The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
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    One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from  anxious dreams, he discovered that in bed he had been changed into a monstrous verminous bug.

    (Franz Kafka)

    Robert Burns (no not that Robert Burns you Gaelic idiots) has written a book entitled:

    Kafka's Law

    If you bother to watch this wonderful Q & A, you will see that the focus of Mr. Burn's tome seems to be on Kafka's The Trial, which might be deduced from the title of the professor's book.

    Oh and if you ever wish to view a film that can really scare the hell out of you, watch Orson Wells' THE TRIAL.

    But like all of Kafka's psychotic followers (including me), Professor Burns cannot help himself and delves into Metamorphosis for a short time in the interview.


    There is a new 10 part series appearing on USA that just knocked my sox off.

    Wiki tells me that the 'pilot' for this series received a Rotten Apple's approval rating of 96% and 1.75 million viewed its first presentation.

    Upon my second viewing of this strange, strange series, the relationship between Mr. Robot and The Metamorphosis is readily apparent.

    Eliot Anderson, the main character in Mr. Robot, surely awoke one day and discovered that he had morphed into a giant bug!

    We are not entitled to view the original metamorphosis of Eliot, like Kafka permitted us to see the actual moment of metamorphosis of Gregor. But Eliot is permitted to speak to us directly. 

    Gregor of course awakes in a bedroom located in the family manor and this magical story examines family relationships. Gregor's sister for instance discovers this transformation and attempts several times to feed her new bug brother a proper diet. hahhahahah milk does not work so Sis decides to try rotted veggies. hahahahah

    How shall we, as a family deal with his new physique as a member of this family?

    Eliot, on the other hand, has no family and with the exception of a childhood friend who is now a co-worker, he has no friends at all.

    The only system that must deal with Eliot and his unseen metamorphosis involves his employment; his co-workers and his superiors.

    Eliot is no idiot. Eliot is a genius working with the internet as well as the problems of hacking from enemies unknown.

    Eliot actually narrates this story to an invisible friend, to wit: US.

    Kafka does the Narration concerning Gregor of course, but Kafka does this narration as a part of Gregor's mind.

    To further complicate this matter, we cannot trust everything that Eliot tells us.

    This computer genius is a drug addict (enjoying every drug from Maryjane to morphine to Oxy to Ecstasy) who also happens to be a Psychotic under the corporate care of a shrink who prescribes other anti-psychotic drugs.

    During certain sessions with the shrink, we discover that Eliot 'sees' things at times that are not 'real'. Evidently some of these visions involve men dressed in black.

    We also discover that while Eliot appears to respond to his counselor, he is not verbally responsive at all; he only thinks he is responding verbally to her inquiries.

    Like Gregor hiding under his bed, Eliot will arrive home to his small slum apartment after work and sit on the floor with his back to the wall, between his stove and his couch and he

    will begin to weep, reminding us of the famous Van Gogh painting. Except Eliot is 34 and not 44 or 54!

    Eliot does not wish to be touched; Eliot does not wish to be spoken to; Eliot does not wish to related to anyone; in point of fact, Eliot has the same view of the human race as that great philosopher of our time: George Carlin.



    Eliot experiences complete and total isolation--well almost. We see him banging his drug dealer and actually  hugging his child-hood friend.

    I can feel the loneliness, the depression, the despair and the sense of hopelessness in the character of Eliot.

    What is the relevance of all of this except for self-pity?

    Eliot is sought out by the devil. The devil is called Mr. Robot (played by Christian Slater).

    Without giving away the plot (and how in the hell could I really describe the plot when there are ten more parts to this story yet to be presented?) Eliot is called upon by this devil to participate in a hacking scheme dedicated to destroying the entire global credit system.


    The devil wishes to play with this young psychotic bug.

    It just struck me that some of our mentally ill can easily be drawn into schemes presented by the devil.

    Young, twentyish kids will involved themselves in mass killings of church going folks.

    Young, twentyish kids will leave  bombs at amateur marathon events.

    Young, twentyish kids will wipe out children in elementary schools.

    Young, twentyish kids will kill scores of movie goers, wounding scores more.











