WEIRDLAND: jim morrison
Showing posts with label jim morrison. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jim morrison. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Sex in decline in USA, David Lynch's sex symbolism, Jim Morrison & Pam ("a nice couple")

Sex in America: 1 in 3 young men aren’t having it! The study, published Friday in the journal JAMA Network Open, documents a steady decline: In 2002, 19 percent of men reported not having sex within a year. In 2018, that increased to 31 percent of men. While the majority of study participants were sexually active with about one partner, young Americans report having less sex over the past two decades. These changing sex trends aren't trivial — research shows sex is positively associated with longevity, life satisfaction, lower blood pressure, and well being. If people aren't having enough sex, it could influence mental and physical health. "These findings deserve attention because sexually intimate relationships are important for many — though certainly not all — people's well-being and quality of life," co-author Peter Ueda, a researcher at the Karolinska Institute.

The study—To determine how much and how frequently people in the US are having sex, researchers harnessed data from the General Social Survey. This is given every other year — this study documents from 2000 to 2018. Researchers asked questions like: “About how often did you have sex during the last 12 months?” with response options ranging from “not at all” to “more than 3 times a week." They also asked: “How many sex partners have you had in the last 12 months?” Choices ranged from “no partners” to “more than 100 partners.” The team stratified sexual frequency into four categories: sexually inactive (no sex during the past year), once or twice per year, 1 to 3 times per month, and weekly or more. More men than women reported having no sexual partner and 3 or more partners. Meanwhile, fewer men reported weekly or more sexual activity and one sexual partner. Across the entire age range, men reported dwindling sex lives. At the start of the study, 9.5 percent of men across the age range were sexually inactive. By the end, that number grew to 16.5 percent, with most of the increase occurring between 2012 to 2014. The percentage of 18-to 24-year-old men who were sexually inactive in the past year increased from 18.9 percent to 30.9 percent when the study concluded.

In contrast, sexual activity in the total age range remained stable among women throughout the study. However, when broken down by age group, sexual inactivity increased among women aged 25 to 34. All women reported less sex weekly, a trend that was driven largely by younger women. Meanwhile, while women reported less sex, they did report an increase in sexual partners. Among women, there were no strong links observed between sexual inactivity and employment status or income level. Scientists haven’t pinned down what's causing the stark sexual decline, but the study's authors say the trend may stem from a range of factors: changing sexual norms, stress, the rise of social media, smartphones, time spent online, and busyness of modern life crowding out intimate relationships. Interestingly, one might think the rising popularity of online dating would increase people's sexual activity and number of partners. This study doesn't show that to be the case. Beyond the root causes of sexual activity — or inactivity — Ueda hopes to determine to what extent sexual inactivity is associated with dissatisfaction. Some people may choose to abstain from sex, while others' lack of sexual activity is a source of stress and worry. Ueda also stresses that it's time for more open, nuanced public discussion not only about having sex but not having it. "Sexual inactivity and potential dissatisfaction with it seem to be sensitive topics," Ueda says. "While much work has been done to promote a frank and nuanced discussion about sex and sexual activity, it would be in our best interest to also be better at talking about not having sex." Source: www.inverse.com

In Blue Velvet (1986), Lynch's main characters should definitely be looked at as archetypes rather than real people. The film has a lot to say about gender roles and gendered gazes, and accomplishes it by having characters representing different places on the spectrum of gender. For example, Jeffrey and Sandy represent neuters; their relationship is so bland and sexless. Frank (Dennis Hopper)  isn't just hypermasculine but also hyperfeminine; he wears lipstick and weeps openly at songs. He's the uber-gender. Even the name Frank Booth is a euphemism for the male and for the female genetalia, respectively. The gas mask that he carries around and inhales from shows a kind of vaginal envy; it wraps around his face like he was performing oral sex on a woman, compare this to a pipe which is the more obvious choice for showing drug consumption and also very phallic. It's like he carries it around as a substitute for having a vagina.

In Inland Empire (2006), Nikki (Laura Dern), who has a jealous husband, immerses herself in a film role and her excessive identification with the character (and possible related infidelity) pull her into the subjective experience of the character as a version of her life and what she knows of her family history (Susan Blue trapped in the cinema theatre and Nikki's personal and epigenetic experiences as the story). From here she begins to glimpse a deep family history version of the underlying "folk tale" which serves as an origin of an embodiment of murderous jealous rage (the Phantom), an access to the male side of the experience, and an understanding that this all comes from a primal place of the collective unconscious (the rabbit room) where an eternal play of timeless torment plays out. Through the process of cinema, she is able to ritually sacrifice herself, take on a male aspect (the gun), find the room, eradicate the evil engram (an engram is a unit of cognitive information inside the brain, theorized to be the means by which memories are stored), the phantom, and unify with the damaged feminine victims bringing love and forgiveness. The universal field is healed of it's grievous flaw, or at least she had some good self therapy. There are so many layers to process in this, my favorite film, but I think the most emphatic "story" is that of humanity haunted by a pattern of jealous violence and a woman who braves a mystical trial to set things right. Source: news.avclub.com

-Patricia Butler: What would Jim and Pam make of the frenzy that still surrounds them? What of the theories buzzing around their lives, their relationship, their significance? The people who met them once or twice and now speak casually and familiarly of and for them? The May 1970 issue of Show magazine featured rock stars and their favorite clothing designers. Jim, of course, chose Pamela and her boutique Themis, saying in the article, “Pamela’s clothes are weapons, ornaments, and protection.” I suppose he had no way of knowing at the time that he and Pamela would have more need of protection from the prying eyes, pointing fingers, and lurid imaginations of strangers decades after their deaths than they did at the time. I had the opportunity to interview Tere Tereba, who was part of that Show magazine article. She designed the original clothing for the store, and became good friends with both Jim and Pam. In fact, she visited Jim and Pam in Paris and left them just two days before Jim’s death. "Pam Courson cared deeply for Jim and did want only the best for him," Tere Tereba said: "Jim always did what she said: he adored and trusted her so much! They loved each other and had great plans for the future."

I asked Tere Tereba how she thought history should remember the pair. She thought about it a second and then said, “They were just a really nice couple.” And I think she’s absolutely right. They were just a really nice couple and that’s how people should remember them. But they won’t. Because the thing about the dead is that they become blank screens upon which the living may project all their own personal hopes and dreams and imaginings without fear of contradiction. For all the quiet times Jim and Pam spent in private, it is the act they put on for the world—the dangerous rock star and his fiery girlfriend—that people will remember and judge and build upon for generations to come. And maybe that’s okay. It was Jim and Pam’s conscious decision to play the roles they did to distract public eyes from their relatively quiet private lives. Maybe their only mistake was in trusting the rest of us to understand that it was, after all, just an act. From what people told me, Judy Courson was pretty enough, but Pamela was a knockout. Judy had brown hair and didn't fare well in comparison with Pamela. By the way, Judy was only Pamela's half sister. It seems that Penny had Judy as a result of a liaison with a soldier when she was about 16. Corky adopted Judy after he married Penny and Judy's birth certificate was altered to list Corky as the father. Jim was driven nuts by all the women he fell in love with and actually respected honesty more than any other feature. The bone stuck in the throat of Patricia Kennealy that continually rails about Pamela's good looks, which were indeed very pretty, amounts to outraged insecurity.

-Gary James: What did you think of Jim Morrison? What was your impression of Jim Morrison?

-Ellen Sander: Jim was a very shy person. I kind of felt a certain understanding about him 'cause he was primarily a writer. I think that's how he liked to think of himself. He was just a very shy kind of person, but he was also an actor and a performer. He had a very well developed stage presence. As with many performers, his private life was very different. He was also a downstairs neighbor of one of my good friends, so I saw him on occasion there where he lived. So, I feel like he was shy and since the success of The Doors happened so quickly and so extremely, it was kind of hard for him to adjust. So, he spent a lot of time feeling oddly out of place and he would just put on his persona to deal with it. Source: www.classicbands.com

Friday, June 12, 2020

The Doors' 13 compilation, Laurel Canyon, Jim Morrison, Arthur Lee, Pam Courson

The Doors' very first compilation 13, originally released in 1970, turns 50 this year! To celebrate this milestone, 13 will be available for the first time in 37 years on August 7th! This 50th Anniversary edition features remastered audio by The Doors' longtime engineer/mixer Bruce Botnick, pressed on "Ink Spot" blue and white swirl vinyl and housed in a meticulously reproduced version of the original artwork including record labels and the printed inner sleeve. 

