To look at this from another angle, captchaloguing an item, in plain terms, logs that item as a captcha. Since these captchas are limited to 8 characters in length, there’s a limit to how many items can possibly have codes and therefore, presumably, how many items can possibly be captchalogued. If someone’s paradox ghost contains the whole of their DNA, and the number of possible biological organisms outnumbers all the possible captchalogue codes, then it stands to reason that an item this complex simply could not be captchalogued. It would have to be “compressed” in some way to fit the 8-character code length; or in more Platonic terms, the paradox ghost would have to be made more “basic”, more similar to the fundamental idea of a paradox ghost.
So we know a kernelsprite is really a combination of two parts, a kernel and a sprite, with the kernel being data (the process of “distilling the prototyped elements into something more symbolic, more essential”, according to Andrew’s book commentary) and the sprite being an organism made of ectoplasm, a ghost.
So given that in addition to having a central essence - of which there can only be one, since this essence is in fact the core of their Ultimate Self - a character can also have a multitude of “ghosts”, it would seem that the basic structure of the soul is basically the same as the structure of the kernelsprite.
The central core, or kernel, or Heart, is the static unchanging Platonic essence of the person, representing their nature. All iterations of a person share this single essence.
The ectoplasm, essentially the “flesh” of the soul, is a person’s Life: in the sense that the ectoplasm of sprites like Nanna is associated with the Life aspect and has healing properties, but also in the sense that this part of the soul actually represents a person’s life, their lived experiences, their lifetime, rather than just the idea they sprung from. Because one person can live any number of different Lives, they can have an infinite amount of ectoplasmas or ghosts; but these ghosts are just reflections or shadows of the core of the soul, the Ultimate essence.
The idea of ectoplasm as the shadow of someone’s true essence, a kind of waste product from the periphery of the soul, is reinforced by its presence in ectobiology; ectoplasm is what you get when you can’t appearify the real deal version of what you’re trying to appearify. This itself highlights the key difference between alchemy and ectobiology, which is that alchemy is a science of abstract ideas, combining truths into more complex truths, while ectobiology is a true physical science that deals with DNA, a fallible form of data that changes in various ways throughout one’s life and is only a slice of a reflection of what someone truly Is.
had a bit of trouble slogging through that last Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance chapter; they get quite long toward the end. but i wonder if this reflects the breaking down of separations and borders in the narrator’s own mind, particularly that border between his own current mind and that of Phaedrus?
TIL: the semen sample cup in this poster for the troll version of The Switch has been made to look like a miniature filial receptacle
actually a little bit fascinated with the placement of troll jason bateman’s filial cup in the same panel as the Pot O’ Boons, which is an amusing setpiece (presumably from vriska’s land?) but doesn’t seem to get even a passing mention.. what could it mean! boondollars as reproductive fluid? the exploding echeladder as a climaxing phallus??
How much of the deleted Skaianet lore is still canon? I doubt any of the stuff about Hitler will ever come up in-game (they aren't *that* dumb) but it also seems like Calamity is probably a major player who can't be written out because people were offended by the history that mentioned her. Yeah this question is phrased very clunky but ya know what I mean?
i don’t think the exact word for word content of the systems files are ever going to be canon, but i also dont think that was ever the intention. they were more of an internal “guideline” for how the different elements of the homestuck universe come together, and how these different elements could be explored in future homestuck content. obama in the epilogues being obviously the same obama from the skaianet systems, for example.
like you say, some of the parts of these documents are more important than others. whether it’s “”canon”“ or ““not canon”“, the stuff regarding world war 2 can be glossed over with no effect on the overall story. but calamity serves as a major motivating force for the condesce, who is in turn a major player in both homestuck and hiveswap’s worlds. since the skaianet systems stuff was probably never intended to be published as any kind of standalone text, there’s no doubt she was created for some other purpose, and i think hiveswap is as good a guess as any as to what that purpose could be.
rummaging around in my old hiveswap theorycrafting has also dug up something that i thought was amusingly similar to something i could have thought up today: joey’s attachment to the game Second Mom = somehow an allusion to the concept of a ‘second guardian’, which the axolotl monster may represent?
back when the first act of hiveswap came out there wasn’t a whole lot for us to go off of when it came to jude’s conspiracy theories. was it really likely within the homestuck universe that members of the US congress could be involved in cult activity? could this really have anything to do with vampire children, man apes, the jersey devil?
