“We’ve met before, haven’t we?” – The Mystery Man in Lost Highway
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David Lynch is not a horror director. With the possible exception of Eraserhead, his films are not usually considered horror films. Despite this fact, no other director has ever horrified me quite so thoroughly. As a teenager, I first encountered Lynch’s strange cinematic universe after stumbling upon a VHS copy of Blue Velvet at my local rental store. Since then, the images and sounds from his macabre body of work have continued to haunt me. Even now, more than two decades since my initial discovery of them, his films – and especially his monsters – are never far from my mind, and I consider his crew of hideous villains to be much more unsettling than the horror genre’s usual parade of killer clowns, flesh-eating zombies, and chainsaw-wielding maniacs. You can imagine my shock, then, when I suddenly realized in November 2016 that the country of my birth, the United States of America, had elected a Lynchian monster for president: Donald J. Trump.
In my view, Trump is the walking, breathing embodiment of all that is frightening about Lynch’s dark visions – the authoritarianism, the crude sexuality, the excessive violence, the unapologetic bigotry, the toxic masculinity, the infantile rage . . . even the Baron Harkonnen’s crazy orange hair. Thus, on the morning after the election, I felt like that character from Mulholland Drive who wanders behind a Los Angeles diner only to encounter the monster from his dreams. Like him, I woke up that fateful autumn morning and discovered that a demon from my nightmares had similarly followed me into the realm of the living. Since then, I’ve occasionally asked myself, would the world be any worse if we had elected one of Lynch’s actual film monsters instead? Forty-fifth president: Frank Booth. Forty-fifth president: Bobby Peru. Forty-fifth president: Mr. Eddy. Forty-fifth president: Donald Trump. The ease with which Trump’s name rolls off the tongue alongside Lynch’s roster of rogues should be enough to give all of us nightmares.
To be sure, Lynch is not the only artist to have anticipated the election of this dangerous charlatan, but while the prescience of other pop-culture phenomena – ranging from the dystopian fiction of Octavia Butler to the comedic hijinks of The Simpsons – has been widely recognized, the contemporary political relevance of Lynch’s films has yet to be sufficiently acknowledged. Indeed, when Lynch’s politics are mentioned at all, they are usually derided. For many critics, Lynch is a moralist and a misogynist, a patriot and a puritan. The notable film critic Robin Wood labeled him a nihilist, and another one of Lynch’s outspoken detractors wrote an entire book dedicated to his denunciation, Pervert in the Pulpit.1
These and other accusations of the director’s retrograde politics seemed to be confirmed when he was quoted as praising Donald Trump in a 2018 interview, telling The Guardian that “he could go down as one of the greatest presidents in history.”2 Lynch quickly walked back these comments and claimed they were taken out of context. However we choose to interpret this incident, I do not think Lynch’s interviews with the press are the best place to probe his stance on Trump and Trumpism. Lynch is a filmmaker, after all, and no matter what particular politics he may verbally articulate, his films will always provide us with a richer, more profound source of ideas.
Since his earliest shorts, Lynch has been obsessed with the dark underbelly of Americana, and for over four decades, he has crafted characters and narratives that forcefully subvert the dominant, self-celebratory imagery and iconography of U.S. mythology. Whether Lynch is fully aware of it or not, his films have consistently warned us about the specter of American fascism and the dangers of right-wing populism. As such, Lynch is a director who manages to compellingly capture that surreal, it-can’t-happen-here quality of the contemporary moment, demonstrating not only that it can happen here, but that it does happen here – and even more, that it has been happening here for a very long while. I therefore believe that in this present age, the age of Trump, the time is ripe to return to Lynch’s films once again and to watch them with fresh eyes.
To be sure, Trump is hardly the only monster to have emerged out of the Black Lodge of U.S. electoral politics. There is no shortage of war criminals and Wall Street swindlers in Washington, and even Trump’s main contender in the 2016 presidential race, Hillary Clinton, is quite a monstrous figure. But Clinton is not a Lynchian monster. If her warts are hidden behind a smile – the ongoing, status quo horror of drone massacres, for instance, safely concealed behind the rhetoric of progress and liberal civility – Trump wears his warts with pride. Like the Baron Harkonnen from Dune, who makes no attempt to disguise the nauseating diseases festering on his face, Trump’s monstrousness is overt, callous, and crude. Indeed, it is his very monstrousness that got him elected. His supporters love him for it, and they rally around his vulgarity like the lecherous thugs cheering on Frank Booth in Blue Velvet. If we once analyzed the operations of power at the subtle, micropolitical level, today things have changed. In this brave, new Trumpian world, the mechanics of oppression are often plainly visible, out there for the whole world to see. Trump’s monstrousness is not a secret; it is an asset.
