Edgar Rice Burroughs On Mars

A Review

The Chessmen Of Mars

Part 5

by

R.E. Prindle

 

The Taxidermist Of Mars Part 2

     To return to the arrival of Gahan, Tara and Ghek at Manator.  The three have been drifting before the wind for days as they have no propeller to move them.  Tara is in dire straits  badly needing water and food.  Landing some disntace from Mantor Gahan decides to enter the city in search of food and water.  He is espied on his approach and a trap set.

     I am assuming that Manator represents LA and Burroughs is decribing his arrival there in 1919.

     Porges was the ERB trailblazer while to my knowledge he is the only researcher allowed in the archives to this date.  Robert Barrett seems to have had a close relationship with Danton Burroughs, ERB’s grandson,  and Danton released snippets to him from time to time but there is no evidence in Barrett’s wrtings in the Burroughs Bulletin that he has spent any time in the archives.

     Not even Bill Hillman who has done so much for Danton and ERB, Inc. has been allowed to work int he archives.  Danton promised HIllman documentation  for some time but never found the time to send it.  I once talked to Danton by phone and he indicated he was withholding access for ‘effect.’  I didn’t ask what effect.   He did release a valuable snippet to me though.  So, to a very large extent one is forced to combine Porges’ seminal but fairly meager information with what was happening in Burroughs’ life as reflected in his novels.

     One of the areas that have troubled me is the relationship of ERB’s rival with Emma, Frank Martin, both before and after their marriage.

     Martin was disgusted with Burroughs who he thought, correctly I believe, didn’t actually want Emma but didn’t want anyone else to have her either.  I think it probable that ERB wanted to keep Emma on the shelf indefinitely as the result of the confrontation with John the Bully.

     Driven to desperate measures Martin drew ERB to New York on his father’s private rail car and attempted to have him murdered in Toronto.

     That attempt failed.  ERB in defiance married Emma against her family’s wishes a few months after the attack.  Now, what was Frank Martin’s reaction to the wedding?  Did he resign himself to the reality or did he interfere in the marriage any way he could?

     We have a couple facts that indicate that at the very least he kept an eye on the couple.  Hard facts.  Martin’s associate or stooge was a man called R.S. Patchin.  He was on the trip to New York and present at the assassination attempt in Toronto.  In 1934 aftr ERB divorced Emma Patchin showed up in LA and sought ERB out for what appears to be the first time since 1899.  Did he just happen to be in town at that moment or was he acting as Frank Martin’s agent? 

     Before we answer that let us consider Patchin’s next appearance in ERB’s history.When ERB died in 1950 Patchin sent a condolence letter to the family specifically recalling ERB’s bashing in Toronto.  That is why we have a good record of the event.  Sometime between 1934 and 1950 Martin died so Patchin was operating on his own.  In his note he reminded the family of the Toronto incident that might be considered as even gloating perhaps.

     The interest of Martin and Patchin then appears to be malevolent.  If Martin and Patchin appeared at one of these unpleasant occurrences  then it follows that perhaps Martin was working against ERB’s interests from 1900 at the the time of the wedding on.

     Martin may have driven ERB and Emma out of Chicago in 1903.  In 1907 and ’08 when ERB impregnated Emma twice in close succession that may have been a defensive move against Martin.  The angry ex-suitor very likely then continued his machinations behind the scenes after ERB’s literary success finally driving ERB from Chicago for good in 1919.

     Now, Chicago was a movie making center before the rise of Hollywood.  Many of the important  movie people in LA originated in the Windy City.  It is not improbable that the son of a railroad magnate who owned his own private rail car knew some of them.  As starlets were starlets then as now it is not inconceivable that Martin spent time in LA part of each year.  Thus, when ERB moved to LA which Martin would have known in advance it is conceivable that he planned his revenge.  The trap was laid so innocuously  that as in his entry into Mantor Gahan/ERB wasn’t aware of the trap until he was completely in its meshes with little chance of escape left.

     That ERB was an impetuous lad given to snap decisions must have been known to anyone who observed him as closely as Martin must have.  ERB left Chicago to seek twenty acres 0n which to raise his hogs.  Instead he was shown the 540 acre estate of General Otis of the LA Times.  As I understand it ERB did not seek the estate but that notice of it was brought to him.  There was the bait.  The bait was too attractive.  ERB bought the estate  and was hooked.  The trap was sprung.

     ERB went on a spending spree of magnificent proportions without realizing what the costs were and how vulnerable his income was.  Now saddled with care he had to struggle to find time to keep up his writing.  Publishing became more difficult for him while his movie revenues came to a halt in 1922, the year after Chessmen.  Whether you look at it like the impetuous Burroughs, who acted first and thought later, merely mad a very bad decision or whether he was lured into  buying the estate he either was trapped or trapped himself.  Chessmen would indicate that he believed he had been trapped.

     In any event he was moving with the big boys in LA according to the big guys’ rules.  That is a very difficult transition to make.  The big boys play rough.

     Let us see how ERB portrays Gahan’s entry into Manator.  His entry is noted by a sinister unknown figure from the walls.  We never hear of this figure again.  He just disappears from the story.  Gahan’s entry into the city is unopposed.  He merely enters the unguarded gate and begins walking down a street.  There the three figures dogging him split up.  The figure who spotted him follows him from a distance, another runs ahead so that Gahan is caught in the jaws of the vise.  The third figure parallels him keeping him in sight.

     When they wish him to enter a building the man ahead creates the sound of a patrol approaching from the front.  A door stands conveniently open.  Gahan ducks in.  This door may represent his buying the Otis estate.  As the patrol draws closer Gahan retreats around a corner into a hall.  someone of the patrol enters the door forcing Gahan farther along the corridor.  The figure retreats closing the door behind him.  Gahan now finds the door locked.  He is trapped in the corridor. He must go forward.  Thus ERB having bought Tarzana has no choice but to live with his mistake.

     He proceeds down the hall in this charade of doors that is part and parcel of ERB’s psyche.  Gahan is directed on his way  by being compelled to enter the only unlocked door.  Finally he approaches a bank of doors all locked except door number 3 that is standing open.  Yes, this scene was repeated in 1934’s Tarzan And The Lion Man but more of that later.  Gahan enters hearing the door click shut leaving him absoltuely no exit.  His course has been downward.  He is now in the pits of Manator.

     He is now directed to a room with a table parallel with the wall.  He sits down.  Gas is emitted from holes in the wall sedating Gahan.  He passes out.  How clever, Gahan ruminates when he comes to, I have been good and roundly caught and not a hand was laid on me.    We too marvel at the masterful description of Gahan’s capture.  In real life ERB is saddled with an estate too large for his income and spending habits and which is slowly consuming him.  Thus when he awakes from the sedation he finds a giant ulsio, the Martian Rat knawing on his arm.  One assumes that if Gahan hadn’t wakened when he did he might have had his limbs consumed.  Had ERB just become aware of his predicament?  Was the game now on?

     Nicely done, great atmosphere and from we readers’ perspective a great story.  But now let’s backtrack a little before we move on.  This is really quite a story.

2.

      While the Jetan game is the most fascinating aspect of this novel for perhaps most people the game itself may be the game within the game, so to speak, the story within the story.  The whole Manator story may be considered as a game of chess in which each episode is a move in the game.  Remember in the framing story ERB had finished a game of chess with Shea.  The Secretary turned in leaving ERB ruminating about his loss and blowing smoke at the head of his king- the head.  As he does so John Carter walks in.  He tells ERB, in the latter’s own persona, that Chess is similar to Jetan on Mars.  So, smoking the head of his king very likely gave ERB the hint to construct the story along the lines of Chess.  Thus the opening gambit, the first move is Gahan’s entry into the city countered by the mysterious figure who engineers his capture.

     As ERB comtemplated how he had gotten into his Tarzana dilemma he may very well have compared his situation to a game of chess that must be played well if he were to extricate himself unharmed.

     He has chosen to present his problem in the form of a dream.  Because in dreams as he has a character in Fighting Man Of Mars say, you can’t get hurt.

     In Gahan’s entry ERB creates a bizarre dream image of balconies full of people observing his progress but who seem oblivious of it.  Soon we learn that I-Gos the taxidermist of Mars spends his life stuffing these dead people who populate this strange city.  In dreams of course all the participants have no real life; like the dead past they have no volition.

     Apparently this novel is activating dreams in me.  The other night I dreamt I was walking down a boardwalk as in old Chicago with the crazy ups and downs.  As I mounted a higher part of the boardwalk I was accosted by six thugs.  As they were discussing what to do with me I was paralyzed with fear not unlike ERB before John the Bully.  Then I said to myself:  This is a dream and I can’t get hurt in a dream.  So saying I grabbed the closest thug and threw him through a plate glass window.  Turning quickly I grabbed a second thug and hoisted him over the railing.  The remaining three, there must have been only five, were paralyzed in their turn.  Then I grew bored and woke up.

     So ERB in the same way is examining his dream world but tweaking it from his daytime consciousness.  His real life is being interpreted through his symbolism.

     That in 1921, the time he wrote this story, one knows that he was already in deep trouble is because in 1934 when he was already going through the trauma of battling MGM, the Communists, and divorcing Emma and marrying Florence he replicates his entry into Manator in his entry into London and the City Of God.  The bit with the three doors, the third being open and clicking quietly shut behind him is an exact duplication of Tarzan And The Lion Man.  In that novel he enters a prison where he finds his Anima ideal, Rhonda, already imprisoned.  In this one he is chained beside A-Kor(rock spelled backwards).  In Lion Man the strange creature is God; in this one the Taxidermist Of Mars.  There is no reason not to believe ERB is going through some real stress.

     When the effect of the gas dissipates, first he dispatches an ulsio, The Giant Rat Of Mars (echo of Sherlock Holmes and the Giant Rat Of Sumatra?) he notices that the table that had been parallel to the wall is now vertical to it.  At the far end he notices the key to his manacles.  Here he employs his classical education by recalling the story of Tantalus.  In that story Tantalus was standing in water with fruit trees above him but could neither eat or drink because water and fruit receded before his grasp.

     Thus the solution to ERB’s problem is frustratingly just beyond his grasp as he stretched out manacle biting into his ankle.  I believe this image probably refers to his childhood fixation of John The Bully that he can’t quite consciously recall or resolve.  Part of the story develops around the fixation in the form of Gahan’s contest with O-Tar the Jeddak.  O-Tar represents John the Bully as well as Frank Martin.

     In Gahan’s predicament then ERB represents his own psychological dilemma.

     I will give another example from my own dreams.  Several years ago I had this wonderful dream that I thought was so spectacular that I wrote it up as short story.  Anyone interested can read it at reprindle.wordpress.com.  It’s called The Hole In The Sky. 

http://reprindle.wordpress.com/2008/04/04/pages-lifted-from-the-memoirs-of-far-gresham-92183/

     At the time I was struggling to resolve my own central childhood fixation.  I thought an image my mind employed so amazing that it was the only literary image I had ever had that I thought was completely original.  We’ll see.

     In this dream my fixation appeared as a giant Gordian Knot three or four feet in diameter.  There’s a real fixation for you.  I hadn’t been able to unravel this knot so now Alexander like I was going to cut it.  I had this giant pair of scissors so huge I could lean on the handles like a crutch.  I could see the problem and had the tool in my hands to resolve it but I couldn’t manipulate the huge tool.  Two guys offered to help so instead of of helping me with the scissors they picked up the knot with a rod running through it.

     I didn’t recognize the two but they were obviously the ones who gave me the fixation not unlike ERB and John the Bully.  They stood grinning mockingly at me holding up the fixation.  I struggled with scissors then asked them for help.  In response they laughed and shook the knot at me.  I had to give up.

     Just to show how the dreaming mind works I later discovered that the image that I thought was so original was based on a scene from a 1957 movie I’d seen.  So twenty or twenty-five years later I duplicated a scene from The Incredible Shrinking Man in a dream.  Richard Matheson who wrote the wonderful I, Legend also wrote the equally wonderful, Shrinking Man.

     In the movie the Man had shrunk down to the size where a now giant spider was attacking him.  He was about to fight the spider using a needle but he had to cut the thread with a now giant pair of children’s scissors.  In attempting to manipulate them he knocked the needle over the edge of the table.

     So there you have it.  Just tell your story; don’t worry about being original; it can’t be done.  So ERB employs Greek mythology to creat his image.  I can’t say he was conscious of it anymore than I was in mine but so many of his details fermented in his mind for decades before they spilled out onto the paper.

     Gahan sits back down in exasperation.  then he notices the doors to his prison have been left open.  No matter, he can’t leave chained to the wall.  He marvels at the diabolical cleverness of his captors.  They intend to totally frustrate him. So ERB in real life was caught in a trap where while not in a jail he was effectively imprisoned.

     As Ghek at this point becomes mere foolery in the story I’m going to ignore his doings unless tangential.

     To further the story A-Kor is arrested and chained next to Gahan.  He provides Gahan with the information that will allow the latter  to organize his Jetan team and bring the story to its denouement.  In the meantime Gahan is brought from the pits to be interviewed by O-Tar along with Tara and Ghek who have been captured.  There Ghek  uses his hypnotic powers to allow Gahan and Tara to escape to the pits together.  ERB uses a device that seems to have been a favorite.  There is a curtain over an opening behind the throne they escape through.  Opar has the same arrangement through which Tarzan and La emerge in, I believe, Tarzan The Invincible.

     In the pits the couple encounter I-Gos who explains his grisly business and solves the mystery of the immobile viewers lining the streets.  The scene then follows in which Gahan is locked in the storeroom at the very bottom of the pits of Manator or the equivalent of the brain stem.

     Separated from Tara the interlude of the Jetan game occurs in which Tara was the prize for the winners of the game.  I will deal with Tara and the game in Part 6.  Tara and Gahan return to the pits.  It does seem a bit strange that Tara never recognized Gahan in his panthan guise.  But, there you have it, anything goes in a dream story.

     The couple find their way to the quarters of O-Mai an ancient Jeddak who died five thousand years previously.  His quarters are believed to be haunted so that in 5000 years they are the first to enter with the possible exception of I-Gos.   Now, I’m not going to say that ERB ever read Isis Unveiled by Madame H.P. Blavatsky written in 1877 but consider this passage on page 560 of Vol. I:

…Tcharaka, a Hindu physician, who is said to have lived 5,000 years B.C., in his treatise on the origin of things, called Usa…

     ERB also mentions something called usa.  I thought perhaps it meant United States Of America which, indeed, it may double as but the singular connection of Usa and the 5,000 year old Tcharaka is singular.   ERB was friends with L. Frank Baum and as David Adams points out Baum was into the occult which is clear from his writing so that he may very well have been familiar with Madame B and encouraged ERB to read Isis unveiled which is quite a book.  I merely point out the coincidence.

     It is here in this dismal past of truly ancient history that ERB chooses to attempt to resolve his fixation with John the Bully.  In the character of  O-Tar he has conflated John and Frank Martin so that in eliminating John he hopefully eliminates Martin at the same time.  It would seem that these two psychological facts exist in his mind as closely related or in another word, one.  At this crucial turn in his later life the fear caused by John and the imputation of cowardice ERB endured as a child that conrolled the nature of his response to problems has to be met if he is to successfully meet the challenges of Tarzana.  That Frank Martin may be operating against his interests behind the scenes, he who followed behind Gahan as he entered Manator, is evident because ERB associates his marriage to Emma in this context.  The figure who followed Gahan and disappears from the story now reappears in an aspect of O-Tar.  In ERB’s mind both John and Frank would be rats.  Thus we have both the cowadice issue in O-Mai’s quarters that prove John is a coward and Gahan/ERB isn’t and the marriage scene where Gahan in O-Tar’s disguise steals Tara/Emma away.

     Gahan and Tara explore O-Mai’s quarters that are spooky enough.  A group of warriors playing cards appear as lifelike just as I-Gos arranged them.  Initially taken back Gahan slowly realizes that they are the work of the Great Taxidermist of Mars.

     They discover the mummy of O-Mai lying on the floor where he died with his foot caught in the bedding.  This is a terrific dream image.  We know it is a dream because Tara and Gahan can see in the dark.  In dreams yours eyes are closed hence you are in the dark but you can see clearly with an inner light whether deaming of sunlight or the pits.

     I-Gos becomes aware that they are there.  He informs O-Tar who sends his troops down to get them.  The incredible legends associated with the place have them terrorized.  Thus when they enter spotting the four warriors weird screams fill the chamber.  Panicking they flee.

     Now comes the crucial test of O-Tar/John.  He ridicules his warriors who then challenge him to go.  There’s no backing out so off he goes.  He is given the treatment by Gahan swooning away for over an hour.  He of course invents a story for his delay and returning empty handed which is proven false by I-Gos.  Thus he is a self-convicted coward.  In the way the mind works ERB would have exonerated himself of the charge if this had been real life.  As it wasn’t we can only guess how effective it was.

     While Gahan was concentrating on O-Tar in O-Mai’s quarters I-Gos spirited Tara awaypresenting her to O-Tar/Martin who becomes enamored of her.  She haughtily rejects him so offending him that he makes her the prize of the Jetan game to be shared by the whole winning team.  Gets worse and worse.

     Now comes the piece de resistance of the story; the part everyone concentrates on.  That’s in Part 6.

 

Exhuming Bob XVI

Bob Dylan’s Dream or…Nightmare?

by

R.E. Prindle

I’ll let you be in my dream if you’ll let me be in yours.

