The source of Evil in the cosmic struggle that was the David Lynch/Mark Frost series Twin Peaks : the Black Lodge was seemingly an extra-dimensional portal into the world of Nightmare and more-or-less the headquarters for the diabolical forces of the show. Its entrance moved from place to place and its internal size seemed to grow or shrink at will. Special Agent Dale Cooper's former partners and fellow FBI agents (like Wyndham Earl, or Phillip Jeffries (David Bowie) in the film, FWWM) seemed to stumble into the Black Lodge with alarming frequency, and were usually quite insane when they emerged. Essentially it was the lobby to Hell, and from its red-curtained, checkerboard floored hallways (...if you'd care to see it, check out sprang the show's ultimate manifestation of Evil, BOB. The show's characters often dreamed themselves inside the antechambers of the Black Lodge, usually engaged in cryptic conversations (like "In my country, the birds sing a pretty song, and there's always music in the air.") which ultimately referred to events or places in the real world. However, the actual space itself could only be intentionally entered by a physical form, via a small circle of sycamore trees, called the Glastonbury Grove in Ghostwood Forest outside the town of Twin Peaks.

The show's final showdown (David Lynch is, afterall, a notorious dualist and his constructed universes about as fairytale Good vs. Evil as you're likely to find) takes place inside the Black Lodge, as 'Coop' attempts to rescue his sweet-heart Annie, the former nun(!), after she's been kidnapped by his ex-partner Wyndham Earl, and dragged to the Lodge at the behest of the evil demonic spirit, BOB, who has it out for Coop ever since, in the second season finale of the show, Cooper confined Bob and forced him to abandon his 'host' Leland Palmer, Laura Palmer's father, whom Bob had possessed. Under the sway of this demon, Leland had been compelled to tempt Laura into becoming a similar vehicle, but after she resisted, Leland was ultimately forced by the spirit to kill her (getting all this so far?). The real question (for the Peakies anyway): why couldn't Cooper beat BOB in this final showdown, why he buckled and ran when confronting his own doppelganger, and how he ended up a vessel for the demonic? He was the show's White Knight (the finale heavily borrowing from Arthurian legend), yet in the end, he didn't keep it together despite a Zen cool and hyper-caffinated thought processes.

Lynch, it must be said, tends to project a very deist worldview into almost everything he works on or writes. Angels and demons seem to exist, all manner of supernatural being stumble through our human reality. But as for a God, an ultimate higher Order, binding principle or law - that seems glaringly absent. Subsequently, there is an ever-receeding perception, an always tenuous grasp, to the way we understand our selves and our world. Always another layer to peel away, or another curtain to peek behind. The entire show was a rambling, operatic case study for this sensibility, with the investigation into the murders acting as the core of the argument. After all, despite all the time, analysis and deductive talent focused on the deaths, it is made fairly explicit that none of the "human" characters in the show ever grasp why people are being killed, who is really doing it, or to what ultimate end. The humane forces of order and good, law and rationality (all seemingly synomynous) presented in the show are ultimately relegated to cleaning up after a string of grisly killings, which they are powerless to stop. The real impact on the viewer derives not from the surreality of the situations or peoples (we all know the world can be strange), but rather the realism of the endgame he presents: ultimately, there is simply too much contingent, occluded or incomprehensibly complex for us as human beings to always make the right choices. Bleak, but fairly convincing, given the evidence.
An incredibly nifty plot element that, since the show was cancelled, ultimately went nowhere. Just when Twin Peaks was becoming stale and ridiculous, we were told that the United States Air Force (specifically Major Garland Briggs) is investigating Indian legends about a supernatural portal to an evil realm deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest which is somehow related to UFOs and the murder of Laura Palmer and all the other weird crap that was going down in the series. Cool! And all this YEARS before The X-Files was even a gleam in Chris Carter's eye.

I suspect Coop couldn't beat Bob in the final showdown because it wasn't meant to be the final showdown; the show was abruptly cancelled so all those loose ends never got tied up.

One explanation for why Special Agent Dale Cooper allows his Doppelganger to escape from the Black Lodge is punishment for his weakness. He'd already fallen for Wyndham Earle's wife pre-Twin Peaks, and suffered the consequences, and again falls for Annie, just when he should be focusing his efforts on stopping Earle's deadly chess game. Coop is warned several times by a friendly giant not to be so distracted, but despite his various talents, he's pretty slow on the uptake in the last season. Cooper willingly gives up part of his self to Bob in the finale, and is given a chance to race his doppelganger out of the Black Lodge, but by then it's too late. "How's Annie? How's Annie?" Well, not too well once Bob gets his hands on her.

Clues to what might have happened if Twin Peaks wasn't cancelled can be found in Fire Walk With Me. FBI agents played by David Bowie and Chris Isaak are caught up in the Black Lodge. Bowie's character attempts to warn Coop of the Black Lodge, but fails. It's conjectured (and much of this can be found on the Web in various fanfics) that if TP wasn't cancelled, the next season would have very quickly begun with a rescue of the true Coop by Deputy Hawk. Other members of the Black Lodge would have been made guardians of the entrance to the Black and White Lodges sporadically located in the forest near Twin Peaks.

Twin Peaks was such a great series, although the whole Bob scenario was just a great excuse to show rape and murder on prime time television. The only season finale to have the same amount of mindfuck factor was the end of the second season on Millenium, in which Frank Black's hair turns white after fears that a great plague has killed his wife and most of the world's population.
The collective of magicians known as the Black Brothers mentioned in Aleister Crowley's Liber ABA (Book 4).

Their stronghold is a Tower built upon the edge of the Abyss. These adepts have refused to let go of their attainments (and their egos) and cross the abyss into the City of the Pyramids. Eventually they will be worn away by the inertia of the Universe. Theirs is but one byway on the journey of the Magnum Opus, their stubborness bars them from further attainment as well as the Secret Word of the Aeon.

Further accounts of them may be found in "One Star in Sight".

A song by Anthrax from their album "Sound of White Noise" released in 1993. The song is set apart from the rest on the album in the liner notes with the note that it is "also written by Angelo Badalamenti for Anlon Music".

This is perhaps one of the most unique songs that the band has ever done. It is set apart from their normal music in that it is actually a painful love song, quite out of character for the band that did 1000 points of hate (also from white noise). In this song the band abandons their normal fast metal for a more mellow and contemplative tone.

The song is a passionate lament. A proclamation of love, blind love for one who cannot return that love. Love for one who lives in their own personal hell. Its chorus the irrational plea of a lover wanting to go where he can never actually go. It is an expression of the pain of watching a loved one in pain, and knowing that there is nothing that can be done.

That's how I interpret it anyway.

Lyrics removed for copyright reasons. --ed.

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