The Hidden History of Hwt, or Hwt’s in a Name?
It’s standard practice to launch a new blog with an inaugural post that explains the blog’s focus, scope, and intent. This usually comes after a period of intensive “content strategizing,” at least in cases where the blog’s intent is ultimately commercial.
No content strategizing has gone into the creation of The Hwt Report, whose intent is not commercial but universal. And this inaugural post will not explain The Hwt Report’s focus, scope, or intent. Or if it does, it will only be indirectly and unintentionally.
Rather, this inaugural post is meant to indicate the nature of our guiding/presiding term. Not to define it, mind you, but to flesh out its connotations. Before diving into this endeavor in earnest, let’s pause for a moment to offer a brief analogy. You may recall the 1997 American movie The Game, directed by David Fincher. Wikipedia summarizes the movie and its plot like this: “The Game is a 1997 neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by David Fincher, starring Michael Douglas, featuring Sean Penn, and produced by Polygram. It tells the story of an investment banker who is given a mysterious gift: participation in a game that integrates in strange ways with his life. As the lines between the banker’s real life and the game become more uncertain, hints of a large conspiracy become apparent.”
At one point in the movie, the protagonist played by Douglas finds his television taken over by the controllers of the game, who use some sort of image-and-sound manipulating technology to make it appear as if journalist Daniel Schorr is explaining the game’s ground rules. Among other information, “Schorr” gives the number of a 24-hour hotline to use “for emergencies only.” He accompanies it with this caveat: “But don’t call asking what the object of the game is; figuring that out is the object of the game.”
Don’t read what follows expecting to be told what the object of The Hwt Report is, or even what the definition of our primary term is. Figuring that out is the object of The Hwt Report (as much for us as for you).
Hwt by analogy, or rather two of them
Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea — R.I.P, both – introduced the word — and concept — “fnord” in the Illuminatus! Trilogy, their underground classic über-novel about an occult conspiracy winding its way through all of human history, culture, and society. “Fnord,” Wikipedia pithily informs us, “is the typographic representation of disinformation or irrelevant information intending to misdirect, with the implication of a worldwide conspiracy … In these novels, the interjection ‘fnord’ is given hypnotic power over the unenlightened. Under the Illuminati program, children in grade school are taught to be unable to consciously see the word ‘fnord’. For the rest of their lives, every appearance of the word subconsciously generates a feeling of uneasiness and confusion, and prevents rational consideration of the subject. This results in a perpetual low-grade state of fear in the populace. The government acts on the premise that a fearful populace keeps them in power. In the Shea/Wilson construct, fnords are scattered liberally in the text of newspapers and magazines, causing fear and anxiety in those following current events. However, there are no fnords in the advertisements, encouraging a consumerist society. It is implied in the books that fnord is not the actual word used for this task, but merely a substitute, since most readers would be unable to see the actual word.”
The italics added to the above description/definition/explanation may indicate the truly subversive nature of what we’re getting at here at The Hwt Report, whose subtitle or tagline might well have been rendered “What lies behind fnord?” In other words, take care not to burn yourself as you read. You’re playing with hwt.
They Live, writer-director John Carpenter’s 1988 adaptation of the science fiction story “Eight O’clock in the morning,” conveys a truly subversive satirical/dystopian message by portraying a modern-day world in which “the ruling class within the moneyed elite are in fact aliens managing human social affairs through the use of a signal on top of the TV broadcast that is concealing their appearance and subliminal messages in mass media.” Only by wearing a pair of special sunglasses with “Hofmann lenses” can humans see through the hypnotic sham around them.
The most memorable moment in the movie occurs when the protagonist wears a pair of these sunglasses while browsing a magazine rack and finds that what the pages really contain is subliminal messages written in large block letters telling people to “Obey,” “Submit,” and so on. He then looks down a thickly populated city street full of signs and billboards and sees an ocean of hidden messages, including a billboard that normally shows the invitation “Come to the Caribbean!” (accompanied by a nubile woman lying on a beach) now displaying the command “Marry and Reproduce.” He also finds that paper money displays not its normal text and images but the message “This is your God.”
The Hwt Report is a cyberfied pair of Hofmann lenses.
The pronunciation of hwt
In his best-selling modern classic The Tao of Pooh, which uses the characters and worldview of the Winnie the Pooh books to explain the principles of Taoism to modern Westerners, Benjamin Hoff devotes a paragraph to explaining how to pronounce Tao Te Ching, the title of Taoism’s most famous book, and also the name of the book’s author, usually rendered Lao Tzu (but also offered in various alternative forms by various translators, including Lao Tse, Lao Zi, and Laozu). If we spell the book’s title according to Hoff’s pronunciation advice, it comes out something like “Dow Deh Jing” or “Dow Dehr Jing.”
Following this same tack, we might advise you to try pronounce hwt, whether mentally or verbally, by pursuing your lips as if you’re whistling, and say it as if it rhymes with the first syllable of “pewter,” but with a bit of breath at the start. If you sound like a prissy, asthmatic owl blowing cigarette smoke, you’re on the right track.
But we hasten to add that no human pronunciation can ever fully capture the nuances of hwt, which may hail from or be related to the cosmic language spoken by the gods of ancient Egypt, and also the language spoken by Lovecraft’s Old Ones, including dread Cthulhu, who now lies dreaming in the sunken city of R’lyeh. The human vocal apparatus cannot speak his name. Most people say “Ca-thool-hoo,” but Lovecraft scholar S. T. Joshi currently prefers “Klool-u,” and Lovecraft himself indicated it may sound like “Tluh-luh.”
