Twin Peaks Usenet Archive


Subject: Re: Truman, Truman, Truman
From: plambeck@Neon.Stanford.EDU (Thane E. Plambeck)
Date: 1990-10-11, 12:24
Newsgroups: alt.tv.twin-peaks,rec.arts.tv

From plambeck Tue Oct 9 23:26:26 1990
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Date: Tue, 9 Oct 90 23:26:24 -0700
From: Thane E. Plambeck 
Full-Name: Thane E. Plambeck
Message-Id: <9010100626.AA02523@Neon.Stanford.EDU>
To: plambeck@neon.Stanford.EDU
Subject: (none) ---possibly twin peaks
Status: R


Some analysis of the recent twin peaks:

It's risky to introduce the supernatural and UFO-ial because these
are essentially proletarian concepts that when explored to any
depth are revealed to be very stupid. I once read a book called
by stan lem called ``his masters voice'' which the sf-heads amongst us
may have also read and let me be perfectly clear, I HATE science fiction,
but the point was this: a man, selling extra-T transmissions as
random numbers, is confronted by a customer who points out that these
bits, put forward as random, in fact repeat themselves after some
large number of gigabytes. a los-alamos-type effort is struck up
to determine what the hell these bits are and the mathematician-narrator
and indeed none of the most-qualified scientific personnel described
in the book are ever able to figure out what the bits mean, although
they are able to interpret some homomorphism of the bits as chemical
formulas and they synthesize some sort of slime out of it that has
odd properties. now ones interest in this story may indicate
nerd tendencies but I for one found it at least mildly compelling
particularly because the right note---that of never really figuring
out what the bits mean---is struck.
These outerspace phenomena, if explained, lose much of their force
so that the narrative motive force eventually causes them to become,
as I have already said, very stupid.

From plambeck Tue Oct 9 23:42:46 1990
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Date: Tue, 9 Oct 90 23:42:45 -0700
From: Thane E. Plambeck 
Full-Name: Thane E. Plambeck
Message-Id: <9010100642.AA03143@Neon.Stanford.EDU>
To: plambeck@neon.Stanford.EDU
Subject: extra-T in art, etc...
Status: R


so then, take for example close encounters of the third kind. now that
was a typical case. the movie is quite interesting to the point when
things are being explained----when the spaceships appear we begin to
feel an ennui, a thickness, a (how should I say it) Very Stupidness.
when the extra-terrestrials themselves are seen, we feel silly indeed
to have even entered the theatre. the best plan, the only plan, once
these concepts have been brought into play, is to forever postpone
explanation or clarification, and it is in this sense that they may
succeed in twin peaks. what we have here, ultimately, of course,
is a SYMBOL of what is unanswered in our lives, whatever that may be.
an explanation, once offered and accepted, in effect destroys that
thing which it explains. the little green man is of course, a fetus,
an origin, or a place unexplained. ((let me recommend this
rhetorical technique, that of spraying `of course' into your
writing at random, unexplained points, to you)) the habit of
CAPITALIZING words, on the other hand, demeans the reader and let
me offer my apology before continuing.

From plambeck Wed Oct 10 00:04:09 1990
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Date: Wed, 10 Oct 90 00:04:08 -0700
From: Thane E. Plambeck 
Full-Name: Thane E. Plambeck
Message-Id: <9010100704.AA04089@Neon.Stanford.EDU>
To: plambeck@neon.Stanford.EDU
Subject: science, fiction, and science fiction
Status: R


fiction, then, is false; science, explaining; science fiction, explaining
the false. we are not interested in science
because it explains, but because it delineates the unexplained more
clearly. we would see the ufo photo, but not a description of what
these extra-T's really are, because then we have science, we have an
explanation, and we are not interested in explanations, and particularly
in explanations of what we already understand to be in false framework
(art is representational). there are riddles of this sort---``a man
is dead in a closed room and the floor is wet''---for which we are asked
to guess an explanation---and the so-called answers go something like
---``he tied a rope around his neck while standing on a block of ice and
as it melted he strangled.'' I would say that to the extent one is
interested in these sort of riddles, one is unable to adopt what I
would call the True Critical Viewpoint: art is what it offers, and no
more, and the greatest sin is to bring one's own biases or inventions
to the critical effort. Such a riddle could in effect have any solution:
why am I being asked to provide one?/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
/////////////////////