So what makes Trump specifically Lynchian – or, for that matter, what makes Lynch’s monsters specifically Trumpian? To unravel this question, we should begin by turning to a different era: the long 1950s. Crucially, this is not the terrible 1950s of Emmett Louis Till and the No Gun Ri massacre but a different 1950s, a counterfeit 1950s. What I am referring to is that bucolic, fairy-tale version of the 1950s that still permeates conservative thought. This decade is imagined to have been an idyllic time of nuclear families and wholesome Judeo-Christian values – a harmonious time immortalized by Norman Rockwell paintings and Father Knows Best. It was in the 1950s, after all, that God’s name was added to the Pledge of Allegiance and Cecil B. DeMille’s biblical epics were breaking records at the box office. In the right-wing imagination, this glorious period was torn asunder with the arrival of the turbulent 1960s and its various emancipatory movements – from civil rights to Stonewall. The housewife in the kitchen was replaced by the bra burner in the streets, the clean-cut Boy Scout by the pot-smoking protester. Beaver Cleaver had transformed into Abbie Hoffman, Uncle Remus into Malcolm X. For conservatives, the political and cultural currents of the 1960s ruined everything, and the nation has yet to recover. As Trump put it in one of his apocalyptic jeremiads, “The ’60s were bad, really bad. And it’s really bad now. Americans feel like it’s chaos again.”3
Not coincidentally, this fabled epoch in U.S. history also overlapped with the childhood of the two figures that concern us here: David Lynch and Donald Trump. They are both baby boomers, after all – born just a few months apart from each other in 1946, and the romanticized ideals and values promulgated in the age of their adolescence seem to have left quite a mark. Now in their seventies, both figures have been unable to exorcise this mythical image of the country from their minds. Indeed, Trump’s entire presidency can be considered part of a continued conservative backlash against the 1960s – a mantle he inherited from Ronald Reagan. At his rallies, Trump repeatedly refers back to the salad days of his youth as “the good old days” – the prelapsarian age before the 1960s when people supposedly knew their place and authority was respected. When protesters interrupt his speeches, Trump wistfully reminisces about these good old days and encourages open violence: “In the good old days this didn’t happen because they used to treat them very, very rough. And when they protested once, they wouldn’t do it again so easily”; “You see, in the good old days, law enforcement acted a lot quicker than this. A lot quicker. In the good old days, they’d rip him out of that seat so fast – but today, everybody’s politically correct”; “I love the old days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher, folks.”4
Like Trump, Lynch is also captivated by this fanciful golden age. The 1950s permeate his films – from the obvious (e.g., the Elvis Presley songs in Wild at Heart) to the not so obvious (e.g., the Montgomery Clift poster decorating Sandy’s bedroom in Blue Velvet). While none of Lynch’s films actually take place in the 1950s, the deceitfully simple, small-town settings and characters of Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, and even The Straight Story are infused with all of the hot coffee and cherry pie-flavored goodness that one usually associates with that decade’s selection of wholesome family sitcoms. Even those Lynch films that seem a world away from that bygone era still harken back to it. Mulholland Drive, for instance, opens with a jitterbug dance contest; the cast includes classical-era Hollywood star Ann Miller; a main character takes her name from Rita Hayworth; and an instrumental pop ballad that plays during the film’s tragic denouement is a song co-written by Lynch called “Pretty 50s.” Even the title of Mulholland Drive is an homage to the 1950s, specifically to Billy Wilder’s film noir masterpiece Sunset Boulevard.
