Who eats garmonbozia?

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Who eats garmonbozia?

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sat Feb 07, 2015 3:52 pm

There has been much discussion of the mechanics of garmonbozia in Fire Walk With Me: who eats it, who wants it, who stole it, why they stole it, etc.

Like many, I initially assumed that Bob feeds on pain and sorrow, like Mike/the Little Man (whom I will collapse into the single figure of "Mike" from here on). After all it's the only substance we "see" and if Bob is withholding/hoarding it, it must be for his own benefit, right?

But someone pointed out that, on the series, Bob feeds on fear and the pleasures, not pain and sorrow. And that's really consistent with what we see. Bob obviously desires, sows, and enjoys misery, for sure. But the type of misery he produces is much more akin to "fear" than "sorrow." Violent death, even abusive torture, do not foster the properly contemplative, lonely mood conducive to pain and sorrow, and Bob's particular mode of inhabitation (encouraging denial, fostering repression, interfusing violence with sexual activity) certainly don't facilitate "pain and sorrow" in the host. The whole key with Leland is that he ISN'T properly in tune with his own pain. On the series this takes the more overt form of seemingly not even being aware of his actions; in the film, more subtly, it's a matter of never openly acknowledging what he is doing, so that it simmers only on the edge of his consciousness, and even convincing himself that he knows "what Laura likes" and that she "always knew" it was him - and, implicitly, consented to incest.

I think Mike's victory in Fire Walk With Me is due to Laura achieving the proper recognition of her trauma so that she IS able to achieve a measure of pain and sorrow, necessary for her personal growth and also (eventually) to release herself from the grip of fear and (twisted) pleasure that Bob holds her on. Mike gets Laura's pain and sorrow instantly when she takes the ring, a gesture of acceptance rather than avoidance. And then Bob has to personally deliver Leland's pain and sorrow to Mike: I think that THIS is what he owes Mike and has been denying him - Leland's recognition of the damage he has inflicted, and the agony he feels as he realizes what he has done. Mike almost got "the goods" with Teresa, because by blackmailing Leland she was forcing his crimes out into the open. But when she was killed, Leland/Bob "stole the corn" (or rather, kept the corn that had already been stolen) from Mike.

I don't think Bob is monopolizing the pain and sorrow because he likes it himself. Rather, I think he recognizes that if Mike has his share of garmonbozia, it will adversely effect the fear and pleasures he feeds upon. If Leland deals with what he is doing, he may crack - or even stop - and become useless to Bob. In that sense, garmonbozia and whatever nameless substance embodies "fear and the pleasures" can only share a certain amount of emotional/metaphysical space. Either they are balanced and fairly equal, or one is taking up room that the other could be occupying.

Fernanda, who hasn't commented on here in a while, also notes that the elongated, tail-added "Owl Cave" symbol on the ring looks much more like an ear of corn than an owl. I don't know if this is intentional, but it seems significant. Owls play no part in FWWM's cosmology, but corn obviously plays a very big part. The ring seems to signify the wearer's access to greater understanding/agency than they would have without it and a big part of that is the ability to experience the pain and sorrow that has been suppressed, and which the fear and pleasure provides a distraction from.
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Re: Who eats garmonbozia?

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:42 pm

Something else worth noting, because I haven't seen anyone mention it before (it occurred to me only recently). There's always a lot of talk about what garmonbozia means based on ideas that Lynch & Engels tossed around, most notoriously that Mike & Bob came from a "planet made of corn" and that they needed it to get home again.

When Lynch and Engels had these conversations, is there any reason to believe garmonbozia had anything to do with "pain and sorrow"? Has Engels ever mentioned the connection?

I ask because in the screenplay garmonbozia isn't pain and sorrow at all. In the Red Room at the end of the script, just as in the film, the word garmonbozia is subtitled with a parenthetical definition. However, on the page, that subtitled definition reads, simply, "(corn)".

I wonder at what point in making the film Lynch decided that garmonbozia actually was pain and sorrow. Before shooting? During shooting? After shooting?
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Re: Who eats garmonbozia?

