Monday, March 20, 2017

Why ARE Twin Peaks Fans so darn nice?

I used to look at Twin Peaks like ‘break the code solve the crime’ was the way to go. I’d dutifully have my fine-toothed comb at my side while I pulled Twin Peaks apart like an old watch. This has been a highly fulfilling pursuit for well over 26 years now, and I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. Even though I know full well the code isn’t here to be broken.
I’ve now mainlined the show, the four TP books, Fire Walk With Me (but a little less so than the others with that one), deep-dive analysis books such as Brad Dukes’ Reflections, and any Twin Peaks-related podcast I can get in my ears, and the conclusion I’ve come to is that 'break the code, solve the crime' is sort of true, but (especially with Lynch) there’s a different kind of understanding that’s more important. It’s not the kind of knowledge you can put concrete words to…it’s more about how mood and instinct are understood truths, and the truth Lynch gave us is something you’re supposed to feel somewhere between dream logic and waking brain. And I think that’s where he wants it to stay.

And then we have Frost, who has a clarity and workmanship with his storytelling, but that doesn’t mean he lays out clear answers, either. Frost is just as interested in misdirection, subterfuge, and multiple meanings of the scene in front of us as Lynch is. No matter how precisely constructed his phrases appear, Frost seems to make each word mean as many of its different dictionary definitions as he can at once.


Twin Peaks presents us with just enough facts that we CAN:

- mix and match the facts for any myriad of competing theories

- create perfectly valid theories using inference and pattern recognition

- support any fan theory

- refute any fan theory

- support multiple contradictory theories at the same time 

- refute multiple contradictory theories at the same time


But not so many facts that we can:

- prove anything once and for all

- disprove anything once and for all


Therefore, the only Wrong way to interpret Twin Peaks is to say: “I have the ONLY answer”.

I'm pleased to say almost Everyone in the fandom seems to fundamentally understand this, which is why I think we all get along so smashingly. We support each other because no one is any more or less valid than anyone else, and that means we get to have fun building our theories together.

This is worth keeping in mind as I continue to post my thoughts here. Even if you read my words like I somehow have supreme confidence in them, try to remember I’m just playing in the same sandbox you are. I'm always happy to share the landscape. And I'd love to talk about this with anyone.  Don't be shy with comments (unless of course you want to be).

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