Laurel Canyon is a very real place, but it comes off almost as a Brigadoon-style dream in the commemoration of the L.A. rock scene of the late ’60s and early ’70s that is director Alison Ellwood’s “Laurel Canyon” (2020) The first half the two-part docuseries on Epix, which premiered May 31, threw a spotlight onto the Byrds, the Doors, Buffalo Springfield, Mamas and the Papas, Love, Frank Zappa and others who drove the counterculture in the years leading up to Woodstock, and how they were folksy neighbors in L.A.’s least urban enclave. Ellwood does use a fair amount of audio from deceased subjects like Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, Cass Ellliot, Arthur Lee and Bryan MacLean, so putting everyone in voiceover puts everyone back on the same mortal coil for cinematic purposes. 

-Variety: You’d been wanting to do a film about this for 20 years, since you became fascinated with the Doors, so you were immersed in a lot of the lore. Were there any stories that you hadn’t heard before?

 -Alison Ellwood: I didn’t know about the Doors/Love connection, in which the latter band helped the Doors get a record deal with Elektra, only to come to regret it. I had no idea that Alice Cooper met Jim Morrison or how he was tied to the Canyon at all. That came as a total surprise. Source: variety.com

Patricia Butler: Rainer Moddemann fled the scene when I tipped off Danny Sugerman what Rainer was posting in his page, and Danny went there and kicked Rainer's sorry ass, letting everyone know in no uncertain terms that Rainer was a liar and a thief and that the Doors planned to sue him up one side and down the other for the things he's done. As for the notion that anything in my book came from Rainer, this was not only never "rumored," but to anyone who knows anything about Rainer and his actions over the years, it's nothing short of ludicrous. Rainer had his shot with the Doors, and actually could have made something of that opportunity if he hadn't decided instead to lie (he was telling everyone that he was "the Doors European representative", which he wasn't, by any stretch of the imagination) and steal (he actually stole gold records out of Robby Krieger's home and stole photos from Danny Sugerman) and stab them in the back. Not surprisingly, Rainer is a big friend of Patricia Kennealy's, and would do anything to stay in her good graces, including making up a lot of nonsense about Pamela Courson. How pathetic is it to made up things to denigrate a dead woman? By the way, while Pamela had many faults, she was neither a heroin addict nor a hooker, no matter how hard Kennealy and her friends work to make people believe otherwise. 

Oh, and just another bit of info -- Rainer Moddemann didn't know Jim Morrison, or Pam either, even though he likes to try to convince people otherwise. My favorite story about Rainer is when he wrote a letter, in fact, to Jerry Hopkins, trying to convince Jerry he shouldn't deal with me. What Rainer didn't know, of course, was that Jerry and I were very close friends. So Rainer sends Jerry this letter full of all kinds of dire sounding lies (the best part was when he told Jerry he'd seen me drunk in Paris when Jerry knows I don't drink).  Jerry sent me a copy of the letter he sent back to Rainer. It was quite entertaining, to say the least!

Patricia Kennealy: Contrary to the picture painted in the Doors mythology, Pamela Courson was no poster girl for the 60's spirited, enlightened independent feminist. Very much the opposite: she was a shallow, manipulative, junkie trollop. But she was so pretty. She really was. By her own life and death, Pamela Susan Courson furnished an incontestable proof: if she had had any guts or brains whatsoever, she would still be here, alive and crying, but alive and thriving. As I am.

Veteran rock journalist Barney Hoskyns indicated in his 2001 book, "Arthur Lee: Alone Again" the brief friendship between Arthur Lee and Jim Morrison. Hoskyns has quite a resume, having written for Rolling Stone, Harper's Bazaar, Spin, The Independent, and he also was Chief Editor at MOJO Magazine. In "Arthur Lee: Alone Again," Hoskyns states that Jerry Hopkins co-managed Love in 1965, and later Hopkins became a rock writer for Rolling Stone magazine. Jerry Hopkins would co-write with Danny Sugerman "No One Here Gets Out Alive." NOHGOA is one of the worst organized books I've ever read. It doesn't have an usable table of contents and there's no index at all. I found it odd that Hopkins didn't mention in No One Here Gets Out Alive that he'd managed the rock group Love. Hopkins described how Arthur Lee had helped The Doors get a contract with Elektra, but he failed to mention that he managed Lee's band, Love. Why? Maybe an old beef or some kind of resentment? Jim Morrison stated in 1967 that his favorite vocal groups were "the Beach Boys, the Kinks, and Love."

Arthur Lee encouraged Elektra Records’ founder and president, Jac Holzman, to sign the Doors. Barney Hoskyns asserts that Jerry Hopkins and Doug Lyon co-managed Love in 1965. Ronnie Haran, a talent scout/publicist for the Whiskey A-Go-Go began calling record companies, inviting representatives to come see what she called "the American Rolling Stones." A few actually came to check them out. The Beach Boys’ producer Nick Venet didn’t like them at all. Lou Adler was unmoved. The Rolling Stones weren’t impressed either. Nor was Jac Holzman, the thirty-six-year-old  music producer and president of Elektra Records. Holzman was urged to see the Doors once more by Ronnie Haran, but also by Arthur Lee, the leader of Love. “Jim Morrison was an intellectual genius in the sense that he was well read – Voltaire, Camus, and all that stuff,” noted Ronnie Haran. “Arthur never read any of those books, but he was a street-smart genius. He was a natural perceiver of where people are coming from.” So Holzman returned and decided there was something appealing in Jim Morrison. By the fourth visit he found himself making his pitch, offering the Doors a contract. Jac wanted they understood that Elektra was a small business company whose tidy and tight-knitted organization was accessible. Arthur Lee had met Pamela Courson when she was living in his Laurel Canyon neighborhood. She was living in a dark Canyon garage reconverted into a house. She barely scraped by. Until they made it, then it wasn't unusual for garages to be rented out to the local musicians--they were cheap digs. Arthur Lee sort of took Pamela under his wing, and they dated for a short while. They had a love relationship that ended in friendship. Jim Morrison found Pam shortly after she had broken up with Arthur Lee. Source: love.torbenskott.dk

Arthur Lee: When I lived in Laurel Canyon, I used to walk from Brier to the Country Store on Laurel Canyon Boulevard. On my way down the hill, I liked seeing all the colorful people at the scene with their beautiful clothes. By then, it was fashionable to rent garages in the area as places to stay. I was coming up Kirkwood Drive one day and I noticed a girl dancing on the other side of the street. She had her garage door pulled up and I could examine her fixed-up garage home. She was a very nice-looking young lady, with shoulder-length red hair, freckles, and a cute figure. I don’t remember who made the first move, but both of us started talking. As I looked around her place, I noticed something was missing. I don’t remember if there was a refrigerator or not but I didn’t see any food around. When I asked if she would like me to buy her some groceries, she smiled and said “yes, thanks, my name is Pam.” And so it became a routine; as I walked or drove up Kirkwood, I would stop by her place and drop off some food and drinks for Pam.


I told her about my group Love, and I asked her if she would like to come up to my place and trip with acid. She said she would, and that was my first date with Pamela Courson. She told me she was from Orange County and she was a go-go dancer in The Strip clubs. Our relationship was good until I saw her flirting with other guys. So it sort of played out after a while, but we remained friendly. She was a good kid, but too flirtatious for my taste. Later, I would see Jim Morrison in Laurel Canyon from time to time, and now Pam was living with him. I found Jim Morrison to be a very interesting guy, although the girls seemed to appreciate him a lot more than I did. After a while, with Ray Manzarek playing the organ in the band, I could see that The Doors were doing something quite different. I told Jac Holzman to go down and check them out at The London Fog. So it was then that The Doors became the second West Coast group signed to Elektra Records.

It wasn’t that I didn’t like Jim Morrison. I just didn’t really know him as a friend. I had enough friends hanging around me at that time. One time, I was at the Tropicana Hotel, on Santa Monica, and out of my window I saw Jim and Bryan MacLean standing, face to face. All of a sudden, Jim socked Bryan in the mouth, pretty hard. Bryan made the mistake of mentioning Pamela or something else. I actually thought that was the best thing I’d ever seen Jim Morrison do. Bryan said that they were arguing and Jim hit him square in the mouth. I said to myself, “Regardless of what I think, Jim Morrison’s got a heart.” Bryan could really get on your nerves and it didn’t come off too good with Jim. After that, I lost sight of him. I think Jim Morrison was a very lonely person. He was always searching for something. Now that I think about it and put it all together, it seemed like he didn’t have a real self. He only lived on what he was told it was happening. He portrayed something that he thought was great but I don’t think he got a chance to be his true, natural self – or perhaps he didn’t like his natural self. He tried to become someone else. And it caught up with him. You finally catch up with yourself, you look in the mirror and you have to face yourself. "Arthur Lee: Alone Again" (2001) by Barney Hoskyns

Monday, June 08, 2020

Jim Morrison, Johann Sebastian Bach, Borderline Personality and Dissociation Disorders

―Jim Morrison (1968, Detroit): "Can any Hell be more horrible than now, in reality? Me and the devil gonna take you on a long and evil ride. Well we are all in the cosmic movie, you know that means the day you die you got to watch your whole life recurring eternally so you better have some good story happening and a fitting climax."


