahagger is Taureg, the Arabic is Hoggar, is located almost in the middle of the Sahara at what is now the Southern extremity of Algeria. Its highest peak is nearly 10,000 feet in elevation, the whole massif of a half million square kilometers being at the same elavation as Denver, a mile high. Boiling summers and freezing winters and fair moisture.
Antinea having lured the men entrances them and when they no longer amuse her she embalms them alive in a unique metal called Orichalch. Thus, they are preserved forever as they were in life. An advance on all other methods. The question is why does she do this?
The answer is explained by Benoit’s character Mesge:
“Now you know,” he repeated. “You know, but you do not understand.”
Then, very slowly, he said:
“You are as they have been the prisoners of Antinea. And vengeance is due Antinea.”
“Vengeance?” said Morhange…For what, I beg to ask? What have the lieutenant and I done to Atlantis? How have we incurred her hatred?”
It is an old quarrel, a very old quarrel.” The Professor replied gravely. “A quarrel which long antedates you, M. Morhange.”
“Explain yourself, I beg of you, Professor.”
“You are a Man. She is a Woman…the whole matter lies there.”
“Really, sir, I do not see…we do not see.”
“You are going to understand. Have you really forgotten to what an extent the beautiful queens of antiquity had just cause to complain of strangers whom fortune brought to their borders? The poet, Victor Hugo, pictured their detestable acts well enough in his colonial poem called la Fille d’ Otaiti. Wherever we look we see similar examples of fraud and ingratitude. These gentlemen made free use of the beauty and the riches of the lady. Then, one fine morning, they disappeared. She was indeed lucky if her lover, having observed the position carefully did not return with ships and troops of occupation….Think of the cavalier fashion in which Ulysses treated Calypso, Diomedes Callirrhoe. What should I say of Theseus and Ariadne? Jason treated Medea with inconceivable lightness…”
And so on. Thus on page 114 of 229 Benoit explains the nature of his story. Bear in mind that of Circe and Ulysses in which Circe enslaves all the men who approach her and turns them into swine by lust while Ulysses with a pocket full of mole to defend himself resists her charms, maintains his manhood, rescues his sailors and sails away. So, while there are great similarities between Benoit’s, Haggard’s and Burrough’s stories they could easily derive from the same sources; variations on a theme. Of course, Burrough’s La is derived from Haggard’s She. But La is closer to Antinea in method than She. La’s job in Opar is to sacrifice men on the bloody altar. La is also from Atlantis. And all three share the glorious tradition of being too beautiful to resist.
Benoit himself the son of a French diplomat grew up in Tunisia and Algeria where he became acquainted with the desert and its legends. Thus, his story is an authentic addition to the great stories of the African explorers and the fictions of Haggard, Burroughs, Edgar Wallace, Mrs. Hull, P.C. Wren and others.
Benoit charmingly writes his story as current history rather than fiction without any framing story. He includes the Emperor Louis Napoleon and others as well as showing himself familiar with the latest Parisian designers and bon ton retail establishments. He mentions a painting titled La Maison Des Derniers Cartouches which can be found on internet and with which I have headed the review. Translated it means The House of the Last Bullet. I’m sure all his Parisian references are real but they have slipped through the crack of time had have not found a place on the internet.
In this case there is a Captain Avis who is believed to have murdered his fellow, Capt. Morhange and hence is in bad odor. This is the mystery that holds the story together. We learn later how Morhange died. Avit is transferred to a desert post, indeed demanded the transfer, managed by Lieutenant Ferrieres who is about to embark on a mission passing the Ahaggar massif.
At the post Saint Avis tells Ferrieres of his strange adventure in the Ahaggar Mountains with Capt. Morhange during which Morhange perishes. The African scenery is different than any of the authors mentioned and the setting is quite spectacular.
Morhange and Avit are caught in a freak storm on the slopes of the Ahaggar, and apparently these are not uncommon on the massif, where they rescued a Taureg from drowning who happens to be the procurer of European men for Antinea. The two soldiers are procured and delivered to the Atlantian Queen.
Somewhat very similar to scenes from Haggard’s She they are conducted to a great room or hall where fifty some embalmed former lovers stand in niches. The truth descends on our sexual warriors.
Morhange who, being the more handsome and impressive of the two, finds favor with the Queen of Atlantis also, not unlike Ulysses and Circe, is proof to her blandishments and beauty. What he had is his pocket isn’t mentioned. His refusal eventually enrages Antinea. Without going into details, Antinea hypnotizes Avit into taking her large silver hammer with which she bangs her gong and giving Morhange such a good bash it cracks the man’s skull to pieces. Thus she solves her problem of being rejected by Morhange.
A digression here. Benoit here shows off is knowledge. Amazingly I was able to get it. In Paris at the time there was a theatre called The Grand Guignol. It was a place of horrors, a sadists delight, at which all kinds of gruesome murders, mutilations and disfigurations were enacted. Apparently the scenes were so realistic that the faint hearted actually fainted and a doctor was kept on the premises to deal with these frequent occurrences. Now, a guignol is something like a puppets booth. Benoit has Avit climb into a guignol in Antinea’s boudoir where he watches the horror of Morhange being dismissed after which Antinea calls his down, hypnotizes him, hands him the silver hammer, directs him to Morhange’s room and watches as Avit cracks his friend’s skull. The horror, the horror. So Benoit demonstrates he is au courant with Paris’ entertainments.
Avit then turns to thoughts of escape. Here Benoit displays a certain genius in moving his story along.
Antinea had a slave girl named Tanit Zerga who became enamored of Avit and also wishes to escape to return to her people. She organizes the escape attempt. As it turns out she is a princess also, of the Trarzan Moors on the North side of the Senegal River. Bear in mind that everything mentioned in the story is real except the story itself. The Trarzan Moors exist to this day and of course the Senegal is one of the great rivers of Africa. The history is within the realm of fact. Only the story and its leading characters are fiction. Benoit does not spare the reader his knowledge. The man has been around.
The pair are assisted by the procurer rescued by Avit in the storm. He is quite willing to help because he tells Avit he will be back, no one who has ever known Antinea can escape her charms. All the victims in the hall had died of love.
Here’s a Burroughs connection indicating he may have read the book. Tanit Zerga resembles Nao, the fourteen year old girl who rescues Wayne Colt in Tarzan the Invincible only to be discarded coldly as were the heroines mentioned. It would be pushing it too far to claim Burroughs did read the book but he often got his scenes and incidents from other authors so I’m about three fourths convinced.
At any rate Tanit Zerga dies in the desert carrying on Benoit’s theme of women making sacrifices for ungrateful men.
The story then returns to the Foreign Legion camp of Ferrieres as he and Saint Avit are to make a trip across the desert passing the Ahaggar massif. As prophesied, to know Antinea is to love her forever, and her lovers all died from love, so he intends to return to the Ahaggar’s and his certain death. Whether Ferrieres will accompany him is left open.
The book was a slow starter but one is gradually swept along almost as a participant as the storm increases. A very exciting conclusion. Benoit’s is a very worthy book for Bibliophiles. If it wasn’t in Burroughs’ library it must have been through neglect or loss. Highly recommended.
Pierre Benoit 1932
March 13, 2016
Clip 6: The Vampyres Of New York
The post-war years saw the Jews moving out from under the umbrella of Communism into a solely Jewish movement. No longer having need of the Soviet Union after 1948’s establishment of Israel as a Jewish State many formerly Communist Jews abandoned loyalty to the Soviets to play both ends from the middle. Among these were a number of writers and intellectuals who had opted to live in the West. This was a fairly lucrative choice as the CIA chose to claim these writers and intellectuals as converts to the US side. Allen Dulles as head of the CIA lavished subsidies and perks on these people making them in effect wealthy, at least as long as the Cold War might last.
At the same time William Buckley working from his magazine base, The National Review, also staffed mainly by Jews purged the Conservative ranks of nationalists denying them employment opportunities. If you wanted to work you had to be philosemitic and ‘middle of the road’ and internationalist; or the rightwing of the left. The one party system had come into existence.
While the 1956 Jewish-Arab war was welcomed by Americans who all had been indoctrinated to favor the Jews the apparently easy victory gave Jews renewed confidence as warriors. While in Nazi Germany they had objected to wearing the yellow star they now virtually put yellow gold stars in the middle of their foreheads. Going into the Sixties then the Jews wore their shirts open to the waist with their necks laden with gold chains and stars, they became very aggressive with increased revolutionary ardor.
The tools of sex and drugs were becoming more efficient tools in their arsenal. To them rock and roll came along fortuitously to form the triumvirate of sex, drugs and rock and roll that would seduce the youth of America.
I think all of us here either lived through the birth of rock and roll or in the case of Max grew up with it. You will probably remember the accusations that rock and roll was a Communist plot to corrupt the youth of America. In fact, sex, drugs and rock and roll did corrupt the youth of America. The question then was it planned or directed. Another fact is that rock and roll did turn pro-Red, pro-Jewish and pro-homosexual all three of which were Communist and Jewish goals. Another fact is that Jews both in England and the US controlled the record industry. Astonishingly nearly all the corrupt talent managers were Jewish. The major and most of the minor record labels were owned by Jews. The Jews who had no other ideology than Semitism posed as leftists so as to ingratiate themselves with non-Jews. The Jewish ideology rejects non-Jews so some other avenue for association was needed and this was the left.
By the mid-Sixties at least it was impossible to have a career in music if one wasn’t leftist. At the very least an artist had to pretend to be a leftist; it was not enough to be silent. Testing was prevalent.
Along with that went an enforced reverence for Negro music. The promoters of Negro music were almost uniformly Jewish and Leftist. The intellectual differences between Whites and Blacks is such that Negro music was a very hard sell. Successful Negro artists during the Fifties were lovable like Fats Domino or catered to White tastes as the Platters did, pandered to White tastes as Harry Belafonte did or as the Jewish songwriters Leiber and Stoller did write clownish songs for Negroes to sing.
However ghettoish singers such as James Brown And His Famous Flames met with total rejection. Still in the Sixties a dedicated cadre of White fanatics made Brown a legend that few Whites would still accept.
It took English groups and singers who worshipped these Negro musicians to not exactly revive but create an interest in Negro blues thus opening the doors.
Thus it became possible to demand that Whites reverence Negro music or else be known as ‘racists’; that is the equivalent of anti-Semites. Along with Negro music came Negro ‘liberated’ sexual morality that helped undermine White sexual morality based on chivalry and a reverence for the female, a concept that the Jew Betty Friedan successfully attacked in her book The Feminine Mystique. By the end of the Sixties the female had been reduced to a piece of meat existing only to satisfy essentially perverted male desires. This was known as sexual liberation. Woman’s formal pedestal was carted off the ideological junkyard. The feminine mystique was indeed gone.
New York City was not representative of the United States nor was Los Angeles. The rest of the country still professed traditional morality as the Sixties began while drugs would be slower to penetrate.
Chemistry had been transforming the drug scene in a little revolution of its own. During the Fifties the amphetamines and barbiturates had been known as mood changers while the psychedelics were restricted to the cognoscenti and the CIA.
As I mentioned earlier by the Sixties the Feelgood doctors were transforming New York. Max Jacobson had established himself after a slow beginning. By the late Fifties he had moved beyond a beachhead and by the early Sixties his practice was so established that it included the President of the United States, John F. Kennedy. The elite of New York was gracing his waiting room. Max was your typical Jewish earthshaker desperate for renown.
It is difficult to think of him as an MD. He was much more of a charlatan, a snake oil man dispensing his amphetamine panacea. He was a devoted user of his own product. By the Sixties his amphetamine/vitamin cocktail contained many ingredients including animal glands and unidentified substances that he would mix up on the spot for your very own ‘signature’ preparation. There were secrets to the various amphetamines that produced different effects. There was one that made you tear off our clothes and make you run down the street naked. Experimenting on himself Max mixed up the wrong formula giving himself nerve damage so that he lost a certain amount of coordination in one of his legs.
His shots were serious business that destroyed a number of people. One would last three days or more while preventing sleep. Max himself is said to have been awake for thirty days running. The result was either insanity or perhaps transfiguration, take your choice. Talking to a man in that state must have been an experience.
Other Feelgood doctors rushed to take advantage of the very lucrative practice. The shots usually went for seventy-five dollars, equivalent to perhaps five hundred dollars today, while at most costing the doctors a few cents. By the late Sixties they had become such a nuisance that the authorities shut them down.
It must be noted that amphetamines were not illegal until the late Sixties so no laws were broken. Nevertheless many lives were ruined while life in NYC became chaotic, perhaps, as you fellows remember. NYC became a hellhole in the seventies and eighties as no society can succeed on drugs.
Max Savings: I knew things were getting chaotic but I wasn’t aware that amphetamines were so endemic.
Me: Mm, yes. This is a sort of aside but an interesting story. Were any of you guys around the Village back then? No? Did you hear of a group called, my apologies but history is history, The Fugs? No? Well, their front man, Ed Sanders, was a very interesting guy, he palled with another zinger, Tuli Kupferberg, a real nut although revered as a saint by some…
Max: I’ve heard of him. Don’t know much about him. (Same here from the three others.)
Me: Tuli is a different story but this is a fairly amazing situation overall. Ed was a real voyeur who disguised his mania as a scientific investigator. He was a Catholic, just for the record, from Kansas City, had a degree in Egyptian hieroglyphics. He wanted to film some live sex so he went out and bought three ounces of amphetamine for thirty dollars then advertised, might have been the Village Voice but maybe not, for couples to perform sex before his camera offering free amphetamine, as much as they wanted…
There was no dearth of applicants so Ed got a good cross section of speed freaks on amphetamines on film. Shot with enough these people became oblivious of their surroundings. That is, they were essentially insane or, more kindly, transfigured out of this world.
The FBI busted Ed and confiscated his collection of films. Broke Ed’s heart. After that he turned writer issuing his memoirs, a good read, and, get this a socialist history of the US in verse and many volumes. Ed’s a terrific story from the Sixties really. He…I can’t go on as it is less pertinent but just amazing. Check out his autobiography.
Thus as the story moves into the Sixties a form of evil social engineering designed to destroy traditional Anglo-Saxon culture is gaining momentum. The main engine for social change will be the libertine Bohemian culture of the Village. Greenwich Village, the East Village and by the vehicle of the Folk Music scene.
That scene while not being wholly Jewish was governed by Jews. Now, this was a very unhealthy situation in which absolute non-entities would emerge to take direction of American culture. A hapless bozo from Chicago would virtually take over the radio airwaves especially when another hapless noodnick from Hibbing Minnesota would arrive on the scene. Who would have taken bets that these two nothings would point the direction of American culture for the foreseeable future but they did. Their names were Albert Grossman and Bob Dylan, two Jews. Dylan wrote the songs while Grossman created the group that sang them, Peter, Paul And Mary. Two Jews and a shiksa. This group essentially sang Communist hymns. Their influence was immediate and deep. As a successful songwriter Dylan, who began as an atrociously bad singer was able unbelievably to develop an eccentric style that while actually wretched found an audience. All I can say is that the time was right.
The war had created a situation… You know fellows, I can go on but we’ll be here all night and I don’t want to overstay my welcome on the first night. So this might be an OK place to stop. I’m ready to go on but it’s up to you.
Lessing: As far as I’m concerned Perry, go on. It’s not that late, it’s that early. The night’s shot but my time is my own and I can sleep anytime.
Max: Uh, right. Tomorrow’s Saturday so while all my time isn’t my own tomorrow is, or rather today. I’ve got an empty schedule and I don’t really want to leave this chair, so, go ahead.
Marc: Sure, I’m in.
Me: Ok then…
Baron: Hold on a minute. I’ve got this to say: It’s always the Jews, isn’t it. I…
Me: That’s all right Lessing. I’m solid. Well, you’re right Baron. Yes, it always is the Jews. And without accepting guilt the Jews themselves admit it, albeit after the fact.
Baron: What nonsense!
Me: Well Baron, the point you have brought up is rather a trite one, one of the so-called great canards but I’ll give you my reading anyway. I see you’re not Jewish so you must be a Judeophile and impervious to facts. I can refer you to a book, pamphlet really, by a Maurice Samuel entitled: You Gentiles. He explains in his fashion why the differences between Jews and Aryans are irreconcilable and why we or the Jews must be eliminated. The book was published in 1924 and you know what happened after that.
But back to It’s Always The Jews. Underlying the Jewish problem is their conception of themselves. While the Jews are only too human they conceive themselves as placed between the angels and mankind. Thus they see themselves as demi-gods; however as demi-gods they conceive of themselves as being ‘pure’ and holy. The reality they can’t quite escape can be named Satanism. They thus combine Godly and Satanic in one entity and that is an irreconcilable impossibility. What to do? Following Freudian psychology, the national personality splits in two reflected in every member of the community. That is, as Robert Louis Stevenson preceded Freud by a couple of decades one has a godlike Dr. Jekyll and a Satanic Mr. Hyde. The problem then is how to dissociate the Godlike from the Satanic so one can feel ‘pure’. As a simple solution one projects one’s Satanic shortcoming onto the other, we gentiles. And one calls the recipients anti-Semites and they are everything the Jews imagine themselves not to be. Thus in example we have the Christ and the Anti-Christ, and the question which of the two will triumph. Thus the anti-Semites become a psychological necessity for the Jews on which to transfer their shortcomings. If no anti-Semites exist the Jews must create them.
As we have seen after WWII there were no anti-Semites in either the US or Europe. Nevertheless the Jews searched and searched hurling slanders like Fascists and Hitler left and right. This only cowed gentiles further. What to do? Simple, import them. Thus having thoroughly antagonized the Middle East Arabs or Semites the Jews compelled Europe and North America to take in millions of Moslems. The Moslems immediately turned on their Middle East tormenters living in Europe, raped their women and beat and shot them. Perfection! The Jews then began publishing articles complaining against the rising tide of anti-Semitism in France, Germany and the US etc. They were back in their comfort zone again.
Another amazing phenomenon is that the creative figures in Jewish history are said to be non-Jews. According to Wilhelm Reich who knew Freud well, Freud didn’t really consider himself a Jew or didn’t want to be one. His ambivalence is easily seen. Thus as a founder of twentieth century Judaism, that founder was conceivably if not actually non-Jewish. In fact, as a child Freud’s Christian nurse instructed him in Catholicism and may possibly have had him baptized.
If Freud’s parents thought this might be true that might explain the arrest of Freud’s nanny for some minor household theft, or maybe she was set up as a punishment for her transgression against the Jewish rites. At any rate Freud always lamented her disappearance from his life.
Freud thus was instrumental in his Moses and Monotheism in trying to prove that Moses himself, the founder of Judaism per se, was Egyptian and not Jewish at all. Reich then says that Freud identified himself with Moses.
Now, in early eighteenth century Germany there arose the legend of the Jud Suss, that is the Jew Suss, Joseph Oppenheimer. Suss was what was called a court Jew or a sort of major domo for the ruling Duke or Prince. He was the greatest Jew of the time serving the Duke of Wurttemberg in southern Germany next to Bavaria. He may be said to have organized the early modern Jewish economic organization in Europe paving the way for the later Rothschilds who in the wake of the Napoleonic war seized economic control of Europe and actually the Americas.
Now, Suss who lived and died a Jew according to the legend perpetuated by the Jewish novelist Lion Feuctwanger in his 1926 novel Jud Suss was the bastard son of a German duke, hence not a pure Jew at all although his mother was Jewish technically making him Jewish.
Thus in Feuctwanger’s account, perhaps merely legend, the founder of Judaism was not Jewish; the eighteenth century organizer of European Judaism was also not Jewish and if one accepts Reich’s story of Freud neither was the founder of current Judaism. So what does this mean? It probably admits a psychological truth, perhaps a metaphor for the relationship of the Jew to the gentiles.
In point of fact as the Jews only came into existence four thousand years ago while they date a creation of the world to six thousand years ago then Terah, the first Hebrew must himself have been a non-Jew arising from whatever people he belonged to. Perhaps then the Jews are admitting that they are an artificial creation. Needs a little further development.
Now, rather than the gentiles being envious of the Jews in all probability the Jews have reversed the situation being envious of the Gentiles. Viz. the story of Cain and Abel. That was certainly true in Germany where the Jews were decidedly the inferior. So, what then? The Jews conspire to destroy what the other has created. Is it a coincidence that Germany was bombed flat in WWII?
Rather than do a chronological review of the societies that the Jews lived in, exploited and destroyed I think I’ll use a frame of the Jud Suss to make it more interesting. You guys know of Suss Oppenheimer? OK, that’s good enough just so there’s a context. This is impromptu now so don’t go too rigorous on me.
The story of Jud Suss is an interesting one. Suss lived from 1698 to 1738 being thus a young forty at his death. His career at Wurttemberg was only from 1733 to 1737 a short four years to arouse such intense hatred.
The hatred was such that he was hanged high, higher than the gallows, perhaps thirty feet high in an iron cage and left exposed for six years. It is very difficult to believe he had given no cause as the Jews, as usual, assert. At any rate, then his life quickly turned to legend. The legend was treated in story and theater although I am not aware of any songs. And then in 1926 the Jewish novelist Feuctwanger wrote his interpretation titled Jew Juss. He turned the story into a combination fairy tale and myth. He had previously written a play on the same theme in 1916. Note the dates: The Bolshevic Revolution occurred in 1917 while the Jewish influence in the Weimar Republic was pronounced and jewish/Communist street fighters were battling the German nationalists.
In 1933 just after Hitler’s accession a film went into production in England that was released in 1934 titled Jew Juss based on Feuctwanger’s novel, renamed Power in the US. It is still available. The film was pure Jewish propaganda. Whether Hitler read the book or not his propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels did. He also saw the movie rightly thinking it was an attack on Germany. He countered Feuctwanger’s propaganda with his own when he produced his own film in 1940 titled Jud Suss, so Suss epitomized the Jewish and German struggle for supremacy.
Feuctwanger’s novel is supposed to be sympathetic to Suss but as I read it the novel seems to be fairly objective Jewish national history, or mythologized history in this case. To me it seems to be an epitome of Jewish history in Europe.
One also has to consider Feuctwanger’s intent. Towards what was the novel pointing as an example or lesson for current affairs in 1926? Feuctwanger portrays Suss as a Jewish savior not unlike Jesus who organized Jewish affairs for success in Europe and then like the scapegoat of Jesus who died for Jewish sins or perhaps like Moses who led the Jews to the Promised Land and then was denied entry and could only see it from afar.
Jewish mores are always contra mores so that in Jewish eyes their mores must supplant those of Europe. Thus Suss enters the capital of Wurttemberg forbidden to Jews, Stuttgart, on his own terms not those of the Duke. With Jewish suppliantcy he seduces the Duke and cheats him at every step.
That he was a new Jewish paradigm for modern times is evident in Feuctwanger’s contrasting him with the old fashioned Jew Landauer. Suss wants to display his power while Landauer argues that concealed power is better than the appearance of power. Jews control the money and in money lies the true power.
In the actual contest of who will rule Wurttemberg, the Jews through Suss or the Germans through the Duke, Suss has the real power while the Duke has only the appearance of power that Suss must accord him. Suss then plunders the State of all forms of wealth not unlike the Jews of Spain while doing so with a ‘power of attorney’ from the Duke that places all the responsibility of his crimes on the Duke. Technically Suss is innocent. Suss operates against the Duke on the principle of two for me, one for you.
He then becomes wealthier than the Duke, remember this is all being done within four years, with the money he has the real power. According to Feuctwanger then as the most celebrated and powerful Jew in Europe, not unlike the successor Rothschilds, he acts as a sort of Prime Minister of the Jews as a single economic unit. Using various commodity monopolies granted by the Duke the Jews throughout Gemany, then became monopolists in their turn. All the money of Europe must eventually become theirs.
Suss thus put the Jews on the track followed by the Rothschilds with such signal success. Mayer Amschel Rothschild the founder of that dynasty would be born six years after Suss’ execution. Roughly following Suss’ example combined with the rapid development of Europe Rothschild would set in place the system that would plunder Europe as Suss’ had plundered Wurttemberg.
In Feuctwanger’s time, 1926, the Jews by their own admission had seized control of Germany as well as Russia. At the time of course they denied it.
They might very well have done the same in the US except that US nationalists had wrested control from the Wilsonians in the 1920 election, as Hitler would do in Germany in 1933. At that time the Jews through their tool Franklin Delano Roosevelt gained the role in the US they had enjoyed in Weimar Germany.
