Thursday, January 4, 2018

One Act Play: Dr. P.G. Agoras' Home for Misfit Heroes

The Juggler (2016) by Daniel Loveday
Hello! It's been way too long since I've worked on The Deep Zone. I've been going back to school to finish an MA in English.  I changed jobs, moved into a house in the country that had a lot of clean up to be done. I've made it through my first semester and I feel like I can get back to the blog without getting behind.

Since it's a new year with the greater part of 2018 still looming ahead, I thought I'd share something completely different with you.  

The feature below is a script I wrote for a  graduate English class American Identity through Film. The prof asked for a fiction piece where two characters from different films discuss and display opposing versions of American identity. 

I did that along with what I think is a first in gematria studies. To my knowledge, I don't think anyone else has ever attempted to make gematria a main focus in a work of fiction.  I'm not making any claims beyond that because it all happened by accident in the course of completing an academic assignment. Whether or not its actually any good, that's up to you to decide. I like it, mainly because it's helped me to find other ways to use gematria I can develop more fully in the future. 

 The oppositional characters of Dr. P.G. Agoras' Home for Misfit Heroes are Charles Foster Kane the early 20th century media tycoon of the 1941 film Citizen Kane(Orson Welles) and Bob Barnes (George Clooney) , the world-weary CIA assassin of  the 2005 film Syriana. The character Dr. Peter G. Agoras is a therapist who uses to gematria to help these two subjects find a way out of the psychic black holes and moral blind spots of the American experience. Both of these films have an interesting history that I'll look at in more detail, soon. 

The narrator is character Mike Thlog. So, here we go! 
      Dr. P.G. Agoras' Home For Misfit Heroes

On the distant planet Aldiegeon there lives a strange, yet remarkable man, Dr. Peter Agoras, head of The Home for Misfit Heroes. This morning, Dr. Agoras is preparing for his therapy session with two of his clients, Charles Foster Kane, of Citizen Kane, otherwise known as “Chuck,” and Bob Barnes of Syriana.

On Aldiegeon, no one is a real person, at least in the earthly sense. The people and everything else are the characters and thought forms of playwrights, screenwriters and other English-major types. Once the public’s interest in a film or a book subsides, even just a little, these forlorn spirits are forced into exile, far from Earth’s solar system.

 After drifting through the galaxies, the thoups usually end up on Aldiegeon. Once there, it’s time to begin life, or at least a facsimile of life, on their own. Most thouple, whether they’re famous or not, cope well enough. However, for some like Chuck and Bob, it hasn’t been easy to break free of authorial influence. 

"Dr Peter G. Agoras" 

by Fabrizio Cassette
Two years ago, Agoras discovered the nanoorganisms now known as the Gematria Strain and has been trying to perfect his treatment and, hopefully,one day find a cure, ever since. 

What exactly did Dr. Agoras learn? Chuck, Bob and others like them suffer from numerological stress disorder. They’re doomed to commit acts of malice, repeat tragic mistakes suffer through catastrophes not only because of what’s written into their scripts, but perhaps even more importantly, because of the numerological codes embedded in them, according Dr Agoras. 

 As if that weren’t strange enough, it seems that the creators of Chuck and Bob, Citizen Kane’s, Orson Welles, and Syriana’s Stephen Gaghan either consciously or unconsciously, may have made it impossible for Chuck and Bob to ever live normal facsimiles. 

Anyway, I see Dr. Agoras coming down the hall. Let’s find out more about the DNA of the Gematria Strain with some green screen graphics and some Q & A. 

Mike: “Doctor Agoras! I know you’ve…we’ve, got an appointment to get to, but for our viewers, can you tell us what is the Gematria Strain. 

Agoras: Certainly,  the Gematria Strain is class of nanoorganisms that multiply through the interplay of language and number.  These virus-like “codes,” if you will, are often found in screenplays and other works. They can form symbolic patterns that induce certain behaviors in characters and seem to affect the perceptions of the earthly audience. 

Mike: Fascinating! What else can you tell us about these, nanoorganisms. 

Agoras: These codes have countless mutations and are so incredibly small, smaller than the tiniest atom, they could never be seen in the physical sense. But, we can pick up their signatures by deciphering the letters in key words, to reveal the underlying numerical code of their hidden DNA. 

