Moon #12: “Mars is a Soldier Whose Hands are Red”
“I’ve never been able to tell if that grasping for duality has anything to do with the actual human spirit or if it’s just fear talking.”
Mike Daisey hangs the twelfth part of his All the Faces of the Moon on the concept of duality and the human obsession with it. He talks a little more about “Sad Carl,” his pet name for Carl Jung. Jung was particularly preoccupied with duality, Daisey says, and in confronting his own dark side, discovered the basement level of consciousness that was the source of that darkness. As such, each of Daisey’s characters confronts or comes to terms with a shadow version themselves in this installment.
The quote above is from Saul, a statuesque man whom we met two episodes ago, when he pulled some rich red goop out of his stomach to be used to patch up someone else’s wound. Saul is, in fact, a Golem molded from clay long ago in Prague, so you’ll forgive him if he can’t quite wrap his head around certain “human” concepts like the comedy of Cheers or the potential for both good and evil within each person. Yet he is himself part of an unlikely duo – he has teamed up with Daisey’s old high school buddy Gibbs to help protect Livia from… something that’s after her.
Meanwhile, Daisey introduces us to one of the servers in Joe’s Pub: a steampunky young woman named Mary Jane. Her presence gives Daisey a little room to harangue the Public for its $40 million lobby renovation, which he amusingly compares to Krypton in the 1978 Superman movie, and also for the overall dichotomy between the Public Theater proper and the racier Joe’s Pub space next door. Mary Jane also has two faces – in addition to the living the waitress/actress cliché, she is part of a Dionysian cult. Or at least she was until Dionysus was murdered. Known in this story as “The Big Guy,” Dionysus held court over a perpetual party in an apartment on the Lower East Side. She witnessed part of his gruesome murder, which she saw carried out by – say it with me – a freakish mirror version of herself. Jack, the Big Guy’s double-gendered son and the poster boy/girl for duality, makes a pact with Mary Jane to track down whoever killed his father.
After discovering Sabrina’s camera in the rubble of the explosion across from Zuccotti Park, Daisey too must face his own other half: his wife and director Jean-Michele. But Daisey isn’t just making a case for getting involved or explaining the significance of the shattered lens and the photo of Livia to Jean-Michele; he is reconciling the two aspects of his own life. Daisey cannot keep these parts of his life separate any longer. From here on out, magician and monologist must act as one. And the first thing Daisey must do is speak to the Grey Lady, the human embodiment of the New York Times.
Then there is Gibbs, who apropos of nothing I have always pictured as Breakfast Club-era Judd Nelson. We first met Gibbs in Daisey’s speech and debate class in high school, performing a monologue from Anne Rice’s The Vampire Lestat. Gibbs has become a true occult badass in the years between now and his adolescent vampire obsession.
It is only fitting that the douchey Wall Street bankers he must now throw down with are actually vampires.