As soon as Hitler gained Germany English Jews filmed Feuctwanger’s version of Suss releasing the movie as Jud Suss in 1934. The film was pure propaganda depicting Suss as a victim of what one might call pre-Hitler persecution. This perpetuated the myth of German hatred of the innocent long suffering Jews.
Of course Hitler’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels was keeping close track of both book and movie so that he countered Feuctwanger with his movie about Suss in 1940. It should be noted that a barrage of pro-Jewish propaganda movies were also being produced in the US. Jud Suss was released in the US under the name Power while movies lauding the Rothschilds also appeared as well as a revival of the Dreyfus persecution myth among others. While this propaganda war has never been acknowledged it raged.
While the English film was Jewish anti-German propaganda that was deemed Ok; the Goebbel’s version was denounced as the foulest anti-Semitism. In realistic terms winner takes all but the war isn’t over.
Feuctwanger’s depiction of all Germans as fat doltish boors or simple dullards versus the great masculine beauty of Suss combined with what is depicted as the innate cleverness of Jews which was only deceit and cheating was grossly racist but that has been ignored.
So there you have it, Baron. Which is it Jewish war on Germany and Europe or the persecution of the Jews?
Here I sank back exhausted. Reading prepared pages wasn’t so bad but extemporizing an interpretation of Feuctwanger’s novel from memory and maintaining a decent order nearly took me down.
Me: Hey, listen guys that took nearly everything out of me. I see the sun coming up so how about putting off the continuation of The Vampyres Of New York until a later time. I’m done in.
Lessing: Are you game for breakfast?
Me: I’d love to Lessing but I’ll beg off if you don’t mind. Sessions like this knock me down besides being up all night even with the Obetrol. I’ll call Ragnar and go back to the condo.
When I say I was beat, I mean it. This meeting had given me a lot to think about but I’m too beat to get the mind working. I needed rest. Ragnar dropped me off and Ottmar let me in. I threw myself into bed suddenly aware that I had a fitting the next day at James Carter.
I’d felt like I could sleep forever but strangely two and a half hours later I was wide awake. It wasn’t even noon yet; further I felt refreshed. Then I realized it was Saturday. I thought it was going to be Monday. Don’t know how I got turned around, further I felt refreshed, even relaxed. Although I felt refreshed mentally I was still languid physically so I thought I would hole up until Monday and get some work done. Maybe I was just over excited. I read and wrote.
Ragnar dropped me off at James Carter and I mounted the staircase to go up to see Abe Goldbladder. Abe wasn’t too happy to see me, but what the hell, the customers are always right. Right? Right.
Abe looked me up and down, then said:
‘Is this the weight you usually carry:’
‘Right, Abe. I won’t get heavier while on the other hand I might shrivel up further so worry about me getting smaller rather than larger.’
‘You talk like a wise guy.’
‘I don’t have much respect for things anymore Abe. All is irrelevant except myself.’
‘Except yourself! (snort) We know who you are Mr. Wright.’
‘’We know who I am? Who’s this we? The ADL and all those people?’
‘At least. What we want to know is what you’re doing here. What’s up your sleeve?’
‘You couldn’t expect me to tell you that Abe, but I’m not up to anything. I’m here on what you might call a sabbatical.’
‘Oh, a sabbatical! Then why are you staying at the Carmichaels and how is it you connected up with that Fascist Farquhar? You deliver an anti-Semitic rap at one of soirees he has?’
That took me back a little bit. That he knew I read my paper at Lessing’s confirmed that Baron Cammell was a spy but that Lessing and the Carmichaels were conservatives under surveillance made me think. I had thought it was strange that my ad produced a response so quickly plus I thought it was amazing that they didn’t know someone locally they could use. I was clear that the three had read my website, so maybe…. I’ll have to call Lessing when I get back and check things out. I might be able to realize a fantasy here if I can catch the tide just right.
‘What’s the deal with Lessing and the Carmichaels Abe?’
‘You’re going to play innocent huh? You deliver a defamation of the Jew Suss like you did and you don’t think that fits right in with those Fascist bastards?’
‘Fascist bastards, Abe! Wow! All I can say is you know more than I do. As far as Suss goes, Baron probably didn’t give you a very accurate report. I’ve just about finished writing my interpretation of Suss up. I can give you a copy if you like so you get it right.’
‘You’ll give me a copy will you?’
‘Why sure, Abe, why not? I’ll put it up on the web anyway. You guys read all my stuff, don’t you? You repost my stuff on your notorious anti-Semite pages on ADL’s site, don’t you? I’m not keeping any secrets. There’s nothing clandestine about what I write. I think it will be titled The Jewish Savior Joseph Suss Oppenheimer. Feuctwanger portrayed Suss as one of your messiahs like Jesus. It should be up in a few days but I’ll have Ragnar drop a hard copy off for you. You’ll love it. By the way, Abe, when you finish this suit I’m going to want a hot pink flannel suit in a modified zoot style. Do you think you can find a fabric?’
‘A hot pink zoot suit? My god, do you have a wild hair up your ass?’
‘Mind your manners Abe. No. I’ve been thinking about this a long time Abe. It’s a tribute to my mother. Uh, I didn’t say that last Abe, just forget it. Plus I’m going to want a matching hat and wing tip shoes. Think anything like that is available?
‘Yes, it can be done. I don’t think the fabric will be too difficult but the hat and shoes may be expensive. They may be special order.’
‘That’s alright. The odd request is always more expensive. At the same time check out a bright yellow, deeper shade. The pink will be three button, the yellow double breasted and I might also want a powder blue one button roll, all flannel.’
‘One button roll? My, you have been thinking of this for a while, haven’t you?
‘Yes I have.’
‘Your mother, one button roll, powder blue. Hmm.’
‘I don’t recall ever mentioning my mother to you Abe; but since I’ve mentioned all three suits I’ll take them if you can get them.’
‘I can get ‘em, I can get ‘em.’
‘Good, Abe. Thanks.’
I was elated as Ragnar pulled up. I really wanted those suits. I didn’t know where I was going to wear them. Maybe a stroll down Broadway to see who whistled. Maybe a big pink Cadillac would stop with a hot blonde at the wheel. ‘Need a ride, Big Boy.’ She would say. ‘I sure do.’ I would snicker with a broad double entendre. Well, enough of that; a little too revealing, back to reality.
Abe had put me on to something I hadn’t suspected. Lessing and the Carmichaels might be into some kind of right wing (so-called) conspiracy and that meant that Ragnar might be involved too. Maybe these guys at his gym were using body building as a front to conceal something else. Maybe in addition to bulking up they were also heavy into the martial arts. Maybe…but how to broach the subject to Ragnar. Oh, I had it.
‘Ragnar, pull into the limo parking lot I want to talk to you.’
I got out of the limo when Ragnar pulled up.
‘Let’s stand away from the limo, Ragnar, it’s probably bugged.’
‘I don’t think so. I sweep it every day.’
‘Visual or electronic?’
‘Visual. I look it over pretty thoroughly.’
‘Electronic might be better.’
‘Are you sure it’s bugged?’
‘Pretty certain. Do you know the Carmichaels are under surveillance?”
‘I don’t know it but I always check. Do you know something?’
‘I was talking to the tailor back there and he knew I was at Farquhar’s and what the paper I read was about. That means a spy. That explains some of the people who always seem about. I’m definitely being tailed, while Farquhar is also certainly under surveillance.’
‘Really? I didn’t know that.’
‘Any chance you’re under surveillance Ragnar?’
‘Why would I be?’
‘You drive the Carmichaels and now me.’
‘Why would Jews follow you?
‘I’m a historian, Ragnar, and I write essays concerning the Jewish role in history. Some of my essays are reposted on the ADL hate site. I had no idea they were so sensitive.’ Boy, that one had to be tongue in cheek.
‘Oh, wait a minute. You’re not that Partly Wright are you? The I, Dynamo guy?’
‘Yes. You’ve been reading my stuff?’
‘Couple of guys at the gym have mentioned your things.’
‘Have they? You know what I stand for then. Any chance the gym is used by, uh, a certain political outlook?’
‘Maybe, we do talk politics, but a certain outlook? What does that mean?’
‘You know, a conservative point of view.’
I saw he wasn’t sure how far to commit himself so I let it drop telling him I would talk to him later. First, before I committed myself further I wanted to talk to Lessing, see where he stood. Back at the condo, I called him making an appointment with him at the Metropolitan Modern for the next day.
We found each other without too much difficulty, drifting into a near empty gallery. There was no chance that I and probably Lessing wouldn’t be followed so it was necessary to be alert for anyone trying to occupy the same space so to speak. Some call it paranoia others call it survival.
‘Ah, Lessing. How are you?’
‘As good as can be expected in these troubling times. I’m glad to see you survived your initiation. Any problems?’
‘Who me? No. Actually it was fairly mild. I’ve been through some harrowing initiations, hazings or whatever.’
‘You didn’t find Baron too irritating?’
‘No. He’s normal, even a little more civil than most; but that brings up a question: Do you know you’re under surveillance?’
‘Under surveillance? Goodness, why would you think that?’
‘No need to hold your breath Lessing, the cat is out of the bag. I’m being fitted for suits at James Carter and my tailor, Abe Goldbladder, reported the contents of my paper to me on Monday. That means one of two things: your condo is bugged or you’ve got an agent attached. I’m betting on Baron Cammell.’
‘That fellow, did you say Goldblatter…’
‘Goldbladder, with two ds.’
‘Goldbladder? Does he pee gold?’
‘Don’t ask me questions like that, Lessing, I’m not privy to the results in his privy. I thought it was a spectacular name myself. Beats Spingold my previous favorite. Imagine the name Rumpelstiltskin Spingold. Put that up on the marquee. Anyway Abe knew everything two days after it happened. Gotta be Cammell. Are the Carmichaels under surveillance too?’
Lessing looked at me quizzically not sure of himself.
‘Don’t worry Lessing. I’m secure. I knew that at least one person there had to be a spy. Everybody gets infiltrated. What was it: The Carmichaels went abroad for a cooling off period?’
‘I wouldn’t put it that way Perry, let’s just say their affairs were becoming enmeshed and they needed to disentangle them.’
‘Yes. But then I thought that how could I be so lucky as to land the house sitter opportunity unless there was something more involved. I mean, I have never won the lottery before, the odds were never longer than this. You’re familiar with my website. I consider my essays pure history although the ADL for instance considers them outrageous anti-Semitism. You don’t have to be told that, obviously, but you must have thought they were how shall I say, risky?
I don’t know whether Ragnar told you but at the airport a couple other people attempted to snag me. Who knows what the outcome would have been. So, I’m sort of a dangerous acquaintance.’
‘Yes, I suppose we knew that…’
‘Listen, Lessing, I know where you, I and the Carmichaels stand and I’m sure we can work together. I know that they’re on to you as well as me. What say?’
‘What did you tell this Goldbadder fellow?’
‘I didn’t tell him anything. I just smiled and stared. You don’t talk to or argue with Jews; it just goes on forever. They’re inexhaustible. If it’s a question of wearing down it’s futile there’s no winning. Besides I’m hep to them anyway. I picked up Cammell first thing. I just waited for a little confirmation.’
‘Let’s go to a more secure place, Perry. I have to think a little.’
Believe it or not Lessing took me to the Dakota. We went up to 701, a very large apartment that was unoccupied. We sat at a table while Lessing studied me intently.
‘You wouldn’t have lent me the condo if you hadn’t thought my attitude was right, Lessing. My essay ‘Chumps Playing Stud’ must have indicated something.’
‘Yes. I did like that essay.’
‘Really. And my work on Ford. Rehabilitating Henry Ford is a top priority even at this late date. This is serious stuff. I think Lady Carmichael said you were a lawyer, is that correct, can I ask your field?’
‘Yes, I was a lawyer. What significance do you attach to that?’
‘Well, Lessing, I hope I am not overstepping any bounds but I dimly perceive that you and the Carmichaels summoned me here with some motive, perhaps you are not fully aware of what your motive was but I am guessing you were looking for a catalyst, someone to brings things together and get them moving. We need a diem to carpe, a moment to seize. But it looks like the times are here for aggressive measures. A plan is needed.’
‘We do have a lot of disgruntled folk who have no coherence to move in a defined direction. However, I wonder why no actions have been taken against you Perry, you who write so forthrightly.’
‘Lessing, actions have been taken against me but they have been covert. Hundreds of pictures I was using have disappeared from the net, replaced with the most generic kind. It is forbidden to post my essays on aggregators. I used to have wonderful numbers on reposted essays but that has been stopped. My numbers no longer grow as they should while certain more critical posts get no response at all or very little so they are blocked some way. Passages are changed and words deleted or misspelled to make me look stupid.
As far as the Jews go I more or less have a free pass within that framework because to contemn me would give me too much publicity so they follow a course they call ‘dynamic silence’. If nobody looks at you nobody knows you are there. Besides my posts are built around a post they have written so they would have to criticize my criticisms of them and they’re not going to do that. Their stuff doesn’t stand up. And then my posts are built up on a secure historic base that is not easily refuted.
Otherwise I have traveled little because when I do clever assassination attempts are made so that it requires constant vigilance on my part.’
‘You’ve had assassination attempts?’
‘Oh sure. Several that I can identify. Others are not so clear.’
‘You mean like shootings?’
‘No, Lessing. They don’t do anything obvious. You get shot and everyone knows it; you have a fatal accident and those things happen. Since I’ve been slandered mercilessly nobody would care, they might even applaud.’
‘Can you give me an example?’
‘OK, Lessing. I’ll give you one, but as far as I’m concerned my attitude is clear from my essays. I belong to the Edgar Rice Burroughs Bibliophiles for which I’ve written dozens of essays. I consider myself a major contributor to Burroughs studies. Nearly two decades ago I attended my only convention. I don’t know who was on my case but I was ill-treated on the plane, ill-treated renting a car, and when I got to the hotel in Fort Collins they had no record of my registration with the group, or the payment. I reminded them the payment was made with my card and that could be checked. They found my payment after an interminable wait, then they assigned me a room as far away from the others as they could not with the reserved section. Dirty unpleasant room. I ordered a hamburger at the restaurant and was told they were out of hamburger.
I recognized the ploy and rather than run through the whole menu I went to bed hungry. Of course I was suspicious especially as people in the adjoining room were raucous, I mean raucous non-stop. In inspecting the room for booby traps I noticed a large heavy picture above the bed was loose rather than screwed tightly against the wall.
Some call it paranoia but I could envision the picture dropping down on my head as I slept perhaps hitting me and either hospitalizing me or killing me. I long ago learned to heed my premonitions. It was a king bed so rather than sleeping vertically I slept horizontally across the foot of the bed.
Sure enough, a couple hours later the picture came crashing down. Had I slept normally who can say what the result would have been? The rest of the stay was variations on those themes. Of course with ‘accidents’ one never complains about them and you certainly don’t mention that you think they were planned because you are then ‘paranoid’ and discredited.
Food poisonings aren’t worth mentioning they are so common. Never eat eggs the morning of checking out. Check out and go have breakfast somewhere else where you aren’t expected. Accidents, Lessing, accidents, they happen all the time. So what do we have going here?’
‘I see. I suppose you are safe. You appear to have experience with skullduggery.’
‘Right, in spades. So what kind of elements are we dealing with.’
‘You’re right about me and the Carmichaels. I’m not sure what Ragnar is doing but I know Ottmar is a member. I know a number of people who are afraid, so they appear Liberal. As you say we need a catalyst so possibly that is why we received the appearance of your ad for an apartment as fortuitous. You have seemed to be what we are looking for.’
‘OK. I can see the possibility for a good time. The resistance seems to be rising. Success depends on how you go about it. I suppose that you know lawyers and judges who are sympathetic?’
‘Yes, there is a fair number of us.’
‘OK. I suspect the athletic club is a conspiracy center so Ragnar might be part of a ‘commando’ group for gaining control of the streets. For that we would require lawyers and judges to obstruct prosecutions, delay proceedings etc., you would know better than I, and also have police on our side. Perhaps Ragnar’s group is already doing that. Since the cops rarely leave the station house now we might have a fairly free hand in the streets.
But first it will be necessary to neutralize the courts. Can you get some lawyers and judges together? Organize them?’
‘Good. Time is of the essence.’
‘I see. Yes, I will get to work on it immediately. You will be the leader?’
‘I’d rather not. I’d rather operate behind the scenes. If you know any safe writers I would like to organize them for psychological warfare and propaganda. Next to the courts that will be a key. We’ll follow the usual conspiratorial methods. You work on the legal end and I’ll investigate Ragnar. If I’m right I’ll try to line them up. Once we have a nucleus, we’ll have to have an organizational setup.’
‘Yes. It’s frightening work.’
‘Paranoia rules the day. I’ll try to approach Ragnar and get to it.
Clip 7 follows.
December 12, 2015
The Vampyres Of New York
Part I, Clip 2
The story continues…
As I say some sort of subconscious stirring had drawn me to New York. When I first walked into James Carter I felt stirring in my brain but now there was a deeper agitation foreboding a brain change. At my age, of course, there was always something happening, your body diminishes a bit while mental adjustments are constant but this felt more like a sea change, a premonition of a brain crunch, going in one door and coming out another.
Over the past decade or so I had had three major crises. The first was the strongest, a tremendous electrical discharge at the top of the frontal lobe. My whole power train from brain to genitals lit up, transparent as it were, I had no means to evaluate it nor was I aware of any changes in my behavior.
The second occurred a few year later, the electrical discharge was not so strong only flashing from my heart. Something had changed but I couldn’t tell what. The third that happened was only a couple years ago just before my wife died but only disalienating however I did then notice some personality changes as bits and pieces of personality fell into place. I had greater self-confidence and a bit more forceful personality, I lost my usual diffidence that had been diminishing I now noticed from the first two events.
They say that coming events cast a shadow before them. In my case that has to be true because I began to ruminate on the notion of dual personalities. I do not mean split personality but dual personality, twins of a sort, both aware of each other, nothing hidden from each. Biologically speaking the physical structure is made up of two halves, from two separate identities. That is the sperm and ovum come together to form one organism, two different and unrelated strands of DNA and the two strands retain separate identities as the brain retains two separate halves joined by another organ, the corpus collosum, that allows communication between the two halves.
At some time in the distant past a predecessor organism contained all four sex chromosomes, XXXy, but when sex evolved dividing chromosome in two the male received one X and the y while the female received the other two Xs, but the three Xs are not identical. So, the male has an X passive right side and the active sperm left side of the brain, hence the celebrated feminine side to the male personality.
The female has an active X from the sperm and passive X from the ovum.
The psychoanalysts Freud and Jung at the beginning of the twentieth century then named the ovum side of the brain the Anima and the left the Animus. So really the individual whether male or female has the elements of a dual personality.
This fact has always been recognized being frequently portrayed in literature although usually unconsciously. The first representation, although the exponents weren’t aware of the source was the opposition of God and Satan, Good vs. Evil impulses. There was a conflict between the wish to be good and the reality of being evil. This was a psychological problem that had to be explained; thus the serpent in the Garden of Eden story and also that of Lucifer being kicked out of heaven. Thus early civilized man explored the nature of psychology.
Certainly in my early life the whole notion of God and Satan was relegated to the realm of fable. By the beginning of the nineteenth century in the Western world and the Western world only biology became a source of explanation thus the story of ETA Hoffmann, The Princess Brambilla that is a discussion of the Anima and Animus.
Perhaps the most famous dual personality story of the nineteenth century was Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde. A story that concerns two aspects of the Animus. In Stevenson’s story Dr. Jekyll has suppressed a wild aspect of his Animus by emphasizing a respectable persona that he needed to succeed in the world as a physician. However Jekyll longed for the rough and rowdy days of his youth represented by the other person of Mr. Hyde. Hyde, to say the least, was uncivilized.
The repression of Hyde was so strong that Jekyll couldn’t indulge him. This being the golden age of science, while Jekyll was the experimental sort, he discovered a potion or drug that temporarily released the Hyde persona of his Animus or Ego. This was fine except for with each repeated dosage Hyde become more obstreperous finally indulging his passions in murder. He was on his way to becoming a serial killer.
Now with police hot on his trail Hyde took the antidote to turn himself back into Jekyll but alas he found the little abyss back too wide to jump over. He had become his opposite.
Stevenson’s little novelette became one of the most influential books of the twentieth century. Without fully understanding it the cat was out of the bag although it came in many different colors.
Perhaps one of the most interesting investigations was that proposed by the American writer, the great Edgar Rice Burroughs. He created one of the fundamental characters of the twentieth century, the great man beast, Tarzan Of The Apes.
Burroughs himself was entranced by Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde. The idea of a dual personality had a great appeal to him. Of course the novelette was new at the time presenting a startling idea. Psychology, specifically psycho-analysis, presented startling findings to the public that had to be absorbed but couldn’t or wouldn’t be absorbed for fifty years or more and then by the chosen few. Burroughs also had a great interest in psychology.
Concurrent with these developments was the newly risen conflict between civilization and the primitive with their conflicting demands on the perplexed mind of humanity. The notion was, especially propounded by the anthropologist James G. Frazer in his multi-volume The Golden Bough was his vision that the primitive mind was overlain only by ‘a thin veneer of civilization.’ Scratch a civilized man and the primitive beast beneath would emerge, not too unlike Jekyll and Hyde.
Influencing Burroughs alongside these was Darwin’s theory of evolution. Mixed and shaken well what came out of Burrough’s mind was Tarzan of the Apes.
As a ‘true’ story of course the novel is preposterous. Generally speaking the literati rejected the novel for its obvious impossibility refusing to see the allegory of the times which it was. The story is beautiful in a mythological way.
Tarzan was a thoroughly divided man just as was his model Stephenson’s Jekyll and Hyde. No less preposterous I might add. If you set a matrix over the two stories they are the same. Burroughs himself had two personalities and he believed that all people did to a greater or lesser degree, correctly as it would seem.
Thus Tarzan or John Clayton, Lord Greystoke to give him his real name and title was born an English aristocrat on a voyage to Africa. Pirates seized their ship depositing them on the coast of Gabon just below the falls of the Congo. A tribe of great apes, more resembling the Missing Link than any known species assaulted the homestead of the man, wife and child castaways killing the mother and father. The son would have been killed by the great bull ape except that a female named Kala who had just lost an infant snatched the babe from the cradle running away with it and defying anyone to harm it.
Thus the human Tarzan became a feral child raised as a beast among the Great Apes without acquiring the thin veneer of civilization. However an Englishman to the bone, a member of the greatest race of the human species, was always an Englishman no matter what the circumstances. His parents humble but well constructed cabin weathers the elements for a decade or so until Tarzan discovers it and enters to find it well supplied with children’s books thoughtfully brought by his expectant real mother. He thus discovers that he is not a funny looking ape but something else altogether. As the picture showed a boy and conveniently put the letters B-O-Y beneath it cleverly putting picture to type or two and two make four as we say he learned that the was a boy.
Teaching himself to read using the convenient dictionary his pop brought along he acquires the thinnest veneer of civilization. Probably learned chemical formulae from dad’s convenient chemistry text book although that is mere speculation on my part. At that point he acquired a dual personality. He was both a beast and a semi-civilized man. However he prefers the skimpiest loin cloth with tails hanging down front and back to the most luxurious tuxedo.
That’s the way Edgar Rice Burroughs rewrote Stephenson’s Jekyll and Hyde while integrating the latest and most advanced ideas of his times. Altogether an excellent intellectual achievement.
Stephenson’s idea wasn’t exhausted by Burroughs’ treatment. Indeed, the idea became a staple of at least pulp literature. I’m not going to trouble you with an exhaustive study but here’s a few highlights that are very interesting. The idea of the hero with a day job and an after dark avocation had taken root.
We have The Shadow of Maxwell Grant. Not just a couple dozen novels as with Burroughs’ Tarzan but well over three hundred of them. Grant was a magician. No, really. He was a practicing magician, as such he undoubtedly had an interest in hypnotism. Grant said that The Shadow had the power to cloud men’s minds so that he was invisible. That’s hypnotism and there are many more evidences in the novels.
As with Burroughs’ Tarzan some fans come from print others through other media. By 1930 when The Shadow appears the other media includes, movies, radio and comics that had come into existence. However the characters created by the movies and other media were much different than what issued from the minds of Burroughs or Grant. (Real name Walter Gibson.)
Thus Grant’s Shadow is composed of interesting dualities. On the macro level The Shadow represents the Godly mind while the evil criminals he destroys are in the Satanic mold. The Shadow might even be construed as Godliness’ last stand. The Satanic model would increase in dominance until in 1966 Time Magazine blazoned its cover in black and white with the question Is God Dead? That was quite shocking tearing the fabric of society.
