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the raven

Widowmaker

the best way to make it through with hearts and wrists intact is to realize two out of three ain't so bad.
the raven

Heaven Is On The Way

Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell.
the raven

I've Come Lookin' For A Man. A Sales Man.

men, with your groping and spitting all groin no brain three billion of ya' passin' around the same worn out urge, men... with your sales
the crow

22. Memento

He’s sprawled out across the bed, one hundred and sixty something pounds of scrawny stretched out over rumpled snow white hotel sheets, and you could almost trick yourself into believing he’s at peace with himself. Hugging a pillow against the little bit of dark scruff on his chin.

And my body, or my mind, it sort of sighs, this wistful strange little sigh, this little voice in the back of my ribs that sort of frightens me, that reminds me that if I'm someone who gives meaning to every moments, every seconds, every breathe I experience, then what meaning do I designate to this? Can’t say it doesn’t mean anything, because it means enough to give me pause.  And when you have a bad habit of over-thinking everything, well, a pause is a lifetime, isn’t it?

Do my makeup, spill a little bit of loose powder on my chair, but who cares. We don’t own these things. We don’t own anything in this room.  We don't own the bed.  Not the sofa.  Not our emotions. So we don’t have to take responsibility for any of this mess.







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the crow

21. The Abattoir

I'm sitting at this bar, watching the business men around me loosen their ties and settle in for the evening. I have a strong vodka drink in one hand and this book about rodents in the other.  I try to look invested in the reading, but above the pages my eyes are scanning room for a victim.  Sometimes I feel like a black widow spider, predatory and poisonous, lying in wait for my prey to pass by and tug on the strands of my delicately placed web.  And sometimes I feel like a succubus, as if there are a certain number of wandering musicians I need to lull into sex with me in order to feed some sleepy demon just beneath my skin.

I feel evil and wrong and dirty, but I feel compelled and bored too, and those feelings are stronger  And while Mike rests in our hotel room, dreaming of ways to get his next fix, I'm in front of a martini glass doing the same thing.


it's temporary, this place I'm in.  i permanently wont do this again...

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the crow

20. Phantom Limb

In the afternoon we order room service, giant silver platters carrying white plates of messy burgers and greasy fries strangely garnished with delicate, fresh snipped parsley.  There's single serving glass bottles of mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise, miniatures of the real things.  Like vultures picking at the skeletal remains of a carcass, we pick greedily at each other's food for awhile and then we pick at each other's clothes until we are as stripped as our empty plates.  We have a kind of tame, mechanical sex, the kind where we're fucking and caressing and using all the right moves to try and manufacture some kind of emotion but nothing is coming through.  Instead, we're really focused on thinking about what we'll order next from room service or how many blue storm splotches are over the Weather Channel's map of Missouri.

Something is not working correctly.  Something has been amputated.  The way we're going on--both today and yesterday--it feels false, like our lives have been partitioned off and moved just outside of everything else. I feel could knock out a wall of this hotel room and see a different world, a real world.

In the evening I pick benzos from Mike's black memento box, but this feeling of impending doom I've been trying to suppress with narcotics is growing.  It slices through the fog in my head, cutting across my high like the sunshine ray that cut across our hotel room earlier.I'm left twisting and moaning on the bed, my fingers clenching and unclenching on sweat-drenched, cotton sheets.  My guts are tense and a headache like a chisel is chipping away at a spot between my eyes.  In the midst of the panic, I reach out beside me for Mike's hand but his eyes are closed and he's asleep, or he's pretending to have fallen asleep, or maybe I'm asleep and I can't wake up and I am no one and this is nowhere.



can't stop what's coming, can't stop what is on it's way..




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the crow

19. Panthalassa

And I'm in the bathroom, laying in a full, lukewarm bath, my nose just above the waterline,  puckering my lips and blowing a myriad of different sized bubbles.  I'm watching them rise and break at the water's surface when suddenly my high is gone and the pain comes.  It hits my skull like an invisible lightning bolt, sharp and hot between my eyes, and zips down my spine like searing, raw electricity.  It shoots into my extremities and into my toes and fingertips, and my muscles clench up so hard that I spasm suddenly, hitting the back of my head on the tub.  I gasp for air and instead take in a mouthful of bathwater and begin to claw uncontrollably at the sides, my fingernails scraping violently across the white porcelain as I begin to sink.

I'm underneath the water and I'm deprived of oxygen.  My lungs are tightening in a silent, panicked protest and all I can hear is muted splashing and maybe...  Maybe something else.  I think maybe I can hear birds, seagulls, hundreds of them squawking, distant and hungry.  And there's another sound, a muffled thumping like masonry shifting and scratching underwater.  Aquatic ghosts.  Paranormal plecostomuses.  Mystical mollusks.  Ancient buoys, maybe, barnacle covered and lonely, clinging and clanging together on some distant wave.  Giant sucker covered tentacles reaching up and squeezing the life out of me, dragging me under.  A supernatural squid.

My stomach turns over in anxiety.  It's full of pharmaceuticals and my blood is full of opium and I feel nauseous.  The human body isn't built to be able to handle so much sweetness at once.  A mortal can't live like this, her veins chemically coated and her guts synthetically stuffed.
i think i used to have a voice.  now i never make a sound...