-Bob Dylan

dylan-10

http://www.nextbook.org/cultural/print.html?id=1725

     When Dylan wrote those words, was he sincere or was it just part of the con?  I was recently asked not ot contribute anymore to expectingrain.com by person or persons unknown.  The webmaster refuses to identify he or them to me.  Too ashamed to let their names by known, I guess.  Or chicken.  I know I’d rather not be known as a rasty, nasty censor.

     I was ejected for voicing pretty much the same sentiments as Jay Michaelson does in the above referenced review of Joel Gilbert’s The Jesus Years.  Maybe the difference between Jay and me is that I don’t think Dylan is such a mysterious elusive guy.  Anybody with a little Freud under his belt has got Dylan pinned.

     He suffers from a fairly severe depression while being very emasculated.  He is so emasculated he can’t even fix on an identity for himself.  His natal Bobby Zimmerman failed him so he apparently attempted to become Elston Gunn which he wasn’t able to sustain so he then became Bob Dylan which also became too much of a burden to him so he threw that identity up for grabs saying anybody can be Bob Dylan who wants it, then he became Masked and Anonymous eschewing any identity whatever.  An empty suit.

     If that isn’t clear to you then there is no reason for you to tackle Freud or psychology now.

     So, what was the conflict?  Duh.  Could it have been that between his Jewish upbringing and his Christian milieu?  Gosh, I don’t know, do you?  Is there anything in his subsequent history that would suggest such a conflict?  Let me think.  I think there is, therefore I am.

     Is there a conflict in the minds of Dylan’s disciples.  Well, now there we’re on firm gound.  Just listen to Jay:

     There’s a telling moment in Joel Gilbert’s new (?) documentary Inside Bob Dylan’s Jesus Years:  an interviewee says that when Dylan became a born again Christian, he went, in two short years, from being an American Jewish hero to the “greatest apostate of the twentieth century”… But worse, because Dylan embodied a specific kind of liberal American Jewish hope that someone would speak truth to  power, and that the world would listen.  These were very Jewish dreams, and Dylan fulfilled them for awhile.

     Damn, then it wasn’t anything I said as the messenger.  I guess it was just not being Jewish that I shouldn’t have attempted to deliver the message.  Right message, wrong face.  Gee, I guess I can’t be in Dylan’s dream because I’m not Jewish.  Whatever happened to One World, One Dream?  Everybody being brothers?  The Global Village?  They didn’t think there wouldn’t be variations  on the theme I hope.  Well, no matter Dylan and his People can still be in my dream.  I’m inclusive.

     But Jay and his People themselves apparently feel excluded from Dylan’s dream also.  Jay says:

     Dylan never wanted to be the voice of his generation, and he certainly never asked to be King of the Jews or vessel for our hopes and dreams.  (My italics.)

     Wow!  King of the Jews, Jesus Christ.  I may have thought it but I didn’t have the cojones (My italics), Jay does and actually says it.  Jesus, I’d be running for my life let alone being kicked off expectingrain.com.

     Jay and his People just can’t seem to get it.  Dylan never became a Christian, he became a Jew For Jesus.  Jay even has the answer before him but his religious bigotry won’t let him see it:  “Why did Dylan…record two religious albums proclaiming the word of G-d?”  There you have it Jay.  Dylan was conflating Jesus and God into one and then substituting G-d for Jes-s.  Jesus is Christian, God is Jewish. Duh.  For Christ’s sake, c’mon Jay.

     Well enough of that.  I’m sure you can’t stop laughing.  Jay is supposed to be reviewing Gilbert’s documentary.  Michaelson; is not either well read on his subject of Dylan or well researched.  Maybe he smoked enough dope that he thinks he automatically knows everything about Dylan.  I’ve seen it happen. 

     As far as the film goes, it may not be a particularly good movie but then it is a documentary and has to judged differently.  As documentaries go I found it more than satisfactory.  The clip art was an unusual special effect but I actually found some of them humorous.  I wouldn’t have done it that way myself but Gilbert can do as he pleases and did.

     Gilbert doesn’t mysteriously look like Dylan as Jay says.  There is no mystery involved.  Gilbert is trying to clone himself as Dylan; does a good job.  He has a good understanding of his subject, after all he’s trying to be Dylan.  His selection of subjects provided enough penetrating information that I have to think they were well chosen.  Perhaps they were all that Gilbert could get, in which case the film maker drew them out well.  Rob Stoner was the key.  He was intelligent, understanding, and well informed- he knew what he was talking about.  Kasha and Glaser gave you all the information you needed to understand the Christian-Jews For Jesus scam.  Come on Jay, open your eyes.

     Weberman has been saying that Dylan was a heroin addict since Christ was a baby.  At least from 1964.  It may have been true, I don’t know, but it didn’t have anything to do with Dylan’s crash.  If Jay knew anything about his subject he would realize that the divorce was the key.  Dylan had finally, after a life time of trying, become so defiled that he had to turn to God/Jesus to lead him back.  I hope he found the way.  Freud again.

     For Michaelson who can’t separate his Jewishness from Dylan the problem is a paramount betrayal because ‘We’re (Jews) scarred and traumatized by two thousand years of Christian hegemony…  So, there you have it, the cat’s out of the bag, couldn’t have said it better myself.  Jay and his People thought Dylan was the Messiach who was going to establish a Jewish hegemony over ‘Christians,’  ‘speak the truth to power.’

     I’m not so sure Dylan won’t still try but that has little to do with the documentary.  The con and exploitation was not that of Dwyer on Dylan but Dylan over the Vineyard Fellowship.  Dylan was using them to try to reach his fellow Jews in  his faith of Jews For Jesus.  As we are never tired of being told:  Jes-s was a J-w.  Case closed.  Forget hegemony.

    In summation Gilbert, in my estimation, did an excellent job for what he set out to do.  I was properly instructed and…I got it.  But, I was still kicked out of Dylan’s dream.  He conned me too.  What a nightmare!

 

Sigmund Freud And His Vision Of The Unconcious

Redefining A False Vision

by

R.E. Prindle

Texts:

Bakan, David, Sigmund Freud And The Jewish Mystical Tradition,  Orig. Issued 1965, Dover edition of 2004

Movie:  The Testament Of Dr. Mabuse, 1932, Fritz Lang, auteur.

https://idynamo.wordpress.com/2007/10/01/something-of-value-i-2/

freud-6

 

     Sometime after I wrote the first part of Something Of Value (see above for link) I read David Bakan’s Freud And The Jewish Mystical Tradition.  Bakan’s book confirmed my findings while developing Freud’s relationship to his culture’s mystical tradition based on Bakan’s understanding of the Zohar and the Jewish Kabbalah, which I haven’t read or studied; nor do I intend to unless I exhaust my other pursuits which doesn’t seem likely.  You never know though.

     However a point to consider is how Jewish is the Jewish mystical tradition, that is, what are its antecedents?  Are they rooted in Judaism or elsewhere?  Bakan seems to believe that he Jewish Kabbalah is derived entirely from Jewish sources independent of the general milieu.  I don’t believe this to be true.  The Jewish mystical tradition like all others is based on the very ancient Egyptian as is a great deal of ancient Jewish culture.  Bakan believes that the Kabbalah arose in the first century AD.  This is probably true.

     The Hermetic tradition which is equivalent to a European Cabala took form as such in Alexandria during the Ptolemaic period when Greek and Egyptian ideas interreacted.  Hemeticism evolved from much earlier doctrines centered around the Egyptian god Thoth.  The Zohar and Cabbalah then is Hermetic material adapted for Jewish needs.  The whole can be traced back to Alexandria.  It will be remembered that there was a large colony of Jews in Alexandria from long before the first century AD.

     The Zohar is a mystical book, which is attributed to the first and second century Rabbi, Simeon Bar Yohai, was rewritten, edited and whatever in twelfth century Spain in the sixteenth century.  Its influence then was transmitted to the seventeenth century Jewish messiah, Sabbatai, Zevi.

     According to Mr. Bakan Freud was familiar with the Zohar and Kabbalah.  I couldn’t go so far as to claim so myself but Mr. Bakan can quote chapter and verse.  While Freud claimed to be scientific Mr. Bakan relates almost all of Freud’s psychology to the Kabbalah showing Freud’s dependence on Sabbatianism and Frankism as I indicated in Something Of Value Part I.

     Thus while seeming to be working from a scientific point of view Freud is actually blending a bit of scientific method acquired from European sources, as there is no science in Jewish culture, with his Jewish religious material to subvert the European moral order.  While Freud himself was at war with European civilization, the international Jewish organizations extended his field of influence to the United States and Canada.  Thus while Freud speaks specifically of Europe he can be taken to mean Euroamerica.

2.freud-3

     A further background for his psychology, Freud’s central childhood fixation, appears to the incident in which a European knocked his father’s hat into the gutter which his father meekly, or wisely, depending on your point of view, accepted without a demur.  Because of this story Freud wished to avenge himself on all Europeans.

     Probably at this point Freud assumed the Moses complex that stayed with him to the end of his life.  He, Freud, would lead his people to triumph over the Europeans as Moses had led the People out of Egypt while Pharaoh and his army were drowned in the Red Sea.

     However, oddly enough, as he claimed to be wholly Jewish, Freud was conflicted in his attitude toward Europeans.  As a child he had a Roman Catholic nurse who introduced him to Christianity by taking him to church.  Most probably she also tried to wean him from Judaism.  This experience had a great effect on young Freud.  In the following anecdote, as with most fixations, he seemed to have lost the exact memory of the situation.  From Bakan:

     …that my ‘primary originator; (of neuroses) was an ugly, elderly, but clever woman who told me a great deal about God and hell, and gave me a high opinion of my own capacities.

     On October 15, 1897 he quotes his mother about the old nurse who took care of him when he was very young:

     “Of  course,” she said, “an elderly woman, very shrewd indeed.  She was always taking you to church.  When you came home you used to preach and tell us about how God conducted his affairs.”

     His memory had become confused while it does not appear that he ever exorcised his fixation, for fixation it was.  He apparently loved this nurse at the time rather than hated her.  When she was later accused and convicted of stealing from the Freuds she was dishonored and actually sent to jail.  Freud was heartbroken while changing his opinion of her.  But, he had had contact with Christian Europeans which left a lasting impression on him that he could not consciously recognize or acknowledge.  If I am correct, this impression resurfaced when he came into contact with C.G. Jung who he adopted as a surrogate for this nurse transferring his love and hatred of her to Jung.

     Just as he loved this nurse there were apparently strong homosexual overtones in his relationship with Jung.  As Frued would have known, the compulsion toward repitition wouldhave been a component in his relationship with Jung as with his nurse although he apparently did not recognize this.  So much for his self-analysis.  He found reasons to break off with Jung or drive him away while bitterly claiming to be betrayed by Jung just as his nurse had been accused and convicted of theft thus betraying the love of the child Freud.  Thus once again his contact with a Christian European was brief ending in sorrow for himself.

     A third situation occured late in life when he wrote Moses And Monotheism.  Rather startlingly he claimed that Moses was not Jewish but was an ethnic Egyptian.  This means Freud, who had a Mosaic fixation, split his personality between his Christian longings and his professed Jewish identity.  Another result would be that monotheism was not a Jewish invention but actually a goyish invention so that all the evil arising from monotheism was not the fault of the Jews but the goys.  A neat job of transference.   Thus Freud’s notion of Moses may have been a sort of dream reversal of facts.

     Whatever the results of Freud’s self-analysis back before the turn of the century, it is quite clear that he was unable to resolve his fixations nor, one believes, was he aware of their influence on him.  He never integrated his personality remaining under the influence of his subconscious fixations.  No wonder he ignored the conscious mind.

3.

     Like most people Frud had to find his way from adolescence to adulthood band his true ambitions by a freud-5circuitous route.

     The editor’s note to 1927’s The Future Of An Illusion says this:

     In the ‘Postscript’ which Freud added in 1935 to his  Autobiographical Study he remarked that a ‘signficant change’ had come about in his writings during the previous decade.  “My interest,” he explained, “after making a long detour through the natural sciences, medicine, and psychotherapy, returned to the cultural problems which fascinated me long before, when I was a youth scarcely old enough for thiniing.”

     He undoubtedly refers to his experiences in church with his Christian nurse contrasted with the ‘Christian’ who knocked his father’s hat into the gutter.  As Freud is very duplicitous in his use of language one should try to be very sensitive to the meanings behind the general meaning of his words.  Thus I believe his use of the term ‘cultural problems’ can usually be understood as his inner conflict between his Christianity and Judaism.

     As Bakan points out, that while Freud rejected Rabbinical religious Judaism he was deeply immersed in the jewish mystical tradition of the Zohar and Kabbalah.  Thus one can discount his claim to be an ‘atheistic’ Jews.  Or else atheism has a more specific meaning for him.

     I would place the change of emphasis in his writing or, at least the beginning of the change, in 1915.  My guess would be that Freud was unaware of the Jewish Revolution until he joined B’nai B’rith in 1895.  That knowledge would have shaped the direction of his researches.  Whatever science was involved would have been subordinated toward achieving the Revolution.  At the same time that he was working out the nature of psychoananlysis as Bakan indicates he must also have been studying the Zohar and Kabbalah.  I haven’t read or studied either so I have to rely on Bakan’s analysis of their influence.  Bakan traces strong mystical influences running side by side with what passed for science in Freud’s mind.  As Freud persistently says he’s going to ignore the facts if favor of projections one must assume that there is more mysticism than science in Freud’s construction of psychoanalysis- as he says ‘his creation.’

     Bakan points out that Freud transited from the role of physician to that of ‘healer.’  That is analogous to the hands on approach of Christian Fundamentalism.  Freud then for all practical purposes abandoned medicine for healing.  Then, sometime between 1913 and 1915 he abandoned psychoanalytical research for his ‘cultural’ studies.’  In other words, he began to apply his psychological studies to the manipulation of cultures through his developing ideas on Group Psychology.

     Just as Freud learned that there screen memories that transformed more painful memories into something more acceptable to salve those injured feelings so Freud learned that he could develop ‘screen’ language to serve up unpalatable meanings in palatable ways.  Thus what he says has a reasonable meaning to the uninitiated but has a totally different meaning to the initiated- those with the key.  In many ways it is the same as a criminal argot.  Those who understand the argot can discuss topics openly while only those with the key can twig it.  Ya dig?

     The key incident that fixed his mind on ‘cultural interests’ was his father’s story of the guy who knocked his hat into the gutter.  Freud then, in attempting to diguise his hatred for ‘Christianity’  while secretly admiring it because of his nurse who gave him an inflated opinion of his importance, and his desire to avenge his father and hence all Jews through his Moses fixation developed his program.  Thus he acted in his own mind altruistically and need feel no guilt.

     Freud was very seriusly conflicted, also suffering from depression according to Bakan.  Hence his purpose was to knock the whole of European Christianity into a cocked hat in the gutter, which is to say the actual persons of Europe.  Compare Freud to Rebbe Schneerson in America.

     Thus, the use of terms like ‘Culture’ and ‘Civilization’ should always be placed in the context of Jews and Europeans.  In this manner he avoids the appearance of bigotry and hatred while sounding ‘scientific.’

     Now, this obsession and extreme form of vengeance for something that, after all, didn’t happen to him nor did he witness it, might certainly be considered a neurosis, probably a psychosis and possible a degree of insanity.  In reading Bakan there is a hint that he believes Freud had a disordered mind.  Indeed, Fritz Lang’s movie The Testament Of Dr. Mabuse should be held steadily in mind when reading of Freud’s later career.  Lang must have had Freud in mind when he filmed the movie.

     Lang also had a hand in The Cabinet Of  Dr. Caligari from which film he was dismissed.  Lang’s departure from Caligari changed the ending to the conventional note of the victim, or whistle blower, being declared insane.  Lang reversed this by making the perpetrator Caligari/Mabuse insane as in real life with Freud.  Further the disciple of Mabuse, the head of the asylum, Dr. Baum was also declared insane.  Although the problem appears to be solved the threat of the conspiracy continuing from Mubuse’s cell no3w occupied by Dr. Baum looms like a spectre over the ending.

     While Freud was never incarcerated as he sould have been, he was imprisoned in his mind no less than Drs. Mabuse and Baum or the character in Gradiva which held such fascination for Freud.  It is interesting that Freud had a plaster cast of the relief on which the story of Gradiva was based that the displayed prominently in his office.  The story obviously had greater significance for him than his ‘objective’ analysis of the story would lead one to suspect.

     Thus from 1915 to 1935 like Dr. Mabuse he sat imprisoned in his projection of reality churning out page after page, volume after volume of criminal plans for the subversion of civilization which is to say of Euroamerican civilization but not Jewish culture.  He make a definite point of that illusion of whose future he is discussing applies only to Europe and Christianity rather than religion in general which would include his own Judaism.  At this point he is not aware of the burgeoning Wahabi Moslemism so that his message is that Jewish beliefs  are real while Christian beliefs and Scientific reality are illusory.  One has to penetrate the screen language and convert it into the proper psychological intent.

     As David Bakan points out Freud lived his whole life in a sort of Jewish ghetto having very little contact with Europeans.

     His choice of Jung as the potential heir to his ‘creation’ may have had as much to do with a desperate attempt to reestablish a connection similar to that of his childhood Christian nurse.   Thus his overtures to Jung while under extreme stress were driven from his unconscious while he himself was unaware of his true motivations.  This would have been an expression of a repetition compulstion.  Thus as his nurse disappeared from his life under discreditable circumstances he replicate the situation in Jung.  His attempt to convert Moses (hence himself) into an Egyptian may have been a last attempt to replicate and resolve this early contact with Christianity.  His view of European civilization then was filtered wholly trhough a Jewish projection of possibilities.  He really had no intimate knowledge of European mores.