Postby OK,Bob » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:27 am

Terribly unorganized, random thoughts with no conclusions:

The Eastern concept of Samsara seems to be at play here. Samsara is the repeating cycle of birth, life and death (reincarnation) as well as one's actions and consequences in the past, present, and future ("Is it future or is it past?" -LMFAP). Fear and ignorance keep the soul bound to the cycle of life ("and everything will proceed cyclically") and the suffering (pain and sorrow) therin.

I take the phrase "You are here and there is no place to go... BUT HOME!" (-LMFAP, Missing Pieces) as not only another Wizard of Oz nod ("There's no place like home!" - along with the associated "We live inside a dream" suggestion), but also a reference to moksha/Nirvana (oneness with Brahma, the All), which is liberation from Samsara and perfection of the soul. In fact Hawk said the "soul must pass through [the Lodge] on its way to perfection."

Bob and Mike's working together made sense if Bob feeds on Fear [corn, perhaps?] and Mike on subsequent Suffering [creamed corn = pain and sorrow]. If Mike indeed "saw the face of God", he may have been poised to graduate Samsara - taking the entire left arm off (the Latin for 'left' is 'sinister'). But as long Bob continues to sow and harvest Fear, Mike cannot be liberated from the cycle of suffering. And it appears his Arm still has the craving, despite being severed from rest of his spirit.

"With this ring I thee wed." "Hindu Marriage joins two individuals for life, so that they can pursue ... moksa (ultimate spiritual release from Samsara) together."

"And, miss, the look on her face when it was opened!" Is Mike referring to Judy*?? Was Mike canning the corn (fear and pleasures) or creamed corn (pain and sorrow) to open for future use, or to contain it and prevent it from perpetuating the cycle?

I've wondered if LMFAP and the Jumping Man don't together represent the "true face" of Mike. If the removable mask represents a normal parasite/host relationship (i.e. "The man behind the mask is looking for the book...") and the sinister parasite's infection starts through the left arm (shaking hands of ep 27, the numb arms in FWWM, the "FWWM" tattoos), then perhaps when Mike attempted to sever the Arm, he became partially trapped in Gerard's body - hence the Jumping Man's irremovable version of the white mask.

Corn may be broadly defined as the predominant crop [of a region], rather than specifically Indian corn, or maize. Incidentally, it can also mean 'horn', as in unicorn (in twin Peaks we have "What am I going to do with a horned horse?", the Horne family, the varying protrusions on the grandson's mask...)

Note the parallels between Mike and Bob and Mike and Bobby as seen in FWWM: Both 'Bobs' originally have partnerships with their respective 'Mikes' dealing with addictive (habit-forming) substances, but then strike out on their own ("Don't tell Mike"). What other parallels might there be (other than the Mikes' fancy for wearing red)?

So many thoughts, so few answers... I apologize for the incompleteness of the ideas above!

P.S. *I've considered that Judy may be that name of the grandmother Tremond/Chalfont and/or a manifestation of Laura's soul. Then there's the old Josie's sister notion that was floated (courtesy Engles?) years ago. Alternately, Judy may be the ultimate godhead/savior of this mythology. Possible precedents for such a character may be found in The Lady in the Radiator or the Blue Woman of the Ronnie Rocket script (other examples welcome!). Note that Fred/Pete in Lost Highway is/are blatantly caught in a Möbius strip-type Samsara, and that tale shows no hint of ultimate liberation.
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Re: Who eats garmonbozia?

Postby Ygdrasel » Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:16 am

Sufficient fear causes and indeed can be indistinguishable from pain and sorrow. Is being routinely raped not painful or a cause for sorrow? Does a victim of such things not feel pain and sorrow and fear on a regular basis? I think they both do indeed feed on garmonbozia.

BOB's feeding on "fear and the pleasures" is a matter of sadistic penchant, not literal feeding. He takes a deep personal pleasure in the process whereas MIKE seems to feel a fair deal less joyous about how he must feed. BOB's operation as MIKE's "partner" may indeed have been for that very reason: BOB enjoys it. He draws the torment out nice and sloooow. MIKE does not take such pleasure but he also cannot deny that BOB's method produces a much greater deal of garmonbozia at one time, so he begrudgingly allows it provided BOB divides the spoils.

