September 15th Update!
There is nothing so despicable as a secret society that is based upon religious prejudice and that will attempt to defeat a man because of his religious beliefs. Such a society is like a cockroach — it thrives in the dark. So do those who combine for such an end. – William (Billy) Howard Taft, born September 15, 1857.
I have been talking about it for quite some time, but now it has finally become a reality. Jeremy came back to the show on Tuesday, September 14th at 9PM EST.
Read this great analysis by Jeremy as it will be used as a nucleus for our discussion. The Stygian Port: Opening the Stargate via Gremlins
Our conversation includes themes of human alienation, portals to other dimensions, racial struggle, faeries and demons, technological progress, and a whole host of other stuff. We provide something of a cultural and historic background in which these two films can fit.
Word History: Elves, goblins, and trolls seem to be timeless creations of the distant past, but gremlins were born in the 20th century. In fact, gremlin is first recorded only in the 1920s, as a Royal Air Force term for a low-ranking officer or enlisted man saddled with oppressive assignments. Said to have been invented by members of the Royal Naval Air Service in World War I, gremlin is used in works written in the 1940s for “an imaginary gnomelike creature who causes difficulties in aircraft.” The word seems likely to have been influenced by goblin, but accounts of its origin are various and none are certain. One source calls in Fremlin beer bottles to explain the word; another, the Irish Gaelic word gruaimín, “ill-humored little fellow.” Whatever the word’s origin, it is certain that gremlins have taken on a life of their own. (The Free Dictionary)
There is really so much more to this story. These people who spent all of the time and effort encoding symbolism and “syncs” into these movies must have known that eventually some people (like Jeremy and myself) would come along to splice it all together and add some context.
During the show, I was trying to pull out some of the connections that could be made around characters’ names, but was unable to really get where I wanted with it. In particular, I had forgotten what I had found important in the name Clamp, besides the obvious reference to the tool, which is squeezing the world out of its round shape in the Clamp Logo. Clamp can be broken down into C-LAMP. Among many other things, C is one of the most common programming languages and LAMP is a very popular development framework using Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/ Python/ Perl. Jeremy ties in penguins to his Gremlins post and the penguin is the mascot for Linux.
And then there’s also something that seems to tie in with the Venus Project and Clamp’s ideas toward the end of Gremlins 2..
The Carbon Land Model Intercomparison Project uses C-LAMP as their acronym, although it seems to be something of a stretch. A lamp is: an object that shines light, an anagram for palm, and also the place where the genie lies sleeping.
The genetic material of genies is carried in the genitalia. The symbolism is so obvious here and it relates to the cover art for the first film as Billy has the box above his groin with his hands making a symbolic gesture downward. Perhaps this is something of a cautionary tale as to what can happen when populating the planet with dangerous genetics.
In an effort to further validate my theory about the importance of names, let’s consider Billy Peltzer. His surname is Dutch (like the elms) and relates to “pelts” and the occupation of tanning, skinning, and selling hides. Billy (William) has a royal first name, which I related to the Billy Goat, which is what Spielberg used to draw out the T-Rex in JurAssIc pArk. Kurt Vonnegut’s famous character who becomes unstuck in time in S-laughterhouse Five is name Billy Pilgrim (see also, Bill and Ted, Billy the Kid & billy club). Pilgrims wore black like the Saturnian Daffy Duck and were often mentioned by John Wayne, who makes an appearance on the video release. Wayne is also the sur(sir)name of Batman.
Kate is Billy’s girlfriend in the movies. She is played by Phoebe Caites, tying together her “real” name and her character’s name.
Also, Phoebe is one of the moons of Saturn, which is a planet with a hexagon (video) at one of its poles. The female Gremlin emerges from a purple eye within a hexagon at the end of Gremlins 2 for her big show.
Billy’s mother’s name is Lynn, making her phonetically connected to the Grem-Lynns. And by separating off the “grem” we can also see that it is an anagram for germ. If reversed, it forms the basis for “merge.” Grem seems like it might also be connected to Grimoire, which is a textbook of magic.
As was mentioned in the show, these films shows what happens when magic is unleashed upon the world of de-humanizing machinery. There could be magical entities that are working within these systems to keep things balanced with the natural order of things. To re-establish this natural order, perhaps the introduction of chaos into a body or building without soul is necessary. If I were on a train headed toward an abyss, I would not be too upset if I saw some gremlins tearing apart the engine.
Above is an illustration of a machine elf, which are the beings encountered when tripping out of this limited reality while on DMT. The machine elf reminds me a lot of Herne the Hunter, Pan, The Green One, Osirus, or The Horned One. This spirit seems to be mainly invisible to humans, but is more easily accessed while ingesting some chemicals found in nature.
Perhaps Gremlins describes a whole new generation of people who no longer follow society’s rules. They lack respect for tradition and authority. Their style of being and thinking spreads rapidly throughout the culture and is extremely hard to contain. Maybe Gremlins are not like a virus so much as they are like a fungus. They are kept in the dark, feed on shit, and reproduce through the use of spores. (Dutch parliament sprayed with spores – 2008 by Fernando)
The way Gremlins are able to grow and change their genetic material could make them something that just doesn’t fit in with the classical “Kingdoms” of life on this plane(t) of existence..
And here are some completely unrelated headlines from the past few days..
Bloomberg: Poll Problems “A Royal Screw-Up” (New York, New York: a Hell of a town)
Gold Prices Touch Another Record High (buy, sell, buy, sell!)
Tea Party favorites win GOP primaries in Delaware and New York (and wave rattle snake flags)
Firth, Dante to team for Roger Corman biopic (Dante directed the Gremlins movies and most recently did The Hole. Notice the “Rex” and 666 in the picture.)
Bye-bye, Woof Woof.