     From 1915 on, then, his writings were obsessed with hatred for Euroamerica and a desire to wreak vengeance on them by destroying the basis of their civilization.  His ideas for the subversion of European civilization were carried to America by the international B’nai B’rith organization to be adopted and employed there.  In addition Revolutionary plans executed in Europe in 1917 were financed and organized by the world Jewish government in the US.  While functioning according to local conditions the Revolution was conducted on an international scale.  Act locally, think globally.  Hence Jewish revolutionaries left the US for Russia after 1918 to aid in the consolidation going on there.  This is really an incredible repressed story in the Freudian cultural manner.  Very Freudian that such phenomenal criminal activity that were best left invisible was repressed into humanity’s unconscious.

     At this point I think it mght be well to examine Freud’s vision of the unconscious in more detail.  While there can be little doubt that there is a subconscious function to the human mind usually referrred to as the unconscious after Freud that had been an accepted fact amongst scienfific researchers for a hundred years.  The exact nature had not been determined nor does Freud determine it.  His view is merely a projection of his own conscious and subconscious needs.

4.

      In David Bakan’s view Freud made a compact with ‘Satan.’

     Certainly not in the literal sense but in the figurative sense that Freud would do anything, abandon any freud-1moral precepts, to achieve fame.  Bakan points out the supercription to Freud’s Interpretation Of Dreams quote from Virgil: Flectere si nesqueo, superos, Acheronta movebo.  Translated as: If the gods above are no use to me, than I’ll move all hell.  Freud further blurred the line between good and evil or amalgamed the two from the influence of Sabbatai Zevi and Jacob Frank who cast off all morality.  Since Freud has been successful in altering bith Euroamerican and Jewish morality toward these immoral or amoral beliefs by false ‘Satanic’ criminal doctrines it is imperatvie to debunk his personal projection of the ‘unconscious.’

     As he ‘made a pact’ with powers below- the unconscious- against the powers above- the conscious- he invested his projection of the unconscious with the attributes of ‘Satan’ or evil.  This view of the subconscious is a self-serving fiction not based on any science.

     He sets up the unconscious as an autonomous entity with the main function of blighting the conscious.  He give the powers of hell supremacy over the powers of heaven.  The notion is mere fantasy; it cannot be.  There is no possibility that the function of the subconscious doesn’t have a positive function in and of itself and in relation to the conscious.  If you actually think abut it for a moment you wil realize this must be true; every part of the body works to the benefit of the whole; there can be no exception for the subconscious.

     Now, nature is not flawless.  The order that the religious seem to find is not there.  Nature functions in a much more imperfect or haphazard way.  It takes only one peek through the Hubble to see that.

     However the relationship between the conscious and subconscious is delicate and easily disrutped especially in the early years of theorganism when it has no experience with which to evaluate the events occurring to it.  The Ego and Anima are not part of the subconscious and possibly not of the conscious but function through the conscious and subconscious minds.

     The conscious mind perceives phenomena and acts on them but the terrific inflow of impressions is more than it can deal with so the day’s input is received into the subconscious for further reference.  Thus a major function of dreams in the sleeping state is to review and process, organize the information into a coherent whole for future reference.  The subconscious then is able to compare incoming information with experience for response.  When the conscious and subconscious minds are attuned, that is to say, the personality is integrated, the system orks properly, otherwise the response is distorted by one’s fixations.  This is very easy to see in Freud.

     However, especially in youth when experience is scant, the mind may be challenged with some devastating new experience for which there are no reference points.  If an appropriate response is made there is no problem.  If an inappropriate response is made against which future experience may be in variance, the earlier response which has become fixated will over rule the current response and substitute the fixated inappropriate response.  Thus the current response will constellate around these earlier fixations which gives one bizarre symbolic dreams and inappropriate responses.

     The inappropriate response will usually result from an insult to the Ego or, in other words, one’s sexual identity.  In turn the response to this insult will be expressed in a sexual affect.

     The purpose of psychoanalysis, which is real science, although Freud didn’t see that, is to locate and exorcize them allowing the conscious and subconscious aspects of the mind to function properly as a unit.  Dreams are actually important because they are an analysis of life’s experience providing responses.  None of this, of course takes in intellitgence, discipline and other functions of mind and character that Freud dismisses as irrelevant.

     Now, in the cultural war between Judaism and Euroamerica, or as the Jews express it, Christianity, Freud infused the Jewish subconscious with a disregard for morality al la Jacob Frank in relation to Sabbatai Zevi.  Any evil was excused so long as it seemed to advance the cultural war.  While this infusion may not have reached down through the ranks of Jewry- which is to say they behaved in a certain way but didn’t know why- the ideas where throughly planted in the minds of what Henry Ford would call the International Jew.

     The cold war between Jews and Europeans became a shooting war in the wake of the Great War.  Men, money and munitions flowed n a wide steady stream from the United States to Russia.  Coordinators established themselves in strategic locations.  If one reads restricted, censored literature the impression is made that horrible anti-Semites harassed and hated innocent unresisting Jews.  Jews may have been killed but they were not innocent or unresisting.  To the contrary freed from guilt, or supposedly so, by Freuding/Sabbatian/Frankist precepts, abattoirs were established throughout Russia where unsuspectiong Russians were led in one door and flowed out the other in liquid form.  This is not the place to dwell on gruesome details.  The literture exists but the collective Jewish mind has repressed the deeds into the collective unconscious.  In other words, history has been denied and censored to that the crimes can’t be known.  Actually Whittaker Chambers, the Red spy, translated a number of these book concerning the Hungarian atrocities of Bela Kun and Tibor Szmuelly, but those are impossible to come by.  All this slaughter was made possible and justified by the doctrines of Freud.

     In relation to the 1919 atrocities of the Jews in Hungary and the response which expelled them from power it should be noted that Israeli troops were recently introduced into Hungary to reestablish the tyranny of Kun and Szmuelly.  Don’t ever think that historical memories are short.

     Freud sat confortably in Vienna looking on as the carnage occurred.  If, as believed, the tneor of his writing changed in 1925 that was probably due to the death of Lenin in 1924.  By 1925 it was apparent that the Jewish Revolution was on shaky grounds as Stalin began his rise to power so that Freud may have renewed his cultural attack or, on the other hand, as 1928 was the terminal projected year of the Jewish Revolution Freud may have been celebrating the death of European Civlilation when he published The Future Of An Illusion.  By the illusion he meant European Christianity and he meant European civilization was finished.  The Rome of the Popes should have fallen.

     In Illusion and Civilization And Its Discontents Freud makes us believe that the malcontents of civilization are synonymous with civilization rather than being a minority that always exists during great revolutionary changes.  Freud whose Judaism was challenged by the Scientific Revolution as much as Christianity or Moslemism must have been aware of the reactionary ‘instinct’ as he himself was in reaction to both European Christianity and the Scientific Revolution.

     David Bakan closes his volume with these words:

     …under the ruse of “playing the devil” (Freud) served Sabbatian interests.  In this respect, however, just as Frued may be regarded as having infused Kabbalah into science, so may he be regarded as having incorporated science into Kabbalah.  Sabbatian-wise, by closing the gap between jewish culture and Western Enlightenment he acts as the Messiah not only for Jewish culture butr Western culture as well.

     Note that Western Enlightenment is reduced to Western culture putting it on a par with Jewish culture which is a tacit admission that there is no science in Jewish culture and none is wanted in Western ‘culture’.  Language as a screen.

     Bakan’s is a hefty statement.  Under the guise of the Devil Freud becomes the Messiah not only for Jews but for Euroamericans.  Truly in this scenario good comes from evil, assuming that the Messiah is good.  In case you missed it, Freud according to Bakan was the Second Coming.  Narrowing the gap between the two cultures means the imposition of Jewish culture as the Chosen or Abelite people over Western or Cainite culture.  Thus the age old goal of reversing the Cain and Abel story so that Cain is obligated to give preference to Abel is accomplished.

     By infusing Kabbalah into science, science has been subjugated tothe unscientific Jewish culture so that the Catholic/Jewish situation of Medieval Europe has been restored.  The Enlightenment that invalidated Judaism Christianity and Moslemsism has been obliterated, hence the rivial of religion happening today.  Thus in Bakan’s eyes and according to Freue’s intent Judaism has deconstructed Euroamerican society so the reconstruction according to Jewish cultural mores can commence.

     The result has been accomplished by the destruction of the Scientific Consciousness as there is little of science in Freud’s cultural writings.  He just says what he believes and wants you to believe and asserts it as a fact.  As walways there were some Westerners who resented the encroachment of the strick limits imposed by science.  Rider Haggard in his Allan Quatermain made that as clear as possible.  The topic is the dominant theme of Edgar Rice Burrough’s Tarzan novels.  Henry Ford and his mass production methods was a symbol of that rebellion against the strict limits set by the clock.  Some denounced it as Taylorism; but with each passing decade the West became more acclimated to the change as the reactionary mood became acclimated to the new reality.

     Freud invents ‘instincts’ and their ‘renunciation’ to give sense to his arguments; the renunciation of instincts’ almost sounds scientfific but it isn’t.  there are no instincts nor does Freud even attempt to demonstrate their existence.  Like the rest or Freud’s psychology the notion is just something Freud made up.  As walways he notes only the negative societal destructive effects.  He says nothing of the ‘instinct’ to be around people which would conflict with his instinct against civilization- the last is a vague enough term the way he uses it.  But as Fritz Lang oints out the hypnotic spell cast by Mabuse negates criticism so that the head psycholgist, the objective scientist himself, Baum, suspends critical judgment falling under the spell of Mabuse to the point of becoming a disciple just as Lang himself did.  Indeed, as the West has.  Hitler was a blessing in disguise for the Jewish Revolution.  The guilt caused by Hitler completely disarmed the West allowing the reconstruction of Western mores to proceed at a faster pace than would have been possible otherwise.  Indeed, the Nazi Era drove the entire psychotic Jewish Revolution to the shores of the United States beginning in the early thirties.  Thus the deconstruction of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ America was assured.

     To return to 1919.

freud-4

 

 

 

 

 

Exhuming Bob 15:

Dylan’s Jesus Years Reexamined

by

R.E. Prindle

https://idynamo.wordpress.com/2008/11/17/exhuming-bob-14-the-law-and-bob-dylan/

https://idynamo.wordpress.com/2008/10/19/exhuming-bob-13-fit-5-bob-as-messiah/

http://www.forward.com/articles/14574

     Stephen Hazan Arnoff has broached an interesting possiblity in his Jewish Forward article cited above.  He implies that Dylan is a ‘messianic’ Jew in conspiracy with Mitch Glaser and Al Kasha of Jews For Jesus to promote Jesusism as a sect within the Jewish faith.  I think there is some evidence to support this contention.

     First let us review the nature of Jesus and relationship to the Judaic faith at the transition from the Arien to the Piscean Age.  So far as I know there are no authentic third party references to the Jesus hubbub in Israel.  Whatever happened in Israel regarding Jesus was beneath the notice of the outside world.  Thus the only accounts we have of the historical Jesus are the accounts of the various gospels.  These while hagiographic appear to be eyewitness accounts.

     Jesus opposed himself to the Pharasaic establishment.  Because of this the Sanhedrin had the Romans arrest and execute him.  Yes, I know the Jewish version imposed on the world denies this fact as reported by the eyewitnesses but as the story becomes meaningless outside the context I’m going to stick to the ‘official’ story.

     With Jesus removed from the scene the Jesus sect within Judaism flourished nevertheless.  The Pharasaic establishment persecuted the Jesusites onto death.  Often referred to as Jewish Christians this is a misnomer.  The Jesusites didn’t become Christians until after Paul combined Jesusism with the Greek Kyrios Christos cult and the ‘savior’ became Jesus the Christ combining Greek and Jewish influences.  That is, he was the Messiah, the Mahdi, the Awaited One.

     Jesus the Christ then expanded out of Judaism and the very last in Judaism became the first in the world.  The Jews because of the Jewish heretic, Jesus, then made Christians their enemies both within and without the faith.  One might compare Jesus to Judaism as Luther to Catholicism.

     The Jesus sect has always existed within Judaism.  Then sometime in the seventies of the last century Mitch Glaser and Al Kasha formed the sect Jews For Jesus and began to proselytize.  Initially Glaser was in San Francisco and Kasha was in LA where Dylan ran into him.

 2,

     Now, the question of Dylan’s interest in Jesus arises.  Dylan, I believe, has the emotional problem where he must be in rebellion against whatever.  Whatya got? As Marlon Brando intoned. Also the movie Rebel Without A Cause was Dylan’s favorite.  Thus, while he was indoctrinated by Rebbe Reuben Meier, a Lubavitcher, which is to say Ultra-Orthodox and reared by a father and mother of the same persuasion he was in rebellion against those authorities.  There can be no question that Dylan was reared as a Jew of the Jews and accepted the role.  When Jews For Jesus came into existence Dylan may have found the vehicle for his rebellion against his Orthodox upbringing.  Nothing could be more rebellious to the Orthodox Lubavitchers than turning to the arch Jewish heritic, Jesus of Nazareth.  Forget this Christian stuff; Dylan was never a sincere Christian.  As a Jew of the Jews there was no way he could have been.

     Now, it appears that he took up with Al Kasha in LA before he turned up at the Vineyard Fellowship.  Dylan was very close to Kasha not only living in his house, old habits are hard to break, but he was given a key to it.  He composed many of his religious songs on Kasha’s piano.  There is no flirtation with Christianity here.

     There must therefore be an ulterior motive in his exploitation of the Vineyard Fellowship.

     Let’s follow the sequence of events.

3.

     Having written and recorded Slow Train Coming Dylan the decided to introduce his new persona and songs in the city of San Francisco.  Why SF?  Los Angeles has the largest concentration of Jews in any one city in the world.  Why not there?  Perhaps because SF also with a very large Jewish population was the Rock mecca of the world.

     Now, an interesting thing happens.  Dylan already has a close association with Jews For Jesus.  Having been a house guest of Kasha while udoubtedly becoming a convert to Jews For Jesus it seems improbable that Mitch Glaser hadn’t also spent some time with Dylan at Kasha’s place in LA.  What could be more natural?

     Well, gosh, now we go through a charade where Jews For jesus ask if they could proselytize outside the Warwick burlesque house where Dylan was playing.  No answer.  Then someone ostensibly from Dylan’s organization calls and says Dylan’s amenable.  Well, Glaser’s no fool, he and the other Js for J  get their heads together and determine to ask for passes as proof.  If those are at the window they’ll know Dylan is sincere.

     What’s going on here?  Obviously this had been planned for months.  Dylan is a Jew For Jesus, he knew Glaser pretty well.  So why the mysterioso act?  Possibly because Dylan wanted to dupe the real Christians, however many of these might have attended his shows, while allowing the Js for J intruders access to any obvious Jews attending for proselytization purposes.  Dylan had a very large following amongst the Jews so a very large proportion of the audience would be Jews.  Sort of making it easy for them to crack that hard nut.

     As Arnoff says of the Js for J:

     (The Jews For Jesus were) almost universally regarded by non-messianic Jews as being beyond the margins of organized Jewish life.

     Hence they are outside the Law of the Talmud.  Thus we have the meaning of Arnoff’s title: Jesus, Bob: To Live Outside The Law You Must Be Honest.  Dylan was now both outside the Law and dishonest in Arnoff’s mind at least.  A marked man.

     However, confusion here, not long after:

     Dylan submitted fully to the Law that provides a singular answer to plow through the doubt, paradox, hurt and unbelief…

     What more do you need?  By that Arnoff means that Dylan submitted to a course in re-indoctrination from Orthodix Lubavitcher Rebbes.  If you believe that there’s a bridge that isn’t too far called Brooklyn with your name on it:  Fool.  Arnoff should think this through twice.  It’s not alright.

     The Beatles were bigger than Jesus and Bob Dylan undoubtedly thinks he’s bigger than Judaism.  At least as a Messiah in the Jesus mold.

4.

     So, Joel Gilbert went to a lot of trouble and expense to produce his four hour movie:  Rolling Thunder And The Gospel Years.  Note: Gospel Years rather than Christian years.  In the hopes of spreading his message and failing that, getting his money back Gilbert has separated The Gospel Years from Rolling Thunder and renamed it Inside Bob Dylan’s Jesus years: Busy Being Born…Again!  Still no mention of Christianity.

     Arnoff is nearly beside himself that anyone would promote such a film.  Of course as Dylan said in his song Motorcycle Nightmare:  If it hadn’t been for freedom of speech I would have wound up in the swamp.  Thank G-d for small favors hey?  I don’t know why it isn’t proper to spell God out since he doesn’t exist but that’s the way these people do it, so me too.  But hang on tight.  Arnoff:

     Gilbert’s mere desire may have been to find an audience for his work, but placement of the event by Glaser’s group, as well as messianic Congregation (Jews For jesus) Sha’ar Adonai at The Society For Ethical Culture- founded as a nonsectarian movement by the humanist Jew Felix Adler- added an element of irony to the insult of a messianic soft sell throughout.

     Imagine a nonsectarian humanist Jews of you will.  A contradiction in terms if I’ve ever seen one.  Mr. Arnoff somehow sees himself as nonsectarian while being aghast at the idea of outlaw messianic Jews being allowed to use this ‘nonsectarian’ facility.  As he says the insult of a messianic soft sell.  Freedom of speech.  Right.

