Saturday, November 22, 2014

Murder Most Mysterious on Mass Ave



Murder is so rare in Portland, Maine, that you can count the incidents on one hand since 2011. But two of them have been associated with separate ends of Massachusetts Avenue in 2014 and 2011.

Here are the statistics for recent years: 2000, No murders; 2001, 1; 2002, 3; 2003, 1; 2004, 2; 2005, 3; 2006; 3; 2007, 1; 2008, 4; 2009, 4; 2010, 6; 2011, 2; 2012, 1. (Source.) There was only one homicide in Portland, Maine, in 2013. (Source.)

Most murders in Portland, Maine, are the result of domestic violence, but less than 10% remain "unsolved."

A new murder in Portland is a surprise. Where it happened is, as well. The Brighton Avenue-Massachusetts Avenue-Congress Street area is a mix of apartment houses at each end, with quiet single-family homes, lined with maple trees and comfortable little front and back yards, in between. This is near the University of Southern Maine, and where students, immigrants, professors, and ex-professors live. The site of these murders is where I live, and a shock for the neighborhood. (It was just a "coincidence" that I wrote about redrum/murder earlier on the same day.)

But are we discovering, at least, for murder mysteries of 2011 and 2014, this one area is a focus?



Here's what we know about the murder last night, Friday, November 21, 2014.
Portland police say a man was shot and killed by another man who fled the scene of the apparent homicide in an apartment on Brighton Avenue on Friday night.
Police found one man dead when they were called to an apartment at 214 Brighton Ave. shortly after 9 p.m. to respond to a report that shots had been fired.
The man believed to have committed the killing fled, but police didn’t know whether he got in a vehicle or ran. They did say that the suspected shooter was no longer thought to be in the area late Friday night, and that no one had been taken into custody.
Police did not release the identity of the victim.
Brighton Avenue was closed between Douglass Street and Massachusetts Avenue while police investigated the killing. They expected the street to remain closed for some time.
The shooting occurred in the Princeton Village Apartments, a large complex next to the train tracks that run through the neighborhood. (Read more.)

The time was also given in another report:
Portland police are investigating a homicide at 214 Brighton Ave. Officers arrived an apartment around 9:05 p.m. Friday and found one man dead. (Read more.)
Saturday evening, the victim was identified as Richard Lobor, 23, of Portland. Source.

Lobor was a guest in an apartment at 214 Brighton Avenue, where the fatal shooting took place. Source.


On Facebook, "Rich Lobor" (pictured) is profiled:
Works at Seeds of Peace
Studied at Southern Maine Community College
Past: Portland High School
Lives in Juba, South Sudan
From Cairo, Egypt


==============================================================

In 2011, an unsolved murder happened at the opposite end of Massachusetts Avenue.



Portland police investigate a fatal shooting that happened early Monday, August 1, 2011, outside 4-6 Massachusetts Ave. Police were called to the Mobil gas station at 1196 Congress St., in the background, and found a 41-year-old man lying on the sidewalk in front of the station. He was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. John Patriquin/Portland Press Herald photographer

Portland police search an alley outside 4-6 Massachussetts Ave., where a man apparently was shot early Monday. The shooting is the first homicide of this year in Portland. John Patriquin/Portland Press Herald photographer

The victim, identified as Allen MacLean, apparently was shot at 4:30 am behind the three-story apartment building at 4-6 Massachusetts Ave., and collapsed on the sidewalk in front of a Mobil gas station and convenience store at 1196 Congress St.

The case is still listed as unsolved, as the Portland Police department's only "cold case homicide" for 2011. (See here.)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Kubrick Red: Redrum, Redrug and More

Kubrick Red: Redrum, Redrug and More

When I visited the Stanley Hotel a few years ago, Redrum was an appropriate souvenir. Of course, Redrum is "murder" backwards. It also was a clever way for Stanley Kubrick to celebrate his favorite film color in The Shining.

A new short documentary has appeared this week doing the same thing for several of his movies.

Here it is:





Whether from recent tomahawk imagery, 

from hatchet horrors (see here) or axe attacks (see here), red (including via Red Dirt Report) is there too.

Note the extensive use of red in the following Progressive Insurance spot called "Superport."



I am not interested in making any claims for this ad, other than to mention the red. Some (e.g. The Grotx1 ~ thanks Steve L.) talk about the end times by using this Progressive ad. I'm more interested in the synchromystic link, via a chromaticism analysis.

Also, it is intriguing how the number "211" is used and made to vanish in the ad. Grotx1 sees in "211" a connection to the 21st of the month.

But, of course, the use of 211 is a not-too-subtle way for Progressive Insurance to broadcast they are the company to turn to for answers. 2-1-1 is a special abbreviated telephone number reserved in Canada and the United States as an easy-to-remember three-digit telephone number meant to provide quick information and referrals to health and human service organizations for both services from charities and from governmental agencies. It is similar to the use of 9-1-1 as a way to recall an emergency number for help.