In that same year the Jew Ira Levin published his novel Rosemary’s Baby telling of the birth of Satan’s child, Little Andy. The novel was followed by the Jew Roman Polanski’s horrific film of the same name in 1968 as the Satanic side of the human mind replaced the Godly. From Rosemary’s Baby flowed the Charles Manson murders. It’s been hell since.
On the micro level The Shadow himself was the alter ego of a man named Kent Allard who in vampire fashion assumed the identity of Lamont Cranston. We at the time knew only of the radio Shadow and Cranston. In the novel Allard faked his death in South America removing all traces of his existence. Returning to New York he terrorized his lookalike Lamont Cranston into allowing Allard to operate in his identity while sending Cranston overseas. Thus by day Cranston was a playboy around town and at night he was The Shadow, a vigilante fighting evil. It seems that it would be difficult to be a playboy without a nightlife but Allard/Cranston managed it. The Shadow is an integral part of my own mentality, perhaps in opposition to the evil William C. Gaines.
By the late thirties Burroughs and Grant were spawning all kinds of imitators. While comic strips in newspapers had existed since the turn of the century comic books came into existence in the mid-thirties giving whole new dimensions to the dual personality. Comic books as we know them were created by the character Superman in 1938 first in Action Comics and then in his own name.
The comic book was wholly a creation of Jewish talents pushing a Jewish agenda. As such, whether we knew it or not the comics reflected the Jewish view of life or Weltanschauung. The Jews have been described as a peculiar people and indeed their history confirms the evaluation. The Kent Allard/Lamont Cranston/Shadow triumvirate more or less sums up the Jewish experience.
Twentieth Century US experience in which I lived most of my life was one of discovery for me. In my childhood that followed the death camps of WWII I never actually knew a Jew as a Jew. Like Kent Allard they had merged into a new disguise that for a novice or even experienced person was extremely difficult to penetrate. I knew they existed because I read about them and there was a synagogue in one of the most conspicuous places in town while the only Jew that identified as a Jew was called Sheeny Sheyer and he was a haberdasher. Beyond that I scarcely knew Jews existed until the really big 1958 Holocaust fest show. That was my introduction. Since then, of course, Judaism has been one of the central thread of my studies.
Jews have developed the dual identity into an art form. As the saying goes: Sometimes they don’t know who they are.
As they are living in other people’s countries, since 1800 they have tried to adapt by adopting local haberdashery while adopting personal names in the local manner. Of course in mid-nineteenth century European population pressures compelled the State to order their peoples to assume last names, just as in our day population pressures have forced the adoption of a unique number to identify the specific individual. Thus there might be umpteen John Smiths in the US but you have to have the right number to identify your John Smith.
In the Jewish case a man might have gone by the name of Isaac Ben Abraham, that is Isaac, the son of Abraham. Under the new system he had to choose a last name. The Jews usually named themselves after articles of value or distinction. Hence all the variants of Gold, Silver and precious stones. Isaac Ben Abraham might become Isaac Goldbladder or Isaac Silvermaster or, Perhaps Heinrich Heine. Going into the twentieth century then all Westerners had a first and last name and any number of intervening names their parents might choose.
As most of these names were either German or Russian upon coming to the US many chose to translate the name into English; thus Sumner Rothstein became Sumner Redstone. Sumner itself being considered an assimilative name. David and Michael are the most popular Jewish first names. Some, like Edward G. Robinson the actor, anglicized their name more completely, his European name being Emmanuel Goldenberg (Gold Mountain.) Behind that not unlike Lamont Cranston who might have been Kent Allard was a Hebrew name and that was his real identity. So a Jew automatically had a dual identity, his public name by which he was known at large and the name with which he was registered as a Jew.
On might say then that he was always in disguise in the broad world, a secret foreign agent reporting, as it were, to the synagogue. His people came first before his ‘adopted’ country. This is a source of much confusion to non-Jews while Jews lie when they say their ‘adopted’ country is their first loyalty. Interesting that they adopt a country but the country doesn’t adopt them.
When comic books were developed in the mid-thirties they were almost exclusively Jewish hence expressing the Jewish Weltanschauung. All the characters had dual identities.
Thus Superman migrated from the planet Krypton and ‘adopted’ Earth as his chosen planet. His Krypton identity was Superman while his earthly identity was the wimpish Clark Kent. Capt. America was the Jewish identity while Steve Rogers was his goyish identity. And this continued with the comic book characters Batman and Robin identities.
Now, the Jew has always felt inferior to the other; Cain was the big strong other while Abel was the lesser younger brother. Clark Kent was a weak human while the Jewish Superman was a powerful extra-terrestrial. Steve Rogers was a 98 lb. weakling while Capt. America while lacking true super powers certainly outperformed human beings.
The creators of these characters mostly anglicized their names, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, but not all. So these people had multiple real identities. When you think about it, it is fairly incredible.
When the super characters began playing out in the post-war years the publishers had to search for new themes and they tried everything settling finally into crime but then as Crime Does Not Pay William C. Gaines finally hit the main vein with sado-masochistic horror comics, thus Weird Tales and Tales From The Crypt et al..
That’s where I came in and leave off. I was surprised to find myself ruminating on this subject like this especially as I am beginning to find movement in my brain that signifies some sort of development. When I hit seventy-five I began to notice subtle brain changes followed by electrical discharges the significance of which I am just now understanding. So, I felt some changing was coming but I couldn’t tell when. I found out; it was imminent.
What prompted me to ruminate on dual personalities, the Jekyll and Hyde syndrome, was unknown to me but from the rumblings in my brain I knew something was brewing. Whatever abominable motives I had for coming to New York City were about to out themselves; I sensed that.
I still needed a wardrobe. I had come to the realization that I needed different garb for different situations, that is, essentially, multiple identities. Ragnar was much more familiar with the city and as his time was at my disposal I asked him to show me around some thrift shops; I needed second hand clothing.
I met him at the building’s entrance where we stopped and chatted with Ottmar the doorman for a few minutes. Ragnar gave Ottmar an opportunity to look me over and evaluate me. I put on my maximum gravitas for Ottmar, which I also assumed for the outing with Ragnar. I was sure I passed Ottmar’s test and while I couldn’t be sure I saw that he was tentatively satisfied.
Ragnar was gifted with an almost perfect knowledge of the city’s streets so I let him lead our two man parade. While walking along we passed a wig shop, I guided Ragnar in. The shine was showing through the sparsening hairs on my own head while I had always been fascinated by Andy Warhol’s use of wigs. They were good disguises.
There was a wonderful array of wigs. I picked out a grey one for dignity, a blond one to look vainglorious and a dark one, I suppose for variety but maybe in imitation of Elvis. I was interested in disguising my own paucity of follicles (God, that’s labored, isn’t it?) I can’t bring myself to say bald, but like with Warhol, for effect. An obvious wig draws people’s attention away from your actual appearance making an identification less possible. So, I was three wigs closer to my objective.
Ragnar brought us up to a block or so of thrift shops. I began selecting street clothes. There were any number of styles to choose from, very nearly any time period. Especially since the Great Migration under Obama’s third term, permanent dictatorship actually, one could buy almost any style in the world, naqibs, dashikis, everything.
The ’16 election ended the ‘democracy’ as you well know. God, that was a mess. I was irate when they refused to inaugurate Trump after he had taken a full sixty-five percent of the popular vote and all the electoral votes save New Mexico. We, of what was dubbed the Outsider Party, were irate but the Insider Party small as it was had the fire power and already controlled the apparatus so there was little that could be done in that surprise move.
At least the battle lines were drawn although little in the way of revolt has appeared yet. Some very minor skirmishing in places like Chicago and some Southern cities but nothing unmanageable yet. Remarkably quiet but with a feeling of real tension. Trump had no choice but to go back to New York City. Winning by that margin and being denied his office, of course, exposed the Insiders to the world and the mask did come down, both here and in Europe. Embarrassed the Insiders stripped Trump of his fortune leaving him with a relative pittance, he definitely had to sell his 757.
Even as Trump was returning to New York the Insiders threw down the walls and immigration exploded. They give us five million as the official number but it is probably ten to twenty million judging from the streets of New York which is where millions landed. Speaking as the ghost of John Rocker one doesn’t hear so much dozens of foreign languages but that English seems to be missing.
In an odd turn of events on our journey I noticed ‘scribes’ with tables set up for customers who wanted to send a letter back home but were illiterate. Talk of medieval times; there was no longer an appropriate name for it. I found myself buying strange things. I got a very nice Lubavitcher outfit, also a perfect disguise, weird hat and all for not too much. I picked up a naqib or burka that I thought would be a terrific disguise. You could carry weapons and nearly anything under the voluminous folds without fear of detection. Plus as an apparent woman you were generally ignored, invisible.
I also asked Ragnar to get me a couple handguns. He agreed before he realized what he had admitted but we both let that slide. I have no idea why I thought he could do it nor did I realize why I wanted them. We were fully loaded on the walk back to the condo. Perhaps spurred on by Ragnar’s ability to get guns I asked if he knew martial arts.
‘Oh sure. That was one of the Carmichael’s requirements. I also serve as a bodyguard. I’m Black Belt. Why?’
I wasn’t sure why. ‘You look like you can really handle yourself Ragnar. Good shape, athletic build, just wondered? Work out?
‘Absolutely. I don’t bulk up like a body builder but I’ve put on enough muscle to deal with things, get the right weight you know. May I ask you a few questions?’
‘Sure, go ahead. If they’re discreet.’
‘A friend of mine recognized you from your picture on your web site. He says you’re the writer Partly Wright. True?’
‘Partly Wright Delivers The Truth? Yes, that’s my stuff. Your friend reads me?’
‘He’s on the conservative side and says you lay it out as it is.’
‘That’s my goal Ragnar, that’s my goal. Good to learn somebody else thinks so too. Is your friend political?’
I was trying to find out if Ragnar was part of some secret political organization but I couldn’t come out and ask without seeming nosy.
‘Is your friend in a political set?’ I asked hoping that sounded like a generality.
‘No, we just talk at the gym about things.’
Talk at the gym? OK. There was a possibility. I let the subject drop for the time being as we were approaching the condo. We threw the bundles into the grocery cart as I reminded him to be ready for my first fitting at James Carter.
I woke up next morning and realized that I was due at James Carter for my initial fitting. I looked forward eagerly to the thought of realizing my desire for a bespoke suit, still, other thoughts crowded my mind. I wondered what my real reason was for being in New York. Yes, I was aware of the good reasons but I sensed subliminal reasons I wasn’t able to articulate. And then there were the brain stirrings that usually preceded some sort of mental adjustment. So far each had been more liberating after the trauma while I believed I had cleared out all of the fixations that had influenced my behavior. At the same time I sensed, or I knew of from study, that there was a level of conditioning that lurked below the subconscious in a sort of basement or foundation of the mind. Perhaps that was stirring. I would soon find out.
Alighting from the limo I was greeted on the sidewalk by the manager, a little too effusively I thought; there was no reason to leave the store. As he escorted me up the stairs to the second floor it hit. The seventh step up I felt, even heard, the brain crunch as I slightly staggered against the rail. Fortunately the manager was ahead of me and didn’t see me lurch or whatever grimace was on my face. I was slightly dazed and mentally unsteady as he brought the lead tailor out to introduce me to him.
I could feel the cold professional appraisal, I knew I was being evaluated for what status I would be assigned.
‘Abe, this is Mr. Partly Wright for whom we will be making several suits’. He said, adding a few suits I hadn’t mentioned as he saw that Abe was giving me a fishy eye bordering on disapproval or even hostility in an effort to forestall any affront by Abe to drive me off.
‘And Partly this is Abraham Goldbladder our tailor and one of the finest in New York’, Abe growled, ‘And anywhere else.’ ‘I’m sure you to will get along swimmingly, won’t you Abe?’
‘I’m sure.’ Abe said glowering at me, sawing the measuring tape across the back of neck a couple times. ‘Partly is it? Come this way and we’ll get started.’
I followed into the work area where Abe turned swiftly and stood glaring at me, uncertain of how to begin.
‘I know who you are Mr. Wright.’ He said sternly. ‘Follow me.’
‘Well,’ I said to myself, ‘This explains who some of the people are who Ragnar noticed following me. It isn’t that I didn’t think The Tribe mightn’t be tagging my movements but this confirmed it, moved my suspicions from paranoia to fact, so to speak.
Abe led through a corridor or two, down backstairs to a door he flung open with an imperative gesture to pass through. I found myself in an alley, a dank smelly alley, narrow and confining. At first I thought that Abe had thrown me out, refusing to serve me but, no, he followed me out and stood confronting me.
‘We know who you are.’ He repeated sternly as though demanding a reply.
I paused a moment gathering my fractured wits about me while trying to assume a commanding but condescending humorously mocking posture. This confrontation would determine the quality of my stay in New York. Abe believed that confronting me in amongst the smelly dumpsters in the alley would be an insult to put me at a disadvantage. Abe had no way of knowing that I had dealt with his tribesmen in a more than somewhat intimate basis in my working years and was quite familiar with Jewish tactics.
I smiled and chuckled at him trying to exude the air that Abe was in his proper habitat and that I was fully aware of it. I did succeed to his obvious discomforture.
‘I’m sure you do, Abe. I’m just surprised that you have finally come out into the open. Am I in your habitat now?’
It was important for me to get the upper. I knew that Abe would try to get me angry while not being able to imagine any other arguments than the Semitic canards that had come down through the ages forming the basis of his peoples’ minds. I therefore imagined myself smoking the avuncular or grandfatherly pipe chuckling quietly at the young one’s impertinence. If I could get Abe steamed so much the better.
Abe flushed a little, losing his edge, when he realized that I had said that he was in his element in the alley amongst those godawful dumpsters.
‘We want to know what you’re here for. What’s up your sleeve?’
‘Oh Abe’, I chuckled, ‘you’re not going to lay that paranoid trip on me are you? Do you fear the other that much?’
‘Fear what other?’ He said, jutting out his jaw a trifle. ‘We aren’t afraid of anyone.’
‘Oh Abe, you know, the ever present fearsome anti-Semite. Those you have to shut down and silence by any means necessary.’ I took an imaginary draw on my imaginary pipe to keep a steady low.
‘We know from your writings that you’re an anti-Semite Wright, the lowest form of scum on the planet.’
‘By ‘we’ I presume you’re including the American Jewish Committee and Anti-Defamation League, possibly the SPLC, Abe?’
He snorted non-committally refusing to answer.
‘Only in the Jewish mind, Abe.’ I replied to his question with a smile and a knowing laugh. ‘Anti-Semitism is only Jewish fear of the other in action. You just can’t face who you are; any criticism smarts so bad because it tells you the truth about yourselves. The truth is that Jews always live in societies that are superior to you and that clashes so furiously with your fantasies of superiority that it drives you mad.
There is evidence. Consider the Jews transported from a relatively primitive backwater town like Jerusalem to the stupendous magnificence of Babylon. The Jewish imagination was dwarfed. Thus you have madmen like Isaiah and Ezekiel proclaiming Jewish superiority and opening the gates to the Persians.
The same scenario has been repeated ad infinitum throughout history including your opening the doors of the United States to unlimited diverse immigration. That’s the same thing as opening Babylon’s doors to the Persians or Spanish doors to the Moors not to mention then opening Moorish doors to the Spaniards. It is incontestable Abe.
Jewish frustration erupts into mass murder. The Jews attempted to compete with and subject the Roman Empire. That ended in the complete destruction of Israel and the leveling of Jerusalem and the Temple. Undismayed your people continued the war finally erupting at the beginning of the second century murdering half a million people in Alexandria and Cyprus under the most barbaric conditions. A true crime against humanity.
The result of that episode was a manhunt to destroy any and all Jews. Sixteen hundred years later after the resulting collapse of civilization your Jews again thought to kill all Europeans. Sabbatai Zevi posing as a messiah thought to usher in the millennium in 1666. Your Jews in Europe were selling their possessions for peanuts to have a last fling as money wouldn’t matter after the redemption. The redemption failed and the Jewish revolt never happened.
I’m skipping over a great deal Abe, just the highlights now. Then in 1914 you instigated the Great European Holocaust that after the terrible wars from ’14 to ’45 has continued to today when you have refused to seat the elected presidential candidate Donald Trump.’
Here Abe lost control a little, I was succeeding. ‘That was only social justice. I’m sure you know that in 1920 five elected Jewish representatives to the New York legislature were refused their seats and sent back to New York City.’
‘Not because they were Jewish Abe, because they were Socialists.’
‘What’s the difference?’ Abe let slip.
‘In answer to your question, none.’ I laughed as merrily as I could without seeming forced. I had admired a lesson Marshall McLuhan had given to Tim Leary in the Sixties of the old century that when confronted by hecklers the best reproof was to just open your mouth and laugh them off. Drives them crazy and it seemed to effect Abe that way who should have known better with his age and experience.
‘But the situations are not comparable Abe. Of course with the elected candidate refused we still needed a president. Hillary, the defeated candidate was not possible and there were no alternates legally available so you people set aside all law, all precedent and said Obama would continue as president for life. And then you had the gall to get your three Jewish representatives on the Supreme Court to declare it constitutional. Fourteenth Amendment my ass.’
‘That was a problem that had nothing to do with we Jews.’
‘One thousand Rabbis said otherwise Abe. Deny as you will. Then out of sheer malice you destroyed Trump. Stripped him of everything for having defied you. Took everything, even renamed Trump Towers the Goldman Towers. Don’t know why you left the other half of the name off. Everyone knows who Obama’s boss is.
So, really Abe, I’ve got your number, you don’t have mine. I know you, you know me. I’m just here to get some clothes because your company reminds me of Eric Ross. It gives me some continuity. You’re going to have to make my suits for me.’
So saying l slipped inside the door quickly throwing the dead bolt. Abe hammered and shouted to no effect. Accepting the inevitable he walked the length of the dark smelly alley emerging into the light to the amusement of those watching. Abe’s planned humiliation of me turned back on him.
Abe had a short discussion with his manager but as there would be a fair amount of money involved he accepted his fate and began my first fitting.
I had won this one but the strain told on me. My head was rattling as Ragnar drove me back to the condo. I felt uneasy if not outright sick while the laughter in my head I had experienced in the alley came back.
Ottmar smiled me in and the elevator wait seemed interminable before I got the he thirty-first floor and all the door locks unlocked, rushing into the bedroom to leap into bed. I had just pulled the covers to my chin when I heard that low chuckle and a voice say ‘Hello.’ There was no one there but the voice went on: ‘Hello. Yes it’s me. It’s Gaines.’
‘Gaines? Who the hell is Gaines?’ I found my mind answering.
‘You remember me. Gaines? The comic books? Tales From The Crypt, Weird Tales? Remember? I’m why you came to New York.’
‘Gaines?’ Oh, I know what has happened. My own personal Mr. Hyde has shown up. I had acquired a dual identity. ‘I just want to sleep Gaines. Come back later.’ He did cease and I dropped into a fitful sleep.
Continued in Clip Three.
December 21, 2014
Edgar Rice Burroughs And The Ben-Day Dots
Over the years I have come to wonder why Tarzan was such an immediate success. The premiss on the face of it is absurd. While fascinating it requires such a huge suspension of disbelief as to be staggering. Perhaps that is why such a significant percentage of his contemporary readers were revolted by ERB’s work. He had to put up with a tremendous amount of abuse although his acceptance was greater than his rejection. Something had to prepare the way for that acceptance nevertheless.
The discovery of the unconscious that became prominent in the second half of the nineteenth century certainly opened the way for the strange and bizarre. It is not a coincidence that spiritualism and the paranormal became prominent at that time. Along with those came the rise of science fiction and fantasy. Tarzan is fantasy fiction while the Mars series of Burroughs is fantasy sci-fi.
Monsters like Dracula and Jekyll and Hyde established themselves in the popular imagination. Anthony Hope’s Prisoner of Zenda and the Graustark knock off by George Barr McCutcheon entranced ERB to the point of distraction. Jules Verne, of course, and the Oz stories of L. Frank Baum. When it came to the Mars stories ERB was merely the best exemplar of what by 1911 was an established genre.
The public mind was being softened to accept not only the incredible but the impossible.
Printing improvements made both half tone and color illustration less costly and easier to produce. Is it any wonder that ERB’s period is one of astonishing illustrators. Remember that ERB tried to be a cartoonist himself before he took up writing. His goal was judging from his drawings to be a political cartoonist.
Thus one can only presume he followed book illustrators avidly. Arthur Rackham was knocking them dead while Denslow’s and John R. Neill’s Oz illustrations must have wowed the envious Burroughs. N.C. Wyeth must have blown his mind.
More importantly than the book illustrators though were the emergent four color Sunday Funnies of the newspapers in 1895. They were so exotic and strange even in my childhood but at the time they must have seemed incredible. Of course I had no idea what made them seem exotic. In fact, I had never heard of Ben-Day dots until the fabulous personality posters of the Sixties exploited them.
According to Wikipedia on the subject:
The Ben-Day printing process, named after illustrator and printer Benjamin Henry Day, Jr., is a technique dating from 1879. Depending on the effect, color and optical illusion needed, small colored dots are closely spaced, widely spaced or overlapping. Magenta dots, for example, are widely spaced to create pink. Pulp comic books of the 1950s and 1960s used Ben-Day dots in the four process colors (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) to inexpensively create shading and secondary colors such as green, purple, orange and flesh tones.
The Sunday Funnies thus must have had an astonishing effect on contemporary minds. As the comics Bill Hillman has reproduced on his site, ERBzine, indicate ERB was an avid follower of the genre. His earth borer used by David Innes in the Pellucidar series was most likely cadged from a comic strip.
Seeking relief from those long weary job hunting days of the first decade ERB sought relief by hanging around the Chicago Public Library. He was a card carrying member too. Who knows what volumes he borrowed or browsed through on the spot. The Library would have had its racks of the country’s newspapers on display including those of NYC. Thus ERB would have been familiar with the comic strips of Winsor McCay, The Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend and Little Nemo in Slumberland. Himself an avid dreamer, very familiar with nightmares, ERB must have relished McCay’s work.
As it so happens McCay’s two most famous strips have a prominent place in the history of comics. In fact, just recently the Taschen Publishers issued a one volume complete collection in four color Ben-Day dots of the Little Nemo strip. At a size of 20 x 14 the strips are magnificently displayed. The accompanying 150 page text by Alexander Braun is a wonderful history of the period pointing out many developments that undoubtedly influenced ERB forming a background to his writing. Braun has a touch of genius too. Many strips of the The Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend are included in the ancillary volume, some full page.
The Rarebit Fiend strip began a little earlier than the Little Nemo strip of 1905. Thus both strips were running during 1905-09, the period of ERB’s deepest despondency. I will show how both strips are reflected in ERB’s writing.
To take the Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend first. Rarebit refers to the culinary dish Welsh Rarebit frequently referred to as Welsh Rabbit. The dish is simply melted cheese on bread although it can be a fondue. In the strip the dreamer overeats before bedtime producing a nightmare. The dreamers are all different while some of the nightmares are quite astonishing.
Burroughs’ emulation appears in Jungle Tales Of Tarzan in the story Tarzan’s first nightmare in which Tarzan overeats having the subsequent nightmare. My first reaction to the story was that Burroughs had been reading Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams. While he may have been I think McCay’s strip was a stronger or more immediate influence.
The Little Nemo in Slumberland influence appears in ERB’s first serious effort, Minidoka, put in a drawer and not published until 1998 by Dark Horse Comics.
The consensus seems to be that Burroughs wrote this short work c. 1905. The reasoning seems to be that because Burroughs wrote the story on stationery from this period that that proves it was written at that date. However ERB was an inveterate collector, read packrat, until he says he overcame the disease in the early twenties. So he says. So ERB was reluctant to throw anything away. The stationery proves nothing.
I have maintained that ERB wrote Minidoka c. 1908-09 based on internal evidence. We can now add the evidence of Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo in Slumberland strip. As the title implies this strip also revolves around dreams. It has a haunting surrealistic feel filled with strange characters and dream effects.
As I say, ERB haunted the Chicago library from 1905 to 1911 when he began writing The Princess of Mars. Thus he would have heard of the strip which was quite famous while following it at least periodically.
Minidoka reflects a Little Nemo quality. Little Nemo would then have been the catalyst that got Burroughs writing as he tried to emulate it in prose. As usual ERB combines a multitude of influences. He even states that the work is written in Ragtime Talk which meshes quite well with McCay.
