Interview of Baker B. by Willie [omit last name] (Charleston, SC December 2000)
BEGINNING OF SIDE FOUR.
Willie: Okay, baker, we’re back. I must admit that this is really hard on me, much harder than I anticipated. I think it has a lot to do with us being characters in the story as well as outside the story. We identify with these characters, and, obviously, you wrote a lot of “Jordan’s Rule” with our interactions, through our emails, in mind. But I really, really want to see this through, and I think our little talk in the break again helped a lot. There are certain topics it seems we should stay away from, and I’m not sure we can now that we’re knee deep in this thing as it were. We’re just going to have to ride it out–I see now that this creation of yours is quite dense in ideas, and understand better how you say you have trouble solidifying concepts because this immobilizes the freedom of ideas. I know I’m vaguely paraphrasing you here but the idea of crystallization of works, it seems, is a tough one for you. I’d like to say this is laziness, but I don’t think it is. As far as us, it seems this concept of the self is a stumbling block. At the center of “Jordan’s Rule,” you say, is the self, your self I assume, embodied in the symbols of Mythos; particularly, perhaps the giant Tinman robot toward the end of the story–post 7 I believe? (checks notes) Yes. As you say, it is a concept I’m having trouble stomaching, simply because my philosophy, my religious ideas about life, are different. A lot of your ideas come from Jung, as I understand, and it’s material I have little comprehension of and even like to be honest, what I know of it through you. I was thinking that we should work our way through your interest in Jung, but I feel that would bog us down further.
Baker: I don’t think that analysis is necessary no. I agree with you.
Willie: It is (sighs) as you say baker, and that the character Willie and the real Willie, myself, have many of the same fears, and this has eerily parallels in our interview here. But what I’m picking up on is that you feel you ensnared me in Carter County, the Willie character I mean, and wanted me to walk in your shoes for a while. Now at the end of the story you see this is wrong. I want to go more into the third set of posts–once again–but lets wrap this second story up with the meaning or perceived meaning of the end post, the 10th.
Baker: It’s simply a mirror of what is going on between us now. Your need to flee from the self that I’m portraying as the center. It’s simply the difference between us I feel, not merely in philosophy but emotional and mental makeup, the balance, perhaps, of the two. For me, emotions and mentality have always been closely allied. This is why I have no trouble explaining concepts as I have, my interest, emotional interest, drives…. (pauses to change train of thought) Perhaps we should just stick to the symbols already reviewed. Carter County was a trap for you, prepared by me. Carter County represents Mythos, similarly based on a county–Burke this time, my home county in North Carolina of which Morganton is the county seat. Did I explain that before?–perhaps not. At the end, as the memory of the three posts began to merge back into the outside baker writing it, I realized this was wrong; was part of your punishment, perhaps, for covering the Satie music of the Jordan short “Gymnopedies” with your Hip music. What I saw was that there were *two* counties, Carter and neighboring Elliott, in Kentucky that is. These exactly parallel the two counties between Daugherty and Washburn in McDowell and Burke. The exact equivalents are McDowell equals Elliott and Burke equals Carter. The counties Elliott and Carter are linked through the famous 20th Century American composer Elliott Carter. This, if you will, is a synchronicity, and is connected to the Willard-Beetle-Music-Sophie synchronicity inside Carter County itself by being another music combination. But more importantly, through the Sophie-Beetle conjunction and its association with the synchronicity “Sophie’s No. 9,” Carter County became allied with the full length Jordan animation *Sophie’s Place*, which “Sophie’s No. 9″ is taken from. Similarly Elliott County represents the Jordan shorts, or, essentially, all the animation he did up to *Sophie’s Place.* If we see Elliott and Carter Counties as overlaying McDowell and Burke Counties, as explained before, then the bridging factor is the Catawba River, which represents the*entirety* of Jordan’s animation career–of which *Sophie’s Place* is the obvious culmination. So by me moving your character to Carter County, besides being in the middle of the Willard map resonations, now, you are now imprisoned within *Sophie’s Place.* This is the effect of “Jordan’s Rule”–inside the story “Jordan’s Rule,” I have insured that indeed Jordan does rule, and that his own self styled synchronicities in his animation stand unaltered. This precludes your involvement with the Jordan-Hip experiments, continuing those experiments anyway, for this would be an alteration of those animations. However, in a compromise mentioned in the second Willie post I believe, my character of baker offers to create a shared web page, and allow you to use the Jordan shorts for your own Hip experiments in exchange for the protection of the longer work *Sophie’s Place* from such alterations. This is also based on “Sophie’s No. 9,” which I feel is a unique interpretation of *Sophie’s Place,* and was destined to be the window into the mechanisms of Jordan’s largest work, as deemed by the map synchronicities concerning Sophie within Carter County. Thus Elliott County became your character Willie’s province or realm of influence, and Carter County became my own sphere of influence. Perhaps a small wall separates the two domains, but, overall, the tone is friendly between the two as I see it. This is because each understands his own role, is able to view his own *self* in an objective way. Both baker and Willie, the characters, are equal in this way. We keep our own sense of selves apart in this way, and view them objectively instead of falling into each other’s ideas. This is the logical, and perhaps ideal endpoint of “Jordan’s Rule,” this shared page. “Jordan’s Rule” would be executed correctly in this way. Honestly, I may have to create this shared page, with or without your help. But it would be best if you had, of course, some input–ideally of a more or less equal, or equivalently equal part.
