>So it must have been sometime last week when I was driving down the freeway and heard Christian Slaters familiar pipes telling me how great it was to buy a used car online. I’d heard this commercial hundreds of times before, but this time, I thought more about Slater in the context of Hollywood stars as compromised selves, split personalities that do the mytho-poetice bidding of meme agents with little resistance.
The compartmentalizing of self is actually one of the unique qualities that many actors share, to be able set one personality aside in the corner oftheir mind and then occupy some other created self. There was no better example than Peter Sellers, who in his autobiography would often claim that he as a personality didn’t even exist and that his characters allowed him to live his life through them.
This type of sectionalizing the self is one of the cornerstone techniques of mind control and allows certain people to carry on two or more separate realities at the same time. There are some examples of this that slip through the surface cracks of Hollyweird. Chuck Barris was adamant that he was an assasin as well as a game show host. Stephen Stills would often brag that he was an elite soldier in Vietnam and Phil Ochs, in the depth of his break from reality exclaimed that he was an agent that was a killer for hire as well as a voice of protest. These schisms in the psyche are not uncommon in the entertainment industry as I will illustrate shortly. Not only is the condition more common than what one might think, but the entertainment industry as an arm of the espionage world goes back to the 30’s and perhaps beyond. It recently came to light that Julia Child and Harry Houdini were a spies during WWII. It is also fairly common knowledge that Errol Flynn was also a spy hanging out the like of Ian Flemming (purported to be a MI 6 asset) and of all people, L. Ron Hubbard, who used Scientology and the auditing processs to extort info from well connected and often highly placed government officials.
As I began to think about the connection between the intelligence agencies and Hoillywood, triggered by Slater’s voice on the commercial, I wondered where Slater was in all of this? I wondered if the sociopath that he seemed very comfortable to portraying Clarence “I see dead Elvis” Worley in True Romance. Ironically Presley once approached Nixon about becoming a member of The DEA. He was also the psycho-boyfriend of Winona Ryder in Heathers, cold bloodedly executing the deaths of snotty clique chicks. Lastly, he even played the little brother of an arms dealer in Kuffs, who forcefully takes over the family business. So it seems as though Slater’s cinematic resume has all of the crucial components that has led him to his latest and perhaps most revealing role as he stars in a new series on NBC titled “My Own Worst Enemy.” Now get this; He plays a Edward/Henry a character who is a loving and well adjusted father by day and a stone cold killer for hire by night and, they aren’t even aware of one another. So in the span of roughly 24 hours, from my hearing his commercial, ruminating on his past, the whole concept of actor/asset/spy and how Slater might fit into this twisted paradigm, voila, he deilvers.
The concept of these various selves shut off from one another is nothing new in Hollywood, The Manchurian Candidate, Fight Club, Bourne Conspiracy are all films that have protagonists with dual and disconnected personalities. The Matrix and Usual Suspects have characters that also have dual personalities however, they are in rapport with another. I could go on and on, but let’s just say that dressed up schizophrenia is good for characters and plot devices, perhaps even better as a model for the new social self.
Let’s move onto the next character in this Janus-like deconstruction
If you don’t know who Hannah Montana is, then you must be doing Ayahuasca and living amongst The Shuar. Hannah Montana is the most popular young teen icon currently seducing a particular segment of mass culture. But in case you’re not familiar with her, here’s who her character is–by day, she’s just your normal middle school student, but by night, she’s a rocker! She’s Hannah Montana! Seeing a pattern here? Only unlike Slater’s latest character, she is aware of her own dual nature, or supposedly aware of it. Her manager is played by Billy Ray Cyrus, who is her father in “real life” as well as her manager in “real life.” Still with me? Okay, in her book, The Trance Formation of America, Kathy O’Brien offers bombshell after bombshell claiming to have been a mind controlled alter/sex slave/spy. Her indictments regarding a number of high ranking officials ranging from Bush I, Reagan, Dick Cheney, Gerald Ford and The Clintons are surreal enough, but when she goes into the entertainment industry and she uncovers, through her own experience, that the country and western music scene is where a vast majority of this programming is taking place. Her handler was a third-rate magician/impressionist that opened for a number of country and western acts. She depicts guys like Lee Greenwod and Kris Kristofferson as well as the Mandrell sisters and their father as being deeply immersed in the whole operation. Interestingly enough, she also has a lot, I mean a lot to say about Disney and how much they are involved in not just programming their own talent, but the nation at large, indicting Disney as a major psy-op. So are you connecting the dots now? If you are, you’re not crazy. if you aren’t well, I hope you’re at least having a fun read. So what does this all mean?
Apart from creating mildly intriguing plot devices, I believe these two characters and these two shows are the model of the new psyche, the psychotic split that is consistently being jackhammered into our own consciousness and fragnmented selves where we compartmentalize our thoughts and emotions just to survive. Just look at 911 and Iraq as examples. If each of us was to really stare down the face of horror in both events, that DU babies born in Iraq look like mutants from a 50’s sci-fi film and that we are responsible for our complicity, not just as Americans, but as humans in such an atrocious act, our minds and our emotions as we have developed them, just to survive might not be able to handle to imagery. We look away or at the very least find some form of internal device to stash it somewhere in our minds where it can become a managable reality. And, we are constantly being bombarded, triggered and forced to compartmentalize, justify and ultimately deny. This is where these two characters come into play–they are an extreme version of us. As a result we are not always conscious of our own actions and thoughts, why we do certain things and demonstrate inexplicable behaviors. How does it impact us on a mass level? It makes us easily led astray and enables unconsciousness, which allows those that shape the TV/reality world that we live in to execute large scale memes and negative paradigms.
Miley/Montana, Edward/Henry are us. We are The Alter Nation. Now the questions become who deprograms us and how? And once we disentangle from this world of matrix-like maya, what kind of world do we want to create?
2 thoughts on “Alter Nation And The Rise Of The Fractured Self”
Based on an idea by Steven Speilberg, Diablo Cody is currently writing “The United States of Tara” about this topic. It premieres on Showtime Jan. 18, 2009.
Just wanted to stop by and say thanks. Enjoy reading your stuff.