“Behind this veil of secrecy dwells an equally invisible power, a force whose true nature is perhaps unknowable but which has been the subject of intense study by generations of wise men, sages, and shamans. To know this power is to be able to manipulate the machinery of connections from which the world, and the experience of the world, arises: to operate in secret, and to reap secret rewards.”
—Simon, “Dead Names”
I figured I say a few words about this new Venom trailer that dropped—and I’d say it here instead of my entertainment blog Fantasy Merchant, as there are some bits I’ve found that relate to stuff I’ve written about here recently.
And so if the Spider-Man mythos is that of the geek, the Horus-resonating brilliant youngster who gets initiated via totem-bite into an advanced, heroic state of being…Venom is all about some rough-around-the-edges knucklehead who gets his body violently hijacked by an alien parasite of questionable morality.
Which mythos is the emblematic one of our zeitgeist at the moment?
The villain of this film, as it is in so many films of this era, is the Silicon Valley Ted-Talky whizkid slimeball. He believes that the future of humanity is a transhuman mix of humanity and alien—and has harvested some black oily nasty alien shit to test on any number of unfortunates.
Tom Hardy plays Eddie Brock with an intriguing “street” accent that brings to mind the whine of DeNiro’s Travis Bickle and Hoffman’s Ratzo Rizzo, with just a touch of Mike Tyson. He is not a fresh-faced Tom Holland but rather kind of an awkward mess. Hardy’s Bane from The Dark Knight Rises was also kind of an awkward mess, especially with he full “reveal” about his character at the movie’s climax.
And the line that stood out for me in this Venom trailer is about how the corporation is just pulling “the vulnerable” off the street and testing out this “venom serum” (which of course is a living alien life-form of some kind; see my post on the connection between the Spider-Man/Venom characters and the alien archetype) on them.
Because isn’t that what the MK-Ultra thing was all about? And, if you have read a series like the Sinister Forces books, you read deeper into the connection between MK-Ultra, LSD, shamanism, and outright occult workings (sometimes involving creatures that might be called, according to your preferred flavor, “aliens”).
“This is the Manson Secret: the use and abuse of hermetic and initiatic (shamanic) processes as a means of manipulation of individuals and groups; the recognition that within the initiatic process is a wealth of psychological knowledge and technique that can be used for evil as well as good; the incorporation of Fear as a substitute for Faith.”
—Peter Levenda, Sinister Forces Book 3
And what is the black venom “muck”—and the clearly Satanic-looking creature itself in the trailer—if not representative of this “dark” evil occult force?
And so you have this hapless schmuck, Eddie Brock, “bonded” to this unholy creature which was cultivated in a Silicon Valley lab and born out of who-knows-where. He can hear Venom’s voice in his head. He can’t get rid of this thing; him and this alien symbiote are “bonded.”
How does Brock rectify this dilemma? How does he and the Creature share his body? Where does his body end and the creature’s body begin?
Can this really be a “hero?” Can it really be trusted? And is the final result neither Brock nor Venom but, as William S. Burroughs might refer to it being, a “third mind?” As Philip K. Dick might call it, a “ditheon”:
“I was made into Ditheon, by the grace of God. Therefore I became Christ (Christos). Christ is paradigmatic of the justified man – yet Jesus patibilis exists, everywhere crucified, everywhere dying with/as the creature in Ditheon: at the end, God justifies.”
–Philip K. Dick, “Exegesis” (extended version)
As we see some heroes “sunset” in the almost-here Avengers: Infinity War movie…is Venom the icon of a new generation?