The 211 Crew is a white supremacist prison gang, active both in and out of prison, that was formed in 1995 at Colorado's Denver County Jail. It was linked to several high-profile assassinations of correctional and legal officials, and on-going criminal investigations.

Kubrick is more intrigued with 237, however, as most of us involved with syncs and the twilight language know.

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Support the Twilight Language analyses.









Thursday, November 20, 2014

Trident Times: FSU, Zócalo, Mockingjay, and Bangkok


Watch for rising levels of violence, protests, and related activities on November 20-21, 2014. Here's some early indicators....



There has been a college shooting at Florida State University.

The shooter is dead and, at least, three students are seriously injured after being shot inside the first floor lobby at Strozier Library at Florida State University (FSU), in the heart of the Tallahassee campus. As CNN and other major news outlets are reporting, the shooting began around 12:30 am on Thursday, November 20, 2014.

The library is open 24 hours a day, and was packed with students studying for finals, before the beginning of Thanksgiving break. Police confronted the gunman (some accounts say on the steps of the library), who refused to drop his gun, and he was shot dead.


The male individual who shot several students on Florida State University's campus Thursday night was identified as a graduate who later became a lawyer. Myron May graduated from FSU before earning his law degree at Texas Tech, according to the Associated Press, which cited an unnamed official providing the information. The AP also interviewed a woman, Abigail Taunton, who said she rented a house to May.

May graduated from FSU in 2005.

Myron (Arabic = sweet oil) May was from Dayton, Ohio, and has lived in Lubbock, Texas; Houston, Texas; and most recently, Wewahitchka (Seminole = water eyes), Florida. Source.

Florida State University student Jason Derfuss found this bullet and damaged book in his backpack after leaving the scene of Thursday night's shooting at the campus library.

FSU is one of the top research universities in the nation. It has about 40,000 students spread out in various campuses in the city, and is also considered one of the nation's top-ranked football teams.

The history of the campus is long and detailed. In 1856, the land and buildings in an area formerly known as Gallows Hill, site of public executions in early Tallahassee, where the Florida Institute was built, was accepted as the site of the state seminary for male students. The cadets from the Confederate military school there defeated Union forces at the Battle of Natural Bridge in 1865. The FSU Army ROTC, to this day, is only one of four collegiate military units in the US with permission to display a Confederate battle streamer.

During the 1960s and 1970s the Florida State University became a center for student activism especially in the areas of racial integration, women's rights and opposition to the Vietnam War. The school acquired the nickname "Berkeley of the South." The FSU chapter of the Students for a Democratic Society were especially active there in 1969, leading to the "Night of the Bayonets."

"Seminoles, who lived and fought in swampy everglades, tended not to ride horses." The stereotype of the Plains Indians is used for the FSU mascot.
(The most recent school shooting before the FSU incident involved the Tulalip First Nation of Washington State. Six died in the Marysville-Pilchuck High School event of Friday, October 24, 2014.)

Florida State has been the home of the “Seminoles” since 1947. In recent years, the name and symbols tied to FSU has called "The Champions of Racist Mascots." Dave Zirin has written therein:

Any Florida State fanatic will shout at you, the university has “a formal agreement with Seminole Nation” and that makes everything all right.
...the existence of this “agreement with the Seminole Nation” is a myth.
The agreement is with the Florida Seminole Tribal Council and not the Seminole Nation. The majority of Seminoles don’t even live in Florida. They live in Oklahoma, one of the fruits of the Seminole Wars, the Indian Removal Act and The Trail of Tears. These Oklahoma Seminoles—who, remember, are the majority—oppose the name. On October 26, 2013, the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma’s governing body passed a resolution that read in part, “The Seminole Nation condemns the use of all American Indian sports team mascots in the public school system, by college and university level and by professional teams.”

FSU's logo, three burning staffs, contains the motto, vires, artes, mores (in Latin), strength, skill, character (in English).

Meanwhile, in Mexico,


RPJ writes from Mexico City:
Things might get VERY interesting [on Thursday, November 20, 2014] down here. They've announced a triple protest march, starting from different points of the city, and converging at the Zócalo plaza. A literal trident of angry people.

It's synchromystically interesting that [Thursday] is when we celebrate the 104th anniversary of the Mexican revolution, and a day later the first part of Mockingjay will be premiered worldwide.
There is great symbolism behind Zócalo:
The main plaza of Mexico City is commonly known as the Zócalo (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈsokalo], plinth), meaning plinth. It was the main ceremonial center in the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan and from the colonial period on, the main plaza or square in the heart of the historic center of Mexico City. The site is just one block southwest of the Templo Mayor which, according to Aztec legend and mythology, was considered the center of the universe....A European-style plaza was not part of the conquered Aztec Tenochtitlan; the old city had a sacred precinct or "teocalli" which was the absolute center of the city (and the universe, according to Aztec belief), but it was located to the immediate north and northeast of the modern-day Zócalo. Source.
"Mexico is facing an escalating political crisis amid growing fury over a mansion built for the presidential family and the disappearance and probable massacre of 43 student teachers," notes the Guardian article, "Mexico at breaking point as anti-government anger escalates."

