We are happy to begin our next exploration into the Return with John Bernardy: journalist, Twin Peaks master-theorist, and host of Blue Rose Task Force podcast, which I believe is the first of its kind, being a holistic podcast that looks at the entirety of Twin Peaks including production details.
John, Karl and Jubel start off discussing Twin Peaks: The Return Parts 9-12, but soon branch off into other vistas of strangeness. They discuss the troubling saga of the Hornes, their favorite new characters and bits, the secret hidden inside Diane and Sarah Palmer’s favorite beverages, and the strange, open-endedness of the whole story.
Our guest John brings his extensive production knowledge to bear on these details, and elucidates his “Moebius Strip” diagram, which he says is the key to one of the major themes of the Return, exemplified by Dr. Jacoby/Amp’s golden shovel.
So fix your hearts, shovel your way out of the sh*t, and have a listen!
Greetings Listeners! We continue our series of guest-packed Twin Peaks: The Return re-watch discussions with author, scholar, and all-around lovely gent Rob E. King!
Rob E. King is an associate librarian at Texas Tech University’s Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library and a doctoral student in English at Texas Tech University. He has contributed to 25YL, Blue Rose Magazine, Twin Peaks Unwrapped podcast and published in New American Notes Online and the West Texas Historical Review.
Rob is also co-editor with Christine Self and Robert Weaver of a book of essays titled David Lynch and the American West: Essays on Regionalism and Indigeneity in Twin Peaks and the Films.
We begin our discussion with classic Weird writer (and creator of Conan the Barbarian) Robert E. Howard, discuss regionalism in that author’s writings, and bring it around to Twin Peaks, discussing the importance of the Las Vegas bits, Jerry’s Odyssey, the role of electricity and telecommunication, and much more.
When Karl and Jubel realized that they had passed the five year mark of the podcast, they thought it would be fitting to return to their “Tangents About Twin Peaks” roots, and use Mark Frost’s The Final Dossier as a springboard to dive into Twin Peaks as a whole.
What resulted is our longest episode yet, which bounces between the text of the book, and our memories and reflections on the whole saga as it stands. Twin Peaks is a dense knot of mystery and Weirdness, and we hope you will join us, perhaps over the holiday weekend, as we, to pull a phrase from H.P. Lovecraft, “correlate its contents.”
“You are entering the vicinity of an area adjacent to a location. The kind of place where there might be a monster or some kind of weird mirror. These are just examples. It could also be something much better. Prepare to enter, The Scary Door.”
— Futurama, “A Head In The Polls”
An episode about such vast and important subjects as “Apertures and Doorways” deserves more than a few scattered puns and pop culture references to introduce it. You, dear listener, deserve insightful analysis and deeply researched facts of impeccable pedigree. The sort of treatment that a Joshi, a Price or a Vandermeer would give. These are just examples. It couldn’t get much better.
While not that, we are still proud of some of the far shorelines that this conversation paradoxically beached itself on. We start with the need for an inciting incident to enter into a protagonist (or at least their house) through a door of some kind. This is either the traditional sort of door, or the more metaphorical kind, such as those reputed to window the soul. For the auteur director to which we focus much of our interest, the camera aperture may be more apropos, but Lynch is not the first stop on our weird odyssey this episode.
Ligotti is in fact the beginning and end of our conversational carnival this time out. We are the Grimscribe’s Puppets as he leads us from the heights of horror celebrating “The Last Feast of Harlequin” and “The Frolic” to the absurd humor of the famous parody of his style reviewing a particularly horrifying pizza product sporting a crust too insane to contemplate, much less devour. We end on a familiar territory made alien in his unproduced script for the X-files: “Crampton.”
Karl forgets to mention the chain of thought that runs from That Town to Barbara Crampton, to the curious interplay of horror and other dangerous subjects. This is almost certainly a good thing, since he was planning on referencing what the rift that Elle opens to the Upside Down in Stranger Things most resembles. Honestly, the mention of Lovecraftian sinuses is plenty bad enough. Jubel saves the day by defining Liminality, allowing us to ride the Lost Highway all the way to a paradoxical shoreline by way of CS Lewis’ alternate dimensions of Christian Allegory, Altered States of consciousness like Beyond the Black Rainbow, Dreamscape, and in a fortunately family friendly way, Stranger Things. Our indulgence in nostalgia takes a Naval turn with Jubel’s mention of Battleship Potemkin and Karl’s incoherent babble about the horizontal time-traveling hurricane that swallows the USS Nimitz in The Final Countdown.
From the warmth of the South Pacific in 1941, we turn our attention to one cold night in February of 1989, and how the roads we travel matter. Even when they aren’t matter and don’t behave as roads. Those equivocal paths may lead to you to a set of freestanding curtains or a Scary Door, but there is no reason to be afraid. After all, fear is the mind-killer that gets you eaten by the Lurker On The Threshold. If you let the path pass through you, and turn your mind’s eye back toward the shimmering aperture you will realize that,
So, your hosts will be talking about Aliens. We talk a lot about how very, very similar our modern abduction narratives are to 17th Century fairy stories, and a little about how Twin Peaks‘ concept of lodge denizens as aliens (or aliens as the lodge entities?) Heralded the modern state of the folklore.
In order to do so, it was necessary to time-travel to the beginning of human culture, tracing down the path of daylight disks and flying saucers through the ages until H.P. Lovecraft and Charles Fort hitch us to Chariots of the Gods? The gods contained in that dog eared and yellowed paperback conveyance entice us, beckon us on through the final and most dangerous leg of our journey toward final and horrible truth.
That truth is a gaping maw. A yawning Stargate leading not only your hosts, but also you true believer, to fictionalization and beyond! There, in that gulf of ultimate chaos, we have arranged for you to have a Close Encounter (kind currently unclassified) with a mysterious Blue Book crammed ever so deeply In the Mouth of Madness. A mouth constantly burbling infinite inanities in the long-lost language of….