     So, what about it?  Was Dylan brought back within the Law as Mr. Arnoff says or is he still a messianic Jewish outlaw?

Well…he may look like Robert Ford

But he feels just like Jesse James.

Addendum:  As a sort of addendum Dylan’s words at the election night bash at U. Minnesota should be looked at more closely.

Now, I was born in 1941.  That was the year they bombed Pearl Harbor.  I’ve been living in a world of darkness ever since.  But it looks like things are going to change now.

     What can that mean?  The first two sentences set the scene for the last two.

     ‘I’ve been living in darkness ever since (I was born in 1941.)  Does that mean that Dylan thinks Pearl Harbor made the world dark for everyone or does it just mean that Dylan has been denied the light personally ever since the day he was born?

     Such a state of things would seem impossible.  Born on 5/24/41, Pearl Harbor was bombed on 12/7/41.  So Dylan wouldn’t have been aware of that until say 1946 or 1947-48.  So, the bombing of Pearl Harbor is related to the bombing or darkening of Dylan’s psyche. He believes himself mentally affected since birth.

     ‘But it looks like things are going to change now.’  Alright.  The change or lifting of his personal darkness is related to Barry Obama.  Dylan’s too realistic to believe any politician is going to change anything, so what does he have to look forward to to brighten his outlook?

     In his vanity he considers himself a ‘great’ poet.  Indeed Christopher Ricks compares him to Shakespeare and Milton.  Dylan introduces himself at his concerts as ‘The Poet-Laureate of Rock And Roll.  (Snicker, snicker.)

     In Chronicles Vol. I in his discussion of the Poet Laureate of the United States he seems to show some interest in succeeding Archibald McLeish in that role.

     The idea had already occurred to me that it might happen but I read on the web recently a suggestion that Barry make Dylan the Poet Laureate of the United States.  It would cheapen the title but perhaps the deal was a Poet Laureateship for an Endorsement.  Cheap enough for Barry while the appointment would apparently lift Dylan’s inspissated gloom.

     Ain’t life too strange for words?

    

 

Exhuming Bob 14:

The LAW And Bob Dylan

by

R.E. Prindle

https://idynamo.wordpress.com/2008/10/14/exhuming-bob-13-fit-4-bob-as-messiah/

http://www.forward.com/articles/14574

 

     Stephen Hazan Arnoff wrote the aove referenced Forward article titled:  Jesus, Bob: To Live Outside The LAW You Must Be Honest: Dylan’s Born Again Years Documented.

   Mr. Arnoff is very difficult to follow.  Kern writing in the comments to Mr. Arnoff’s article puts it succinctly:  Mr. Arnoff you have written a lot of words, but after reading them all, I have no idea what you are saying.

     I think part of the problem is cross cultural references.  By living outside the LAW Mr. Arnoff means Talmudic Law and not the legal code of the United States of America.  Mr. Arnoff is what I suppose he would call a ‘secular’ Jew reviewing ‘messianic’ Jews in the Jewish Forward, a ‘secular’ Jewish web magazine.

     I have no idea what Kern is but as a goy I have to read standard English words and try to put them into trans-cultural contexts.  If I make a mistake or two I hope I may be forgiven.

     I perceive the title To Live Outside The Law You Must Be Honest to mean that Dylan is living his life outside the Jewish Law rather than an outlaw to the US legal code.  This is a construction of Dylan’s line I hadn’t made but it may very well be accurate.  Depending on whether the line from ‘Absolutely Sweet Marie’, read, possibly, Mary, is addressed to his fellow Jews explaining a seeming dalliance with goyish ways or in some sort of general ‘poetic’ license referring to the US legal code or societal mores, Arnoff’s understanding of the line may be correct.  As we are coming to realize Dylan’s religious conflicts appear to dominate his work.  After all anyone who believes the Bible is the actual word of God is living a religious delusion.  After he had established himself by 1966 his mother proudly informed us that Dylan had an open bible on a stand in his living room, of all places to which he hopped up regularly to check for references.  There is a C&W connection here in the song, If Jesus Came To Your House.  The rhetorical question was would he find a Bible open on the table or a Playboy Magazine.  Dylan could answer affirmitively:  The Bible.  That’s what his mother proudly announced.

     While Mr. Arnoff proudly says that Dylan was busy trashing goy, what he calls Christian, culture he fails to note that Dylan was no less disrepectful of traditional Jewish ways.  But that brings us to what Mr. Arnoff’s ostensible intent is, that is, to review Joel Gilbert’s film: The Gospel Years.

     As I understand it, Mr. Gilbert, who is Jewish trying to be a Dylan clone, made a four hour film entitled Rolling Thunder And The Gospel Years from which he abstracted the final two hours and has reissued it in the two hour version.  Acting on that information I obtained the four hour DVD while I haven’t seen the two hour film, if it is different.  I’m assuming that it is identical to the four hour version.

     As I am not a Jew my sensibilities are different than Mr. Arnoff’s who is ensconced within the Jewish faith, culture, nation or by whatever name it is going by this week.  Mr. Arnoff, ignoring Dylan’s early upbringing, see my above referenced essay Fit 4, Bob As Messiah, and psychology assumes that Dylan abandoned Judaism and turned to Christianity because:

…deep pain drives deep “witnessing” in the realm of born again Christian acolytes; that the tumult of drugs, social and political burnout and the failures of the sexual revolution left many people broken in ways that the Jesus movement- rooted in heady Southern California, where Dylan and many other counterculture heroes lived at the time- exploited to attract vulnerable souls.

     One assumes that Mr. Arnoff is characterizing Dylan as a ‘vulnerable soul’ rather than a conscious human being.  The question in my mind is who was exploiting whom.  My notions of Christianity and Judaism and their relationship to each other is obviously culturally opposed to that of Mr. Arnoff.  I believe Dylan was much more calculating, or to put it another way, had an agenda, then might appear at first glance.  His vision of Christianity and Judaism was also much different than that of the ‘secular’ Mr. Arnoff.

     Life is more complex, as are psychologies, than any of us can possibly express but we must try.  Gilbert’s full video, Rolling Thunder And The Gospel Years, seems to be such a serious attempt.

     Dylan’s life may be characterized as a downward spiral from, say, 1959 when he left home to his encounter with Jesus in 1979 when as Mr. Arnoff suggests, he hit bottom but for different reasons than Mr. Arnoff suggests.  Mr. Arnoff seem oblivious to the fact that Dylan was indoctrinated by a Lubavitcher Rebbe for his Bar Mitzvah.

     Gilbert picks up Dylan’s life from 1975 to 1981 the last few years before the singer bumped against the lower depths, and examines it closely.  Viewed from one perspective Dylan led a disgusting life from 1955 to 1979 as he groped to ind his way out of his self-confessed confusion.  A large part of his confusion was the conflict between his Jewish and Christian milieux.

     The few years between the abandonment of the first phase of his career when ‘He Threw It All Away’ and the resumption of his profligate ways with 1975’s Rolling Thunder Review after he had given birth to his brood in fulfillment of the Jewish Law to be fruitful and multiply was his only attempt to quiet his confusion.  Those few years were also years in which he studied the Bible evidently trying to reconcile his Orthodox Jewish upbringing with his surrounding Christian milieu.

     After this relatively quiet period, having fulfilled the Biblical injunction to be fruitful and multiply, Dylan savaged his marriage so brutally that his wife had no choice but to leave him.  Incredibly in view of his behavior this astonished him so much that it caused him to reevaluate his conduct somewhat and thus ‘deep pain’ drove him into the realm of born again Christian acolytes.’

     On one level this may be true. However it must be borne in mind that at one time, or perhaps many times, his father told him that a son could become so defiled that his parents would reject him but that God could lead him back to virtue again.  This notion seems to have dominated his life from that point on so that when he hit the bottom of the divorce fulfilling his father’s prophecy he began to seek God to bring him ‘home.’  A little analysis might have been more fruitful but Dylan is a ‘true believer.’  Thus on another level it is not improbable that Dylan attempted to resolve his confusion by an attempted amalgamation of Christianity and Judaism into one faith.  One faith=no more confusion.  Not by converting the one to the other but gently leading them to one confession.  Of course, since this would obliterate the distinction between Jews and Christians the idea is as much anathema to the Jews as actual conversion to Christianity.  At that point then Dylan contravened Judaic LAW and become an outlaw to Judaism.

     Thus it appears that Mr. Arnoff accuses Dylan of both living outside the LAW and being dishonest.  This seems to be his complaint.  That combined with the review of the film being conducted by the ‘messianic’ Jews For Jesus.  The mere mention of the word Jesus throws the ‘secular’ Mr. Arnoff into a frenzy.  He excuses Gilbert on the grounds that he is merely trying for exposure for his film but can’t conceal his distaste for Mitch Glaser and Al Kashi of Jews For Jesus.

     Mr. Arnoff doesn’t seem to understand what Dylan is doing so that he is conflicted between Dylan’s ‘jewish’ work and his Jesus period.  Note I do not use the term ‘Christian.’  That is because I don’t think Dylan ever embraced Christianity but approached Jesus as a Jewish persona from a standpoint similar to Jews For Jesus; Dylan was essentially blowing smoke into the eyes of Christians.  Mr. Anrnoff complains:

     Most of the time, Dylan embodies a multi-layered approach to his subject- with wordplay, rich cultural allusions, insinuations, irony and clusters of unexplained questions.  In his writing and perforning, Dylan grasps at defining themes with ferocity and dynamism that allow renowned critics like Milton scholar Christopher Ricks (who dedicated some 500 pages to Dylan in his 2004 book “Dylan’s Vision Of Sin”) to compare his canon without reservation to that of Shakespeare and Milton.  With few exceptions including the aforementioned songs, the Christian (Jesus) period of Dylan’s work remains unconvincingly simplistic, overly literal, humorless and blunt.

     Well maybe so.  I’ve never listened to it having no interest in what I consider an unlistenable singer after Blonde On Blonde.  Whatever happened the muse walked away from Dylan after 1966 and never spoke his again.  While as Mr. Arnoff approvingly notes of the Jewish Dylan, Christopher Ricks compares Dylan favorably  to Shakespeare and Milton, I can only say that Mr. Ricks is bereft of his senses.

     Dylan wrote some nice songs, most of them on Another Side, but that’s just about as far as you can take it.  Always highly derivative, after 1966 borrowing became so explicit as to narrowly skirt plagiarism.  Indeed not a few of his contemporary folk singers openly accuse him of plagiarism.  I’m a little more lenient; hell, they’re only popular songs, not even good Country and Western.

    

 

Edgar Rice Burroughs On Mars

November 16, 2008

 

Edgar Rice Burroughs On Mars

by

R.E. Prindle

 

     ERB scholars have long noted that the entire corpus of novels reads almost as one long book.  I believe this is because ERB records his life in his novels.  If one reads the novels in the sequence in which they were written and if one understands the symbolism used by Burroughs against a background of what’s happening in his life ERB actually records his mental state of the moment.

     In this essay I am going to concentrate on a role of John Carter in the Mars series and that of Ulysses Paxton in the Mastermind Of Mars. 

     In real life before ERB began writing he was powerless on earth.  I would call him an abject failure but even though he appeared one he was only on the verge of being one and if his attempt at a writing career in 1911 had failed he would have been plunged into the abyss.

     As he was a failure or at least an unfulfilled seeker in 1911 he makes John Carter into a mold he admired, that of a Virginian and a soldier who was seeking his post-Civil War fortune in the deserts of the Southwest.  Carter, whose initials are JC, actually finds his gold mine but attacked by Indians he escapes death by transporting himself to Mars.

     Mars has a lesser gravity than Earth so on Mars he has superhuman powers.  Thus unable to realize any of his ambitions on Earth ERB transports himself in his imagination to Mars as the Superman, John Carter.

     Amazingly the idea struck a responsive chord in his soon to be Editor at Munsey’s, Metcalf, who bought the story.  It doesn’t matter for how much, the point is it validated ERB’s lofty opinion of his destiny.  Fortified by this response he brought himself down to Earth in the fantastic form of Tarzan Of The Apes in an imaginary Africa.  Here was the gold mine he as John Carter was seeking.  There was no one, no Indians, to drive him off so he was off to the races.

     The first rush carried him through the line into 1920 when he left Chicago behind and fled to Los Angeles.

     In LA his careless financial habits soon led him into hot water virtually bankrupting him but definitely stripping him of his assets.  By 1926 when he wrote The Mastermind Of Mars he was virtually financially prostrate.

     The hero of Mastermind is Ulysses Paxton.  Ulysses can stand for the Greek wanderer and seeker Odysseus or for the great warrior, Ulysses S. Grant.  So what we have is a duplicate of John Carter.

     ERB is on record as saying that he thought that every man was two persons not unlike Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde, some more divided , some less.  Under stress the two personas like Jekyll and Hyde became distinct.

     Now, in 1911 ERB was an unrealized genius but in 1926 he was a failed genius.  In other words he had had his legs cut from beneath him.  He might as well have been dead.  Therefore Ulysses Paxton while serving in the Great War has a shell explode beside him.  When he comes to he realizes his legs have been blown away.  While he lies dying he looks up to Mars as John Carter had fifteen years before.  When he next comes to his legs are restored and he is standing in a garden on Mars.

     Thus in real life ERB imagines himself figuratively in Paxton’s situation returning in his imagination to the Red Planet in the hope of making lightning strike twice.

     He hadn’t written a Tarzan novel since Ant Men four years previously.  He was black listed by the movie colony that refused to make any Tarzan movies even though they would have been lucrative.  He was under attack nationally and internationally by the Reds who were doing everything possible to destroy his sales and reputation.  ERB truly had his back to the wall or figuritively had had his legs cut off.

     Fortune would once again favor him when FBO Studios broke the blacklist against him.  After a couple fumbling attempts at Tarzan novels he would hit a magnificent stride through the Tarzan novels from 1929 to 1936.

    The Mastermind Of Mars was his attempt to recover his career.  His style while revered by his fans was old hat by 1926 so he could no longer take the world by storm as he had in 1911.

     Mastermind is a complex novel of which I haven’t completely broken the code but let us concentrate on two aspects.  The first is ERB’s troubled state of mind over his marriage.  Thus he invents the story of Xaxa and Valla Dia as he fights to deal with his sexual problem.  The second is the religious problem caused by his confrontation with the Jews beginning in 1919 and continuing not only through 1924’s Marcia Of The Doorstep, and 1926 but  to the end of his career.

     In 1926 ERB had not yet met Florence Dearholt although he was probably already familiar with her husband Ashton and through that acquaintance he may already have seen her, and perhaps, also on the screen as she was an actress.  He did meet her in March of ’27 when Dearholt approached him on a movie deal and was either immediately smitten or had the opinion of her he already had confirmed.

     In Mastermind ERB expresses the thought that he has a wife to whom he owes everything but who he hates.  This strong emotion would be realized at his own Emma’s death.

     In this novel Emma is represented by the brain of the horrid Xaxa.  Ras Thavas, the demon mastermind of Mars and physician nonpareil, has transplanted the brain of Xaxa into the beautiful body of Valla Dia and vice versa.  Dia is Latin for goddess.  I don’t know what Valla means.

      The body of Xaxa containing the brain of Valla Dia is held in suspended animation by Ras Thavas.  Bringing the body to life Paxton is smitten by the beauty of Valla Dia’s brain.  Knowing that her body is of incomparable beauty he conceives the notion of restoring her brain to her body and taking her to wife.  Valla Dia may also be seen a version of Helen of Troy.

     I interpret this to mean that ERB’s Anima ideal was the beautiful Valla Dia, perhaps as he had once viewed Emma.  But to his mind Emma had developed an ugly mind that animated the body of his Anima ideal.  the beautiful mind he sought was thus in an ugly body while an ugly mind was in a beautiful body.  ERB’s dilemma was to shuck Emma and find a beautiful mind in a beautiful body.  When he met Florence in 1927 he thought he had found his Anima ideal of a beautiful mind in a beautiful body.  His problem then was how to rid himself of Emma.

     On that level then ERB is struggling with his sexual problem.  In this book his struggle would take the form of an astonishing number of dual and split personalities.  This is quite a study in that sense and an indication of ERB’s extreme stress.  Perhaps Mastermind is a worthy successor to Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde.

     The second and less resolvable problem is the religious issue.  At this moment in time the Jews of Hollywood have got ERB boxed.  Indeed, they have cut off his legs.  The logjam was about to be broken by FBO Studios which would free ERB up until the late thirties when he was forced into exile in Hawaii.  For now though he has to deal with this very difficult problem.  He has by now learned that freedom of speech ends where Judaism begins.  If I am right he was denied publication of Marcia Of The Doorstep because of the manner in which he discussed his dilemma.

     In Mastermind while the religious issue assumes primary importance ERB puts it into an ecumenical form denouncing all religion.  Does he refer to his Jewish situation in any cloudy form?  I think he does.

     The god in this story is a huge several story high idol named Tur to which all must bow down.  The name Tur is an odd name for a god, at least in my mind.  I have said before you cannot talk about that which isn’t in your mind.  If you haven’t studied religions there is nothing you can say about them. As ERB has a great deal to say it is obvious that he knows something about religion and religions.  Theology isn’t the issue here, that is a separate matter.