the skaianet systems documentation that’s come out since then kind of recontextualises this. jude’s research goes all the way back to world war ii, which we now know the condesce was at the very least around for. and in calamity the game has another major player that we couldn’t possibly have known about at the time of hiveswap’s release. it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to guess that this cherub who has had her hand in american politics for hundreds of years might have something to do with what jude thinks he sees.
i could be totally stretching myself thin trying to connect ‘fiamet’ to ‘tiamet’, because obviously if any of the main hiveswap characters would be the water goddess it would be trizza tethis, right?
but tiamat is specifically the goddess of saltwater, with her consort abzu being the god of freshwater. likewise, tethys is a goddess of fresh streams and rivers, while the salty sea is the dominion of her husband oceanus. so maybe i’m not totally crazy?
- then it would seem to be a given that fiamet is somehow connected to it.
now for my own observations: the game seems to be hinting at a third, green troll allied with dammek and xefros, yet to appear.
joey’s simon says game features buttons in orange-yellow, red, green and fuchsia. orange lights up first, then red, then green breaks before fuchsia can be reached.
underneath the lusus book, dammek’s table is carved with two signs; the one on the right is undoubtedly his, but the one on the left is less clear. at the time i hypothesised that its structure, with a circle in the middle and several tails coming outward, suggested an olive sign; since then the extended zodiac has come out and this would appear to be basically confirmed.
and then, of course, there’s the painting of three beasts. the two beasts on the land at the top can be easily associated with xefros and dammek’s lusii; on the left, a sluggish, groundhugging creature like a sloth. on the right, a carnivore with antlers. and then the third creature on the bottom, in the sea: an axolotl. joey’s comments on this monster are particularly thought provoking. doesn’t that description sound like it could easily be applied to a first guardian, or a monster similar to one?
new screenshots seem to have fiamet associated with violet, rather than green. this does make sense; moving through the land of the land dwellers and with the ultimate goal of a battle with the heiress, of course the protagonists would be headed straight for where the sea dwellers live, and the characters they plan to meet would have to be there also. and the axolotl is an amphibian, so a sea dweller makes sense… and so does a troll who confuses us as to whether they live on the land or in the sea.
it’s being pointed out that ‘fiamet’ could come from ‘fiametta’, a ballet meaning ‘little flame’ but also sometimes called ‘the salamander’. to me, though, fiamet evokes tiamet; a primordial babylonian goddess of the sea. this forms a pretty good pattern with our current thinking: xefros as in ‘zephyros’, a god of the wind, and dammek possibly from ‘adama’, the earth. dammek’s ‘tetrarchy’ suggests an important group of four characters, so why not the four elements? fiamet being connected to two of them could easily connect to the character’s dual land/sea nature, and the fact that a salamander is a water creature associated with fire (illustrated by the axolotl in the concept art having fiery breath).
i suppose karkat’s aspiration toward being a executioner / threshecutioner i.e. the role of the person responsible for his ancestor’s destruction is probably some kind of symptom of self loathing?
and now that i point my focus all the way back at the introductory paragraphs, it occurs to me for the first time that the strange little comment in vriska’s introduction about being an “apocalypse buff” isn’t so strange at all! vriska’s interest in
end of the world scenarios
plays directly into her hero complex: she wants to be the one with the knowledge that makes her able to stop those end of the world scenarios. this is exactly why she strikes up the role of kismesis - the role of sworn enemy - with the genocidal eridan, who aims to act out some of these apocalypse scenarios. before lord english or jack noir, eridan was the character vriska built up to act as the villain to her ultimate hero moment.
and on the topic of getting caught up in other people’s theorycrafting, i’ve been doing some more surfing around other people’s theories. it’s a filthy habit, i know, but the other day i came across something really simple that has me rethinking the whole way i’ve been approaching twin peaks. dale cooper and his FBI colleagues are part of the blue rose task force; they investigate cases similar to that of lois duffy, who was charged with the murder of her own tulpa.