Mockingjay and Bangkok

The movie, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I, has the release dates in Indonesia and the Philippines of November 20th, and in the United States of November 21th. It is a movie about revolution.



"Tridents" are to be found in The Hunger Games via the "three-finger salute."

























NBC News has broken the news, November 20, 2014, that protest leader Nachacha Kongudom was arrested by undercover cops outside a Bangkok cinema after using the Hunger Games three-finger salute to defy Thailand's military rulers. The new The Hunger Games movie has been pulled from the Apex chain of Thai theaters.




The Hunger Games salute has actually been banned by the Thai military.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is a 2014 American science fiction adventure film directed by Francis Lawrence with a screenplay by Peter Craig and Danny Strong. It is the first of two cinematic parts based on the novel Mockingjay, the final book in The Hunger Games trilogy, written by Suzanne Collins, and the third installment in The Hunger Games film series, produced by Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik and distributed by Lionsgate. The film stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, [the now deceased] Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland. Source.
Other areas of concern...

The car rammings, protests, and now open attacks against Jews and Arabs related to the Temple Mount situation are increasing. (See here.) This is not going to go away. The fear after the recent massacre is high.

The Ferguson grand jury finding comes in soon too.

Also...

Michael Nichols, 83, director of Carnal Knowledge, The Odd Couple and The Graduate, has died of a heart attackWednesday evening.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Peter Edward Kassig Beheaded by ISIS



CNN is reporting that, "in a video published to the Internet on Sunday [November 16, 2014], purportedly from terror group ISIS, militants claim to have beheaded American hostage Peter [Edward] Kassig."
According to a TIME article from January 2013, Kassig was running an NGO out of Beirut, Lebanon, after returning there (originally on spring break from Butler University in ). Called SERA, it stands for Special Emergency Response and Assistance, and delivers food and aid to those in Syrian refugee camps.
...
Kassig [was] an Army Ranger who deployed to Iraq in 2007. He joined the Army Rangers in 2006, and was honorably discharged for medical reasons after a brief tour. In an interview with Syria Deeply, Kassig said that he rejected the chance to train rebels in military tactics. Source.
Kassig, 26. changed his first name to Abdul Rahman after becoming a Muslim while in captivity.

The meaning of Abdul literally and normally means "Slave of the," but English translations also often translate it to: "Servant of the."

Rahman (Arabic: رحمان‎, Raḥmān) is an Arabic male name. It is the elative of Raḥim, based on the triconsonantal root R-Ḥ-M. In Islam, the name ar-Raḥmān, meaning "The Beneficent, The Most Merciful in Essence, The Compassionate, The Most Gracious" is considered most special of the Names of God in Islam. Rahman can be short for Abdur Rahman "servant of al-Rahman"; i.e. "servant of God". With nisba, the name becomes Rahmani and is used as a surname.

Kassig/Rahman is the 5th Westerners to be beheaded in this current cycle of ISIS murders.

Peter Kassig's middle name is Edward.

On November 16, 1272, while travelling during the Ninth Crusade, Prince Edward becomes King of England upon Henry III of England's death, but he will not return to England for nearly two years to assume the throne.

Friday, November 14, 2014

White House Trident, Bell Syncs and Nuclear Attack 2015: Trident Times Continue


A trident was the initial reason a jumper was able to get into the White House, you say? That's the surprising little detail in a just-released Homeland Security review of the September 19, 2014, incident.

The description of the top of the fence as a "trident" may not be totally accurate, but the fact that that term would be used, nevertheless, in these "Trident Times," makes total sense to me. Here are some examples of how it is being employed:
The new report said Omar Gonzalez, 42, cleared the fence where a trident, or ornamental spike, was missing. An officer in the joint operations center who tried to raise the alarm was unaware his warnings weren't being broadcast to uniformed officers stationed at the executive mansion. ~ NBC4/Washington
Shortly after Gonzalez ignored the shouts of uniformed officers and climbed over the White House fence where a missing "trident" made doing so easier, his landing on the grass set off alarms. ~ Bloomberg
The section of the fence that Gonzalez scaled lacked an ornamental spike — called a trident — that would have made it harder for him to get over, the report found. ~ Washington Post


Fixing the tridents. Better late than never?



Across most of the top of the fence, these toppers, vaguely, looks like tridents because they seems to be forms of a stylized fleur-de-lis ("flowers of the lilies"), which are stylized tridents. Fences tend to use them routinely. The specific one that the workman is fixing, however, is even more a trident.


The trident, obelisk, fleur-de-lis, frog, and pine cone were fertility symbols used in pagan religions and are still used today. Source.

Why "trident"? Please revisit "Synchromystic Symposium: The Meaning of Tridents."