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the raven

Mandragora Officinarum



MANDRAGORA OFFICINARUM:  A DISSERTATION
Last Updated:  August 08, 2010 - Added a few more links to awesome people and communities.  Am currently writing Y as you are reading this, so give it a few hours!)


MYTHOS AND STORIES
Someone wrote to me saying "we already knew this was about a mandragora; you haven't discovered anything new",  Correct, we knew since video three, when we got an email signed Mandragora Officinarum, that this was a mythology story about an anthropomorphic mandrake.  This article isn't to 'blow the lid off' the mandragora myth, it is just an article to explain, in some depth, what the myth and storyline behind this video compilation is.  A comprehensive guide, if you will, for those who are interested.  I'm a little sporadic so excuse me if I jump all over the place with this explanation.  Please leave a comment asking any questions, explaining your own theory or even debunking my speculation; I enjoy it!  

One thing I want to say is I am basically only going off the one, main theory of anthropomorphic mandrakes.  I know a lot of cultures have different theories and lore on plant and mandragora people, but I think it's important to try to just stick to one (or as few) as possible, as picking and choosing what you like from different beliefs is probably not the easiest and best way to tell what is what.

+ The Mandragora Mythology
These videos are based on the myth of mandragora as an anthropomorphic figure:  For more information, read about the myth in it's entirety here.  The gist of these video clips are the life of a mandragora plant/human hybrid:   It's conception, it's womb-state, it's birth, it's life after birth, it's coming of age, it's practical use in the world and then the circle repeating it's self.  The animals in each video are nature-element allegories for the video it's self--this was/would have been much more clearer if the original clips had been allowed to stay in the video but they had to take them out due to copyright issues.  However, for context purposes, the artist has been so kind as to leave us the links to what the original animal footage would have been.

+ The Mandrake's Curse
A short telling of the mandragora myth:  According to the legend, the Mandragora is created when the semen of a hanged man hits the dirt below, from whence forth a mandrake grows. 

"Some believed that the most efficacious roots grew under a gallows or where suicides had been buried at crossroads. As to why the most potent mandrakes were supposed to grow under gallows, they were believed to be produced from the semen involuntarily ejaculated by a hanged man."  [cite]

When the root is dug up it screams and kills all who hear it, but a dog's barking can drown out this scream and, while killing the dog, it saves all else who hear it. Some myths involve even tying the mandrake to the dog so that the dog may safely pull the root from the ground without harm to humans.  Literature includes complex directions for harvesting a mandrake root in relative safety:

"The mandrake's curse. After being shown a tasty morsel, a hungry dog is tied to the root of the mandrake. From a safe distance, the hunter throws the food in front of the dog, which lunges forward, uprooting the herb. The dog dies at sunrise and is buried with secret rites.  [cite]"

And also directions for the proper care of a new and growing mandrake human: 

"As soon as it was out of the ground it needed to be cut free from the body of the dog, then washed clean in red wine; after which it was wrapped in a garment of either white or red silk, and placed in a casket. Every Friday at the evening hour it had to be rewashed in red wine, and provided with a new garment at each new moon." [cite]

And of course, the most excellent benefits that come along with owning a Mandrake who works in many was as a Muse works.  Since these are musical videos for a musical artist, there are a lot of reference to musical divinity and such.

"Its happy possessor would henceforth have no enemies, and never again be poor, because a gold coin laid beside the mandrake overnight was sure to become doubled by morning; however, it was not wise to repeat this process too often, for possibly the ‘Little Gallows Man' would suffer fatigue, and might even die."  [cite]

+ Allegorical Animals
For example: in video one, you have footage of a goat in the throes of labor.  In video one, you also have our little mandragora, in the throes of labor, albeit from the baby's point of view.  In video four, you have a carpenter bee, an animal who creats it's nest by drilling holes into trees.  In video four, you also have our mandragora 'nesting' by drilling and fucking up some trees.  Video five, a llama spits at it's aggressors.  Video five, again, mandragora spits at it's aggressors (dogs)--which of course, goes along with the mandragora mythos and their interconnection with black dogs.  I'll get further in depth with the animal connection in my individual video synopsis.

+ Alraune
Some people have pointed out, now that the video compellation is at a 'closing', how the story somewhat mimics the 1928 movie 'Alraune'.  I've seen the movie (huge black and white movie fan here, especially anything surrealist!) and yeah, it's about a mandrake woman who is raised among humans, seduces many men and kills them because 'nature has it's revenge!'  It's pegged as a horror movie but it's a little droll and could maybe seen as a 'Frankenstein Lite' kind of movie.  More than this movie being about a mandrake, the term and idea of a mandrake women is only used as a vehicle for an excuse to make a movie about a femme fatale who kills off her lovers--Probably a very exciting movie to make in the 20s.  Similiarities, especially in the all white tight outfit Alraune wears in the movie--And also the end scene, which you'll see later--but I think the Mandragora videos are going in a slightly different direction.

