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Eyes. Wide. Shut. (3)

Eyes. Wide. Shut. (1)
Eyes. Wide. Shut. (2)

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. — Eleanor Roosevelt

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. — Hanlon’s Razor

Have there ever been two quotes more welcome by criminal conspirators?

When the CEO poisons the water supply, it’s never malicious, just the incompetence of bureaucracy – therefore, conveniently for him, he’s not criminally liable. Attempting to hold an actual human being accountable for their actions is the province of “small minds.” Trying to ascertain the actual truth of “what happened” is for “average” minds. Asking for “just the facts, ma’am” shows one to be a simple mediocrity. The truly “great” should instead ignore the acts and the actors and stay firmly in the nebulous, fuzzy world of “ideas.”

Last week at Counter Currents, Greg Johnson and Fróði Midjord discuss Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, and while their analysis is light years ahead of Richard Spencer’s analysis at the old Radix Journal, they nevertheless miss the mark on all three levels: the ideas, the events, and the people. Although Johnson, to his credit, at least puts the key in the doorknob when he interprets a central theme of the film:

When I saw Eyes Wide Shut for the first time and when I saw it again, this is what came across to me. If there’s any message to this movie it’s basically a movie about how hedonism is really a form of social control and specifically it’s the form of control that the elite, the oligarchy, exercises over its own members. It offers these people infinite opportunities for perversity, yet at the same time that becomes a method of controlling them. Because their behavior is not acceptable in the broader society. And therefore one of the criteria for becoming a member of the ruling caste, sort of like getting jumped into a gang by committing a murder, one of the criteria for becoming of member of the ruling parts of society is to engage in things that cannot be publicly discussed. — Greg Johnson, Counter Currents

While it’s acceptable to discuss the “idea” of a ruling class conspiracy – thus keeping oneself in the “great” category – it’s far more dangerous to discuss “events,” which would put one in the “average” category, and of course to name names would make one “small” minded; in the current case, the worst thing of all: a “conspiracy theorist.”

But how can one think coherent ideas without observing events and people? Without grounding ideas in the reality of people and events, how are ideas any different than simple fantasies or random words?

The marketing for Eyes Wide Shut was genius: moviegoers thought they were going to see a high class porn movie featuring Hollywood’s hottest couple, Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise. Kubrick mocks his audience beginning with the opening scene; a minute of Nicole Kidman’s perfect, naked body, then on goes her dress and the substance of the film begins. But how were audiences hooked? Hollywood had been trying to push “high class porn” films throughout the 80s and 90s; fare like “Wild Orchid” in the 1980s and “Showgirls” in the 1990s proved to be flops. Hardcore pornography catering to every “taste” had been generally available since the 1960s. Kubrick wasn’t making a “sex film” – he was making a film about sex. And a whole lot more.

Now lest any accuse this author of not being a “great mind” let’s get some of the “ideas” out of the way:

The scene at Ziegler’s party constructs Kubrick’s view of the differences between the sexuality of men and women. Cruise is seduced by two younger women, epitomizing the polygamous instincts of men. Kidman is seduced by the older “Hungarian” diplomat, symbolizing the hypergamy of women. The bedroom scene where Kidman confesses her fantasy of the naval officer explains the sexuality of women that men desperately want to pretend doesn’t exist. When Cruise gives a half-assed “evolutionary psychology” explanation of how women are more interested in “security” than sex, Kidman responds, “if you men only knew,” then goes on to describe her actual feelings:

“And I thought if he wanted me, even if it was only for one night, I was ready to give up everything. You. Helena. My whole fucking future. Everything.”

Kubrick’s exploration of women’s sexuality was far more subversive than any penetrative act he could have filmed, but didn’t, even if it had been between mainstream stars like Cruise and Kidman. Kidman further de-eroticizes her husband by pointing out, even in the midst of her reckless fantasy of abandoning her husband – and daughter – for one night with a strange man, her love for her husband was “more dear” than ever. But her love is no longer eros for her husband, it’s familial love – even, the least sexy kind of love of all – maternal love.

