"We are only what we remember of ourselves"

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In the episode with the nargyles (sorry, don't remember the name off the top of my head, and am too lazy to go look right now), can anyone explain to me why Trevor's speech in the beginning while he is interviewing/interrogating that guy goes "We are only what we remember of ourselves," while his speech at the very end goes "We are NOT what we remeber of ourselves, we are what other people say we are." (epmphasis mine) Both of these are kind of paraphrases, and not exact quotes, but you see my question. Why does he contradict himself so explicitly? Did he change his mind? Did I mis-hear (twice)? I'd like to hear any theories, and I apologize if this has been brought up before (I looked through quite a lot of the old posts, but couldn't look at all of them).

-- Lucas Treffkorn (lucas@rvt.com), March 10, 2002


I think Dangerboy was basically trying to tell you that the Flux eps, although look to be so difficult as to defy explaination we are in fact to assume there is no explaination. The show didn't spoon feed it, and in some cases the meanings were not paramount to explainations. The goal was to provoke thought and create an intricate artistic endeavor, which I believe it certainly has or this board would have died a long time ago with the Scooby Doo forums and the like.

-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo9@cs.com), March 17, 2002.

That is we are NOT to assume there is no explaination.

-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo9@cs.com), March 17, 2002.

I'd love to have seen that show, 'Where the waters meet'. If this isn't too dumb of a question, what waters?

-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo9@cs.com), March 26, 2002.

Hey Lucas. Hmm. I think there are a lot of answers to this question. The first answer is that they are both true (minus the "only" of course) and therefor not really contradictory. Another answer is that the two statements represent the beginning and the end of a journey that has taken place within the episode. I see it like this. Trevor's narration in this episide represents the viewers' own opinions as they are being manipulated by the director. The episode begins with an interrogation which obviously has a lot to do with memory, but also a lot to do with perception and the mudling of fact and fiction (as made obvious by the polygraph maching). Then Trevor pulls the bliss pellet out of the Nargyle and says "Memories are precious...without memories we are nothing." As he says this we are given a closeup of his hand holding the pellet. This is meant to forshadow the events to immediately follow as well as the events in the rest of the episode. He sort of wipes the slate clean with this statement and puts us, the viewers, into a state of readiness. By the end of the episode we have gotten to know Rorty, but like Rorty himself, all our knowledge comes from what he does and his relationships with other people. In the absence of memories the only way he could determine who he was was to rely on other people. When he takes the pellet again, he is back to square one and we hear Trevor chime in stating the obvious conclusion that we have all come to by this point, but which we maybe weren't able to put into words so succinctly, that "we are who people say we are." In both instances Trevor is absolutely right. When we posses memories (the guy at the beginning of the episode) they are the most precious thing in the world. But when we lack any other means of self- determination (Rorty at the end of the episode) we must rely on other people (which thankfully occurs very rarely to Rorty's extent). Obviously, for the vast majority of us we rely on both statements. Our memories are precious, but we often forget, yet we never completely forget, but we define ourselves through our interactions with others. And besides relying on other people, we are always observing ourselves to determine who we are.

I don't know...what do people think?

-- Logo (Vosepherus@aol.com), March 11, 2002.

By the way, this post has some interesting stuff:


-- Logo (Vosepherus@aol.com), March 11, 2002.

Too bad we'll never know the "real" answer. But then again I get the feeling that for lots of things in this show there aren't any "real" answers, nor should there be. Interesting take, anyway. I'll have to watch that episode a few more times. Darn. ;)

-- Lucas Treffkorn (lucas@rvt.com), March 12, 2002.

I don't have any history of involvement with this one, but Mr Treffkorn, I must on competent authority assure you that anyone who should presume there to be no rhyme or reason to this series, in whole or in part (or relegate any of it to the realms of nihilism, as such) are threatening our intelligence with a convenient cop-out of the worst magnitood. If you watch a lot of television, sir, don't bother with our work.

Thank you.

-- dangerboy (artian@earthlink.net), March 15, 2002.