For all of these reasons, Lynch has sometimes been seen as a hawker of nostalgia, and on this basis he has occasionally been disparaged as a backward-looking conservative, as someone who uncritically glorifies the whitewashed America of yesteryear. In my view, such a dismissal does an extreme disservice to Lynch. While he undeniably dips his cinematic brush into the same nostalgic waters dredged by reactionaries like Trump, the picture he paints is far from harmonious. Something is horribly wrong in Lynch’s America. Recall here the opening of Blue Velvet. We see a blue – impossibly blue – sky as the camera slowly tilts down and focuses on some red – impossibly red – roses situated in front of a white – impossibly white – picket fence. The resulting tableau of brilliant color, one of the most enduring and immediately recognizable images from the entire film, is nothing less than Lynch’s version of the American flag. We then see a parade of idyllic images – a perfect picture of peaceful, small-town bliss, complete with a waving fireman and his obedient Dalmatian.
Before we can fully relax in these tranquil scenes of nostalgic reassurance, however, Lynch throws us a curveball. The archetypal suburban father watering his manicured lawn suddenly collapses from an apparent stroke. As his body convulses on the ground, Lynch’s camera takes us deep into the grass beneath him and reveals the world beneath our world – a dark, hidden world of grotesque bugs and cannibalistic insects. Blue Velvet’s unsettling opening suggests a theme that Lynch will return to throughout the rest of the film and indeed, throughout the rest of his career. It suggests that the bedrock of U.S. society is rotten and that there is something corrupt and perverse at its core. The fantasy of the American Dream is pervaded by odious nightmares, and it is precisely this shadow world – this hidden but always present place – that is home to Lynch’s monsters.
Like Trump, Lynch’s most memorable monsters are baby boomers. This includes Blue Velvet’s Frank Booth and Wild at Heart’s Bobby Peru. The latter is even a former Marine who carried out massacres during that generation’s bloodiest military fiasco, the Vietnam War. Killer Bob, the demonic spirit from Twin Peaks, also hails from this period, and the third season of that series reveals the exact date of his arrival into this world: July 16, 1945, the day the U.S. military detonated the world’s first nuclear bomb. In Twin Peaks, this ominous event not only launched us into the so-called Atomic Age, it also inadvertently ripped a hole in the fabric of the universe, a tear in space and time through which Killer Bob entered. Thus, even Lynch’s most otherworldly monster of all is not really so otherworldly. He is just another all-American product – as much a part of those fabled good old days as Mr. Potato Head or color television. In Lynch’s films, the 1960s did not destroy American innocence; the corruption and taint were already there.
Lynch’s monsters and Trump’s presidency therefore crawled out of the same American swamp, but the traits and characteristics they share are not limited to generational identity or geographical origin. They are also connected to a common class. With the exception of the Baron Harkonnen and Mr. Eddy, Lynch’s monsters are proletarian monsters. Frank Booth, for instance, is a blue-collar criminal. His apartment is located on the industrial side of town, and when he attempts to cross class lines and pass himself off as a “well-dressed man,” his ill-fitting disguise looks ridiculous. But Booth’s most memorable tie to the working class is expressed through his taste in booze. At one point in the film, he violently rejects imported beer in favor of a cheaper, local product: “Heineken?! Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!!”
Frank Booth is not Lynch’s only working-class monster. In Twin Peaks, Killer Bob is played by Frank Silva, an actual below-the-line laborer who had originally been hired as the series’ set decorator. It was only after he accidentally appeared in a shot that Lynch decided to cast him in the role. Other proletarian monsters include Bobby Peru from Wild at Heart and Randy from the animated web series DumbLand. Even one of Lynch’s more conventional movies, The Elephant Man, depicts evil as emanating from the working classes, and in that film, it is the night porter who most grotesquely exploits the pitiable protagonist, selling tickets to the city’s underclass to come and gawk at his deformed body.
What are we to make of Lynch’s association of evil with those inhabiting the lower rungs of the capitalist hierarchy? While some critics have seen this as a case of bourgeois elitism on the part of Lynch, an instance of a kid from Montana growing up to hate his own humble origins, I do not think this is the best interpretation. In Lynch’s films, not all working-class characters are monsters. Indeed, many of his protagonists are working-class heroes, including the inhabitants of Twin Peaks, as well as one of Lynch’s most compelling characters of all, Alvin Straight from The Straight Story. Moreover, in Wild at Heart, Sailor is played by Nicolas Cage, an actor who seems to have intentionally cultivated a star persona that screams white everyman.