After Cruise’s experience with the “occult orgy” when he comes home his wife is dreaming and talking in her sleep. He wakes her, and now Cruise is not just de-eroticized, not just infantilized, but is held in full contempt. Cruise spent the night coming close to engaging in sex with a prostitute and an orgy with prostitutes, including with a woman who, it’s later revealed, “had her brains fucked out,” only to come home and find out his own wife has been fantasizing about having HER “brains fucked out” by multiple men.

He was kissing me, then we were making love, then there were all these other people around us – hundreds of them, everywhere. Everyone was fucking. And then I was fucking other men. So many, I don’t know how many I was with. And I knew you could see me in the arms of all these men, just fucking all these men. And I wanted to make fun of you – to laugh in your face. And so, I laughed as loud as I could.

Tom Cruise – a man – is sexually aroused at the thought of “fucking the brains out” of women he doesn’t know, perhaps as part of a group. Nicole Kidman, a woman – his wife – is sexually aroused at the thought of “getting her brains fucked out” by men she doesn’t know, perhaps as part of a group. The sexual universe balances after all – to the consternation of quite a few men.

“What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.”

A typical “feminist” critique of male sexuality is that of “objectification.” Radical feminists – the “not fun kind of feminists” who oppose pornography and prostitution especially, point out that under “patriarchy” there is a class of women who are “set aside” to be the prostitutes, the women who “get their brains fucked out” by men. Amusingly – or horrifically – “liberal” or “leftist” men will often say that legalized prostitution and pornography are supposed to somehow lessen “real rape” – by giving men a class of women to take out these aggressive, objectifying sexual urges on, thus sparing the other women. You have the “good girls” whom you marry – and the “bad girls” – prostitutes, porn stars, and strippers – whom you don’t marry – you just “fuck their brains out.”

Are feminists not correct when they point out the lack of empathy? Every prostitute, every porn star, every stripper is someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, someone’s mother. So what marks them as acceptable to “objectify?”

Of course, what separates the “good girl” you marry, and the “bad girl” that just “gets her brains fucked out” is … class. Economic and social class. Not just the economic and social class of the woman herself, but the economic and social class of her family.

Which brings us to the other central “idea” in Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, the one completely ignored by everyone on “the right” wing, and only rarely mentioned by those on the “left wing.”

Class.

Eyes Wide Shut is all about the two sexes: men and women, and is a meditation on how sex is related to the three classes: the lower class, the middle class, and the upper class.

Cruise and Kidman are middle class – for New York City at least. Throughout the film Cruise comically shows his “doctor’s license” and flashes around one hundred dollar bills to service personnel – cab drivers, the costume shop owner, the hotel staff, to prove his (upper) middle class bona fides. In the scene at Ziegler’s party, Cruise surmises that the only reason he gets invited to the upper class parties is because he does “house calls” for those wealthier than he is. When Cruise, in a rage, is out on the street after Kidman admits her fantasies about the naval officer (not an enlisted sailor, of course, but an officer) he goes to the apartment of a street walker – a woman of the lowest class.

In case you didn’t get the point, Cruise immediately notices the class hierarchy by calling the prostitute’s apartment “cozy.” The opening scene of the apartment of Cruise and Kidman shows a lavish, multi-room suite in Manhattan, the scene in the prostitute’s apartment is claustrophobic by comparison – and of course, both are eclipsed by the mansions of Ziegler’s party and the occult orgy.

“Cozy.”

(They say Kubrick never does anything by accident, so one can assume when Cruise calls the prostitute’s apartment “cozy” – and he points to a college textbook titled “Sociology” on her table – Kubrick is referencing the excuse men give for engaging in prostitution and pornography with lower-class women – the stripper isn’t being exploited, she’s just “making extra money for college!” Therefore, her lower class position is merely temporary, the john tells himself to ease his conscience.)

Over at Counter Currents, Johnson and Midjord go over the well-worn idea that Kubrick, surely, was making a point when he chose the Rothschild’s family mansion as the setting for the occult orgy, and much of the fascination with Eyes Wide Shut is the notion that the upper-upper classes, the really, really rich – like the Rothschilds – engage is such occult orgies. A photo of a real life Rothschild party from the 1970s shows party goers in bizarre animals masks. Professional “conspiracy theorist” Alex Jones got famous by “exposing” the strange, occult-like parties of the California elites at Bohemian Grove.

