Twilight Language Notes on
"Shining Girls” [AppleTV+ television series]
By Michael Hoffman
Author of Twilight Language; Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare, and The Occult Renaissance
This blog post was begun on St. Walpurga's Eve, April 30, 2021 during a solar eclipse over the southeastern Pacific ocean.
Updated June 3, 2022
An eight part thriller series debuted April 29 on “AppleTV+” about a serial killer who butchers women with supernatural impunity. Although the production is staffed with alleged feminists we are concerned not only about the Twilight Language snippets we’ve detected, but also the degree to which the violence against women is being portrayed in an exploitative manner.
While thus far these television suspense dramas do not bear the mark of a major manifesto of the Cryptocracy, “Shining Girls” does seem to form part of the occult “background noise” proliferating throughout American pop media and for that reason is worth studying in order to track the mass conditioning and sub-rosa signaling that may be at work.
This is installment 3.0 in these notes on Twilight Language similarities, synchronicities and Fortean inklings which, in our opinion are present in these television shows. These have weekly updates.
Caveat: No accusation of wrong-doing, criminal, moral or otherwise is herein directed at anyone connected with "The Shining Girls." Twilight Language synchronicities, symbolism and anomalies possibly present may be coincidental, accidental, unconscious or otherwise benign.
Apple Computer's AppleTV+ series “Shining Girls” is loosely based on a 2014 novel of the same name by Lauren Beukes. "Shining Girls" was adapted for television under the supervision of Silka Luisa.
In episode no. 2 of (of a total of eight) — broadcast April 29, 2022 — Kirby Mizrachi is the alias of a Chicago "newspaper archivist."
Mizrachi is a female serial killer-victim who survived the attack and goes to work for the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper. She lives in “Wicker Park near Monroe.” Wicker is an alternate name for the New York-based Son of Sam killers (“Wicked King Wicker”). The word "wicker" appears three times in the novel, on pp. 91, 118 and 330.
Monroe is the county in upstate New York where one of the Son of Sam-affiliated killers “raped and suffocated” young girls (the "Double-Initial Murders").
Mizrachi is the name of an influential rabbinic-Zionist movement founded in 1902 that is powerful in the Israeli state today.
Kirby is a video game created by HAL Laboratory and marketed by Nintendo concerning a pink puffball named Kirby who protects a pentagram-shaped planet from aliens. (HAL was a computer that revolted against its human controllers in the Stanley Kubrick movie, "2001 A Space Odyssey").
In episodes 1 and 2, the violence depicted against women in "The Shining Girls" is thankfully not too graphic, though it is more graphic than necessary. We adhere to the standard set by Alfred Hitchcock in all of his movies with the exception of his final two. In Mr. Hitchcock's films prior to the 1970s, violence is artfully suggested, sometimes in a manner more effective than if it were portrayed outright. (With "Frenzy" in 1971 Hitchcock in his dotage began to conform to the prevailing loathsome objectification of women in post-modern "thriller" cinema, in which they're depicted as little more than murder manikins; moreover, for the first time in his career, in "Frenzy" the murders of the women are seen from the point of view of the killer, not the victim).
In "Shining Girls" the murderer, "Harper Curtis" (played by actor Jamie Bell) projects an aura of cool confidence, invincibility, omniscience and power. In episode 2, with sly panache he nonchalantly allows himself to be interviewed by "Dan Velazquez*," the investigative reporter assigned to the murders. Even when he gives an obviously wrong answer to the reporter's question about his employment, he exudes a bemused self-assurance grounded in his sense of his own invulnerability, rather than endeavoring to cover his erroneous reply with false bravado or arrogance. This is the profile of a master player within the Cryptocracy. The potency displayed by Harper will prove attractive to some audience members. Is this a recruitment device? Insiders (ie. those "inside" the Cryptocracy) are typically protected from capture and prosecution. They work for the people who have ultimate power over reporters, police, and corporate television and movie producers.
In the aftermath of the meeting between reporter Velazquez and killer Harper there is a "hole" in the script. I won't spoil it for those who haven't viewed the episode, consequently I will only say that after Velazquez converses with Harper, audio evidence turns up that links Harper's distinctive hypnotic voice to the voice of the killer and the reporter doesn't notice the similarity, which would be hard to miss in reality.