    Mr. Day, thanks for this. Well done.

    Oh somebody talked to me! hahahahahah

    Thank you Oxy.

    I mean it.

    I have to tell you this story from last week.

    The power went out at 2:00 am and when I woke up it was about 85 degrees and it took me a number of minutes before I could reason it out. No one picked up at the electric co-op so I hightailed it into town to get coffee and make a call at the co-op offices. A damned snake had crawled into the substation, electrocuted himself and shorted out a sub-station servicing 5000 customers---"we got a spare controller over in the next town, they're brining it over on a trailer---we're looking at late this afternoon". So I rush back to the farmette, decide to pack up and head back into Dallas cause no tellin'. As I'm cleaning out the refrigerator the light comes on, so I call the co-op. "Your power's on?, that's strange, hang on, nobody tells me anything."  Then,.... "it's a temporary patch, power's goin' off again when the trailer gets here and we hook up the new controller.

    "When will that be?", I asked.

    "Well probably sometime tonight, she said, the trailer blowed out two tires on the way over here.."

    I didn't hang around for further info but they got it fixed sometime in the night.

    A slice of life here in rural America.

    BTW, your show is also available on Hulu, via computer, not on Blue Ray. I have it on the list, looks interesting.






    Yeah I got it on Hulu, but they will wait awhile as the story unfolds.

    Which pisses me off.

    'Well probably sometime tonight'

    That is enough right now; I hereby render unto Oxy the real quote of the night for this here Dagblog Site, given to all of you from all of me.


    Sometime to night.

    I dunno, this is a great existential comment ABOUT EVERYTHING. HAHAHAH









    Garcia-Marques credits Kafka with creating the modern novel with the first line of Metamorphosis. Probably created the 20th Century as well with The Trial - totalitarian whimsical paranoid totalitarian state decades before 1984 or Darkness Before Dawn and the show trials of the 30s. That Bug, that Castle, that Trial.

    This is a wondrous read and because of copyright laws, we can read it; unless the translation spans the years I guess.

    The Trial scares the shit out of me Peracles.

    No kidding.

    And the links I give, especially the Q & A with Burns, just underlines my fears.

    All the L & O and subsequent series endorsed by Wolf, demonstrate the underlying reasons for our prison system and the fact that we incarcerate more people percentage wise than any other nation on earth. Oh I was going to go into the fact that 87% of all convictions in this nation arise from confessions from folks who have no idea what their rights are! Oh that is enough.

    We are, that is the US, THE POLICE STATE.

    After all, what is 1984 all about?



    The novel 1984 is a study of seduction and betrayal.

    It was Darkness at Noon, not darkness before dawn.

    Yeah, the synapses were misfiring a bit there. A bit of Gunk Removal & all's well.

    That book was, of course, on the late 30's show trials in Moscow, in which the old guard of Bolshevists were tried and executed by Stalin.

    Koestler, abandoned communism and Stalinism before he wrote this book about the trials. He eventually fled to England.

    Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Soviet Ambassador during the late 30's was Wall Street lawyer Joseph Davies, who publicly backed Stalin and his trials, even attending court to watch them.

    Dalton Turmbo, a Hollywood writer who was blacklisted for his communist sympathies in the 50's, worked to block any Hollywood movie based on Darkness at Noon because it made Stalin look bad. Trumbo later was blocked from writing scripts due to the blacklist.


    Richard asks: "What is the relevance of all of this except for self-pity?"

    In the Kafka story, there is an element of self fulfilling prophecy. Perhaps the "anxious dream" was about suddenly becoming repulsive for other people. Kafka was keenly interested in how some fears and experiences could be printed upon the body of a life. Perhaps we are all Gregor.

    And there is the commerce of disgust we all have to manage in ourselves. Becoming what we condemn can be a metamorphosis. It may be less about pity and more about geometry.

    Becoming what we condemn or have condemned, I guess.

    Pity and geometry.