 


PRELUDE VIDEOS SYNOPSIS
Without ado, video synopsis with my analysis.  As you will see in each video, there is a running theme of duplicated or 'mirrored' images--This makes sense when you know the ending of the story and see that the entire compendium is one big 'circle of life' kind of tale.  So videos one through six run in a linear time line and tell the story of the hard, long birth of a mandrake women.  These videos are short clippets of music only and not entire songs with words--Much the way a child born is rudimentary and unable to talk.  These videos are meant to be rough, creepy, maybe scary, and full of sounds, much the way being new and brought into the world might be.

+ Video One
Video 1 - Billy Goat:   In video one, Mandragora is to be born 'of the earth' of trees and such, and this is shown by anthropomorophisizng the trees in the video via the waving of human arms and legs and, I suspect if you could get a little close, you might even see some blinking eyes!  These trees, they are alive, they have a conscience.  In this world, plants think and therefor they are. 

You have Mandragora in it's dark, watery womb.   You have the goat allegory, which was explained above--a goat is in the throes of labor, Mandragora is in a womb that is in the throes of labor.  It should also be noted in these first few videos, there isn't one Mandragora, there are like six of them in wombs, but we are just following the story of one--the multiple mandragora plants, these are part of the running theme of duplicates, sixes, mirror images.  Perhaps many mandrakes were planted to grow but we will be following the story of the one who is born, taken and used by the humans.  We get some great images in the beginning of a lush, green world.  This is a good place.  This is the natural world.

In Short:  This video exists to establish two things primarily:  That plants can be human and that this is a story of birth and life.


+ Video Two
Video 2 - Barred Owl:   Now you have little mandragora looking up with larg, calf-like eyes at a tree that is leaking milk.  Mandragora licks greedily at the milky substance dripping down what looks like a tree vagina--Sounds gross, but remember it, you will see this symolism again later on.  This could be the semen from whence she was born.  This could be mother's milk.  I think, to a Mandragora, they might be one in the same.  This is sustenance.  Sexuality and life intertwined. 

Our allegorical animal in this video is a Barred Owl, a type of owl who hoots all year around and not just during the mating season.  It could have a bit to do with mating, seeing the elements of semen and wombs, or it could be about hunting and feeding as Mandragora is first doing here.  Maybe a bit of both.

In Short:  This video exists to establish one thing:  This milky white substance is sustenance for the Mandragora.


+ Video Three
Video 3 - Humpback Whale:   Birthday cakes?  You bet!  They are Strawberry Cakes, which is pretty telling since strawberries seem to equal 'seeds' in Mandragora world.  Also, this marks the first inclusion of something 'unnatural' into little Mandragora's world.  She is now being provided with cake as her sustenance, as opposed to the milky white substance we got in the last video.  Looks like the mandrake is being weened of her natural diet and placed onto a more human diet.

In video three we have Mandragora, a new born now, being pulled up in the world of humans.  She swims in the brightness/comfort of her new world until her troubled thrashing shows something is amiss, something is calling her, uprooting her. 

Here, as your allegorical animal, you have video footage of a whale shark feeding and 'singing'--Whale Sharks don't actually sing, the singing is audio of a Humpback Whale, whales that are known to "sing some of the most complex and beautiful songs known" [cite].  Fitting for the birth of our Mandragora who will grow up to, in this story, sing some very complex and beautiful songs.

At the end of the video we hear dogs barking as Mandragora begins to break soil--remember, these would be the black dogs whose barks can drown out the scream a mandrake makes when it is uprooted, as per the standard mythology.  Standard mandragora myth also states that in order to safely uproot a mandrake, the dog who hears it's screams will die.  Keep this in mind when you see the dog in future videos.

In Short:  This video exists to establish one thing:  Mandragora is being pulled unnaturally from her natural habitat.  She is soon to enter a world that is not hers.


+ Video Four
Video 4 - Carpenter Bees:  Mandragora has broken the surface and is chewing/gnawing through trees like a beaver.  Coupled with the video of the allegorical carpenter bees we can presume that this behaviour is to make herself a shelter and/or safe place from the impending dogs of doom.  

We have the visual introduction of the black dogs--they swarm around a house, sniffing, jumping, kinda-sorta looking for her in their own doggy ways.  Keep in mind though that with all the sixes and mirror images you should only consider that there is really only one dog that might matter.  If six mandrakes were planted then six dogs were brought out to capture them. 

We also keep up with the 'mirrored' theme by getting a few shots of one side of her face mirrored, making it look like her face is distorted when it is only really reflected.  No meaning really, just a cool way to integrate the double theme going on.

In Short:  This videos serves to establish to us that Mandragora is officially in the 'human' world and is now being stalked out by the humans via their dogs, ie., 'shit is about to get real' [cite].


+ Video Five
Video 5 - Llama:  Here, Mandragoria finally meets the dogs of her demise.  A black dog sights her, he growls and barks and does angry dog stuff, she hisses, spits at him and eventually yells at him, signing his little doggy death warrant. Little balls/treats are being tossed around everywhere--presumable treats to lead the dog away from the mandrake once it has uprooted and captured she.

Our allegorical animal is a spitting llama--Quite appropriate for this video of an angry Mandrake protecting herself against an attacker. 

At the end, Mandragora is in a hut with her 'strawberries'/seeds. I think the keyword 'roe' in the Keywords List of the video kind of confirms these being seeds.  Fruit grows on real life mandrake plants, they are golden red berries, so there you go.  Fruit = seeds.  Our mandrake is mature and ready to be harvested as she was--this is shown by the strawberries/seeds 'growing' on our Mandragora.  And so Mandragora has been pulled up and placed into what I call 'The Greenhouse', or the house we saw a video earlier.