(BTW, if you missed it, the biggest trident of the world was installed at Pandeshwor Mahadev Temple in Dharna VDC-1 in Dang district, India, on October 29, 2014. The trident weighs around 6,500 kg and is 42.5 feet tall. The trident, constructed from five metals, was made at a cost of Rs 2.2 million. Sources, here and here.)
When I reported on Gonzalez's jump earlier, "The Bell Tolls White House Jumpers...," I mentioned he was from Bell County, Texas. Also, Samantha Bell is the name of Gonzalez's ex-wife. Gonzalez is listed as living in Copperas Cove (a sync to the Copper business of Interstellar?), Texas, which partially overlaps into Bell County. Records indicate Gonzalez was born and married in Bell County. See that posting near its end for more on the meaning and significance of Bell.

Briefly, in Jim Brandon's 1983 book, The Rebirth of Pan: Hidden Faces of the American Earth Spirit, he writes, regarding the "name game":
I'm not talking here of such spooky tongue-twisters as H.P. Lovecraft's Yog-Sothoth or Arthur Machen's Ishakshar, but of quite ordinary names like Bell, Beall and variants...
Then, the "Third White House Fence Jumper Since 9/11/2014" leaped the White House fence on the evening of October 22, 2014. His name is Dominic Adesanya, 23, and he is from - well, of course - Bel Air, Maryland.

Dominic Adesanya (surname meaning unknown, but name origin: Nigerian), listed his job title as "American Slave." His profile also says, “Still waiting for Nathaniel Philip Rothschild and his father; Nathaniel Charles Jacob Rothschild-4th Baron Rothschild to let me go. Whenever that day comes…”

Intriguingly, then Matthew Bell sent me this seemingly unlinked tidbit, from page A1 of the New York Times11.11.14, about the prison interview of the hacker Guccifer, who told of 
A potpourri of conspiracy theories about the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the 1997 death of Princess Diana and alleged plans for a nuclear attack in Chicago in 2015, it said: “This world is run by a group of conspirators called the Council of Illuminati, very rich people, noble families, bankers and industrialists from the 19th and 20th century.”


Marcel-Lehel Lazar, a.k.a Guccifer (i.e. Gucci + Lucifer), tormented various celebrities with no special skills beyond what he had picked up on the web. Photo by Cristian Movila.
Mr. Badea, the Romanian prosecutor, scoffed at Mr. Lazar’s fixation on so-called Illuminati as a ruse intended to give a political gloss to a peeping-tom hacking addiction. The hacking exploits that led to his 2011 conviction involved “no Illuminati, just famous and beautiful girls,” the prosecutor said.
Mr. Lazar denied any interest in celebrities, asserting that he had only stumbled on most of the people he hacked as Guccifer, a long list that included the actress Mariel Hemingway, the “Sex and the City” author Candace Bushnell, the editor Tina Brown, the comedian Steve Martin, the author Kitty Kelley and many others.
With no access to a computer in jail, he now pours out his phobias and conspiracy theories in notebooks filled with his small, neat handwriting. “O.K., I broke the law, but seven years in a maximum-security prison? I am not a murderer or a thief,” he said. “What I did was right, of course.” Source.

Let's hope, despite their skepticism, someone has asked Lazar for his insights on the details of this 2015 planned nuclear attack of Chicago.

I shall end with this...for whom the bell tolls...it may toll for Lucifer.

Lucifer, Act III

First Devil

I hear the great bell
Let its merry knell
Wake all fiends who dwell
In the breast of the teeming earth


Second Devil

I hear the great bell
And I sniff the smell
That I love full well
Of a roast on the roaring hearth


First Witch

I hear the great bell
And its changes tell
That the Prince of Hell
Is the guest of our seldom mirth


Chorus

I hear the great bell
Let its merry knell
Wake all fiends who dwell
In the breast of the teeming earth


From Lucifer: A Theological Tragedy (Herbert S. Stone & Co., Chicago, 1899) by George Santayana.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Philae Name Game: Isis and Obelisks

Image of comet taken from Philae spacecraft before successful landing.


Philae means "trade." There is an intriguing name game behind all the interstellar news you are seeing on television and reading about in the media. Let me save you the trouble, and go through these language links systematically. Today's news merely continues the space happenings occurring as Interstellar plays in your neighborhood theater this month.
Philae is a robotic European Space Agency lander that accompanied the Rosetta spacecraft until its designed landing on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, over ten years after departing Earth. On 12 November 2014, the lander achieved the first controlled touchdown on a comet nucleus. Its instruments are expected to obtain the first images from a comet's surface and make the first in situ analysis to determine its composition.
The lander is named after Philae Island in the Nile where an obelisk was found and used, along with the Rosetta Stone, to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics. Source.
Obelisks are important, in terms of twilight language. See some of what I've already written about them, here, here, and here.