And all of us “regular people” – at most, middle class, if not working class – just assume that these elites, of course, engage in occult sex orgies and probably exploit lower class women, girls and even boys. However, few of us have our “eyes wide open,” because these “occult orgies” are everywhere, in modern America, among the working and middle classes, and work in exactly the same way as the upper class “occult orgies.”

We keep our “Eyes Wide Shut” about such issues because it’s easier to project our own exploitation onto those far away from us, socially and economically. When our working class sisters and daughters dress up in “sexy witch” costumes for a Halloween party, or our buddies go to the local strip club for a bachelor party to throw dollar bills at a stripper dressed as a “sexy devil,” for some reason we just can’t see the “occult” nature of that.

But when the rich get together, wear “occult” masks and hire working women for sexual entertainment, well, it just seems far more sinister when they do it than when we do it.

The President of the United States poses for pictures with two prostitutes.

Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, as Johnson points out, is in fact a “Revelation of the Method” – how the elites use sexuality – and the occult – to control not only society at large, but also to police themselves and the entrance to their class. Prostitution is the world’s oldest profession, and while working and middle class men are loathe to admit it, strippers and porn stars are, in fact, prostitutes – and working and middle class men who engage them are johns. And they are everywhere, in every class, and men and women both willingly engage, in their own differing roles, for their own reasons.

Are the elites doing anything different that we “regular people” are? Maybe, and in fact, Kubrick tells us exactly what is going on, and how we keep our “eyes wide shut” to the obvious that is staring us right in the face, every day.

Their parties in animal costumes are creepy and occultic; ours are “geeky chic!”

So now let’s step down from our lofty pose of having “great minds” that only think of “ideas” and accept that we’re “average” and start discussing “events.” Eyes Wide Shut came out in 1999 and the film has a lot of resonances with “events” that were happening in the years Kubrick was making his film leading up to its release.

A key question about the “Deep State” is that of the nature of the “sacrifice” in Eyes Wide Shut. At the occult orgy, when Tom Cruise is caught, a woman, later identified as a “prostitute” – and in a quick scene of a newspaper article, a “New York fashion model” – is found dead. She’s the same woman that Cruise rescued from a drug overdose at Ziegler’s party.

What is the nature of her “sacrifice?”

With porn completely mainstream, strip clubs in every medium sized town in America, “gay marriage” legalized by the Supreme Court, and now even “male to female transsexuals” not just in the women’s restroom, but openly punching little old ladies at feminist rallies to the cheers of leftist activists, is there any kind of sexuality that is still taboo?

Is there really any sexual indiscretion one could be blackmailed for these days?

Well, let’s all admit we’re just “average minds” and look at the actual “events” of the late 1990s and the early 2000s, when Eyes Wide Shut was made, released, and viewed.

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12 comments on “Eyes. Wide. Shut. (3)

  1. Pingback: Eyes. Wide. Shut. (3) | Hipster Racist

  2. icareviews
    January 22, 2019

    Reblogged this on icareviews and commented:

    Hipster Racist returns to Aryan Skynet!

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  3. bob saffron
    January 23, 2019

    That last photo certainly reeks of Chappaquiddick.

    Like

  4. icareviews
    January 23, 2019

    This may not address your prompt, but what do you think of the interpretation of some that Kidman’s character is something like a Monarch sex slave, with compartmentalized personalities, and that she actually was present at the orgy? The title of the film could suggest a state of consciousness coexisting with sleep or a trance, as in hypnosis. Another movie that came out not long after, David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, may hint at a similar scenario.

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    • Hipster Racist
      January 23, 2019

      @icareviews

      First, I think the whole “Monarch programming” thing is all complete nonsense. It’s based on Cold War “mind control” propaganda and superstition and a misunderstanding of psychology. It’s kind of based on crazy women’s emotions about trauma. It’s kind of a “New Age religion” thing, about on the level of fundamentalist Christians finding satanic backwards messages in Led Zeppelin albums, the kind of thing that was popular on day time talk shows for housewives in the 1980s.