Though I would love to talk to Lynch about how and when "(corn)" became "(pain and sorrow)"...
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Re: Who eats garmonbozia?

Postby OK,Bob » Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:35 am

OK,Bob wrote:P.S. *Alternately, Judy may be the ultimate godhead/savior of this mythology. Possible precedents for such a character may be found in The Lady in the Radiator or the Blue Woman of the Ronnie Rocket script (other examples welcome!).

P.P.S. It could be argued that Ronnie Rocket himself is the godhead of that story. All the characters ultimately merge with him, as Atman (the individual/self soul) merges with Brahman (the ultimate/universal soul).
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Re: Who eats garmonbozia?

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sun Feb 08, 2015 12:55 pm

Ygdrasel wrote:Sufficient fear causes and indeed can be indistinguishable from pain and sorrow. Is being routinely raped not painful or a cause for sorrow? Does a victim of such things not feel pain and sorrow and fear on a regular basis? I think they both do indeed feed on garmonbozia.


I disagree about fear and pain/sorrow being indistinguishable: I think, despite overlap, they represent two crucially different modes of dealing with trauma. The first is essentially avoidance, and the second can eventually be cathartic. They are connected yes, inasmuch as Bob and Mike themselves are connected yet remain distinct.

It's also worth noting that Lynch's concept of painting engages with the idea of "fast" vs. "slow" areas of the canvas. I think "fear and pleasures" is essentially a "fast," intense area of emotion while "pain and sorrow" are slower, more meditative. "Sorrow" in particular connotes a dwelling on/lingering over a feeling. It happens when the adrenaline stops flowing. That is not something Maddy or Teresa has time to do in the flash-point of being murder, but they can definitely feel fear in that moment.

And the nature of Leland/Bob's abuse of Laura is also too intense and traumatizing for her to linger over; instead it encourages her to block out the full picture and even try to become the abuser herself. Meanwhile, Bob's entire modus operandi with Leland is to encourage him NOT to feel pain and sorrow. Instead, he fosters avoidance of what he has reaped and only in rare moments does Leland' self-conscious shame seep through (it is the blocking of this pain and sorrow that has "stolen" Mike's "corn"). Likewise, with Laura, Bob encourages a certain ruthlessness and sado-masochistic pleasure, not the morose wallowing in her agony. If he desired to feed on her pain and sorrow he wouldn't want to inhabit her.

Furthermore, Laura's pain and sorrow over her abuse is what opens her to Mike, not to Bob (her conflicting feelings of terror and pleasure in her torment are what draws Bob to her). When she dwells on her trauma rather than avoiding it, when she is forced to confront it, this is precisely when she's offered the ring, given passage between two worlds in dreams and eventually even linked to the angel (allowing Mike access to the inside of the train car).

BOB's feeding on "fear and the pleasures" is a matter of sadistic penchant, not literal feeding.


Just as with garmonbozia (pain and sorrow) I don't think we should distinguish between the two - the desire for the emotional experience and the literal feeding are the same thing in Fire Walk With Me.
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Re: Who eats garmonbozia?

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:08 pm

OK,Bob wrote:The Eastern concept of Samsara seems to be at play here. Samsara is the repeating cycle of birth, life and death (reincarnation) as well as one's actions and consequences in the past, present, and future ("Is it future or is it past?" -LMFAP). Fear and ignorance keep the soul bound to the cycle of life ("and everything will proceed cyclically") and the suffering (pain and sorrow) therin.


We are definitely on the same page with this! Did you have a chance to watch the "Train Car" video yet (chapter 25 in my series). I was able to touch on - though not dwell in-depth - the concepts of samsara and moksha, which I strongly believe come into play in FWWM either consciously or (as is usually the case with Lynch) subconsciously. And this definitely has something to do with what happens at the end of Inland Empire too.

If Mike indeed "saw the face of God", he may have been poised to graduate Samsara - taking the entire left arm off (the Latin for 'left' is 'sinister'). But as long Bob continues to sow and harvest Fear, Mike cannot be liberated from the cycle of suffering. And it appears his Arm still has the craving, despite being severed from rest of his spirit.