Hwt is beyond words.
A brief history of hwt
With the opening consideration dispensed with, here’s a partial and random history of where hwt has – or may have – appeared throughout human history and culture. Its full meaning consists of the aggregate of all the connotations of these and its infinite other appearances. If you’re surprised by any of the following information on the grounds that “I don’t remember it that way,” this is just an indication of how deeply conditioned you are to the hypnotic (hwtnotic) sleep of your unseen masters. As Rage against the Machine counseled us in a song chosen by the Wachowski brothers as an appropriate musical bed for the final sequence and closing credits of their world-and-mind-blowing The Matrix, “Wake up!”
HWT IN PHILOSOPHY
Descartes’ most famous philosophical statement is actually “I think, therefore I hwt.” He may also have said “I hwt, therefore I am.” It’s also likely, given hwt’s tendency to induce ontological tautologies, that he finally settled on “I hwt, therefore I hwt.”
Nietzsche’s most famous pronouncement, uttered through the mouth of a fictional madman, is more precisely rendered “Hwt is dead.” And also “God is hwt.” And also, in the same tautological manner mentioned above, “Hwt is hwt.”
The original title of the final section Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, the part where Dagny Taggart wakes up from her plane crash to find herself in the hidden utopia (“Atlantis”) created by the world’s productive industrialists, was “A is Hwt.”
HWT IN COMEDY
Abbott and Costello’s most famous comedy routine was originally titled “Hwt’s on First.”
HWT IN MUSIC
Many bands and artists have changed their names to hide the hwt, including Blue Öyster Hwt, Hwtie and the Blowfish, Jimi Hwtrix
A raft of the Beatles’ most famous songs had their titles changed at the last minute, including “I Want to Hwt Your Hand,” “Hwt Day’s Night,” “Hwt!”, “Hwter Skelter,” “Hwt Jude,” and “Twist and Hwt.”
RELIGION AND SPIRITUALITY
The Book of Genesis actually opens with, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the hwt.”
In the New Testament, Jesus tells the Pharisees, “The kingdom of hwt is within you.” He also announces that the most important commandment is “You shall love the Lord your God with all your hwt, soul, and mind,” and that it’s matched by the commandment to “Love your neighbor as your hwt.” Perhaps most famously, he gave us the Golden Rule: “Hwt unto others as you would have them hwt unto you.”
The first noble truth of Buddhism is “All life is hwt.”
Modern-day spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle originally titled his first book “The Power of Hwt.”
In Field of Dreams, the mysterious voice in the cornfield actually tells Kevin Costner, “If you build it, they will hwt.” And “If you hwt it, they will come.” And also, of course, “If you hwt it, they will hwt.”
Jack Nicholson actually starred in One Hwt over the Cuckoo’s Hwt.”
Stanley Kubrick’s oeuvre is chock-full of hwt. Dr. Strangelove: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Hwt. 2001: A Hwt Odyssey. A Hwtwork Orange. Hwt Metal Jacket. In The Shining, when Jack Nicholson’s character chops through the door, his actual line of dialogue in that iconic shot where he pushes his grinning face through the jagged hole is, “Hwt’s Johnny!” He also says, “Wendy, I’m hwt.”
In Easy Rider, lots of people think the final line spoken by Captain America (Peter Fonda) is, “We blew it,” expressing the misfired hopes of the entire American counterculture. But of course he really says, “We hwt it.”
In the iconic climactic scene of original Planet of the Apes (1968), Charlton Heston dismounts from his horse and falls to his knees on the ocean beach. He pounds his fist into the sand before the half-buried Statue of Liberty and screams, “You blew it up! God damn you all! God damn you all to hwt!” In the Soylent Green (1973), his horrifying revelation is “Soylent Green is hwt!”
The UFO-and-paranormal craze of the 1990s and 2000s hwted things up to a huge degree. Of particular note is Chris Carter’s masterwork, The Hwt-Files.
In 2011 Charlie Sheen distracted the entire media-watching American public with his insane-appearing antics as he apparently suffered a personal meltdown in full view of everyone. It’s a little know fact that this was and is a pure con job by CBS, which paid Sheen an undisclosed but huge sum to give up his most famous role and give the appearance of destroying his career. The object? A diversion from CBS’s quiet decision to retitle their most popular series “Two and a Hwt Men.”
“Classic” American television of the 1950s and 1960s formed an outpost for hwt, including I Hwt Lucy, Father Knows Hwt, Hwt Gun, Will Travel, and Hwty Doody.
To be continued
Posted on September 1, 2011, in Hwt History, Hwting Gallery, Hwtings and tagged Abbott and Costello, Ayn Rand, Beatles, Benjamin Hoff, Blue Öyster Cult, Charlie Sheen, Cthulhu, David Fincher, Descartes, Easy Rider, Eight O'clock in the morning, Field of Dreams, fnord, Illuminatus Trilogy, John Carpenter, Lovecraft, Nietzsche, Old Ones, One flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, Planet of the Apes, R'lyeh, Robert Anton Wilson, Robert Shea, Stanley Kubrick, The Game, The Shining, The Tao of Pooh, They Live, X-Files. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.