Minidoka in itself can qualify as surrealistic before surrealism as does Mccay. That would not be extraordinary as the period from, say, 1880-1910 had a unified outlook not unlike the Sixties music scene when all bands played around a central motif.
As the work couldn’t have been written without McCay influence that places its probable composition date firmly in the 1908-10 range.
I heartily recommend the Taschen Little Nemo as an example of the current bookmaker’s art as well as for the astounding work of Winsor McCay. This rather astonishing video is available demonstrating McCay’s drawing expertise while showing him as the film creator of animation. He not only influenced Burroughs but Walt Disney said his own work would not have been possible without McCay.
A 1998 Japanese made movie called Little Nemo’s Adventures In Slumberland is available on Netflix. Ray Bradbury, no less, provided the story line.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcSp2ej2S00 There are numerous other videos too.
February 17, 2013
The Sixties: A Comic Book Heaven
Of course, everyone is, and always has been, slightly mad. Still, repressing the unreasonable side of his nature man in the Western world has, since the eighteenth century, built a civilization based on scientific reason and classic Aristotelian logic- the heritage of the Enlightenment. And the result, especially in this country [US] during the past fifty years [article dated 1970], has been a rational society that has made one technological break through after another, from the invention of the pop-up toaster to the ability to land men on the moon. Here, until recently, two plus two had inevitably equaled four, not five, as Eastern mystics suggest, and no one other than J.D. Salinger had been able to imagine the sound of one hand clapping.
–Thomas Meehan- Horizon Magazine, Spring 1970.
Comic books were first sold in 1933-34. Thus the first two comic book generations coincide with those too young to serve in WWII while many of the first generation was obliged to serve in the Korean war while the second generation missed both.
How deeply the mind of the first generation of comic book readers was formed is problematical. Comic books didn’t take their classic form until 1938 when the character of Superman was formed. The number of comic characters proliferated during WWII but as these, i.e. Capt. America, were war specific they fell out of favor after WWII.
The first generation of potential comic book readers, those born from 1933-34 formed the substratum for the sixties when they created rock and roll and the base for 60s pop culture during the 50s. That was Presley, Sanford Clark, Cash, Vincent, Nelson et al.
Following the war those born in 1937-38 and subsequently through about 1943-44 had their minds formed by comic books although not all to the same degree. A significant percentage of them were forbidden to read comics by their parents, perhaps wisely. There were some who indulged themselves indiscriminately. I was one of those. I read them all, avidly. The question is how were we affected?
There was a terrific reaction against comic books. Angry parents fought to have them banned. In perhaps the only, certainly of a very few, successful efforts of censorship, comics were banned in 1954. The survivor, of course, was Mad Magazine published by the worst offender, William C. Gaines. All of the comic book readers plus many of those formerly excluded shifted to Mad thus further polluting our brains. While I never gave up reading the comic books till their banning I did abandon Mad for political reasons after a year or so.
Now, with the exception of Capt. Marvel, and that may only be partial, the comics were exclusively of Jewish origins. Thus we in the US, Britain was excluded, were shown the Jewish point of view without our knowing.
One of the key themes was the all male group of do-gooders. These were some of my favorites. The tops, perhaps, was the very influential Blackhawks comics. The Blackhawks were a group of five ex-WWII pilots who each owned his P-38 fighter and flew around the world, Third World mainly, if I remember correctly, righting wrongs they recognized more quickly and efficiently, that is vigilante style, than organized government could or would. I remember the Blackhawks as terrific, I loved them. The fellowship of the pilots, each with a different character, each loyal to the others was something that I and I suppose every reader wished to emulate, especially the notion of a bonded group of five like minded guys.
Another was called the Daredevil. He had a red and blue set of body tights upper right and lower left red and vice versa for the blue. Weird but that’s the way he was. Daredevil was a surrogate father figure to five orphan boys, same character makeup as the Blackhawks, who righted wrongs in their neighborhood and lived in the same clubhouse. The later musical group The Monkees was probably based on them. The Monkees were short one, being four, which lessened their impact. If they’d had that fifth member I would have been an avid fan although older by then.
Thus in 1954 the origins of Top 40 began on radio. Twenty four hours round the clock seven days a week full time music. An innovation created by the arrival of television. The first generation of rockers were solo artists. Some came attached with a band such as Bill Haley And The Comets or Gene Vincent And The Blue Caps who were proto-Blackhawk type groups but mainly they were solo artists with a band not a group. Presley, Sanford Clark and that curious mixture of both, Ricky Nelson.
The societal maturation process was continuing and then in the mid-sixties the Charlatans came down from the hills of Virginia City dressed in movie style cowboy outfits to home base San Francisco and the first group of costumed crusaders a la the Blackhawks burst forth in full flower.
In Britain the situation was somewhat different although coeval with the US. While the US escaped devastation in WWII the South of England was bombarded mercilessly destroying millions of buildings. A good representation of the situation may be found in John Boorman’s I suppose accurate, I wasn’t there, movie, The Hope And The Glory. As Boorman, who was there, portrays it, acres and acres of rubble stretched in every direction. The kids who scavenged and roamed the area are portrayed as little savages. An interesting education for the age cohort that came of age in the fifties.
Those born in the early forties, the core of the second generation of rockers, themselves played in this same although shrinking devastation. But rations were short in hard hit Britain, restrictions were not lifted until 1954. How their psychology was impaired isn’t so clear, although in the mid-sixties a wild party time called Swinging London appeared. Gay abandon one might say.
The group situation there may have been the result of the generation’s discovery of American slave music- Rhythm And Blues. R&B as a new entry to the British music scene met with resistance so that the devotees were possibly forced to form small groups who recognized each other, many wanting to play the music so they naturally formed groups, two guitars, drums, bass and a singer.
At any rate the British invasion of the US consisted of these four and five man groups coinciding with the comic book groups of the US.
Other formative influences other than comics and radio were films and TV. Those all involved a specific point of view repeated ad nauseum or lessons from a know-it-all crusader cum super hero.
Of course we all grew up with Hopalong Cassidy and Gene Autry among others during the forties but with the fifties came the fantastic science fiction movies. One of the most important was The Day The Earth Stood Still with its famous characters Klaatu and Gort. The premise was preposterous but no one got it. Klaatu is an alien landing a saucer in the US. He is here to vet Earthlings to see if the they are ready to enter the intergalactic community in which peace reigns. Alas, Earthlings, you and me, are hopelessly primitively addicted to violence. Klaatu boards his saucer with a sign of benediction delivering a long sermon about shaping up and saying he’ll be back if we ever sort things out. Alright.
Movie after movie repeated the same message until today people actually believe that extra-terrestrials are all peaceful and Earth is the only rogue planet in the universe. Ask anyone. Flying Saucers were portrayed as hovering out there where the communications satellites would soon be. There they carefully studied mankind for any sign of the diminution of violence. Boy, I bet they think they’ve been wasting their time. Imagine circling Earth for seventy years waiting for indications of peacefulness. Obviously they’ve been sadly disappointed while being joined by the Negro Mother Wheel that appeared some time in the seventies to keep them company Hello, Earth calling Mother Wheel.
These movies established the idea that the whole universe except for Earth is highly developed and pacific along with the idea that Earthlings are worthless, hence most people accepted as fact we were being watched by superior beings and found wanting. We were inferior.
The movies established the notion that there were millions of inhabited worlds out there inhabited by superior beings who could travel billions of light years and get to home base in time for dinner. ‘Honey, I’m home.’
Now, at the same time, pulp magazines existed. Monthly editions of Amazing Stories, Astounding Tales and others poured out endless reams of the most astonishing stuff imaginable. Thus, all three, comics, pulps and movies, sci-fi and movies were rushing through our minds, forming expectations. Of course, the number of us who read sci-fi, almost as despised by parents as the comics, was small, but then as TV developed, Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone and Star Trek came along both of which mined the sci-fi stories of the fifties while spreading the notions throughout the entire population. This reduced the intellectual discrimination of the people whose minds were prepared to accept anything.
These years of the fifties were very crowded with the most exciting new developments. TV was perhaps at the top of the list. Bear in mind that cable didn’t exist. There weren’t even three channels in most places including a major market like the San Francisco Bay Area. People didn’t think TV would be profitable. The channels didn’t even broadcast until noon and shut down at ten o’clock prime time. There was no 24/7 TV.
There wasn’t even enough original programming to fill a ten hour day so they ran old movies and almost anything anyone could think up. Arthur Godfrey’s show ran for hours every day.
One of those odd things they chose to fill time was a character called Crusader Rabbit. I don’t know how well remembered the Rabbit is today but he had a profound effect in forming the minds of the 60s generation. Crusader Rabbit was a distant relative of the Blackhawks. While they flew around the world able to determine who were the good guys and who the bad, Crusader Rabbit was a self-righteous little bastard of a vigilante squad who instilled certain little minds with his self-righteousness and made them think they should impose their vision of reality on the world by mounting ‘crusades.’ Hawkeye of the later TV series Mash combined Crusader Rabbit with the Blackhawks.
Now, all this was happening in a short six years from 1950 to 1956. In many ways this was a major intellectual/psychological revolution preceding those revolutions of the sixties.
Equally, if not more important, was what was happening in the classrooms of our schools.
If an astonishing variety of educations was going on outside the classrooms what was going on inside was no less astonishing. I don’t know if everyone saw it the way I did but I had a tough time assimilating what I heard. Of course American superiority and the inferiority of Europeans was standard staple. At the same time we were warned to be humble as bearers of these great gifts and to share them with our inferiors who after all couldn’t help it that they weren’t born Americans. True enough I suppose.
And, because of the success of our own American revolution, barring any negative thoughts caused by the French and Bolshevik revolutions, we were taught, indeed, indoctrinated and conditioned to believe that revolution per se was good, indeed, a blessing. Ignoring whatever may have been going on in the world we were taught to revere the South American George Washington, Simon Bolivar, who flitted from country to country on the whole continent until he came to end of it in Venezuela tossing the Spanish aside like so much chaff. Viva Bolivar, hey? Well, Viva Zapata next.
Well, I came from the orphanage and I had a different idea of right and wrong. Heroes were much scarcer for me than for the kids from normal homes.
By the time we got to high school, 1953-56, teachers were preaching revolution, revolution, revolution full bore. Revolution was everywhere. Minute changes in processed breakfast cereals were described as revolutions. Crusader Rabbit was a revo. Who wasn’t?
The reverence for revolution continued in college too. Another four years of revo, rah, rah, rah followed in college which ended for my class in 1960. Portentous year, what? That was the year our limp President, John F. Kennedy created the Peace Corps. We were eager to share our wonderful achievement so recent college graduates with absolutely no knowledge of the world and inadequate educations sallied forth to tell the world how to do it right. OK? How’s that for arrogance?
Now, there were plenty of revolutions in progress in 1960 and all those graduates from say, 1954 to 1959, were primed for revo. Lived for it, breathed it. They didn’t even have to be recruited; they went searching for it. Give us revolution, they screamed.
These were years of the magnificent march of progress too. Years of change and hope, revolutions one might say, in all areas of endeavor. The people born from 1938 to 1945 leaped in with both feet and arms flailing. The sixties belonged to us, it was a world that we would make ourselves.
The next age cohort born from ‘46-’53 would be instrumental in forming the seventies, the eighties going to the next age cohort. Of course these cohorts created nothing merely extending the ethic of the 60s’ cohort. The interesting thing is that there was a fairly complete break between us and The Greatest Generation as our fathers have been styled.
Those revolutionary minded teachers of ours were mostly born c. 1890 so they were at the tail end of the post-Civil War corps, lived through two world wars and the Great Depression. Our fathers born somewhere around 1918 caught the Depression and WWII while witnessing the Korean War. We younger ones, in the US, avoided that while TV, Top 40 and other assorted wonders made us rather distinct, nothing alike in outlook. Our fathers didn’t really like, couldn’t trust us, and certainly were not going to accord us the dignity of adulthood and the authority that goes with it. So we grew distant from them not really thinking an awful lot of them or giving them our trust. Fuck, they couldn’t even deal with the Mafia.
Politically they kept control during the sixties while culturally and socially we managed affairs. As it was a new beginning of sorts the succeeding age cohorts respected us and what may be called our achievements, sex, drugs and rock and roll, but still maintaining that sense of breakfast cereal revo.
To make the break even sharper, in 1960 the real old guard headed by Eisenhower checked out and an Irish upstart son of a bootlegger, Jack Kennedy, leader of the Celtish Camelot and a guy who could twist the night away even with a bad back, attempted to lead the way.
His best wasn’t very good and he caught a piece of flying lead allowing that pale Texan reincarnation of FDR to see how badly he could muff it. He did a good job of muffing it too.
So, there we were on the brink of 1960 raring to show the world what we could do. Really revo the whole machine? We’ll see.
The psychological background of the sixties as exhibited by the second rock generation from 1938 to 1945 is a major manifestation of an effort begun back in the WWII days. It is the realization of the theologico-metaphysical notion of what Sigmund Freud dubbed the Unconscious. As the quote opening this essay indicates the sixties was the undoing of the several hundred year effort to realize the conscious. We thought we’d seen enough of the unconscious to last much more than a millennium. As the effort was begun before the awareness of the nature of the Un or subconscious the effort was achieved as Mr. Meehan states by the repression of sub-conscious motives not their elimination.
Freud quickly discerned this and he understood the function of dreams that he called the ‘royal road to the unconscious.’ Thus the motto he appended to his volume The Interpretation Of Dreams published appropriately in 1900 is ‘Flectare si nequeo, Superos, Acheronta movebo.” which translated means ‘If I cannot deflect the will of heaven I shall move hell.’
Freud interpreting the conscious mind as heaven chose to deemphasize consciousness in favor of his vision of the unconscious that he interpreted as Hell. Thus, you will find almost nothing in Freudian psychology referring to the conscious mind while he enthrones his Unconscious as the moderator of the human mind. He actually believed that the Unconscious was an agency separate from the body. In theological terms it had a supernatural existence. Thus, he has negated consciousness, or Science, in favor of Religion. As he has rejected God or Heaven then it follows that he embraced Satan and Hell.
As the sixties progressed the generation abandoned consciousness embracing unconsciousness. Time Magazine proclaimed in 1966 ‘God Is Dead’ while Satanism came alive, indeed according to Ira Levin in his novel, Rosemary’s Baby, Satan’s son, Andy, was born in 1966 just as God died. Levin continued his story in 1999’s Son Of Rosemary. Interesting.
It is no coincidence that Freud was both a druggie and a homosexual. Now, the royal road to free the mind of consciousness or Heaven is an obsession with sex and the free indulgence of drugs especially Freud’s favorite, cocaine backed with a pounding jungle beat. Eh voila- the sixties.
Sex, drugs and the hypnotic jungle beat of Rock and Roll. The sex was facilitated by the introduction of the birth control pill and anti-biotics; the amusing Shel Silverstein sang of Penicillin Penny who always had VD. If the girls took the pill both they and their boys were freed from the fear of pregnancies while the ga-ga types had no fear of Venereal disease because the cure was quick and easy by a regimen of anti-biotic pills. Almost paradise here and now and on Earth. For less than a buck you could get a nice big piece of pie too.
Freud had achieved his goal; he had overturned Aryan society.
Freud essentially by fraud allowed us to indulge forbidden appetites and responsibility from forbidden acts, for after all as the conscious mind had no authority and the will of the unconscious was unresistible we had no responsibility for our acts- If it felt good, we did it, as the mantra was. Hence by 1966 we had Richard Speck killing all those nurses in Chicago and Charlie Whitman up his clock tower at UT blowing away his fellow students. Guns aren’t the problem; Freud is the problem.
Hell, Dick and Charlie just wanted to be free. Indeed, freedom in the freest of all societies became a problem to the generation.
Sally Banks in her Greenwich Village 1963, Chapter 5, appropriately titled, Dreaming Freedom, explains her views on what being free actually meant to her and a very large part of the age cohort. She is writing from New York City.
In 1963 freedom was a vital political issue charged with artistic consequences for both the mainstream and avant-garde. Part of the avant-garde’s utopian vision was that liberty could be found within community. But, in fact, the very concept of freedom sets autonomy and the notion of individualism in conflict with the bondedness of community. For social life is a potent source of restraint [suppression of freedom], yet, paradoxically, total freedom would mean the humanly unrealizable (and unbearable) state of complete isolation. Thus there is a deep ambivalence in Western culture toward freedom and social life. The dream of community, itself, may be incompatible with the dream of freedom, a contradiction the avant-garde sought to discover.
The Sixties artists constructed an art that re-imagined daily life in terms of achieving both liberation and community. If such a situation proved illusory, in 1963 it seemed necessary- and it still seemed possible given the booming economic infrastructure- to find a model that would make these imaginings concrete.
Yes, people wanted total freedom- that is a disconnect from the reality of having to deal with unpleasant facts- free from all restraints including gravity and mostly free from themselves. The drugs seemed to serve as those releases. Under the influence people could imagine themselves as someone else who ‘really had their shit together‘, miracle men and women able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, move mountains with the wave of a hand, fly through the air like a host of angels but they inevitably came back down where if they were anywhere near a mirror they could watch their bodies disintegrate.
Freedom from reality has its price.
So, the sixties that began with such ‘High Hopes’ to realize ‘The Impossible Dream’ of Camelot began to crash in 1966 just as like a flash of lightning in the sky the realization of those dreams seemed to dawn. As Lewis Carroll said, be careful that your Snark is not a boojum, for you see….
The Truth Is No Defense
The sixties, then, was when the impasse between the Scientific Method came into its latter day conflict with the Theologico-Metaphysical mindset. The T-M system is merely a mental state that not only does not require objective validation but positively rejects it in favor of subjectiveness; what Freud called inner wishful thinking.
While the sciences of sociology and anthropology and biology produced irrefutable, by logical methods, results that ran counter to the inner wishful T-M thinking, as there were no means to refute the scientific results the T-M people merely denied them and forced scientists to suppress their accurate but uncongenial truths.
To ensure that the truths were suppressed and remained suppressed the T-M partisans passed laws making it criminal to express these truths. These laws called ‘hate’ laws were then applied to any who spoke these truths. As the truths were undeniable T-M partisans corrupted the law, common sense, and, one might say, the will of God to declare in a court of law by the judges that ‘the truth is not a defense.’
The truth is not a defense! Think about it. Such a rule of law is the triumph of absolute criminality and ignorance. And this happened during the watch of an age cohort that claimed to love freedom and revolution. Well, it was a revolution, one that enslaves the mind.
Now, in a position to punish those who disagreed with them the beneficiaries of the T-M mentality were able to enshrine their will as the law of the land. As the law was no longer concerned with the judgment of facts as evidence but the religious beliefs of the T-Ms the US at that point turned into a theocracy. The religious left became an established religion running counter to the old dispensation of the Constitution in favor of something not yet codified and something not approved by the former electorate that now became passive and an ineffective annoyance to the new slave masters.
The ruling social ethos in the US when the sixties dawned was the theory of the Melting Pot formulated by the Jewish writer Israel Zangwill c. 1900. According to that theory that had nearly the effect of a law all the disparate social elements forming the population of the US would fuse into one people of uniform American belief.
In 1960 or thereabouts the new theory of multi-culturalism was introduced which stated that each culture should have an autonomous existence. This was the dream, wishful thinking, of the wannabe Jewish Autonomous people. Nothing new, it was their age old dream. Thus the body politic of the US as a matter of principle was fractured into many warring cultures.
While the Melting Pot had always been a fantasy having no real existence in fact multi-culturalism was alive and real and exacerbated in 1965 when the immigration act was reformed allowing unlimited immigration to all the peoples of the world. And if they didn’t come willingly members of the T-M mentality went into the actual jungles of Africa, dragged the natives out, put them on a plane, free fare, and flew them to the US.
What can one say to such zaniness.
The whole notion of freedom advocated by the age cohort was thus negated. Dozens of laws were passed giving these ‘immigrants’ precedence over the rights of the native population, depriving the natives of equal rights. This is a true story. Incredible but true.
And lastly, for this essay we come to the complete overturn of reason in favor of a comic book utopia and the installation of an age of inner wishful thinking caused by the introduction of drugs as a mass phenomenon.
Drugs in the sixties were nothing new. Drugs begin to show up in literature during the nineteenth century Romantic period. Thomas de Quincey’s Confessions Of An English Opium Eater is the first famous confession or novel on the topic. Opium was much used in Victorian England as an ingredient in Laudanum which was given to infants to make them stop crying.
Opium was further reduced to morphine and then heroin. Freud is famous as the promoter of the joys of cocaine, synthesized from the coca plant. As chemistry developed, synthetic chemical drugs such as amphetamine began making their appearance at the end of the century.
Drug labs were busy and soon creating drugs that attacked any area of the brain. LSD was discovered in 1938 and popularized after 1943. Drugs like Miltown and other tranquilizers began filling women’s purses after 1950. Pot and hash had been simmering below the Hot 100 for some time but moved up the charts after 1960. So the whole pharmacopeia was available as the decade began. New formulas would be discovered in the following decades as drugs became part of the entertainment industry.
Drugs of course suppress the conscious mind exposing the raw wiring of the user. They also lower resistance to hypnotic influence. Hypnosis is merely a heightened sensitivity to suggestion. A drugged out population can be swayed by propaganda as no other, which is merely suggestion by another name, in any direction. They can be swayed but you mist control the means to do so. The mass media was the means, namely TV, Movies and records, and it was in the control of Jews with their special agenda.
Thus Movies, TV and Records propagandized a pro Jewish revolution agenda along with its subordinate Negro revolution agenda.
It is strange how all trends worked to favor the Negro/Jewish agenda. Of course, Jews had been instrumental in breaking down Aryan resistance to Negro music. Jewish DJs such as Alan Freed and Cousin Brucie along with Jewish song writers such as the hugely influential Leiber and Stoller and Goffin-King led the assault.
The songs they wrote were performed by Negro artists. While the Jewish song writers were not so familiar with Aryan culture as is supposed it was enough to bridge the Aryan-Negro gap making the Negro performances potable while paving the way for Barry Gordy’s Motown label.
As of 1960 there was virtually no one who listened to or was familiar with Negro Blues. The Blues was
brought forward by the British Invasion who apparently listened to that crap. I am always astonished by White Blues artists citing Robert Johnson as a source. There was nothing available by Robert Johnson until 1960 when CBS released its first collection that virtually no one bought. The second collection was released in ‘62 with the same result.
I first heard of Robert Johnson in 1968 when I owned a record store. Many people talked about the Blues but when I started a first rate Blues section the records remained untouched and unsold. I doubt that I ever had a Robert Johnson sale.
I was in a university town and when such Blues artists as Lightning Hopkins were brought to town the ‘séances’ were held in someone’s living room with maybe fifteen people attending, ten of which were girls worshipping blackness. Nevertheless White Blues was popularized by the British, spreading to American performers.
I should point out that White performers of the forties and early fifties such as the Singing Cowboy Gene Autry sang many Blues based songs. Autry’s song The Yellow Rose Of Texas is of course about a Negro woman, high yellow.
By decades end the cohort’s fascination with exaggerated notions of freedom and revolution had turned into drug addiction and violence. By the late sixties looney tunes like Bomber Billy Ayers and his female side kick Bernardine Dohrn with their Weatherman organization and the Jewish Defense League and its offshoot the Jewish Defense Organization were killing and bombing at will and furthermore they would get away with it. ‘Free as a bird and guilty as Hell.’ as Bomber Billy Ayers would put it.
So by the end of decade ending with the Caped Crusader, Mick Jagger, at Altamont a comic book vision of reality had triumphed over the real thing. Who can forget Mick Jagger mounted on a giant inflatable cock on stage before sixty thousand people. Now, there was a comic book fantasy. Two and two added up to any number you wanted.
January 12, 2013
Edgar Rice Burroughs And The Revolt Against Civilization
A Review Of
Lothrop Stoddard’s Eponymous Title
Stoddard, Lothrop: The Revolt Against Civilization: The Menace Of The Underman, 1922, New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons, First Edition.
In the name of our To-morrow we will burn Rafael
Destroy museums, crush the flowers of art,
Maidens in the radiant kingdom of the Future
Will be more beautiful than Venus de Milo.
Quoted by Stoddard p. 202
A perennial problem in Burroughs’ studies is what did he believe? Was he a racist? Was he an anti-Semite? Was he an irredeemable bigot? Shall we just say he was not of a contemporary Liberal frame of mind. If you listen to Richard Slotkin author of Gunfighter Nation and a professor at Case Western Reserve at the time he wrote his book a couple decades ago, Edgar Rice Burroughs was an evil man responsible for all the evil in the US from 1912 to the present. Slotkin even sees him responsible for the My Lai massacre of Viet Nam.