Willie: Well, baker…at this point, how can I say no! I really don’t see how this resolves the last post of “Jordan’s Rule.” Can you explain further? You said that you felt you trapped me, inside Carter County. How would this shared web page resolve this trapping and tie into the subsequent freedom my character felt in running away from your character.
Baker: You–I mean, your character–was trapped inside *Carter* County, which is my county and equal to Mythos as I said. Your true county is Elliott County though. Carter and Elliott are associated as easily as Elliott Carter is to the American music scene. And he is also an object of some ridicule if you will, a shared target. *He* would be a good example of one who separated art from life, not Satie. Cage would have little to do with him I would suppose. Nothing against his music personally, which reminds me a lot of Frank Zappa’s classical pieces, but it’s nothing I find an enormous attraction to either. It seems to be a retrograde type of composition, more early 20th Century–or pre-Cage–than later 20th Century. This is just my take.
Willie: I say go for it baker. I’m understand some of what you’re saying, but this makes more sense that just leaving all these feelings up in the air. Any resolution is welcome at this point. Whether it succeeds or not we’ll just see. But go ahead; you have my full permission. Is this
going to be credited to the characters baker and Willie, from “Jordan’s Rule,” or from us actually, the real baker and Willie?
Baker: Let me work on this, but I promise to prepare some text for this site and let you see it. I didn’t mean to side track so much on that concept, but I guess this is a good time to bring it up. It’s a culminating aspect of “Jordan’s Rule,” and one that would tie it all up nicely. Perhaps we should talk about that third story now.
Willie: Okay. For some reason, I’m feeling much better now, like a weight has been lifted. Perhaps we have postponed the inevitable clash of arms, but I think we’ve avoid a direct conflict right now. Alright, the third story. Let me begin by reviewing what I know, according to my notes. There are these twins, and somehow they’ve come into the house of this guy, this pseudo-magician named Hitchcock, spelled like the movie director, and something has taken place, a kind of card reading or fortune telling through these cards. The children also believe that they need to find this Brainard guy, who I assume is the same character from the Booker T. posts, the one that looks like the Wizard head, the *false* Wizard head from the Oz movie. Am I correct so far?
Baker: Let me give some background on this story. The three Hitchcock posts in “Jordan’s Rule” began as a attempt to continue a fantasy story my wife wrote but did not finish about 10 years ago, maybe even a little further back. The story involves these two twins–they are named differently in the original version but the characters are similar–and how they discovered a portal to another world from their mountain home, a world centered by this creature named Brainard. This world is actually a valley–the whole story takes place within this valley which is named Altoona. The creatures which lived nearest the portal, called bobos in both mine and her version, were the first encountered by the twins when they entered Altoona, and the leader of the bobos convinced the twins that the creature Brainard summoned them to his world for a specific but currently unknown reason. He said that Brainard would continue to guide their progress toward his lair, and that other beings would act as helpers along the way. Well, the twins, and their dog–which is not mentioned in “Jordan’s Rule”–set out to find this Brainard, and the next creature they encounter is the Truth/Fool. June’s story basically ends in the initial encounter with this Truth/Fool. My posts are an attempt to continue the encounter, finding out what the Truth/Fool, who I call Hitchcock, has to offer to the twins to enlighten the purpose of their journey. June had the idea that the Truth/Fool was some kind of fortune teller, specifically a card reader, and I elaborated on this idea by giving specific visions that the twins see in his dealt card, called The Lovers. This is based upon a real tarot card called The Twins or The Lovers, depending on which deck is used. Are you with me still?
Willie: Sure, this is interesting. And relaxing for a change!