Dear "dangerboy,"

I found your response to my post as puzzling as it was insulting. I'm sure it must be wonderful to be able to read so much out of so little; I post a total of less than a dozen lines of text on this board and you are able to somehow divine not only my "nihilism," but also my television watching habits. Bravo. I'm also sure that it must be equally wonderful to be able to write such eloquent, nay, poetic insults (truly I can't remember the last time I've seen less said with more). But if you are in the habit of using your vocabulary to discourage arguments, I regret to inform you that your luck has just run short. I don't believe that this board is the correct forum for this sort of conversation, so I will state once again that I found your comments rude and inappropriate, and encourage you to contact me personally via email if you really have a problem with something I said. If this is not the case, and you were simply looking for a way to vent whatever frustrations you may have had, I can only encourage you to stay out of my way.

Hope to hear from you soon.

-- Lucas Treffkorn (lucas@rvt.com), March 16, 2002.

I don't really want to get mixed up in this, but you should know Lucas that word around the forum is that dangerboy was one of the writers on the show. In one of Peter Chung's random visits on the forum he recognized dangerboy's prose and told us he was Mark Mars. Besides that though, he can be very insulting at times to virtually everyone here so I wouldn't take it personally. If you've ever read any of his other posts, just be glad you understood what he was saying this time.

-- Logo (Vosepherus@aol.com), March 16, 2002.

Thanks for the warning, Logo. I guess I overreacted a bit, but I was worried that if one guy felt I had said something offensive, most people here would agree. Rather than an apology, I just wanted an explanation; it's hard to defend yourself against someone who hasn't really SAID anything. The fact that he was a writer on the show doesn't concern me. It doesn't give someone the right to be an elitist snob. If he (or anyone) has a problem with something I said, he can just day it, and I'll do my best to try to make things right. Anyway, thanks again for the info, and hopefully there'll be no more about this on the board.

-- Lucas Treffkorn (lucas@rvt.com), March 16, 2002.

#1. My inexcuseable, thoughtless comments upon Mr. Treffkorn's innocent letter, above, were met with at least one reaction of disappointed outrage and apology for my behavior. In fact, I have to appreciate being rightly and appropriately swiped for an irresponsible, embarrassing, reckless and hurtful and unthinking disgrace to my own friends or my own kind.

#2. It doesn't help matters that at last I've succeeded with what yes is only another of what anyone might refer to as an irregular tendency on the part of one of the writers for the series to abuse his own reputation at the expense of anyone who may have made the unfortunate mistake of coming in good faith to pay a visit to its website.

#3 I sincerely apologize. I have done this once before, at least, and I know that though I do have what I consider to e a legitimate, significant and anyhow intelligible at least um contribution to a discussion such as this (thread per se, I mean) I hardly afford anyone anything other than all good reason to assume, sensibly, quite otherwise from what is posted in the form of my entry, above, in question.

-- dangerboy (artian@earthlink.net), March 16, 2002.

Very well. As an example of critical analysis sufficient, accurate and articulate to satisfy one fine item from our little shop of horrors, I give you what one _razer_'s own opinion has been rendered in its regards:

Highly enjoyable for true fans of the animated series., December 12, 1997 Reviewer: site_razer@hotmail.com from Orange, California. USA When an animated series is published on paper, the typical result is a comic book of some kind. The other, less likely possibility is that it will become an all-text book. But what Mark Mars and Eric Singer have done is remarkably unique from both of these options. Instead, the entire "Herodotus File" really is a file, a series of attached and bound documents arranged in chronological order that tell a story in the best way of the "Aeon Flux" animated series created by Peter Chung. Conversations are replaced with transcripts. Monologues become journal entries. All the information the reader would need to have a story is provided, thoughtfully and creatively, and the charachters involved lose nothing, despite being reduced to nothing but letters, still photographs, and memos. It is a unique technique, and I wish that more writers tried it. "Aeon Flux" involves a distopian nation known as "Bregna," populated with mentally stifled citizens, and a bordering territory, "Monica," which has no legal representation in the Breen government. Aeon Flux, a strange, intriguing, and quite deadly woman from Monica is often brought into contact with the equally strange and intriguing Trevor Goodchild, the chairman of Bregna. Aeon could be stereotyped as a secret agent for Monica, or a mercenary, (she has acted as both) but all anyone can truly say about her is that she despises control and will always follow her own initiative. Trevor could be equally misunderstood as a power-hungry despot, eager to crush free will and liberty. Instead, he is a radical reformer, one who is dedicated to the peaceful homogenization of the Breen. He craves control, not power, and the control of a single Breen's life is as interesting to him as the command of the masses. "The Herodotus File" attempts to tell the story of how Aeon and Trevor first met, and preserves the moral ambiguity that made the animated series a powerful psychological drama. The plot, also like the animated series, starts out in simplicity, but becomes inordinatly complex in execution. Trevor Goodchild, who has recently risen to power in Bregna, mentions in his log that he has found a piece of propoganda he finds dangerous, a claim that Bregna and Monica were once one nation. A pamphlet of the so-called "Berognican Reunification Movement" comes next in the "Herodotus File," with a sticky note attached by Trevor, saying "Who are these people? I ask not out of curiousity, I want them CRUSHED!" A charachter who was never in the series is introduced, a disturbing man named "Euphemia," who writes all his reports on a jagged, misaligned manual typewriter, signs them with a lipstick-kiss, and remains completely off-camera, leaving his image to be determined by the reader's imagination, where it will certainly be more fearsome. He undertakes the task of organizing the destruction of the BRM at the behest of Trevor, and suggests several Monican agents to do the dirty work. Trevor, against his better judgement, selects one enigmatic character known as Aeon Flux, who remains a mystery despite his best attempts to obtain conclusive data about her. She herself keeps a file on Trevor. When Euphemia retrieves it and passes it along to Trevor, he finds the information on himself to be equally worthless, nothing but PR. This is a quality attempt to display the duality of the nature of Aeon and Trevor early on, and it works. They only encounter each other physically at the end of the "Herodotus File," in the only part that remotely resembles a comic book. To dispell this notion, talk-balloons are replaced with typed-down transcript notes, making it become a subtitled series of images captured from video surveilance. The end of "Herodotus" ends rather differently than traditional "Aeon Flux" episodes would, with an air of a beginning, not the tragic end that is typical. On the other hand, there is an ironic twist that compensates nicely, and sums up the events in the "Herodotus File." Overall, it preserves the intellectual nature of the animated series. The extreme violence that is implied but rarely takes place is equally preserved, as well as the strong sexual undertones, particularly in the case of Euphemia's memos (he describes Trevor's suspicions as "warm" and "meaty," and somehow manages to describe shocking scenes without cuss-words or bodily references). I heartily reccomend it to anyone who enjoys the "Aeon Flux" animation. They will not be dissapointed.

-- dangerboy (artian@earthlink.net), March 17, 2002.

& THAT's what I'M talking about -

So in fact, on due reconsideration, Mr. Treffkorn has asked a reasonable question and, though his suspicion of the correct answer is wrong (unless I'm sorely mistaken in which case this episode would be an exception to the rule most out of character for the series or any of its spinoff efforts or projects and certainly the original shorts, of course), I would hazard the guess that Goodchild changed his mind.

Now come to think of it - this would then therefore possibly put all the other nine shows onto one side or the other of itself because they could - would have to all be divided according to how Goodchild approached matters in each of the other shows in regards to this question. (We have always suggested that there was no chronological order inherent to the ten series-installments, they could be taken in any order.)

I mean, we'd have to have the beginning of a timekine for the ten of them, now. Or wouldn't we? (Maybe my guess is wrong and Goodchild did not change his mind.)

-- dangerboy (artian@earthlink.net), March 20, 2002.