In Short:  This video serves to show us the capturing, or 'harvesting' as the term may be, of the mandrake woman.


+ Video Six
Video 6 - Chimpanzees:  Welcome!  A  grouping of hanging sticks tells us.  And what better way to greet a creature of nature to her new home than to try and create a welcome her with items from her own natural habitat.  Much like a child will put sticks and twigs into a jar full of capture fireflies to make them feel at home, the humans have used bits of nature to create a greeting sign for our newly harvested mandrake.  Mandragora is in the Greenhouse now, being tended to and looked after by dark human figures in the background.
We see some shots of trees in the snow, a last reminder of the natural world that Mandragora is now being forced to leave behind.  Those pesky mandrake hunting dogs are dead by sunrise and ritually buried--as the mandragora mythology suggests they should be [cite].

In the final shots, Mandragora evolves and blossoms into what is very obviously a full fledged mandrake woman.  She is now Mandragora Officinarum.  Then she tells us, 'Why?', but it is not 'why', it is Y.  This marks the ending of the Prelude videos.

Our allegorical animal videos is a shot of growing chimps freaking the fuck out because they are locked in a cage, much like Mandragora is trapped in this greenhouse by the same people who would lock chimps up--humans.

In Short:  Mandragora is mandragora.  She is she.  She is capture and owned by the humans now.  You have all the videos now that lead up to where he life currently is, which will begin in the next set of seven videos.




STORY ARC VIDEOS SYNOPSIS
Now begins the story of Mandragora Officinarum.  We have been given enough information in the prologue videos to understand how a mandrake human is created, how they survive and maintain themselves, how they are captured and that they are captured and held against their will.  We have seen that we will be following the story of this individual mandrake woman in her life post-harvest.

Each video in the story article has a link on it's video page to an 'allegorical' video.  You can watch this video and get an idea of the message that the Iamamiwhoami video is trying to get across.  In each passage below, I will first discuss the original video storyline and symbolism, then the allegorical linked video, then a short note on what you should take away from this video to understand the future videos and lastly, the lyrics to the song included in the video.

+ Video One:  B
Video 1 - b:  First we see a cradle with a mobile hanging over it.  The mobile is made of balsa wood sticks and hair--Things natural to the Mandragora and her world.  Much as the Welcome! sign was a human made sign in the guise of the mandrake's habitat, so is this cradle a man-made apparatus in the guise of the natural world.  Could a baby be in the future?  We certainly know she is mature and fertile, as shown by the seeds she has in the last prologue video.

A room full of older, studious looking men, three it looks.  Mandrake mythos tells us that the plant-people are halluncinogenic, poisonous--only this is a video compilation about music and so instead of visual hallucinigens, Mandragora begins to play her piano and puts out a sort of aural Stendhal Syndrome (a psychosematic illness that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, confusion and even hallucinations when an individual is exposed to art, usually when the art is particularly beautiful or a large amount of art is in a single place [cite] ) via music.  In a regular mandrake myth story, the mandrake would bring joyful hallucinogens and mountains of gold to it's humans but again--This is a music artist and this is about music.  The reward these humans are given is amazing sound.

And so one of the gentelem flips an hourglass as a measure of time, because you only have so much time to enjoy the music before you've Stendal'd yourself to death, if you get what I mean [cite] .  The men then sit back and, in a sort of ecstacy, enjoy the music that Mandragora plays for them--first on her piano and then seemingly of the air with only her hands.  She certainly is a magical creature!  Their eyes roll back in their heads and their faces seem to bend and distort, all a part of the hallucinigenic properties of the mandrake woman and her beautiful music--Hey, even the cat is purring in happiness by the end of her song!

Mandragora is wrapped in plastic.  She is being preserved the way you preserve a nice couch with plastic wrap or an expensive car with a soft tarp.  She is an item of expense and importance to these men and she is treated as such.

Throughout the video, we see a cat.  The cat is a symbol to suggest domesicity.  Man owns a housecat; man owns a mandragora.  It's one in the same--go figure!  Man owns all the things that men should owns; cats, cars, women, mandragoras.  Symbolisms of patriarchy and male privledge.  Throughout these story videos, the cat will utter the animal sounds of the Prelude Videos.  Gentle reminders that there was once nature and that nature is always on the backburner of Mandragora's mind.

Allegorical Video:  On this video's page, we are linked to a clip of a toddler pageant princess, performing in all her Barbie-esque beauty to Britney Spears' song Circus--a song about a woman being nothing more than something to entertain the masses and be stared at.  Like this child, Mandragora is new to the world and has been dolled up and set out to perform for the elder humans.  This connection should be pretty self explanatory.

In Short:  These men have uprooted and harvested the mandrake woman who has the ability to produce hallucinations and 'highs' (or, in the terms of art, which these vidoes are, the ability to induce a Stendhal Syndrome-esque episode) and they now keeps her for their entertainment and viewing pleasure.  Also, a natural-esque baby cradle is being prepared.