Mike: That’s incredible information! How does this chart on our right fit into the picture?

Dr. Agoras: This one shows English Ordinal gematria. When using this cipher to find the Gematria Strain, we assign the  numerical value for a letter according to its order in the alphabet. For example, we can see some interesting interplay between number and meaning in the sets of paired opposites below using English Ordinal,

Judge =  (J)10 + (u)21 + (d)4 + (g)7+(e)5 = 47
Jury   =  (J)10 + (u)21 + (r)18 + (y)25 = 74

Beauty = (B)2 + (e)5 + (a)1 + (u)21 +( t)20 +( y)25 = 74
Beast =   (B)2 + (e)5 + (a)1 + (s)19 + (t)20 = 47

Mike: I think I see what you mean, Doctor. But it’s weird! -- at least from a layman’s point of view.  What if it’s all just a matter of coincidence in the way the numbers work? 

Agoras: Yes, much of the time the results can be coincidental, or natural, I might say, The entire universe is based on ratios and proportions that we only dimly understand. However, mathematics and numbers together with our powers of interpretation can tell us much about the forces and energies that the numbers represent. The most important thing is that this knowledge can help misfit heroes become refit heroes. 

Mike: I still have a lot of questions about the other ciphers, but one more thing. Why are there so many of them? Wouldn’t it be less complicated and perhaps more accurate to use only one cipher when testing?

Agoras: I hear that question often, so I can understand the confusion.  You know in language there are synonyms, to increase accuracy and precision of communication, and in music they’re different keys for varying ranges of pitch. 

In our work there are several ways of decoding. For instance in Reduced Gematria the two digit numbers are added together to produce a single number. For instance K is the 11th letter.  In Ordinal Gematria its value is 11. 

In Reduced Gematria K = 2 because 11 reduces to 2 by adding (1 + 1). Reverse Gematria works the same way, but backwards. Even though ciphers produce different numbers, they’re often interrelated, mathematically and symbolically. It’s my job to help thouple find the patterns that might affecting them, one way or another, and then find ways to amplify positive energies that may be blocked and diminishing negative forces, as well.  That’s the gist of it,and we’ll look at some theory again at some point during the session.
Orson Welles as "Chuck" Kane

[Mike Thlog and Dr. Agoras enter the session room, Chuck is working on some notes and smoking his cigar, with a look of intense concentration. Bob is watching the Jerry Binger Show on ThoupleVision, aka the Rube Cube. He’s hides his beer when Mike and Agoras walk in the room. He’s been cracking pistachios with the shells all over his shirt, which he brushes off himself carelessly as he sits up, somewhat. He’s not taking care of himself so he looks tired and defeated.]

Chuck: Pete! Ah just in time for “Breakdown Bob’s” final slide into oblivion. Bob! Hey! Get off the Cube for once, and try to show some self-respect on your way down.

Bob: Ya know, Chuck you may think you have it all together because you have this quack shrink and his nanobugs all in your little vest pocket. You’ll probably even fly outta of this cuckoo nest, eventually...That’s if can ever pry your nose out of Agoras’ ass! 
Bob Barnes, Syriana 2005

[Mike looks at Bob with incredulous disgust]

Agoras: Okay, Bob. That was entertaining, but it’s gonna cost you. [Presses intercom] Leo, make sure the kitchen puts Bob on brown rice, salad and water for a week. No beer or pistachios, and no TV, either.

[Leo’s voice over intercom] Okay, got it. Mmmm, this morning, Bob.. got.. in the drawer when I wasn’t looking… He, ah, took the big Sharpie and wrote graffiti all over stairwell... just on our floor, though.

Agoras: Did you call maintenance?

Leo: Yeah.

Agoras: Okay, good. Bump it up to two weeks on everything, I’ll come up and talk to you guys when I get done here.

Leo: Alright, thanks. [Intercom click]

Chuck: Ha!

Agoras: Chuck, you’re pushing it, so cut it out. Now, listen up! Mike Thlog is here today, because his audience wants to know about what we do here. I picked you two… well because… you’re both specimens of toxic archetypes in American cinematic history. The megalomaniac tycoon of Industrial Age America, that’s you Chuck, and Bob, unfortunately you’re the post 9/11 CIA assassin. 