      The reality of “Monarch programming” is more like how a pimp “mind controls” his prostitute. Drugs, abuse, and gaslighting are quite effective “mind control” after all. As for the real MK-Ultra stuff that was done, I suspect that Sirhan Sirhan is the best example. He was so fucked up from drugs, torture, and hypnosis he doesn’t seem to have any grasp on reality left at all.

      But I do think there are obvious, purposeful symbolic connections between Kidman and the prostitute at the occult orgy, just like there are purposeful, symbolic connections between Ziegler’s party and the occult orgy. I assume that Kubrick used those symbolic parallels quite deliberately and it seems blatantly obvious to me. But it would be a mistake to take it out of the realm of symbolism and try to make it some concrete thing, like “Kidman was actually at the occult orgy” or something like that.

      The title of the source material, Traumnovelle, means “Dream Story” after all. It’s more like “dream logic.” I think Mulholland Drive was similar in the sense the tension between reality and “dream logic” are meant to be ambiguous.

      Those movies are not Steven King’s IT or Freddy Krueger, where there is a “real monster” that haunts your dreams and affects the “real world outside” too. It’s all meant to be symbolic, not concrete. Which is why Eyes Wide Shut is a hundred times better than Freddy Krueger.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream_Story

      (Asking “was Nicole Kidman really at the occult orgy?” is like asking “who really killed Laura Palmer?” It’s missing the point. The network executives forced Lynch to give Palmer a ‘real killer’ to his dismay. He said her murder was never meant to be ‘solved’)

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      • icareviews
        January 23, 2019

        I don’t think I’m out of line to bring up Monarch in the context of a discussion of these two films, particularly in the case of Mulholland Drive – regardless of whether Monarch was a real thing and whether the Candy Jones craziness is legit or not. Lynch seems to be alluding to Monarch lore by dressing Watts in a t-shirt with a butterfly on it in one of the scenes.

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      • Hipster Racist
        January 24, 2019

        @icareviewws

        Sure, Bob Saffron suggested the same thing in part two. I disagree.

        My guess is that the idea that the Wizard of Oz had something to do with “Monarch programming” comes from that weird 1980s movie “Return to Oz” which had nothing to do with the original books and little to do with the first film. It was obviously referencing electroshock and “mind control” and hallucinations. It was advertised as a children’s movie when it was anything but, essentially a horror film. I don’t know what the story behind it was, or why it was made. But I’m guessing that is where the “Wizard of Oz = Monarch programming” comes from.

        I don’t think Eyes Wide Shut was referencing any of that. I could be wrong of course.

        Eyes Wide Shut follows the book quite closely and the book was written in the late 1800s. Eyes Wide Shut also follows the original German film from the 1960s quite closely – although just like The Shining, it’s where Kubrick changes the source material that is really interesting.

        There are two references to rainbows: the two models at Ziegler’s party and the costume shop. One could interpret those two references various ways, but I don’t think that “rainbow = Wizard of Oz = Monarch programming.” Just my opinion.

        As for Mulholland Drive, that sounds a lot more like Lynch’s style than Kubrick’s. Blue Velvet was good, but terribly overrated, and the first season of Twin Peaks was quite good, but never went anywhere – which is Lynch’s big weakness in my opinion.

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  5. Don Logan
    January 23, 2019

    Good review. This is a great film marred by a terrible ending. The final scene is simply risible. There’s a rumor that Sydney Pollack may have been responsible for the final edit since Kubrick died. SK was known to record thousands of hours and his films were largely done in the edit room.

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    • Hipster Racist
      January 24, 2019

      @Don Logan

      It would not surprise me if the last scene was edited after Kubrick’s death. The book and the first film have a kind of “happy ending” and the ending of EWS also has a modern take on that “happy ending” – although there’s another way to read the ending that is pretty much the exact opposite of “happy.” When I get around to part 4 I’ll cover that.

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  6. bob saffron
    January 23, 2019

    One thing I don’t get about the Ivanka angle. She doesn’t seem to be the “damaged goods” typical of familial impropriety. She doesn’t appear to be totally under the sway of her father.

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  7. james
    January 25, 2019

    Fascinating.

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  8. Pingback: Recent Movie-Related Items of Interest | icareviews

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