B - Lyrics
There it was, the land of decay
We should pack our things and run away
Rest in the quicksand
Shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand
Sink slowly now, take flight
Let silence take this empty light
Take a deep breath as we go, as we go

Wanting higher
Wanting higher up
Wanting higher
Until the moon forces us to climb back down
I'd rather see the both of us drown

With a harsh, unpleasant hello
The paranoia I've learned to live with although
I will never shake what's there behind
Your songs are still playing in my mind
All the white only turns to blue
Look after me and I'll look after you
Take a deep breath as we go, as we go



+ Video Two:  O

Video 2 - o:  An opening shot of a tree.  One tree to sate a need but I'm sure Mandragora misses the entire forest.  The scene shifts to night time in Greenhouse section of the house where Mandragora is potted in soil up to her ankles like the plant she is.  She is covered in plastic again, a treasure being kept safe and out of use through the night and, again like a tomato plant or something, she is held up right by a long stake and garden twine.  Many other plants surround her, most likely to let you know this a grow house--this is where the mandrake woman is kept.  The plants have eyes that blink out at the viewer because again, in Mandragora's world, the boundary is blurred between plants and humans.

But in the night, even in her protective covering, Mandragora is still a living creature and she comes to life and begins to do what is natural to her--making music and singing.  She eventually frees herself from her plastic wrapping and garden twine and becomes free.  The grow lights come on and we see she is wearing a cone about her neck--Both as symbolism as a collar (domesticity) and also for practical use as a way of catching the liquid that hangs above her to keep her 'watered'.

We see her longing for the water above--a very small amount!--and probably also for real sunlight and not just the gorw lights.  These are things she misses and needs of her real world but are given to her in fake techno-forms by the humans.  It's just not the same!  Mandragora's hair is perfectly coifed, her eyelashes are combed, she has been scrubbed and bleached clean--the humans are certainly taking good care of their new prized possession.

In the end, Mandragora has freed herself and taken herself out of her pot.  She has taken off her collar and hanged it on a tree and gives us that look that says 'peace out, bitches'.  Many people say she is 'escaping', but I don't think she is escaping so much as she is just curious and looking to get out and walk around and see the world, perhaps the way a cat does when it runs out your front door.  In it's mind, it doesn't know it's fleeing imprisonment and human conditions, it just has that call of nature and wants to explore and see what is out there.  It wants more.

I think the shot at the end--with the tree having the 'berries'/seeds tied to it by her hair, the watering glass above it and the collar around it's trunk is very cute.  Perhaps she thought she could trick the humans into thinking that was here why she went off on her merry way.

Allegorical Video:  Cars and women.  All the plush prime things than men think they should own, just like cats and music boxes.  Mandragora is an item, a object and objectified as much as the cars and women in this video are.  She is built for performance and beauty.  She is covered in plastic the way a man covers is favorite car.  She is dolled up in lingerie and curled hair, the way a man wants his woman done up.  This video, and the O video it's self, are videos about objectification.  Mandragora is a living being, not an item to be used and owned.

In Short:  Mandragora is not pleased by the faux-habitat the humans have set up for her and so she frees herself and makes her way back out into the surrounding world.  But even the surrounding world--ran by humans and all--might not be as she hopes it is...

O - Lyrics
I thought I felt a spark
Thought I saw a flame
When something changed in you
Who took the blame?
My plan was foolproof
As I became
A fortress of your heart

Love - The kind that kills and scars
And make you kneel and crawl
To hell and back
The words that slit your throat
And make you think of love
As the new black
As what you lack

The sound of letting go
The sight of you
That we all set aside
When the world was new
Under the full moon
Only endless rain
An absence of your heart

Love
The kind that kills and scars
And make you kneel and crawl
To hell and back
The words that slit your throat
And make you think of love
As the new black
As what you lack


Video Three:  U-1
Video 3 - u-1
Videos U-1 and U-2 can be counted as one entire video split into two parts.  Video U-1 would obviously be part one.  In this video we are introduced to what Youtube users collectively call "Underpants Man" but, for the purposes of this article, we're going to just call him the Prince.  The Prince gets a bad rap as a perverted, hyper-sexualized man but it'd hard to tell if that is actually his personality or if this is who he is under the effects of the Mandragora--We know that she certainly has a way of making every man she meets falls head over heels crazy for her. 

The Prince character is to be the chosen mate for Mandragora.  he is shown in only his underwear and socks--Presumably to make him as close to 'natural' as possible so that the Mandragora will be more likely to be attracted to him.  Occasionally he wears a beard and bushy eyebrows made out of scraps of paper and tape, I assume because he is trying to make himself look more like a man for his bride, other than the young fellow he actually is.  He wants to sell him self as a king, a real man's man, but he is only young--and probably slightly mandrake crazed--fellow, just as self conscience and unsure about himself as any of us are.

In the video he is searching through the woods, looking for the Mandragora and drawn to her by her song.  He eventually comes to a house made of carboard boxes and approaches it.