Himself a Communist Slotkin can overlook all the crimes of the Soviet Union in which tens of millions were exterminated to find the ultimate evil in the killing of a few dozen people in Viet Nam.
Slotkin, who rampages through his history disparaging any non-Liberal writers as atavistic bigots firmly attaches Burroughs’ name to two scholars, Madison Grant and his Passing Of The Great Race of 1916 and Lothrop Stoddard and his historical studies of the twenties. He considers the two hardly less evil than Burroughs. To someone less excitable, perhaps, or lessLiberal, the two writers have written responsible and astute studies. I certainly think they have.
When I first read Slotkin I rejected the notion that Burroughs had been influenced by either. Ten years on I have to retract that opinion. It is now clear that Burroughs read both while being heavily influenced by Lothrop Stoddard, especially his 1922 volume, The Revolt Against Civilization. While the studies of both Grant and Stoddard would at best supplement Burroughs already developed opinions The Revolt can easily be seen as a template for Burroughs’ writing after he read it. While the study complemented his own developed social and political opinions I am sure that Stoddard’s explication of the history provided Burroughs with many new facts. Based on its opinions that appeared in ERB’s novels I would place the reading somewhere about 1926 or 1927.
Contrary to what some admirers want to make him ERB was what today would be considered a very conservative man, today’s Liberals would be anathema to him. He was decidedly anti-Communist, a Eugenicist, while not bigoted he was not a Negrophile or Semitophile. He was essentially a man with a social and historical outlook that was formed before 1900, a pre-immigration outlook formed while the Indian wars were still in progress. In short he was a man of his times.
Thomas Dixon Jr. to whom he is often compared was one of the most successful writers of the period who carefully examined both the Civil War and Reconstruction as well as the growing Socialist/Communist movement. He was not a bigot as he is always construed but a man of his own people. Burroughs was influenced by his work and thought well of him. He did not abhor him. ERB read many of Dixon’s novels and admired the movie based on his books, The Birth Of A Nation. He sympathized with Henry Ford in his struggle for the welfare of America and read the Dearborn Independent, Ford’s newspaper. In short, Burroughs was a stand up guy.
Now, what evidence is there he read The Revolt Against Civilization: The Menace Of The Underman? Let’s begin with this quote, p. 34 et seq.
Down to that time the exact nature of the life process remained a mystery. The mystery has now been cleared up. The researches of [August] Weisman and other modern biologists have revealed the fact that all living beings are due to a continuous stream of germ plasm which has existed ever since life first appeared on earth and which will continue to exist as long as any life remains. This germ-plasm consists of minute germ cells which have the power of developing into human living beings. All human beings spring from the union of a male sperm-cell and a female egg-cell. Right here, however, occurs the basic feature of the life process. The new individual consists, from the start, of two sorts of plasm. Almost the whole of him is body plasm – the ever multiplying cells which differentiate into the organs of the body. But he also contains germ- plasm. At his very conception a tiny bit of the life stuff from which he springs is set aside or carefully isolated from the body-plasm, and forms a course of development entirely its own. In fact, the germ-plasm is not really part of the individual; he is merely its bearer, destined to pass it on to other bearers of the life chain.
Now all this was not only unknown but even unsuspected down to a short time ago. Its discovery was in fact dependent upon modern scientific methods. Certainly, it was not likely to suggest itself to even the most philosophic mind. Thus, down to a generation ago, the life stuff was supposed to be a product of the body, not differing essentially in character from other body products. This assumption had two important consequences. In the first place, it tended to obscure the very concept of heredity, and led men to think of environment as virtually all important; in the second place, even where the importance of heredity was dimly perceived the role of the individual was misunderstood, and he was conceived as a creator rather than a mere transmitter. This was the reason for the false theory of “the inheritance of acquired characteristics,” formulated by Lamarck and upheld by most scientists until almost the end of the nineteenth century. Of course, Lamarckianism was merely a modification of the traditional ‘environmentalist’ attitude: it admitted that heredity possessed some importance, but it maintained environment as the basic feature.
Now there you have the argument of God in Tarzan And The Lion Man of 1933 nearly word for word. I hink it unlikely that ERB actually read Weisman who published following 1900 and who ERB may never have heard of, so his source was in all probability Stoddard.
Stoddard’s presentation nicely straddles the change of consciousness from the nineteenth to the twentieth century. It sounds a trifle naïve to our ears but was cutting edge at the time. Weisman’s theories were a big step in the direction of the discovery of DNA a short 26 years after Stoddard’s study.
It is important though to remember that more than fifty percent of the US population today rejects the concept of evolution while being more Lamarckian in outlook than might be supposed. We are as a whole not quite as advanced as we think we are.
As a quick affirmation of the influence of Stoddard on ERB on pages 95-96 he gives an account of the famous Jukes family of degenerates that appeared in ERB’s 1932 novelette, Pirate Blood.
Stoddard was well aware of what was happening historically and presently and one can see that he passed that understanding on to ERB. Almost as though writing today, on page 237 Stoddard writes:
Stressful transition is the key-note of our times. Unless all signs be faulty, we stand at one of those momentous crises in history when mankind moves from one well-marked epoch to another of widely different character.
Extremely prescient observation in 1922 while his study has been borne out in detail. The chapter titles give a clear outline of the contents:
1. The Burden Of Civilization
2. The Iron Law Of Equality
3. The Nemesis Of The Inferior
4. The Lure Of The Primitive
5. The Ground Swell Of Revolt
6. The Rebellion Of The Underman
7. The War Against Chaos
As can be easily seen novelists such as Rider Haggard, ERB, Edgar Wallace as well as many others from 1890 to the 20s were grappling with the problems indicated by the chapter titles.
The natural tendency in humans is to be rather lax in mental activity. Precision calls for an active mentality and concentration. Not everyone is capable of this, yet, beginning in the nineteenth century such mental qualities were increasingly necessary. Such disciplines as Chemistry and Physics didn’t allow for personal vagaries or individual style. One couldn’t bend the disciplines to one’s own desires, precise measurements were necessary requiring mental concentration. A little bit off and who knows what might happen. In a way then the Overman and Underman were created. Either you could or you couldn’t and if you couldn’t you slipped beneath- an Underman. Higher civilization was impossible for you.
Burroughs addressed this problem continually. In his character Tarzan he resolved the problem giving his creation a split personality, in a loin cloth he was one man, in a tuxedo he was another. Two separate gorillas in one and always a beast. In real life society split into two possibilities- the Over and Underman.
Worse still scientific methods were able to measure the ineffable, the unseen. In chemistry sub-tiny atoms were able to be detected and their sub-miniscule weights actually measured. Measurement is the bane of the Underman. A Mole contains 6,022 x 10 to the 23rd power of atoms, an incredible incomprehensible number that still might weigh 12 grams or less. Astonishing. Beyond the comprehension hence belief of the Underman. As the process can’t be seen it can’t be believed.
In human intelligence the Englishman Francis Galton began to devise measuring devices of intelligence in 1865 shortly after Darwin announced Evolution in 1959. Thus uncertainty about mental capacity was eliminated. As Stoddard calls it, The Iron Law Of Inferiority. Biology and measuring excluded something like eighty-five percent of the population from the ranks of the most intelligent. Without that high measurement of intelligence 85% of the population was automatically excluded from the possibility of higher attainment while at the same time being prejudged.
Big strapping fellows, all man, were relegated to manual labor while wimps like perhaps, John D. Rockefeller, became billionaires. Not right, the big strapping fellows said, but not measuring up in intelligence, which they couldn’t see, they were condemned to the shovel for life.
Intelligence measuring tests were improved between 1865 and 1920 although not as accurate as could be desired. Men entering the armed forces in WWI were an excellent testing group. Of 1,700,000 tested intelligence levels were fairly accurately determined. It was then discovered that only four and a half percent were very bright with another seven or eight percent bright, while the huge bulk were C+ to C- descending from there.
One imagines Burroughs read this with extreme thoughtfulness.
So, now as the bulk of the good things were going to those who could do, what were those who couldn’t do about it? The great issue since 1789 has been equality; the Underman demanded equality as a first condition. He could organize. He could sabotage. He could rage. And that is what the Underman has done.
The Communist Party was formed. And what was their chief demand? Equality. Absolute equality. As they couldn’t rise to a natural equality then the only other feasible solution was to bring the Superior intelligences down to their level. Thus they raged against that great equalizer, education. Screw science, screw physics, screw chemistry, screw biology. Who needed what you couldn’t see and that especially included intelligence measuring?
One of ERB’s bete noires was the I.W.W.- The Industrial Workers Of The World, syndicalists. Imagine his reaction when he read this:
Viewed in the abstract, technical sense, Syndicalism does not seem to present any specially startling innovations. It is when we examine the Syndicalists’ animating spirit, their general philosophy of life, and the manner which they propose to obtain their ends, that we realize we are in the presence of an ominous novelty,- the mature philosophy of the Under Man. This philosophy of the Under-Man is today called Bolshevism. Before the Russian Revolution it was known as Syndicalism. But Bolshevism and Syndicalism are basically one and the same thing. Soviet Russia has really invented nothing. It is merely practicing what others had been preaching for years- with such adaptation as normally attend the putting of theory into practice.
Syndicalism, as an organized movement, is primarily the work of two Frenchmen, Fernand Pelloutier and Georges Sorel. Of course, just as there were Socialist before Marx, so there were Syndicalists before Sorel. Syndicalism’s intellectual progenitor was Proudhon, who in his writings had closely sketched out the Syndicalist theory. As for Syndicalism’s savage, violent, uncompromising spirit, it is clearly Anarchist in origin., drawing its inspiration not only from Proudhon but also from Bakunin, [Johann] Most, and all the rest of that furious company of revolt.
“Revolt!” This is the essence of Syndicalism: a revolt, not merely against modern society but against Marxian Socialism as well. And the revolt was well timed. When, at the very end of the nineteenth century, Georges Sorel lifted the red banner of Syndicalism, the hour awaited the man. The proletarian world was full of discordant and disillusionment at the long dormant Marxian philosophy. Half a century had passed since Marx first preached his gospel, and the revolutionary millennium was nowhere in sight. Society had not become a world of billionaires and beggars. The great capitalists had not swallowed all. The middle classes still survived and prospered. Worst of all, from the revolutionary viewpoint, the upper grades of the working classes had prospered, too. The skilled workers were, in fact, becoming an aristocracy of labor. They were acquiring property and thus growing capitalistic; they were raising their living standards and thus growing bourgeois. Society seemed endowed with a strange vitality! It was even reforming many of the abuses which Marx had pronounced incurable. When, then, was the proletariat to inherit the earth?
The Proletariat! That was the key word. The van, and even the main body of society, might be fairly on the march, but behind lagged a rear guard. Here, were, first of all, the lower working class strata- the “manual” laborers in the narrower sense, relatively ill paid and often grievously exploited. Behind these again came a motley crew, the rejects and misfits of society. “Casuals” and “unemployables”, “down-and-outs” and declasses, victims of social evils, victims of bad heredity and their own vices, paupers, defectives, degenerates, and criminals- they were all there. They were there for many reasons, but they were all miserable, and they were all bound together by a certain solidarity- a sullen hatred of the civilization from which they had little to hope. To these people evolutionary, “reformist” socialism was cold comfort. Then came the Syndicalists promising, not evolution but revolution; not in the dim future but the here and now; not a bloodless “taking over” by “the workers” hypothetically stretched to include virtually the whole community, but the bloody “dictatorship” of The Proletariat in its narrow revolutionary sense.
Here, at last, was living hope- hope, and the prospect of revenge! Is it then strange that a few short years should have seen revolutionary Socialists, Anarchists, all the anti-social forces of the whole world grouped under the banner of Georges Sorel? For a time they went under different names syndicalists in France, Bolshevists in Russia, I.W.W.s in America but in reality they formed one army, enlisted in a single war.
Now, what was this war? It was, first of all, a war for the conquest of Socialism as a preliminary to the conquest of society. Everywhere the orthodox Socialist parties were fiercely assailed. And these Socialist assaults were formidable, because the orthodox Socialists possessed no moral line of defense. Their arms were palsied by the virus of their revolutionary tradition. For however evolutionary and non-militant the Socialists might have been in practice, in theory they had remained revolutionary their ethics continuing to be those of the “class war”, the destruction of the “possessing classes” and the “dictatorship of the proletariat.”
The American economist, Carver, will describe the ethics of socialism in the following lines: “Marxian Socialism has nothing in common with idealistic Socialism. It rests not on persuasion, but on force. It does not profess to believe, as did the old idealists, that if socialism be lifted up it will draw all men to it. In fact, it has no ideals; it is materialistic and militant. Being materialistic and atheistic, it makes no use of such terms as right and justice, unless it be to quiet the consciences of those who still harbor such superstitions. It insists that these terms are mere conventionalities; the concepts mere bugaboos invented by the ruling caste to keep the masses under control. Except in a conventional sense, from this crude materialistic view there is neither a right or wrong, justice nor injustice, good or bad. Until people who still believe in such silly notions divest their minds of them they will never understand the first principles of Marxian socialism.
“Who creates our ideas of right and wrong?” asks the Socialist. “The ruling class. Why? To insure their domination over the masses by depriving them of the power to think for themselves. We, the proletarians, when we get into power, will dominate the situation; we shall be the ruling class; we shall determine who is right and wrong. Do you ask us if what we propose is just? What do you mean by justice? Do you ask if it is right? What do you mean by right? It will be good for us. That is all that right and justice ever did or ever can mean!
People ask what Burroughs believed? Was he a racist? Was he an anti-Semite? Well, Burroughs’ beliefs can be extrapolated from the above quote as well as Stoddard’s whole book. If Burroughs could have expressed himself concisely he would have written The Revolt Against Civilization. You don’t have to look any further.
There could be no more ardent anti-Communist, anti-Socialist, anti-IWW than ERB. The book was published five years after the Russian Revolution, a mere three years after the narrow quelling of the Communist disturbances of 1919 while in 1922 the Harding administration was putting the finishing touches on the suppression of that Communist revolution in the US. Make no mistake the crimes of 1919 were part of an American Bolshevik revolution. Things would not return to what Harding called normalcy but it would be a reasonable facsimile that would endure until the engineered great crash of 1929 opening the way for the Communist revolution of FDR in the US.
These were perilous times ERB was living in no less than those of today. One can’t be sure when Burroughs read Revolt but many of the same themes almost in quotation were employed in his 1926 novel The Moon Maiden. And from the Moon Maiden he went to the more sophisticated approaches of his great political novels from Tarzan At The Earth’s Core to Tarzan And The Lion Man.
As Stoddard thinks the Underman breeds at a very fast rate while the Overman limits his family the obvious consequence is that people of intelligence decrease rapidly in relation to the Underman. Of course Stoddard has all kinds of tables and charts to prove his point. As this was published in 1922 the results are heavily skewed to prove the English are the top of the heap; a result not uncongenial to Burroughs’ sensibilities.
One imagines that as of induction time in 1917-18 a great many of the recent immigrants at least had underdeveloped English language skills that affected the results but at this point it no longer matters; the general idea has been proved sound.
As we have a war between the Underman and the Overman and make no mistake, as far as Sorel and the Syndicalist/Bolshevik ideology goes it is a war to the knife, it may be asked what Stoddard’s formula for the Overman’s success might be.
This returns us to the Underman’s great fear that science, that is objective analysis supported by an array of facts will condemn him to the virtual condition of servitude. It might be surmised that this is an intolerable but inescapable conclusion unless education and science are destroyed reducing the more intelligent to the masses.
Stoddard then relying on Darwinian and Weismanian evolution and the notion of Eugenics introduced by Francis Galton resolves the problem by ending the reproduction of the ‘defective’ classes, that is, forced sterilization. Forced sterilization was actually employed. It is interesting that he never brings in the issue of race thus on the surface his book is neither racist for anti-Semitic. However as the book assumes that the superior intelligences are English or Nordic the text qualifies as anti-Semitic in Jewish eyes and hence has been placed on the Jewish Index Of Forbidden Literature.
One may be horrified at the Eugenic solution to the intelligence problem but one must be equally horrified at the Underman solution to their Overman problem. Liquidation is more horrifying than sterilization and Liquidation was employed by the Underman in Russia and will be employed again if they can consolidate their gains in the US and Europe today.
The problem is that while being founded in reality it is impossible in execution. The human mind is too subjective to be trusted with such a great responsibility. Many statues were placed on the books commanding forced sterilization and many such were executed.
Schools classes were organized based on supposed mental aptitudes. How objectively I will demonstrate by my own example. Until Jr. High in my home town schools did not systematically differentiate based on mental capacity, however at the end of the ninth grade just before I.Q. testing in the tenth there were three options, Trade School for those deemed not of academic ability, in other words destined for the labor force, and once in high school a division between business, that is white collar, and college prep. This was still a process of self-selection thus I signed up for high school however someone changed my papers to trade school.
Thus when I showed for classes at high school, I was told I was enrolled at trade school. Now, this was the fight of my life, and for it. I was told I was in trade school and to get out. I said I wasn’t leaving and sat down where I waited for four days for the situation to resolve itself. My argument was that the law required that I be given an education and it wouldn’t be at trade school. Whatever the behind the scenes machinations were I was reluctantly allowed to enter but they then insisted it would be business level while I demanded college prep. With an unexplained prescience I was told that I would never go to college so I should be in business. Nevertheless I won that struggle too.
I am sure that if enforced sterilization had been possible at the time I would have been compelled to undergo it.
Now, here’s the kicker. Came time for I.Q. tests and I placed in the upper four percent. I have no idea what the reaction to that was although my critics had to tone down their act. So human passions invalidated the whole Eugenic idea.
In other words there is no equable solution to this terrible human dilemma.
In that sense the solution offered by Aldus Huxley in his famous comic novel Brave New World is of some interest. In Huxley’s story he enlists science, chemistry, to produce different levels of mental competence. The zygote is nurtured in test tubes while at certain levels of development certain chemicals are introduced limiting the development of the fetus. Thus the labor problem is solved by creating classes only capable of menial tasks. The upper classes are bred like race horses to various degrees of excellence. Huxley was tongue in cheek to be sure but, actually the only solution to this otherwise insoluble problem.
Stoddard didn’t introduce any ideas to which Burroughs wasn’t already familiar and in agreement. At best Stoddard’s superb research and explication clarified ERB’s understanding for him. I don’t know how familiar he was with Georges Sorel. Today Sorel is unknown except to specialists although I am beginning to see his name pop up so with the Communist regime of Barack Obama perhaps the way is being prepared for Sorel’s extreme measures of exterminating the Overman.
At any rate I have come to the opinion that Richard Slotkin is correct in thinking the Burroughs had read and was in accord with both Madison Grant and Lothrop Stoddard. However Slotkin evaluates their work through the distortion of his own Communistic lens which is only valid to those of his point of view.
His view does not make Burroughs a racist or anti-Semite. It makes him an objective and accurate observer and analyst of the situation of his time. As indicated above Burroughs absorbed Stoddard’s information, that point of view and used it to create his wonderful works of the late twenties and first half of the thirties. If one bears Stoddard’s book in mind while reading those novels it will make them make great sense while presenting his view of the political and social situation
Of course the novels are not confined solely to dealing with these issues; Burroughs had a much more far ranging mind, both subjectively and objectively.
Stoddard’s The Revolt Against Civilization is a major study as relevant today as the day it was written. The last ninety years have only borne out his theses. The Revolt Against Civilization is well worth a read, perhaps two. At any rate you will have an accurate idea of Burroughs’ social and political beliefs.
January 1, 2013
Chap. 6, Marianne Faithfull: Faerie Queene Of The Sixties
Orders From Headquarters
This chapter will center around the Global Communist Cultural Revolution phase kicked off in 1968 while being managed by Mao Tse Tung who replaced the Russians as managing director.
The purpose of the CR was to destroy the Bourgeois past replacing it with itself. Hence Ira Levin who wrote Rosemary’s Baby in which Satan’s child is named Andy posited 1966 as the Year One much as the failed new dating of the French Revolution of 1789. ‘89 was the Year One of that Revolutionary calendar. Perhaps in preparation for the CR in 1965 in the US new immigration reform was pushed through Congress that opened the gates of the US to the world, especially Africa, Mexico and the East. By 1968 West and East Asians were flooding into the country. As seems obvious now this was with the intent to subvert and destroy the Aryan hold on the US.
In his song Bob Dylan would sing: In the museums infinity goes up on trial, in an opening blast on destroying past culture as displayed in museums. In China Mao was less timorous as huge gangs of the Red Guards coursed through museums smashing irreplaceable cultural artefacts. They even invaded peoples homes ransacking the houses destroying anything of value. Culture bearers such as college professors or any educated persons were rounded up and sent out to reeducation camps to work at manual labor; tens of millions were murdered outright. Regular people were called before neighborhood re-education cells to confess their bourgeois faults and pledge to Communists faults.
Outside of China local agents were recruited from Communist ranks; college campuses suddenly sprouted Chinese Communist stores selling Mao’s Little Red Book and those pretty little pins sporting a
gold Mao against a red enameled background. Nice work and cheap too. Any campus that hadn’t been disrupted by ‘Free Speech Movements’ now came under attack by the Cultural Revolution. The end result would be Kent State.
As no one knew what was going on the Cultural Revolutionists seized the institutions beginning to establish the tone, the matrix with which opinions would be considered. This was established in subtle ways that few noticed and even they hadn’t a clue as to who or why. The Revolutionists had seized the cultural venues of movies, TV, newspapers, magazines and music, or, recordings. One of the key units in recorded music was the Rolling Stones. Mick was a Communist, at least since his London School of Economics days.
Even before the Redlands Bust he had been bleating that victory was his side’s because ‘they had the kids’ in the palm of their hands. The bust had been a cold douche that rankled Mick to his core. The revolutionists were of the mind set that they were going to fight and win and never lose. Thus the mild reprimand of the bust struck Mick as foul play, an unforgivable insult and injury.
Many people in the US were brought up short when their outrages were tried and sentences passed. I know people who went to prison for their outrageous criminal acts. They were considered martyrs. They couldn’t comprehend what they had done wrong anyway. Of course, by their own revolutionary lights what they had done was right; unfortunately the law, the authorities and the people, who Nixon called the Silent Majority were not of the same mind.
Mick found this out to his chagrin although he vowed revenge. Like Sigmund Freud and many another if he couldn’t move the higher powers he would enlist the aid of the lower. Thus after escaping his prison sentence the Stones metamorphosed into Satanic sorcerers for the cover of their Dec. 1968 album, Their Satanic Majesties Request.
Mick After A Lifetime Walking Down The Long And Winding Road
The title itself was a play on the Queen’s request on British passports for the visited countries to allow the visitor to pass. Thus in the Freudian sense Mick elevated himself to a competing royal status with the crown as their Satanic enemy. One presumes that being a Stones’ fan was the entre into Satanic circles.
Mick was not new to Satanic ideas. He ran with Bob Fraser and Chris Gibbs while having at least met the US Satanist Kenneth Anger who was associated with the West Coast big daddy of Satanists, Anton La Vey. In addition he was probably already known to Donald Cammell who would star Mick in his film Performance and Marianne in his Lucifer Rising.
In June of ‘68 Mick would be recording his song Sympathy For The Devil in studio while being filmed by Jean Luc Godard for his revolutionary film One+One, retitled Sympathy For The Devil. Sympathy was inspired by Satanic Russian novel titled: The Master And Margarita. The novel had been given to him to read by Marianne.
The Master And Margarita
For the promoters of The Master And Margarita the novel is an astounding mind blower. Maybe if you’re Russian and haven’t been exposed to the stunning variety of truly astonishing unending mind blowing fiction and movies of the US. The cultural scene in Russia was primitive compared to the unbroken line of development in the West where very few limitations, none actually, were placed on expression. Bulgakov has his Satanic girls running around without clothes as though that were something not routine in the West. I mean, beginning in the sixties there was a pornographic explosion. Movies were made that would have made the Marquis de Sade blush. That poor guy was egregiously defamed according to current standards. De Sade’s puerile novels were thrown into the shade. By 1972 a movie like Deep Throat was being shown in legitimate theaters to the general public. How’s that for a cultural revolution?
Before the wars we had Edgar Rice Burroughs whose female characters on both Earth and Mars ran around robust except for a few ornaments. Woo woo Bulkagov.