Johann Sebastian Bach’s unaccompanied violin sonatas bear complex simplicity like an ameba. An ameba is intensely complex though it consists of just one cell. Its one cell’s operations & manifestations are stunningly diverse & near-infinitely metamorphic. Yet always it follows the program of its genes. Just so many of Bach’s “simpler” pieces. In every living cell, a complex chemical/bioenergetic event — the Krebs cycle — occurs in a complex sequence that changes ever as the cell matures & journeys toward death. The Krebs cycle produces energy, almost mysteriously as photosynthesis supplies the power of life of plants. The whole array is an immense, kaleidoscopic, complex, organic counterpoint, like Bach’s complex contrapuntal works. The whole produces, and reflects as, one of the vital energy-forms of the creature the cells compose. Complex music occurs as vertical, horizontal, internal/external/inside/outside/forward/backward, ever-changing yet magnificently ordered complex dialectic of interacting moving shapes. Complex music, like Bach’s, lives as moving multiplicities of molecular shapes — like the Krebs cycle’s music of molecular transformations & the complexly manifesting organic energy produced. Organic multiplicities of moving molecular shapes, kaleidoscopic shapes, dancing with each other, like symbiotic organisms: Sadness is a sound — a moving sonic shape. True music stirs feelings & emotions, apprehending the wonder & complexity — the miracle — of the biochemistry of a living creature or losing oneself in the infinite arrays of moving colored shapes of a kaleidoscope. Very complex music is like magnificent architecture that inspires unbearable awe though it (the architecture, itself) neither portrays feeling nor emotion. Emotions are judgments reacting to external events or internal feelings, as if emotions “represent” or “express” feelings. Emotions occur in the frontal lobe, in quite the place that produces logic. Feeling are biochemical/bioenergetic events, like heartbeats or flows of hormone or instances of the Krebs cycle. Feeling is like a piece of architecture. Emotion is a judgment reacting to that architecture. True music is like an instance of pure feeling or a piece of architecture. It may stir feeling or emotion, but it is neither. True music occurs as kaleidoscopic architecture formed with sound. If the shape moves a listener to tears, it moves the listener to tears because of the listener’s reaction associating the down-curving shape with an unbearable sense of love lost. —Classical Music Corner (Steve Hoffman Forum)

—Immanuel Kant (Critique of Pure Reason, 1781): "A mind without concepts would have no capacity to think; equally, a mind armed with concepts, but with no sensory data to be applied, would have nothing to think about. Man is responsible for his wellbeing and if he does not behave accordingly, he is betraying his own humanness." 

Those with borderline personality disorder have problems regulating emotional impulses and often experience rocky relationships. But new research suggests that many men find traits associated with borderline personality disorder to be appealing in physically attractive women. The study has been published online in the journal Personality and Individual Differences (published on 12 March, 2020). The relationship with a Borderline Personality Disorder sufferer is like a roller coaster where the highs are very high and the lows are very low — this is why people probably stay in these types of relationships, because of the uncertainty and drama. In line with previous research, Blanchard and her colleagues found that amenable personality traits and wealth status were the most important factors in predicting dating appeal among female participants. Women in the study tended to prefer partners who were high in wealth and low in psychopathic traits. “Women are more discerning when choosing a partner, likely because an unreliable partner would have adverse outcomes for her and her child. Previous research had been equivocal with regards to whether women are attracted to bad boys, and the findings from this study suggest they are not, at least in comparison to men who are less discerning,” Blanchard said. For men, attractiveness was the most important factor in predicting dating appeal. Men viewed physically attractive women who were high in borderline personality traits to be more appealing than women who were less physically attractive and low in borderline personality traits. Source: www.psypost.org


"Unhappy girl/Left all alone/Playin' solitaire/Playin' warden to your soul/You are locked in a prison of your own device/And you can't believe what it does to me/To see you crying." (Jim Morrison,  Unhappy Girl, The Doors' Strange Days, 1967)

Patricia Butler: When Pam met Jim Morrison in the summer of 1965, she obviously saw him through the eyes of a young woman in love, but she certainly wasn't blind to his faults or oddities. Jim met Pam before he was famous and stayed with her until his death. Although I am inclined to think both suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder, their personalities differed in temper and attitude. Pam was very shy and secretive. She instinctively distrusted nosy or sycophantic people around Jim. So there was a Jim's side (which was enhanced by his portentous fame) she began to dislike. The posturing, the public mugging, she detested it, I think. Jim would have wanted to show her off more in public, but she was reticent and didn't enjoy being in company of his entourage. He dedicated all his poetry books to her and most of his classic songs: "Indian Summer", "L.A. Woman", "Love Street", "Orange County Suite", "Twentieth Century Fox", "Queen of the Highway", "You Are Lost, Little Girl," "We Could Be So Good Together", "Blue Sunday", "Wild Child", "Unhappy Girl," "I will never be Untrue," etc. He gave her about anything she wanted and, whenever she got mad and left him, he went after her to bring her back. Jim told his closest allies that Pamela was the one person who'd "gotten under his skin," the one he felt he could spend the rest of his life with, and he made plans to do just that, leaving the country to be with her in Paris and writing his last letter to his parents home saying how happy they were. Sadly, he died shortly after writing this letter. 

Even if Pam and Jim sometimes had a twisted relationship, they still went back to each other and shared a bond no other woman could touch. So what if Jim had some sex action with Judy Huddleston, Peggy Green or assorted female followers? Big deal for a sex-charged rock star! And even when he was with his lovers he often bragged about Pam. Patricia Kennealy was one more in a long line of "outside interests". I never understood why Danny Sugerman referred to himself as 'Denny' in the book NOHGOA, which does appear to have an unsympathetic look at Jim. Al Graham (Jim's sister Anne's ex-husband) said in 2010 Jim Morrison had fired Danny Sugerman from his desk job at The Doors office. Sugerman never mentioned this little detail, but it gives credit to Frank Lisciandro's opinion that Morrison couldn't stand Sugerman. “127 Fascination” was the label on a metal box Pamela Courson left in a San Francisco bank after Jim’s death that contained some poems he had been working on in Paris. In 1980, Randy Ralston, an ex-boyfriend of Pam, retrieved the box, authorized by the Coursons. Rumor is that some of its contents were split up and the bulk of it was returned to the Coursons while the rest was sold to private collectors. The “127 Fascination” label has never really been explained. It may have just been a title Jim came up with for his poetry, or a label Pam put on the box. Due to the professional secret with his patient, to learn information about Pam's mental deterioration was like pulling teeth from her psychiatrist Dr. Ackerman, but I gathered Pamela, like Jim Morrison, suffered from borderline disorder. 

Dissociation Identity Disorder occurs when a person experiences a lack of connection between their thoughts, memory, and overall sense of identity, as explained by Mental Health America (MHA). Oftentimes, dissociation is often described as watching oneself in a movie or feeling as though one is outside of one’s body; milder forms of dissociation often occur when a person gets lost in their thoughts (also known as daydreaming) or becomes entrenched in a fantasy. MHA states that over 20% of population have experienced dissociative experiences at some point. Dissociation occurs more often in some mental disorders, however, such as bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and schizophrenia. Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness characterized by unstable mood swings, behavior, and self-perception. People with this disorder may experience feelings of worthlessness, insecurity, impulsivity and suicidal tendencies. A 2017 study published in the European Journal of Trauma & Dissociation emphasized a strong link between BPD, childhood trauma, and ongoing dissociation. BPD is often misdiagnosed, because the symptoms can easily appear in other disorders. The symptoms of borderline personality disorder are a cry for help to resolve deep, inconsolable pain most often inspired by early childhood occurences of real or perceived abandonment. Primary Structural Dissociation consists of a host personality (the Apparently Normal Personality)  and adjacents Emotional Parts of the Personality (EPs). There are many similarities between Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Dissociation Identity Disorder (DID), and DID and BPD have often been reported to occur comorbidly. Individuals with DIDs and BPD also frequently experience major fluctuations in identity and emotional states, depersonalization and derealization during stress, as well as exhibit high rates of self-harm and suicidality. Although DID patients are associated with tremendous suffering, including the loss of a continuous sense of one’s self and one’s memory, some theorists suggest that dissociation provides protection from the overwhelming danger of tumultuous emotional chaos, and is needed for survival. Source: bpded.biomedcentral.com

Monday, June 01, 2020

Jim Morrison, Dissociative Identity Disorder

—Jim Morrison (original script of The Doors by Randall Johnson): You know the song You Are Lost, Little Girl? It's for my girl, Pam. She is kinda flakey like me. I mean she's just so vulnerable about everything. It makes me sad, man. But she's always kinda believed in something about me, her vision of me as the unsung poet, and it's a fantasy I dig, you know, instead of the one I have to live.

