Powerpoints #15: A Knox-Ghouls Parody, Inspired By Two Mountains

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I was recently in the little town of Lone Pine just east of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains.

If you’re not familiar with this area, the vistas along the Owens Valley and up into the huge mountains - which at that point rise 10,000-plus feet almost vertically from the plain - are absolutely stunning. 

This is where the rock legends U2 found the inspiration for and shot the cover art for their Joshua Tree recording and, like just about everyone else who ever visits, I found myself in reflective mood.

I was lucky to secure a last minute permit for hiking and climbing in the popular and highly regulated Sierras, in an area that included the magnificent Mount Whitney (14,505 feet) which is the highest mountain peak of the lower 48 states - only Mount McKinley in Alaska (20320 feet) is higher.

My goal for this trip, however, was not to climb Mount Whitney which I’d previously climbed. It was instead to head up nearby Mount Russell (14,094 feet) which is one of the more difficult California peaks.

I hiked in and established a base camp at 11,200 feet, at Upper Boy Scout Lake, where I had a fine view of both Mount Whitney and Mount Russell. I was greatly impressed by the silhouettes of these two imposing and similar-appearing pyramids of granite in the soft light. 

But as I continued to observe them I found myself considering just how different these peaks really are upon closer examination. 

That night I dreamed, as many people do, camped very high up in the mountains.

My own strange dream was of Meredith Kercher as Mount Whitney, and of Amanda Knox as Mount Russell. The two were surrounded by the odd and shadowy characters you might encounter in a mountainous dream world.

This is how this tale of two peaks came to be, and I wrote it down later as a summer-break companion for reflection. 

The one thing I find myself reflecting on most is this:  Was it really just a dream? You tell me.

Posted by Fly By Night on 09/02/09 at 07:29 PM in

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My kind of dream!  I happened to read this below a few weeks ago, on the same day I had my second chance encounter with Curt Knox (who shows no signs of extraordinary wear).

I dream that my cats, my daughter’s cats, can actually understand everything I say. And have for many years. Therefore they know that I’ve been saying they’re retarded, or stupid or crazy.

They also know what I sometimes think of them—they go on as if they don’t, but they do. This secret knowledge eats at them and makes them even crazier than they were to begin with.

The effort they maintain to keep up the pretense of geniality and routine is sometimes too much for them, which is why they sometimes lash out at me, or at others, for no apparent reason.

By David Byrne, Animals Know, from the liner notes to Grown Backwards

AK has, we assume, a larger and more sophisticated brain than the average cat, and should, therefore, be sufficiently evolved not to lash out unexpectedly at someone whose biggest crime was to ‘diss’ her to a few other girls.

(I once got a faceful of rage from my mega-tarty flatmate after she overheard me tell a girlfriend I thought the flatmate had missed her calling in not choosing a career as a call girl).

AK has, of course, been referred to as a stupid retard, by her loving stepdad, and who knows how often, or from how young an age. That would have to injure the self esteem.

As for dreams, I found myself for weeks (months?) having dreams about that peculiarly situated carpark. I didn’t realise it until I visited Kermit’s powerpoint about the idiot Ciolino “reenacting” what Nara heard.

I like to imagine Meredith, somewhere just above us, being able to see beauty and the larger picture that we, still entrapped in our earthly bodies, will ourselves have to wait to appreciate.

Posted by mimi on 09/03/09 at 03:05 AM | #

Mimi:  If, as they say, all things are connected then Meredith is indeed somewhere just above us, smiling in appreciation every time someone does something towards justice in her name.

Perhaps the funniest thing about this “mountain climbing” PowerPoint is that I didn’t have to give the caricatures real names.  This bunch is so “out there” that anyone who has been following this case for any period of time knows exactly who is being parodied.

And of course my objective isn’t to be funny, though the Entourage has been known to induce hysterical laughter at times.  It’s all about the ongoing behavior of the Entourage and what that says about their motivations. 

Sorry to say, I don’t see any one of them being interested in or motivated in any way by an objective truth. If the truth can’t serve them they’ll bury it.

Apparently, the only real truth the Entourage can handle is one of self gratification and, yes, there’s still a whole lot more to say about all this.

Posted by Fly By Night on 09/03/09 at 06:42 PM | #

Yes Meredith would have got this for sure; Knox, not so much. They were really polar opposites in sense-of-humor terms.

As described by her dad in his fine book “Meredith” the extremely intelligent Meredith had a flashing wit, and she saw the humor in so many things.

Knox was far more plodding and crass and most jokes were way over her head, often leaving her impatient and rattled and not the best company.


I really envy FBN’s mountain climb! He is right, the eastern Sierra Nevadas rise astonishingly out of that flat valley. Most of California is over the other side.

Across at the eastern side of the valley the White Mountains rise, with ancient trees at the top.

Many movies were made right there. Lone Pine needed to find a way to prosper and
stages a popular movie festival every year.

Miles north is Reno, Nevada. Miles south are Vegas, the Mojave Desert, and of course LA.

The river in the valley is a key part of LA’s water supply and there is a canal running parallel to the highway for many miles headed south.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/01/22 at 05:47 PM | #
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