Twin Peaks Usenet Archive


Subject: Letters at 3 a.m.
From: nolty@kastor.caltech.edu.caltech.edu (Bob Nolty)
Date: 1991-01-04, 18:34
Newsgroups: alt.tv.twin-peaks

The following is from Michael Ventura's column, Letters at 3 a.m.  He
is the resident intellectual/artist type at the local liberal weekly.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Six months ago I wrote that, as much as I loved _Twin Peaks_, David Lynch
would never deal with consequences, so the solution of "who killed Laura
Palmer?" was bound to be trivial.  Watch now while I eat those words.
The problem of delivering on the Laura Palmer mystery made David Lynch
and Mark Frost dig down into their creation, and what they found there
is the most startling striptease of American "normality" ever
presented on television.  The scene in the nightclub while Maddie is
being killed by Leland Palmer is a most delicate and intricate
presentation of what "collective psyche" means and how it can feel.
And when the show says, in effect, that an affluent father who rapes
and kills his daughter is innocent, possessed of a free-floating evil
that took advantage of his very emptiness to enter him -- that's a
frightful and accurate diagnosis of America.  But _Twin Peaks_ goes
even further by saying it's not possible to deduce the dilemma with
Western tools.  _Twin Peaks_ invokes dreams, magic, other worlds,
other senses, in a clear and uncompromised call to go beyond what most
Western intellectuals define as "thought".

Who can watch something like _The Simpsons_ after that?  _The
Simpsons_ can't go beyond the paradigms of the society it mocks.
Worse, its danger is that it _does_ portray accurately the surfaces
of kids' feelings (but only the surfaces), and so tempts them to
identify with it.  Many will get stuck where the show is stuck: in a
rebellion that isn't rebellion at all, just a clever way to be
powerless and _like_ it.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
BTW I pretty much disagree.  "When the show says, in effect, that an
affluent father who rapes and kills his daughter is innocent,
possessed of a free-floating evil that took advantage of his very
emptiness to enter him -- " that's what I call a trivial solution.
After laying open so much human nature and human drama, to lay the
ultimate blame on something non-human seems to me a total cop-out.

Bob
--
"Cotton _balls_!  By God those things will be quiet now!"


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