The Philae obelisk [pictured above] was one of two obelisks found at Philae in Upper Egypt in 1815 and soon afterwards acquired by William John Bankes. He noted two inscriptions on it, one in Egyptian hieroglyphs the other in ancient Greek. By comparing the two texts, although they were not translations of one another, Bankes believed that he recognised the names Ptolemy and Cleopatra in hieroglyphic characters: his identification was afterwards confirmed by Thomas Young and Jean-François Champollion, and assisted Champollion in his eventual decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphs. The inscriptions record a petition by the Egyptian priests at Philae and the favourable response by Ptolemy VIII Euergetes and queens Cleopatra II and III; the documents are dated 118/117 BC.
During the 1820s Bankes acquired the obelisk found at Philae and had it transported to his estate at Kingston Lacy in Dorset, England. The operation was carried out by the noted adventurer Giovanni Belzoni. The house now belongs to the National Trust and the obelisk can still be seen in the gardens. Source.
All the proper names could be analyzed in this event. Let's look at just one: Giovanni Belzoni

Giovanni (which means "God Is Gracious") Battista (derives from John the Baptist, to bathe) Belzoni is sometimes known as The Great Belzoni. He was an intriguing character, a giant of a man (6 feet 7 inches) for his time, a traveling circus performer, who became a prolific Italian explorer and pioneer archaeologist of Egyptian antiquities. In 1823 he set out for West Africa, intending to travel to Timbuktu. Having been refused permission to pass through Morocco, he took the Guinea Coast route. He reached the Kingdom of Benin, but allegedly was seized with dysentery at a village called Gwato, and died there, at the age of 45. According to the noted traveller Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton, Belzoni was murdered and robbed. Source.
“I like you, Lloyd. I always liked you. You were always the best of them. Best goddamned bartender from Timbuktu to Portland, Maine. Or Portland, Oregon, for that matter.” – Jack Torrance in The Shining (1980). Read more.
(I have lived in Portland, Maine for 31 years, after first visiting it in 1980.) 

What of the source of the name Philae and its direct link to Isis, the Egyptian deity, which is mirrored in the name of the modern Mideastern organization, known for its terror, beheadings, and more?
Philae, being accounted one of the burying-places of Osiris, was held in high reverence both by the Egyptians to the north and the Nubians (often referred to as Ethiopians in Greek) to the south. It was deemed profane for any but priests to dwell there and was accordingly sequestered and denominated "the Unapproachable" (Ancient Greek: ἄβατος). It was reported too that neither birds flew over it nor fish approached its shores. These indeed were the traditions of a remote period; since in the time of the Ptolemies of Egypt, Philae was so much resorted to, partly by pilgrims to the tomb of Osiris, partly by persons on secular errands, that the priests petitioned Ptolemy Physcon (170-117 BC) to prohibit public functionaries at least from coming there and living at their expense. In the 19th century AD, William John Bankes took the Philae obelisk on which this petition was engraved to England. When its Egyptian hieroglyphs were compared with those of the Rosetta stone, it threw great light upon the Egyptian consonantal alphabet.
Philae also was remarkable for the singular effects of light and shade resulting from its position near the Tropic of Cancer. As the sun approached its northern limit the shadows from the projecting cornices and moldings of the temples sink lower and lower down the plain surfaces of the walls, until, the sun having reached its highest altitude, the vertical walls are overspread with dark shadows, forming a striking contrast with the fierce light which illuminates all surrounding objects. Source.

The most conspicuous feature of both islands was their architectural wealth. Monuments of various eras, extending from the Pharaohs to the Caesars, occupy nearly their whole area. The principal structures, however, lay at the south end of the smaller island.
The most ancient were the remains of a temple for Isis built in the reign of Nectanebo I during 380-362 BC, was approached from the river through a double colonnade. Nekhtnebef is his nomen and he became the founding pharaoh of the thirtieth and last dynasty of native rulers when he deposed and killed Nefaarud II. Isis was the goddess to whom the initial buildings were dedicated. See Gerhart Haeny's 'A Short Architectural History of Philae' (BIFAO 1985) and numerous other articles which incontrovertibly identify Isis (not Hathor) as the primary goddess of the sacred isle.

In front of the propyla were two colossal lions in granite, behind which stood a pair of obelisks, each 43 ft (13 meters) high. The propyla were pyramidal in form and colossal in dimensions. One stood between the dromos and pronaos, another between the pronaos and the portico, while a smaller one led into the sekos or adytum. At each corner of the adytum stood a monolithic shrine, the cage of a sacred hawk. Of these shrines one is now in the Louvre, the other in the Museum at Florence. Source.

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Credit: ESA Rosetta Spacecraft.

The probe is named after the Rosetta Stone, a stele of Egyptian origin featuring a decree in three scripts. The lander is named after the Nile island Philae, where an obelisk was discovered with Greek and Egyptian inscriptions. A comparison of the hieroglyphs on the Rosetta Stone and the obelisk catalysed the deciphering of the Egyptian writing system. Similarly, it is hoped that these spacecraft will result in better understanding of comets and the early Solar System. In a more direct analogy to its namesake, the Rosetta spacecraft also carries a micro-etched nickel alloy Rosetta disc donated by the Long Now Foundation inscribed with 13,000 pages of text in 1200 different languages. Source.

