Dead Rabbits—Or—"Too Much Perfection is A Mistake"

Let us start with a quotation, from an old movie called El Topo (The Mole).
“The mole is an animal that digs tunnels under the ground, searching for the sun. Sometimes his journey brings him to the surface. When he sees the sun, he is blinded.”
Of course, he isn't "blinded". He was always blind. And he seems disinclined to grow eyes just because he seeks the sun.

Another line from this movie:
"Too Much Perfection is A Mistake".
Perhaps, but striving towards more than none might make you better than a worthless scumbag—which is all El Topo, the eponymous gunfighter-Fool of the movie, can rightly claim to be.

Not only does he have to cheat to win, but he, or that is Alejandro Jodorowsky (among his various Wikipedia-listed part-time jobs is "tarot reader") who plays El Topo and is the film’s perpetrator, mass-murders 300 rabbits and lets them bloat up in the blazing Mexican sun just to make a dumbass movie about how dumbassery is some kind of path to illumination.

And when I say 300 rabbits were murdered, I mean just that. No CGI. No standins. No dummy rabbits. Nope. Because the film was shot in Mexico back in 1970, where and when apparently they had no rules governing the abuse of animals, or people, or much of anything except (thankfully) lots of rules governing the distilling of tequila, the rabbits all had their necks snapped (Jodorowsky claims he killed all of them by hitting them with a karate chop), for the sake of surrealism.

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El Topo, psychomage or psychopath, gloats over the presumably fake dead body of an opponent, and just a few of the really dead 300 cute furry animals slaughtered by Alejandro Jodorowsky in an afternoon's bloody movie-making.

Alejandro Jodorowsky is a director in the mold of Z. Z. von Schnerk (as you shall see also a "perpetrator").

Who is that you may ask?

I have to admit I didn’t know until recently, when during my connection quest I discovered him and how he was relevant to our story. We shall get back to Perp von Schnerk later, but now I shall start where all stories really start, with a dead rabbit.

You see, this all began when I was reflecting upon certain signs of my own—mainly that a few days ago during a walk, I encountered a dead rabbit on my path, covered with flies, and recalled as I sometimes do the vivid, disgusting, images from El Topo. Regardless of what I now think about this film, and its director, I must admit that it definitely made a long-lasting impression on me.

I first saw this movie about 1973 or so, and was not sure what to expect. People exulted about it being a movie you had to do LSD to fully appreciate. There have always been people who cannot appreciate much of anything in life unless they are viewing it through a veil of acid. There are others who have done so much acid or something, they can never break through the veil of accumulated brain damage.

But, I did no drugs, as I wanted to take the movie straight up, unaided and unadulterated by mind-expanding clutter. By the end of the thing, I recall thinking to myself, a self that was young and naive and wanted to believe that "countercultural" naturally meant better, that maybe I had seen something very profound—or—a real piece of shit. Or maybe a profound piece of shit. I knew I wanted to find out more about the movie, and the person who made it, because I had never seen anything like it (maybe for a good reason).

Fortunately, the director had put out a book explaining it, since he knew that pretty much nobody was going to get whatever the hell it was supposed to mean. In retrospect, and looking at it now after spending most of a lifetime studying symbolism, the use of symbols in El Topo is often very bloodily earnest, but unfortunately penetrates interesting ideas only about as deep as a pushpin.

The film’s chief spiritual viewpoint, if it has one at all, is that the only way to personal salvation is through egoless self-sacrifice to aid the downtrodden (who won’t prosper one bit for the aid, but hey, that’s what reincarnation is for, right?). It’s a dumbed-down, blood-engorged derangement of the beatitudinal notion that the lower down one falls, the higher up he shall be lifted, unless of course one is a rabbit—or worse—a woman.

Which bring us to another criticism of Alejandro Jodorowsky, at least the version of him perpetrating El Topo’s reign of notoriety in the 1970’s. Jodorowsky tells us a good deal in his book about how the film came to be made, and in one section he details how he came to meet, and exploit, a young disturbed woman, named Mara Lorenzio.
Yes, the first woman, the blond, came to my home one day. She was in bad shape. At one time in her life she had taken LSD in great quantities, and had suffered. She had been in a hospital for mental illness. I said, "I will make a film with you. You will have the starring role." And she believed me. She didn't know who I was. And I didn't know her name...One day she said, "My name is Mara." After we filmed the movie, she left. I don't know where she is.
In the movie, El Topo tells us "Mara" means “bitter water”, like the sort a woman carries within her until it is sweetened by the seed of a man. Whereas El Topo can bring forth food (turtle eggs from the sand) and water (from a phallic stone stuck by his bullets), Mara is completely infertile, and can produce nothing to help sustain them in the desert. She is reduced to circling El Topo, chanting “Nada, nada, nada”, until El Topo decides he can take no more of this nagging nihilism, and does the one thing which to him seems the appropriate cure for her condition. Pulling off his weapons, and untying his pants, thus releasing his instrument of sweetening, he strikes Mara to the ground, tears off her clothes and rapes her.

The result is that her water becomes sweet, and she can then produce eggs from the sand and water from the stone. Also, for some reason, “love” is produced, although it is the vengeful sort of love required by a woman living for and through a man, which is to say the sort that comes with the continual price of the man proving he is worth the woman's sacrifice. And Mara’s price, which seems perfectly justified, given El Topo’s brutalizing of her, is that he go gunning for the four Gunfighter Masters of the desert, so he can be proclaimed numero Uno. One gets the impression that Mara hopes the price will be too much for El Topo, and he will be killed in the quest. If not of course, she will have the best gunfighter as her lover—or rapist—so she wins either way.