     Given ERBs method, when he learned he had a problem with Judaism I’m sure he went out and learned something about it.  It isn’t necessary that he had a profound knowledge; it is only necessary that he learned some things.  We can’t be sure what.  The word Tur is signficant in Jewish historiography.  His use of Tur may be a coincidence but there you have it- Tur is Tur any way you turn it, frontwards or backwards, Tur is Tur.

     The word Tur appears in Judaic lore in this manner:

     …Rabbi Jacob (Yaakov) ben Asher (1270-1343) the “Baal ha-Turim” compiled the Arba Turim, first printed in 1458.  “Tur” is used as shorthand for both the title of the whole work and for Rabbi Asher himself since it is customary in Judaism to call a compiler by the name of his compilation.  The Tur is the predecessor of Rabbi Joseph Karo’s Schulchan Aruch.  The four part structure of the Tur and its division into chapters (simanim) were adopted by Karo in the later code, Shulchan Aruch.  Each of the four divisions of the work is a Tur, so a particular passage is cited a Tur…

     p. 127 Hoffman, Michael, Judaism Discovered, 2008

     While one can’t be certain ERB learned the above fact it isn’t particularly recondite and might have been easily learned.  At the least the use of Tur for the god is a remarkable coincidence.

     Making Tur an idol to which all must bow would have been an egregious offence to the Jews and one which any knowledgeable Jew, who might have read the book, always a precondition, would have picked up on it  whether Burroughs intended it or not.  Paranoia strikes deep.

     The idol itself could possibly be modeled on the Alexandrine Egypto-Greek god, Sarapis.  Burroughs would have known of this from the Bible if not from his readings in the classics.  We know he reread Plutarch’s Lives at least twice with one of those times just previous to writing Mastermind.  If he read the Lives twice he undoubtedly read other classics so there is no reason to believe that he didn’t have knowledge in these matters.

     The manner of Paxton’s posing as Tur and bamboozling the bamboozlers is a mockery of religion in general although given the context of the word Tur the application of the mockery might have been taken more personally.

     Forced to use the most discreet measures to avoid accusations of anti-Semitism ERB may have thought he was undetectably clever while he is certainly having a good laugh.  Paxton congratulates himself  and gives himself a couple pats on the back at the success of his ruse.

     The end result, of course, is that he frees the people from the bondage to the false religion of Tur. 

     I’m not quite clear on the nature of Ras Thavas who is named after the Ethiopian Prince Ras Tafari who became the Emperor Haile Selassie and the namesake of the Jamaican Rastafarians.

     The book is a worthy of the attempted second birth of ERB’s faltering career.  The characters are magnificent and finely drawn.  Ras Thavas is surely one of the great characters of pulp fiction.  Mastermind paired with The Synthetic Men Of Mars makes for one of the greatest diptyches of science fiction.

 

Conversations With Robin

Page Two.

Chatter Between

Robin Mark and R.E. Prindle

 

     Well, you know, the river just keeps right on a flowin’ and you have to stay afloat but the bozos in Washington just don’t seem to have a clue and they’re so cynically dishonest.  Eighty percent were against the bailout but they said we had to have it or the world would end yesterday.  Now the bailout has gone away.  first there was a bailout, then there was no bailout.

     I thought both Obama and McCain were genuninely crazy to want to step into Bush’s shoes and I hope Obama gets what he’s got coming.to him before I get mine.  The Commies have to be stopped this time; twice was enough of that bull roar.

     But to turn the radio back up.  Have you read any of Miss Pamela’s latest:  Let’s Spend The Night Together?  she interviews twenty-four groupies mining their minds for golden memories.

     As super Presley buff you’ll want to read the first chapter by someone called Tura Satana.  Taught Elvis nearly every thing he knew.  How to kiss, the whole works.  Came to her as a country bumpkin and left as The Sheik.  Funny I haven’t heard you vent on her before.

     And then a Catherine James invents the most improbable story about Dylan you’ve ever heard.

     Elvira makes her guest appearance with some more info on Elvis that sounds like it might be as true, at least, as a Hollywood movie.

     It’s kind of a kiss and invent book but Miss Pamela is her usual charming self.  Get’s a little gruesome after a while though, but, Hey, here it is 2008 and they’ve all survived.  Even Miss Mercy.  Carazy mama but she’s got a few more tidbits on Elvis.  Did he ever have an interest in a Memphis area club called Hernando’s Hideaway?

     Those girls did get around but the question is what can they actually remember?  It makes you wonder how Jimmy Page ever had a spare moment to practice guitar.

     Good luck with your school.  We’re a long way from the bottom yet.  It amazes me how few people understand how far its fallen and that it is absolutely impossible for it to bounce back.  For crying out loud the Faller has barely gotten ‘Timber’ out his mouth already.

     I pity those poor Liberals who’ve finally gotten their wish.  Now what are they going to do with General Motors.  There is no forgiveness in my heart for them.

 

The High Brow And The Low Brow

The Mucker And Marcia Of The Doorstep

Part VI

Living On Tulsa Time

by

R.E. Prindle, Dugald Warbaby and Dr. Anton Polarion

Livin’ on Tulsa Time.

Livin’ on Tulsa Time.

Gonna set my watch back to it,

‘Cause you know that I’ve been through it,

Livin’ on Tulsa Time.

- Danny Flowers

     During the ’60s a lot of energy was put into the notion that one live in the HERE and NOW or someone else’s impression of the NOW.  There used to be a big San Francisco poster with nothing but a black background with the giant word IS in white.  NOW IS NOW.

     They didn’t know how much they were asking.  It is impossible to actually live in the NOW; No one can do it.  Rather the past is a drag on NOW preventing a full involvement with the present.  The period of time it takes to digest the previous NOW and update to an approximate notion of the current NOW is excruciatingly slow.  The sharper the break between the past and present the more traumatic the reaction.

     In the song Living On Tulsa Time the singer, no matter what time zone he is in sets his watch to Central Tulsa time.

     I know where that one is at.  One of my shattering breaks with the past was when I went active in the Navy in ’56.  Sent from Eastern Standard to Pacific Standard I kept my watch set to Eastern Standard time nearly the whole three years of my enlistment.  I only switched to PST in 1959 when I accepted the fact that I would never return East; that California was my new home.

     Brought into contact with a new NOW I was still not ready for the present.  I continued to dress as we did in ’56 well into the sixties.  Got hard to find some new duds.  I only ceased dressing that way when I became a Hippie in ’66 and adopted fantastic Hippie garb.  I was an urban spaceman:

I’m the Urban Spaceman

I’ve got speed,

I’ve got everything I need.

I don’t feel pleasure,

I don’t feel pain,

If you were to knock me down

I’d just get up again.

I wake up every morning with a smile upon my face.

My natural exuberance spills out all over the place.

-Neil Innes

     I was really NOW there for just a little while but I wasn’t alone.  As Bob Dylan said, everytime I looked back the past was just behind.  When the Hippie era ended I reverted to a modified 1956 style.  The past came back again.  All those screaming about living in the NOW in ’67-’69 are still back there claiming they’re still living in the NOW but time has passed them by.  I didn’t wait around, baby, I slid out into limbo and I’m doing fine now, thank-you.

     Thus when ERB began writing in 1911 he was not so much concerned with his NOW as he was in vindicating his past from 1896 to 1905.  His reality in those early novels from 1911 to 1915 continue to reflect his earlier travails.  Thus in the group of novels embraced by The Girl From Faris’s he is trying to vindicate his past to his present and hopefully to his future.

     After nineteen-fifteen he was released from his past to a large extent and began to concentrate on adjusting to the NOW of his altered circumstances.  Change is NOW and ERB was going though a lot of ch-ch-changes.  His nerves were jangling as he was jerked from time frame to time frame but he didn’t enter the Promised Land of NOW.  Oh Lord, he might have prayed, if he could have seen the future- Deliver me from NOW.

     Ten years after and a world of different NOWs the Mucker far in a distant past that had disappeared behind a cloud where he couldn’t see he tackled almost the identical theme in a different world, a fast moving world, a world where NOW was so strange it was unrecognizable from day to day.  The political situation he had grown up with was no longer recognizable; it had been replaced by a new reality.  He was almost living by two different clocks in some strange Einsteinian time zone where the guide posts had been removed and renamed and everything was relative to another reality that couldn’t be recognized by any clock ticking.

     Living on Tulsa time in another time zone.  There I was in ERB’s sunny Southland with my watch running three hours ahead of everyone else’s.  It didn’t matter.  I was on the water where time stands still for everyone.  The crisis came in ’58 when I stepped back on land to journey through the time zones back to Eastern Standard Time.  I was all alone out there, you know, cut off from a past I was soon to learn couldn’t be retrieved.  Wolfe was right, you can never go home again.  The only secure place, as dangerous and that was, was my ship.  My terminal place was also a realtively secure harbor but I was stuck in the middle for six days between the time zones in which I had no place and no identity except the tenuous one of my leave papers.  A queer cop threw them into the wind and let those blow away in Illinois.  After that I was naked to the universe.  I’ve hated cops ever since.

     I wouldn’t recommend hitchhiking to anyone.  My life was on the line for twenty-five hundred miles and six days.  Twenty-five hundred miles and six days on the road without food or sleep.  I’d add without drink but in a gas station in Gary I downed six seven ounce bottles of Coca-Cola in a row.  Created a minor sensation.

     After surviving a lunatic who picked me up on the western edge of the Mojave who wanted to kill me because he was convinced I had two hundred dollars on me, which by a strange coincidence I had, I was picked up Mountain Standard in the Panhandle of Texas by a couple homosexuals who wanted a different treasure I possessed and dropped off Central Time in Tulsa.  My watch was only one ahour ahead by then.  I was getting close to some kind of NOW or was I?  No.  Time is much more relative than that.  I was soon to be living a strange combination of NOW and THEN.

     Tulsa was a tough town.  I don’t need to see Tulsa again.  I wasn’t about to start living on Tulsa Time.  I was an hour ahead which couldn’t have been better.  I had to walk through Tulsa, hungry and thirsty.  I spied a place across this great expanse of grass between it and the freeway.  As I approached the place began to glitter.  Fancy, but I could see a coffee shop at the top of a long flight of stairs to the left.  I didn’t want to spend money so I thought I’d just get a glass of water.

Oh Dan, can you see

That great green tree

Where the water’s running free

Just waiting there for you and me.

Water…cool…clear…water.

     But between me and the water was this big cowboy in high heeled boots, a tuxedo and ten gallon hat.  Fancy goings on as I noticed ladies entering to the right in ball gowns escorted by tuxedos.  I came prepared or thought I did.  I was in my dress blues and my Uncle Sam told me I should never be ashamed of my uniform, it could pass for a tuxedo anywhere.  Anywhere but Tulsa.  That cowboy had never discussed the issue with my Uncle Sam.

     I was bold but the problem was he had the advantage being on the landing at the top of the stairs and I had to climb the stairs to get past him.  He had his fist doubled and these high heeled boots with those silver plates on the toes.  That was a mean looking business proposition.  I had a lot further to fall than he did.  Get my uniform messed up and things.  Then where would I be out of time and place?  Whew! Why does one have to face tough choices?

     I’m getting a drink of water, I said, trying to combine thoughness with masculine geniality a al the cowboy ethic.

     Not here you ain’t.  He said, making a move to kick me down the stairs.

     Hey buddy, this is a tuxedo I’m wearing.  I faltered.

     His reply was not one of which my Uncle Sam would approve.

     I left Tulsa still thirsty not liking cowboys any better than I liked cops.  NOW has its perils.

     A day or so later I was still in Central Time.  Tulsa was a tough place and the rest of Oklahoma was no California.  I was heading North now which kept me in the same time zone.  Then I made the mistake of crossing the Mississippi into East St. Louis.  After just a couple minutes I really liked Tulsa.  Wished I was back there.

     I don’t know what evil forces made me want to hitchhike across country, damn Jack Kerouac, but I was within a hair’s breadth of being sliced and diced on the streets of East St. Louis.  Whould have tossed me in the river as so much driftwood.  Three Black guys with switchblades in their hands kept inching toward me while I kept inching closer to the middle of the highway.

     That morning some guy got in his car for a pleasant drive to Louisville.  He decided ot go through East St. Louis for some mysterious but critical reason.  He arrived in East St. Louis just as these three knives were deciding to make their move.  This guy sized up the situation from a couple blocks away, slammed on his brakes throwing open the passenger door at the same time shouting ‘Get In’ for God’s sake get in, NOW.’ Novel experience for a hitchiker.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to rush because if I made a break for it those three knives might move faster than i could.  I hopped in casually casting a smiling glance over my shoulder.  The driver peeled out of there nearly separating a hand from the wrist on the door handle.  I was saved from that particular NOW and END but I was on the road to Louisville which was still a far cry from Eastern Standard which was the time zone I so ardently desired.

     It took me another day or so as I had a lot of North to make up but I did get into Eastern Standard.  Now my watch matched the time zone but there was a mismatch between the present and the past.  Rather there were two different presents and pasts going on at the same time.  Mine and theirs.  I don’t think Einstein is right but well, maybe, time wasn’t that relative but the uses they and I were making of past and present sure were.

     That’s where memory comes in which makes time and space so relative.  I had been absent for two years and what I had been experiencing was much different than what they had been experiencing.  They had actually been living on Eastern Standard Time while I was just pretending.  I knew I was out of time.  For me time had been rapidly changing but for them time had more or less stood still or, rather traveled in a straight line.  To me they were still living in the past.  Oh, they had aged a couple years but their trajectory was different and slower.  Relatively they had stood still while I had rocketed away.

     It was as though I had been a gamma cloud burped from some collapsed star in some galaxy a billion light years away.  As is known once set in motion an object will travel in a straight line at the same speed unless some other agent interferes with it.  It was as though I had been careening through space ripping apart the fabric of time and space or disregarding it completely as though it wasn’t there; at any rate completely unaffected by this fabric which apparently has no tensile strength, there was no gravity of any force that deflected my course in a curve while if space is curved I was traveling so fast I careened right off the curved track.

     Who knows how many black holes i passed over without being drawn into the vortex; who knows how many puny suns I swept across without having one atom deflected by the puny gravitational pull of the strongest sun; who knows how many planets I depopulated.  One billion light years and running, my speed and trajectory were the same as when I was emitted from that distant star.

     Now, as though by some miracle here I was back where I began but in two different time zones at one time.  Theirs and mine.  Obvious I must have passed through a worm hole or fallen into a memory hole.  We stared at each other blankly each unable to comprehend the other.  They thought I have become weird,or perhaps weirder, because they had stood still while I had been careening through time and space in timezones they would never know.

     I smiled and got on a bus, enough of the adventures of hitchhiking.  One the way back to Standard Pacific Time I abandoned Eastern Standard adjusting my watch as I passed through Central Standard and Mountain Standard.  I was not exactly living in the NOW but I was in the correct time zone.

     Minor but vital adjustment.

     So, when ERB caught up with himself in 1914-15 he was no longer living on Tulsa time.  He was trying to adjust his watch to his current time zone.

     But as he was careening through space and time, space and time was moving at an even more frantic pace so it was difficult for him to get his bearings.

     Science was changing his world at a rate faster than the mind could follow.  Events in the far off Detroit that he had known and loved as a young fellow were going to affect his life just a few years hence.  In 1914 Henry Ford had shocked the industrial, moral and social world by ‘unilaterally’ doubling the wage for unskilled labor.

     This was a violation of ‘natural law’ which is to say religious sensibilities.  At the time a natural law of labor was believed and incorporated into religion.  The law was that if only one man can do a job he can command his price.  Skilled labor can demand more than unskilled labor but when anyone can do the job as in unskilled labor they will have to take what is offered.  Thus Ford pitted science against serious religious beliefs.

     At about this time a Judge in a labor dispute asked the strikers if they didn’t know they were going against God’s will on earth.

     This was at the time when the Liberal Coalition was forming and there were strangers in the land, to use John Higham’s expression, who believed they truly represented God’s Will.  There is no greater enemy to God’s Will on earth than Science and the Scientific Consciousness.  If you recall the so-called Christian Scientists reject scientific medical cures preferring to depend on the Will of God.  Apparently it has never occurred to them that a case of a ruptured appendix means God’s Will is death while a simple operation means life.

     Nevertheless Ford upset the natural or religious order of things and had to be stopped.  Ford himself believed he had discovered a universal law in mass production so that he was actually a prophet of his own new religion.  Believing himself in the possession of the truth he acted accordingly seeking to apply his method to each and every problem.  Thus when the Great War began it was deemed possible to negotiate with the participants on a personal level to get them to cease hostilities.  Ford believed he could do it.  The Strangers In The Land who were living on Babylon Time saw their opportunity to pit their religion against Ford’s science and they took it.  The Man of Science was in their pocket.  They convinced Ford to take a horde of well meaning but naive people to Germany for a confab with the Kaiser.  Ford fell for it.  This was the famous Peace Ship episode that shredded Ford’s reputation two short years after he had made it.

     Ford always maintained that after the ship was at sea the Strangers revealed themselves telling him that only they could change the course of the war.  They began it and only they could end it.  When he returned home he found the Strangers in charge of the War Industries Board and they and the Wilson Administration were telling him how to run his business.  Babylon Time had met the Twentieth Century and found it could make the clock run.

     Ford with his universal panacea was not the kind of man to take this sort of thing lying down.  Ford Motor Co. had as much cash laying around as Bill Gates and Microsoft does today.  Ford put his money to use.  These are complex times so I am going to edit out all information that doesn’t pertain to my moral.