We also see scenes of the young Prince holding on to and gently caressing a mandrake puppet made to look like our Mandragora.  Some people have suggested that the mandrake woman turned into this puppet--No!  Bad!  It is just a puppet made in her image and used by the young Prince as a fetish tool, the way men in our world will use a blow up doll as an object-women to derive sexual pleasure from.  He is kind to the doll, he treats it sweetly because this s what the stereotype of men do--they White Knight a woman in an attempt to woo her.  He is practicing his courting on this doll.  He even goes so far as to make an advance towards the doll and then have the doll refute said advance.  He gets sexual pleasure from that refusal;  he wants a woman who is virginal and new (as stereotypical men generally do) and so it arouses him to have his doll shy away from his advances.

In Short:  A human male is introduced as the counterpart to our mandrake female.  He is shown to have sexual attraction towards her even though he has yet to meet her--hearing her song may be enough to raise his lust.  He has a Mandragora doll he has been give/has made himself so that he can play 'grown-ups' with it, the way little kids will sometimes mash their dolls together to imagine experiment with the idea of sexual experiences.

U-1 - Lyrics
You gave me life
In return I'll just pretend
You watched it burn
In the trees of the autumn
In the shield of the old town
We would build it back down

You gave me life
We would build it back down
In the trees of the autumn
In the shield of the old town
We would build it back down



Video Four:  U-2
Video 4 - u-2
 Our little Prince is busting into a house made of cardboard boxes and carpeted with packing peanuts.  Don't be fooled by the materials; this isn't human made--It's a bit of a trap house set and created by Mandragora.  The humans have tried, in their foolish ineptitude, to mimic her natural habitat for her by building her a home of balsa wood, surrounding her with house trees, potting her in dirt and giving her dripping glasses of water to drink.  But none of these things quit compare to the REAL habitat, as any zoologist knows, and so Mandragora fled.

But all Mandragora knows of the world is what she has learned from the humans and so she saw they set her up a home of her habitat to trap her and in return, she has built a home to capture her own human, made of materials that she thinks are natural to the human race:  Cardboard boxes, packing peanuts, plastic water bottles.  All things artificial, as humans are so apt to do,  And so our Prince fumbles into the mock house and is just as confused by it as Mandragora was by the mock Greenhouse she was imprisoned in. 

He fumbles through the hallways, led forward through the sound of the mandrake woman's haunting, lilting voice until he eventually finds and falls into a room that is empty save for one bottle of water.  The Mandragora's 'Stendhal Syndrome'-esque music kicks in (Remember!  Humans can't listen to that music for longer than an hourglass's time worth!) and he is forced to dance--or, 'perform'--for his water, much as the Mandragora was.  His arms raise towards the sky in mimicry.

Cut with this are scenes of the little Prince in his house with his mandrake doll.  He is overtly sexual with the doll (I need an adult!) and ravages her against the wall, on the floor, on top of him--Like a male puppy humping a stuffed animal.  He is again acting out and practicing his lust with his play thing.

Finally, as the music ends, we get shots of boxes flying out of the box home, presumably the Prince is a little pissed off and just wrecking shop in there.  Mandragora is not in the box house.  She is not there for the Prince to take posession of.  I'm sorry Mario but your princess is in another castle!

Allegorical Video:  It has since been removed due to copyright violations, but the original linked video was a ten minute clip from the Tyra Banks show featuring a group of young men and women who claimed they would do absolutely whatever it takes to achieve fame.  The end of the clip introduces Spencer and Heidi, of The Hills fame, who come on and talk about how they also would do anything for fame and how these young fame-hungry individuals can do things to garner some form of celebrity status.  The connection to the U-2 video is that in our video, the Prince will do whatever it takes to have his woman, have his time in spotlight, have his riches and have his attention.  On Tyra's show, these people want so badly to be famous that they 'play' famous in their real lives.  In U-2, our underpants man wants so badly to be a King, a man, that he 'plays' at being the man with his doll.

In Short:  The Prince searches in vain for his Mandragora Princess who only taunts him by setting traps and tricks up before him.  He wants her but she will not be his.

U-2 - Lyrics
You can't be mine



Video Five:  N
Video 5 - n:
  Video starts out with the return of a Mandragora hunting black dog, out and about in the forest, searching.

Our Mandragora is laid out on a table and garnished with foods--Symbolisim that she is soon to be 'used', devoured in a sense.  Her main purposes is coming.  Everyone wants and will have a piece of her but still she is preserved and kept fresh in her aluminum caccoon-like wrapping.

Some pretty shots of our Madragora roaming the forest, halfway in her 'natural' state (as shown by the black 'mud/bark' that covers parts of her).  Some more shots of glasses full of the milky white substance sitting all around the forest, perhaps as bait to help capture the Mandragora--remember in Prologue Video 2, she was seen licking this substance off of the tree she was birthed below.  

Another lesser idea one might have is that this is the semen collected from the Prince's interaction with his doll, as mandrake mythos tells us that the semen needed to raise a Mandragora is either the semen of a hanged man or the semen of a son of thieves and if he is the son of the men in the initial room he would certainly be a son of thieves!  And these cups of semen are laid out to attempt to harvest more mandrake people.  I don't agree with this theory, but there it is.

We see her hold out glasses of water--the ever life-bringing water she lusts after always!--and then panned shots of paper, our black cat, a cardboard box, an irrigation system running along the walls.  All symbolisms of themes past.  Here is a mirror and in the mirror we see not the reflection of the mandrake women, but a reflection of a child.  Some foreshadowing!

