Twin Peaks Usenet Archive

Subject: RS: Wide Awake In America
From: (Phil Miller)
Date: 1991-04-30, 21:54

   BASIC THEORY: I believe David Lynch is using Twin Peaks to 
represent a microcosm of modern day America -- an American that
is much differnt than the America of the past (especially the 
innocent 1950's).  Lynch feels historical American virtues of hard  
work, strong family, and fair play are being replaced by those of
selfishness, greed, and superficiality.  He feels a horrible, unstopable
evil presence is jeopardizing our very existance as a culture.
In Lynch's view our only way out is to look within and hope that
"love is enough".

   THE OWLS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM = America is not what it seems.

       THE LMFAP represents that "little man inside our heads" which
    helps us distinguish right from wrong.  He's elusive to modern
    America though, always dancing away.  To Cooper he is especially
    represenative of intuition.  The OAM tells Cooper:
      "You will find the anwsers with the heart, not the head."
       Also note Cooper has never beaten Windom Earle in a chess
    game -- a game of intelligence.  Is this Lynch's way
    of saying America is blinding itself with knowledge and forsaking
    its natural ability to recognize evil?  

      For all his good intentions Cooper does not grasp everything
    the LMFAP reveals, so to get his attention, THE GIANT is sent.
    The Giant stresses patience and reverence:
        "A path is formed one stone at a time."
        "Don't ask questions, listen."
      Cooper can only prevent future travesties in Twin Peaks by heeding
    his advice; just as Lynch is saying Americans can only save their society
    by returning to a slower less competitive  lifestyle with respect
    for institutions and authority figures.  
        COOPER represents an ousider sent to America by forces of good
    (The White Lodge) to prevent its decay.  Just as the Dali Lama 
    recently warned America to be more compassionate,  Cooper sets an
    example of good-will for all to follow, especially with regards to 
    fighting evil.                    
        THE WHITE LODGE represents the source of all the unselfish and  
    compassionate values which have been lost over the last century in
    America.  They feel the time is getting late and sent their agent,
    Cooper, to stop the nation's decline into evil.  As Wagner's god Wotan
    could not directly aide Siegfried, the White Lodge can only use
    the Giant sparingly to help him.  Cooper must use his own intrinsic
    nature to save Twin Peaks, just as Lynch is saying Americans must 
    look within them to turn the tide of American decline.

         WINDOM EARLE represents the current American role model, one who
    strives for personal success at any cost.  His disguises are indicative
    of the many decptions found in America's business and social worlds.
         THE BLACK LODGE is the cosmic source of evil which has taken
    a foothold in America.  Yet they cannot take complete control of the 
    country  until a mortal such as WE has his hands on the controls.
    This ability to "change the order of things" is perhaps Lynch's 
    warning of an eventual overthrow of the American constitutional
    system by a dictator resembling Windom Earle.
         THE OAM represents those in America who have participated
    heavily for the forces of evil (Black Lodge) but have since
    repented, "saw the face of God (White Lodge)", and are now in
    essence foot soldiers, battle hardened and weary.

         THE MAYOR represents our historic institutions which are
    no longer respected, "Is this thing on, can anybody hear me?"
    The wisdom and advice of the elderly have no place in modern
    America; niether does the sanctity of our elected officals as
    even the mayor gets corrupted by Lana.
         LANA represents the over importance of sexual images in modern
    America.  The whole sherrif's office comes to a grinding halt;
    the mayor flounders like a fool.

         THE HYPNOTIC MUSIC represents how most people have become
    hypnotized by both the incessant media and by the nature of their
    jobs.  Notice how the music is at its most hypnotic (jazz stuff)
    when a character is doing something for selfish reasons.
         THE LOG LADY represents somebody who has been aware of the
    changes in America for quite some time but has been impatiently
    waiting for help, "It's about time you got here", she tells Cooper.
    She clearly has indirect contact (via the Log) with the White 
    Lodge.  The Log itself could also be thought of as a recording
    log which is keeping a history of the country's decline -- "My
    Log does not judge (it's only telling it like it is)."

         MAJOR BRIGGS represents the true family man of America past.
    He puts personal gain aside for the good of all. "Do you take pride
    in your medals?" asks the Log Lady, "No, pride only obscures the 
    accomplishment."  He is essentialy to Cooper as Spock was to Kirk.
    (We all know Spock is destined to say someday, "My greatest fear
    is that Love may not be enough.")

         BOBBY BRIGGS is of course the traditional model of American
    youth in rebellion.  Yet he will turn out okay --  just as his father
    envisioned -- since he was raised in a home with a strong family
    unit and moral values.  Now that he has had his fling with drugs
    and corporate corruption, I can imagine him joining the military 
    and raising a family with Shelly.  His father knocked that cigarrete
    out of his mouth because he really cared.

         SHELLY JOHNSON is the traditional pre-women's lib American
    woman with the advice to save the community, "If everybody would
    hold hands, than nobody could make a fist."  Because David Lynch's
    character, Gordon Cole, could only hear her, she may be what Lynch
    thinks American women should be more like.