Mara combines the very worst, most misogynistically imagined, qualities—she is vain, cowardly, greedy, dishonorable, and utterly disloyal. When El Topo finally achieves the quest, and in so doing achieves a level of spiritual mastery as well (although this manifests as nothing much more than belated self-loathing), Mara dumps him for the demonic lesbian who has shadowed the couple during the whole quest.

The lesbians then crucify El Topo with bullets, leaving him to die, as they ride off into the infernal regions infested by purely saphhic sensibilities. El Topo, or whatever is left of him, survives to lead (or actually finish off) a rebellion of cripples and freaks against an evil town—whose symbolism and rotten citizens are intended to remind us of the USA.

Talking about the rape scene with Mara Lorenzio, Alejandro Jodorowsky made a truly remarkable admission in his book, which has so far gotten very little attention, other than to include the occasional mention of it as evidence, apparently, of Jodorowsky's authentic auteur rakishness.

Jodorowsky writes, again in his book El Topo:
"When I wanted to do the rape scene, I explained to [Mara Lorenzio] that I was going to hit her and rape her. There was no emotional relationship between us, because I had put a clause in all the women's contracts stating that they would not make love with the director. We had never talked to each other. I knew nothing about her. We went to the desert with two other people: the photographer and a technician. No one else. I said, 'I'm not going to rehearse. There will be only one take because it will be impossible to repeat. Roll the cameras only when I signal you to.' Then I told her, 'Pain does not hurt. Hit me.' And she hit me. I said, 'Harder.' And she started to hit me very hard, hard enough to break a rib...I ached for a week. After she had hit me long enough and hard enough to tire her, I said, 'Now it's my turn. Roll the cameras.' And I really...I really...I really raped her. And she screamed."
Jodorowski, unphased that he has just admitted to a heinous violent assault on an emotionally vulnerable human being, tried to ennoble his act, seeing in it a theRAPEutic connection to the idiotic notion he has of the meaning of the rape in the movie:
"Then [Mara Lorenzio] told me that she had been raped before. You see, for me the character is frigid until El Topo rapes her. And she has an orgasm. That's why I show a stone phallus in that scene ... which spouts water. She has an orgasm. She accepts the male sex. And that's what happened to Mara in reality. She really had that problem. Fantastic scene. A very, very strong scene."
Or hey...very, very strong evidence of Jodorowsky's perpetrations.

Except. Mexico. 1970. Nobody seems to have given a damn about Mara Lorenzio (if that is even her real name). In fact, the notion of allowing mere decency to impede the making of his movie, would likely have struck Alejandro Jodorowsky as sinful.

He points out that a "complete break" with "any aesthetic, ethical, moral, mental, emotional or political commitment" was "really good".

While this attitude informed and inspired a lot of the filmmaking of that era, and a whole lot of occult aspirations in every era, it has some not-so-subtle, and not-so-small, dangers in practice. One of the most obvious is that the auteur, or the magus, or the asshole-in-charge-of-dumbassery, is going to actually start believing in the holiness and infallibility of the little head he's using to think with.

I was thinking (mostly using my bigger head) about this cinematic trainwreck called El Topo, when I had the serendipitous fortune to watch an episode of the old British dramedy, The Avengers. This particular episode from the 1967 season is sarcastically entitled Epic, and involves the kidnapping of Mrs. Peel, who is made to appear uncharacteristically vulnerable, by a has-been and murderously looney film director. The latter, whose name is Z. Z. von Schnerk (i.e. schn[ook j]erk) has high hopes of returning to the directorial A-list by making a film that positively reeks of realism—including the actual murder of Mrs. Peel.

Recalling Jodorowsky's brag that "When I wanted to do the rape scene, I explained to her that I was going to hit her and rape her", we note at one point in Epic, Z. Z. von Schnerk bloviates to his literally captive audience about how he is going to make a star out of her by killing her:
"Mrs. Peel...Mrs. Peel? I am Z.Z. von Schnerk. Director, writer, producer, scenarist, film-maker extraordinary, and perpetrator of this plot...We...are making a movie, Mrs. Peel. And you are the star. Unfortunately it is a downbeat movie, and the heroine dies. A tragedy, Mrs. Peel. A drama! That will place me forever amongst the ranks of the immortal movie makers! Confusion! Desperation! Fear! Horror! Death! And all of it authentic. Filmed exactly as it happened."
Or:
"And I really...I really...I really raped her. And she screamed."

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Mrs Peel showing justifiable pain, not from her bonds, but from having to listen to the direction of insufferable blowhard, and cinematic perpetrator, Z. Z. von Schnerk.

And so we are once again delighted by an example of the depths of doltish debauchery to which the human soul can fall when it takes a silly stereotype, ripe only for sardonic derision, and attempts to make it a rubric for an authentic initiated aesthetic.

I think the time has come, indeed we are late in doing this, when we in the occult should encourage the use of what we can call the von Schnerk scale of charlatanism. This scale shall measure the degree of ego bloating that occurs in those whose alleged initiation or spiritual development suggests they should be demonstrating a marked increase in humility and compassion, instead of an unseemly surge in narcissism.

Perhaps it should go something like this:
  1. Buddha, Christ, Santa Claus
  2. Pythagoras, Socrates, W. C. Fields
  3. Cagliostro, Aleister Crowley, Donald Trump
  4. God, Timothy Geithner, Oprah
  5. Alejandro Jodorowsky, Kim Jong-il (as portrayed in Team America: World Police), Z. Z. von Schnerk
Finally, just to show you this critique is not merely aimed at Jodorowsky's F5 folly on the Von Schnerk scale cinematically, but also Tarotically, just watch this incredibly silly, erroneous, Da Vinci Coding, perp'd by Alejandro Jodorowsky against Mara Tarotica. It is instructive to consider that part of this lesson is devoted by Jodorowsky to telling us the true meaning of Tarot charlatanism.

(jk)

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