The most famous individual in America bearing the name Harper is the late Harper Lee, a graduate of Monroe County High in Alabama and author of the 1960 novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. In 1959 Harper served as an investigative researcher for Truman Capote in his study of the murder in Kansas of four members of the Clutter family: In Cold Blood (1966).
In episode no. 3 of "Shining Girls," numerous graphic photos of women slaughtered by the serial killer are shown. This is still photography, albeit staged, but in terms of clearly displaying gory cadavers of murdered women, it pushes the envelope, nonetheless. Photos of this nature should be reserved for medical examiners, police and investigators, and not gratuitously disseminated for public viewing, which risks providing titillation for misogynists.
There is a disturbing trend in certain Hollywood thrillers to portray in grisly detail repeated acts of gruesome violence against women likely to arouse pathological gratification among haters of women.
One such film is “Midnight in the Switchgrass” which debuted last year. It was written by “Alan Horsnail” and starred Bruce Willis as a detective, and Lukas Haas as the woman-detesting serial killer, who receives his comeuppance briefly, only at the conclusion of the film, before which the viewer had sat through scene after scene depicting the prolonged agony of women. The killer's quick death is not agonizing, though it can be cited to provide cover for the portrayal of excruciatingly detailed violence against women by pointing out that in the end the perpetrator also dies. We are not deceived, however. The film's calculus is grotesquely tilted in favor of more screen time devoted to scenes that can provide stimulation to those who derive pleasure from watching women severely harmed and degraded for minutes at a time. This despicable pattern was also present in the 2018 movie The Clovehitch Killer, written by Christopher Ford. This flick features a home invasion in which the dreadful terror experienced by the quaking female victim is graphically portrayed and prolonged, while the death of her victimizer in a later scene is a painless and hasty denouement.
As of episode 3, "Shining Girls” has not acted out the bloodshed in detail, but the extent to which the gruesome photos were broadcast in this entry in the series presents an opportunity for viewers to indulge in deviant voyeurism of a sadistically prurient nature.
Also in episode 3 is a scene in a Chicago convenience store that has seating for customers. From his seat, Harper the killer observes an underage girl approach a clerk at the cash register with alcohol she intends to purchase with fake ID. The clerk notes that her identification document is bogus and demands that the adolescent woman return the alcohol to the shelf, to which she defiantly replies: “You do know nobody cares, right? Like, this isn't f**king Idaho or anything."
Episode 3 uses various gimmicks for highlighting the newspaper reporter's home library, including having the killer tamper with the arrangement of the books on Velazquez's shelf, which include works such as The Turn of the Screw and various studies of murder by Ann Rule, Colin Wilson (The Encyclopedia of Modern Murder) and Barzun Taylor. The latter author's revised and expanded 1989 edition of A Catalogue of Crime (a massive guide to mystery and crime fiction), is shown shelved next to Nick Taylor's book, Sins of the Father (concerning Mafia turncoats). The viewer is also afforded a peak at Elliott Roosevelt's volume Murder at the Palace, and Robert Payne's appreciative 1964 biography of Russia's Communist mass murderer, titled The Life and Death of Vladimir Lenin.
Episode no. 4, broadcast May 6
With a couple of noteworthy exceptions this is a standard suspense thriller, nicely photographed and well-acted. The Twilight Language clues are slight. The previously mentioned Idaho reference (in episode 3) was personally of interest to this writer since Idaho is my principal home. The allusion to Idaho may be of interest to you in that it establishes a synonym: uptight law-abiders = Idaho.
Another Twilight clue spoken in this fourth show in the "Shining Girls" series is too close to home to mention outright. I've created a mnemonic so I can recall it in the event its relevance becomes evident later: prudente sacre coeur philanthropie.
Episode 1 opened with Kirby in her early childhood receiving a gift of a tiny figure of Pegasus from a stranger who is later shown to be Harper, the man who attacked and nearly killed her years later, when she was a grown woman.