The problem I have with this is that it runs contrary to the subtle message of the rest of Twin Peaks, not to mention the nondualist form of Hinduism that Lynch endorses. I can't quite figure out how yet, but my gut tells me that Mike cutting off his arm is not actually a good thing. It will be interesting to see if we get any more clues in 2016.

The biggest stumbling block is Mike's scene in ep. 13 which clearly has the spirit Mike saying that he cut off the arm and then stayed close to the vessel of Phillip, implying that he (Mike) and the arm are not the same. Otherwise I would just assume that the Little Man is the "arm" of Phillip is MIKE in the same way the jean-jacketed long-haired guy is the "arm" of Leland is BOB...and thus that Phillip cut off his arm and severed himself from Mike but is re-joined at the end of the film. But obviously this is contradicted by the series in which it is said to be Mike, not Phillip, that cut off the arm. Round and round we go.

Interestingly, in FWWM whenever we see the one-armed man, he speaks in Phillip's voice rather than Mike. Maybe we can say that Phillip retains a trace of Mike, but not enough to truly operate under his influence. Although again, this leads to questions about the show: why is Phillip more fully Mike than he was in FWWM? Yet at the same time, why does he not know who Bob is all of a sudden? On the series Phillip-as-host-of-Mike seems at once more and less knowledgeable/in-tune than Phillip-as-host-of-Mike in the film.

The best I can come up with is that maybe Phillip-as-host-of-Mike is as confused as we are; having cut off his arm, he "thinks" he's the full Mike but only has partial, erratic contact with him. Like if "full Mike" is level 3 and Phillip on drugs is level 1, the Mike-inhabited Phillip we see in both the series and the film is varying shades of level 2. Still stumbling in the dark here but that feels a bit more "right" to me. I'm working this out as I type! Lol...

Note the parallels between Mike and Bob and Mike and Bobby as seen in FWWM: Both 'Bobs' originally have partnerships with their respective 'Mikes' dealing with addictive (habit-forming) substances, but then strike out on their own ("Don't tell Mike"). What other parallels might there be (other than the Mikes' fancy for wearing red)?


I've been wondering about this too. There's a YouTube video that makes an interesting point about Laura confusing Cliff Howard with "Mike" and saying "Bobby, you killed Mike" subliminally linking with the idea that Bob has defeated Mike, i.e. she has no way out. Of course all the parallels with the FWWM cosmology would work better if BOB and MIKE were BOB and JAMES (or "Jim" if we want to do the Bob/Bobby thing). After all James gives Laura the heart necklace which infuriates Leland just as Mike gives her the ring that infuriates Bob.
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Re: Who eats garmonbozia?

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:32 pm

Hmm, I'm not sure WHAT thread to leave my Mike thoughts on now. I am playing hopscotch between three overlapping threads haha! To consolidate, I'll leave my thoughts on Mike's "true face," specifically, to the Mike-specific thread, even it's inspired by posts on other threads.

How appropriate that this character would lead to the most tangled conversations.
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Re: Who eats garmonbozia?

Postby Ygdrasel » Sun Feb 08, 2015 2:03 pm

LostInTheMovies wrote:And the nature of Leland/Bob's abuse of Laura is also too intense and traumatizing for her to linger over; instead it encourages her to block out the full picture and even try to become the abuser herself. Meanwhile, Bob's entire modus operandi with Leland is to encourage him NOT to feel pain and sorrow. Instead, he fosters avoidance of what he has reaped and only in rare moments does Leland' self-conscious shame seep through (it is the blocking of this pain and sorrow that has "stolen" Mike's "corn"). Likewise, with Laura, Bob encourages a certain ruthlessness and sado-masochistic pleasure, not the morose wallowing in her agony.


You say that yet all she does throughout the film is linger. It's in her diary. It's in her interactions with others at times (Harold comes to mind). It's in her drug usage and her throwing herself into carnal escapism - even her "blocking" of the trauma is lingering, just in a more dishonest way.

