What About Bob?

I was recollecting with a friend about David Lynch's Twin Peaks and got to talking about Bob. What about Bob? Bob was the Demon who posessed Leland Palmer and who made him rape and kill his daughter, Laura Palmer.

While few people claim any direct experience with demons, they inherit a common mythology. Unlike ghosts, demons are not vestiges of lives, but whirlpools in the psychic plane, inhuman. They wish to get into the physical world to fuck things up. Perhaps it is rich and sensuous to them. Perhaps they are concious beings, perhaps not. In either case, they are completely alien to us. They come in through the mind. At first their hold is weak and they can manifest only in short bursts. But once a demon has its tendrils in you, they do not let go. They lurk, in the background, sinking themselves deeper into you, breaking you down from the inside. Eventually, uncontested, they have complete control of your mind and they use you as a shell to manifest psychic destruction on the mortal plane. Demons may be thought of as "real" or merely as metaphors. For me, I don't really see the distinction. Nor does the demon.

I present a hypothesis of how Bob came to possess Leland Palmer. As David Lynch is fond of, Leland is a pent up father with the morals of the '50s that say to smile at the world and hide any unpleasant thoughts even from one's self. The repressed self grows inward and consumes one's self, leading to one fracture. Like more than would admit to it, even to one's self, Leland desired his daughter even from the tenderest age. But he hid this from himself. He could not bear to admit to himself that he had these feelings. When he acted on these buried feelings and molested Laura, he opened this crack. A disparity was born...a cognitize dissonance.

Laura, like all daughters, wished to see her father in nothing but a positive lot. Leland was a little kooky, animated, and basically a great dad. There was something wrong with him, something she could not bear to see, so she hid this from herself. When her father molested her, she sought an illusion that might make the reality unreal.

You have a conflicted father divided between what he thought he must believe and what he felt, and a daughter who did not wish to see the evil in him. They created Bob. Bob was born of them. Not all births are the combinations of DNA, but a synthesis of beings. Between Leland and Laura, a crack appeared, a mutual secret hidden behind a shared desire of illusion and repression. Through this crack the Demon, Bob, entered into Leland and all of the subsequent events were triggered.

"A little boy went out to play. When he opened his door, he saw the world. As he passed through the doorway, he caused a reflection. Evil was born. Evil was born and followed the boy." -- an old tale, Inland Empire

Once Bob got hold of Leland, he took his mind. We know that Leland molested Laura from a very early age. At first it must have been a life-wrenching shock. Bob could only manifest in bursts as Leland still had a fragment of his divided self. He had emotional resistence. But as time wore on, it became easier for Leland just to let go, to pretend it was all an illusion, hidden beneath the surface of his mind, a dream.

Laura was affected differently. Ungrounded by her molestation and by her disparity, she sought a tether to the earth. She sought out all of the advanced school activities, several boyfriends and sex partners, and cocaine to try to tie herself to something. But this all made her lighter, less tied to anything. She positioned herself to be a sacrifice to Bob.

Both parties, in blinding themselves to their own actions, created a subconcious space where the horrors they attempted to oppress could grow and fester.

I do not know what Lynch meant by this presentation. Perhaps it is a metaphor. Perhaps he is telling tales of the supernatural. Perhaps he points to psychic forces which are very real but as are yet misdefined. It does make for a fascinating tale.