He attacks Kirby again in this episode and invokes the Pegasus toy he bestowed on her as a child. She only recalls that it was a plaything in the shape of a tiny horse. Harper corrects her, stating with emphasis that it was a figure of Pegasus. In mythology this was the flying horse created from the blood of the severed head of Medusa, after Perseus, son of Zeus, decapitated her. Medusa was one of three sisters who had snakes for hair and were known as gorgons. The Tres Hermanas mountains in Luna County, New Mexico had Fortean significance for James Shelby Downard. In Macbeth the three "wyrd sisters" are witches who possess clairoyant powers and are linked to various calamities and killings.
According to the myth, at the sight of the Medusa, men were turned to stone. However, it was the radical feminist philosopher Mary Daly who flipped that patriarchal legend on its head. Prof. Daly held that the original story as retailed in matriarchal circles was that whoever refused to gaze upon Medusa was turned to stone.
The blood of Medusa gave life to a flying horse. Harper sheds the blood of many women over the course of time. The contours of his bizarre Twilight timeline begin to emerge in episode 4.
What makes this particular teleplay in the series notable is its welcome portrayal of Kirby, armed with a knife, fiercely and effectively repelling the deadly man Harper's now second attack. One can't help but cheer at this break with the "helpless female stereotype" that litters the thriller cinema genre, typically concluding with the inevitable murder of a woman. Not so here. Harper the would-be killer is depicted shorn of his cool—he's momentarily confused and vexed. Kirby meanwhile, makes good her escape from him and out to the street. At this juncture, she turns to look back at the interior where she was attacked and sees that it has unaccountably and instantly been transformed. It's a Twilight zone moment.
Episode no. 5, broadcast May 13
This 50 minute episode, written and directed by women, opens with a welcome scene of the once formidable serial killer incapacitated in a hospital bed after Kirby defended herself and stabbed him with her knife. He has sutures on his face and as he heals the resulting prominent scar will make him readily identifiable in the future. A tendon in his leg has been cut and he is exceedingly weak. The big shot killer is now shown to be as vulnerable as a kitten. Breaking the usual Hollywood practice, in episodes 4 and 5, misogynists in the viewing audience are deriving no kicks from "Shining Girls." This is a victory for women and those who love them.
This episode introduces some of the supernatural themes which will become more prominent as the series continues to its conclusion, three episodes hence.
Though very weak, Harper, the killer, is frantic to get out of the hospital and back to "The House" where he resides and from which he derives his strength (he succeeds in doing so).
The time travel theme receives more play in this episode, although viewers are left in the dark concerning the anomalies in space/time that Kirby perceives. When she talks of them she can appear to be schizophrenic (she says she hasn't lived with her mother in years yet an early episode shows her recently doing just that; regarding the black man who is her husband she reports never having married him, etc.).
In a conversation with a woman astronomer who is another target of the serial killer (and who after a number of warnings unaccountably fails to arm herself), the astronomer attempts to explain to Kirby some of what might be happening as an invisible thread consisting of actions having an impact across vast distances in both space and time. Without saying as much, the script at this point is referencing the quantum physics concept of"entanglement."
There is also a brief reference to ancient Egypt, the home of the nine measures of sorcery, as the Talmud Bavli terms those kingdoms in Kiddushin 49b: "עשרה קבים כשפים ירדו לעולם, תשעה נטלה מצרים [ואחד כל העולם כולו" ("Ten measures of sorcery descended to the world; nine were taken by Egypt and one by the rest of the world").
In episode 5 there's a reference to bees in the Egypt of antiquity who were, "thought to carry messages from the heavens." All of the bees in this television series have had their wings removed. Thus, it would appear that an analogy is being made between the women who are about to "shine" and are prematurely cut down by the killer, and the wingless bees.
One poignant scene features a young man confined to an institution for dementia patients, though he suffers from an alleged bipolar condition, rather than senility. He has been visited several times by Harper. Kirby interrogates him sternly. We learn he is a veteran of the First World War. Consequently he should be an old man. Photos on the wall of his room show him part of a platoon that fought in Tripoli. The man is a lost soul caught between epochs, a notion which has a certain frisson.