The original Rosetta Stone. 


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Interstellar: Last Mohicans and Elysian Fields


I went to the first local screening of Christopher Nolan's Interstellar on Friday, November 7, 2014, at the Cinemagic IMAX, here in southern Maine. It was a visually compelling experience.

(BTW, watch the movie, then read this essay. Spoilers aplenty.)


Seeing it there, on that huge screen, with a great sound system, did remind me of my first viewing of 2001: A Space Odyssey. That occurred when I journeyed to St. Louis, from Carbondale, Illinois, in 1968, to see 2001, presented in 70 mm, at a widescreen theater.

I saw Stanley Kurbrick's film at St. Louis' Martin Cinerama, which was said to have the world’s largest indoor screen, measuring 100 feet on a curve. The two story building attempted to be a “modern movie palace.” It was a wonderful venue to see 2001. Bye bye to the retro Cinerama.

There are many ways to observe and analyze, synchromystically, a cinema event like Interstellar. In the beginning, such an analysis, whether critically inclined or dynamically detailed, is, by its very nature, extremely personal. So seeing Interstellar at an IMAX, of course, did parallel my 2001 experience at the Cinerama.

The word "synchromysticism" was first coined by Jake Kotze in August 2006, on his website-at-the-time, Brave New World Order. Kotze defined the concept as: "The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

How do we do that exercise with Interstellar?

What items in the movie appear to stand out with some connection to other events, fictional or nonfictional. What links to other movies were placed internally on purpose? Or showed up by coincidence?

Which seemingly hidden meanings are to be inferred from names, locations, and incidents that seem to be tied to others? What in-jokes were planted within the movie versus some source beyond our understanding seemingly intervening?


Synchronicity. The justification or the rationality for this type of activity usually involves a direct or indirect reference to the "collective unconscious mind," thus the "synchro-" in "synchromystic," refers to "synchronicity."

"Mystic" = from the Greek μυστικός, mystikos, an initiate of a mystery religion is the pursuit of communion with, identity with, or conscious awareness of an ultimate reality, divinity, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, instinct or insight.

The notion is that some items in, for example, a motion picture are there by "coincidence," whatever that means.

But part of what must be understood and deciphered are the objects placed there by Christopher Nolan or his brother writer Jonathan Nolan, deliberately, as tributes and homages to others. I cannot read every blog and article about all of these sync objects, but let me share a few items with you.

Much, for instance, has been made about the role of 2001's monoliths in Interstellar's appearance of the robots. But looks from the outside often do not reveal, fully, what is happening in the minds of geniuses.


In an interview with The Associated Press, Interstellar writer-director Christopher Nolan says on this matter:

AP: For their shape, were you inspired by the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey?
Nolan: I think, in its science fiction context, inevitably your mind goes to that — and that's fine by me. Definitely, the spirit of "2001" hangs over the film. It was one of our aspirations to pay homage to that film. It also relates strongly to the architecture of Mies van der Rohe. As we honed in on the idea, I asked my designer (Nathan Crowley), who's a very big fan of modern architecture: What if we designed a robot as if Mie van der Rohe designed a robot? I think he really nailed it.
The Seagram Building is located 375 Park Ave. and 53rd Street in Midtown Manhattan, New York and was completed in 1958. This building was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe with the aid of Philip Johnson and stands 525 feet tall with 38 floors. The Seagram Building is setback 90 feet from the street and upon completion was the most expensive skyscraper built. (This pewter replica stands 5-1/2 inches tall and is finished in antique copper.) Source: ReplicaBuildings
Even the specific setting of the wormhole in Interstellar is grist for the sync mill.
Cooper..., Amelia Brand [Anne Hathaway], Prof. Romilly (David Gyasi) and Doyle (Wes Bentley) head towards Saturn (not unlike the voyage the Discovery took in Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, switched to Jupiter in Stanley Kubrick’s spectacular cinematic version from 1968). Source.
Saturn is a location for recent science fiction space dramas, perhaps as a nod to Arthur C. Clarke's 2001. In Star Trek (2009), the new re-imagined film, the crew of the USS Enterprise hides behind Titan, using Saturn's magnetic field as a shield, while beaming Captain Kirk and Commander Spock aboard the Narada, which is about to attack Earth.

There are other ways that synchros look at the data. Onomastics or onomatology is the study of proper names of all kinds and the origins of names. The word is Greek: ὀνοματολογία [from ὄνομα (ónoma) "name"]. Toponymy or toponomastics, the study of place names, is one of the principal branches of onomastics. Anthroponomastics (or Anthroponymy), a branch of onomastics, is the study of anthroponyms (anthropos, 'man', + onuma, 'name'), the names of human beings.

So what about the name "Cooper" and "Coop" in Interstellar? Nothing coincidental there, right?


