— rabatjoie

November 2005

Who was that, going by just then – who was the slender boy who flickered across her path, so blond, so white he was nearly invisible in the hot haze that had come to settle over Zwölfkinder? Did she see him, and did she know him for her second shadow? She was conceived because her father saw a movie called Alpdrücken one night and got a hardon. Pökler in his horny staring had missed the Director’s clever Gnostic symbolism in the lighting scheme of the two shadows, Cain’s and Abel’s. But Ilse, some Ilse, has persisted beyond her cinema mother, beyond film’s end, and so have the shadows of shadows. In the Zone, all will be moving under the Old Dispensation, inside the Cainists‘ light and space: not out of any precious Göllerei, but because the Double Light was always there, outside all film, and that shucking and jiving moviemaker was the only one around at the time who happened not to notice it and use it, although in deep ignorance, then and now, of what he was showing the nation of starers…. So that summer Ilse passed herself by, too fixed at some shadowless interior noon to mark the intersection, or care.

The model currently being fired was the A3, christenend not with champagne, but with flasks of liquid oxygen by the playful technicians. Emphasis had begun to shift from propulsion to guidance. Telemetry on the flight tests was still primitive. Thermometers and barometers were sealed in a watertight compartment with a movie camera. During flights the camera photographed the needles swinging on the gauges. After the flight the film was recovered, and the data played back. Engineers sat around looking at movies of dials. Meantime Heinkels were dropping iron models of the Rocket from 20,000 feet. The fall was photographed by Askania cinetheodolite rigs on the ground. In the daily rushes you would watch the frames at around 3000 feet, where the model broke through the speed of sound. There has been this strange connection between the German mind and the rapid flashing of successive stills to counterfeit movement, for at least two centuries – since Leibniz, in the process of inventing calculus, used the same approach to break up the trajectories of cannonballs through the air. And now Pökler was about to be given proof that these techniques had been extended past images on film, to human lives.

Do me a favor, „world“, and go fuck yourself.