leland palmer was a blue rose case. it was his doppelganger that killed laura palmer. which isn’t to say that leland is innocent of any crime; the fact is that we already know from hawk’s black lodge stories that a doppelganger is just another part of someone. their ‘shadow self’, representing the darkest parts of their soul, with which they are meant to come to terms on their way to the white lodge. The Return’s mr. c isn’t just a case of BOB ‘possessing’ cooper’s doppelganger. in truth BOB and the doppelgangers are intrinsically linked. BOB is the evil that men do, and our doppelgangers are the evil sides of our selves. BOB is inherently inside every single doppelganger. this has always been the question posed by BOB’s existence; were leland’s crimes really the result of possession by some spirit, or is BOB just representative of something that was truly evil about him? the doppelgangers merely universalise this conundrum.
it’s also easy to get caught up in the technicalities of what the ‘difference’ between a doppelganger and a tulpa is. i think things become a lot clearer when we accept that a doppelganger is just a kind of tulpa. doppelgangers, and as an extension the black lodge as a whole, are just psychic emanations of people; and that’s just what a tulpa is. the three coopers feint was in reality a double double cross. dougie jones was “created for a purpose”, but so was mr. c. both of them are tulpas of cooper, merely representing different components of his psyche.
i think this streamlines one of the first thought processes i kicked off when i started my most recent viewing of twin peaks - what’s up with the ongoing tv show within a tv show narrative? as i later pointed out, twin peaks itself is also a tv show within a tv show. and just as lodge spirits are ‘reflected’ as tulpas in the flesh world, so too can the Invitation to Love characters be considered tulpas of the main twin peaks cast. so by better understanding these characters as psychic reflections of each other, we might be able to build a better understanding of what role all these characters serve.
malo’s comments on the conspiratorial tone of homestuck’s skaianet systems documentation give me pause on the very nature of the whole Secret History of Twin Peaks. the two texts are in essence the same concept; an attempt to draw all of human history into one web, connecting seemingly disparate dots across hundreds of years until they all spiral together into one central point. but The Secret History’s connection to conspiracy theory is perhaps even more explicit. frost spares no thread from the fabric he weaves; aliens, government coverups, the masons, the illuminati and crowley’s thelema are all among the supernatural phenomena apparently connected to the story of twin peaks.
a favourite theory among The Return’s audience is that the directors write certain scenes to poke fun at them; that certain characters act as audience surrogates, desperate for answers but receiving none. and now I have to wonder if this is the core of The Secret History. the whole book is a corkboard of red strings tied up with red strings, and indeed the introduction is framed in such a way to make the reader feel like they are the one doing the investigation; tammy is the audience surrogate, and the corkboard is a cautionary tale. this is how not to understand twin peaks. getting caught up in connecting all the tiny dots will just obscure the bigger picture from you. even if we can assume all the events detailed by the book really did happen, how are we to trust the conclusions that the authors reach? tammy’s attitude toward the unexplainable is always to try to ‘rationalise’ it; but the fact is that rationalising the things we already know will not always provide us with the answer. again, the central phrase to twin peaks’ mystery: things are not what they seem.
another big thing that i feel is really hurdling the idea that judy is somehow twin peaks’ big ultimate bad is the fact that she’s an owl. if we accept that the negative spirit depicted on hawk’s living map is judy, this is the logical conclusion; judy’s symbol seems to be a form of the owl cave petroglyph, which itself seems to represent an owl in flight.
wikia user Special Agent Dale Cooper’s opinion - as documented on the twin peaks wiki’s owl article - is that the owls act as ‘vessels’ for spirits like BOB; but my interpretation of episode 16′s finale scene was almost the opposite. as some unknown entity scurries around the forest floor, screen flush with violent red, an owl suddenly flies into frame from a bright white light; the owl is a spirit of the white lodge sent to retrieve a rogue spirit. that’s the role of the owl; a watcher.