BOB feeds on her for years, according to her diary. I believe at some point, the desire to inhabit her came about, but she was not open to habitation. He tried to get Leland to trick her into it. Leland refused. So he continued using Leland to torment her for food instead. Now, about Laura's murder: The other girl he took to the train car was just more food but I think he hadn't taken Laura there to kill her. That was just something he did (with feeding-related side effects, mind) when inhabiting her ceased to be an option.

As I elaborate here and here and here , I think BOB wanted a permanent body. And BOB had found a loophole in the rules - If someone gives themselves up to him, he gets to take permanent residence in the body (much how Windom, foolishly faltering inside the Lodge and trapping himself, tries to bribe Cooper for an escape). Leland merely "opened himself" not knowing the consequences. BOB wanted Laura to utterly break down and give herself to him.

Therefore, his ongoing torment of Laura served two purposes; The standard feeding and the ulterior motive: He wanted to break her. He planned to feed and torment and torment and feed until she was so broken down, so madly desperate for any escape, that she would fully allow BOB to inhabit her just to be away from it all (Philip and Leland both show that hosts don't 'remember' their possession - I think Laura was counting on that). That's what the stuff with her and the mirror in the train car was about. MIKE's ring foiled him so, true to his word to Leland, he couldn't have her...So he killed her.

But lose a battle, win a war. BOB failed with Laura...But then Cooper entered the Lodge. He faltered. The Lodge took him. And a nice, shiny - and most importantly, empty - body became available just the same. The series ended back then with BOB enjoying a long-sought and personal victory.




LostInTheMovies wrote:That is not something Maddy or Teresa has time to do in the flash-point of being murder, but they can definitely feel fear in that moment.


Exactly: They felt fear which was the point. I don't think "pain and sorrow" should be taken to necessarily mean that the two have to occur simultaneously or even from the same source. It just sounds better than "pain or sorrow", really. Consider that in a murder case, the sorrow comes from the people left alive. Laura's death in particular plunges an entire town into grief. Mind, I don't think BOB was thinking about food when he killed Laura. He was just pissed off.




LostInTheMovies wrote: If he desired to feed on her pain and sorrow he wouldn't want to inhabit her.


The means and motivations of his desire to inhabit her are rambled about above. But whatever the case may be, I'm sure had he succeeded in doing so, he would have used her body to continue sowing suffering elsewhere so there's no real conflict between these wishes.



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LostInTheMovies wrote:It still leaves the question of why Mike severed his and/or Phillip's arm. Rather than tangle threads too much, I will return to the other thread...



My own answer to that question (Ctrl+F "But I think Bob was sick of Leland.") ties back into my conception of BOB's motivation to gain a permanent body beyond the confines of the Lodge.

The tattoo read "Fire, walk with me" (the 'chant between two worlds'). Some physical interaction with the ink functions to open unseen doors. To prevent BOB exploiting this rather easy method, MIKE severed the arm (that he tattooed his host is another display of carelessness in regard to flesh) which became its own entity. LMFAP is quite literally "the arm" and by extension the tattoo. The chant only works now if LMFAP - nobody else - speaks the words. At the meeting's end, LMFAP recites it to close up the portal to the store. In the series, he recites it to push Cooper into the Black Lodge.
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Re: Who eats garmonbozia?

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sun Feb 08, 2015 2:29 pm

Ygdrasel wrote:You say that yet all she does throughout the film is linger.


I'll address the rest of the post in a moment but this is worth taking in isolation...

Yes, and this is precisely what Bob does not want her to do, and precisely why she defeats him rather than become his vehicle! She is not responding the way her father did, but that's a surprise rather than to be expected. The entire film is about this surprise, the glimmer of an opening Laura has to defeat Bob. It's the drama of the story in its essence.
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Re: Who eats garmonbozia?

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sun Feb 08, 2015 2:56 pm

Ygdrasel wrote:I think BOB wanted a permanent body. And BOB had found a loophole in the rules - If someone gives themselves up to him, he gets to take permanent residence in the body (much how Windom, foolishly faltering inside the Lodge and trapping himself, tries to bribe Cooper for an escape). Leland merely "opened himself" not knowing the consequences. BOB wanted Laura to utterly break down and give herself to him.