In fact much of the stuff of these episodes' narratives are critically hinged upon either Trevor's or AEon's or at least someone's moral ambiguities - moral ambiguities are the subject for examination in a great deal of AEon Flux. But, you know what - naaaaaw! Strike my last entry because the moral of one story out of ten shouldn't try to be used as any concrete continuity-signpost for any or all of the others. Especially since we have the protagonist changing his mind about it in the very same episode anyhow. There's no way one could hope to deduce a clue toward any attempt to chronologize the series episodes from that!! (Sorry.)


AEon Flux has structure. If it didn't, it could be one of those places where anything could mean anything else and it would be oK. But that which can stand for anything can finally only and truly signify nothing. AEon Flux recognizes this and Peter Chung's is therefore a definitive world, self-correlated and thereby delimited in its structural configurations. In its narrative and scenarial architecture.

It has rules and conceits. It has givens, premises and conditions. Anything that comes to emerge from its its first premises shall describe or illustrate or demonstrate, reinforce or somehow reference the original framework of the original foundational premises of the world of AEon Flux.

So there is a fictive history and a cohesive continuity to be deduced or ascertained from what plays out is or as the stories of each episode, or novel, or movie, or FluxMux etc etc. - and without logical conflicts or circular arguments or continuity errors or bullshit, pseudointellectual cop-out excuses like, "Well, it's ALLEGOOOOORICAL and it can really mean anything you really would want it to mean, you knoooow? Or you know SOMETIMES it's allegorical, you seeee?"

For example, the opening scene in A Last Time For Everything. No one has ever (until now, to my knowledge) pointed it out that, when Scaphandra says to Aeon, "Too bad about their shutting down D-Section," she SHOULD have said, "C-Section." D-Section, after all, was the one Onan had insisted on attempting. C-Section was the one AEon offered to personally smuggle Sybil through back with her to Monica, and the one Aeon had been using to run back and forth with in "Thanatophobia." WE FUCKED UP. And it may seem like a small matter to anyone who might read this or would otherwise ever have noticed, but the whole picture of what was going on there and the whole infrastructual layout we were working from is obfuscated beyond recognition by this one stupid gaff! GOD DAMN IT!!!! Now how are we to expect anybody to figure it out for themselves, wtF WE think we were talking about - when our sht aint even straight TBW??!!

But thankfully there are not many such errors in the scheme of AEon Flux - but hey that's not even oK here because in AEon Flux, structure is CRITICAL.

-- dangerboy (artian@earthlink.net), March 22, 2002.

Would Aeon ever put together a resistance of her own against Trevor's side? Is it a country? Does she get paid by her government? Is she a spy? Is Monica hoping to free the others and make them part of her country or ??? Did she always want to try and overthrow his country or is it because she is attracted to him and wants his attention? What was she going to do if she got control? Will they ever make another show or spy magazine about Aeon Flux?

-- Mary (Marybrody@aol.com), March 25, 2002.

Excellent questions!

AEon is an anarchist. The two dystopiae of Bregna and Monica are separate states, though Bregna is the only one of the two that is itself a declared either nation- or corporate-state, or both whil Monica is not a declared state of its own, in fact it only exists as such by virtue of its silence, its being a remainder of the political. Monica is an anarchy; Bregna, a proper nation -state.

Everyone in Monica must fend for their own as individualists - "As Long As You Don't Hurt Anybody." Of course, this is AEon's own way of seeing things as well - in fact she is probably the most serious about it of anyone whom you might meet or talk to about these things were Monica available to the tourist trade, but maybe that's why we got deeper into Bregna because Bregna was open to MTV in a lot of ways Monica wasn't. Bregna understands MTV's language.

AEon Flux is a spy because she is curious. It's all a matter of her own personal initiative - hers is the paradigm wherein the personal is indeed political and with a vengeance.

Monica is not really a nation-state of its own, though, so there never is or could be any official position for the Monican government (there is none) wait a minute I'll be right back -

-- dangerboy (artian@earthlink.net), March 25, 2002.

Is Monica hoping to free the others and make them part of her country or ???

-okay I'm back now, somebody had to use the phone. Monica cannot be defended - only freedom through anarchy as a personal vision may ever be defended and everyone in Monica knows this. There is no "Pledge of allegiance" to "Monica". In fact, there is no Monica - there is only (strictly speaking) "DISRECOGNIZED SPACE."