—RiderontheStorm1969: Oliver Stone made a hatchet job on Jim Morrison, and to some extent, to Pam Courson too. She was a more mysterious personality than her vapid film character. I think Stone didn't like Pam too much, and he was negatively influenced by the fraudulent Patricia Kennealy, who served prominently as contributor to the film. Salli Stevenson remembers Patricia Kennealy asking her to call Jim's motel room in Alta Cienega and demanding to speak to "that fucking idiot." Needless to say, the "fucking idiot" told Salli to hang up on her. Danny Sugerman said once that Patricia Kennealy was just "a groupie gone terribly wrong." Salli Stevenson had a beef with Patricia Butler because she was told that her interview tapes had been deleted and were not going to be used for Angels Dance and Angels Die. Butler's publisher also told Salli that she would not be mentioned in the book and she still persisted, by sending letters to the Legal Department at Simon & Schuster. My theory is that Salli Stevenson tried to enhance her personal story with Jim and talk of scabrous details about Ms Kennealy, but Butler didn't want the headaches and she ignored Kennealy's self-important mythology by giving her the silent treatment, as a means of counteract Stone's overinflated version of the witch & Jim. There is also the mystery of how Patricia Butler obtained a copy of the Max Fink manuscript, maybe from Jerry Hopkins? Or maybe from her former 'mentor' Albert Goldman. Anyway, it's funny the connection between the two Patricias (Kennealy and Butler), since both were associated with Albert Goldman. Also, both were good friends with Jerry Hopkins. At least, until Hopkins wrote his foreword for Butler's Angels Dance and Angels Die, and Kennealy called Hopkins "a turncoat". When Butler methodically dissected—and ridiculed—Kennealy's farcical Strange Days, Kennealy went mad with rage and asked Hopkins for help. Hopkins just said to Kennealy 'to get over it' and turned against her and her lies (maybe because Hopkins had gained compassion towards Jim & Pam in his last years.) Hopkins actually wrote Pamela Courson was "the only woman Jim had trusted. Jim wanted to settle down with Pam."

Margaret Fink's (Max Fink's second wife) shopped her manuscript around to publishers but there were no bites. So she understood she had to embellish it with outlandish stories. I am inclined to think Max Fink was a nut, even withouth the embellishment added by his wife. Ray Manzarek got the copy of the transcript from Patricia Butler. He'd never heard of it before that. Considering the kinds of things Max said about The doors (i.e., that Jim being involved with the other three was like putting a Rembrandt painting in a Woolworth's frame) in his manuscript, it's logical Manzarek disavowed it. For one thing, this manuscript was being shopped around before the Oliver Stone movie, when the market was not so receptive. Patricia Kennealy was also trying to sell her story with Morrison around that time. I think she had previously written what would become "Strange Days" in novel form long before the movie opened but she had been unsuccessful in getting it published. I remember Kennealy admitting to it herself in the section 'Notes on Sources' from "Strange Days": "Some materials have been reconverted to memoir form from my unpublished novel The Voice that Launched a Milllion Trips, a roman-à-clef about Jim Morrison and me that I wrote in 1971-72. I shopped it around to two or three publishers. Though interested, they all wanted major sleazoid changes--more sex, more drugs-- and I was just not up for it, so I put it away." No one paid attention to her story until Oliver Stone laid eyes on it in 1991 for his film and the following year, Kennealy publishes her memoir Strange Days at last. Really quick! In Strange Days, Patricia Kennealy said Jim had no use for sports.

But Frank Lisciandro took a photo of Jim in 1969, lacing up his sport shoes just before joining his friends for playing football on the beach. Jim liked to play football, followed basketball, and attended tennis matches with Pam. Also he'd participated on his high school swim team, and he was quite good, according to Jeff Morehouse, despite his chronic ashtma. Maybe Kennealy was confusing Jim with another one of her fantasy husbands. The Morrisons answered Patricia Butler's questions about Jim's childhood medical history, about his relationship with Pamela Courson, about the child abuse rumors, about his time in Paris and their telephone contact with Pamela, about how they found out about his death, and about their dealings with the Coursons.

Empathy, Guilt, and Depression: Despite its adaptive nature, empathy may contribute to depression under certain conditions (Zahn-Waxler, Cole, & Barrett, 1991). O’Connor and her colleagues (2007) describe depression in adults as a disorder of concern for others. The moral system is on overdrive; empathy becomes coupled with pathogenic guilt and anxiety, culminating in submission and depression. Anxiety typically develops earlier than depression. Because it involves dysregulation of limbic, vegetative, and autonomic systems, this high arousal eventually taxes these systems, causing a person to shut down, withdraw, and become depressed. Thus, anxiety may be one early antecedent of depression. Children who are overwhelmed by their parents’ needs are likely to experience anxiety and guilt, especially pathogenic guilt (O’Connor, Berry, Weiss, & Gilbert, 2002; O’Connor et al., 2007; Chapter 2 by O’Connor, Berry, and Lewis) is also implicated in depression. What makes humans different—dangerously so—from other species are the novel ways in which we represent in-group favoritism and out-group antagonism, and the fact that in-group biases or prejudices are often implicit or unconscious (Banaji, 2001; Richerson & Boyd, 2005). These are psychological accessories that are magnets for pathological altruism. Once deception has reached this adaptive edge, there is pressure for self-deception. Self-deception arises when unconscious processes have manipulated conscious processes to gain control over behavior. Thus, not only does it pay to deceive others, it pays to deceive oneself, to really believe that one is tougher, sexier, and more caring. But, as discussed by Turvey, self-deception is a form of cognitive distortion that can become pathological if unchecked. Trust is really a way of emphasizing the importance of moral universalism as a trait of individualist societies. In collectivist societies, trust ends at the border of the family and kinship group. Morality is only defined as what is good for the kinship group. This lack of ability to develop a civil society is the fundamental problem of societies in the Middle East and Africa, where divisions into opposing religious and ultimately kinship groups define their political landscape. The movement of the West toward multiculturalism really means the end of individualist Western culture.

Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition argues that ethnic influences are important for understanding the West. The prehistoric invasion of the Indo-Europeans had a transformative influence on Western Europe, inaugurating a prolonged period of what is labeled “aristocratic individualism” resulting form variants of Indo-European genetic and cultural influence. However, beginning in the seventeenth century and gradually becoming dominant was a new culture labeled “egalitarian individualism” which was influenced by preexisting egalitarian tendencies of northwest Europeans. Egalitarian individualism ushered in the modern world but may well carry the seeds of its own destruction. I have a chapter on psychological mechanisms that have resulted in so many Westerners accepting the current regime of displacing White populations in favor of massive non-White immigration. This brings in much discussion of evolutionary psychology. For example, I present data that White people are more empathic towards others because we are less ethnocentric than other peoples. This tendency toward empathy has been manipulated by the media to make Westerners empathic to suffering Africans and Asians and make them willing to make these people into citizens. Source: www.theoccidentalobserver.net

It fascinates me to see the regularity with which Jim Morrison brought out sensations, perceptions, and consciousness in his work which clearly illustrate Dissociative Identity Disorder from an inner perspective. Among professionals, a questionnaire was developed to help identify children with DID. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics Vol 5, April 1996, by Lewis Putnam: "The topic of imagination leads naturally to questions about the child's ability to fall into a trance-like state and remove him/herself from hurtful situations. One of the most useful questions in our repertoire also was suggested to us by an adult who suffered from DID/MPD. Many kids who have been through a lot or have been hurt are able to space out and go to a special place in their heads and not feel it.' Jim Morrison: "Once I had a little game/I liked to crawl back in my brain/I think you know/the game I mean/I mean the game called Go Insane/Just close your eyes/Forget your name/Forget the world/Forget the people/Back past the realm of pain/Urge to come to terms with the 'Outside,' by absorbing it, interiorizing it/I won't come out, you must come in to me. Into my womb-garden where I peer out. Where I can construct a universe within the skull, to rival the real." Lewis and Putnam: "People with DID/MPD often have extremely vivid imaginary friends with whom they talk and play. Over time, in many cases, these imaginary characters become the matrices around which alternate personalities form; they acquire a life history of their own." Therapists working with men who were sexually abused in childhood have conducted clinical case studies and consistently reported findings on long-term problems including: Guilt and self-blame (pre-requisites of a martyr), Low self-esteem and negative self-image, Problems with intimacy, Substance abuse and depression, Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, etc. A number of clinicians' case studies indicate that male survivors of childhood sexual abuse may experience: Attempts to "prove" their masculinity by having multiple female sexual partners, or engaging in dangerous or violent behaviors. Sense of lost power, control, and confidence in their manhood. Jim's apparent tendency toward martyrdom may have been an intellectualization of his low self-esteem, dissociation, and suicidality tendencies. The song "Hyacinth House" lyrics suggest a vague feeling of homophobia, or fear of being molested.