Baker: Alright, so Hitchcock interprets the vision, which involves the twins circling around a hill in the middle of the card, in a holographic kind of vision not really explained that well, to mean that they shouldn’t visit Brainard, and that their quest will end in disaster, or absorption into the Brainard mental sphere. There is mention of Brown Mountain, that the central hill changes into a mountain when a Santa or Santa like object is dropped into it. I will tell you now, without going into a long explanation, that this Brown Mountain is another Mythos planet symbol, and that the open funnel at the top represent the inability of myself to close up the North Pole of the Mythos globe in an effective way. Thus the ties with Santa, who, traditionally, lives at the North Pole. The filling in of the North Pole by Santa–or Santa’s toy according to one of the twins card visions–allows the hill to become a mountain, but really this is the creation of a spherical planet. The symbol of the self again if I may be allowed.
Baker: Hitchcock finds this image fascinating, and it reminds him of an Earth story he had heard–how he knows about Earth is left open or unexplained–that is a paraphrasing of the movie *The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill But Came Down A Mountain.* The essential part of this story is that just as a small Welsh town turned a hill into a mountain by adding 15 extra feet to the top to reach the required 1000 foot level, so Santa makes up the needed elevation to turn what Hitchcock calls Bowers Hill–again this appellation is not explained–into Brown Mountain. The crucial overlap is this: the grave of Preacher Robert Jones is overlapped or superimposed with that of Santa Claus, making Santa Claus buried in a Christian grave. This implies that Santa Claus is baptized as a Christian, and this connects with another blasphemous image that popped into my head one day, that of St. John the Baptist baptizing Santa Claus in the Jordan River in Israel, just like he did Jesus. I know this image may offend you, but that’s what popped in my head.
Willie: Actually it’s pretty amusing.
Baker: So this translates into the very next post, the second concerning baker and Darwin and how they get immersed or trapped in this odd brown and static reality, a nothing type of reality. They are symbolically in the same Brown Mountain that Santa and Preacher Jones are simultaneously buried in. And this blasphemous overlap is referred to in Darwin’s statement about how he wish Santa and a guy named St. John, which means St. John the Baptist in this interpretation, could get along. The rescue from this brown blasphemous state is accomplished by the giant robot, which adds an additional vertical element to the problem and turns the dichotomous 1st corruption, embodied in this St. John or Christian vs. Santa Claus dichotomy, into the 2nd corruption, a type of healing effect. The dichotomy is healed by allowing it to stand and take on a new dimension. Again this is connected with the Mythos planet, which is also seen as brown. The filling in of the Mythos pole allows it to rise three-dimensionally into the air, just as Darwin and baker rise in the air to go to the moon. The moon is another Mythos symbol, a fulfilled, flying globe Mythos which has embodied and accepted the dichotomous Christian-Pagan burial at its pole. This moon, as you may have guessed, is also the same as Carter County which Willie is trapped in, the character Willie that is. He is actually trapped within a planet that is spherical, like the moon.
Willie: Okay, go on. How about the second Hitchcock post? And the third? I know you haven’t completed the third quite yet but you’ve allowed me to view the notes on it, and you’re almost ready, as you say, to set forth into it and fully complete your “Jordan’s Rule” story. So in the second post, as my notes say here, Hitchcock again tried to talk the twins David and Permele out of seeking Brainard, and states that the giant head will strip their psyches naked and thus absorb them as they are revealed to him fully. You compare this stripping or absorption to a waterfall drawn or etched by this Dutch fellow named Escher. I’ve seen his poster in various stores, and I believe I know this waterfall picture you are referring to. It’s the one that has the fall and then the stream seems to move downward more but actually, and unknowingly–until you study the picture a little closer–it is moving upwards as well, and eventually reaches, in a totally illogical fashion, the top of the waterfall again. You describe this dichotomy in your post as well. And, as I understand, this is connected with the waterfall that Darwin and baker encounter in their initial journey into this so-called Great Valley. This valley–you’re saying it’s the same as the Altoona location, the setting for the Hitchcock posts? Am I reading this correct, this overlap?