In the end we see our Prince covered in plastic bottles, perhaps his attempt to show his Mandragora crush that he is willing to be and to give her all the water she so desires and could dream of.  The black dog follows before him, perhaps to help lead him to her.

Allegorical Video:  A brief news clip about Bling H2O water which is basically filtered spring water in an extremely expensive bottle encrusted in crystals.  Owning this 'celebrity' water seems to be a sign of prosperity and wealth, as many people attest to in the interviews, and a few men explain how they buy it just to look good to the women they wish to impress.  The connection is clear here:  Prince wants to impress his mandrake love and so he completely covers himself in as much water as possible.

In Short:  The Prince is on the hunt for his Mandragora love and is pulling out all the stops--as much water and milky fluid (the sustenances she loves!) as he can possible carry and set out.  He is a man on a mission!

N - Lyrics
Dress the part
It's storytelling time

Sharpen your knives
Watering mouths
Clean your plates for some tender I

Tell me how the story ends now

Come home, come see our place
Our labyrinth to keep hiding
We push the boundaries
So the rules are bent
Just in time

Come wallow in my sorrow
Breathe your air into my lungs
What hides in my shadow?
My worst fear is real life
Tell me how the story ends now 


 
Video Six:  T
Video 6 - t In this video the cat is gone now--We are completely back into Mandragora's natural world where domestic housecats do not exist.  She is standing knee deep in a great amount of water.  How excellent she must feel!  She needs not rely on bottles or glasses, she has all the water she needs right here in her habitat at her feet!  To Mandragora, this is how it should be.

In this video, we do not see her scurbbed clean and white as when the humans have her.  Nor do we see her black and dirty as when she is in her wild state.  We see her only as a human because we are meant to watch this video from her point of view and from her point of view she does not look strange at all.  She looks normals and she looks natural.  She does not see herself as black or white; that is only the way that we can percieve her.  She sees herself as she is.  She is she.

She is in nature, has all the water and trees and natural things she wants and in this state she feels like a queen, as symbolized by the crown she materialized and places upon her own head.  Soon she finds herself, almost against her will or to her surprise, walking jerkingly back in the woods from whence she came.  In the trees, she feels herself, touches her mouth, revels in the knowledge that she is she and she exists.  She is a living part of the world and to symbolize that world she materialized a ball (yet keep in mind all of these items are still made of human-created foil:  She may be in her world, but she has been touched by humans and that cannot be washed away).

She comes deeper into the forest where she dances and revels in her Queenliness until she materializes a scepter, symbolising her power.  Her set complete, she marches around her world, her territory.

We see some shots of her posing on top of an Escalade made of foil, more symbology of the human aspects that has touched and infected her.  She's playing human.  In the end, she dips and is pulled under the ocean, losing her foil objects.

Allegorical Video:  The video here is of a very young evangelical preacher arguing about creationism and evolution and about how creationism may or may not be incestous because of Adam and Eve?  And that evolution teaches we are evolved from monkeys and that is evil?  My Spanish is pretty poor so I can't really analyze this video in conjunction with the 'T' video but if anyone reading this can translate it and give me an overview I'd be happy to put down my thoughts here.  Sorry!

In Short:  Mandragora has a taste of what her world is and what it means to her.  She is who she is and it does not have to be defined by where she is but by the actions she takes.

T - Lyrics
Above this world, now back again
Millions of years, where it all began
And there's a halt
For the savior who had the purest of heart
Let this be with you soon

There's a new world laid at your feet
We build an army from nothing
We raise our children to the beat
Of this comforting, bonding love

Before the dark
Sought against our ways and means
We're now against our own uphold, 'til we find a cure
And another path into the deepest hole

Behind the insecurities
There is wall of assurance
She is her own worst enemy
She fights her battles for no one

You walked my life, you took it back
We made you sing, now turn the clock
There's a was or a something new
Throw my body at the stars
Where the angels look

Let us sing here for a new beginning
You know by now
Water fills her lungs and she's inhaling
You feel that now
Underneath the stars her body's sinking
You know by now
The air is silent, not a sound



Video Seven:  Y
Video 7- y
 For this entry, we're going to start with a synopsis on the allegorical video presented to us because my ideas of Y are based on that video and what it contains.  So with that said...

Allegorical Video:  We've gone from the insane, young Heidi and Spencer to a beautiful video of Prince Daniels speech to Crown Princess of Sweden, Victoria, during their wedding.  The speech starts off--and I'll try to put it as shortly as possible--telling of how the Crown Princess, during a trip to China,  preemptively wrote a love letter to the Prince every day that she would be gone and how this proved to him the loving and nurturing nature of her heart.  He then goes on to say how before he met Victoria he was not a frog--as the Grimm fairy tale suggests--but he was certainly not a prince yet and that while her kiss alone had not changed that, the support of the wise king and queen he and his princess with a gentle hand, 'generously sharing all their experience'.

At the time of the wedding, Prince Daniels was heavily as many Swedes' hearts finally opened to him after this emotional and unscripted speech.  A former royal family press secretary was qouted as saying, “It shows that he is really capable of being prince of Sweden - there can no longer be any doubt that he is up to the task.”  [cite]

So with all of that in mind, and the feeling an event like that might evoke in one, we go on to the actual video.