The Secret History seems to agree more with the former interpretation. the owl is said to be the psychic representation of a large-eyed race of “grey aliens” with malevolent intentions and hailing from the black lodge, in opposition to the benevolent “nordic” race from the white lodge. my reason for dismissing this supposed discrepancy was at first to try to accept that lynch and frost’s versions of twin peaks would always fundamentally differ. majorly, Secret History and The Final Dossier seem content with the assumption that the white and black lodges are indeed simply two different “locations”, contrary to the series’ own implication that black and white are the same. but i think the books themselves hold clues that this so-called “black and white” interpretation of the world of twin peaks may be misleading. frost uses the twin earthly lodges of the masons and the bavarian illuminati as worldly analogues to the two spiritual lodges. but real-world masonic lodges contain a particular design element that surely inspired lynch’s depiction of the lodge; a black-and-white mosaic floor,
“emblematic of human life, checkered with good and evil.”
the phrase so central to twin peaks’ mystery is not “the owls are a force of good”, but it also isn’t “the owls are spirits of evil”. the owls are not what they seem. andso this needs to be followed through to its ultimate conclusion. judy is not what she seems.
without any of the added implications of frost’s books, my interpretation of the “frog moth” from part 8 was that it represented essentially a flesh world counterpart to BOB.
to me part 8′s extended atomic explosion sequence immediately evoked 2001: A Space Oddysey’s famous stargate sequence, and I think frost and lynch were turning kubrick on its head with BOB’s origins in this episode. while in the universe of 2001, it’s interdimensional alien benefactors who are responsible for human violence and ultimately the creation of the atom bomb, the monolith somehow providing the early ape with the idea to commit murder with a bone. but in part 8, the opposite seems to be true of the world of twin peaks; in finalising the creation of its ultimate weapon in 1945, humanity also allows the creation of the interdimensional spirit of human violence, and from the spawn of judy, BOB is born.
the vomiting child in part 11 i think is another, smaller-scale example of this. a child accidentally comes into possession of a gun through parental negligence, fires it, and chaos ensues. this vomiting child is another spirit of evil born from this chaos; a representation of violence born by the use of manmade weapons.
and if BOB is the “spiritual” consequence of the white sands nuclear test who “enters” people through possession, the frog moth is then the “physical” consequence of the explosion. crawling from an egg in the irradiated sands with a multitude of mismatched limbs which barely seem able to function the way they should, we are given the impression of something mutated; literally created by the radiation resulting from the blast. and an animal that literally, physically enters the bodies of humans by crawling in through their open mouths.
internet was out for a few days while i finished The Return, so i had some time to mull things over. i’ll try to churn out some of my thoughts on it over the next while.
obviously a lot of the thoughts buzzing around my head after the finale were about “Judy”. naturally, one of the first things i did when i got access to the wide web again was to surf around and see what other people’s thoughts were. maybe a mistake. i quickly found that most people had picked up on the same thing that i had, but that i was really hoping wasn’t true.
it seems pretty airtight that the ‘mother’ cooper needs to be wary of, banging on the walls of the strange zonespace room, is the same ‘experiment’ being watched for in new york, banging on the walls of the glass cube. this ‘experiment’ would appear to be the same creature that birthed BOB following the white sands nuclear test in 1945 (i.e. a mother). it makes perfect sense that this thing would be the thing depicted as a huge dark “owl” on hawk’s living map, and mr. c’s ace of spades card.
what bothers me is this idea that judy, presumably as the ultimate evil and therefore overarching villain of twin peaks’ cosmology, would also be laura’s mother sarah palmer.
i won’t pretend i don’t see any hints at all. if seasons 1 and 2 climaxed with the reveal that laura’s father killed her, it follows that season 3′s villainous ‘mother’ character would literally also be laura’s mother. sarah’s psychic nature does seem to reveal a dark source in The Return, and there is, of course, the scene wherein she turns to attacking laura’s image to consider.
but i’ll get my less academic misgivings out of the way first. the idea of a “female” spirit being twin peaks’ ultimate evil is bad enough on its own - BOB is “the evil that men do” above all else, and his hosts who make up the primary antagonistic forces of all three seasons are emblematic of anti-woman violence. to have this female evil be none other than thegrieving mother of the victim and the wife of the killer would be beyond out of line with twin peaks’ established moral thread.
more practically; sarah palmer as judy as twin peaks’ ultimate villain just doesn’t track within the logic of the series. one instance of grief stricken mania directed at a long dead daughter does not suddenly rewrite every other aspect of a character’s personality or history. the “white (hose) of the eyes” is demonstrably not sarah judith palmer “looking away” from the abuse of her daughter. within Fire, Walk With Me we see with our own eyes not only that sarah opposes her husband’s sometimes cruel treatment of their daughter, but that leland / BOB takes the active precaution of drugging her so that he can commit his evils without her interference. within The Return, too, the one instance in which sarah uses her powers for violent purposes, she’s defending herself from a man. if the entity that lives behind sarah’s face were judy, then it would be abundantly clear that judy is strongly against sexual violence.