Baker: Yes, that’s it in a nutshell. The waterfall that Darwin and baker exteriorize at during the valley sojourn is actually the same one described by Hitchcock, the TILE waterfall I believe he calls it. The key to the transition between the 1st corruption and the 2nd corruption is the breaking apart of this continuous waterfall, the one that has the totally dichotomous connection between bottom and top in terms of stream flow, and make two separate waterfalls instead. This is what baker sees from the robot’s hand when he rises above the original waterfall–he sees now two waterfalls instead. The dichotomy is broken by the added vertical dimension. Darwin and baker have now apparently gone beyond the danger that the twins David and Permele have yet to encounter in the Hitchcock posts. This is the danger of absorption by Brainard. I guess that implies the giant Casey robot that lifts Darwin and baker to the moon is beyond Brainard as well, perhaps a future transformed Brainard, a harmless Brainard now. I’m not fully sure of the association between the two, but it appears to be another key to understanding the story, and one that perhaps I should work more on, perhaps in additional fiction.
Willie: Well, we seem to be *finally* wrapping this up and coming to a successful conclusion baker. Some wild trip believe me! But there’s a quote in the 10th and last post that I’ve highlighted, that seems to somehow address this association, and the association between the baker-Darwin-Willie posts and the Hitchcock-Twins posts. It still seems to be a bit of a loose end to me, but perhaps you can better explain the following quote from that last post. It says, and it’s talking about a direct comparison to the Willie-baker relationship that has just boiled over only an hour or so before, that, “…this very type of thing happened many years ago to me and another guy, ironically named Carter, and that it seemed to be, in a Freudian sense, the old Sherwood Anderson father figure being killed by the William Faulkner son figure all over again. Sherwood rolled up inside his tar roofing in “Carcassonne,” killed inside the confines of a selected county which seemed a prison to the father….Patricide, even of a purely psychological type, creates very heavy guilt. Witness the shame Adam and Eve felt upon expulsion from their perfect garden. I then pictured David and Permele running in the opposite direction, toward the garden and their father, joyfully shedding clothes along the way. A symbiosis of father and son; I hope he knows what he’s doing…” Can you explain this quote?
Baker: It is difficult. The Sherwood Anderson-William Faulkner association is the easier part. This is the relationship I saw between you and me, and how, as the William Faulkner figure who owned my own fantasy based county, I trapped you within the same and effectively tried to kill, psychologically speaking, or rub out, the ideas I didn’t like about you. In placing you in my shoes, I knew this would be like a death of you. The character baker in the story realized the wrongness of this action, and was thus very repentive in the end. As far as the David and Permele association, it’s just like I said. I think they haven’t learned this lesson yet, and are attempting a father-son symbiosis, at least in terms of David–Permele seems to be just tagging along, in the shadow of her more dominant brother. But I will say in connection with this that Eden, or the perceived paradise, is not the desired outcome. The desired outcome is simply the end of the game of the corruption–Eden was always there, waiting for our return. Eden is the original state, and we actually never leave it except as if in a dream. The reality is Eden, which is perfect. God, if you will, in his/her perfection–I refuse to give God a specific gender here. The dream is the corruptions, and since “Jordan’s Rule” is all about the triple corruption that bridges an initial perfection with an ending perfection, then “Jordan’s Rule” itself is a dream, a fantasy. It is an island in reality though, as all of our lives are temporally dominated islands in reality–atemporal reality. This is why I believe that, in the end, everything pans out, because everything, all the temporal events that happen to us seemingly in a linear fashion, are part of a game–not a harsh game but an educational game, much like the direction of the TILE game in its mundane level. But it is still just that, a game, and there is essentially an infinitely larger universe surrounding the game board. What “Jordan’s Rule” is, as I see it now, is simply an attempt to mirror, in the game it plays, some small aspects of this larger universe. The degree it reflects this truth is in direct relation to its ultimate value. And, as I said, although I value it probably higher than any fiction I’ve written so far, I’m not sure how successful it is in this. But I know now this interview, the interview between the real Willie and the real baker, a very unique type of interview in many ways, is an integral part of the story. And I’m glad it is successfully tied up, and that we are at peace, it seems, with the results. Is that about what you want?
Willie: Baker, that’s great. I think we should end there definitely. What’s next on the agenda? I’ve got to get back to Hinesville tonight to begin a new program for one of the town banks…actually it’s later than I thought and we probably should skip that last Space Ghost tape if you don’t mind. I promise I’ll use the rain check though, and I’m sure we’ll see each other soon. Okay, I think that’s it. I’m turning off the tape. Thanks very much baker for allowing me to be a part of this very interesting interview.
Baker: Thank you…it wouldn’t have taken place, for sure, without your help. And I just want to say good luck with your own creative endeavors in the near future. I know you’re working on a big synch project right now…I hope you leave time for that in your busy schedule still.
Willie: You bet I will. Thanks again. Turning off the tape…now.
END OF SIDE FOUR.