I don't really see this - for one, he pretty comfortably at home in Leland (it's about as permanent a home as he could hope for) and with Laura he has the excitement of a new conquest, and a particularly potent challenge, but I don't think there would be a fundamental difference in the way he inhabited her. Is there anything in the series or film to suggest otherwise?

Consider that in a murder case, the sorrow comes from the people left alive. Laura's death in particular plunges an entire town into grief.


And when do we ever see Bob feeding off/enjoying this? Every time he appears to a human character it stokes fear, not grief. In fact it interrupts grief/concern in several cases: see Sarah in ep. 1 and Cooper in the finale. Moreover, Bob is consistently tied to denial and repression, not with the honest/open expression of emotion. This is entirely consistent with Lynch's own ethos - if anyone believes we must embrace/plunge into the darkness rather than avoid it, he does.

The tattoo read "Fire, walk with me" (the 'chant between two worlds'). Some physical interaction with the ink functions to open unseen doors. To prevent BOB exploiting this rather easy method, MIKE severed the arm (that he tattooed his host is another display of carelessness in regard to flesh) which became its own entity. LMFAP is quite literally "the arm" and by extension the tattoo. The chant only works now if LMFAP - nobody else - speaks the words. At the meeting's end, LMFAP recites it to close up the portal to the store. In the series, he recites it to push Cooper into the Black Lodge.


That's certainly a fair reading of the physical purpose of the tattoo. But the psychological resonance of it still doesn't really register for me. In Lynch's world, "as above, so below" - the supernatural goings-on always have some relevance/correspondence to the spirituality & behavior of the human characters. This is what I have trouble figuring out with Mike.
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Re: Who eats garmonbozia?

Postby Ygdrasel » Sun Feb 08, 2015 3:14 pm

LostInTheMovies wrote:In Lynch's world, "as above, so below" - the supernatural goings-on always have some relevance/correspondence to the spirituality & behavior of the human characters. This is what I have trouble figuring out with Mike.


I think this is where I tend to part ways with most. I'm out to interpret the material - "What does this mean?". They're out to figure out the meaning behind it - "What did Lynch mean?".

People dig into Lynch's "ethos" and his Hindu fascinations and all this to figure out what he means with it all. That stuff is all interesting to be sure but what he means by it is less valuable to me than what I get out of it. I'm out to find my own cohesive interpretation so interpreting things explicitly through the Lynch lens (his ethos, his spirituality, etcetera) doesn't really occur to me.

Just thinking out loud now. Pardon me. :lol:




Tangent: LMFAP. Little MIKE From Another Place


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Re: Who eats garmonbozia?

Postby OK,Bob » Sun Feb 08, 2015 3:20 pm

LostInTheMovies wrote:In Lynch's world, "as above, so below"

An ancient and pervasive concept, certainly. From the Upanishads, the Emerald Tablet (which Jung believed appeared to him in a dream as an emerald table, ahem)... through the New Testament ("on earth as it is in heaven")... all the way, most poetically, through to the holographic principle suggested by string theory.

"In his 2003 article published in Scientific American magazine, Jacob Bekenstein summarized a current trend started by John Archibald [not Justice] Wheeler, which suggests scientists may 'regard the physical world as made of information, with energy and matter as incidentals.' Bekenstein asks 'Could we, as William Blake memorably penned, 'see a world in a grain of sand,' or is that idea no more than 'poetic license,'' referring to the holographic principle."

The Peaks mythos not only resonates with ancient tradition - and the Perennial Philosophy pervading it - but also so much of contemporary physics. "Pure air" may be the ether, the "information", the Unified Field from which "materials and combinations of atoms" maifest...
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Re: Who eats garmonbozia?

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sun Feb 08, 2015 3:26 pm

Lest we get too lost in the minutia, let me ask: can you make a positive case for Bob feeding off garmonbozia?

You've suggested various reasons why it COULD be so (some of which are open to interpretation, others of which I would argue may not be). But what actual evidence do we have that Bob feeds on it?

