Louche Lad (bombasticus) wrote,
Louche Lad
bombasticus

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An "Idea" Of North



Accurate. We've all shouldered past endless efforts to carpetbag the core OZ mystique -- the journey of the P.I.N.H.E.A.D. continually recapitulates itself through the ozmotic cycle, like the land breathing -- but in six weeks this one has mostly threaded the needle between commercial imperative and recombinant myth. Beyond the ideological realignment playing out on top the questions that keep surfacing for me revolve around the nature of history in this theoretically immortal fairy country. Successive recent encounters with us have brought them closer to time, sexuality and death, which some may see as a pollution while the process is useful to others. Arguably the realm itself always resists external desire -- retroactive continuity falls from the sky like a house on a chthonic witch -- but this is the first time I'm really aware of the process being practically self conscious. If nothing else it sheds new light on the land's efforts to insulate itself from additional contact, the "deadly desert" experiment et alia.

But unpacking the wizard's carpet bag takes more time than I personally have right now and it's only the fact that nobody else is stepping up that brings it to us today at all. I do like the way he resolves the north/south tension in the text though by associating the missing compass point with wherever [the] Glinda is not. There is a "south" and I'm sure it is fantastic. One day it will rise again, but for now the regime requires it to remain fallen. The Canadians would undoubtedly produce Glenn [sic] Gould. Across the ocean, of course, the magic magnet swings 180 degress around, so there it's th' north that feels the shadow.

This of course brings us back to the great work of time that Alan Moore presents. It's actually almost trivial to resolve his early (1980-4) efforts into their component Chris Claremont molecules, up to and including Swamp Thing. It makes sense. The proto-wizard simply wanted to cash some checks and have a little fun, and the Claremont method was the most obvious route for an ambitious outsider to emulate, first in small techniques and then writ large. And Claremont himself had his hidden contacts, sure. But scroll up a decade and you've got the wizard giving Simon Dwyer's people his next quarter century fully formed like a statue hidden in the block:

I feel a different sense of time. I now understand time to be a "solid" in which past, present and future all happily coexist . . . time can be seen just as effectively one way as another. The Dr. Manhattan material was a "memory" of the state I'm in now in 1994 -- a "memory" which persisted until 1985. When you've seen time as something which is not focused on our unidirectional, constantly moving NOW but as a vast constant solid through which our conscious perception moves.

Now this quote was rarely discussed even though it clearly "foreshadows" his more recent explicit outworking of the theme in places like Providence, Jerusalem and especially Cinema Purgatorio. In fact, before this very blogpost the Rapid Eye interview was a pure googlewhack appearing in exactly one moldy old alt.comics.alan-moore post archived on forgotten servers. And yet until someone crosses over between Alan Moore country and Rapid Eye country, it drops out of sight into latency like a stereogram in reverse.

But here it is at last, shifting the thought cloud up and down the timeline like a recombinant gene, the mutation that fulfills and also recasts its own prophetic unresolved significance. From a certain angle, the time solid is fixed in a Nietzschean perpetual occurrence. Perhaps we call that angle "north" here. The point is that revision opens up other notional angles in which apparent evolution emerges and new stories are told, fables are malleable enough to support reconstruction. Alan Moore keeps rubbing the same time solid, but under different lights and in different patterns to generate an "experience."

Perhaps coincidentally, this particular Rapid Eye compilation also contains Grant Morrison's gloss on Maya Deren as well as the Gilbert & George profile, which if Moore champions a psychic "north" over there they are clearly hierophants of the "south" and especially the east end of that geographic centre of gravity. Dazzle ships, prefigurations of Milo. George says he contracted HIV in the early '80s in that one, which is still a true googlewhack, I can't find any confirmation or even reference to that one anywhere else. A compass needle for the camel's eye, waiting for witches' thread to sew it up and send it home. Houses of hidden light (q.v.).

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