Sunday, June 24, 2012

disintegrative pressures

Good morning, everybody.

This post is related to this entry in my dream journal blog.

I think the source of imagery for the three planes crashing in my dream is the movie Assault Girls, a role-playing game-themed film by the director Mamoru Oshii.

Mamoru Oshii is probably best known for his anime  film Ghost in the Shell. But he also directed another RPG-based film, called Avalon. I think Avalon is more of an adventure film with RPG themes. But I think that Assault Girls really is a film that could be thought of as its own genre -- the RPG genre.

It struck me while I was watching the film that it had the same exploitative quality of a "pink film," or a sexploitation film. I think this film has, like a pink film, formed a style based on the themes it wishes to exploit -- really, to the exclusion of any other sort of plot device that might connect it with another genre, say, with an adventure film -- more completely than any other film.

I don't think this will be remembered as the definitive RPG film. But I would say it would be the prototypical RPG film. In fact, I was thinking that this genre, the genre of the RPG exploitation film, should be called "grey film," a tongue-in-cheek reference to the "pink film," and also an homage to the character Grey in the film.

But this film is from 2009, and I'm sure that whatever terminology has sprouted up around the film has taken strong root a long time ago.

There is also a potential of nostalgia and fun in the "grey film" genre, I believe, that's exemplified in certain moments of Assault Girls. Mamoru Oshii did, after all, direct the cartoon series for Urusei Yatsura, which is, in my opinion, one of the funnest and most nostalgic cartoon series of all time.

It might not be easy for people to see how an RPG film could give people nostalgia. And I don't play RPGs myself. But watching my family members play, I see how much fun they have being part of their online groups. They do have fun in that RPG world, and they do form memories about which they very possibly could be nostalgic.

Anyway, Assault Girls is about three women and on man involved in a virtual reality role-playing game. The characters all (except for the man) have some mode of transportation. The modes of transportation all fly.

But towards the end of the movie, all three flying devices crash. The mode of transporation of one of the women is actually her own body, which transforms into the body of a giant raven. The woman who can turn into a raven is always crash landing, making huge dents with her body into the earth.

The other main aspect of these two dreams, the warning, I think comes from my having read Agatha Christie's novel N or M? This novel is set a couple years into World War II. It was actually written at the same time, in 1941. The main characters of the novel are Tommy and Tuppence Beresford. They're a married couple in their forties, and they've had an on-and-off career as spies, including during World War I. They're put back to work to unravel some sort of Nazi plot that is being developed for the attack of Britain.

Tommy and Tuppence have two children, Derek and Deborah. The two young people are off contributing to the war effort, and they have no idea that their parents are working to prevent the invasion of Britain. In fact, they think that their parents are rather doddering old folks who need to be patronized and cared for. But Deborah gets perilously close to the danger her parents are involved in at one point in the novel, and at the end of the novel, there is a rather touching scene where Tuppence prays that Derek and Deborah make it through the war without getting hurt.

So I think I took Tuppence as the older woman figure and Deborah as the younger woman figure.

I'm not sure why the aircraft had names like they did. One thing I think is that it could also be related to N or M? Agatha Christie is most known for her detectives Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple. In the Wikipedia entry on Agatha Christie, Christie basically says that she never got her two main detectives together in one story because of the way their personalities conflicted.

However, I'm sure this isn't a new idea, but it seems like maybe Tommy and Tuppence Beresford could be like a compromise combination of Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple. 

Christie wrote surprisingly few books involving Tommy and Tuppence. But the books were written all throughout Christie's career. I wonder if, from a quasi-psychological standpoint, Christie didn't need both a male main character and a female main character to express whatever kind of integrative process she was going through in the creative act of writing her works. The Poirot character could be the animus figure, and the Marple character could be the anima figure.

But maybe, at certain points in Christie's creative life or real life, or both, Christie found that this integrative process had reached a phase, kind of like a completion phase, where the animus and anima could come together. For some reason or another, the animus and anima couldn't come together as Poirot and Marple. But they could come together as Tommy and Tuppence.

Somehow -- I'm not sure how -- this idea may possibly relate to the strange way in which the aircraft are named in my dreams.

The aircraft in my dreams are like X-15 rocket planes, planes which actually rocketed up into the lower levels of outer space. I think the X-15 has always been my favorite aircraft, just because of its rocket propulsion, its high speeds, and the way it just went high up into the air and came speeding back down. It all seems scary as hell to me, and I couldn't imagine being an X-15 pilot. But I like the X-15 a lot.

In 2008 I actually read the Periscope Film edition of the X-15 flight manual -- mainly for psychological reasons, oddly enough. I had been reading a lot of Bruno Bettelheim's work at the time. In The Empty Fortress, Bettelheim mentions how some of his autistic patients identified themselves with fantasy cars, and even made detailed descriptions of these fantasy cars.

It seemed to me that in the working of mechanisms, like cars, there is always some sort of active equilibrium that needs to be maintained. I wondered -- I'm not sure why -- if I could try to look at the functioning of some of the most high-tech mechanisms I could think of -- fighter jets and so forth -- and see if I couldn't determine some sort of system balance that would equate to a psychological system balance.

So I read the Periscope Film editions of the X-15 flight manual and the SR-71 flight manual. I'm not sure what I retained out of either of those manuals, other than a very basic idea that everything seems aimed at a balance of pressures and distribution of fluids and gases, as well as a maintenance of electrical integrity, throughout the entire systems of the planes.

But whatever I've managed to retain from my studies of those planes, I suppose that, because of my studies, both the X-15 and SR-71 have stuck with me as psychological symbols ever since.

The thing is, though, that the three planes in my dream have pipes sticking up and out of them. This would mean, as far as I can tell, that the very complex system of distribution of pressures, which should all be inside the plane, has busted and worked its way outside the plane. Of course, that's no good. And that could be a symbol for my own life -- a kind of warning I'm trying to give myself.

Interestingly, though, I think those pipes also have to do with the Alan Turing doodle that Google was running for a couple days. I didn't actually play the doodle until yesterday morning. And then I only played it once. By the time I got through the game, I understood what I was supposed to do. I was going to play again. But I had a few other things to do. So I was going to come back to the doodle. But then I shut my computer off and went and took care of the things I wanted to do outside for the day.

When I got home in the afternoon, I didn't want to turn my Internet on. I figured the Turing doodle would still be on Google this morning. So, anticipating being able to play the game, I think I dreamt about the pipe-like connections between the circles that make up the points of action for the game. Of course, the Turing doodle was gone this morning -- ugh! Oh, well.