Thus, I do not think Lynch’s treatment of working-class culture amounts to bourgeois contempt or arrogant self-hatred. Rather, in my view, Lynch is identifying a specter that has long haunted the United States: the danger of right-wing populism and the threat of the mob. Lynch’s monsters are not just working-class monsters. Crucially, they are white working-class monsters. Recall the place where Bobby Peru first emerges in Wild at Heart: a trashy Texas trailer park populated by a motley crew of beer-guzzling rednecks, Confederate flag-waving bubbas, and amateur porn performers. I know this crowd well; they are the good old boys I grew up with in East Texas. As one of Missoula’s native sons, I assume that Lynch knows this crowd well, too. These are the same people who today watch Fox News until they are frothy at the mouth and believe that white Christians are the country’s most persecuted minority, the same people who reacted to the election of a Black president by organizing Tea Party protests and perpetuating outlandish conspiracy theories regarding his country of birth. Working class they may be, but they certainly aren’t the revolutionary proletariat as envisioned by Marx. Rather than attacking injustice, they have indulged in white supremacy. Rather than acting as a force for emancipation, they have become the status quo’s stalwart henchmen – guardians of a socioeconomic pecking order that also ironically victimizes them.
To be sure, in terms of class, Lynch’s monsters anticipate Trumpism more than they anticipate the actual president himself. Trump, after all, is a billionaire con artist, and economically speaking, he is less akin to blue-collar criminals like Frank Booth or Bobby Peru than he is to moneyed monsters like the Baron Harkonnen or Mr. Eddy – the former a hideous dictator, the latter a dangerous mob boss. But Trump understands his brand. He may not be the brightest person to ever occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but he knows how to gauge his voters and manipulate their misplaced class resentment. Thus, while liberals often ridicule Trump for his incessant typos on Twitter or for his uncouth dietary habits – just as they once derided George W. Bush’s Lone Star accent – they do so at their own peril. Trump is playing his audience like a fiddle, using the battleground of culture to galvanize his white (supremacist) working-class base. Indeed, just think of the time when Trump hosted a football team at the White House and treated the athletes to a feast of fast food. Liberals were aghast at the spectacle of Big Macs and French fries being served on silver platters, but his base loved him all the more for it. Trump knew what he was doing. One could easily imagine him defending his culinary choices in the voice of Frank Booth: “Haute cuisine?! Fuck that shit! McDonald’s Happy Meals!!”
Another defining feature of Lynch’s monsters is their penchant for sexual violence. All of them are sexual predators. In Dune, the Baron Harkonnen appears to keep a harem of boys as sexual slaves; in Twin Peaks, Killer Bob causes a man to rape and murder his own teenage daughter; in Lost Highway, Mr. Eddy forces women to strip naked for him at gunpoint; and in Inland Empire, the Phantom is the ghost of an abusive husband. It is Frank Booth, however, who remains Lynch’s preeminent sexual monster. Sexual violence is Booth’s deeply perverse way of expressing love, and he blackmails, beats, and abuses Dorothy Vallens in an attempt to gain her adoration. Reflecting on his character, the actor Dennis Hopper put it this way: “his love is so intense that he’ll kidnap her husband, he’ll cut off the husband’s ear, he’ll take the child, he’ll do whatever he has to to keep the love and respect of this woman.”5 Frank Booth, as it turns out, is the original incel terrorist.
Bobby Peru is also a sexual predator, and in one of the most difficult scenes to watch in Lynch’s entire filmography, he attacks a vulnerable, pregnant Lula in her motel room, grabbing her between the legs and refusing to leave until she mouths the words “fuck me.” One could hardly find a more startling anticipation of the leaked 2005 Access Hollywood tape in which Trump infamously bragged about using his fame and fortune to molest women. Thus, in Wild at Heart, Bobby Peru merely performs on screen what the current U.S. President boasts about doing privately. “Grab ’em by the pussy” – the words belong to Trump, but they could have been lifted from any of Lynch’s scripts. As of this writing, more than twenty women have publicly accused Trump of sexual misconduct, including assault.