    Wonderful piece, DD!   Let me ask you this:  Could both the show and Kafka's story be a metaphor for a person with an incurable, chronic illness?  The isolation, the withdrawal from society, the loneliness, the attempts by family to 'fix' you, the temptations to try any and everything you can to get better, the temptation to lose your moral center because the 'world is not fair' and "Life has dealt you a lousy hand" ...  I have undergone severe physical deformity from this disease o' mine, and I've had to deal with a great amount of self-loathing over the past 30 years.   It's hard to deal with no longer feeling attractive or desirable, especially if, at one time, you did feel that way.  You notice that women no longer look at you with desire, but with pity.   I suppose that happens to everyone to some extent as they age, but with a chronic disease, you accelerate the process and begin at a younger age.   To me, it's not a question of self-pity, self-pity would be wallowing in the self-loathing. It seems to me that you can live with self-loathing without wallowing in it.  You can accept the premise because that is the reality that you're stuck in.  And when you are unable to change a loathsome physical reality, what can you do?  You can hide from it or you can deny it ... or you create your own world to inhabit where that loathsomeness is the norm.   If I remain blind to what has happened to me, I am a fool. if I hide away to avoid dealing with what's happened to me, I am also a fool, but if I create a world for myself, one which includes my deformity as normal, I am merely deluded ... and will be more happy than with either of the other two choices.  Maybe that is the point.  With a chronic illness or a permanent disability, you must integrate it and accept it into your reality even if you merely pretend it is normal.  On the other hand, it's late, and I should be asleep.  Maybe I'm just ranting in my dreams and when I wake, I will have upgraded to cockroach.   .

    Ignoring The Trial & The Castle, it's certainly a good way of looking at Metamorphosis.

    The instinct of close ones around is to continue as if nothing's changed - in typical cases when someone has cancer or a broken spine, but here surreally turned into a giant bug - how could Gregor go on "as normal"? But the family persists, thinking in petty ways how it affects a dinner or going to work, rather than the realization that life has suddenly with no notice been irrevocably changed to something that must be dealt with and trumps everything else. I remember someone at a gathering after a death once, where one of the family members played with a watch or calculator or some electronics, completely transfixed in stupidly fixing something either as a way of blocking out the tragedy or perhaps too tied to the petty demands of little daily tasks and events to override the daily rituals for the huge game-changer that had just occurred.

    And yes, there's Gregor's slow coming-to-grips with both his physical limitations and with how his once-species now looks at him. Rather than sympathy for someone who'd worked so hard and now was suffering a horrible change, Gregor's family and society in general treat him as an unwanted inconvenience, ruining their well-crafted plans (even though Gregor had been instrumental in funding those plans, his overwork potentially being the cause of his change, though Kafka would likely never express causality that starkly).

    Gregor is both Christlike in his suffering & ultimately death-fasting for others, and an expression of futility in the face of human indifference and fickle uncaringness, such as with Kafka's "The Hunger Artist" where the Artist stretches fasting longer and longer while people care less and less as they move onto other fads - the 2 motives passing silently by each other unreconciled in our ironical universe.

    I've always wondered about the ending, where people think Grete is experiencing her freedom after Gregor's death, while I think she's undergoing her own physical transformation into perhaps a flying bug - Und es war ihnen wie eine Bestätigung ihrer neuen Träume und guten Absichten, als am Ziele ihrer Fahrt die Tochter als erste sich erhob und ihren jungen Körper dehnte. In Kafka, people are seldom (if ever) rewarded for good works, and I'd guess that Grete gets rewarded in much the perditious way of her brother, though perhaps her deserving it a bit more due to her dismissive impatient attitude towards his predicament.

    In some ways, it might be easier to change into a cockroach than something that's more "understandable" so not fixed. A kid that's fat or has really bad acne or has a speech impediment or some limp or twist of the body or some kind of autism or ADD/ADHD - all that comes on early. It'd be interesting to catalog what percent of us are actually "normal" through the early years and middleage years, and of course we all fall apart progressively as it continues unless we manage to "die early & make a good corpse".

    Best to just avoid these gloomy Eastern authors altogether, isn't it? 

    Personally, I only read novels written between Madison and Grosse Pointe.

    Psychic hygiene.

    Also - handy tip - if you're gonna eat outside in the Summer, spray your food with a little Raid.