Bob: You’re blowing my cover, Ago-razz. Langley’s gonna send clean-up over here to take your…

[Agoras interrupts] You both still think you played the game by your rules, come what may. But, you failed as heroes! Why? -- Because you thought you could change the rules in your favor. You’re both smart when it comes to abstract high-end logic...But, you’re a couple of boneheads when it comes to other people’s well being and your own self-interest. Bob, I’m going to give somewhat of a break on that last point, because in your film, you at least tried to fix things.

Bob: They pulled out my fingernails! God damnit!

Chuck: Here we go again!

Bob: You shut the fuck up, asshole! If it hadn’t been for you and Hearst getting the Spanish American War going with the “Remember the Maine!” psyop, there never would have been a CIA! What’s that line from Kane, “You furnish the pictures, I’ll furnish the war?” 
1898 propaganda poster exploiting the Havana Harbor false flag. 
Agoras: He’s probably right about that Chuck.

Chuck: I... I mean Hearst never actually used those words, but I admit that’s what I said in the movie. I realize Hearst and me whipped up all the war fever in the papers , but how can you blame me, I mean Hearst... you can’t blame us for the CIA?
William Randolph Hearst

Agoras: I think Bob’s saying that it was the Spanish American War that first turned America away from its stated purpose of being a beacon of freedom in the world, to being an empire. The CIA became the inevitable quarterback agency for the whole operation.

Bob: Yup! Taking Cuba and the Philippines led to the CIA having the power to topple governments all over the world. That’s where I come into the conversation. I’m a facsimile of Bob Baer, CIA. A real company man. You’re a shadow mix of William Randolph Hearst, with some bits of Rockefeller and Hughes thrown in.

Chuck: Ah, bull hiney! [at Bob] The bottom line is you like killing thouple, but I’ve never held that against you.

Bob: [there’s a noticeable pause] Chuck... I’m not going to say I would enjoy killing you, because I want my beer and pistachios back. But… [he’s interrupted by Agoras]

Agoras: Chuck! I warned you about blaming Bob for his assassin programming, and [grits his teeth] possibly triggering him.
The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

Chuck: That’s all incredibly convenient.

Agoras: [Clicks intercom] Leo, a week of brown rice for Chuck. No salt or butter! 

Leo: Okay, thanks. [Click]

Bob: [begins to perk up and become more present] I could have been in a movie about building hospitals and schools in the Middle East.

Chuck: That would have been incredibly exciting!

Bob: [Interrupts back, now angry] instead of being your gang’s monkey-boy mercenary!

Chuck [claps slowly and deliberately] Monkey-boy mercenary, alliteration and meter, nice touch. I think Bob wants to be a conspiracy rapper, like KRS-1 or Lauryn Hill.

Agoras: Everybody feel better? Now, let’s drop it and get to work. Chuck, go ahead and show Mike what you found out about...Plan-R. 
Dr. Strangelove (1964)

Chuck: Plan-R? Pete, we’re not in Dr. Strangelove. That’s tomorrow’s appointment.

Bob: He means the R-word, Rosebud. Don’t worry, Doc, I’m over that trigger, now. I’m not going to go for the gun in your desk.

Agoras: [clicks intercom]Leo, make sure everybody on your floor is down at the front desk at 11 o’clock. We need to go over a couple of things.

Leo: Okay, thanks.[click]

Mike: Yes! Chuck… tell us what you found out about Rosebud [looks at Bob warily] … I mean the R-word.
The final scene of Citizen Kane with
Rosebud consigned to the flames.

Chuck: Well, here it is. I think I solved it. My scripter and physical likeness Orson Welles created a symbolic link between the crisis of separation from my family and an inanimate object, a sled with the brand name, Rosebud. Ever since, it’s become a symbol of an enigma signifying “nothingness.” That guy in the movie, me? I don’t really even know him anymore. I don’t have to buy mountains of crap to pour down some imaginary abyss in my soul.

Bob: You gave up “collecting” and that makes you a philosopher?

Chuck: No. I’ll admit I still have a lot of pride to work out but at least I’m over that part. Security, intimacy and identity issues, you already know what those are, right? That’s what makes us “men,” in America. Anyway, while I was on my way here to this world, drifting through the ether, I’m thinking to myself… Rosebud? That’s a funny brand name for a sled, even for an Orson Welles film. Rosebuds are for springtime and sleds are for winter. They don’t really go together, do they?