For example, certain cinematic techniques replicate changes in perception that accompany a dissociative trauma response--slow motion or stop-motions, sound of heart beating, shutting down the sound track or blacking out the screen, etc. James Douglas Morrison's poem, The Lords: Notes on Vision. Look where we worship. We all live in the city. The city forms--often physically, but inevitably psychically--in a circle. A Game. A ring of death with sex at its center. Drive toward outskirts of city suburbs. At the edge discover zones of sophisticated vice and boredom. But in the grimy ring immediately surrounding the daylight business district exists the only real crowd life of our mound, the only street life, night life. Diseased specimens in dollar hotels, low boarding houses, bars, pawn shops, burlesques, in dying arcades which never die, in streets and streets of all-night cinemas. When play dies it becomes The Game. When sex dies it becomes Climax. All games contain the idea of death. The streets of all-night cinemas are an interesting image. A haven of escape, a place of refuge. Twice an escape--from the streets, and to a dream world. Cinema, introduced here, will finally become a significant theme in this poem. "When temptation is full grown, it gives birth to sin. When sin is full grown, it gives birth to death." This fits in with the first line, "Look where we worship."  Jim, I think, alludes to the Bible sometimes. In the updated version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual used by mental health professionals to diagnose mental illness which came out in 1980, called Multiple Personality Disorder by a new name, Dissociative Identity Disorder. This change in language is by way of emphasizing that the person who experiences DID does not truly have many completely different personalites, but that each distinct personality state is a necessary part of the whole person. Those with DID spend an average of seven years in the mental health system before the diagnosis is made. They are usually mistakenly given either the diagnosis of rapidly cycling bipolar disorder because of extreme mood swings, or schizophrenia, because they hear voices.

Even Ray Manzarek wondered in 1998 if he could attempt to give a name to the malady known as Jimbo: "a multiple personality disorder, or unsoundness of mind". More recently, Robby Krieger remarked on a podcast with Adam Carolla he thought Jim suffered from "a split personality." I'm sure that child trauma was a subject of Jim's "Lords & The New Creatures". His creative depiction of the subject matter, to me, reveals that he was well acquainted with classic trauma response. Essentially, DID is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which begins mostly in infancy. During normal development, everyone experiences the sort of compartmentalization of memories. It's called state-dependent memory. What it means is that we're more likely to recall a memory when we're in the same mood we were when the incident happened. Researchers find this is a very strong memory factor in infancy. Most of us grow out of this stage between three to five years of age, when the greatest percentage of our memories become accessible to us, and our personalities become "integrated". In DID this process is blocked, probably by repeated trauma. Holding those memories of trauma inaccessible most of the time becomes a defense mechanism for a young child living in a situation he does not have the skills to cope with. Researchers don't think there is a specific gene that leads to DID, however neuropsychiatrist Bruce Perry, MD, writes on trauma response in his article "Incubated in Terror" (1997), where he mentions that repeated trauma produces genetic changes; a fact which I find fascinating. Several authors who write about Jim Morrison have used the anology of multiple personalites, perhaps without knowing how well the description seems to fit. There are frequent references to "sides" of Jim, or "parts" of Jim. I don't necessarily infer that they intend these references as literal descriptions of Jim in the light of DID. However, Break on Through's authors James Riordan and Jerry Prochnicky have four entries in their index, under Morrison: James Douglas, Multiple Personalities. Those with IQ scores in the gifted to genius range, like Jim, if they suffer DID they tend to be able to access a high percentage of all of their different selves' abilities by switching from one part to another as needed, or by sharing information between parts. Wild swinging moods accompanied by eye color changes are not uncommon in those who suffer Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Jim did seem to explain the experience to a degree in his poetry: "A shaman, a poet with the soul of a clown. Which of my cellves will be remembered?" One of his alter egos in his film Highway was Clown Boy. I think this part could correspond to the part Ray Manzarek calls Jimbo. The role of the clown is a provoker. Some people have trouble understanding how provoking behavior could be a protective device. It takes some of the incentive, and the element of surprise, away from your opponent. Similarly, some parts of people with DID might protect the inner person by being sexually provocative toward others. DID causes repression of memory of certain events, but a heightening of imagination. And while the mind fails to process events as memory, the body still remembers the experiences as pain, or other sensory experiences of trauma. These sensations become a "memory" of their own. The mind sometimes works overtime to "explain" these remembered sensations, in the absence of processed memories. After the Miami trail, Jim wrote a poetry letter to his fans in March 1969, which was published by Creem magazine. "It's a matter of demolishing experience, just a question of gathering up all fragments into one zone of awareness, then pulverizing them sufficiently to expel from the system through its tiny doors, leaving behind the mind stripped bare, devastated and stark as ground zero. (A description of a nuclear holocaust. Ground zero--we see the same theme in The Lords and the New Creatures) Look at these capillaries! Lit up like emerald peacock feathers! You gotta hook your brain fibre on the spike of a distant star and let it stretch you at the receding speed of the primal explosion. All the way, brothers and sisters, to the breaking point, and pray for a glimpse before the tissue tears. (The tone of exhortation begins. Brothers and sisters. . . pray! This resembles some parts of the Bible, especially the New Testament.) The extension of the human mind, the structure of technology slides on the surface area of collective consciousness. Get out from under the antientropic plumbing; (I guess Jim is telling people to "get out from under the plumbing" that causes them to lack the ability to hold their changes) become not just the source of energy but the receiving substance as well. Rediscover selfprogramming! (from the perspective of a healer, Jim is actually throwing off some interesting and meaningful comments here, through his prescription for positive change). It's more than likely that a little self-abuse will be necessary to bruise away the dependence on bad habits. A little hootch, a little cootch, even a bloody brawl will keep you tainted in the understanding of Pilate's apostles and off their provendor menu. (Obvious reference to the Scriptures, here-- probably throwing it back at the "good Christians" aimed at punishing Jim for Miami. Pilate was the official who ordered Jesus to death at Christ's trial. Jim tends to identify with Christ in this instance.)

Keep yourself honest until the day you got the karmic warhead primed and can explode in their faces, (This section starts to resemble the Bible, in the tone of exhortation as well as the pace and phrasing, which seems roughly paraphrased: "Keep yourself pure until that day.") leaving them gasping around mouthfuls of powdered teeth. For now, take it as a delight. My brothers and sisters, consider it all delight when you are faced by trials and tribulations of many kinds to be nothing more than a stab of flesh with the total mathematical content of a pleasure quotient. Use your brain as an instrument for appreciating sensual input with its developed intricacies only as experiments in methods of acquiring better pleasure. Ache on through to the other side! Kill the image! Create the essence! (Jim talks about this kind of transformative experience in The Lords--the "image" seems to represent the trance-like inactivity forced on us in the spectator role.) Antientropic is a rare and very interesting word. Anti=against, entropy=describes the process of breakdown of society or a system. So the meaning, in context: "Get out from under the antientropic plumbing" may be translated to an exhortation to stop living in harmony with the corrupt system that pervades society (the "Establishment"?) —"Living in the Dead Zone: Jim Morrison—Borderline Personality" (2010) by Gerald Faris

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Expression of Grief: Georg Simmel (The View of Life), Jim Morrison's Blasé Idealism

