A dream upon viewing episodes 1 and 2
I had this dream the night after I watched the first two episodes of the season back in February and jotted it down. Having finished the remainder of the season and the remainder of the year, I stand by it as a prescient review.
I did not act in the dream. I only observed and became aware. This is the dream.
The studio lot is unblemished in its Los Angeles way. Just as Autumnal New York is an elusive perfection, so the perfect Los Angeles Day: un-muggy, un-smoggy, not a shadow drawn from the pure blue Disney sunlight. The numbered buildings rise up and flank the broad tramway avenue like Greek marble. It is a studio lot’s idea of a studio lot.
A crew and all its accessories bestride the avenue, random and intentional – a quorum gathered to cut a scene: the riggers with their electrical tape, the gaffers and grips with their scorpion booms, the best boys, the C.M.E.s. The whole dutiful role of credits is there, and they and each article of equipment is a light-sucking muted black. The director too, immaculate and center.
To what intent does this dark retinue attend?
The scene is thus: two new lovers sheet covered and attended, sit ready upon a sofa couch. Their uncovered flesh and the matching pony wall behind them are the only warmth under that bluest sky. Before them, suspended, hangs a metal and glass box and all around prop cameras blink cold red lights.
Ready is commanded and made and the flimsy cover removed. The real cameras blinked red now. The two people, naked, begin that naked simulacrum of love. On cue, they stop and look toward the shuddering gape of a box. Again on cue, they share some words of false surprise and wonder.
And then, off cue, what should be false is real. The post-production man’s best attempt at nightmare leaps through time to the present, shakes its lightless eyes, and shakes a scrambled shape into being. And then off cue, what was false is real. The blinking cameras catch a moment of true surprise and wonder, then terror between the two new lovers until the shape shoots out of the box and consumes their too real naked faces, and then vanishes.
As if all were false and intentional as before, the director happily has his scene. The two young actors, naked now as possible, are covered, and the black clad crew disassembles, disperses and dissembles, all knowing what I too know somehow:
The spirit of man, so long ago released incrementally in ripe garden fruit, in well-tossed children, in enslavement and brutality, and most suddenly in fusion’s annihilative power, had finally been condensed and captured in art, and would be shared like a virus through the eyes and ears. Every eye on set had been infested by it and had become a willing incubator, and every screen became a vector. The dispersed spirit would infect every man exposed through his screen. Infection would make bad men worse and free of account. Perhaps, some good men would be immune, but -- like our hero – the best of us would be made most malignant and corrupt. Monstrous.