From plambeck Wed Oct 10 00:36:42 1990
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From: Thane E. Plambeck 
Full-Name: Thane E. Plambeck
Message-Id: <9010100736.AA05664@Neon.Stanford.EDU>
To: plambeck@neon.Stanford.EDU
Subject: ESP paranormal, etc.
Status: R


One might think naively that to distinguish between what is ESP, paranormal,
bigfoot, kirlian photography etc and what is science, say fourier series,
superconductivity or anil's thesis would be a difficult thing but we know
it to be trivial. Only in the lower reaches of the prole press (national
enquirer) do we encounter any confusion about what's what, and this only
in the context of appropriating the scientist's authority for headlining
(``Top researchers baffled by Zebra's Haiku'') I own a two volume
``research study'' on Bigfoot but the emphasis throughout is on what is
unknown or mysterious about the creature, and not on what evidence,
even if fabricated, really exists. for example many pages are devoted
to ``possible sightings,'' but none to ``sightings.'' there are big
apes and the lines are not long at the zoo---but this is irrelevant
because it is the unknown dimension that we are being asked to respond to.
let's agree then on this point and move on. taking a closer look
at the UFO, extra-t's etc. in our culture reveals some interesting points
(next message if I continue typing....)

From plambeck Wed Oct 10 00:57:09 1990
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From: Thane E. Plambeck 
Full-Name: Thane E. Plambeck
Message-Id: <9010100757.AA06401@Neon.Stanford.EDU>
To: plambeck@neon.Stanford.EDU
Subject: across that crazy quilt we call the classes
Status: R


take the ufo encounter as we find it in movies, in books, in television
commercials. at the prole level (national enquirer) we find the
abduction theme. the aliens seize a victim who is returned unharmed
with vague and usually not altogether unpleasant recollections. higher
up the cultural ladder (but not too high) we find the man, isolated in
a rural environment, suddenly illuminated by a bright, mesmerizing light.
the aliens inspect the human and move on, and the man understands himself
to have been in considerable danger, perhaps because bright fireballs that
burned circular patches into a nearby wheatfield may just have well have
burned him alive and indeed looking at his fishing waders we find them
to be singed at the seams. still higher on the cultural ladder we have
what is known as ``the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence''
with radio waves, space-craft messages on records, and the musings
of Carl Sagan. at the top we have twin peaks, where the ineluctable
core of the idea is yanked out and thrown in with its true company,
the unexplained murder, the mentally half-sane, the inscrutable
closed community with symbolic visitor (agent cooper), prostitution,
shady investment practices, and the far east.

From plambeck Wed Oct 10 01:32:39 1990
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Date: Wed, 10 Oct 90 01:32:38 -0700
From: Thane E. Plambeck 
Full-Name: Thane E. Plambeck
Message-Id: <9010100832.AA07702@Neon.Stanford.EDU>
To: plambeck@neon.Stanford.EDU
Subject: you know
Status: R


if twin peaks is about anything it is about messages, messages sent but
not received, messages by phone, messages as clues, messages as dreams,
messages as massages (one-eyed jacks). we have messages from logs,
messages from birds, messages going on to recording tape for diane, messages
to iceland, messages from outerspace, messages from a giant in the
middle of the night with UFO bright light metaphor, strange accent
and token of proof (missing ring). The best scene in the last Twin peaks
was between the military man and the log lady---the log's message was
``deliver the message,'' the log ladies question was ``do you understand that,''
and his answer was ``yes, I believe I do.'' It was a gratifying scene
for the viewer precisely because this moment distilled the act of reception
from our own understanding of the information conveyed---we know
none of the message, the sender, the receiver or the mechanism by
which it is conveyed, but that it is confirmed as received is gratifying
to us. modern man desires community and a sense of belonging and even
this highly reduced communal feeling or understanding strikes a deep chord.

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