While Georg Simmel was a deep reader of Nietzsche and shared his romantic attraction to ‘an endless succession of contrasts’, he took an urbane distance from the latter’s aristocratic radicalism. Instead of seeking extremes in the mountains of Sils Maria, Simmel found them in the metropolitan crowd, where one can feel the uniquely modern loneliness of passing a thousand faces without recognising a friend. Nietzsche’s peaks and valleys produced noble heights and abject depths. Simmel’s metropolis instead cultivated blasé citizens who, afraid of being subsumed, distinguish themselves with externally cool indifference. His imagery hints at Germany’s romantically inflected nationalism. Worn-down spiritually, cynics have convinced themselves that only crude consumption and exchange are real. Every cynic is a spurned lover. On the other hand, the person with a blasé outlook knows it is better to have loved and lost. And the moment that love seems possible again, the blasé are one step away from leaving behind their indifference and becoming the cynic’s opposite: the sanguine enthusiast. As Simmel put it: ‘For man, who is always striving, never satisfied, always becoming, love is the true human condition.’ Simmel concluded that ‘truth is valid, not in spite of its relativity but precisely on account of it’. Simmel saw that the individual’s quest for truth would inevitably fail. Simmel fitted with common neo-Kantian sensibilities that, having been burned by the mid-19th-century collapse of Hegelian absolute idealism, focussed on the validity of limited, particular truths. Similarly, the Christian passion for ethical perfection was for Simmel an estranged expression of grief for a fallen world and a confession that goodness does exist – in this world. But there is also an element of tragedy here: to love truth is to love something we feel duty-bound to seek, even though it remains always out of reach. Like Herman Hesse’s protagonist in Steppenwolf (1927), Simmel chased an elusive absolute. In his final book, The View of Life (1918), Simmel abandoned his earlier relativism in favour of a philosophy of life. ‘By virtue of our highest, self-transcending consciousness at any given moment, we are the absolute above our relativity.’ Source: aeon.co


The Doors played the Hollywood Bowl on July 5, 1968, a concert that shows them at the height of their musical prowess and their career. Before the show Jim Morrison had met with Mick Jagger at the Alta Cienega motel. The Doors later had drinks with Jagger and Keith Richards, both of whom had attended the Hollywood Bowl with Pam reportedly sitting on Jagger’s lap during the show. That spring The Doors had started filming what would become the “Feast of Friends” documentary, so they decided to film the Hollywood Bowl show. Robby Krieger recalled their encounter: “We had some drinks with Mick Jagger, and he was chatting up Pam (Pamela Courson, Jim Morrison's girlfriend), you could see Jim didn't like that. So Jim decided to take acid—too much acid. Jim was usually so reserved, but the acid had made him real self-conscious.” 

So supposedly at The Hollywood Bowl concert, Pam Courson was seen sitting on Mick Jagger's lap, which actually bothered Jim. Now this picture is shot after The Doors play the song “When The Music Is Over” and right before “Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar)”.  Mick Jagger tried to be diplomatic when Melody Maker magazine asked him how he'd liked the Doors. Jagger reportedly said, ‘They were nice chaps, but they played a bit too long.' Source: pamelacourson.tumblr.com

Jim Cherry: I am both a Doors and Stones fan. Jim Morrison was way beyond Mick Jagger in terms of having a larger purpose. Mick Jagger was in it for the money from the beginning. Not that there is anything wrong with money, but Jagger was just a good blues-based rocker. Jim was truly on a personal quest. Their styles were totally different. Jagger was/is an exhibitionist, interested in everything money could buy. Jim instead never owned a house and hardly any possessions. I think it's also important to remember, considering these two singers, that comparing Morrison's voice to Jagger's is like comparing gold to tin. Also, in any category you care to name, except those of self-promotion, money-making and longevity, Jagger is a light-weight compared to Morrison. I understand that Mick Jagger and Jim Morrison didn't like each other too much and were rather competitive. Jim was compared to Mick early in his career, however, after seeing Jim perform at the Hollywood Bowl, Mick called Jim's performance "boring." Later, Jim had some negative comments about Mick Jagger ('that faggot').

High Spirits in the countercultural frat house: A secret history of Jim Morrison (2000) by Jim Cherry: "I didn't want strawberries. I wanted raspberries. Alright? Christ, the room service here is a bleedin' disgrace, ain't it Keef?" Mick Jagger lounged on a monumental couch in a penthouse suite atop a hotel in LA. On stage, a waif-like satyr, all lips and hip moves, off it, he often resembled a testy young housewife, having a moan about this, a gripe about the price of that, flouncing in and out of hotel rooms. In public Jagger made every effort to seem a bad dog, but in reality his hedonism was of a controlled nature: the odd spliff, the odd vodka, a fondness for coke, all done with a restraint and self control which was, in his chosen line of work, practically unheard off. Jim Morrison, whom he had seen playing the Hollywood Bowl, had not to worry about the androgynous Jagger flirting with Pamela, since most of American girls preferred the more sexy and masculine Morrison over Jagger anytime. Jagger's long term partner in crime Keith Richards was his polar opposite, with a taste for class A narcotics. Richards, lit another marlboro and stared with laconic indifference at Jagger. "Raspberries. Maybe we should do a song about Raspberries. Fats Domino's cornered that market with blueberries."  Richards ignored Jagger's suggestions. "Where are we playing tonight, Mick?" Jagger corrected him: "We're not playing. The tour's finished. Remember Altamont last week?" Then the telephone rang. Richards didn't move a muscle. Finally Jagger minced over to the phone. "Hello? Oh really?" Jagger put his hand over the phone. "Jim Morrison's in the lobby, he wants to come up and see us." Keith blew smoke, intrigued. In a few minutes there was a knock at the door. Jagger rushed out of the room adorned with eyeliner and wearing a skin-tight suit. Keith remained still where he was, reaching for another marlboro. Jagger opened the door and there stood Jim Morrison, with a bottle of Chateau Margaux wine under his arm, dressed in his trade mark black leathers. Morrison lolled his head on one side and his mouth curled into a lazy grin. "Hmnnm," he said in his famous elliptical fashion. Jagger smiled at him and elected to talk as if he came from Dartford, by way of Louisiana. "James. How y'all?" Morrison strode slowly into the Stones' hotel room. 