Bob: Back in those days they painted flowers on the sleds, the ones for girls, anyway.
Chuck: [Takes a puff from his cigar] Either way it’s strange. So, to put it bluntly, Welles put me in a numerological mind-warp with my name Charles and Rosebud. Here. look at it yourself.

[Hands Mike a sheet of paper with Gematria Strain calculations.]

I’m not sure if he meant to do it, but to think that it happened on its own, like a decree of Fate, that’s even more disturbing to me, somehow.

                 C    H    A    R    L    E    S
                 3 + 8 + 1 +  9 + 3 + 5 + 1 = 30
                 R    O    S    E   B    U    D
                 9 +  6 + 1 + 5 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 30

Mike: So is this the Reduction mutation of the Gematria Strain?

Agoras: [to Mike]Yes. [to Chuck] Chuck, the important thing is that you’re beginning to see things as they really are, in your soul. That’s where we all have to start. Good work!

Chuck: At least I think I know why you wanted me to go by Chuck instead of Charles.

Agoras: That’s right, seems a little modification in your name made a big difference on a frequency level. Haven’t you noticed the change since we did that?

Chuck: I’m not as quite as touchy about my things anymore. And, Bob is about the only one left for me to criticize, because we’re stuck there on a personal level.

Bob: Don’t let me hold ya back.

Agoras: It’s progress. Anyway...Mike, what do you think “30” means here? [starts calculating with pad and pencil]

Mike: I don’t know, I’m looking at the 3 in the number. When I think three, I think of a family, like man, woman and child.

Chuck: I was an only child. I hadn’t thought of that!

Bob: Ok, I’ll play along with this part. What about thirty pieces of silver, like Judas? Even though Chuck cashed in, his own mother kinda betrayed him.

Chuck: I know, but I still believe she meant to do it for my benefit, sending me away from my father, because he beat me. But looking back, that’s where it happened. In the winter of ‘71. That sled, Rosebud, it was my replacement family.

Agoras: I think you guys are onto something. Look at this! [tears out a sheet and shows them]

F      A       M       I       L     Y
6  +  1  +    4  +  9  +  3  +  7  = 30

Chuck: That’s an amazing string of correspondences. It’s all making sense now. I felt like all of those beautiful possessions were all I had to hold onto. When the newness wore off, I’d go out and buy something else.

Agoras: It gets easier once it’s gets simpler, doesn’t it?

Chuck: We’ll see. I noticed when I went back to exactly the thirty minute mark of my movie. That’s the scene where the researcher goes to old Thatcher’s Library, looking for clues about Rosebud. The attendant asks him, “Did you ever find what you were looking for?” At this point, I’d have to say, yes and no. I can see how I got here, but I’m still not seeing my way out, yet.

Agoras: I think it may be that we’ve only been looking at part of the picture. I want to take a closer look at the title Citizen Kane. There has to something there. Give me a second [writes on his pad].      

Mike: Dr. Agoras, I’m wondering what the Ordinal cipher might uncover. You’ve been working with the Reduction mutation. I’d like to what happens with simple A - B -C, 1 -2-3.

Agoras: I was thinking the same thing. [continues scribbling and counting]

Bob: I’m not sure if we need to add up “numbers” to see what the problem is, here.

Chuck: [to himself, but out loud] Oh my God!... Mom and Dad I know you weren’t perfect. Who is?... Daddy, I was bad, so I deserved all those beatings.
Chuck in earlier days as Charles Kane 

Agoras: [continues writing, not looking up] Now we’re getting somewhere. Keep going.

Chuck: Mother, I always tried to figure out why you withheld affection. Was it because you had to be a tough woman on the frontier, the money person in the family? They tried to say we were poor before the goldmine, but I had more then, than I was ever going to have. I didn’t want the money! All I needed was…love! [He sobs]

Agoras: [Hands Chuck his pad, as he pats his shoulder. Camera zooms in on pad] 

Chuck, I know you’re feeling alone and confused, but I think this may help.

