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Date: Sat, 8 Feb 2003 19:54:21 -0800
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: (urth) DOORS: keyed Visitors

Roy Lackey wrote:
>In an earlier post you thought North wanted to kill Lara. (He had his
>chance, btw, in the locker room before the big boxing match. He was armed.)

Yes, I did think North was trying to kill Lara, and it is still a
possibility.  The problem was this: North seems so "political" in his
action, and I could not see much point in North killing Klamm (a
presidential advisor), whereas I could see a point in North killing the
President (part of a coup d'etat) . . . recognizing that Lara is not
(identified in the text as being also) the president, still, if North
realizes she is the goddess it seems to me that he might rather take a shot
at her to destabilize Otherworld.

(According to Graves this does not happen with Thunder-children.  First
they eliminate the rival twins, then they marry the goddess, and then much
much later they suppress the goddess with an all-male line up, which lasts
for a while until she bubbles up again.  So technically, North trying to
kill the goddess would be the action of a power-crazed anarchist working
outside of the usual White Goddess framework; North trying to kill
Klamm-as-rival fits perfectly, but only if North is a lover/candidate for
"the next level," whatever that is.)

But granted, this all grows out of the fact that shooting Klamm seems silly
as a political act.  Unless North had superiors who ordered it (this fits
very well with WILL, fwiw: Libby is ready to assassinate on command), but
we see no sign of North's superiors (heh-heh), he seems like a loose cannon
(i.e., the way that G. Gordon Libby was portrayed).

>Rivals in such mythological struggles usually battle one another for the
>affection/possession of the goddess. I don't get the impression that North
>was interested in Lara, one way or the other.

Here's a quote from the text:

'North whirled on him. "So--you know her.  Are you working for her?"
'He nodded.  "I'd do anything in the world for her."
'North's hand drew back . . . ' (ch 34, p. 286)

This suggests to me that North is interested in Lara, one way or another.
At the hospital, North gave Green some key info about the goddess, so he is
definitely up on that.  True, he might not be aware that Lara is the
goddess, he may be just labeling Lara Nomos as a member of the "other side"
and his rage at Green might be the whole "loyalty" thing.

> Liddy, and by extension North,
>may be off-center ideologically, but he is intelligent and practical.
>Reaching the summit of political power would not alter biological fact. Men
>may have the _cojones_ in Otherworld, but if they use them they die. This is
>the emasculation ritual of the priests of Attis writ large.

I'm not following this part.  Are you saying that North would create/cement
his Otherworld power-base with an official eunuch corps?  (This finds an
unexpected ring with the starship finale of Spinrad's THE IRON DREAM, fwiw.
Neat, because that book is an sf novel written by Hitler in a alternate
history world where he emmigrated to America and more-or-less founded sf.)
Or that the O-male politicians we see are openly eunuchs?  This would,
indeed, be a "priests of Attis" construct.  But the Otherworld biology
(with drones who die) does not seem to be Attis-like at all to me.

Regarding my wondering about Visitors (all invited or some accidental), Roy
>Green's first passage seemed accidental to me; he didn't know he had done
>it, and Lara certainly didn't invite him. His second, brief, crossover (in
>the arcade) was accidental. I don't think Lara invited _any_ of her lovers
>to Otherworld, for the reasons she gave Green at lunch. The secret
>government policy of institutionalizing Visitors seems to indicate they were
>undesirable aliens.

Here is a tangle!

First of all, while I grant that Green didn't mean to enter the door (and
thus it was accidental for his intentions), still, Lara's conversation with
him and the farewell note point out the dangers to him because they have
been so close.  That is to say, iirc, that Green is now "keyed" (with "Lara
pollen," if you will) and doors will open to him which would not open to
mere mortals.  She urges him to back out immediately if it happens.

As for Lara inviting them, aside from the pollen that marks them as keys.
Right, part of this phrasing is my fault: Lara's "White Goddess" mode means
that she is basically running away into the maze and saying it is
perilously dangerous to follow her.  It is like a game of tag with serious
complications and physical danger.  When I wrote "inviting" I probably
should have written "advising" or warning or whatever.  My sense is that
she didn't give the real Attis enough "advising," she just left, and this
is part of what caused so much trouble for Attis later: he had only a
garbled notion of what Otherworld biology was all about and tried to make a
sacrifice that he thought she would like.

The "maze" that I'm talking about is not one of Lara's making, or at least
it is not entirely of her making.  The maze is peopled by agents who are
trying to help Green to follow his dream and agents who are trying to
hinder him (and save his life/restore his sanity).  Early on the doctor
tries to tell Green that "Lara" is probably an escaped convict who did
something terrible as a child:

"If she had committed a serious offense in her teens -- a murder, perhaps,
or if she'd  had some complicity in a murder -- she would have been sent to
a girls' correctional center until she was of age, and then transfered to a
woman's prison to complete her sentence.  Thus she might easily have spent
the last ten or twelve years in one or the other, Mr. Green" (6).

(This, in turn, finds strange corroboration with Tina's memories of
belonging to a girl/goddess who had some trauma.  Could it possibly be that
the crime was what happened to Attis?)

But my main point in bringing it up is to show Lara as a hunted and/or
imprisoned goddess, very much like Kypris of LS series (and other Love
goddesses that we won't mention right now).  We know about Kypris's
situation in LS: she was the Isis-like lover to Osirus-like Pas.  We know
hardly anything about Lara's predicament -- in fact, my even suggesting
that she has one may be an over-reaching on my part.

>North is a problem either way. If he had been Lara's lover, I find no hint
>of it from either of them. If he had loved the Goddess, why would he have
>been tempted by an ice queen as he claimed? Why would he have feared sex
>with an Otherworld woman if he had survived sex with Lara?

I wonder if he was worried about how he would be treated if he did have sex
with her: they would treat him as a dead man, take him to a hospice or
something, which would mess up his political/virile ambitions.  He would be
recognized for the wrong thing -- he wants to be recognized, all right, but
at the time of his chosing and for the thing of his chosing.

> If North was an
>accidental visitor, how did it happen? Did he just happen to pass through
>the same 'door' as another man who had been close to Lara (as almost
>happened to Fanny at Mama's)?

Right, it might be possible, but it seems more likely that Visitors are
"keyed" with Lara pollen.

>If Klamm is somehow Kissinger, and North is
>Liddy, was there more hanky-panky going on at the Watergate than political
>shenanigans, and North just went through the wrong door at the right time?

While I'm delighted that alga is (or seems to be) agreeing with my
Kissinger/Klamm connection, I don't think that either one of us is saying
that Klamm is Kissinger himself nor a panalog (personal analog) of
Kissenger (I mean, he cannot be a panalog since he is a Visitor!).  Nor is
North meant as Libby himself, but as a man like Libby.

Then again, I do like your Watergate Hotel notion as a likely site for the
door.  Yikes!  There were those, er, prostitutes operating at the hotel,
iirc, and nothing screams Love goddess like that does.



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