     Ford believed in his method.  By applying it properly he saw no reason he couldn’t solve the age old problem of the Jews here and now.  He thought reason would work, poor man, so he bought himself a library of Jewish studies, put his man Bill Cameron on the job to study the library and publish the results in his newspaper, the Dearborn Independent, that he bought to disseminate his reasonable solution to the problem.  He made the Dearborn Independent a national newspaper, perhaps the first of its kind.  He even had a distribution system handy.  He made all his Ford dealers distribute the papers, even out in Hollywood, California.

     The Independent made such a noise that the papers couldn’t be given the silent treatment.

     The independent appealed to a very large number of people although Liberal historians have given the impression that the paper went unread.  The paper didn’t go unread.  Out in Hollywood a man named Edgar Rice Burroughs apparently read the paper assiduously.  As, why not, even if you don’t agree with the premise of a movie like The Passion Of The Christ that doesn’t mean you don’t go to see it.  I used to read The Christian Science Monitor and I’ve never been a Christian Scientist.  I used to read the Daily Worker and I’ve never been a Communist.  A lot of people did go see the Passion making it one of the most lucrative films in history and lots of people read the Dearborn Independent, even devoured it.

     Each week the paper issued a new article exposing the true nature of the ‘Jewish Problem.’  The articles were well researched, reasonable and accurate, but as they criticized a religion, no religion will stand any criticism if they can help it, they were necessarily labeled heretical, infidelic, bigoted, anti-Semitist.  In this case you can check anti-Semitist.  From this particular religion’s point of view they were anti-Semitic but from a reasonable scientific viewpoint they weren’t and aren’t.

     The Jewish reaction was strong and violent.  As a member of the Liberal Coalition they called in their allies who branded Ford an anti-Semite and ostracized him.  Then Ford was out there all alone.  A major campaign of vilification and defamation was conducted against him.  All the hypnopaedic media were called into play against Ford.  William Fox, the Fox part of the later Twentieth Century-Fox, used his Movietone News shorts to portray every Ford that was in an accident as at fault and unsafe.  Now that’s defamation with a capital D.  By 1925 it was clear that Ford could use some allies.

     Enter Edgar Rice Burroughs and Marcia Of The Doorstep.

     As we know Marcia was never published so ERB’s aid was hypothetical.  A reasonable question is what evidence do I have for ERB’s intent.  I offer Marcia Of The Doorstep as my evidence and certain articles from the Dearborn Independent.  As I’ve said before ERB in Marcia exhibits a seemingly involved knowledge of the theatre.  I  have been puzzled as to where he got it.

     I think I may have his source.  The original Ford articles were issued weekly beginning in 1920-21 later being collected into a series of four volumes entitled ‘The International Jew’.  What I am dealing with here is literature and history.  I have no concern in the nature of the Ford articles.  My only interest is what Ford and Burroughs understood and how they expressed it.  Leave it at that.  (It wasn’t left at that.  As of 10/27/08 this essay has been censored by being left out my catalog of essays and not mentioned under any of the tags;  Old habits are hard to break, I guess.)

     Like Burroughs believed, or as Burroughs understood Ford there are two types of Jews.  The ordinary Jew who goes about his business and the international Jews who is causing all the mischief.  Thus the title International Jew excludes the mass of ordinary Jews and refers only the the International trouble makers.  For Burroughs there was the ‘type’ of Max Heimer corresponding the the International Jews and the type of Judge Berlanger representing the ordinary of ‘Good Jew.’

     In Volume II of the Interntional Jew there is a series of four atrticles on the American Theatre.

     The books themselves have long since been stolen from the libraries and destroyed in an informal kind of censorship but due to the wonders of modern technology they’re available on the internet.  The relevant theatre chapters can be fund at the URLs below:

     http://www.jrbooksonline.com/Intl_Jew_full_version/ij28.htm

http://jrbooksonline.com/Intl_Jew_full_version/ij29.htm

http://jrbooksonline.com/Intl_Jew_full_version/ij31.htm

http://jrbooksonline.com/Intl_Jew_full_version/ij32.htm

     The first is entitled Jewish Control of the American Theatre of 1/121; the second: The Rise of the First Theatrical jewish Trust of 1/8/21; the third:  Jewish Aspect of the Movie Problem; and the fourth Jewish Supremacy In The Motion Picture World of 2/19/21.  I believe all the necessary theatrical information is contained in these four atircles.  All were written in 1921 giving ERB plenty of time to involve himself by 1924.

     As you may remember ERB was sent a copy of the Jewish Bill Of Rights in 1919 and it was demanded that he endorse them.  Thus there are an additional three articles from Vol. II that may be applicable.  They are found at:

http://jrbooksonline.com/Intl_Jew_full_version/ij34.htm

http://jrbooksonline.com/Intl_Jew_full_version/ij35.htm

http://jrbooksonline.com/Intl_Jew_full_version/ij36.htm

     While the last three do not reflect on Marcia to a great degree they will provide a better backgrund to ERB’s thinking on the issues as he must have studied them carefully.

     —————–

     It is very probable that ERB coded information into the novel to let Ford know this one was for him.  For instance Clara Sackett was probably named after Clara Ford.  Could be coincidental but the engineer of the Lady X was named Sorenson while Ford’s Chief Engineer was Charles Sorenson.  Given ERB’s obvious connection to the Dearborn independent which Ford would easily have recognized, if he would ever have read the book, I think the references are conclusive.

     While on this topic I would also like to point out that when the ban on Tarzan movies was broken in 1926 it was done by the arch ‘anti-Semite’ Joseph Kennedy who owned FBO Studios at the time.  FBO was a little later bought by David Sarnoff of RCA who formed RKO.  Radio-Keith-Orpheum thus editing Kennedy and FBO out of the picture.  Punishment?

     Also if you want a lively account of these proceedings check out Upton Sinclair’s self-published Upton Sinclair Presents William Fox.  Sinclair’s is a nice first person I Was There type thing plus when William Fox was driven out of the movies, this is really exciting stuff, he went to Sinclair with his story.  so Sinclair not only lives through this from a distance but is told part of the story first hand.  I just love this stuff.

     I am not particularly concerned here with whether the Dearborn Independent articles are true and accurate, although I am sure they are, but my concern is that Burroughs read them, believed them and acted on them.  Bearing in mind his contact with the AJC he had no reason to disbelieve the articles.

     In the first article ‘Jewish Control Of The American Theatre’, after an introduction that relates Jewish activities in Russia to Jewish activities in the United States a general statement on the theatre is made:

     The Theatre has long been a part of the Jewish program for guidance of the public taste (hypnopaedic media) and influencing the public mind…it is the instant ally night by night, week by week of any idea which the ‘power behind the scenes’ wishes to put forth.  It is not by accident that in Russia, where they now have scarcely anything else, they still have the Theater, especially revived, stimulated and supported by Jewish-Bolshevists because they believe in the Theater just as they believe in the Press; it is one of the two great means of molding popular opinion.

     Cameron should have mentioned movies and song publishing and he would have had the major elements of hypnopaedic conditioning so brilliantly illustrated by Aldous Huxley in his Brave New World.

     As we all know Burroughs was opposed to the Bolsheviks; he undoubtedly believed as did any knowledgeable observer that the Bolsheviks were predominantly Jewish.  We may believe that he endorses the premises of these article.

     Further down (a shortcoming of the internet is that there are no page numbers) the article says:

     Down to 1885 the American Theater was in the hands of Gentiles.  From 1885 dates the first invasion of Jewish influences.  It meant the parting of the ways, and the future historian of the American stage will describe that year with the word “Ichabod.”

     Second paragraph below:

        About the time that Jewish control appeared, Sheridan, Sothern, McCollough, Madame Junuschek, Mary Anderson, Frank Mayo, John T. Raymond began to pass off the stage.

———————

     All that remained after the Hebrew hand fell across the stage were a few artists who had recieved their training under the Gentile school- Julia Marlowe, Tyrone Power, R.D. McLean and a little later Richard Mansfield, Robert Martell.  Two of this group remain, and along with Maude Adams they constitute the last flashingsof an era that has gone- an era that apparently leaves no great exemplars to perpetuate it.

     There you have the premise of ERB in Marcia and enough history to flesh out the fiction.  The old school was gone.  ERB then names several players as here.  The last surviving exemplar of this tradition is Mark Sackett.  But even for Mark there are no plays worthy to perform in.  As a member of Abe Finkel’s troupe he condescends to perform in problem plays and the new sex comedy.

     The article continues:

     “Shakespeare spells ruin”: was the utterance of the Jewish manager.  “High brow stuff” is also a Jewish expression.  These two sayings, one appealing to the managerial end, the other to the public end of the Theater have formed the epitaph of the classic era.

     So there you have the complete story of Mark Sackett.

     He was the last of the breed, a fine old Gentile actor of the old school of pre-1885.  Corrupted by the Jewish influence on the theatre he accepts demeaning roles.

     When he comes in to money he tells Max Heimer that he is going to perform Shakespeare.  Max takes the position that ‘Shakespeare spells ruin’ arguing for a Ziegfeld Follies type show, a problem play or a sex comedy which he feels is a surer hope of success than the ‘high brow’ stuff.  Straight from the Dearborn Independent.

‘…the rage is for extravaganze and burlesque.’

     Now,

     In this manner was laid the foundation of the latter day Theatrical Trust.  The booking firm was that of Klaw and Erlanger, the former a young Jew from Kentucky who had studied law, but drifted into theatrical life as an agent; the latter a young Jew from Cleveland with little education but with experience as an advance agent.

     Thus Abe Finkel is probablly the Klaw of Klaw and Erlanger.  It may be coincidence but Judge B-erlanger is Erlanger prefaced with a B.  thus those two would reprsent Klaw and Erlanger.  Another version would be Finkel and Heimer in Hollywood also patterned after the Potash and Perlmutter movies of Samuel Goldwyn.

      The trust was resisted just as Mark Sackett resisted.

(From The Rise Of The Theatrical Trust)

     The opposition offered by the artists was prolonged and dignified, Francis Wilson, Nat C. Goodman, James A. Herne, James O’Neill, (Eugene O’ Neill’s father) Richard Mansfield, Mrs. Fiske and James K. Hackett stood out for a time…

      Mark Sackett held out then in defiance of theatrical wisdom forming a Shakespearean company.  This might be seen as a form of the Little Theatre movement which Cameron says developed in reaction to the first Theatrical Trust.

     So the basis for the New York and theatrical end of Sackett’s career may be said to have been inspired by the two theatrical articles of Cameron in the Dearborn Independent.  ERB probably read them in newspaper form shortly after publication in 1921.  Because of the AJC approach to him as well as heightened anxiety over the immigrant question caused by loyalty concerns in the wake of the War Burroughs was especially receptive to Ford’s concerns.

     If the germ of the story was conceived in 1921 the concern over Ford’s struggle was becoming difficult by 1924 may have inspired Burroughs to come to his literary aid.  Thus we have this story of Marcia which when examined more closely is very involved in post-war Revolutionary and Jewish problems.

     While the novel was universally rejected for publication this was undoubtedly because of ADL censors closely watching the publishing industry.

     One can’t be certain but it is possible that Burroughs would have been finished in Hollywood but for Kennedy’s FBO Studios breaking the blacklist on Burroughs in 1926.  Jewish movies of Tarzan began again in 1927.  After 1932s MGM film which in itself may have been a parody to discredit the Big Bwana, the property became so lucrative especially in a Depression Era climate, that movies continued to be made saving Burroughs from complete ruin.

     The war on Ford continued.  Henry Ford is an interesting figure who, like Burroughs, would continue to be a Judaeo-Communist target into the thirties and forties, to the end of his life and beyond.

     Ford zipped into the NOW in the years around 1914 when his Model T transformed America.  But then he slipped back into Tulsa Time.  The Model T was so successful for him that he failed to keep up with developments in the industry.  The Model T remained essentially the same until 1925 when a better Chevrolet overtook the Ford as the best seller.

      Ford then did an extraordinary thing that baffled conventional minds.  He shut down production for over a year as he designed the new Model A.  For this model he revolutionized the industry by designing the V8.  The Model A was an instant success reviving Ford’s fortunes but the present and the future were now so commingled, things were changing so fast that the NOW was gone before you sat down to dinner.  Constant model changes were now necessary.  The world that Ford had created had gotten away from him.

     He realized that he had lost his battle with the Jewish establishment.  He capitulated in 1927 when Louis Marshall of the Jewish government demanded an ‘apology’ to call off hostilities.  Ford told him to write one out and he would sign it.  Marshall wrote an abject apology which Ford signed without edits or reading.  Marshall then had the ‘apology’ published, bound and sent to every library free of charge.  The apology is easier to find than the Dearborn independent articles.

     The fracas came to a humiliating end for Ford and the Scientific Consciousness.  ERB’s reaction isn’t known, however on December 10, 1929 (ERB Bio Timeline 1920-29) in a letter to his son Hulbert he made these observation on Religion and Science:

     A man can be highly religious, he can believe in God and in an omnipotent creator and still square his belief with advanced scientific discoveries, but he cannot have absolute faith in the teachings and belief of any church, of which I have knowledge, and also believe in the accepted scientific theories of the origin of the earth, of animal and vegetable life upon it, or the age of the human race…(Religious) enthusiasms and sincerity never ring true to me and I think there has been no great change in this all down the ages, insofar as fundamentals are concerned.  There is just as much intolerance and hyprocrisy as there ever was, and if any church were able to obtain  political power today I believe you would see all the tyranny and inustice and oppression which has marked the political ascendency of the church at all times.

         You can’t be any more clear sighted than that.  Here ERB has clearly and succinctly stated the religious problem of the twentieth century and beyond.  His is an objective analysis of facts; religion is a subjective projection of desires and wishes.  As he notes science and religion cannot be reconciled.  As he goes on to note in the conflict between the objective and subjective, the conscious and unconscious, the tyranny of the unconscious is an unavoidable fact.  The question of which religion he fears would impose all the tyranny, injustice and oppression was clearly the Liberal Coalition and more especially the Jewish element of its multi-cultural diversity.

     We now come back to Richard Slotkin and his charges against Burroughs as the ‘mastermind’ of My Lai.  that an objection was lodged against Burroughs because he was interested in Eugenics can be discarded.  People of all political persuasions were interested in Eugenics.  If any abuses of Eugenics were made, Burroughs didn’t make them.  Besides, it’s a matter of how you interpret Eugenics.  The half man, half beast of Stalin is obviously an objectionable use.

     On the score of whether Burroughs was an anti-Semitist, which is what Slotkin really means, from a subjective religious point of view that may be so but it is not a question for the religious to decide; they are not competent to do so.  Sigmund Freud himself said that religion is a neurosis.  (That means a departure from mental health.) If he is to be respected as a scientific genius why shouldn’t we respect his opinion?  If religion is a neurosis then it should be treated as a mental disease.

     On a Scienfitic basis then is it possible to call Burroughs an anti-Semitist?  Clearly not.  The man was a clear minded rational human being of great achievement and should be honored as such.

     Should his scientific opinions differ from those of a religious bent it is they who must take a back seat not Burroughs.

     Slotkin is clearly wrong in his interpretation of Burroughs.  Slotkin represents the unconscious rather than the conscious.

     For the foregoing reasons then I think that Marcia Of The Doorstep and 1924 was the pivot of ERB’s career.  After 1924 it was no longer possible for him to live on Tulsa Time.  He came under attack from the Liberal Coalition which was as formidable for him as it was for Henry Ford.

     His novels after Marcia reflect this attack.  Those novels are perhaps his greatest.  Certainly one of the high points where he meets his enemies head on is Tarzan The Invincible that he was forced to publish under his own imprint.  The title says it all.

     I may be sentimental but I like Marcia Of The Doorstep.  I only wish he had had the patience to flesh out the ending.

     ERB wrote well in any time zone there was from Babylon Time to Tulsa Time to the NOW.

You know that I’ve been through it

But I just can’t go back to it.

There is no living on Tulsa Time.

 

NOW is the time.

 

End of Review

    

    

 

The High Brow And The Low Brow

The Mucker And Marcia Of The Doorstep

Part V

Marcia Explicated

by

R.E. Prindle

 

     The contrast between The Mucker and Marcia Of The Doorstep can be seen as a response to two different challenges united by Burroughs’ personal psychological development.

     He took the whole of 1924 to write this story so it may have been a real struggle.  Unlike his other novels he doesn’t record a beginning and ending date in Porges so we have no accurate idea of how long it took him.  It is possible that he had taken so much time, felt the need for money so intensely, that he rushed the ending through to try to sell the story.  One the other hand he usually scamps his endings.

     An indication that Emma may have been an influence in the planning and organization of the story is that it concerns matters that were very familiar to her.  Just as she was a voice student as a girl, so Marcia.  As Emma had to give up the studies so does Marcia.

     The milieu of the stage would have been more familiar to Emma, although having gotten involved with the movies ERB might also have familiarized himself with the stage somewhat.  I would have to opt for more involvement from Emma though.  (For further thoughts on this read Part VI)

     Unlike the other novels which feel as though they were written from the top of the head, Marcia has indications of more careful plotting.  If that is true I don’t think ERB would have been capable of it so that would argue for more involvement by Emma once again.  This is also a fairly complex plot that differs from ERB’s usual style.

     Unless I’m mistaken the novel, even though unpublished, landed him in hot water with the AJC and ADL.  I’m sure the reason would have been a mystery to ERB.  If you’ve read Part II, Section II what I have to say will be clear, if you haven’t read the Parts I recommend it.