    Can't be too careful.

    You know, this is why I only read Perry Mason.

    In 3000 episodes, Perry only lost two cases.

    This sounds like a communism.

    I aint sayin that this is a communism.

    But damn, all those felons let free.


    What was the question again?

    Although I think I heard somewhere that this guy liked other guys.

    I get so goddamned confused sometimes.

    I mean I still like nekked women and such....



    Oh you touched my heart on this one Mr. Smith.

    I awoke at age 13 and there were huge welts on my face.

    Those welts were not my fault.

    Now, my imfirmaties have more to do with my own 'activities'.

    I am fat and ugly and old. The old part is not my fault. hahaha

    I have to bring up an old friend of mine whom I met in chat several years ago. He was diagnosed with cancer and he chose me to discuss his problems.

    He could barely get outside, using a walker. He would send me pix of his therapeutic walks and include GPS pix of his route.


    That is what he said to me.

    He would take longer and longer walks in the hope of victory.

    And then he died.

     I am more than teary as I write this.

    I discovered that I was a bug many years ago.

    No one to blame but myself.

    Lately you have discussed projects that you are working on.

    Hang in there and maybe that will help me to hand in there.

    That is all I got.


    I'm getting an image of W.C. Fields quipping, "This way to the Egrets"  or was it "Regrets". In any case there is always a better exit, to wit:

    "There will be a better egress, so take it."  per Oxy Mora.

    Edit to add: Do you cotton on to the idea that self-loathing is the human condition?

    I think this is a matter relating to being human

    But has rush even have a concept regarding self-loathing?

    Has Gohmert any concept regarding self-loathing?

    Has Trump any concept regarding self-loathing.

    I can go on and on as usual.

    When one becomes a senior citizen, self-loathing becomes a part of life, I guess.

    But then, people like Oxy and Stilli and Mr. Smith and Momoe...these people make me feel like I have some value, some worth.

    The human condition.

    I am one of 7 billion.

    How could any one of us take our value seriously.

    Like always, you make me ponder.


    The next essay I do shall be more positive.

    I promise!

    I thought this essay was positive. We all have those big self doubts at times, the difference being you put it out there which then prompts something as heartfelt as Mr. Smith's response which took my breath away. Keep writing it, man. Love ya!

    I had to re think this.

    Mr.  Smith somehow grabs me, my emotional self like no other since my experience  with this gab fest, I discussed.

    He  hurts so badly and keeps on keepin  on.

    How does he do this when  I am so down?

    I hope  you are doing  well  Oxy.

    This thought just got to me tonite.

    twenty one days late.


    I had to re think this.

    Mr.  Smith somehow grabs me, my emotional self like no other since my experience  with this gab fest, I discussed.

    He  hurts so badly and keeps on keepin  on.

    How does he do this when  I am so down?

    I hope  you are doing  well  Oxy.

    This thought just got to me tonite.

    twenty one days late.


    Is the one on the upper right Cruz, and the upper left Trump?

    It took me six days.

    And I finally got it! hahahahahah

    This is so well done.

    And I cannot see how anyone will get it.


    But I did.

    Which means I need help.

    But I already knew that.


    Metamorphosis is not just associated with Kafka, the word was also made famous by Houdini: hahahaha ... Presto-Change-o! 


    Well done, Mr. Smith. Yeah

    Somehow this 'changing' can lead us to Daphne

    And of course, butterflies. hahahahaah

    And the Ugly Duckling of course.

    You get me thinking!

    And that is good.

    Cause when I am thinking, I care.

    Otherwise, I lose my religion.

    I am sure I played this within the last week but....


    Oh and I spelt Eliot wrong the entire blog.


    That is okay, I have done worse.



    Oh I had to add this.

    The series just finished and yet it is renewed for next year.

    Eliot discovers that Robot is he. hahahahah

    And just prior to this epiphany, Eliot understands that the specter or Mr. Robot was his father who had died a decade before.


    I dunno. Maybe I just look for nuts?

    I shall review this first installment several more times.

    Like they say, there is something happening here....

    And it aint clear.

    It is fun to watch something that takes me where I really have never been before.

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