C       I      T       I      Z      E      N       K     A     N     E
3  +  9  +  2  +  9  +  8  +  5  +  5       2  + 1 +  5 +  5  = 54  Reduction Mutation
C       I      T       I      Z      E      N       K     A     N     E
3  +  9  +  2  +  9  + 26 +  5 +  14     11 + 1 +  14  + 5 = 117 Ordinal

3 + 9 + 4 + 5      1+ 5 + 4      3 + 5 + 1 + 9 + 5  =  54 Reduction Mutation

3 + 9 + 22 + 5     1+14+ 4     3 + 5 +1 +18 +14 = 117 Ordinal

Agoras: I realize we don’t need fancy formulas and calculations to see what the problem is. But, when the numbers line up with what the Universe is trying to show us what’s going on inside ourselves, it’s time to pay attention.

Bob: That’s what I’d expect you to say, attention to your [makes quotation gesture] “feelings.” But, not so fast, Mr. Science! How can you be sure that pattern is not just a trick of the digits? What else have you got, Agoras?

Agoras: Bob, I’d appreciate it if you’d just call me Pete… not Peter, just Pete. Okay?

Bob: [shakes his head, and looks away for a moment, kind of crazy] Sure, no problem, Pete...

Agoras: Okay, let’s look at this from another angle. Citizen Kane’s initial release in movie theaters occurred on September 5, 1941.

Bob: So.

Agoras: September Fifth is the 248th day of the year. On that day, there are 117 days left in the year. Now go back and look! [Camera cuts to Agoras’ pad]

C      I       T      I       Z      E      N      K     A      N     E
3  +  9  +  2  +  9  + 26 +  5 +  14     11 + 1 +  14  + 5 = 117 Ordinal

Citizen Kane equals 117 in the Ordinal Gematria strain.
Bob: [pause] What do you want me to say, Agoras?...sorry… Pete...that you opened my eyes with gematria? What difference does any of this make? It’s just all coincidence. Nobody sits around and scripts outs film with that sort of precision.

Agoras: Okay, Bob. You win. It’s all in my head. [shows Bob his pad]

3 + 5 + 5 + 2 + 9 + 1 + 3    9 + 5 + 2 + 5 + 3 + 3 + 9 + 7 + 5 + 5 + 3 + 5   1 + 7 + 5 + 5 + 3 + 7 = 117 R  
Bob: [sits almost paralyzed and dumb]

Chuck: I’ve been cursing Welles this whole time, and now I see that maybe he was using my numbers to get through to people in a creative way with gematria. I don’t know! But if it’s helping me to “live and learn,” and see where I went wrong, maybe I end up helping some other sociopath become a tolerably better person. [He writes on his pad]

Agoras: Yes, there’s a positive and negative aspect to everything.

Mike: Bob, I know that last one threw you in the whirlwind, Everything okay, now?

1898 political cartoon with propaganda for an American Empire
Bob: Yeah, I think so. Pete just got me on the September Fifth connection. Pan Am Flight 73, Munich and Mai Lai all happened on that day. I’m going to have to press all this back down into a little black ball. 

Agoras: Bob, don’t wear yourself out, we’ll pick it up from there tomorrow morning. I’ll bump the Dr. Strangelove group to the afternoon. [Presses intercom] Leo, have Dorene bring up a fudge pop for Chuck and Bob, sometime after dinner tonight. I’ll be up there in a minute after I check on Gordon Gecko and Barry Lyndon.

Leo: [over intercom] Okay, thanks.

Chuck: [Tears out the sheet from his pad.]

12 + 15 + 22 + 5 = 54  Ordinal

15 + 12 + 5 + 22 = 54 Reverse Ordinal

Chuck: It seems that  Citizen Kane, my identity, has a numerological link with 54. It’s bound up forwards and backwards into the nature of things. I realize now everything that has ever existed, good or bad, has to come from love in one warped form or another. It’s the one thing I could never buy, and for that I’m grateful, finally.

Bob: That’s the problem we always had in the field. Some thoups aren’t as easy to buy as you might think. Making thouple stay bought, that’s even trickier. 
Syriana (2005)

Agoras: It all comes down to identity, doesn't it. If everyone could be bought, the war would be over, wouldn't it?

Bob: I'm afraid so, but it keeps guys like me in a job. I know killing, spreading mayhem and enjoying it is wrong, but if its for the right cause, it makes it meaningful. That's, at least, what I used to think.  I'm not sure what's meaningful, anymore. 

Agoras: Bob, that was beautiful. let's start with that tomorrow.