My god, we had the Shadow and Doc Savage and then in the thirties comic books were invented. Superman was born the same year I was in 1938 but he grew up faster and already had a job by 1948 while I was sitting in the orphanage as a kid. Superman, Batman, Capt. America came in a flood of characters that was unceasing. There were marvels presented every month that exceeded anything Bulgakov can come up with. And then…and then…William C. Gaines at EC Comics (Educational Comics, and what an education it was) came out with Tales From The Crypt with its copycats. You want to talk about mind blowing!!! There I was a ten year old kid permeated with terrific pornographic images, sadistic violence and mayhem that even I said, reading on, they shouldn’t let ten year old kids see this. I don’t know what kind of brain damage they did but I feel OK. But they did and I read every single story. Now that was mind expanding.
Of course the parents of America did catch up with Gaines forcing him to withdraw the comics. Then as if to thumb his nose at the United Parents of America he created the aptly named Mad Magazine. Boy oh boy, those were the days. Never see those again.
And then the science fiction through the fifties. My god. There was school and there was school and the best school was the sci-fi. Arthur Clarke’s Childhood’s End, John Wyndham’s Midwich Cuckoos and its two movies The Village Of The Damned and the sequel Children Of The Damned. I mean, Jack Schaefer and William Tenn. Try to top those two. The movie Dr. Strangelove Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb. Christ! And for God’s sake the stunning James Bond movies. I could go on an on. The clearly Satanic Bus Stop TV series. Jesus Christ! All the scripts could have been written by Charlie Starkweather. All that and more. Much, much more before 1967 when M&M was published. Since then, I mean, have you seen the TV shows Dexter or Breaking Bad? Hell on wheels, guys, hell on wheels. All men to their battle stations. It’s not that M&M isn’t decent sci-fi/fantasy/horror, but that’s all it is. Doesn’t even compare with Bram Stoker’s Dracula. But, then, maybe I’m over educated. Still, I think of myself as an average All American Boy.
Hey, have you seen A Giant Crab Come Forth? I have. Have you seen a single octopus tentacle demolish the city of San Francisco? I have. Have you seen the eggplant that ate Chicago…I could go on.
I don’t know how deeply or extensively the Russian author Mikhail Bugakov’s novel has penetrated the Western mind. It was certainly unknown in the sixties except to the initiated. Definitely not a best seller. I can’t remember ever hearing of it until the turn of the century when references to it as a literary marvel began popping up in my reading. In 2010 the book was published as a selection of the Folio Society of which I have been a long time member and so I acquired a copy. I have read it twice and while I recognize its purpose I am unimpressed with it as a novel.
Essentially a manual of social deconstruction the book is being heavily promoted in Communist circles. In Russia the book has been turned into a TV series, at least a couple movies and several stage plays for Western consumption.
￼In addition to the book I have acquired a three disc set of Vladimir Bercko’s film version and the TV series. The blurb on the back cover gives some idea of what the book means to its promoters:
…An imagined world where one’s consciousness actually perceives and experiences sorcery. The Master And Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, the novel on which this film is based, is a rare, mind-expanding pleasure, a journey whenever one takes and reads. The book is about the great, burning, perennial areas of the human predicament, story of the Christ, seen by Matthew, Judas and Pilate; the tale of Faust’s pact with the devil; the confrontation between individual genius and the demands of an ideologically driven State; the meaning of entertainment in society; and the love of man and woman. Bulgakov is an early precursor of the literary genre of magic realism exemplified by the South American writers Jorge Luis Borges and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
The above seems somewhat overblown to me; about the only thing I would agree to unequivocally is that it is of the sci-fi/fantasy/horror genre. Its actual purpose is as a manual for disrupting society, of cultural upending; in other words, of furthering the Cultural Revolution.
After the novel was finished , in a long post-climax, this passage is inserted into the novel.
…the two blackguards marched down the asphalt path under the lindens straight to the veranda of the unsuspecting restaurant.
A pale and bored citizeness in white socks and a white beret with a nib sat on a Viennese chair at the corner entrance to the veranda, where amid the greenery of the trellis an opening for the entrance had been made. In front of her on simple kitchen table lay a fat book of the ledger variety, in which the citizeness for unknown reasons wrote down all those who entered the restaurant. It was precisely this citizeness who stopped Koroviev and Behemoth.
‘Your identification cards?’ She was gazing in amazement at Koroviev’s pince nez, and also at Behemoth’s primus and Behemoth’s torn elbow.
‘A thousand pardons, but what identification cards?’ asked Koroviev in surprise.
‘You’re writers?’ The citizeness asked in her turn.
‘Unquestionably,’ Koroviev answered with dignity.
‘My sweetie…’ Koroviev began tenderly.
‘I’m no sweetie,’ interrupted the citizeness.
‘More’s the pity,’ Koroviev said disappointedly and went on: ‘Well, so, if you don’t want to be a sweetie, which would be quite pleasant, you don’t have to be. So, then, to convince yourself that Dostoevsky was a writer, do you have to ask for his identification card? Just take any five pages from any one of novels and you’ll be convinced, without any identification card that you’re dealing with a writer? And I don’t think he even had an identification card, what do you think?’
‘…You’re not Dostoevsky,’ said the citizeness who was getting muddled by Koroviev.
‘Well, who knows, who knows,’ he replied.
‘Dostoevsky’s dead.’ Said the citizeness…
‘I protest!’ Behemoth exclaimed hotly. ‘Dostoevsky is immortal!’
‘Your identification cards, citizens,’ said the citizeness.
This passage served as a blueprint for obstructionists. Passing into common use by the late seventies Village Fucks of this variety harassed innocent clerks to distraction. As an instruction manual how then did the book fit into the continuum of the proto-Cultural Revolution from the end of WWI to the present, for there is a question of authorship found here.
The passage concerning Koroviev and Behemoth might well have been written by the Dadaists of the Café Voltaire in Zurich. Their efforts were meant to disorient European culture, knock it off center. Themselves Jewish they were followed by the establishment of the Jewish Critical Theory school in Germany. Critical Theory meant that European customs, ideas and politics were to be denigrated whether virtues or vices as though by superior beings viewing from above and apart. This led to the debunking school of the twenties in the US by which all American heroes were attacked turning their virtues into vices and vices as evidence of ghastly criminality. Eventually the Critical Theorists would leave Germany migrating to the US en masse along with the entire Freudian psycho-analytic establishment. How this must have cheered Hitler.
One then begins to see the similarities between The Master And Margarita and this Jewish continuum. The protagonist of the novel was Satan going by the name of Woland (Woe to the Land) who was a master hypnotist dealing in counterfeiting.
Woland is almost a duplicate of Fritz Lang’s Dr. Mabuse who was also a counterfeiter and a master hypnotist. He also was out to destroy European society. Lang’s first effort was the silent flick Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler of 1922 which it is possible Bulgakov might seen but the events of the Russian Civil War make that improbable. There is no chance that Bulgakov could have seen Lang’s talkie sequel of 1933 The Testament Of Dr. Mabuse in which Dr. Mabuse having been placed in an insane asylum in 1922 has hypnotized his analyst, Dr. Baum, through his writing, into carrying out his subversive schemes. While Bulgakov couldn’t have been influenced by Lang the similarities are so close one may posit a central organization directing the publication of books and movies of this sort. This becomes more evident when one looks for similarities in the US.
In the US a coordinating agency had been founded in 1906 called the American Jewish Committee, the AJC, under the direction of Jacob Schiff and Louis Marshall. Those are two names that don’t mean much outside of Jewish circles but they should. Louis Marshall’s collected correspondence is very interesting.
Now, the Great War of 1914-18 devastated Europe to be following by the greater devastation of WWII from approximately 1938 to 1945. At the same time in the Far East Japan opened hostilities that engulfed and unsettled that area beginning in the 1930s also through 1945. Hostilities continued in China through 1950 between the Communists and the Nationalists aided and abetted by massive shipments of US arms which even though granted to the Nationalists passed directly into Communist hands and then the Korean conflict began that ran through 1953.
In contrast the US and North America were not directly affected by these wars allowing permitting a unique uninterrupted culture to develop.
This period also coincided with astonishing technological advances that only the US was able to take full advantage. Thus radio became a reality beginning in the twenties although it didn’t become commercially effective until the early thirties. Perhaps even more significant was the introduction of sound to movies. The talkies made movies the most effective propaganda tool available until the emergence of television in the fifties.
As is probably not all that well known TV was commercially feasible in the late thirties but WWII postponed its introduction into homes until after the war.
Significantly the first successful talkie was the Jewish themed The Jazz Singer starring Al Jolson. Following that would be the series of films featuring the Marx Bros. Their movies would mesh with the Dada attack in art and the emerging Critical Theory school riding over a bed of Freudian psychology. All were direct attacks on Aryan Culture. As Joseph Goebbels told Fritz Lang when he denied a license to show The Testament Of Dr. Mabuse: No government could withstand propaganda if its kind. The truth of Goebbels statement was proven in 2008 with the US election of the Communist Barack Obama. After decades of the most vitriolic criticism and denunciation of US politics and society by the Left, all of a sudden such criticism was denied the opposition who were described as Domestic Terrorists and denied access to the media with the exception of the internet.
So, from 1930 to 1954 the Marx Bros. systematically mocked and vilified as many social institutions and Aryan mores as they could. In Germany before the wars this was called the Kultur kampf or culture wars, an early version of the Cultural Revolution. And of course the same program was carried on in films in general. Naturally it was all denied but now looking at those same films through the new spectacles provided post 9/11 it all seems clear and apparent. One sees with new eyes. Thus there are great similarities between the techniques of the Marx Bros. and The Master And Margarita.
What I consider the greatest of the Marx Bros. movies, although the Marx Bros. didn’t appear in it, was the movie of the Year One, 1966, A Funny Think Happened On The Way To The Forum starring the very Jewish Zero Mostel. The movie was the ultimate instruction manual for the demolition of society that The Master And Margarita follows very closely. Forum appeared in 1966 in the US while M&M was discovered in Russia the very same year #1. A succession of similarly themed movies followed of which the most significant perhaps was the movie Cabaret.
The question of the provenance of The Master And Margarita remains. Its similarities to the cultural trend of the previous decades is too strong to be coincidental. It is possible that in old religious terms the book could be called a pious fraud, something along the lines of The Protocols of Zion.
The provenance is certainly somewhat suspect. According to the legend that is impossible to adequately check, the novel was labored over for ten years by Bulgakov at which time he realized that Stalin would take the novel as a personal affront insuring that it would never be published while he would end up in the infamous Lubyanka Prison where in all likelihood he would receive a bullet to the base of his skull. No, better to put it in a drawer and forget about it until a better day should a better day ever come.
So who was Mikhail Bulgakov? He was apparently a novelist and a playwright. As improbable as it may seem, during the Russian civil war between the Communist Reds and the Royalist Whites after the Great War ended he was on the side of the Whites. In Revolutionary terminology white referred to the white cockade of the French royalists and not the color or their skin. Nevertheless according to legend he was a favorite of Stalin who actually favored this enemy of the State. Wouldn’t let his stuff be published but still thought him a fine fellow worth preserving. Bulgakov survived all the purges so common to the era.
Time passes, WWII, the rape of the German women, the Atom Bomb, the Korean War, the death of Stalin in 1953 while the precious manuscript sits quietly yellowing in its drawer. I might add that five hundred hand written pages fills a good sized drawer.
Beria and Khruschev follow Stalin followed in turn by Leonid Brezhnev and then this astonishing twist of fate happened. From the Orlando Figes Folio introduction:
After Bulgakov’s death in 1940, the manuscript was hidden in a drawer by Elena Sergeevna until 1966, when, by one of the most ironic twists in Russian literary history, unknown until recently, it was prepared for publication by Konstantin Simonov, one of Stalin’s henchmen in the Writers’ Union who had taken part in the persecution of many writers before the Khruschev thaw. In 1956 Simonov had been made the chairman of the commission in charge of Bulgakov’s literary estate by the writer’s widow, who was an old acquaintance of Simonov’s mother, Alexandra Ivanisheva. (nee Princess Obolenskaya). Simonov then gave the manuscript ..to his ex-wife Evgenia Laskina, who was the working at Moskva (Magazine)…
To make a long story short, Moskva was a failing magazine and as there was great doubt in Simonov’s mind as to whether it would pass the censorship of now premier Leonid Brezhnev’s stringent rule he, I guess, decided to let his ex-wife take the fall if it didn’t pass. Better her than him and a subtle revenge indeed. But, why even take the chance against apparently insuperable odds.
Well, golly, the book did get past some very stupid or traitorous censors and the rest, as they say, is history, although the time line is very tight.
Moskva published Part One in its November 1967 issue doubling its subscriber list Moscow was so bowled over, and Part Two in January 1968. Now, Marianne received a copy of the translation of the American Grove Press imprint, read it, got it to Mick who by the June recording sessions for Sympathy For The Devil had read and digested it. Not much time in there for the Russian publication, translation into English and publication and distribution by the Grove Press, shipment to England and acquisition by Marianne. I mean, what was the big rush for something that might not sell? Therefore I believe something else must have been uppermost in certain minds. As I said earlier this book reeks of a fraud or forgery. Its happened before. The Donation Of Constantine as an egregious example.
The 1997 Hollywood movie Wag The Dog demonstrated exactly how it is done. In Wag The Dog the President of the US asks a Hollywood producer to stage a phony war to shore up his flagging popularity. The producer does this but as Shakespeare wrote: What a tangled web we weave when first we deceive. As the variables unfold in unforeseen manner the producer’s ingenuity is strained but equal to the task. He creates a war hero who while on the way to the ceremony dies. Consequently he manufacturers a sentimental story about Schumacher, the dead would be hero, who they dub Old Shoe.
The producer contacts a couple songwriters, explains his needs and they come up with an old timey 20s-30s type country cum folk ditty. The performance is doctored to sound like a scratchy old 78RPM.
Now, here’s the key point. It is arranged to place a copy of this forgery in the appropriate thirties archive location in The Library Of Congress. Miracle of miracles the forgery is ‘discovered’ becoming a hit generating a worshipful attitude for ‘Old Shoe.’ Old Shoe is buried in Arlington Cemetery, full military honors and mission accomplished.
There you have it- that was a forgery no different than, say, The Donation of Constantine or The Protocols of Zion.
The question then is why did The Master And Margarita surface in Year One in 1966 in time for the Cultural Revolution already begun actually but not announced by Mao until 1968, Year Three.
Quite simply it was necessary to place an instruction manual into the hands of certain key people and agitators. The passage I quoted at the beginning of this chapter is an example of a lesson. Mick received his copy through Marianne and understood. How then did this unknown Russian novel immediately find its way into Marianne’s hands upon publication of the English translation of Grove Press?
I mean, how did the Jewish translator, Mirra Ginsburg, receive a copy immediately after the Russian book publication. I imagine she didn’t. The window of opportunity between January 1968 and end of May 1968 is too narrow. She must have been involved either immediately after the Moskva publication of Part One or possibly even before. Therefore that indicates a plan by somebody.
We know for a fact that the novel as published was not as written by Bulgakov. We are told that several hands altered the text including various censors. A full sixty pages were deleted in Mirra Ginsburg’s translation to be restored thirty years later…to reflect what?
There is plenty of reason then to believe the book was a put up job or, indeed, intended as a disguised instruction manual for easier distribution to interested parties…like Mick.
Mick when he received his copy immediately began to write or conceive the lyrics for Sympathy For The Devil. Satan the key figure in the novel is a master magician and hypnotist. He hypnotizes virtually the entire city of Moscow. As a refresher on continuity lets remember that Dr. Sigmund Freud was a master hypnotist seeking the destruction of European civilization and so was Lang’s Dr. Mabuse who was based on Freud.
We know that Bulgakov couldn’t have been aware of Lang’s Mabuse and I doubt that Bulgakov was much of a Freudian so that leaves forgery as the most probable explanation. As a point of fact the AJC, American Jewish Committee, has employed a stable of writers in the US since at least the thirties to churn out plausibly academic diatribes condemning those they consider anti-Semites. The AJC was global in scope having been active in European politics from its beginning so it would be easy enough to concoct The Master And Margarita either in toto or possibly a revision and claim to have discovered it in a drawer in 1966 The Year One by one Simon-ov in much the same manner that the fictional ‘Old Shoe’ was discovered in the Library Of Congress.
In an interview Mick said that the Master and Margarita influenced the writing of Sympathy For The Devil. In the furtherance of the Cultural Revolution Jean Luc Godard of the French Nouvelle Vague school of film makers made his revolutionary movie One+One, reissued as Sympathy For The Devil filming the Stones recording the song. So the Stones are placed in the heart of The Cultural Revolution.
Mick was fully aware of hypnosis as, actually, were a very great many of the rockers, so that he and Keith set the piece to a Samba rhythm. As Mick said in the interview the Samba is a very hypnotic rhythm. Thus, by creating a hypnotic mode everyone would receive the lyrics as suggestion. The suggestion being that the devil is a good fellow and one should have sympathy for him discarding one’s prejudices. There was actually a strong effort to rehabilitate Satan in the years following Year One. It will be remembered that both Mick and Marianne were tight with the Satanist Kenneth Anger who had a huge LUCIFER tattooed across his chest. Marianne would later perform in Anger’s Lucifer Rising while Mick performed a soundtrack for another of Anger’s offerings.
Mick beginning shortly after Year Three would turn his act into performance art of a highly suggestive nature accompanied by an intentional hypnotic beat with stun gun volume, flashing lights and the stimulated hysteria of the crowd reaction. A proper atmosphere for hypnotic suggestion.
Mick’s vengeance for the drug bust then was to play the Pied Piper to lead the ‘kids’ to their destruction.
Marianne would be a casualty of his mania as she sank into the deepest of depression.
Chapter 7 follows.
Somewhere Over The Rainbow
Zenda, Graustark, Lutha, Barsoom, Jasoom
And Other Parallel Universes
Not Found On Any Map
An Analysis Of Edgar Rice Burrough’s Novel
The Mad King
Somewhere my love
There will be songs to sing.
Even though snow now enshrouds
Our hope of Spring.
Somewhere there’s a hill
That blossoms in gold and green,
And there are the dreams
Of all this world can mean.
We’ll meet there someday,
As Spring springs for you and me.
Adapted by R.E. Prindle
Unchained melodies sweep over the rainbow telling dreams that somewhere must come true. Floating lightly as soap bubbles they pass through air castles caught in an ecstasy captured so achingly by the artist Maxfield Parrish into his visions of gardens of delight. Where can these gardens of delight exist? What parallel universe? What phantom vision of contentment? What utopias straddle the dividing line between this universe and that where all our dreams come true? Not in real countries but as the fairy tales tell, East of the Sun and West of the Moon. Only in Ruritarian paradises where lives of high adventure can be lived without fear and we always win and never lose. We recover from devastating wounds and smashing blows to the head to walk whole again within minutes. Where? The Zenda of Anthony Hope, the Graustark of Gearge Barr McCutcheon, The Barsoom and Jasoom of Edgar Rice Burroughs as well as the Lutha of his novel The Mad King.
As the youngest of the aforementioned writers Burroughs learned much about the creation of utopias and parallel universes. Graustark was in ERB’s library but the Prisoner of Zenda was not. Graustark made an indelible impression on the young Burroughs that did not fade during his lifetime. Just before the advent of the second world war in his lifetime, faced with frustrated hopes for a better world, ERB wrote his friend Bert Weston lamenting the passing of Graustark.
ERB had over a dozen novels of McCutcheon in his library but, by my reckoning, only two Graustarks. McCutcheon wrote several, his locale being as important to his career as the imaginary Africa of Tarzan was to Burroughs. The two books were the first of the series published in 1901, Graustark- The Story Of A Love Behind A Throne and A Prince Of Graustark. The latter was published in 1914 too late to be an influence on Burroughs’ Lutha of The Mad King written at the end of 1913.
If he read others of the series between 1901 and 1913 we have no sure record. In what year ERB read the original isn’t known but I suspect sometime between 1905 when he returned to Chicago from Idaho and say 1910 before he began to write. Graustark and Zenda made quite an impression on him but while those who believe that ERB cribbed his sources too closely find evidence of plagiarism I can find only an inspiration or influence.
By the time Burroughs wrote The Mad King the Ruritanian romance had already become a genre. The very nature of genre writing is to explore the possibilities of the genre which requires the writer to have read at least the major texts as well as current efforts. The author then tries to write as original a story within the limits of the genre as possible; failing that a good derivative story will do. Writers like Philip Jose Farmer carry it one step farther by making the characters of genre an intellectual reality parallel with physical reality and then write about the fictional characters as though they were historical figures. Of course, that was a later development in genre writing.
Graustark develops the genre created by Zenda. Just as Haggard, Burroughs and others filled Africa with lost cities, the concept of Ruritanias where everything went right in face of apparent misfortunes began to change the face of mythical Europe. And why not? Scientific discoveries were changing the shape of the intellect, psychological discoveries were changing ideas of the mind. Something’s gained and something’s lost. It’s that lost something that people want to find again. If it doesn’t exist in reality then it can easily be made to exist in the imagination.
You see the little additional leap taken by the Farmers of literature. Do you imagine that in the face of major shifts of populations into Europe and America that the HSII & III minorities won’t retreat into dreams of a golden age when their culture reigned supreme? You’re unrealistic if you believe it isn’t true. It is precisely this era from c. 1820 to 1920 which will be seen as the current version of the Golden Age just as McCutcheon’s and Burroughs’ generation looked to a some what earlier age when things were as they should be.
In that letter to his friend Bert Weston about 1940 looking back to their youths Burroughs lamented that the possibility of Graustark was a thing of the past. In his youth Graustark was East of the Sun and West of the Moon but in his later years Burroughs could no longer even imagine it. It was easy to assimilate Graustark to Maxfield Parrish’s painting of a dreamland resembling these paradises of the imagination. From there it is equally easy to include L. Frank Baum’s Oz series as yet another such paradise. These wonderful fantasies revolve around in your mind enhanced by living colors and magnificent sound systems where unchained melodies fill your conscious and subconscious minds. Indeed the MGM movie of The Wizard Of Oz filmed about the time Burroughs was lamenting the passing of Graustark may have been the tombstone of his era.
Where did it start? Very difficult to put a precise date on this sort of thing but is it a coincidence that saving Anthony Hope all these artists were influenced by the Great White City of 1893’s Columbian Exposition of Chicago? I have heard it said that the Emerald City of Baum’s imagination was a virtual replica of the White City in green. Bill Hillman’s series of articles on the Expo in the ERBzine capture some, a great deal, of the glamour but I fear Bill held himself in too much.
The Fair inspired a massive five volume eulogy by Hubert Howe Bancroft, a major historical writer of the day, in which he described the Fair in detail exhibit by exhibit, it was so mind blowing. What dreams of perfection did this marvel on the very edge of civilization in Chicago unleash? The Wizard Of Oz and Graustark were issued one after the other in 1900-01. Both books as well as the Expo had a tremendous effect on Edgar Rice Burroughs entering the first years of his maturity. Baum’s influence is most notably seen in Burroughs’ Minidoka- unpublished in his lifetime. Graustark, most notably in The Mad King, but echoes of both can be detected throughout the corpus. There is no doubt that Zenda, Graustark and Lutha are related but the resemblance stops at the family level.
If Zenda can be said to be the original of the Ruritarian genre, Graustark and Lutha are not mere imitations. Both later novels can be described as inspired by but not totally derivative of. There is only the slightest resemblance to Zenda in Graustark. Subtitled The Story Of A Love Behind A Throne McCutcheon tackles the theme of the superiority of American customs and institutions over those of what both McCutcheon and Burroughs considered decadent Europe.
At the time American heiresses were actively seeking titled Englishmen to marry. Winston Churchill was the result of one of one such union. McCutcheon reverses the roles by making a young American man pursue a Princess of Graustark. (Note the title of Burroughs’ first novel, A Princess Of Mars.) For any seeking a Golden Age of HSII & III Americanism I can heartily recommend both Graustark and McCutcheon.
Like two other Burroughs’ favorites, Booth Tarkington and George Ade, McCutcheon was from Indiana, moving to Chicago in 1901. Just in passing it might be noted that another Chicago centered writer, Theodore Dreiser was also a Hoosier. The hero of Graustark, Grenfall Lorry, immediately puts one in mind of the old Arrow collar and shirt ads. Richard Harding Davis personified probably the ideal American male in appearance. One can contrast that ideal with the swarthy, unshaven, sweaty, slovenly type now being offered the public as something to aspire to. Grenfall has an upper economic class tone, not so plebeian as Joe, Jack or Jim.