Matthew McConaughey’s former astronaut, now farmer, character (above with an Apollo Lunar Lander) is named Cooper, and he's called "Coop." There's been online discussion about whether Coop's son Tom (Casey Affleck) has named his son "Coop," or is that just a generational skip in the use of "Coop" as a nickname from their last name? Whatever.

Andrew West Griffin (see his review here) asks, now that Interstellar is here, what are to we to make from the name "Cooper" being "used a lot" in movies, television, and so forth? Specifically, AWG says later, "I was thinking [about] Agent Dale Cooper, on Twin Peaks. His willingness to go through the 'door.'"

In Nolan's movie, it may be the reflective factor, just a great name for an American astronaut, right? Or is it about baseball and being one of the last of the Mohicans? Stay with me here.

Time Magazine's senior writer Jeffrey Kluger notes:
One of the niftier details in the script involves the names of Hathaway's and McConaughey's ­characters—Brand and Cooper, the names of real astronauts. In McConaughey's case the name is actually twice resonant, a hat tip to both NASA's Gordon Cooper, whom everyone called Gordo, and to Hollywood's ­Gary, whom people called Coop. The characters in Interstellar address Mc­Conaughey's Cooper in the same abbreviated way, a little wormhole of its own that neatly links the lone commander stepping forward to save the planet in Interstellar and the lone sheriff doing the same for Hadleyville in High Noon.
Cooper, the astronaut without a first name but the nickname of "Coop," flashes back to Gordon Cooper, one of the first American astronauts, who went by the nickname of "Gordo." That's not a coincidence but a conscious choice of the Nolans.

Mercury 7 astronauts: (l-r front) Walter Schirra, Donald Slayton, John Glenn, and Scott Carpenter; (back) Alan Shepard, Virgil Grissom, and Gordon Cooper.

Who can overlook the success of The Big Bang Theory, lead by the humor produced from the dialogue of character Sheldon Cooper?


But looking across the landscape, consider this. Cooper Theaters built the first Super Cinerama in suburban Denver, Colorado in 1962 - where 2001: A Space Odyssey was shown in 1968 - a mere eight miles from the future site of the Century Aurora 16 Multiplex where Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises opening on July 20, 2012, caused a "red dawn" awakening of modern copycat violence. (Image credit.)


Cooper, also, makes one think of Cooperstown, New York, a village in Otsego County, New York. Judge William Cooper purchased the land in 1785, on which Cooperstown now exists. Judge Cooper was the father of noted American author James Fenimore Cooper, author of The Leatherstocking Tales, one novel of which was The Last of the Mohicans. (The phrase, "the last of the Mohicans," has come to represent the sole survivor of a noble race - a notion that might be extended to Intersteller's Cooper.)
Contrary to popular belief, the village was named after Judge Cooper, and not his son. Cooperstown is best known as the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Baseball is an enigma in Interstellar wrapped in a riddle, so to speak. There is more to baseball than meets the eye in Christopher and Jonathan Nolan's movie.

The movie, in many ways, uses baseball as bookends. I think it is more significant than most people are realizing.



Blogger Jes (an extra in the red circle above) points out that Interstellar's baseball scene at the movie's beginning was filmed at the Okotoks, Alberta baseball diamond.

"The small town located just [11 miles/18 km] south of Calgary hosted much of the filming," Jes writes.

Okotoks' name is derived from "ohkotok," the Blackfoot First Nation word for "rock." The name may refer to Big Rock, the world's largest known glacial erratic. In 1879, the area saw the killing of the last buffalo, a piece of history that overlaps with Interstellar's dying planet theme. In 2007, the energy efficient planned Drake Landing Solar Community was established in Okotoks, designed to model a way of addressing global warming and the burning of fossil fuels; again with eerily links to the plot of Interstellar.

It seems rather improbable that the Nolans would have known about these kinds of "coincidences," regarding Okotoks, tied to the underlying themes of their script.

I have already written about the Masonic mystical sense of this sport (here); that's a distraction here. But this baseball business in Interstellar has something deeper about which to think.

Alexander Joy Cartwright, Jr., a significant figure in Freemasonry, is acknowledged as the "Father of Modern Baseball," in Cooperstown, at the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Cartwright's team the Knickerbockers had to play someplace, and intriguingly, the "base ball" team found a "roomy spot called Elysian Fields" in Hoboken, New Jersey.

The Elysian Fields, or the Elysian Plains, among the Greeks, was considered the final resting place of the souls of the heroic and the virtuous. In Greek mythology, Elysium (Greek: Ἠλύσια πεδία) was a section of the Underworld (the spelling Elysium is a Latinization of the Greek word Elysion).  Elysium is an obscure and mysterious name that evolved from a designation of a place or person struck by lightning, enelysion, enelysios. This could be a reference to Zeus, the god of lightning, so "lightning-struck" could be saying that the person was blessed (struck) by Zeus (lightning).

Scholars have also suggested that Greek Elysion may instead derive from the Egyptian termialu (older iaru), meaning "reeds," with specific reference to the "Reed fields" (Egyptian: sekhet iaru / ialu), a paradisaical land of plenty where the dead hoped to spend eternity.