The excessive sexual antics on the part of Lynch’s monsters point us to a secret they are all trying to hide, perhaps even from themselves. Lynch’s monsters are impotent monsters. Through their violence – and especially their sexual violence – they are attempting to compensate for their own insecurities and failures. Indeed, how else are we to understand Frank Booth’s exaggerated, single-minded focus on sex? He toasts to “fucking,” he addresses people as “fuck,” and he loudly proclaims, “I’ll fuck anything that moves!” And yet, despite all of this, his pants never come off. His sadistic rape of Dorothy amounts to a vicious dry humping session. Such violent behavior is nothing more than a ruse, a pathetic attempt by Booth to mask his own fundamental weakness and inadequacy. Frank Booth is a clown, a truth that is made plainly visible in the strange, surreal scene in which he applies makeup to his own face. Bobby Peru, too, is a sexual predator who never actually has sex. Even after Lula submits to his will, he ultimately backs down. Moreover, in Lost Highway, Mr. Eddy’s sexual possession and control of Alice likewise turns out to be nothing more than a misogynist fantasy. His phallic brandishing of a gun is as close as he gets to sexual virility. Mr. Eddy turns out to be as impotent as all of the rest.6
Like Lynch’s assortment of impotent monsters, Trump is perpetually acting out. This is a man, after all, who puts his name on everything in big, bold letters, a man who is obsessed with the size of his hands and who even bragged about the girth of his penis at a nationally televised Republican debate. From Frank Booth to Donald Trump, all of these monsters are deeply insecure men with fragile egos – white patriarchs who are trying to compensate for their own lack of authority. In one way or another, literally or symbolically, they are all impotent creatures, and the lesson we should derive from them is the exact opposite of the prevailing wisdom of the 1950s; father does not know best.
Impotent or not, Lynch’s monsters all exhibit an unencumbered, unimpeded enjoyment. They are figures of excess, destructively living life to the fullest. In Freudian terms, they are pure id, beings that operate without the censorship of the superego. This uninhibited behavior attracts certain followers, admirers who live vicariously through their wild and flamboyant actions: the Baron Harkonnen’s devoted servants, Frank Booth’s seedy entourage, Mr. Eddy’s muscular posse. I believe this is exactly how we should also make sense of Trump’s enduring support amongst the white Christian Right. Conservative Evangelicals – people who have supposedly devoted their lives to Jesus – have placed their faith in a billionaire braggadocio who compulsively lies, treats his charity as a personal slush fund, and sleeps with porn stars. Trump enjoys so that they don’t have to. This is why, with every new headline about his various schemes and corruption, his popularity does not diminish at all in these quarters; on the contrary, it even grows. Trump’s base lives vicariously through him. His actions and behavior correspond to their own repressed fantasies. Indeed, this also explains why his campaign slogan has been so effective. The literal words are “Make America Great Again,” but the message conveyed is rather different: “Make America White Again,” “Make America Straight Again,” “Make America Masculine Again,” “Make America Christian Again.” In this way, Trump arouses his supporters’ identitarian desires; he provides them with a myth, a fantastical narrative in which they can imagine themselves to be an aggrieved community, righteously fighting to bring back the harmonious order of yesteryear.
However much we might like to distance ourselves from such shenanigans, things are never quite so simple. Despite their extreme, excessive behavior, none of Lynch’s monsters are aberrations. As is the case with the more sophisticated examples of horror cinema, these villains are not exotic, alien others. They are inherent features of normality itself. Like the all-too-normal Norman Bates from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, like the lumbering zombies of George Romero’s Living Dead series, like the tethered doubles of Jordan Peele’s appropriately titled Us, Lynch’s monsters represent our basest impulses and desires. Indeed, even the destructive forces that Killer Bob unleashes – incest, rape, and murder – were already present in the sleepy Twin Peaks community before his arrival, lurking just beneath the surface. Bob’s power is not the ability to turn the innocent into evil; rather, Bob’s power is his ability to bring out the evil that is already there, the submerged evil that already exists. This is the ultimate truth behind all of Lynch’s monsters. There is no Lumberton, USA, without Frank Booth, no great American road trip without Bobby Peru. The Mystery Man is not somewhere out there; he is somewhere in here, already in our home.
I think this is why Lynch’s films were so important during my own process of political radicalization. I grew up in a very conservative environment. It wasn’t the 1950s, but it might as well have been. Even as a teenager, I remember thinking of my small hometown as a modern-day Mayberry, the fictional setting of The Andy Griffith Show. It was the era of Reagan, another president who peddled reactionary nostalgia and promised a return to the storybook 1950s. In this and in many other ways, Reagan remains a model for Trump – a B-list Hollywood actor for a B-list reality television star. Let’s not forget that Trump directly plagiarized his rallying cry from Reagan’s 1980 campaign slogan, “Let’s Make America Great Again” – the “again” in both cases pointing back to those mythical good old days.