Throughout the novel he is quick witted impetuous even reckless but because of his audacity, soon to be styled chutzpah, always successful while his European counterparts are vile, slow and cautious and almost certainly would fail but for Grenfall. The answers just seem to come to him from out of the air. It is marvelous. Compare him to Tarzan and John Carter. Slowly his ways win out in the mind of the Princess. I almost said corrupted her mind for her moral ideals were slowly eroded as integrity became less important than gratifying her desires. But then, that too is American, isn’t it? A deal’s a deal only if you’ve got the money to back it up in court in which case a contract is a contract but then again maybe not, depends on the ‘integrity’ of the court.
Graustark itself is a fanciful place in which brash young Americans are deferred to and dreams do come true if one only persists. Can’t give up. Plenty of castles and monasteries hanging on cliffs, thick with donjons and the like. Parrishian bubbles floating in the air, quite charming dream sequences, the feeling that Maxfield Parrish captures so well. Reproductions of Parrish’s work were beginning to proliferate. Howard Pyle was an influence on Burroughs’ illustrator J. Allen St. John as Maxfield Parrish also seemed to be.
While it easy to see the influence of Graustark on Burroughs there is very little resemblance in the two stories to each other. Burroughs retains the love story behind the throne theme in a barely recognizable form. While McCutcheon’s Grenfall Lorry is of the American aristocracy of wealth living in Washington, D.C., Burroughs Barney Custer is a gritty hick from Beatrice, Nebraska, pop, 30 or so.
The Mad King was written in two parts separated by nearly a year in real time and an eon in psychological time. The Great War began between the writing of the two halves so that while the Lutha of the first half more closely resembles Zenda and Graustark the second half jumps ahead a century into a new era in time with motor cars and heavy artillery. The first half may have been written to placate ERB’s wife Emma. By the end of 1913 she may have bitten her nails to the quick while she berated ERB every day for his spendthrift habits. While ERB wrote an ode to Poverty in the spirit of Edwin Hawkin’s song WAR, (spit) Who Needs It?, if you remember the…ah…tune, Emma with three children to feed had endured the period of poverty with different feelings.
Now, in 1913, with the money pouring in ERB with breathtaking confidence for the future was spending it before he had it or even written books to get it. To Emma it must have seemed a replay of Idaho when ERB gambled away their last forty dollars. It may have been clear to ERB that he was over the top where the money would never cease coming in, which indeed, turned out to the be case, but to many others including Emma he seemed to be the same old joker who would be back on street soon. Emma yearned for some security, money in the bank, that ERB was loath to provide.
His is an interesting case. No sooner did he begin to have a good year in 1913 than he packed up family and kids and used car and headed for the sunshine of San Diego in the most expensive first class manner. This expenditure wasn’t based on savings but in the hope of a future income. ‘13 was an anno mirabilis for ERB during which even traveling and vacationing he was able not only to write but to sell a fabulous number of words. This has been told often but it is so extraordinary, I , who have never received a penny from my writing have difficulty letting it sink in.
ERB would later boast, while Emma undoubtedly stood by shuddering, that he literally had to wait for checks from his writing to pay his expenses from day to day. He obviously had an urge to live with one foot over the precipice. You can understand why Emma was on edge. Thus in late 1913, while they were anxiously watching the mailbox for a check, I’m sure, ERB sat down to write the first half of this novel, that I believe was meant to placate Emma and let her know that the bozo she thought she married was a bozo no more. Not totally reformed, perhaps, but reformed.
When Herb Weston wrote at the time of the divorce that no other woman would have put up with ERB’s eccentricities this must have been an example of what he was talking about. Zenda involved a lot of lookalikes as does Mad King so people assume that Burroughs copied Hope. Maybe, but I don’t think it’s necessarily so. Burroughs with his split personality didn’t have to copy anybody, he was two different people. Burroughs didn’t even disguise that he was talking about he and Emma. He calls the Ruritarian princess Emma. He introduces his friends Bert and Margaret Weston as characters, Bert and Margaret of Beatrice Nebraska where they really lived.
He calls himself Barney Custer. Custer after the failed general of the Little Big Horn and Barney after the famous race car driver, Barney ‘Mile-a-Minute’ Oldfield. B. Custer gets his rig up to 90 per beating old ‘Mile-a-Minute’ by half again. In 1913 that would still be going some.
Burroughs can be quite unintentionally comic. ERB must have known he goofed back in Idaho with the card trick but now that he had found the handle he’d become a new man, a real man, a whole man, a made man, that augured for a bountiful future for Emma so she could now stop treating him like a clown and revert to her pre-card game opinion of him. But it wasn’t that easy; he’d been a goof for too long.
In the succeeding novel Nu Of The Niocene, when Emma had apparently rejected his offer, Barney Custer shows up at Tarzan’s ranch in Kenya but without Emma, escorting his sister Victoria instead. ERB would give Emma a last chance to take the new him over the old one in Tarzan And The Ant Men when she had a choice between his goofy lookalike Esteban Miranda and the real Tarzan, himself. Emma chose Esteban Miranda thereby sealing her fate.
The choice of the title Mad King is significant. The blow to the head ERB received in Toronto had affected his reasoning so that to others he appeared goofy or mad. His mental state was accentuated by an acute feeling of failure. His father not only told him he was a loser but apparently told everyone else too. ERB’s friend Bert Weston who knew both George T. and ERB says that he often defended ERB to his father.
George T. told Weston that ERB was ‘no good.’ Weston defended ERB to George T. by insisting ERB was plenty good but that the goodness hadn’t come out yet. I didn’t have a father, my mother divorced while I was an infant, so I don’t have this sort of father problem, but I imagine when your father continually tells you you’re a loser it must have some effect on your attitude. So when your father detests you, you get cracked on the head and then you lose your wife’s confidence because of the resultant stupidity is it any wonder that when you find not only success but big success and you find not only money but big money you go off your head a bit?
But then, even that looks goofy. But she stuck with him; she stood by her man. ERB even celebrated his dead father’s birthday every year of his life which is beyond me. Thus one aspect of The Mad King is Barney Custer, the able, confident American. Burroughs continues McCutcheon’s theme of the superiority of the American although both author’s belief in hare brained schemes seems astonishing in this day and age.
The other aspect is Leopold the cowardly, ungrateful king of Lutha. Both writers use terms like ‘king’ in a contemptuous manner. Kings are hereditary while any self-made American man is a true and better king in his own right while he can someday be President of the United States if he chooses, or so he believes. Even a hick like Barney.
Emma as ‘Emma’ is confronted with a choice between these two lookalikes. She quickly prefers the self-confident able American Barney Custer, or in other words, the new ERB, but tradition binds her to the despicable King of Lutha. By which ERB means to say, I imagine, that she can forget the old him and accept the successful money making author Edgar Rice Burroughs to whom money is as nothing.
Written in late 1914 Burroughs had had another astonishingly successful year. Two in a row, get that, Emma. She didn’t. If the couple had only ERB’s income from book royalties that were not in sight in 1913 and early 1914 to look forward to for income, I think Emma’s fears might have been at least partially justified. ERB didn’t ever really make that much money from his royalties. Good money but not that good. He could never buy the yacht that other authors had.
ERB might have but Emma probably didn’t see the potential of the movies. Probably neither realized at the time the value of the intellectual property Burroughs had created in Tarzan. Had Emma been aware she might have reevaluated her husband. Probably not though. Mad King breaks off with Barney Custer leaving Lutha to return to Beatrice with his relationship with the Princess unresolved.
We are told that Emma read these stories before they were submitted. If so then she could hardly have missed the import of the failure. She either missed the message or disregarded it. The second half of the novel was written largely in October of 1914 nearly a year later. The World ERB and his fellows had grown up in had now all but disappeared in the smoke of the guns of August. The second half of the novel is dominated by the opening months of the Great War. ERB concentrated on the southern Austrian-Serbian front siding with the Serbs in the battleground Lutha has now become.
The novel is taken up with the intrigues of Leopold and Peter of Blentz with the Austrians to turn the country over to them. Barney and Emma and her father are attempting to keep Lutha on the Serbian side while maintaining Lutha’s independence. ERB gives the Serbians some much needed advice on how to conduct the war. He must have been studying the conflict carefully. As Barney and the King are indistinguishable doubles, they were indeed two aspect of ERB’s own personality, Emma was always in a great deal of confusion as to which double she was dealing with, always hoping it was Barney.
Indeed, the Mad King Leopold is killed leaving Barney the last standing. At this point it would seem that ERB is telling his Emma: See. The old me you thought was a goof is dead; this is the real me and I want your love and respect. Perhaps true but it take more than a simple assertion to change a woman’s mind. You have to have patience and wait. Emma Burroughs must not have changed hers quickly enough because in the next story, Nu Of The Niocene, Barney Custer is traveling without Emma, going to Africa with his sister Victoria instead.
One imagines that ERB’s personal Lutha, Graustark or Zenda disappeared in smoke as had the nineteenth century. His hope and dream of entering that magic land somewhere over the rainbow in a land of perpetual Spring would have to be sought with someone other than Emma. In a very few years he would meet that other hope of another and better world in Hollywoodland which should have been a warning to him as he would learn the hard way that the answer always lies within, as difficult as that may be to recognize. The Rainbow Trail begins on your own two feet.
If birds fly over the rainbow,
Why then, oh why, can’t I?
October 13, 2012
The Ancient Evil:
Diana And The Goddess Tradition
A problem that has been perplexing me for some time is the role of the Goddess Diana as the female archetype for the last half of the Age of Pisces. The adoption of the goddess Diana or Artemis as she was known in Greece signifies a resurgence of the Matriarchy. This is a rather remarkable comeback as the Matriarchy was virtually unknown in the nineteenth century, all but forgotten.
I’m sure the interpretation of Diana’s history and her relationship to Astrology will be met with some dismay as these subjects are not properly understood. Essentially the problem is one of memory; in this case historical and racial memory. Memory on one level is a desire to retain and understand the past whether on a personal or historical level. From the past the future may be predicted. What has gone before will likely happen again. It was this knowledge that made the calendar a necessity. If one has a starting point, such as the shortest day of the year the return of flora and fauna may be roughly known. To make the year more manageable it was divided into seasons and months to mark more easily the passage of the days of the year. This knowledge led to a whole cycle of gods, goddesses and myths. Thus a terrestrial zodiac was derived denoted by symbols appropriate to the seasons. As it was assumed that what happened on earth was a reflection of what happened in the skies the terrestrial zodiac was translated to the stars and thus we have the Astrological Zodiac in which the twelve signs reflect the weather pattern on earth.
Just as there are twelve months in the year so the skies were divided into twelve portions called Ages. The length of the Ages was determined by the Great Year that was of some twenty-five thousand years plus duration. The Great year was determined by the rotation of the earth on its axis as evidenced by the stars of the North Pole.
Each Age has it male and female archetypes. In Greece the Arien Age was presided over by Zeus and Hera. Thus each set of archetypes has a lifetime of two thousand plus years and then they make the long slide to Far Tartary and back again.
The Piscean Age which has become universal began with the male archetype of Jesus of Nazareth while in mid-Age the archetypes where transferred to the female side- Diana in the North of Europe and Mary, the mother of Jesus, in the South of Europe.
While the mechanism used to achieve this is fairly clear the exact process can only be surmised.
While it may be difficult to believe the Astrological Zodiac must have begun development about a hundred thousand years ago being in the fourth cycle at the time of the dawn of the Age of Pisces. Thus as a method of timekeeping the Zodiac has a long history.
One may question the hundred thousand years and yet the Mesopotamian myths mention a past of at least that long. One usually doesn’t credit the ancients with actual knowledge but I think it is time to take them more seriously.
For much of that hundred thousand years during the long Ice Age the level of the Mediterranean was much lower probably being a long valley with a succession of large lakes fed by the Nile and the Propontis while the outflow was at the Pillars of Hercules. As the Med Valley was habitable it must have been inhabited. Undoubtedly a civilization developed that was fairly sophisticated. One needn’t look for extraterrestrials for human development.
Thus when the Ice Age ended returning the accumulated waters to the oceans the waters rose forcing the Valley’s inhabitants to seek higher ground until the sea level became static. While denizens fled to all sides of the Med the civilization bearers occupied Lower Egypt, the emerging Nile Delta. A second area in which civilization in some form must have survived was the island of Crete.
It was on this island that the religious formula that became a basis of Europe was formed. The basis was provided by the Hellenic Greek tribes that began their invasion of the Greek peninsula c. -1700.
The Greek penisula was occupied by an ancient people called Pelasgians. They like the Cretans were descendants of the Med Valley peoples as were the Cretans and Lower Egypt. The Pelasgian religion closely resembled that of the Cretans. The conquering Hellenes imposed their Greek language on them while setting about solving the religious differences into one unifed religion. This was done following a usual pattern.
The Hellenes followed an Aryan Patriarchal model while the Pelasgians and Cretans followed a Matriarchal type.
How much religious development took place between 8000 BC when the waters rose and 2000 BC when things had settled must have been very large. An important thing to remember is that the human mind is continually handling information. Problems of memory have been continually remedied with new storage technologies. They have been continually developed to today’s immense ability to be able to very nearly store entire reality. Every phone call in the world 24/7 can be stored and retrieved at will so that totally inconsequential information is on record but will never be read.
The time lapse between improvements in storage and retrieval were immense in the early days increasing rapidly to the present. The earliest known city, the remains of which date not coincidentally to c. 8000 BC is located at Catal Huyuk in Anatolia which would have been a rural backwater to the Med civilization, but a high degree of communal organization is evident. One imagines the Cretan civilization was similar but more highly developed. There is every evidence that the Great Mother religion was fairly highly developed at the time the waters rose.
The Cretans certainly brought the religion to a degree of perfection. Obviously there is no agreement as to the degree while the substance of religion can be only guessed at.
Presently the Goddess advocates picture the Matriarchy as some kind of golden age of
peace love and happiness. This is not the case. The Matriarchates lived in a period of very primitive mentality. Nor is the female of the species any less bloody minded than the male. The memory of the matriarchate was still strong enough for later males to dismiss the matriarchate as a period that was not too kind to men. Indeed, if one bears in mind that the sacrificial bulls were substitutes for men and that bulls were often sacrificed in holocausts which means a hundred bulls or more then it follows that at one time a hundred men or more were sacrificed to the Great Mother. Obviously this would leave rueful memories in the minds of men.
This memory may have been played out in the tale of Iphigenia At Aulis.
Shall we examine the participants in this drama, Agamemnon, Clytmnestra, Iphigenia and Diana?
Zeus in the apparition of a swan had intercourse with Leda who then lay two eggs. Both bore twins. From one egg Castor and Pollux emerged. These two represent the soltices, Castor, winter and Pollux summer. From the other egg Helen and Clytemnestra emerged. These two represent the equinoxes, Helen the Spring, Clytemnestra the Fall. One might compare Helen to the Cretan Loving Goddess with the erect snakes held hip high and Clytemnestra to the Angry Goddess brandishing the two writhing snakes. Thus the two goddesses are representatives of Diana.
Now Agamemnon was punished by Diana for killing a deer and then boasting that he was a better hunter than she. Agamemnon and the Greeks were assembled at Aulis but unable to sail for lack of wind. A sacrifice was deemed necessary to allay the winds. Ordinarily a male would have been the sacrifice to Diana. Instead Agamemnon sacrificed his and Clytemnestra’s daughter probably in vengeance for his punishment by Diana and the slaughter of all those males during the Matriarchy.
Clytemnestra herself was a representative of the Matriarchy so the story is involved.
While my interpretation might be controversial I think it clear that the Cretan goddess became Artemis/Diana. At any rate it was the Argive (from Argos) mainland goddess Hera who would be chosen as the wife of Zeus. Therefore the Cretan goddess would have lost her consort and been a loose cannon.
Zeus himself was of Cretan origin probably intended to be the annual consort of the Goddess. As religion evolved the characters of the Gods and Goddesses changed so that while there is continuity the attributes and characters change enough so that the religious figures have to be located in time and place.
When the Hellenes, or Greeks, began to arrive the Cretans had already created a political organization known as a thalossocracy, a sea based empire. The islands and at least the coasts from Aegean to Italy were under Cretan rule. The Greeks then challenged the power of the Cretans as well as seeking to impose the Patriarchal religion on the Matriarchy.
This method of taking control was the same as that of all religions replacing another. As in such situations the overcome religion submits to greater power but continues a more or less clandestine existence. Thus the Aryan Greeks converted religious sites such as Delphi to Patriarchal shrines. Where the necessisity existed in Matriarchal strongholds, they apparently attempted to exterminate the Matriarchates. Persecute them out of existence, perhaps, as happened to the Lollards of England.
In this case, Perseus’ assault on the Gorgon Medusa could have signified an all out assault on the Matriarchal stronghold as was the story of the Iliad in which the Patriarchal Greeks waged a ten year war to exterminate Matriarchal Troy. Whether factual or not it is true that when the post-Troy dark age ended the Greeks were in possession of the Anatolian littoral.
Of course the preferred method was by stealth and intermarriage. Intermarriage may have required the extermination of the males to acquire the women which was commonly done. Thus, Zeus’ frequent rapes of women may commemorate such takeovers.
As the assimilated gods appear to have been indigenous the Greeks must have taken over the pre-existing gods while changing them to Patriarchal from Matriarchal. Thus, while Zeus is clearly a Cretan god, probable annual consort of the Great Mother, he was transported to mainland Argos where as a woodpecker he raped the Argive goddess Hera becoming her lord and master, or her husband.
The consort of Hera was Heracles, a sun god. When Zeus took Hera from him as his wife this left Heracles at loose ends without a purpose. The Greeks gave him a new lineage and the role of the champion of the Patriarchy and punisher of the Matriarchy.
In this case Zeus seduces Alcmene in the disguise of her husband Amphitryon impregnating her with Hercules. Just as Heracles was a loose cannon after the marriage of Zeus and Hera the Cretan Great Goddess was without a consort when Zeus left Crete. The problem is what identity was she assigned? When Heracles was born two snakes were sent by the Matriarchy to kill him. The baby Heracles strangled both, one in each hand. Symbolically then the Cretan religion was imagined to be destroyed and possibly its Great Mother murdered.
A great problem however that remains hidden from me is the origin of the Peloponnesian Lady Of The Lake. As the Cretan Great Mother was also a Mistress Of The Animals it is quite possible that she was taken to the mainland from Crete where she became an Artemis and possibly the Lady Of The Lake.
At some later time the Cretan priesthood would be carried from Crete and installed as the priesthood of Apollo at the premier Greek shrine of Delphi. So, how much of the Greek religion was of Aryan origin and how much of the ancient Med Valley religion through its Cretan development isn’t clear but the two must have been extensively intermingled making the Cretan Great Mother a probable Artemis/Diana and the Lady Of The Lake.
I have found no references in Greek mythology to the Lady Of The Lake but the Lady as Vivian turns up in the Arthurian epics of +1000-1300 when they were formulated. In those she is referred back to ancient Peloponnesian times. I haven’t found the sources of the medieval writers but they must have been in possession of some mythological sources that no longer exist.
I would now like to examine the transition from the male archetype of Jesus in mid-Piscean Age to Diana in Northern Europe and Mary, the Mother of God in the South.
Before leaving the Ancients however let me say that having organized a pantheon the Greeks then removed the various gods from their home locales and established their residence on Mt. Olympus deep in the more densely Aryan populations of the North of Greece.
The religion of no one Age is secure because the transition to the next Age is always looming. Just as Zeus had replaced Cronus of the Taurean Age so the Greek male archetype of the Piscean Age, Dionysus, was maturing as Zeus’ replacement.
However, in the long war between Europe and Asia the balance of power was to shift toward the Asians. Dionysus was discarded to be replaced by the Semitic Jew, Jesus of Nazareth. The Jews had quietly been infiltrating Western society while actually contending for pre-eminence in the East and Egypt. This would erupt into the Roman-Jewish wars of the first two centuries AD.
As the early Christians were a purely Jewish sect it is no wonder that when Paul of Tarsus turned the Jewish cult into a universal religion that that religion reflected Judaism to a large extent. Judaism being an intolerant religion that intolerance was replicated in both the Roman Catholic and the Greek Orthodox Churches. The result was that any competing religious views were viciously suppressed. After the fourth century the old Creco-Cretan religion was anathematized on the pain of death.
As would happen in the fifteenth century when the Ottoman Moslems conquered Constantinople and the Greek scholars fled East to India and West to the Roman successor States numbers of the Olympian priesthood undoubtedly fled into the German lands to the North. Just as the Arian priests fled North to escape Catholic oppression where they converted the German tribes so the Olympian priests sowed their beliefs among the Germans. That’s one reason so many Olympian beliefs are found in German folk tales as collected by the Grimms.
As the Lady Of The Lake is a Matriarchal myth it follows that the Cretan priesthood of Delphi sowed Matriarchal ideas among the Germans. It can be little wonder that Vivian, The Lady Of The Lake, appeared in the French chivalric myths created from the eleventh though fourteenth centuries.
Not only that but Vivian represents the Matriarchal resurgence against Catholic Patriarchalism. Vivian of course was none other than Artemis/Diana. It was thus that Diana became the female archetype of Northern Europe in the second half of the Piscean Age.
It would be a mistake to suppose that the Olympian gods died quiet deaths or deaths at all. It is one thing to outlaw a belief system and another to erase it from the memories of those who had used that belief system for two thousand years. The Christians were at best a conquering horde no different from the Patriarchal Greeks who attempted to destroy the Cretan religion. The Catholic Church was no more able to contain the Olympians than the Greeks were able to contain Cretan religion. Just as the Greeks had had to accommodate the Cretans by installing them at Delphi so the Catholic Church had to accommodate Olympians while the struggle never ceased.
Just as the Iliad was part of an immense mythological cycle detailing the struggle between the Matriarchy and the Patriarchy so the Arthurian epics detailing the Matriarchal, Patriarchal and Church as Aryans sects was even more immense and sprawling. The huge corpus of the Vulgate-Lancelot may just be the largest literary work in the world while being only part of the story.
So Arthur being installed at Camelot as the wise and benevolent Patriarchal monarch, Vivian had her home beneath a northern French lake. The problem for her was how to subvert Camelot and restore the Matriarchy. After all the court of Arthur was guided by and protected by the magic of the great magician Merlin. So long as Merlin was on the job Arthur was invulnerable. Vivian’s first task was to eliminate Merlin.
Bear in mind that an ages old system that these participants can have had no knowledge of is being satisfactorily worked out according to the principles of that system. One can understand how active minds could penetrate this arcane system but the miracle is that naïve minds could understand what was intended and how to further it. But then I am participating here in furthering events into the Aquarian Age and am no member of any priesthood; I was just a guy standing on the corner watching the girls go by while reading the odd volume. Do I know what I say I know? I can’t even guess but at the same time I can’t keep from writing as though I do. Blame it on the muse.
Vivian was a cute girl; Merlin was a half daft old man susceptible to a young beauty’s charms even though he knew better. Vivian smiled at him and the wisest dope in the world fell for it. But, isn’t that the way the sisterhood always works. If you’ve got a job to do, keep it zipped up.
Enamored of Vivian Merlin took her into his confidence. He was reluctant to share his magic with her but she coaxed and he caved. Once the wiliest of womanhood had obtained the old wizard’s knowledge she turned on him entombing him in the matriarchal symbol, Mother Earth, where he remains today muttering useless spells in an effort to remove the stone.
Part one of her effort was now achieved. Arthur was unprotected and vulnerable. It was only necessary to find the means and the agent. Vivian already knew the means. Arthur would marry the beautiful but flighty Guenivere. Arthur was old sobersides as he had a kingdom to rule so Guenivere was on the lookout for the dark romantic lead. It just so happened that Vivian had a boy in training who was now about to emerge into lusty young manhood. He was the most perfect knight in the world save one, who was yet unborn and to be his son.
When this lad was a young boy Vivian had lured him down to the lake from whose shores she abducted him taking him to her submarine palace for training. Lancelot became a fairy prince. Now, this is important: Vivian although a virgin was an alpha mother . All those bundles of genes out there who yell and stomp thinking that makes them alpha males aren’t. It’s not in the genes its in the mothering. Look for the alpha female. So, Lancelot was the alphaest of all living males.
As an emblem of her authority Vivian dressed Lancelot as well as the horse he rode out on in shining white velvet. Guenivere’s prince had come.
This Dandy, Lancelot, then went to Camelot and was deputized by Arthur to fetch his bride from her father and thus began a liaison with the Queen that would disrupt the famous Round Table resulting in a war between Patriarchal Arthur and Matriarchal Lancelot that brought the kingdom to its knees.