Did she always want to try and overthrow his country or is it because she is attracted to him and wants his attention?

You know, that is always (it appears) an important personal motivational question for AEon Flux: Why is she doing this?? We are given only to suss her core motivations as such from each situation as is she in each episode, and may often find the nature of her missions to be dark and interminable beyond ready apprehension or analysis. Your question therefore is a rhetorical staple for our darker machinations and mischief: DO WE WANT TO KNOW (HER)? WHAT is she really about!?! Does SHE really wanty to know? (I do - I think I do...)

What was she going to do if she got control?

As an anarchist, AEon Flux is against control. She's (ostensibly) about showing Goodchild who ISN'T boss, and not about showing anyone who is or who were "Boss." AEon wpuld never want to take control - only to destroy control itself.

In fact Monicans generally HATE POLITICAL POWER ITSELF: "In Monica, there are no rulers, only tape-measures."

Will they ever make another show or spy magazine about Aeon Flux?

That's what I want to know - but you know what : WHOth fk. IS "THEY"? WE are.

-- dangerboy (artian@earthlink.net), March 26, 2002.

Interesting to addition to the Bregna/Monica genesis story. Somehow Aeon becomes much less of a romantic figure when you consider that her only reason for being is to negate the actions of others. Power without purpose hardly seems preferable to even power of with an evil purpose. And as sick as Trevor sometimes seems, what the hell is wrong with Aeon that she should take it upon herself to become the great equalizer? Surely not all Monicans are like this since her behavior violates their central tenet of freedom without inflictin harm on others. But it truth, Trevor and Aeon's desires aren't really that different. They both seek domination through the exertion of thier will. In typically male fashion Trevor has chosen the sociopolitical sphere in which to define himself, whereas Aeon has chosen the traditionally female course of defining herself through the interpersonal relationship. Her "work" is a means to that end, while Trevor's relationship with Aeon is merely a collateral result of his politics. Psychologically, they are really quite traditional in a white bread, 1950's, all American kind of way. How sweet.

-- Logo (Vosepherus@aol.com), March 26, 2002.

Here's some of the skinny on Mark Mars that I got off the CalArts web page for anyone who's interested:

"Mark Mars ('84) is an American film and video artist and writer of national recognition in Los Angeles and the Midwest. From 1997-1999 he was a staff writer for HELLBOY: Time of Disorder, C/D Gameplay; 1998 a staff writer for AEON FLUX, C/D Gameplay (unpublished); and 1995-1997 Co-author with Eric Singer AEON FLUX: The Herodotus File, Graphic Novel. Mars worked for MTV Networks as writer/director; production manager; technical coordinator of six-part, nationally-deployed MTV Radio campaign show promoting novel AEON FLUX: The Herodotus File (MTV/Pocket Books). From 1994-1996 he was series weriter, asst. story editor for MTV Networks AEON FLUX, a weekly half-hour TV animated psychodrama of world critical renown and 1991-1993 worked for the City Government Channel 26, Milwaukee WI as executive producer with Christina Zawadiwsky on WHERE THE WATERS MEET, weekly half-hour TV series dedicated to arts and social issues."

The last thing it lists you doing was back in '99 dangerboy. What have you been up to lately? Anything we might have seen?

-- Logo (Vosepherus@aol.com), March 26, 2002.

Hoo boy. Now I've done it -

-- dangerboy (artian@earthlink.net), March 26, 2002.

Thank you for answering my questions. I feel like I've been wanting to get this froever. What did you mean by MTV understands Bregna? I think Monica is more like them, anarchists. But then again MTV is probably run by a bunch of guys who are more into control then they like to admit, so maybe Bregna is really more like them. I have always wanted to more more about this girl, Aeon Flux. She is so fascinating, if I could have one wish it is that they continue the series, it was the best ever. Thank you again.

-- Mary (Marybrody@aol.com), March 27, 2002.

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