Monday, August 25, 2008


I was writing the last post about Romney and McCan't's Faustian contract regarding his candidacy which hooks him into the Rove Matrix. I started thinking about the movie The Matrix and that seen between Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) and Cypher (Joe Pantoliano). I then thought of the name Cypher and its different connotations. A "cipher" is a code, a secret message, a symbol; but it is also a nobody, a nonentity. Interesting in the context of the movie since his goal is to disappear into the Matrix in exchange for giving up Zion and the resistance. But I wanted more.

Where else had I heard the name "Cypher?" Then it hit me. I remembered the movie Angel Heart released in 1987, with Mickey Rourke, Lisa Bonet, and Robert DeNiro. A dreadful film. Horribly bloody and full of Method acting from Rourke and DeNiro. DeNiro! He played a shady character named Louis Cyphre (clever French spelling since it was set in the French Quarter of New Orleans). You didn't know who this Cyphre was until the end, when you put his first and last names together. LouisCyphre. LouCyphre. Lucifer. He was the Devil!

So then I drifted back to The Matrix and Cypher. I hadn't read the graphic novel, but could the writers have been playing with that name as a metaphor for the Devil? Perhaps. The parallels were there.

That drifted me back to McCan't and his Faustian contract with Rove. Faust, as you know, signed away his soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge. I then thought of the name McCain. Of Cain. Cain killed Abel, brother killed brother. Imperfect analogy, but a murderer is a devil, an evil person.

So goes my idle mind...

Rests where he's staying, nowhere he knows
A place where nobody cares where he's straying, or where he goes.
To find no one in particular, footloose, adventure still
No thoughts for reasons he does all he's doing, has time to kill
And still he's killing the time.

from "Time to Kill," Gentle Giant, 1975

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