Arthur’s original sword drawn from the stone had been stolen and replaced by Excalibur a sword given to him by Vivian. Thus Arthur originally armed by the Patriarchy was now defended by the power of the Matriarchy or Diana. When Arthur died the sword was returned to the Lady Of The Lake and Arthur was taken to her bourne, Avalon to be tended by the fairie maidens. Symbolically England had passed from the Patriarchy to the Matriarchy; what began two thousand years earlier between the Cretans and the Greeks was now resolved in England in favor of the Matriarchy.
In the South of Europe the female archetype of the Piscean Age was Mary who delivered Jesus to the world in Virgin birth somewhat like Vivian giving virgin birth to Lancelot. At the same time that Diana assumed authority in the North Mary began to be worshipped in a form known as Mariolatry in the South and assumed pre-eminence over Jesus, the male. The contest then shifted to one between the Dianites of the North and the Marionites of the South.
If one assumes that the sexual battle was over by 1300, then the battle of the female archetypes began. That began to resolve itself when Henry VIII separated England from the Papacy rejecting Mary, the Mother of God. Luther did the same for the Germans. This conflict resulted in the horrific Thirty Years War that nearly destroyed the German people. At war’s end Protestants, that is the Dianites, were in control of the North while the Marionites held the South.
Dissension in the North and South was still rife until the Enlightenment broke the power of the Church releasing all kinds of repressed religious views of which the religion of Diana was merely one. One wonders how much of the women’s movement of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was influenced by the concept of Diana The movement today is heavily influenced by a goddess cult, not Mary, but Diana and probably the Egyptian Isis. One imagines that there must be some continuity.
The interest in both Greek mythology and the Arthurian epics did not wane during the nineteenth century, if anything increasing. Tennyson’s Idylls of the King was a major retelling of the story while the quest for the Holy Grail is an ongoing theme.
The Matriarchy was all but forgotten in the conscious memory of Europe that had become patriarchal on the surface. In mid-century against stiff resistance the Swiss mythologist, J. J. Bachofen uncovered the Matriarchy reintroducing it into intellectual history. The concept was stoutly resisted but a reevaluation of the evidence over the succeeding hundred years has reestablished the knowledge of its existence.
On the popular level the great English novelist H. Rider Haggard toyed with the idea in several significant, even great, novels that have been slighted through a lack of understanding. The most significant of that set of novels, the She saga, has become one of the world’s great classics.
She, or Ayesha, her actual name, means Life was definitely not a mother goddess, as far as we know she had been chaste for two thousand years. Life might be interpreted in the sense of Mistress Of The Animals, so it wouldn’t be unfair to associate Ayesha with Diana. Haggard was no mean mythologist.
He associated with the well known mythologist Andrew Lang with whom he also collaborated on The World’s Desire. He was very well read in mythology, Greek, Egyptian and Israelite. The year after Haggard wrote She in 1888 he followed up with Cleopatra, a very good Egyptian novel. He followed that with the astonishing interpretation of the Helen myth in The World’s Desire of 1890. Within the compass of these three novels he unraveled the meaning of the Hermes/Mercury staff- the Caduceus.
In She Ayesha wore a golden belt composed of two snakes whose heads opposed each other at her waist. They represented the combat between good and evil in Ayesha’s mind. Both natures of the Cretan goddess were united in Ayesha.
By the time Haggard wrote The World’s Desire two years later he had separated the two impulses into two persons. The evil aspect of the goddess was the ruling aspect of the Egyptian princess Meriamun while the pure loving aspect of the goddess belonged to the spirit of Helen whose character was the world’s desire.
Thus the rod of Mercury’s staff represents the spine while the two snakes entwining the rod represent the good and evil impulses who facing each other are at war with each other. In modern psychological terms it could be said the snakes represent the Anima and Animus- the left and right halves of the brain or, in other words, the ovate strand of DNA and the spermatic strand. The wings mean that the whole apparatus is sheltered under the wings of the goddess. It is also quite probable that the points of the chakras are intended by the twining. See my full explication here: https://idynamo.wordpress.com/2009/12/04/a-review-part-iv-she-by-h-rider-haggard/
Hermes/Mercury was one of the old Matriarchal gods who was reborn as a Patriarchal god so that the Patriarchal Mercury bears the Matriarchal emblem of the Caduceus before him thus representing both religious outlooks.
Haggard was the rock on which his near disciple, Edgar Rice Burroughs, built his church. Without saying that Burroughs was an expert Greco-Roman mythologist he began reading mythology at a very early age while his Junior High years were spent at the Harvard Latin school of Chicago where he was placed under a heavy classical regimen. He also continued to read Greek mythology throughout his life while also being interested in anthropology. Thus, while he might not have had the scholarly background of Haggard he must have known enough to follow Haggard’s argument, if not consciously at least in his subconscious memory.
When Burroughs created his fantasy lost city of Opar its goddess, or high priestess, was even named La which is French for She. Whether he was aware he was working with a vision of Diana isn’t relevant as the notion of She/Diana was engraved in what Jung would call the collective unconscious and hence his own.
Ever the Patriarch, Burroughs turned the tables on the Diana/Vivian Merlin story and made La submissive to Tarzan while Tarzan was unmoved by either her beauty or her love.
A sort of version was also told by the very good but now nearly forgotten novelist Robert Hichens in his novel of 1905, The Garden Of Allah. This story in turn influenced Burroughs as well as the much more conscious mythologist Edith Maude Hull who wrote The Sheik in 1921. Today Mrs. Hull’s reputation, such as it is, rests on The Sheik and The Sheik’s reputation on the movie represention of Rudolph Valentino. In point of fact Mrs. Hull’s novel was a study of Diana, the name of her heroine, that follows to some extent the version of Burroughs. (See my full review of The Sheik here https://idynamo.wordpress.com/2007/10/12/a-review-1921s-the-sheik-by-em-hull/)
That Mrs. Hull was a part od some sort of Diana cultish interest is evidenced by this 1920s photo of woman posing as Diana. The collective memory and/or unconscious has kept the vision of Diana/Great Mother alive for a minimum of three thousand years. The Ancient Evil had been transmuted into Freudian psychology.
Today the worship of the Goddess has been revived in the Feminist Movement and is thriving. Indeed, a Matriarchal Revolution has been in progress since perhaps the 1850s and now seems to be rapidly approaching fruition, at least among the Aryans of Europe and America.
Time will tell whither the Ancient Evil will triumph.
Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Accreted Personality
Hours In The Library
As the fabulous Twentieth Century dawned virtually a new world different than anything that had gone before came into existence requiring a new consciousness. As usual some could adapt and some couldn’t. In an evolutionary sense those that couldn’t adapt disappeared, those that could survived while those born into the new world accepted it as normal.
Many authors who were very successful in the old world faded from importance not because what they had to say was necessarily irrelevant but because it was no longer relevant to a changed consciousness. Even if their message was universal it had to be expressed in new terms. Some like Rider Haggard and Conan Doyle trundled right along until they died two or three decades later. Some like H.G. Wells whose contemporary novels lost significance and sales potential even though in Wells case his sci-fi output of the nineties has survived strongly until today. His omnibus volume Seven Science Fiction Novels has been a strong seller for nearly a hundred years. A dozen or so handsome editions adorn the shelves of second hand dealers where they turn over at a quick rate.
Still, around 1900 a new generation of writers began to move onto the literary field; the next wave after the crop of the eighteen eighties. The new writers were mainly in the age cohort of 1865 to 1876 as was Ed but he would make a late start in 1912. Memory is the key to psychology. If nothing goes into the memory nothing comes out so it is important to include only the beneficial as much as is possible. It is for that reason that pornography is pernicious. It has little social value; its main function being to stroke one’s fixations. In these crucial years Ed filled his memory banks with the works of the current crop of writers. He unerringly went, as we all do, to those writers and books that talked around his own fixations thus being capable of being incorporated into his own writing.
While he seems to be almost plagiarizing his sources, by the end of the nineteenth century the body of work available had grown to significant proportions. He was not alone in incorporating his reading into his own work. The reading had become part of the social fabric not much different than trolley cars and the soup cans Andy Warhol would later make famous. Burroughs now is part of our mental furniture and while it may not be pertinent to our writing, images and phrases from what we have read may come out of our pen without our realizing it. Almost like saying for dinner I opened a can of Campbell’s tomato soup.
The thousands of movies and records we have seen and know cannot be excluded from our mental processes. So, just as George Du Maurier named his novel Trilby after that of Charles Nodier of the turn of the nineteenth century patterning his story based on that novel that he admired greatly, why shouldn’t Burroughs in his turn do the same. Such referencing was quite common if you read enough and look for it.
It is difficult to know where to begin in listing Ed’s post-1900 reading but as the South formed such a large part of his consciousness it may be well to start with the apostle of the Lost Cause, Thomas Dixon Jr.
Thomas Dixon Jr. (1864-1846)
Dixon’s social views differed quite wildly from those of his contemporary H.G. Wells. Indeed, Dixon was of the class that Wells said must not be allowed to express their views lest they cloud those of the Revolution in the minds of the proletariat which must be forced to accept the official views of Wells’ Open Conspiracy version of socialism. No dissent was to be allowed. In keeping with this dictum Anthony Slide gave the scare title American Racist to his 2004 biography of Dixon published by the UKentucky Press in an attempt to make sure Dixon was buried and doesn’t rise again.
Be that as it may Dixon was extremely popular in the years before the Bolshevik Revolution going into eclipse after his 1919 movie Bolshevism On Trial. So he was both a Southerner, although not a Virginian, and an anti-Communist giving him special appeal to Ed.
Born in 1864 he was old enough to have been aware during the last years of Reconstruction, hence an eyewitness. The grand tragedy of the Civil War for him was that Aryans exterminated Aryans over a worthless cause like Negro slavery. During Reconstruction the Puritan bigots of the North oppressed the Southern Aryans mercilessly so that Dixon made it his goal to reconcile Northern and Southern Aryans, thus the title of his and Griffith’s 1915 movie titled The Birth Of A Nation, in other words, The Birth Of The Aryans as a Nation.
While slavery was the proximate cause of the war the issue takes a subordinate place in the minds of romanticists of the South such as Ed. Dixie is the home of courtly manners and magnolia blossoms, decency and self-respect.
That notion of a Utopia is still shared by many of us today.
The men who settled Virginia were the displaced younger sons of English aristocrats who gave their flavor to the Cavalier State. They were the epitome of desired manhood, the quality versus the equality- hence John Carter of Virginia. Carter is not only a man but the apex of what a man should be.
Dixon wrote several Civil War and Reconstruction novels, all rather good literature. His most famous trilogy of the conflict was composed of The Leopard’s Spots (1902), The Clansman (1905), and The Traitor (1907). As The Traitor is found in Burroughs’ surviving library it is not unreasonable to believe he read all three and that before he began writing. Dixon wrote two further volumes, The Southerner: A Romance Of The Real Lincoln and The Victim: A Romance Of The Real Jefferson Davis of 1913 and 14 respectively. I’m sure Ed read them both but they were too late to be formative for his writing. I recommend them both highly for a near contemporary history of the events from the perspective of both sides. While it doesn’t seem to be Dixon’s purpose his presentation leaves no doubt in my mind that the assassination of Lincoln was plotted by a cabal of Northern bigots who really wanted to exterminate Southern Aryans replacing them with what they believed to be a pure Negro Republic.
As the Negroes were not welcome in the North these Northern loonies may have believed with Lincoln that Negroes and Aryans could not live together. They probably believed that by ceding the South to the Negroes they had solved the problem. I’m sure it goes much deeper than current research cares to deal with.
Fortunately that didn’t happen. Reconstruction was overturned and the Jim Crow period took form resulting in the current Negro revolution with the threat of a San Domingo Moment.
In addition Dixon wrote an anti-socialist trilogy composed of One Woman (1903), Comrades (1909) and The Root Of Evil (1911). Other than reflecting the attitude of Ed’s thoughts they don’t seem reflected in his own work before 1919 although they may appear in his 1926 novel The Moon Maid.
After the rejection of Ed’s own 1919 anti-Communist tract Under The Red Flag by publishers another work of Dixon’s, The Fall Of A Nation (1916, both book and movie) seem to have been read and seen by Ed. The work would greatly influence Ed’s 1926 novel, The Moon Maid.
So, Thomas Dixon has to be considered a major influence of Ed‘s.
L. Frank Baum (1856-1919)
A second major influence, not inferior to Dixon, was the great creator of the Wizard Of Oz series, Lyman Frank Baum. Although chronologically belonging to an earlier age cohort of writers he only began writing at the turn of the century, turning out his fabulously successful The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz in 1900. It is said that Oz was based on the White City of the Columbian Exposition of 1893 and most likely was. In those days before movies successful books were turned into equally successful plays as was the case with The Wizard; thus at forty-four Baum was launched on a successful literary career. As with so many writers he squandered his millions ending up virtually broke. He didn’t live long enough for the movies to come to the rescue.
The original Wonderful Wizard Of Oz was written as a political satire which content went missing in 1939’s movie, indeed, it was no longer relevant. Baum should have lived so long.
The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz (1900) was followed by The Marvelous Land Of Oz (1904), Ozma Of Oz (1907), Dorothy And The Wizard Of Oz (1908), The Road To Oz (1909) and the Emerald City Of Oz (1910). These were published before Ed began to write so they highly influenced his Martian Chronicles while subsequently issued titles influenced his later work.
Baum grew tired of the series trying to kill it off in 1910’s Emerald City Of Oz but the clamor urging him to write more resulted in the series being resumed in 1913. These titles in order where The Patchwork Girl Of Oz 1913), Tik Tok Of Oz, 1914, The Scarecrow Of Oz (1915), Rinkitink In Oz, (1916), The Lost Princess Of Oz, (1917), The Tin Woodman Of Oz (1918), The Magic Of Oz, (1919) and Glinda Of Oz (1920). There are an additional dozen or so Oz titles but they were commissioned (pastiches) after Baum’s death to Ruth Plumly Thompson and another writer after her. Nice enough but don’t have the spark.
On might say the Wizard far exceeds John Carter in the American consciousness while matching or even, possibly, exceeding that of Tarzan. Without the Tarzan movies the reputation of the Wizard would be as great while that of Tarzan would be significantly diminished.
Baum also wrote a comic strip of stories in 1905 and The Woggle Bug Book in 1905 that Ed may have seen but I haven’t.
One imagines Ed greatly anticipating each Oz book as it was released, stunned by both the stories and the W.W. Denslow and John R. Neill artwork. Always remember that Ed was a failed artist or cartoonist, so the illustration always remained important to him.
Baum like Ed, after having created, an original framework, unmercifully plundered past literature to give substance to his stories. As Ed would follow in his own Symmes’ Hollow Earth stories Baum wrote an entire Oz novel around a version of the Symmes’s theory.
Ed so completely ingested the Baumian parallel universe that it is impossible to conceive of either Helium or Opar without reference to the Emerald City and hence back to Chicago’s White City. John Carter may be conceived of as a male Dorothy off to see the Wizard except that Helium was on Mars. Carter’s accession to the Warlord of Mars may even be seen as a replacement of the Wizard. One suspects that for Ed Baum was the transcendent imagination.
Another important point, as David Adams points out, is that Baum was a theosophist versed in esoteric lore. Baum was among the writers of his day that Ed went out of the way to meet, to introduce himself. It may even be said that he had a relationship with Baum. Ed first introduced himself to Baum in 1913, driving up to Ozcot in Hollywood. The two men were reunited in 1916 during Ed’s stay in LA and again in 1919 for the few remaining months of Baum’s life. He died in May of that year.
So Baum was a central figure in Ed’s career.
George Barr McCutcheon (1866-1926)
Anthony Hope (1863-1933)
The third major figure of the decade succeeding 1900 was one George Barr McCutcheon and his Graustark series. Not so well known today he was a major figure in the early years of the century. Reminiscing in the forties in the midst of the disappointment of a second world war in his lifetime Ed remarked that the people then lacked a Graustark so that Ed added that imaginary land to the Oz in his literary memories.
Born in the same year as H.G. Wells, McCutcheon’s first published title Graustark: The Story Of A Love Behind A Throne appeared in 1901 as the century began. Graustark was some Ruritanian paradise located in some imaginary middle European land of wine and waltzes. While a fine imaginary setting I find the novels unappealing. As usual one has the enterprising American lad among torpid European lumpkins.
Of the six Graustark novels three were published before 1912- Graustark (1901), Beverly Of Graustark (1904) and Truxton King: A Story Of Graustark (1909), and three after- The Prince of Graustark (1914), East Of The Setting Sun (1924) and the Inn Of The Hawk And The Raven (1927). Thus only the first three were part of the formation of Ed’s memories when he began writing.
These three were however buttressed by two novels of Anthony Hope the man who invented Ruritanian romances and on whom McCutcheon undoubtedly based Graustark. Hope began his three dozed novel career with the The Prisoner Of Zenda in 1894 followed by the sequel Rupert Of Hentzau in 1898. It would be truly astonishing if you’ve heard of any of the rest of his oeuvre. I certainly never had.
The content of these novelists was directly incorporated into Ed’s two Ruritanian novels The Mad King and HRH The Rider.
The Mad King was a re-courting of Emma that apparently failed.
Booth Tarkington (1869-1946)
A man who Ed thought was the greatest American writer when interviewed in the teens was the enchanting Booth Tarkington, one of the favorites of my childhood. I was enthralled by Tarkington’s Tom Sawyer figure Penrod (1914) Scholfield and Penrod and Sam of 1916. The other titles I read back when were Seventeen (1916), The Magnificent Ambersons (1918), and Alice Adams of 1922.
Tarkington was a prolific writer turning out four dozen or so novels during his lifetime, some in collaboration with Harry Leon Wilson of Merton Of The Movies and Ruggles Of Red Gap fame along with several other significant titles of the day. Burroughs had Ruggles and couple others in his library.
Born between Wells and Ed, Tarkington’s first novel, The Gentleman From Indiana appeared in 1899 followed by his Monsieur Beaucaire in 1900. A whole series of novels followed up to 1912 including The Two Vanrevels so Ed probably had imbibed a lot of Tarkington before and much after 1912. Tarkington was a major influence on Ed’s novels such as The Oakdale Affair and the Efficiency Expert of the teens while The Ambersons and Alice Adams influences show up in Ed’s 1924 novel Marcia Of The Doorstep.
Jack London (1876-1916)
Robert Service (1874-1958)
H.H. Knibbs (1874-1945)
Certainly not to be neglected as an influence is the still well known and often read Jack London. The making of London as a writer was the great Klondike Gold Rush beginning in 1896. In 1897 London packed his gear and went North. His experiences in the land of ice and snow provided the material that made his name. A stream of short stories and adventure novels erupted through his pen beginning in 1898 while the novels began in 1902. The Call Of The Wild of 1903 spoke to the wanderlust in Ed’s soul. London did everything that Ed wanted to do, he ranged freely over the entire world in his yacht The Snark, interestingly named after the great poem of Lewis Carroll…beware lest your Snark be a boo…. He was an eyewitness reporter of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, like Ed he was a boxing aficionado, he was ringside as a reporter when Jack Johnson put down the great Jim Jeffries to become the first Negro heavyweight champion.
Ed’s fascination with hoboing had never abated since he mingled with them on Madison, Chicago’s Main Stem, on
which his father’s factory was located. London’s 1907 memoir of his cross country trip with Kelley’s Army, a part of Coxey’s Army in 1894 must have excited Ed enormously. But, Ed was tied to Emma and unable to roam.
In many ways London’s and Ed’s views were in synch as part of the same age cohort. A Negro’s winning of the boxing championship was really too much for either man to bear. London himself was an amateur boxer. The failure of a White man to appear to wrest the championship from the Negro Johnson drove him to distraction as it did Ed. Although living on either side of the country both expressed their anguish at the same time.
London wrote a preliminary study titled The Abysmal Brute following it with a full scale concerning the championship, The Valley Of The Moon in 1913. Ed set down and wrote The Mucker about his own hobo boxer, Billy Byrne also in 1913. One can only wonder how many other stories were written about an imaginary White boxer recapturing the crown.
The second novel of the Mucker Trilogy all but named London as its inspiration. The Return is a very good novel that celebrated the golden age of hoboing.
The novel tied in a number of Ed’s literary hobo sources. In addition to London the poet H.H. Knibbs provided a sort of framing device as Ed wove verses of his great poem Out There Somewhere through the story, essentially basing the novel on the poem. He also included snatches of verse from the Kiplingesque Robert W. Service of The Cremation Of Sam McGee fame.
The Return then might be said to be a celebration of the road based on London’s The Road and poems by Knibbs and Service. Byrne was also probably an attempt to create another series based on The Road to supplement Tarzan but it didn’t take.
Zane Grey (1972-1939)
Grey might be one of the weaker influences before 1910 but Ed was destined to be thought a rival by his publishers. Grey had the magic touch in being able to pitch his is stories toward women thus garnering the big money of the slick magazines. Grey thus earned enough to buy himself a yacht making him the envy of Ed.
Grey began in 1903 with his story of Betty Zane. This was followed three years later by The Spirit Of The Border, then in 1908’s Last Of The Plainsmen. Nineteen nine brought The Last Trail and The Shortstop. The earlier titles were on small imprints while The Shortstop was publishing by McClurg’s, the future publisher of Burroughs. From McClurg’s Grey went to Harper And Bros. who remained his publisher from then on. One wonders if McClurg’s sold his contract to Harper’s or whether they signed him to a one book deal. They certainly tied Ed up contractually so he couldn’t get away.
Grey’s first book for Harper’s in 1910 is the only story to indicate Ed’s readership, The Heritage Of The Desert concerning the Mormons. That influence showed up in 1913’sThe Cave Girl.
I could never get into Grey as a kid although I was given a copy of The Shortstop that I didn’t read then and never have. Still have it though. Grey broke through in 1912 with Riders Of The Purple Sage. The Rainbow Trail and The Mysterious Rider are found in Ed’s library.
I’ve only read Ed’s two Western novels once so I would have to read them again to see how influenced they were by Grey.
Grey’s stuff is alright I guess but the guy’s a real dud writer as far as I’m concerned.
In addition to these major influences Ed also stuffed his memory with reams of poems and magazine articles. The newspapers which were much different then also provided much grist for his mill.
In the background, of course, was Ed’s interest in mythology. He did read Howard Pyle’s four volume version of the Vulgate-Lancelot that appeared after the turn of the century. The two and a half years he spent at Harvard Latin School undoubtedly gave him a good background while in those formative years conditioning his mind to deal with difficult thought processes. After all the mind has to be trained to manage the mass of memories that make the person.
The question during this period is whether or not he read ancient Greek mythology or learned any Greek. I think not. He may have some familiarity with Homer especially the Odyssey on which many of his stories may be based. He was probably familiar with The Labors Of Hercules but I don’t see any evidence of understanding of The Iliad.
The Iliad is important for psychology as Homer introduces the notion of the infinitely powerful mind of Zeus. Zeus could remember everything while having such a powerful mind that he could order the whole of it in sequence while finding his way through any number of conundrums. The only thing he couldn’t do was set aside what was fated.
What goes into one’s memory or mind is of cardinal importance. Trash goes in, trash comes out. Ed filled his memory banks with useful information and wonderful speculative literature. The question, then, is what does one do with those memories now transformed into knowledge. Remembering is the sine qua non but organization is equally important. The mind must be trained. Remembered and organized, then what? Then comes intelligence and application. A flexible intelligence is probably known as imagination. One can combine, rearrange, and recombine one’s memories into new uses. Make meaningful what was formerly incoherent.
Ed well-satisfied with himself remarked that only one in a hundred thousand had a good imagination in which number he obviously included himself among the elite. I don’t know where he got his stat but I’m sure a mind such as his was rare enough. There really aren’t many who can use their mind as he did. One only has to read the Martian writers who preceded him to see the astonishing distance between their work and his. Wells’ War Of The Worlds for instance is a fairly pedestrian work. A missile shot from a cannon on Mars arrives on Earth and some spindly creatures get out who then mount some tripods that begin walking through London spewing some black gas. Fresh at the time but not wildly imaginative. Ed would challenge Wells when he wrote the first third of The Moon Maid. That book was so imaginative, superior to Wells’ First Men In The Moon, as to be the work of a master taunting an obstreperous pupil.
So, when Ed Began 1912 his memory banks were full of experience and stuffed with literature and scientific knowledge that he was able to use so imaginatively that most people were completely unaware of the amount of learning incorporated into his stories.
Part VI chronicles Ed’s life from the beginning of his success to 1920.