     According to the Religious Consciousness there is no freedom of speech concerning the specific religion.  The Religion will control who is speaking, what is said and how expression is to be allowed.  ERB was not a member of the Jewish religion and as he was speaking unacceptably he was perforce an anti-Semite as the religion he was discussing was Judaism.  Had he been discussing Liberalism he would have been pathologized as a crazy bigot.  As Judaism was part of the diversity composing the Coaliton, Liberals would have considered him a bigot anyway.  Bigot is the Liberal equivalent of anti-Semite.

     The character in question is the shyster Jewish lawyer, Max Heimer.  Max is an expecially well drawn character from the viewpoint of the Scientific Consciousness, which is to say, Max is accurately drawn.  Whether from life or not is not yet known.

     Max is the protagonist of the story.  That anything happens at all is because of him.  He is not an admirable character but on the other hand he is neither truly malicious or evil.  The only thing that matters to Max, and would especially offend  the sensibilities of the AJC and ADL, is the bucks.  Max would probably stoop to outright thieving but he is a blackmailer, a swindler and a cheat.  While what he does is criminal it is done in such a way as to escape detection.  Even if you know he’s guilty the chances are you could never get a conviction.

     But, he’s not really a bad guy at heart and by his lights he’s darn near a philathropist.

     Max is always on the qui vive.  One has the impression that he never lets an opportunity pass.  Thus, one night he came across a drunken gentleman on the street, John Hancock Chase II.  Chase II for some reason was totally incapacitated.  Heimer took him home sensing an opportunity.

     Max had been living with a woman, out of wedlock, named Mame Myerz.  Although Mame wasn’t at home Max conceived the notion to tell the married Chase II that he had had sexual relations with Mame which he did nine months later when he showed up to tell Chase II he was a proud papa.  Max would keep this a secret for a fee.  Unable to sustain the blackmail Chase II shoots himself ruining a perfectly good source of income for Max.  This is no skin off Max’s nose as he blithely goes about his and other people’s business for the next sixteen years.

     That fine old gentleman, John Hancock Chase I bears the loss of his son stoically.

     As it happened Della Maxwell bore her child and left it on the Sackett’s doorstep on 4/10/06.

     If Max is finely drawn, no less can be said about Marcus Aurelius Sackett and his wife Clara, the long suffering wife of the air headed Mark, who is especially finely depicted.  Just a few deft strokes but she is always in the background worrying over her man.  Either I’m projecting from knowledge or ERB is able to portray a large loving woman who accepts the foibles of her husband, tolerating him and perhaps even loving him for them.

     Both she and Mark are overjoyed at the child left on their step.  They are no less overjoyed when Della shows up next day to move in with them.  Della Maxwell is a well chosen name.  Max-bad, Max-well.

     Mark Sackett is ably portrayed as an actor of the old school who while he fumes at the modern trash of the stage is nevertheless the kind of trooper who doesn’t leave his fellows in the lurch.  At this time in New York City he is working for Abe Finkel.  Abe is obviously another Jew modeled on the producers Klaw and Erlanger.  This is at the time of the development of movies from 1905 to 1914 or so.

     In 1919 ERB moved to Hollywood where he would have been privy to all the stories of the origins of the studio owners who with few exception were Jewish.  Most were from New York while Carl Laemmle was from Chicago via Wisconsin.  They all had risen from mundane occupations to real wealth.  Samuel Goldwyn had been a glove salesman.  Harry Cohn had been a street car conductor, Louis Mayer had had a string of jobs worthy of ERB himself so it will be historically accurate for both Max and Abe to turn up in Hollywood as studio owners.

     ERB was very good at weaving real life stories into his writing.  There are probably real life models for many of these characters and their stories may be based on true stories as they say in Hollywood.  For instance, Marcia’s first boyfriend Dick Steele goes to Hollywood as a stunt pilot where he meets his death, some mgiht say committed suicide, in a spectacular airplane stunt.  As it turns out ERB didn’t make this story up from scratch but merely, fictionalized an actual event that occurred on a movie lot in 1920.  William K. Klingaman tells the story ERB used in his popular history ‘1919’ of 1987.

     Lieutenant Ormer Locklear moved to Hollywood in February 1920, where he originated many of the airplane stunts used in the movies.  (He was the first aviator charged with reckless driving in the air, when he looped the loop over a public park in Los Angeles in April.)  In the summer of 1920 he was working on a film called, “The Skywayman”; the last stunt was supposed to be a shot of a pilot plunging to his death with the plane in flames.  Just before he ascended to film the sequence on the evening of August 3, Locklear turned to friends and said: ‘I have a hunch that I should not fly tonight.’  Spectators on the ground watched and marveled at the stuntman’s skill.  Then they suddenly saw the plane only two hundred feet from the ground, struggling to right itself.  It crashed in flames.  Locklear died instantly, the farewell letter to his mother that he always carried with when he flew was found undamaged.

     As ERB had no experience with the theatre and as his stage stuff seems fairly authentic and knowledgeable he may have borrowed stories like the Locklear tale and adapted them for his uses or else Emma had a fund of stories which she supplied for the novel.  At an rate these first 125 pages are full of charming detail about the theatre.

     Now safe in LA ERB even takes a loving poke at hometown Chicago.  Della Maxwell explaining her breaking of an engagement in Chicago says on p. 30:

“I couldn’t stand (Chicago) any longer, Uncle Mark…It’s a hick town, filled with coal dust, wind and tank town talent.  And slow, say, if I’d smoked a cigarette on the street I’d a been pinched for sure.”

     Max Heimer keeps the story moving along when he visits the Sackett household as the legal representative of some unpaid actors.  While there he notices the sixteen year old Marcia.  Learning that she is sixteen his mind clicks back to 1906 when his and Mame’s plan fizzled when Chase II committed suicide.  Ever on the qui vive he learns that Marcia was left on the Sackett’s doorstep on 4/10/06 which conincidence he can put to use.

     Ever shameless and brazen, they call it chutzpah, he contacts Chase I to advise him that he has found Chase II’s illegitimate daughter.  He’s picked the wrong man because the Senator, that fine old example of early American manhood, refuses to have anything to do with him however he has his Jew, that fine old examplar of the race, Judge Isaac ‘Ike’ Berlanger contact Heimer for him.  If his son’s daughter is out there the fine old gentleman feels obligated to take care of her.

     Probably already in deep for selecting a chosen person for a villain ERB begins here to really compound his error in the confrontation between ‘Ike’ Berlanger and the wily Max Heimer.  Woodrow Wilson during his first administration appointed the first Jew to be a justice of the Supreme Court.  This was Louis D. Brandeis of Louisville, Kentucky.  Just as the Liberal Coalition propaganda machine remorselessly pilloried its victims so it equally exalted its favorites.  Brandeis has been depected as a wise old saint for so long no one questions it.  FDR in his administration referred to Brandeis as our ‘Isaiah’ whatever that might mean.

     ERB doesn’t usually go far to find his models so I’m suggesting that Louis D. Brandeis was the model for Judge Berlanger.  Alright.  ERB probably thinks he’s going to get away with portraying ‘a Jew of the type; of Heimer by presenting a ‘fair and balanced’ picture of a ‘Jew of the type’ of Brandeis/Berlanger.  Doesn’t work that way as Charles Dickens, who was accused of being an anti-Semite, found to his dismay when he balanced a Jew of probity against the villainous Jew, Fagin, of Oliver Twist.

     One should always bear in mind that the very worst of a Chosen People is better than the best of the rest.  Thus all heroes must be from the Chosen while the villains must be from the rest.  So it is that all the villains currently have Anglo-Saxon/Teutonic names while all the heroes are of the Liberal Coalition.

     Thus ERB was very ill advised to meddle in these proto-Politically Correct matters.  Even though the entertainment industry of the twenties had been thoroughly Judaized he should have made Heimer an Anglo-Teuton while he was on track by making Berlanger an element of the Coalition.

     The exchange between Berlanger and Heimer very likely sealed ERB’s fate for the next several years while he confessed his error in his portrait of the wise old Jew in The Moon Maid in attempt to do his penance.  I can’t recall any more references to Jews in the corpus after this period.  If you know of any, let me know.

     The result of the conference between the two Chosen ones is that Senator Chase I is to settle twenty thousand on the Sacketts while providing Marcia with an income of a thousand a month.

     Here ERB goes into some interesting ruminations on the effect of coming into money when you’ve never had any.  Probably by 1924 he was wishing he had his finances to do over although he does say of Mark Sackett that he would never learn the value of money.

     The intention of Heimer was to receive the twenty thousand from Chase, keep fifteen for himself and give five to the Sacketts.  Berlanger is ahead of him giving the twenty directly to the Sacketts.  Don’t rule out Max yet though; he’s one canny Scot.

     Watching Mark come into money provides some amusing moments and an insight of how it had been with ERB.  Mark goes out and buys a car which allows ERB to work in his accident with the taxi in Chicago.  Charming passage though.

     The old ham Sackett decides to use the money to bring back the glories of the stage; he wants to organize a touring Shakespearean company.  There is some really nice wordplay as he attempts to inform Max of his plans.  Max on the gui vive.  He had not been denied that twenty thousand he had only been forestalled.  He appoints himself the tour’s business manager so not only will he embezzle the tour’s profits but the original capital.  But I get ahead of myself.

      Bear in mind that all along Della Maxwell is aware of what a shyster Max is as she knows for a fact that Chase II wasn’t close to being the father of Marcia and she is also absolutely certain that Mame Myerz isn’t the mother.  She keeps trying to warn Mark of what a shyster Max is without giving herself away to Mark.

     As far as Max and the Sacketts go in the first 125 pages of the book, that covers it.  The first third is of very nice quality, notwithstanding the ‘Politically Incorrect’ aspects.  If ERB could have sustained this level of concentration throughout the book he would have had a truly excellent story.

     Marcia is the other story line which has to be followed.  When this precocious girl comes into her money, and twelve thousand dollars a year was nothing to sneeze at in 1922, her life changes also.  Prior to the advent of her wealth she had been virtually betrothed to young Dick Steele.  Marcia is troublesome as a character becasue ERB portrays her with such incredible maturity for a young girl.  She’s barely legal, completely inexperienced but handles herself so well.

     Dick with quick prescience realizes that this is the end of the line for his hopes but he’s going to hang on as best he can.  He immediately quits school and gets a job in an airplane plant to make lots of money fast because he knows he’s going to need it.  This employment leads to his job as a stunt pilot.

     Marcia had been taking voice lessons for some time where she had met a wealthy young socialite named Patsy Kellar.  When Patsy learns that Marcia is worth twelve thousand a year she invites her to join her circle.  Marcia snaps into place like a memory stick in a digital camera.  Personally I think ERB is pushing his luck here.  The only thing that makes Marcia’s ability to fit in plausible is that she comes from a family of actors who may have aped the manners of the well-to-do.  Indeed, ERB has speeches coming out of Sackett’s mouth that prove his ability to use the King’s English just in case anyone thought ERB was an illiterate, fantasy writer.  ERB shows ‘em how to in this one.

     The Ashtons to whose circle Patsy belongs are about to take a cruise into the South Seas in their yacht, the Lady X.  They think this sixteen year old flower of youth would be a delightful addition to their party.  Which, in fact, she turns out to be.

     Patsy takes her on a buying trip for clothes during which Marcia finds out how little a thousand dollars is.  This also allows ERB to build some female interest a la Zane Grey to appeal to the lady readers of the Saturday Evening Post.  So, the crew splits for Hawaii via San Francisco.

     Now, when Chase II chose to exit rather than face the music he had a little son, Chase III.  J.H. Chase III is now a twenty some odd Lieutenant in the US Navy and is stationed in- ready?  Hawaii.  Does he know Patsy Kellar and the Ashtons?  Darn right.  Old buddies.  Welcome aboard.  Chase III could have used his leave to go back to NYC to visit Grandpa but he opts for those soft South Sea breezes instead.  Who can fault him except Grandpa and Grandpa doesn’t.  Alright.  So now he’s on board the Lady X with Marcia.  All sixteen lovely years of her.  Now begins the action of the middle part of the book.

     ERB begins to fall back into his old ways although he has two stories to keep going.  In the story of the Sacketts everyone considers Mark’s dream of bringing quality theatre to the heartland of America the height of foolishness but, I’ll be darned, the Heartland flocks to Mark’s performances to lap up the Bard.  A little touch of culture really finishes off the man, you know.  The tour is a huge success playing to SRO houses everywhere.  The fly in the ointment is Max.  The guy just can’t keep his hands off the money.  He embezzles everything except for pocket cash of 300.00 for the Sacketts.

     Stranded in San Francisco again, Max got the loot while the Sacketts got the hotel bill.  The question is where did ERB get the story?

     I had the haunting feeling the story was familiar.  ERB didn’t have any theatre experience, nor did Emma, so he must have gotten the story, or combination of stories, really, from somewhere.

     By 1924 he had been in LA for four years so he’d plenty of time to pick up theatre lore.  The story of the tour sounds very close to the tour that brought Charlie Chaplin West.  Chaplin wasn’t doing Shakespeare on that tour, that tour may have been another one ERB heard of.  As I recall the Chaplin tour went bust in Salt Lake City also with Chaplin hoofing it to Hollywood.

     In Salt Lake Max tells Mark that the jig is up, the show has gone bust, financially that is.  Mark is incredulous as he has been playing to sold out houses but Max tells him there is no money and that is a fact difficult to argue about.  Mark accepts the fact and, indeed, even if he knew Max had embezzled the money whatever records Max kept he said he had sent back to New York while as Mark was broke he couldn’t afford to sue anyway.

     Now, let’s look to see if we can relate this to ERB’s life.  ERB had had his best year ever after the move to LA in 1921 in which he earned approximately  one hundred thousand dollars which might equate to the twenty thousand Mark received.  While Mark lost his money in this improbable Shakespeare tour, or rather it was embezzled, ERB lost his on his pig farm.  Who knows what was going on there? ERB had his income from 1919, 1921 and 1922 which must have amounted to from 200,000 to 250,000.  Multiply that by fifty or so for inflation and that is a tremedous expenditure.  It seems improbable that anyone could spend that much on a pig farm.  Perhaps ERB thought someone had embezzled from him.  Probably could use some investigation if for no other reason than to clear it up.

     OK.  Why Salt Lake City?  If ERB is following Chaplin’s story then Salt Lake City would logically follow.  However Salt Lake is one of ERB’s critical geographical locations.  His interest in the Mormons hasn’t been properly examined although Dale Broadhurst made a stab in that direction.  ERB made a special visit to Salt Lake in 1898 just after he purchased his stationery store.  That was his first visit.  Then in 1904 he and Emma resided there for several months during a very crucial period in his life, even a terrifying, desperate, excoriating one.

     One that had him at his wit’s end shaking in his boots.  While it is difficult to accurately pinpoint when his attitude toward Emma turned sour the several months in Salt Lake as a railroad shack may have been it.

     Thus the tour breaking up in Salt Lake City may represent the beginning of the breaking up his marriage in 1904.  The city certainly held a lot of memories for him.

     Mark and Clara are left high and dry in SF.  While Clara is out Mark turns on the gas and sticks his head in the oven.  I’ve read that exact story before too but I can’t remember where.  Or, perhaps, it is standard theatre fare.

     From the Land of Fogs Mark and Clara wend their way down the coast to the Land of Smogs, the mecca of all actors.  Mark is still too proud to work in the movies…but, we’ll leave the Sacketts in Hollywood while we follow out the story line of Marcia.  This one is pure Burroughs.

     While ERB has written Emma and himself into the story as Mark and Clara Sackett, Chase III and Marcia also represent his Anima and Animus.  This central section is essentially a retelling of The Mucker ten years after.  ERB no longer feels like the low brow scuzzy Billy Byrne, who was nevertheless ‘all man’, but is attempting the high brow Chase III.  ERB has changed back from the Pauper to the Prince.  His Anima presents a different problem.  He didn’t feel up to Barbara Harding so he married her off to Byrne in Out There Somewhere.  In Bridge And The Kid   he scaled down from a New York socialite to the daughter of a big man in a small town.  Gail Prim was apparently too much for the beat up hommy he was so now he scales down even further to a girl who is an orphan left on a doorstep to be brought up by strangers.  Thus the role of Harding and Byrne are reversed.  The Animus, Chase III, now has social standing while the Anima, Marcia does not.  However everybody loves her and she is acceptable wherever she goes.  There is some competition for her between the foppish socialite Banks Von Spiddle, the humorous name is a giveaway, and the military officer Chase III while the latter wins as might be expected given ERB’s prejudices.  This very likely reflects the competition between ERB and Frank Martin that ERB won and is a recurring theme in his writing from his unpublished first story, Minidoka, and this one.

     Just as there was a shipwreck in The Mucker so there is one here.  Here ERB produces a new variation in that there are two life boats in one of which the best people were to go while in the other the muckers.  In the turmoil of the storm and sinking Chase III and Marcia are separated from the first boat ending up with the muckers including the terrible Bledgo who obviously represents John the Bully as the storm represents the encounter on the street corner.

     After the usual interval of several days adrift on the sea the crew spots the inevitable desert island.  Going ashore the better people separate themselves from the worst of the muckers forming two parties which sends Bledgo searching for Chase III and Marcia.  As the Animus represents the spermatic side of the body while the Anima represents the ovate Bledgo is really searching for the two aspects of Burroughs’ personality- the one he wishes to kill and the other to rape.