Here's what we know about Bob and garmonbozia from the film:

- It can pretty well be inferred that he has "stolen the corn" from Mike.

- At the end of the film, he is told "I want all my garmonbozia" and as a result, he removes a bloodstain from Leland, followed by a shot of Mike eating the corn (implying that the pain and sorrow is Leland's, and that it somehow belongs to Mike).

- He sits at a table on which garmonbozia is present, which Mike refers to.

Nothing else comes to mind though there may be more. None of these points prove that Bob feeds on garmonbozia.

The first point mildly suggests Bob eats garmonbozia with the inference that if he has taken the corn, he probably wants it for some reason (leading to the conjecture that he wants it for the same reason Mike does). Although it's also quite possible he doesn't want it for himself so much as he wants to prevent Mike from having it.

The second point actually suggests, if anything, that Bob doesn't feed on garmonbozia because a) Mike refers to it as "his" (i.e. Mike's not Bob's) garmonbozia, b) why hasn't Bob fed on it already?, c) Bob is Leland's spirit, so wouldn't he be entitled to his own food from his own host? Even if we attempt to explain away these questions, there is certainly zero positive evidence in this point to suggest that Bob feeds on garmonbozia. At best, it's a complete wash.

The third point is also mildly suggestive. Bob and Mike share the table, might they not then also share the garmonbozia that's on the table? But again, it's all inference and it may be telling that Bob himself never refers to the substance, only Mike does.

Now, beyond that, we have the question of meaning. WHY would/wouldn't Bob feed on garmonbozia? We know for a fact that Mike does. If Bob does too, than the relationship between them lacks emotional/psychological resonance. They just become two warriors battling for the same prize and there isn't much to invest in their struggle, and no larger significance to it. There is nothing mythopoetic in their characterization, as far as I can see (maybe I'm missing something here; suggestions are welcome!). Whereas if Bob is aligned with one form of emotional experience, and Mike aligned to another, they are akin to ancient gods, each manifesting/representing a different quality and their power struggle spills over into the human world and amplifies it in a way much more consistent with Lynch's other films.

Additionally, Bob is clearly a negative force (whereas Mike/the Little Man is more ambiguous). Associating pain and/or (take your pick) sorrow with Bob would give it a strongly negative connotation. This seems logical in a sense, but the more we look at Twin Peaks' narrative the more we see that pain/sorrow can provide an opening as well as closing. What qualities/emotions are portrayed in a negative light throughout? Fear, certainly, and rather unambiguously at that. Anger, denial, self-doubt, or conversely a desire to control. But I'm hard-pressed to think of occasions where the palpable pain of the community is presented as a detriment to action or growth. If anything it's a spur for them to solve Laura's mystery. Most importantly, there is never anything set out in opposition to pain/sorrow as a way out: whereas fear is opposed to love, control to generosity, denial to honesty, etc. The suggestion is that sorrow is a necessity, a fact of life, that must be moved through to access joy, not avoided. Hence there is no real reason to associate it with a villainous figure like Bob. I don't know if I'd go so far as to say pain or sorrow are GOOD in Twin Peaks, but I wouldn't strictly call them bad either. Certainly, in FWWM, the more raw Laura's pain the more she grows as a character, and the closer she comes to her ultimate redemption.

Ultimately the question becomes, what is Laura's struggle in the film? And how is this amplified by the struggle between Mike and Bob? If it isn't, then they become dead ends and the narrative crumbles. If it is amplified, then somehow her movement toward Mike must represent something positive, for him as well as for herself.
Last edited by LostInTheMovies on Sun Feb 08, 2015 3:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Who eats garmonbozia?

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sun Feb 08, 2015 3:27 pm

OK,Bob wrote:The Peaks mythos not only resonates with ancient tradition - and the Perennial Philosophy pervading it - but also so much of contemporary physics. "Pure air" may be the ether, the "information", the Unified Field from which "materials and combinations of atoms" maifest...


Music to my ears...I've been getting into the Upanishads recently (because of FWWM) but have admired Jung and Aldous Huxley for quite a while.

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