The Underground Men: Complete Story

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One thought on “The Underground Men: Complete Story

  1. Excellent story. My favorite page (and metaphor) is page 11. The cold darkness of the deep, with its otherworldly, ghostly & often ghoulish denizens, is the perfect analogy for an “intelligence” culture. Hidden in the darkest corners & deepest recesses of society, it thrives, thanks in part to our fascination for its perverse beauty — the same fascination we find in the terror of horror films. Revealed only through the camera eye, it’s removed from our visible world. We consider it confined to the deep, safely on the other side of the screen, a world apart, never realizing that the deep sea is capable of swallowing us, and forgetting that the most convincing fiction is often grounded in the most disturbing realities.

    That the perversion of the “intelligence” culture itself — a culture that thrives on the power of national secrecy and unlimited, unregulated spending — is revealed in an absence of fear its denizens display when they unmask their own, often violent and malicious, perversions, isn’t unusual. It’s common to the point of cliche: which is dangerous, as we tend to dismiss cliche, and its portrayal, as hack. Congratulations for not shying away from it on page 10 – especially since it’s crucial to the turning-point in the wonderful deep sea (and deeply disturbing) metaphor of page 11.

    I’d be remiss if I didn’t conclude by adding that, though page 11 is my favorite page, my single-favorite image is in the last cell on page 10: the Nosferatu silhouette. It draws the connection of the deep sea metaphor that follows to our fascination with horror cinema, raises the specter of the semi-eternal parasite that exists so long as we’re unwilling to confront it, and recalls the distancing effects of the highly aestheticised spy culture drawn earlier in your story with the Abstract Expressionism of horror films like Nosferatu, Dr. Calligari, etc. Brilliant.

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