         LEO JOHNSON represents the animalistic creature Lynch feels
     we are all turning into.  He becomes a slave to sex and drugs and
     later appropriately becomes a slave to his ultimate master --
     intellectual evil, Windom Earle.  But Leo is repenting now that
     he recognizes how awful pure evil is.

         THE HAYWARDS like the Briggs are a family of America's past.
     (In this case it's clearly Lynch's favorite era -- the 50's.)
     Donna and her friend James represent the innocence of our past 
     thrown into the turbulence of modern America.  They try to be
     "good" so hard, but it always winds-up hurting them; yet, they don't
     understand why. "No matter how hard I try, somebody always gets
     hurt", pines James.  Donna accidently causes Harold Smith's death
     while trying to make "good" by undercovering the evil that killed
     her friend, Laura.  But Donna and James don't have what it
     takes to fight evil, and things may get worse as Evelyn warns Donna,
     "Wait until you get to be my age, and you'll see how really rotten
     the world is."

          BEN HORNE represents the personification of the successful 
      man in modern America.  He's learned to use the tools of evil
      legally and illegally to obtain money, power, sex.  But his family's
      disfunctionality reflects that traditional American values had to
      be sacrificed for greed.
          After Jean Renault and Catherine Martell humble and defeat
      Ben, he finds himself in a jail cell -- his evil caged -- and   
      reflects with his brother to the memory of an innocent childhood
           "Where did we go wrong?"
         (Where did our country go wrong?) 
          He thinks fondly of the hard work his father put into building
       the Great Northern;  he kisses his mother's black and white image.
          Ben then pays the price for years of evilness by becoming mentally
      ill -- catharsis.  His commanding the losing side in the American
      Civil War prophsises future turmoil in America -- a battle traditional
      American values (family) will win, as indicated by the _Wizard_of_Oz_
      closing scene.  Only the regrouping of his family could cure Ben,
      who is now doing benevolent acts.

          AUDREY HORNE is searching for the love of a father figure;
      that's why she went after Cooper -- a strong manly presence. She 
      is confused however and confuses love with sex.  Cooper sets her
      straight (the short time she spent with him gained her more security
      than a lifetime with her father).  Freed to be a women, she falls
      in love with JJ Wheeler.  
          A lot of people complained about Audrey's character changing
      in the second season; it was because of Cooper's inner strength
      as guidence.

          MRS. HORNE (Ben's wife) has already served her purpose to
      her husband, and that's why we never see her.  I'm disappointed
      the writers didn't expand her role after Ben mended his ways.

          JOHNNY HORNE's mental handicap and unconditional love should
      have humbled Ben years earlier to shed his evil ways.  His screams
      during Ben's reaquaitence-with-honsty lecture from Wheeler must
      surely be screams of relief.

        LELAND PALMER, Ben Horne's attorney, represents the dangerousness
   of lackeydom in modern corporate America.  Ben's got a hole where
   his conscience used to be, so he's easily manipulated into doing his
   boss's dirty work, whether his boss be Ben or BOB.
        Never standing up to Ben and his coruption eats away at Leland's
   ego and makes him feel guilty.  He is never the man in control.
   To compound matters for Leland's psyche, he was molested as a child
   by a man named Robertson.  This traumatized him so badly that he
   only remembers the man's playfulness ("Do you want to play with
   fire little boy") and, thus, never got the therapy needed (guilt

       LAURA PALMER represents the refusal of American society to 
   waken and see that it is dying.  On the outside we are proud
   to boast of the robust success of our modern lifestyle, but
   on the inside we refuse to see that our spirit is decaying.
   This is allegorized by the town of Twin Peak's blindness to
   Laura's disease: schizophrenia, which was brought on due to
   her father molesting her repeatedly. 
       The writers chose this most shocking violation of traditional
   American standards to personify "the evil that men do" in the
   presence of KILLER BOB.  Evil appears in this BOB personification 
   only to those gifted or damned.  Since the viewers at home in
   America can see BOB, does mean that Lynch is saying Americans should
   wake up and use their gift of spiritualality, or else, become 
       Pinning down exactly the nature of BOB is an extremely 
   difficult if not impossible task.  It is perhaps best for the
   viewer to just consider him to be the agent of the source of
   ultimate evil in the universe -- The Black Lodge.  
       (Getting back to Laura)  Laura's inner strength was stonger  
   at resisting demon position than her father's was years earlier.
   This aggravated the Black Lodge immensly.  Yet because she  
   continued to block out the image of her father molesting her
   (her gift only allowing her conscious mind to see the source
    of the crime (BOB)),  she wandered into schizophrenia -- 
   ideal school girl by day, drug user and whore by night.
        Perhaps due to Dr. Jacoby's therapy or the goodness of James,
   Laura finally came to admit that Leland had molested her.
   "I now know who BOB is."
        But Leland, his conscious being controled by BOB/Black Lodge,
   found the incriminating enteries in the diary.  Laura freaked at
   the torn pages and went out for one last foray into evil with 
   Jaque and Leo at the cabin.  Later Leland killed her in the train
   car. "My father killed me."

          That's it. Comments welcomed.