     As the rest of Chase’s party realize that Bledgo only wants Chase III and Marcia they urge the pair to flee which they do.  Bledgo doesn’t give up the search but pursues the pair up the mountain.  There is a fight during which Chase III brings the butt of his revolver down on the forehead of Bledgo, reminiscent of ERB’s bashing in Toronto.  The pair then continue their flight up the mountain.

     In this sequence Burroughs takes vengeance on John the Bully by defending himself and his Anima as he felt he should have on the streetcorner while retaliating the horrific blow to the head he received in Toronto on his ancient enemy.

     Thus as Chase III and Marcia continue up the mountain in a torrential downpour ERB’s Anima and Animus are reunited.  He is a whole person again.

     Reaching the top of the ridge they discover the best people singing, playing on the beach on the sunny side of the mountain.  Thus ERB rejoins the people he was supposed to be among but was separated from by his encounter with John.  How well this squares with real life is uncertain.  It may just be wishful thinking especially as ERB is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.

     Incest and cannibalism are two recurring themes in ERB.  The latter was a concern on the boat, the former now rears its ugly head.  Chase III and Marcia reach the Philippines where they are to be married the next day however Marcia opens the mail waiting for her which includes a letter from Judge Berlanger.  The letter advises her that Jack Chase is her half brother.  Horrified and chagrined Marcia steals away in the night to take ship for San Francisco.  SF and disaster again.  It always happens that way for ERB in Baghdad By The Bay.  Wonder why.

      Aboard ship an entertainment is organized for which Marcia agrees to sing and act in a skit.  She’s emaciated but that can’t mask her loveliness.  Also aboard is a famous Hollywood producter.  Needless to say Marcia is ‘discovered.’  A movie contract awaits her in Hollywood.

     As I pointed out earlier there was a hiatus in the production of movies from Burroughs’ books from about the time he wrote Girl From Hollywood  until 1927.  Part was probably due to ERB’s writing on Jews in this novel but part was also due to his very negative portrayal of Hollywood in ‘Girl’.  Thus just as he portrays a venerable Jew in The Moon Maid  to atone for his portrayal of Heimer et al., here in this novel he lauds Hollywood as the home of the most wonderful people in the world.  He reverses his portrayal of the director Wilson Crumb in the character of the kindly upright director Otto Appel, who also sounds Jewish.

     ERB has now told two thirds of his story and is at page 295 of 351.  He’s got a lot of story to go that he crams into the remaining fifty of so pages.  Honestly, he needs at least two hundred to flesh out his story properly.  Perhaps he had been at work on the story for most of 1924 during which he had generated no new income and wished to get the story off to the Saturday Evening P{ost for that fifty thousand dollar paycheck plus book rights.  The amazing thing is that ERB doesn’t seem to have received advances from his publishers at any time.  Also at this time things were getting strained between McClurg’s and himself.  It won’t be too long before he breaks with them.  We need more information on this aspect of his career.

     So, Jack and Marcia are separated again while Jack has no idea where she may be.  In the interval between their leaving and returning the world as they knew it had broken apart.  No one was where they had been except Grandpa.  Chase III runs into Pilkins, one of the sailors in SF.  Pilkins had taken the same ship back with Marcia so he advises Chase III that she has gone to LA to be in the movies where Chase III follows.

     I can’t think of a positive reference to SF in ERB’s writing.  Either he just didn’t like the city or something happened there.  If so, it would be good to know what.

     At this time we have a whole crew in LA:  The Sacketts, Marcia, Dick Steele, Banks Von Spiddle, Chase III, Max Heimer and Abe Finkel with Ike Berlanger to follow.  This may be the alternative version of how the West was won.

     I wish ERB had put more effort into this ending.  Fleshed out this would be a pretty good story of the exodus of the entertainment industry from New York to Hollywood.  This would be good first hand history of Hollywood at least, of which ERB was actually a fairly significant figure.  I get kind of excited trying to piece together how it may have been.

     ERB at one time had been allowed on the lots so we may assume that his production scenes were authentic as well as his depiction of Poverty Row.  the latter was real where the more impoverished companies had their quarters.  Mack Sennet had his quarters on Poverty Row.  Sennet’s autobiography is well worth reading.  Poverty Row is where F&H Studios set up business.  Yes, after embezzling that thirty thousand dollars from Mark Sackett Max Heimer ran into his old acquaintance Abe Finkel.  The two combined to form F&H.  They are the one’s who give Dick Steele his start as a stunt pilot.

     Max is about town where he runs into Mark Sackett frequently.  Max is not a bad guy, in the same circumstances many another who had injured a man would hate him contriving to injure him further.  Not Max.  Once he’s got the money he’s a congenial fellow.  He presses small loans on Mark who after all is only receiving his own again.  Max, who undoubtedly has developed some pull, gives Mark leads to jobs that if Mark had taken them would probably have led to decent prosperity if not more.  As Mark is too proud to accept movie roles he doesn’t follow up but Max does his best by him.

     As I pointed out in Part III,  Sam Goldwyn had revived the Potash and Permutter stories of Montague Glass filming the Broadway play in 1923 which was a great success.  In 1924 he filmed In Hollywood With Potash and Perlmutter that was an equal success while probably charming ERB so much that he based the F&H Studios of Finkel and Heimer on the movie.

     Here ERB compounded his error of the first part of the book by making the two Jews humorous and despicable.  The inference is that because of their cheapness they were responsible for Dick Steele’s death.

     Remember Mame Myerz?  No sooner does Max make a few dollars than he takes up with a gorgeous starlet.  Mame gets wind of this back in the Big Apple where she goes berserk.  She immediately tramps into Judge Berlanger’s office attempting to sell him the true story of Marcia.  The old Judge doesn’t give in that easy so Mame spills the beans that she isn’t Marcia’s mother and she wasn’t anywhere near Chase II.

     Thus the way is cleared for Marcia and Chase III to marry; no danger of incest.  Max hears of this putting the screws to Mame to retract her statement which she does.  Now there’s enough doubt in Marcia’s mind that the marriage is off once again.

     In Max’s last scene, I kinda hated to see the little guy go, Judge Berlanger, also now in LA confronts Max with the theft of Mark’s money.  Chutzpah deserts the wily little attorney.  Unable to brave it out with Berlanger Max accepts defeat turning his assets over to Mark.  He was forbidden LA and New York in which places he hasn’t been seen to this day.  By stories end I kind of liked Max Heimer although it would be best to go the other way if you saw him coming.

     Marcia was lost track of after the Philippines.  She has lost track of everyone else.  She becomes a star but as she had taken another name no one knows where she is.  They don’t go to her movies, apparently.  Mark and Clara’s fortunes continue to decline becasue of his bullheadedness until finally their landlady turns them out into the street.  This was probably how ERB and Emma felt when they had to leave Tarzana after only four years.

     ERB’s situation must have created a lot of gossip.  After all a famous author comes to town buys a huge estate, c;mon 540 acres? and within two years is in financial difficulties and after four a virtual bankrupt forced from the estate.  Tongues must have wagged.  I’d sure like to know what they were saying.  Just exactly how ERB’s Hollywood contemporaries thought of him.

     In the meantime, completely destitute, Mark accepts movie work.  He is sitting on a lounge on the set when the star, Marian Sands, walks on the set.  She sees Mark who recognizes her as Marcia and the family is reunited again.

     Chase III arrives in LA in search of Marcia.  He apparently never goes to the movies so he doesn’t make a connection between Marian Sands and Marcia Sackett.  He enters a career of dissipation turning to drink and gambling.  Too proud to contact granddad he runs through his money. 

     He has some amusing encounters with oilmen which probably reflect ERB’s own as he floundered around trying to find ways to make money fast.  There’s a lot to be done here in researching ERB’s business doings in LA.  Later in the decade he will get involved in the Apache airplane engine and airport development so it seems unlikely that he wasn’t trying to be a business success in the early and mid-twenties.  Dearholt showed up a couple years later with movie schemes that ERB bought into so what was he doing in the business sense?

     Chase III who has been hanging around the studios looking for Marcia rather than studying theatre marquees gets into the movies finally locating his loved one.  Some direct borrowing from Merton Of The Movies here.  Moving very rapidly and sketchily ERB throws in a couple suicide attempts as the couple get together.  Resemblance between Edith Wharton and Scot Fitzgerald here.

     Together again there is still no hope of marriage because of possible incest, even though Marcia will never love another or marry.

     OK.  Della Maxwell.  Remember her?  She’s back in Chicago in the hospital dying a slow death.  Well, you know, she is Marcia’s mother.  On her death bed, I mean, the pen falls from her fingers as she signs the letter to Marcia, she makes a clean breast of it telling the story, sending the bigamist marriage license, birth certificate, everything so there will be no doubt that Marcia is semi-legit and not related to Chase III.

     We’re almost there do you think?  Not by a long shot and there’s only ten pages left.  The mail train with Della’s package is held up somewhere in Arizona.  The bandits disappearing over the border with the swag that contains Della’s letter and little metal box.

     Wow?  What next?  OK, ERB’s got a twist or two still hidden up his sleeve.  Banks Von Spiddle- yes, he’s out there, too- has a ranch down in Mexico that the Revolutionaries of 1914 failed to expropriate.  A guy with a name like Banks Von Spiddle ought to get lucky once in a while I should think.

     He and his vaqueros go out coyote hunting.  They have a good day, getting a full bag.  The last coyote tries to hole up in a small cave where Von Spiddle blasts the life out of him.  While he’s drawing the coyote from the cave he notices a decayed leather mail pouch kind of thing.  What do you suppose that might have been?  Yeh, right.  Della’s letter and little metal box intact.  Von Spiddle can be small or he can be big.  He chooses to be big giving the info to Chase III and Marcia so they can be married and live happily for however long marriages last in Hollywood.

     Thus ERB manages to compress a marathon into a hundred yard dash in the last fifty pages.

     Over all a good enough story.  Neither Collier’s, Saturday Evening Post nor anyone else wanted it so ERB lost a year with no income, or income from new work anyway.  If he was living on edge at the beginning of the year he was still on the edge at the end.  Whew!

     How did he get out of that financial bind?

Part VI and End is the next post.

 

 

Greil Marcus, Bob Dylan And Martin Scorsese

A Review of the Movie

No Direction Home by Martin Scorsese

by

R.E. Prindle

 

Texts:

Scorsese, Martin:  No Direction Home- A Film

Marcus, Greil:  http://www.powells.com/essays/marcus.html

 

     I’m not the only one that shakes  his head over the rants of Greil Marcus.  The perspective he’s coming from deserves some attention.  Greil Marcus in the disciple, probably the successor. of the decadent leader of the Situationist International, Guy Debord.

     The SI is a crank organization.  Like Hitler they place a lot of emphasis on architecture.  Architecture seems to go with the totalitarian personality.  Unlike Hitler whose goal was a Roman grandiosity to match his Thousand Year Reich, we can’t be sure what SI architecture would be like other than ‘human to make people happy.’  In other words Debord found fault with architecture that the majority were happy with but displeased him.  He seemed to think that he could create some stunning new architecture that might please someone other than himself.  We all know how hard a feat  that is.

     But he ranted and raved actually being influential in the moronic disturbances in France in 1968.  Whatever beauty he proposed we’re still waiting to see.  Greil Marcus still thinks the ability of the SI to transform God, life and beauty is within his grasp.  He runs around America at the public expense trying to drum up the Revolution.  Bob Dylan seems to be the centerpiece  of his plans.  Greil’s reaction to Martin Scorcese’s Dylan movie might then be a little more understandable.

     As film biographies go, and they don’t go very well on average, I thought Scorsese’s effort made the most of not too much.  After all there is really very little earth shattering in the career of Bob Dylan.  Greil thinks Bob brought in something new; at best Bob just brought in something a little different no matter how startling it seemed from the perspective of the times.  From the perspective of this time  one wonders what the fuss was all about.  Nevertheless Scorcese maintained a nice tension of interest.  But not for Greil.

     Martin Scorsese’s Dylan documentary- a shape-shifting assemblage of 1950s and 1960s film footage, still photos, strange music, and interviews with Dylan and compatriots conducted over the past years by Dylan’s manager, Jeff Rosen- never holds still, it allows, say, the Irish folksinger Liam Clancy, telling stories of Dylan in Greenwich Village, to contradict Dylan telling his own stories about the same thing;  the film contradicts itself.  There is nothing definitive here; within the film there is not a single version of a single song that runs from beginning to end.

     So now we’re essentially back to Guy Debord’s SI architecture argument.  Whatever has been created is no good and must be replaced by Debord’s ideas which unfortunately for us we cannot evaluate because Debord gave no examples.  It doesn’t really matter, of course, because if he did their ‘definitive’ beauty and utility would not be, perhaps, so apparent to the rest of us as it was to him.

     So, as Debord’s successor Marcus implies that Scorsese has made a movie as ugly as the architecture that Debord and presumably Marcus despises.  The implication is the Greil would have done much better.

You can imagine Rosen driving up to Scorsese’s door with a truck and dumping thousands of pounds of books, interview tapes, film  reels, loose photographs, a complete collection of Dylan albums along with a few hundred or a few thousand bootlegs, and then leaving, trusting that a fan who also knows how to make a movie to make you watch…could wave his hands and just like that a movie would emerge…

     Well, why not?  I’m not aware of Scorsese’s process but a very fine movie of its type does emerge.  With unerring insight Scorsese seeks out key influences, the most important artists in Dylan’s life, introduces them to the viewer, very likely for the first time, and brings some coherence into the Dylan story.  It’s only a movie though, no substitute for study.

     I do not consider it a fault that Scorsese presents all the high points covered by the four main biographies.  His purpose seems to be to cover the years from Dylan’s high school beginnings to Bob’s nervous breakdown in 1966 which he does.  Although already a long film it is never boring while to cover more ground it would be necessary to condense and eliminate to add anything beyond 1966 making the film unintelligible- something like Greil’s own prose.  Of course, the Situationist International that believes in magic might be able to snap its fingers and make it happen, although I think their blank screen notion might be easier to conceive than something with content.  Besides I don’t believe in magic.

     Greil apparently doesn’t believe in differences of opinion or else he feels that loyalty to his ideal requires everyone to ask what Bob said and confirm it.  Marcusian version of freedom of speech.

     As it is I thought Scorcese very skillfully selected song snippets to bring out the very best of artists like Hank Williams, John Jacob Niles, Makem and the Clancys and others.  His interviews with Dave Van Ronk, Liam Clancy, John Cohen and Suze Rotolo were apt and to the point presenting each as attractively as possible.

     I mean Bob left some bad vibes behind that were not accentuated, nay, even glossed over.

     The key point of the movie was the actual monologue or dialogue carried on with a very careworn looking Dylan.  Time has treated him fairly viciously.  Bob revealed himself as much as a modest man could.  There was very little braggadocio while Bob explained himself in a very natural droll manner.  He was much more charming than first person reports of him would lead you to believe.

     Of course, Greil is fixated on what he considers the revolutionary break with the Folk Tradition with Bob as the Promethean figure bringing electricity to ‘weird old America.’

     Greil apparently believes we viewer have been hoodwinked by Scorsese of malevolent intent as a result.

     So you enter the movie with your ideas suspended and your prejudices disarmed, thrown back- eager to be moved- as in moved from one place to another- as you were.  You’ve been set up; you’re ready for anything.  You’ll buy whatever the movie is selling.

     But by the end- when the film has taken the viewer from Dylan’s childhood to those halcyon days in the spring of 1966, then cutting the story off, cold, with just a little card to indicate that the story went on, Bob Dylan continued to do various things, but it’s not the movie’s problem so good night- you don’t know how it got to “Like A Rolling Stone” starting up on stage one more time.

     By this point Marcus has divorced himself from reality and vanished into the pure rhetoric of his armed prejudices.  He’s no longer talking about the content of Scorsese’s movie.  Greil is contrasting the movie he thinks he would have made, Debordian architecture, with the movie or architecture that actually exists.  An inability to perceive reality that is quite mad in its own way.

     It’s what the Jews call building a fence around Torah.  A mad attempt to prevent reality from disturbing the lovely inner version of not only the way they think things could be but shoud be.  Once again as with Debordian architecture or Marcus’ movie not a vision likely to be shared by many others.  One’s private dreams never would be.

     Greil even disagrees with Scorsese’s title in a rather vehement way:

     …despite that title, “No Direction Home,” from Dylan’s greatest hit, “Like A Rolling Stone”- already used as a title for Robert Shelton’s 1986 Dylan biography- such a cliche, isolated like that, so “On The Road”, so “it’s the journey, not the destination,” so corny.

     LOL.  I suppose so, but it didn’t bother me nor affect my enjoyment of the movie.  The running interview with Dylan unifies the movie while giving us an open window to Bob’s motivations and the working of his mind.  While no song was finished Scorcese has great taste and selected the most moving passages from the songs he showed displaying the remarkable vocal talents of the singers.  I was astonished at the mad approach of John Jacob Niles with its odd setting of his auditors standing over him as he sang.  I melted before Tommy Makem’s rendition of the Butcher Boy. (Don’t know the real title.) while the Clancys were superb.  I’d heard all these artists on record before but the recordings lost all the dynamics of the performances.  Even the old Red Pete Seeger really put his song across live.  The New Lost City Ramblers unfortunately were as stiff as their recordings.

     By this time I suppose most people reading this have seen Scorsese’s movie but for those Dylan fans who haven’t the movie is highly recommended.

     As for Greil I can only cite the words of the old Children’s game:  Greil Marcus, Greil Marcus, come out, come out, from wherever you are.