Saturday, 12 April 2014
We Are What We Have Always Been
"There is no present or future, only the past, happening over and over again, now" - Eugene O'Neill.
But if that's right; if there really is nothing lying below and beyond the Louisiana murders than an all too human monster, then what force has kept all this secret for so long? What could so damage a woman as to allow you to terrify her decades after the event simply by showing her strategically arranged sticks? Why would a man voluntarily rip open his arteries on a broken sink in his jail cell rather than spill what little he knows? If the Yellow King is, at long last, just an overweight drawling yokel on a motorised lawnmower, why does everyone exposed to the secrets of Irath go silent, or go mad? If the crimes of those dwelling in Carcosa are so hyperbolic in their horror - if the rape and murder of children is proof that we have no need to invent monsters at all - what can possibly bring about the overwhelming effort sunk into letting it continue?
Is it the link to political power? Please. Chris Christie couldn't annoy people with a bridge closure without it blowing up his future career. Orders from the top can't do the job here. It is not the trappings of the present that block every alley down which Hart and Cohle might turn. It is the past.
It is history itself, condensed and weaponised. A black-hearted lie practised for so long and with such total dedication that it has brought itself forward into the realm of truth by sheer force of will. It is the natural endpoint of allowing cruelty to first become commonplace, then traditional, and then unquestionable. This has always been a favourite tactic of opponents of change within the former Confederacy - to ritualise a problem and thereby deny any problem exists. Animal masks are just hoods with a longer history.
So whilst Hart is attempting to rewrite his own history, and Cohle is attempting to erase his with whatever he can jam into his system, the Yellow King goes about his work of sharpening history to a point; creating a spear he can use to threaten whomever he needs to. "This is how it was," he tells you. "This is how it always was. This is how it will always be". The flat circle never needed some extra-dimensional being to make it real. It just needed our own inability to distinguish tradition from wisdom and antiquity from power.
"King" is a hereditary title. If the Yellow King's family have lived on the coast for a long, long time, then the King has been there for all that time, too. Putting on his mask. Shaping the future to look as much like the past as possible. Buying stasis in a growing lake of blood, which congeals and sets and becomes the bedrock; stratified layers as unique and telling as a murderer's fingerprint. Another age of horror and cruelty, justified by the one before, on and on; an inductive proof of the nightmare of man.
Unless Martin Hart and Rustin Cohle can stop it all, of course. History cannot be destroyed, but it can be written over so completely that the distinction becomes meaningless. The Yellow King has always relied on that. Perhaps now, in this age, it can finally be turned against him.