Too often in these streaming mini-series installments there is padding in the script. Only a writer of the caliber of a Charlotte Brönte or a Charles Dickens could render every moment significant over the course of a bloated, approximate cumulative length of 360 minutes. In episode 5 there are scenes of very minor interest extended for the sake of sustaining the pre-assigned 50 minute duration of the program. To deliberately build tedium into a script reminds us of another killer—that killer of art known as commerce.
Episode no. 6, broadcast May 20 (officially, but available for viewing the evening before)
In the interval between the broadcast of episode 5 and episode 6, a lunar eclipse occurred in the late hours of Sunday and into early Monday morning (May 15—16), during the full moon of May which is known as the "Flower Moon." It was also a Super Moon making it the "Super Flower Blood Moon" of May 2022. [In a "Blood" Moon Luna fully slips into Earth's shadow, creating a total lunar eclipse that colors the moon with a reddish hue. In 2022 the eruption produced a moon that looked a deeper hue of red than usual, caused by a volcanic eruption that took place this year: in an underwater volcano in the Pacific ocean, near the island of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai. The plume from the volcanic blast entered the upper atmosphere more than thirty-five miles high. The resulting cloud of ash and gas spread throughout much of our planet. “The intensity of this event far exceeds that of any storm cloud I have ever studied,” said Kristopher Bedka, a NASA scientist. During a lunar eclipse much of the sunlight that illuminates the moon passes through the stratosphere where it is scattered, producing the reddish “Blood Moon.” The ash from the volcano which was spewed into the atmosphere produced a lunar eclipse happening between episodes 5 and 6 of "Shining Girls" that was "bloodier" than usual].
In this episode we depart from late 20th century hunt for the serial killer Harper, and travel to Chicago in the years 1918-1920. We see Harper fighting in the First World War and euthanizing a dying American soldier so he can purloin his gas mask. We obtain further confirmation of his vile qualities: liar, brute, and a woman beater with a short fuse. Without getting into spoiler territory we will venture to say that the star of this episode is an old house of mansion-like dimensions that Harper begins to occupy with a fellow WWI veteran and a woman who is a childhood friend. It's a "haunted" house that bears some similarities to the Overlook Hotel in The Shining and Robert Marasco's Burnt Offerings. I commend the set decorator for creating an ambiance of faded elegance from yesteryear — warm and almost invitingly cozy. Almost. Beneath the facade the lurking sense of menace is never far away.
Episode 6 can stand alone as a drama about time travel. One need not know a thing about the previous five episodes to appreciate this particular show as a nicely photographed study of dizzying movements in time, foreshadowing catastrophe, like tectonic plates slipping toward an earthquake.
When the time-travelers from 1920 enter a punk rock club in the 1980s the script-writer portrays them as seamlessly adapting to the whole startling scene, when very likely the noise of the band would have struck their ears like a soundtrack from hell, and the technology on view in the Chicago of the '80s would have gobsmacked them. It's an absurdity in the script which detracts from the verisimilitude necessary for the viewer to take the show seriously.
Episode 6 could have been summarized in flashbacks in fifteen minutes. For a cinemaphile it's not a wasted 49 minutes however, on account of the patina and chiaroscuro elements of the cinematography and the unabated sense of wonder which is maintained up to the point when Harper erupts in misogynistic brutality.
Approximately 100 minutes remain in two more programs, for staging the final confrontation with Harper, the solution to the murders he commits and the origin story behind the "the house" and its mysterious power.
And, oh yes— the symbolism: there's almost none, save for a limp phallic symbol on a table at the foot of the stairs. Freud would have had something to say about that.
Episode no. 7, broadcast May 27 (officially, but available for viewing the evening before)
I'm losing interest. It's become a vaguely supernatural soap opera with the two people stalked or menaced by Harper (the astronomy lady and Velazquez) for some inexplicable reason, not bothering to arm themselves against his lethality. No reason for this imbecilic contrivance is given except that having them unarmed is necessary for advancing the "suspenseful" plot. Yawn.
