Sunday, 5 February 2017
so-called leader in the high tower and other tropes
I suddenly realised that this version of 2017 is probably an accidental parallel world. I must have stumbled when I walked past that worm hole along Whitehall and the flash of light wasn't a cluster of brightly lit cyclists, it was that moment of passing across the gap.
Luckily I've read that Philip K Dick novel as well as watching the TV show, so I know there will be another blinding flash as things return to the old kind of normal.
Come to think of it, our friends across the pond are still largely in favour of what is happening there, with apparently more people supporting recent actions than the vociferous ones opposing.
But that's where alternative facts make it so difficult to keep up. In that TV show they had to add a whole significant Obergruppenführer John Smith character just to represent the new normalised viewpoint.
The Rufus Sewell character was written in to help us viewers keep track of the popular viewpoint. I can't really spot an equivalent character amongst the Kuschner, Miller, Bannon, Conway, Spicer, Priebus, Punch and Judy of the new gang.
In the Philip K Dick alternative world, sometimes the characters used the I Ching to try to figure things out. Hexagram 29 popped out.
In our so-called reality, the so-called president maybe isn't heeding this hexagram's words about the abyss.
"By growing used to what is dangerous, a man can easily allow it to become part of him. He is familiar with it and grows used to evil. With this he has lost the right way, and misfortune is the natural result."
The hexagram's warning is supposed to be to keep a level head during a difficult situation that has caused anger, frustration, and despair. And below is this week's Economist cover, by the way, not a Photoshopped remake.
Another source of alternative reality truth comes from 'The Grasshopper Lies Heavy' which is the inner novel/film, used within High Castle to illustrate the link back to the other world.
Philip K Dick used Ecclesiastes 12:5 as the source for the grasshopper reference : "the grasshopper shall be a burden" - the full King James version is somewhat bleak as it describes the peoples' fear of the one on high.
As I look to the 'United' States, I can't help think that there's probably another section from Ecclesiastes (10:12), which may set the alternative reality tone: The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.
Back to the man in the golden tower. He thinks he can fly above the so-called law. He and his close followers are protected by the iconography of the little yellow and red triangle (surrounded by gold, of course). A new kind of symbol to fear, maybe? It's not as cool as my Man from UNCLE badge though.
He's changing the language. The meaning of words. Of facts. Facts. The use of repetition. Repetition. His acolytes do it too. They all do it. Use repetition.
That old marketing adage. Tell 'em what you're gonna tell 'em. Tell 'em. And then tell 'em what you told 'em. It's okay, I won't repeat it.
But it might be interesting to see the marketing in tonight's Super Bowl. How about Margaret Atwood's story of male authoritarianism The Handmaid's Tale, anyone? I somehow doubt whether Dove soap will be allowed to advertise? My favourite may well be the swirliness of Advocados from Mexico? It could even be the return worm hole portal.
In the mean time, I got to thinking. In the alternative America shown in High Castle, wouldn't the language also get changed to German? Aber warten. Hier ist es. Auf Deutsch.