My chance encounter with Lynch’s films therefore deeply unnerved me. Never before had I seen the patriotic myths of my youth so profoundly shattered. Lynch’s monsters frightened me because – try as I might – I could not disavow them. Frank Booth is neither from distant Transylvania nor from some remote galaxy. Frank Booth is from here! He is in me and all around me. As Booth himself perceptively tells Blue Velvet’s gee-whiz protagonist in between inhalations of narcotic stimulants, “You’re like me.” As the truth of this insight sunk in, my world slowly changed, and I gradually recognized the decay at the core of my own values and fantasies. The ground beneath my feet began to crumble, and my social universe started to dissolve. In short, my Mayberry myth was broken.
This symbiotic relationship between Lynch’s monsters and the society they inhabit points us directly to the current U.S. president. Like any other Lynchian monster, Trump is not some strange fluke. His election and continued popular appeal cannot be entirely blamed on those pesky Russians or any other conveniently foreign scapegoats. Trump is the logical outcome of those impulses and tendencies that have long characterized this genocidal, settler-colonialist project known as the United States. Like Killer Bob, Trump represents an old spirit, a demonic wraith that has accompanied America since its very inception – and even before. This spirit was here when Christopher Columbus first came ashore and immediately started slaughtering the native Arawaks. It was here when a vessel called the Good Ship Jesus landed in the Americas and began unloading its human cargo, thus inaugurating the Atlantic Slave Trade. In more recent decades, this spirit has incited lynch mobs, agitated for war, and locked children up in cages along the U.S.-Mexico border. This dark force I am referring to is the same one invoked by James Baldwin, a writer who occasionally turned to the supernatural in order to elucidate the atrocities of the present. “For, I have seen the devil, by day and by night, and have seen him in you and in me.” “The devil,” Baldwin continued, “does not levitate beds, or fool around with little girls: we do.”7
Alas, Trump is no anomaly. Like Lynch’s monsters, he is thoroughly red, white, and blue. He is – to borrow a phrase from H. Rap Brown – “as American as cherry pie.”8 Thus, if the true horror of Lynch’s first feature, Eraserhead, is not the monstrous baby itself but the knowledge that that monstrous baby is ours, the same goes for the rest of Lynch’s monsters. It also goes for that other monstrous baby, the hideous infant in the White House. In a word, Trump is us – and that is perhaps his most Lynchian aspect of all.
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All images are screenshots from the DVDs, permitted for reproduction under the Fair Use doctrine of copyright law.
- Robin Wood, Sexual Politics and Narrative Film: Hollywood and Beyond (New York: Columbia University, 1998), p. 340; and Jeff Johnson, Pervert in the Pulpit: Morality in the Works of David Lynch (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2004). [↩]
- Quoted in Rory Carroll, “David Lynch: ‘You Gotta Be Selfish. It’s a Terrible Thing,’” The Guardian (June 23, 2018), available at theguardian.com. [↩]
- Quoted in Michael Barbara and Alexander Burns, “It’s Donald Trump’s Convention. But the Inspiration? Nixon,” New York Times (July 18, 2016), available at nytimes.com. [↩]
- Quoted in David A. Graham, “The Lurking Menace of a Trump Rally,” The Atlantic (March 10, 2016), available at theatlantic.com; Jenna Johnson, “Trump’s Rhetoric on Muslims Plays Well with Fans, but Horrifies Others,” Washington Post (February 29, 2016), available at washingtonpost.com; and Jonathan Capehart, “No, Donald Trump, ‘Great Love for the Country’ Comes from People Protesting You,” Washington Post (March 11, 2016), available at washingtonpost.com. [↩]
- Quoted in the documentary Mysteries of Love (dir. Jeffrey Schwarz, 2002), included as a special feature on the Blue Velvet DVD. [↩]
- My reading of Mr. Eddy’s impotence is indebted to the analysis offered in Todd McGowan, The Impossible David Lynch (New York: Columbia University, 2007), pp. 172-6. [↩]
- James Baldwin, The Devil Finds Work: An Essay (New York: Vintage, 2011 ), p. 126. Emphasis in original. [↩]
- H. Rap Brown, Die Nigger Die! (Chicago: Lawrence Hill, 2002 ), p. 144. [↩]