Moon #11:  “Your Chariot Awaits, My Sweet”


Moon #11 Painting: "The Chariot" by Larissa Tokmakova
Moon #11 Painting: “The Chariot” by Larissa Tokmakova

“There are certain jobs that never get done… like all the important ones.  They’re sort of infinite in size and scale.”

Episode Eleven of Mike Daisey’s All the Faces of the Moon is laced heavily with imaginative imagery, even more so than usual.  Kathy, a new character, dreams that she is entangled in tall weeds at the bottom of a river, while an arm breaks through the distant surface of the water above her.  Then, a little later, Daisey describes reaching into his pocket and retrieving a handful of wriggling goldfish, which immediately turn to glass in his hand.  When he drops them they shatter and the shards of glass turn to steam.  And in the final moments, Livia, who for as yet unrevealed reasons did not perish in the 3:47 pm explosion, witnesses a man named Saul reach into his own abdomen and pull out a steaming pile of flesh while driving a car.

Perhaps Daisey has dialed up the imagery in this episode to help drive home the fact that the explosion that took place across from Zuccotti Park at 3:47 has transformed Daisey’s world into a strange place indeed; a place where people no longer need eyes or where the glass eye of Peter Falk can be used to analyze a crime scene.  Kathy, who lives in Daisey’s hometown of Bangor, Maine, hears about the explosion on the news and is revealed to be the mother to one of the characters in New York, though Daisey is clever enough not to tell us which one – solid money would be on either Daisey himself or his old high school friend Gibbs.

As Daisey describes his arrival and frantic search for clues at the chaotic site of the explosion, one gets the unmistakable sense that this month-long monologue has clicked into another gear altogether.  After ten episodes, we now arrive at a suspenseful point in the story where Gibbs, gun in hand, must hustle young Livia through a treacherous landscape to a waiting car, shouting “Move! Move!”   In the same way that Daisey has steadily nudged the monologue from homespun New York memoir into the world of occult mythology, now he swings it just as easily into the realm of the action movie.  And Daisey himself, branded with the mysterious mark of Death and equipped with the all-seeing glass eye of Columbo, now comes across – amazingly – like a bona fide Bruce Willis-style hero.

I am still struggling to grasp the significance of the explosion occurring across from Zuccotti Park.  Daisey also takes time to spell out the history of the Occupy Wall Street movement that settled in that park two years ago.  The only thing I can think is that the explosion is the “message” the Grey Lady sent Livia to deliver.  But why would the human embodiment of the New York Times want to strike at the heart of the OWS movement?  Was it because of the role New Media played in that revolution?  And if that’s the case, who could possibly save us from the supernatural wrath of the paper of record?  Who do we know who could look certain death in the face and then plunge his arm into the river to untangle us from all these weeds?

It’s a big job, like the infinite one mentioned earlier, but luckily Mike Daisey is up for it.  Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker.

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