Jun 23, 2008

L.L. Bean

Sometimes I like to read the LL. Bean catalog.

Normally I don't buy anything because as I have said, it is not my taste. Here and there when I've gotten something though, I have been happy with it, such as gortex gloves that were totally warm and I still have them; and a set of very pretty, extremely dorky floral flannel sheets that I think are an exceptional shade of blue.

Right now I'm thinking about getting rid of them, but the color of them does something to me; it is like if the winter light in your bedroom became kryptonite. But even though I hardly ever buy anything, I can't get enough of the world of the people of L.L. Bean. I mostly look at the print catalog, the Website is a little bit different because it doesn't show as many people and scenarios, but in both versions, maybe it is that sometimes the people are invisible to us?

Maybe the beings of L.L. Bean are in a Phantom Zone, like the one in Superman, but without villains.

Whatever is happening, everything in L.L. Bean is practically coming to life.

This shoe,

Invisible Jack's hammock,

and this man-pants segment,

they all have a special presence. May I ask what the situation is that this man is standing this way? But there is a Haitian saying, "What is there about a pumpkin that a knife does not know?" This is true in the world as we know it, and when you enter the L.L. Bean Phantom Zone, everything is subject to its laws.

People and/or their spirit objects inhabit the world of L.L. Bean together. It is a fantasy of facial expressions and inanimate objects populating a spiritual world that is like animism.
It is as if they are caught in the moment when we might see their secret inner life.

It is like the Police song, Spirits in the Material World,

or all of Ghost in the Machine. That is an eerie, sad album, just like ghosts, but also exciting like ghosts. Unsurprisingly, eighth grade was the main year that I listened to this album. The L.L. Bean catalog can have an eerie, sad, exciting atmosphere that is also like the story of Beauty and the Beast, which also has people and objects animated together, like in the Disney version. The Jean Cocteau movie, La Belle et la Bete (that's Beauty and the Beast in Frawnch), also has this. It is an awesome movie, but it also makes me want to barf and run away at the same time.

Here is Belle, with her beautiful searching eyes,

and her boyfriend la Bete,

who we are supposed to find weirdly hot? and he kind of is. In spite of the obvious obstacles, they are a surprisingly plausible, though in my opinion unfortunate, couple, living in that dreary, neurotic house of delusions.

Is this love?

She prefers this, a hybrid of puppeteer/gym rat/copy shop worker.

How relieved are we when he turns into a dude? And yet the searching quality to this story, and the way he makes the world come alive for her are completely magical.

Not everyone would be turned on in the form of an elephant-face teapot get-along-gang, but ok the beast is a magical being who rocks her world.

He uses his powers to call her on a quest into his Phantom Zone. This is why she is wearing a hooded cape.

Here she is entering his magic bachelor pad lair, where he has a hallway of disembodied animated arms holding candelabras, which are also very Meatloaf.

Philip Glass's score for the Cocteau movie is very captivating and also evokes the Phantom Zone, which swivels like a revolving mirror through the depths of space.

L.L. Bean is a private metaphysical experience. It enjoins us with its inhabitants, and we are meant to share in a spiritual moment with them as private beings. By sharing in their personhood, our own personhood becomes remote as we reflect, and then is deepened.
What is it like in the Phantom Zone?


It is possible to access overlooked places on the space-time continuum.

We can see her timeless, pre-natal origins.

They can be reverted to because they are always there.

What does pleasure mean? In her corner of the Phantom Zone Eden force field, this woman appears to be discovering something new today. Maybe it's a genital wish, a new lettuce, or the view of a favorite turn down a street.

The question about pleasure turns over and over, but it is not repetition because experiencing pleasure is not identical each time.

She is beautiful and she is succeeding at whatever is happening.

In my mind this woman's name is Johanna. In D&D she would be a night messenger who plays the flute or the lute. In some ways, she is always thinking about a mountain. Some of her atmospheres are self-evident.

Sometimes it is lonely here. This couple has descended into an autumnal netherworld. They don't look at each other even though they are holding hands.

This person has been L.L. Bean's non-white man for approximately fifteen years.

This is his female counterpart.

It is unclear whether or not we are supposed to perceive them as a couple. Their photographs often appear on the same page, but I cannot remember ever seeing them "together."

Regardless, in the years that I have come to know this man, he appears to have had a son.

This is an intimate day.

One thing I found in the Phantom Zone Online was "Uncle Mike's Cartridge Slide."

This surprised me, as I had never seen this side of L.L. Bean. It made me feel as if I was a little boy snooping around at my aunt and uncle's house, found this in a drawer, and later I whispered to my brother, "Look, I found Uncle Mike's cartridge slide." Is that the idea with this? Or is it more mature, like I am 24 instead of 10, and I say to my younger brother,

who is wearing the "Commando Sweater" in Sable Heather that smells like some combination of Drakkar/Right Guard/Old Spice, "Why don't you use Uncle Mike's cartridge slide?" since he left his back at school.

Then we gather up our leashes, collars, hunting knives, rifle cases, survival kit, and maybe some socks, and do whatever it is we were planning on doing that day.

I landed in Bean's online-doggyworld by accident.

I had never seen these dogs before, and wearing hunting vests.

It was very different from the doggyworld in my L.L. Bean Home catalog where my sheets came from.

That version of life has only very soft, cute dogs.

It also has a beautiful patterned mosaic entryway to the epicenter of every world.

The cross-over regions through these worlds are vast:

Douche bag chin strap, harmless.

Starbucks cowboy.

Birdwatcher androgeny/Pepperidge Farm

L.L. Bean in the hood.

This sweater constellation is a little bit like this example of what it means to be alive.

The heart of the cross-over region eventually becomes more specific/enthusiastic without becoming proportionately logical.
The Mission Plant Stand got five stars, but five stars of what? Does that mean it is a first-rate plant stand in any world? If you had to guess, which one would you say is the Mission Plant Stand? That is right, unfortunately it is the one with the picture that does not show a plant. Also, it is $89.00.

This one with the plant is the Slate-Top End Table. It is $319.00, and you can put a geranium next to a book on top of a book on it. It also received five L.L. Bean Phantom Zone/Cross-Over World Stars.

Silence of the Lambs Cargo Liner
, includes "It puts the lotion in the basket!" bumper sticker. Fits many vehicles.