Keith followed Morrison across the room with his eyes. Several days earlier the Stones' Altamont concert had degenerated into violence and murder. The dark lyrics and awesome, percussive rhythms had proved an all too apt soundtrack to the chaos and paranoia of a mass drugs bacchanal gone horribly wrong. Morrison flung himself down on the huge couch opposite Keef. Their eyes remained locked. Morrison was feeling confident and was ready to joust. He leaned forward. "Can I have a cigarette?" Keith dropped the pack on the table. Jagger moved over to the drinks cabinet and found a corkscrew and some antique wine glasses. Morrison blew a plume of smoke, whilst Jagger examined the wine bottle. Morrison ran his fingers through his hair and grinned. "Maybe Chuck Berry should have dropped acid," Keith said. "Well" said Morrison, "If he had've, he might of found another chord to play with." "That's right" Jagger said in what had now become a sarcastic Mayfair drawl "and made some money, instead, while we're playing Madison Square garden he's in some sweaty promoter's office in the back end of Missouri arguing about giving a pick up band fifty dollars. Isn't that right Keef?" "Yeah." Morrison dragged on his cigarette. Keith sipped at his Margaux. Jagger looked at Morrison, who was getting a joint rolled out of a concealed pouch in his jacket. "What did you think of Altamont?" Morrison looked up at Jagger and said nothing. "I take it you heard about Altamont?" Morrison was burning hashish with an onyx and gold lighter. "Well... If you're gonna dance with the devil..." Jagger made his grammar-school-boy-affronted-by-being-told-he'd-failed-an-exam look. "James, what do you mean by that?" Keith waved his hands gently in the manner of Al Jolson singing 'Mammy'. "He means we asked for it by playing sympathy for the devil. The dark shit." Jagger looked at Keith, then back at Morrison. "James, It's only rock and roll." Morrison took a big hit on the spliff. He exhaled and spoke. "I'm afraid it's more than that. Some kids go along and see us guys playing. All they wanna do it horse around and maybe get laid, then they go home, read the sports illustrated, listen to the radio and watch TV. Others come because they know...." "Know what?" said Jagger, bewildered. "That this is something important in their lives. This ain't just entertainment." "Don't you think I know that?" said Keith dryly. Morrison glowered at him. "Yeah, but out here.... We are living on the edge of sanity itself. You found that out at the speedway." Jagger sipped his wine as prudently as a maiden aunt imbibing a cream sherry. "Edge of sanity itself? Bollocks. The Angels are a bunch of fucking arseholes." Morrison's redeyes moved round to Jagger, and watched him take a polite puff on the reefer. "They were players in a drama... the villains of the piece." "Well," said Jagger "at least you don't think we're the villains like every other bastard in this town." Morrison sat forward, warming to his theme. "They're just players man, like us, just players, all the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players..." Keith knocked his wine back. "They have their exits and their entrances." Morrison sat back, impressed." That's right." Jagger raised his eyebrows. Morrison refilled Keith's glass and continued to probe Jagger's patience. "Mick, man, you said it's only rock and roll right?" "Yes, James, and I happen to like it." "But you don't understand. To you it's a fucking business man. To those people out there-" Morrison waved an unsteady hand towards the view of LA. "- to those people out there, it's the thing that they've been waiting for all their lives.... We maybe could change the fucking world." Jagger adopted a sneering fifties matinee idol tone. "Don't get carried way James..." "I'm not. We're at a point in time... If it passes and the world remains the same, it'll be an opportunity wasted. What's gonna be left for those people out there?" "Don't get carried away James, it's rock and roll, if you get carried away you end up like John Lennon, pretending, or for all I know, believing he's Jesus Christ, giving press conferences from inside a fucking polythene bag from Amsterdam." Morrison's congealed eyes narrowed and looked anxiously at Keith. "There's gonna be some hard times coming down. The game is up....", said Keith. "Fucking motorbikers acting like apes... all in the name of peace, fucking forget it." Morrison stood up. "So what does that leave us with?" "Music" said Keith. "Yeah, but if the music just becomes some godamn fucking safe thing we might as well make elevator music. Don't you think?" Jagger stood up and started to comb his hair. "I thought that's what you did do James." "I make music that I fucking believe in." Morrison looked at Keith "do you?" Keith stared up at him over the end of the joint. "What a fuckin' stupid question, man." Morrison indicated Jagger. "Does he?" Jagger had had enough for one day, he was looking out of the window. Morrison threw the antique wine glass against the wall. "That's what we should be doing. Not talking about lawyers." Jagger turned from the window. "I think you better leave James, you're getting out of hand." The wine ran down the wall and Morrison walked over and ran his hand across it. "Do you realise what's going to happen Mick?" he murmured " That this whole thing is gonna pass and it's gonna end up pretty much like it was before..." Jagger struck a defiant pose. "Are you going to leave, or are we going to have to get you thrown out?" "You don't throw people out yourselves then? You rock and roll devils." Keith, his back to Morrison, lit a cigarette and spoke. "I'm a goddam musician. That's it...you know. You start taking it too seriously... Money's at the root of this business. It always will be. They're gonna make money off your ass from here on, dead or alive, same as us. That's how it works." Morrison leant against the wall. "Yeah but it doesn't have to be that way...." Keith blew another plume of smoke. "Well Jim, I don't know about you but I ain't no Mao. I write rock and roll records. And you are one of us." "No, I am not," Morrison replied defiantly. Jagger collected the other wine glasses and shuffled across the room. "Well, whatever, I want to have my afternoon nap." Morrison looked at them both and walked out, leaving the door open. Jagger shut it. 

Monday, May 25, 2020

Venus & Adonis, Jim & Pam Morrison

Desire is death, says Shakespeare. There's no physic, no cure, for it. And, for Shakespeare in the early 1590s, that death-in-desire is made manifest by the plot of "Venus & Adonis", as well as the couplet of Sonnet 147. My love is as a fever, longing still For that which longer nurseth the disease, Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill, uncertain sickly appetite to please. My reason, the physician to my love, Angry that his prescriptions are not kept, Hath left me, and I desperate now approve. Desire is death, which physic did except. Past cure I am, now reason is past care, And frantic-mad with evermore unrest; My thoughts and my discourse as madmen's are, At random from the truth vainly expressed: For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright, Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.

"Venus & Adonis": For his two long narrative poems, Shakespeare went back to classical stories and characters. From Book 10 of Ovid's Metamorphoses, he took the brief tale of Venus and Adonis and transformed it into something more substantial, more erotic, and more strange. The set-up is right there in the title: The Goddess of Love Meets The Beautiful Young Man. There's plenty of aggressive, relentless, and desperate seduction, but no sex. What the reader is treated to is erotic rhetoric, and little else. But hold on, when did this seduction poem introduce desire and death? Early and often. When Venus coaxes a kiss out of Adonis, it's described in language that is clearly predatory: Now quick desire hath caught the yielding prey, And glutton-like she feeds, yet never filleth. Her lips are conquerors, his lips obey, Paying what ransom the insulter willeth, Whose vulture thought doth pitch the price so high That she will draw his lips' rich treasure dry, And, having felt the sweetness of the spoil, With blindfold fury she begins to forage. Her face doth reek and smoke, her blood doth boil. And careless lust stirs up a desperate courage, Planting oblivion, beating reason back. 

Shakespeare might have stopped there. Sex and violence aren't unknown companions. A little rough and tumble, the titillation of the woman performing the seduction. But the warning Venus announces ends with a vivid and, it will turn out, entirely accurate premonition of Adonis's fate: And, more than so, presenteth to mine eye The picture of an angry chafing boar, Under whose sharp fangs on his back doth lie An image like thyself, all stained with gore, Whose blood upon the fresh flowers being shed. Doth make them droop with grief, and hang the head. What happened? Was this a hunting accident? The poem leaves it to Venus to answer these questions. We stay with the goddess throughout, never leaving her point of view. She spends what's left of the night lovesick, singing tedious songs about her beloved. Morning dawns. She hears Adonis's hounds at bay, runs toward the sound, encounters a boar "Whose frothy mouth is bepainted all with red...." She "berates the boar for murder", discovers a wounded trail of hunting dogs, and she also chides Death.

But chiding death is not the same as discovering what happened. Venus's lack of curiosity about Adonis's death is at this point mildly provocative. It's easy to dismiss this as swept aside by grief. Hold that thought. Suddenly, in the distance, she hears "some huntsman hollo". Despite evidence to the contrary, her hope is renewed and off she goes in pursuit. Then, before we can prepare ourselves for it, she spies Adonis's body in the grass. The scene revealed to us is restricted to Venus's point of view. The narration offers no explanation of what happened. Venus's interpretation links up with earlier moments in the poem to provoke our suspicion that Adonis's death is more than a hunting accident. Here is the description when she views his dead body: And, being opened, threw unwilling light. Upon the wide wound that the boar had trenched In his soft flank, whose wonted lily-white. With purple tears that his wound wept was drenched. No flower was nigh, no grass, herb, leaf, or weed, But stole his blood, and seemed with him to bleed. There's a hint here, in the anatomical imprecision that locates the wound in his "soft flank", about the violent sexual crime that's been committed. Adonis, the Goddess of Love's object of desire, who possesses a potency she's desperate for, but won't deliver, is gored in the very place that has been in dispute for hundreds of lines of verse. The poetic conventions themselves call attention to this key moment of symbolic overdetermination: the contrast of white and purple, the empathy nature shows in bleeding with him.

Let's pause here and revisit the point I raised: isn't this just a hunting accident, romanticized by Venus due to her unrequited desire? I mean, look at the circumstantial evidence: a dangerous animal, probably cornered, fighting for its life, a boar with a bloody mouth, and a dead Adonis, gored at tusk height. This is enough to make a case. But is it conclusive? Is there more to it? Let's make a list.

• Classical versions of the story identify Mars (jealousy), Diana (revenge, envy), and Apollo (punishment) as responsible for Adonis's death.

• Venus repeatedly warns Adonis that his perfection puts him in danger, and that procreating will give back to nature ("Things growing to themselves are growth's abuse").

• When she warns him about the perils of the boar hunt, she adds that her love for him renders him vulnerable to a deadly jealousy, without specifying who she has in mind. As if the boar were the instrument of another's jealous rage.

• Venus's desire is predatory, and a real danger to Adonis, directly and indirectly. Indirectly through the involvement of others, as above, and directly due to the common fatal outcome when immortals and mortals come into conflict (the substance of Ovid's Metamorphoses).