Synopsis:

In Short:

Y- Lyrics
Little hope, little home of heavenly
Come and save us from this ugly truth
Little hope, sprung from necessity
May all good things in life come to you

Little ghost, so innocent and carefree
They would never stop hunting you
Little voice, life got the best of me
And in time that's what awaits you too

Little hope, sing a song of fire
I don't know how to be just like that
Little hope, sing a song of fire

Little hope, and the song is silent
With your mind, you dream of life now
Little hope, sing a song of fire

I've seen the truth and it's nothing like you said
I've seen the picture of a perfect world
Now you can touch the air around my cover
So many questions, so many things unsaid




 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Hey, feel free to send me in your theories and questions or even debunk anything I have here!  I'm always looking to expand this compendium for the sake of anyone who enjoys reading about these things as much as I do!  Below I will to post and answer a few questions I have had mailed to me.

Q:  "This is the first attempt by someone to bring the animals into the equation, but it leaves a lot to be desired, doesn't it?  For example: (1) a thousand animals make nests; why pick the 'carpenter bee' to symbolise nesting? 
A:  Carpenter bees, because carpenters bees make their nests by drilling holes into trees.  I explained this above but I assume the person asking overlooked it.  This is vital to how the Mandragora lives--among the trees and from the trees themselves.  They could have shown any animal that builds a nests or a dam like a beaver, sure, but the allegory isn't a creatute that nests, the allegory is a creature that creates a home by the byproduct of wood it's self. 

Q:  "And millions of anymals outer love-cries, why bring the owl as the symbol of it?"
A:  Millions of 'anymals' do 'outer' (?) love-cries but the owl is vital because it is a creature who, again, lives in trees--in the thick of the forest.  In Roman mythology, to hear the hoot of an owl meant that there would soon be a death.  In other words, kiss your asses goodbye doggies and other unfortunate critters or humans along the way!  Also, as stated above, this isnt an owl who hoots only as a 'love-cry', this is a species of owl that hoots all year around.  We don't really know if the hooting symbolises a mating ritual or a hunting ritual or both or something else.

Q:  Not only they are not the most obvious symbols of the things they symbolise (suposedly); but also they would make much moe sense as symbols for other things. The bee: spring, awakeness, fertility. The owl: wisdom, gate keeper, night, hunter, etc."
A:    This sentence is a mess but I think what they are saying is that my symbology makes too much sense--it's too simple--for it to be correct.  And to that I say if you think it's more complicated, you are looking too hard.  Symbology means something equals something else--it isn't a mystery, it's a symbol.  Occam's Razor and all that.
 




PERSONAL NOTES ON MUSICAL/VISUAL TASTE
I love the music and I'm happy I love the music.  It would suck to be this invested in these videos only for her to start serenading me with Justin Beiber covers.  I know who the artist is, I suppose most of you do at this point also, but I don't really care; as I've said the artist is who the artist is.  Who you see in the videos and hear in the songs, THOSE are the creators behind it all.  That is who is singing.  That is who is in the videos.  Does a name give you any more insight than a visual or a sound?  Does it affect you response the the viral campaign if it's not by a pre-packaged 'image' a la Lady Gaga or Christian Aguilera?

It shouldn't.  This music is coming to you fresh, standing on it's own with the video visuals.  It allows for aural, visual and mental enjoyment and on top of that, it has created a fascinating and enjoyable community around it.  It doesn not have the weight of a pre-packaged image behind it, it is standing on it's own.  If it had been Christina or Gaga or The Knife, then their fans would say 'We like this because it is them", because they are already sold on the image.  But with Iamamiwhoami, it is what it is and you have decide on based on the merits given to you if you like it or not.  You don't have much to go by, you're asked to trust your visual and aural senses and if it appeals to you, then you've a great new piece of art to be excited about!


THANKS TO YOU
+  Big thank yous to Anthony (GM4GBWM) @ Youtube for getting me the files I needed!  Much appreciated!
+  More thank yous to Culex for the information on bugs and stuff.  Very ew but very needed!
+  Livejournal users yssim999, [info]benjersthefishand woodenvagina  for their continued theories and letting me shoot ideas back and forth with them!

LINK BACKS
My way of saying thank you to everyone who linked to me and gave me traffic and some internet attention, haha.  I appreciate all the awesome discussion the popularity of this article has brought me!  Also, some awesome articles written by other purveyors of the Bounty arts!
B.O.U1.U2.N.T.Y > Tumblr Community
Deltagoodrem > Forums
Forsaken Order > Experience This
Iambounty > LJ Community
Ohnotheydidnt > O Viral Video
Pop Justice > General Discussion
The Cardboard Box > Sharpen Your Knives
The Round Table > The Fifth Video
Unfiction > Very Weird Viral Video
 
the crow

Part Two: Ascension






Part Two:  Ascension

There is a love story.
It is about two people
Who were very much in love, from different tribes
They were going to be sacrificed
And after they died, God made them into elephants
Because they believe that elephants are immortal
And after this lifetime, the two will have all of eternity
To be free to love each other as they are.
God marked the elephants as Holy
He put symbols on them
So that the hunters would not kill them
So that everybody will know that they are hope
They are eternity.

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