The 2013 film, Elysium (starring Matt Damon, please note) deals with a luxurious space habitat using this name, above an overpopulated and devastated Earth. No reason Interstellar shouldn't go there again, with the more covert darker meaning of Elysium.

Some (even if lightly) have noticed the significance of baseball in Interstellar. Sean O'Connell, although none of the above is referenced, appears to be going in this direction in Cinema Blend's "Why Interstellar's Ending Doesn't Mean What You Think It Means."

O'Connell, who gets a few things wrong, like the factor of relativity in aging math, does make good baseball points here: 
Cooper’s "reunion" with Murph has several visual cues that call back to the life he led with his daughter – most notably the baseball field outside his window. This was, after all, the place where he took Murph as a reward for her suspension from school. A dying parent might drift back to happy memories of the baseball field, while also wondering what Murph would look like as an older woman.
Maybe. Maybe not. But the baseball fields in Interstellar are certainly more than baseball fields. Are they sort of fields of dreams?

Interstellar is a baseball film dressed in space opera clothing.

"Almost the entire film appears to be an expose' of the struggles of an aging hero searching for his lost youth."

And "there are the several references to the farm that seem to be obvious references to the natural hero tendency that tries to avoid…all the…evils of the civilized society….The farm symbolizes the simple life, the natural life that is free of [compromised] people….It is home."

"It is implicit as well as explicit in this film that youth over aging is a key value."

These are not quotes from reviews of Intersellar. The first two are insights about the film The Natural (1984) and, and the last one concerns Field of Dreams (1989). They are by Gary E. Dickerson from his book The Cinema of Baseball (Meckler: Westport, CT/London, 1991).

Dickerson clears sees these baseball movies as showing the special bonding relationship between fathers and their children; how "heroes were taught the game by their fathers."

In those two films, "Roy joins his son on a Nebraska farm at the conclusion of the film, and Ray joins his [dead] father on the baseball field in Iowa," write Dickerson.


Both of those baseball movies are about farms, fathers, and, yes, basically, time travel. So is Interstellar. It even has the corn. The pinstripes. The baseball.



The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steam rollers. It's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again but baseball has marked the time. This field, this game is part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good and that could be again. ~ Field of Dreams
By the time we reach the end of the movie, we have baseball being played in Cooper Station. That space station near Saturn is named, not after astronaut "Coop," but in tribute to his astroscientist daughter Murphy Cooper, known as "Murph." This sort of reminds me of the naming of Cooperstown, in reverse.


Did you catch that unnamed character serving as a tour guide, showing Coop around Cooper Station and to the house from which Coop watches the ball game? This small but important player was portrayed by Elyes Gabel, who went on to also be the lead character Walter O'Brien on the successful new CBS television series Scorpion. (See my discussion of Scorpion, Room 237, and Apollo 11, here.)

This brings us full circle to the Apollo missions, space and rockets. (It has been a period, during the November release of Interstellar, of intense incidents of green fireballs, space craft mishaps, and other "coincidences.")

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Interstellar takes to heart, for the plot, the theories, rumors and all the Room 237 material on Stanley Kurbrick's alleged faking of the Apollo missions to the moon. This Kurbrick "confession" was covertly telegraphed in The Shining, allegedly, and then the Nolans put it right at the start of Interstellar.

Here is one writer's overview of that moment in the Nolan's epic film:
His daughter, Murph (Mackenzie Foy) tags along with her dad. She's fascinated by his stories of the now obsolete space travel and is a budding scientist herself. She's recently been suspended from school for bringing in an old book, which talks about the Apollo space mission. New textbooks have been replaced that debunk the Apollo "nonsense," the teacher tells Coop, because it's common knowledge that the "Apollo mission was faked by the United States to bankrupt the Soviet Union." Source.
Elyes Gabel, after a fashion, is a synchromystic link to the Apollo story that the Nolans could not have forecast.

And what's the production company name at the beginning of Nolan's films? Syncopy.

Interstellar is a cousin of Inception and The Dark Knight trilogy. Literally.

Christopher Nolan's Syncopy was behind Batman Begins (2005), The Prestige (2006), The Dark Knight (2008), Inception (2010), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), and Zack Snyder's Man of Steel (2013). Syncopy was there again for Christopher Nolan's newest film Interstellar (2014), which was released on November 7, 2014.


How much fun is the name Syncopy itself, in the context of Nolan's films? It almost sounds like a combination of synchronicity and the copycat effect. But the mainstream story is the name came about another way.

Syncopy Films Inc. is a British film production company based in London, England. The company was founded by award-winning film director, screenwriter and producer Christopher Nolan and his wife Emma Thomas as co-founder. The name Syncopy Films derives from "syncope," the medical term for fainting or loss of consciousness. Okay, that's what the explanation in Wikipedia says.

I'm not too surprised synchromystic folks are interested in yet another Syncopy production.