These elements conspire to move the needle from "accident" to "murder". As detectives in crime dramas so often say, "Something just doesn't add up". We left Venus standing over the dead body of Adonis, offering her reaction to his wound. After this, she imagines what happened, and it's the only version of the killing of Adonis that we get. But this foul, grim, and urchin-snouted boar, Whose downward eye still looketh for a grave, Ne'er saw the beauteous livery that he wore: Witness the entertainment that he gave. If he did see his face, why then, I know He thought to kiss him, and hath killed him so. "Tis true, 'tis true; thus was Adonis slain; He ran upon the boar with his sharp spear, Who did not whet his teeth at him again, But by a kiss thought to persuade him there, And, nuzzling in his flank, the loving swine Sheathed unaware the tusk in his soft groin. "Had I been toothed like him, I must confess With kissing him I should have killed him first; But he is dead, and never did he bless My youth with his, the more am I accursed." With this she falleth in the place she stood. And stains her face with his congealed blood. This, pardon the pun, is the climax of the poem, its funereal, bloody orgasm. The goddess, narcissistic to the last, laments that she's the one who has missed out, accursed for not having enjoyed sex with this perfect young man. And at the same time, the equation of her desire and the boar's superimposes sex and violence, as she imagines herself as the boar, equipped with a tusk/phallus capable of dealing a penetrating death blow. It's difficult not to speculate about this poem's relationship to the conditions in which it was produced: the anxiety over the closure of the theatres at the precise moment Shakespeare's career as a playwright was taking hold. "Venus & Adonis" is a poem of frustration, of impotence, leading to death in the pursuit of desire. The worn trope—Time Devours All Things (tempus edax rerum)—is true for human beings, says Shakespeare: if you're a mortal, death lurks at the heart of the very thing you most want. Source: www.popmatters.com

Patricia Butler: Randall Johnson's original script was essentially a movie about Jim and Pam, with Pam being a very strong woman, far more true to life than the caricature Oliver Stone drew as Pam. Randy recognized that the real story was between Jim and Pam and slanted the script accordingly.  It was still about the Doors, but the real love story between Jim and Pam was much more prominent and realistic. Stone couldn't stand Pamela being given so much positive attention, and he ripped the script to shreds. What you saw on the screen unfortunately bears absolutely no resemblance to what Randy wrote. Stone's contact with Patricia Kennealy muddled the waters even more. I know that Meg Ryan had enough access to factual information that she had to know her character was falsely drawn. As a very big star and the biggest box office draw in that movie at that time, she had quite a lot of power to exert her influence to get the part strengthened. Instead she took the easy route and, as a result, a whole generation of fans came away with the impression that Pam was this weak airhead. Some of the people who knew Jim -- at least who would be the most likely to be interviewed -- had too much vested in their own personal agendas for them to ever speak honestly. One of the best things about writing my book was getting to find and talk to people that most Doors/Morrison fans have probably never heard of, or only heard of in a peripheral way. These are the folks who not only knew Jim and Pam best, but have nothing to lose by telling the truth about him and Pam. Thank god for those people, or else the Oliver Stone version of Jim and Pam would be what ended up taking over. The Coursons were quite unhappy with the movie because Stone told them quite a few lies in order to get their cooperation.  The production also "borrowed" quite a number of personal photos and documents from the Coursons that were never returned. On top of all that they got to see this movie that made their daughter look like a boneheaded loser.

I don't think Stone ever had any intention of making Pamela a real character in the story. Jim Morrison and Pamela Courson first met in August 1965 and they had a "common law marriage", which is recognized as full legal matrimony in accordance with certain qualifying conditions. In order of the chapters of my book I access to the following serie of interviews to: Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger, Jeff Morehouse, Stan Durkee, Richard Sparks, Frank Lisciandro, Margaret Fink, Paul Rothchild, Admiral George Morrison and Mrs. Clara Morrison, Bryan Gates, Thomas Bruce Reese, Randall Jahnson, January Jensen, Mirandi Babitz, Babe Hill, Julia Densmore Negron, Paul Ferrara, Jac Holzman, Bill Siddons, Cheri Siddons, Christopher Jones, Anne Moore, Rich Linnell, Dr. Paul Ackerman, Dr. Arnold Derwin, Raeanne Rubenstein, Cathy Weldy, Herve Mueller, Tere Tereba, Alain Ronay, Ellen Sander, Danny Sugerman, Randy Ralston, Barbara Marko, Bruce Ramm, Alan R. Graham, etc. I didn't interview Salli Stevenson because she didn't seem too receptive. Salli was not present any of the times when I interviewed Danny Sugerman. I went to Danny's house with Salli once, and that day I talked informally with Danny's wife Fawn, but I did no interview Danny until a week later. I interviewed Danny twice, each time accompanied by my friend Dan Salomon, not Salli Stevenson. I've also had numerous phone and email conversations with Danny, none of which Salli Stevenson was privy to. Furthermore, I interviewed Babe Hill at Salli Stevenson's apartment, and Babe told Salli to her face that day that her "romantic relationship" with Jim Morrison was purely a figment of her imagination. Salli only had a friendship bond with Jim Morrison. It was Janet Erwin (Salli's friend) who was a lover of Morrison. Erwin published her memoir "Tiffany Talks. Patricia Kennealy: Your Ballroom Days Are Over Baby!" published in The Doors Collection magazine (run by Kerry Humphreys) in 1999, where she unmasks Patricia Kennealy's psychotic pursuit of Morrison. Erwin is very reliable, since she had worked as a secretary for RCA record company and was divorced (she received substantial alimony from her ex-husband, and this provoked jealousy from Kennealy). One of her motives, Kennealy aduced for writing Strange Days was to procure her own "astral alimony" from the difunt Morrison. Janet Erwin, in whose apartment Patricia lived rent-free while planned to stalk Morrison, is called Tiffany in Strange Days, presumably for avoiding a libel suit. That same memoir where Patricia calls "cocksucker" three times! to Jim Morrison during her psychotic tirades while he's fighting for his artistic rights at the Miami trial. Kennealy's quote: "You cocksucker, I say unemphatically. No woman in her right mind would want to give her kid a cocksucker like you for a father." How gracious of Ms Kennealy.

No wonder Janet Erwin found it all most revolting and she wanted to restore her friend/lover dignity when she wrote Ballroom Days as a necessary corrective to the truculent Strange Days. Kennealy also called Jim and Pam "sluts" in both Strange Days and Blackmantle. Vicious beyond words. The only "slut" would be in any case Patricia Kennealy. In Strange Days, Kennealy admits she dressed showing lots of skin and a generous cleavage in "a tight bodice corset cut down to my nipples." Pam Courson seems an innocent school girl opposite the wanton Kennealy. Indeed, it was Pam's sweetness and remnant innocence which invariably besotted Morrison. Jim and Pam had a powerful intimate, sexual and spiritual connection. "Jim paid for the abortion," Kennealy informed Pam in her disturbed stalker tone she adopts in Strange Days. What exactly Jim paid for we won't know, probably he tried to get her out of his life by any possible means.

Jim Morrison and Pamela Courson are going to go down in the history books as great lovers, and people are going to be writing plays about them. It’s Romeo and Juliet, it’s Heloise and Abelard. Jim Morrison carried a portable movie camera and he and Pam traded off filming each other doing things in Paris. At the end of Angels Dance and Angels Die there's a description of a movie Jim took of Pam in a graveyard not long before he died. The film, slightly shaky and out of focus, begins with a close-up of red flowers in a clear vase sitting next to two black-and-white photos in frames placed on a gravestone. The camera then pans to a crucifix, and zooms in on a bust of Christ. The scene cuts to Pamela, slowly walking between an aisle of gravestones. Her head is bowed, and her long red hair shields her face from view for a moment, before she slowly looks up to stare pensively into the camera. It is easy to make out the words she speaks as she tells him, “I don’t want to move.” So the camera pans away from the uncooperative subject, who changes her mind suddenly and runs back into the camera’s range, reclaiming the scene by dancing wildly among the gravestones, her hair flashing about her like a flaming banner. All at once, Pamela disappears behind a mausoleum, but Jim anticipates her moves, and the camera catches her reappearance, running from behind the marble monument and continuing her wild dance. Abruptly the film goes into slow motion, and Pamela seems to be swimming through a thick liquid as she comes around the front gate of the churchyard. Then, just as suddenly, she is in full motion again, laughing at Jim as she whirls about. He follows her every move; she anticipates his every need. At this moment they are a team, in perfect synchronization, vibrant young lovers playing among the gravestones.

My friend Dan Salomon came across this passage from the French poet Arthur Rimbaud (Illuminations, 1886) that immediately reminded him of Jim Morrison and Pamela. One fine morning, in a land of very gentle people, a superb man and woman shouted in the public square: “Friends, I want her to be queen!” She laughed and trembled. “I want to be queen!” He spoke to his friends of revelation, of ordeals terminated. They leaned on each other in ecstasy. They were indeed sovereigns for a whole morning, while all the houses were adorned with crimson hangings, and for an entire afternoon, while they made their way toward the palm gardens. They were sovereigns for a whole morning, and an entire afternoon, and maybe even longer. I hope they found the palm gardens. -Angels Dance and Angels Die (2010) by Patricia Butler