and how could I forget to mention that The Return all but explicitly confirms that the beings of the white lodge (white house) exist on the layer above the story, with the giant in Part 8 acknowledging the viewer directly through the fourth wall and viewing the events of the episode on a project screen. I wonder what this says about the tv show within a tv show so omnipresent within the first two seasons… layers upon layers.
in episode 27 of Twin Peaks, a strange phenomenon begins to take hold of the town. residents begin to experience seemingly random trembling in their right hands; and there seems to be no logical pattern among the people afflicted by it.
the first we see experience the tremors is an unnamed woman enjoying a slice of the double R diner’s famous cherry pie.
two named characters are next; cooper’s hand begins to shake as he laments that his personal attraction to annie is impacting his professional life, while pete’s appendage acts up while he looks onward as audrey loses her virginity to her sweetheart jack.
at the very end of the episode the reason behind this epidemic seems to rear its head; the killer BOB is reemerging into the physical world right hand first. as bob has done in the past, he is presumably exerting his influence through the possession of human beings; and as the personification of the evil that men do, he is allowed access to people only during through moments of violence.
what allows bob to take control of cooper’s hand is obvious. the special agent’s worldly attraction to annie is beginning to supersede his ascetic attitude toward his work. he is thinking of the flesh when he needs to be thinking of the spirit.
the woman with the pie is stranger. not only is she a one note background figure, seen in this shot and never again, but she’s seen doing nothing more than the completely innocuous act of eating.
but the next time the episode shows us the double R diner, annie is in the middle of cleaning up a visceral red stain, no doubt left behind by some kind of bright red food, but evoking the image of a scene of violence nonetheless. and then immediately afterward cooper and annie share an embrace, knocking a set of plates onto the floor, dirtying the diner with even more red sauce.
several seconds pass as we watch crimson drip to the ground. a dramatic beat usually afforded to a shot of a corpse. the destruction and consumption of the diner’s food is explicitly being linked with “violent” acts of the flesh.
certainly the most concerning are the unfortunate implications this has for pete’s character, though. what it might mean that he is taken by the demon of violence as he watches the younger woman with her boyfriend is obvious.
on my way into The Return. the black+white symbolism from the original runs even stronger through this one, and Part 8 in particular seems to be pushing the idea that the two are one and the same. not only in being set in the 40s and 50s and being filmed in black and white, but also in the Woodsman character’s mysterious poem:
This is the water, and this is the well. Drink full, and descend. The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within.
the container and the contained, the water and the well, the white and the black of the eye, are being conflated with each other. another character in this episode who doesn’t seem to hold any other significance mentions a zebra on the loose; a horse that is both white and black.
we’re also reminded of the black and white horse costume near the original series’ climax, and of the white horse symbolising death which has appeared in both the original series and The Return but is thus far yet to be contrasted with a black counterpart.
the Heir is a hero who reviles what he reveres. an Heir in fairy tales is one who wants nothing more than to attain his father’s station, but hates his father for not giving it to him; or one who loves the privileges of his rank but hates its responsibilities, wishing for the freedom of a commoner.
naturally this makes the Heir a class closely tied with the concept of masculinity, because the complex dual nature of masculinity is such a strong theme in Homestuck. the indigoblood’s power comes not just from his position on the hemospectrum but his position in a patriarchal society, and when Equius starts to lose his grip on the saddle of his high horse it’s not only for a lowblood, but for a lowblooded woman.
the successful Heir is a hero who successfully overcomes masculinity’s trappings and, like all heroes ultimately must, reconciles the contradicting aspects of the masculine and the feminine. John matures as an Heir by overcoming the side effects of being brought up in an all male household, under a father who valued his strength of the flesh above all else, and mastering the spirit and the feminine - represented by spirit arms and the feminine blue slime of his ghostly mentor. Equius’ fate is instead to succumb to masculinity altogether, allowing the male superior in his life to cut off his connection to breath entirely.