Any suspense in episode 7 depends on many time-shifting circumstances that are inscrutable. Marriages may not actually be; memories may not actually qualify as actual remembrances. Harper walks through time like David Warner did portraying Jack the Ripper in the 1979 suspense movie, "Time after Time." We don't understand it and can't accept this mini-series on its own terms because we don't know what those terms are.
Episode no. 8, broadcast June 3 (officially, but available for viewing the evening before)
The series has morphed from a serial murder predation case with a few Twilight Language key words and symbols, to a time travel show with a dizzying stream of forward and backward trips in and out of dimensions.
It would be merely beautifully photographed and entertaining escapist fare with artful set decoration and solid acting, were it not for the fact that Harper, the woman-killer is, in this episode, utterly dominated and overcome by his former victim, the intrepid and tough female, Kirby. In fact, she is shown improvising a weapon to kill him in a scene from the future, and shoot and wound him in an alternate past, circa 1919. This latter confrontation includes her recounting to him the origins of his megalomaniac entitlement (the deprivation and loss he experienced as a child). She conveys the assessment that his childhood suffering is a completely unacceptable basis for his actions as an adult.
Something similar occurs in the psychological realm when the Roaring 20s-era dancer who was lied to, seduced and killed by Harper in the future, in a new present obstructs, bewilders and shames him with her omniscience. She does so wearing a fairy costume and arresting eye makeup. Her appearance is that of an oracular mythological being.
These incidents raise this terminal episode to a higher magnitude of interest in terms of a powerful affirmation of strong women in a suspense/thriller genre which has too often trafficked in generating stereotypes of fragile, vulnerable "girls" and "gals" predestined to be abused and murdered.
Our previous remarks (on episode no. 4, broadcast May 6), about the Gorgon Medusa (whose blood gave life to Pegasus, another recurring symbolic figure in these shows), cited Mary Daly's feminist theory that asserts that Medusa turns men to stone because they will not gaze upon her. This calls to mind another figure from the mists of legend, in this case a scene in which Kirby befriends a guard dog she calls Grendel. In ancient myth Grendel is a monster who bedevils a man, Beowulf, while in "Shining Girls" Grendel is a protector of women, or at least of Kirby Mizrachi. Reversals are perhaps the only reliable timeline in this disorienting television series.
In the final confrontation Kirby tells Harper, "It was never you. It's the house," suggesting that it is the building itself that makes people evil and psychotic, even though long before he first crossed its threshold, Harper was a vicious, callous person, though not a mass murderer.
The teleplay concludes with Kirby taking occupancy in what appears to be proprietary control over the haunted, malevolent time-traipsing dwelling. The question arises as to whether she will domesticate and pacify the homicidal spirit of the mansion, or succumb to it. If the series ends here, we will never know.
Appendix 1 "*Velazquez"
Our colleague Tim K. of Minnesota, contributes the following: "In the 'Shining Girls' the journalist who interviews the serial killer and investigates his crimes is named Velazquez. It brings to mind the famous painter Diego Velazquez and one of his works, 'Las Meninas,' which has intrigued critics ever since he created it in 1656. The title of the painting may be relevant to the mini-series as it translates as, “The Ladies in Waiting.”
"The first chapter of Michael Foucault’s The Order of the Things, takes up this subject and is titled, “Las Meninas.” On Amazon.com click on the book for a preview,and scroll down until you get a selection of chapter one to get a sense of what Foucault is writing about.
"It’s been too many years since I’ve read Foucault but if I remember correctly, he focuses on the apparent lack of a ground, or origin, with respect to the viewer of the painting. At this link is an article which provides a more detailed account.
"If there is a 'Las Meninas' connection in 'Shining Girls,' perhaps it is the play of not knowing 'what’s on the canvas.' Is Velazquez painting the painting that we’re looking at in the frame, or is he painting something else? In other words, is the intent to make the 'image' somehow 'real' by bringing us into the work itself? Like Hitchock’s film 'Rear Window,' are we voyeurs akin to protagonist Jimmy Stewart, who enjoys the mediated world from a safe distance only to have that safety disrupted when the 'image' (the killer) sees him and enters his “real” space? Is this what 'Shining Girls' is going for?"
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