rewatching twin peaks. its central mythology is an immediately familiar gnostic story; a “white lodge” (read: white house) exists a plane above our world, and is where the soul hopes to go when it leaves the body, and a “black lodge” (read: black house) acts as a purgatory where the soul suffers on the way. for all intents and purposes the black lodge could simply be read as the world of the flesh. (jesus, now that I think of it: a magazine literally called “flesh world” in the show seems to represent a catalogue of earthly delights available to spirits from the white lodge).
the more day to day symbolic minutiae of the show still kind of elude me, though. a majority of the extended cast seem to represent a facet or manifestation of another character in some form (the two distinct sets of “mike and bob”, just to name a more obvious example). a TV show within a TV show seems to obviously parallel events taking place within the main narrative, but why? the log lady’s introductions pendulum between outright descriptions of the events of the episode and vague metaphor that seems to have no meaning whatsoever. it definitely seems to be inviting me to build an understanding over multiple watchings.
I want to say that Problem Sleuth’s induction into Hysterical Dame seems to introduce what would eventually become the Space symbol (a dimensional rift) and the wardrobifier (drives a cosmetic edit), especially since Kanaya’s intro was saturated with Problem Sleuth references… hm
You know how Caliborn and Calliope are simultaneously distinct characters and components of the other’s psyche? It’s interesting how in the Epilogues, Jade’s overt possession by (slash identity with?) Calliope is complemented by hints that John was possessed by (slash identical with?) Lord English – @lime-bloods first broached the topic here, I added the matter of John ‘hosting’ (Jake) English in Candy, @th4nkyoub3n notes John’s line “well, i’m already HERE” in Candy 1. The Harleybert’s affiliation with their respective cherubs that the humans already formed a cherubic pairing, on a narrative level. The dream sequence in which John approaches the silhouette of Jade could be another variation on the ‘spirit quest’ explored in Problem Sleuth, but with the masculine/feminine components of the syzygy individualized beyond immediate recognition as such? Or at least that the siblings might mythologize one another in this way. I confess that I’ve recently been preoccupied with parallels between Jade and John that bias me towards finding a concrete framework for their entanglement.
I also want to reiterate here a point of lime-blood’s that went over my head the first time I read the post, which is that Lord English is a candy corn vampire (the gold tooth being preceded by a candy corn Caliborn knocked out of the narrative) – so even John dressing up as a candy corn vampire for Halloween in the end credits emphasizes his connection to Lord English.
actually it’s sort of interesting that despite representing knowledge, fortune and the sun on a surface level, the magic cueball only seems to bestow BAD luck upon the light heroes who interact with it: vriska ‘becomes unlucky’ after it explodes in her face, and rose enters a state associated with darkness and the void after prying into it.
could the magic cueball be representative of trauma?
vriska inherits her cueball from mindfang, and she blames her loss of luck on the cueball exploding (in the same way mindfang started using the cueball once she ‘lost her casino’ - read: gamblignant generational trauma?). rose enters her grimdark state after asking the cueball questions whose answers she wasn’t ready to understand.
this would obviously have a lot to say about the cueball’s unexplained presence in jade’s room from the beginning, but there are people who are probably much better prepared to talk on that point than i am.
even players who aren’t assigned one of the inherently progenitorial roles (hero of space, ectobiologist - a time player who, though being assigned the purpose of initiating the Scratch, is being ordered to literally “become the parent”) seem to be encouraged by the game to grow into a parental figure - which, duh, makes sense, because the act of playing Sburb and creating a universe are inherently progenitorial.
but in this vein I think Rose rejecting the quest assigned to her by the game (becoming a creator of life by playing the genetic codes in LOLAR’s rain and filling the planet’s oceans - which, thanks to Ceuts, are barren, connecting with Roxy’s own infertility?) is intrinsically tied to her rejection of motherhood. her allegiance to the Horrorterrors who oppose creation outright are probably a clearer example of this.
what’s most interesting about this to me, though, is that while Dave and Jade’s landings symbolise their ‘cosmic’ significance to the story - the Scratch and Yellow Yard were not literally Dave and Jade’s land quests in the game, but rather parts of the role they play in reality - Rose’s appears to be a straightforward allusion to the quest the game wants her to undertake and that she actively rebels against. as if Dave and Jade’s evasion or subversion of their game duties are predestined, while Rose’s is entirely of her own flat-out refusal to participate.